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Keith Thomas, Gun Engraver

Keith Thomas, Gun Engraver

Last April at the 2017 Southern Side By Side Spring Classic I had the good fortune to meet Keith Thomas, one of the world’s top gun engravers. Thomas began his engraving career in 1964 as an apprentice with Holland & Holland. He stayed with that famous London firm until he went own in 1975.

Since then, he has worked for most of the work’s top gunmakers, including, including Boss & Co, W. W. Greener, Hartmann & Weiss, Asprey, Peter V. Nelson, Watson Bros, and A. A. Brown.

The Hartmann & Weiss you see here features his work and is a great example of why Thomas’s rose & scroll patterns are considered to be among the finest ever.

You can see more of Keith Thomas’s work here.

Hartmann & Weiss 28 gauge over-and-under shotgun

Hartmann & Weiss 28 gauge over-and-under shotgun

Hartmann & Weiss 28 gauge over-and-under shotgun

Hartmann & Weiss 28 gauge over-and-under shotgun

Mortimer & Sons Boxlock SxS 12ga 28" w/ Ejectors

Mortimer & Sons Boxlock SxS 12ga 28″ w/ Ejectors

If I had to pick one shotgun for all my shooting,  it be a British 12 gauge. And if I wanted to get a great deal, it would be the British 12 gauge you see here.

This boxlock is built an Anson & Deeley action, a solid, time-tested design. The maker — Mortimer  — was one of Britain’s older gunmakers. Founded in the 1750s, they merged with John Dickson & Sons in 1938. Judging by the proof marks on this double, it was built between 1925 and 1938. It doesn’t appear to have been used much since then.

Event though its weight isn’t noted, I bet it comes in at 6 1/2 – 6 3/4 lbs, and the stock is probably 14 1/4″ inches long with 2 1/8″ drop at the heel. If the barrels are sound, tight and on the face, and everything else is in order, it’s a great deal (and with a little haggling, I get you could talk the price down to super-fantastic deal).

Mortimer & Sons Boxlock SxS 12ga 28″ w/ EjectorsGun remains in very good condition; boxlock ejector gun with 2 1/2″ chambers Nitro Proof for 1 1/8 oz, English grip and splinter forend. Price: $2,500

Mortimer & Sons Boxlock SxS 12ga 28" w/ Ejectors

Mortimer & Sons Boxlock SxS 12ga 28″ w/ Ejectors

Mortimer & Sons Boxlock SxS 12ga 28" w/ Ejectors

Mortimer & Sons Boxlock SxS 12ga 28″ w/ Ejectors

Mortimer & Sons Boxlock SxS 12ga 28" w/ Ejectors

Mortimer & Sons Boxlock SxS 12ga 28″ w/ Ejectors

 

FABBRI BEST 20 GAUGE OU SHOTGUN

FABBRI BEST 20 GAUGE OU SHOTGUN

FABBRI BEST 20 GAUGE OU SHOTGUNMADE 2005, PELI CREATIVE ARTS ENGRAVED, 27 1/2″ VACUUM ARC REMELT BARRELS  SOLID RIB, IMPROVED MODIFIED AND FULL 2 3/4″, SINGLE TRIGGER EJECTORS FIELD FOREARM ENGLISH GRIP CHECKERED BUTT NEW IN MAKERS CASE, 6LBS 2 OZ X 2″ X 1 3/8″ X 15″. Price: $99,500

JOSEPH LANG 12GA SIDE-BY-SIDE CUSTOM 2 BL SET 30″: SIDELOCK EJECTOR, 30″ BARRELS, ONE SET CHOKED .022 AND .035, SECOND SET TRUE CYLINDER AND .019. BARRELS ARE CHOPPER LUMP. EARLY GUN DATES FROM 1913. ENGLISH STRAIGHT STOCK, 14 3/8 PULL TO A LEATHER BUTT , 1 1/4 x 2 3/4 DROP, SINGLE TRIGGER, HIGH QUALITY BOUQUET AND SCROLL ENGRAVING, CLASSIC LOOK, NICE LOOKING GUN IN GREAT SHAPE, CASED, WITH LETTER FROM DOUGLAS TATE OF BRITISH GAME GUNS. Price: $14,700

JOSEPH LANG 12GA SIDE-BY-SIDE CUSTOM 2 BL SET 30"

JOSEPH LANG 12GA SIDE-BY-SIDE CUSTOM 2 BL SET 30″

Westley Richards 12 Bore S/S – BOXLOCK, EJECTORS WESTLEY SINGLE SELECTIVE TRIGGER, 28”, NICE!

Westley Richards 12 Bore S/S – BOXLOCK, EJECTORS WESTLEY SINGLE SELECTIVE TRIGGER, 28”, NICE!

Westley Richards 12 Bore S/S – BOXLOCK, EJECTORS WESTLEY SINGLE SELECTIVE TRIGGER, 28”, NICE!This sweet little Westley Richards BLE is a great example of a fine British shotgun at a very affordable price.  A Birmingham proofed gun made in or around 1904, snO8605 weighs a svelte 6 1/2 pounds with 28” barrels and is balanced dead on the hinge pin.  This is one of the guns you hand to a shooter as you are trying to explain why the Brits have always had the most dynamic guns…they just feel right in your hands.  For those who like a single selective trigger, the Westley Richards “One Trigger” is amongst the best ever devised and works like a dream.  Few British guns have SELECTIVE single triggers and this is a very rare option.  Mechanically perfect in every way, with excellent bores, lots of wall thickness, still in proof with HEAVY 1 1/4OZ. PROOF STAMPINGS, lots of wear to the original factory finishes but still tight on hinge pin and breech face, the gun is ready for several more generations of use.  Choked just right for upland birds and sporting clays, great stock dimensions, and a great price, this is your chance to own a British gun with a very notable maker’s name.  Thanks for looking. Price: $3,750

Ithaca SKB 20ga. Model 280 "English" SxS

Ithaca SKB 20ga. Model 280 “English” SxS

Ithaca SKB 20ga. Model 280 “English” SxS: This gun has 28″ barrels choked modified (.012″) and full (.028″), 3″ chambers, choke left: full (.028″), choke right: modified (.012″). It has a straight grip stock with a 141/4″ LOP over the original buttplate. It has a single selective trigger,ejectors,and a beavertail forend. Stock Dimensions, 14 1/4″x1 1/2″x2 1/2″, weight: 6lb, 2 oz. The gun is in excellent condition retaining at least 98% of the original blue and wood finish. The barrel bores are bright and free of any rust,dents,or pits.The wood is solid and free of any cracks or damage and is nicely figured. The model 280 was only made for a short time and are fairly hard to find.This would make a great dove,pheasant,or clays gun. Price: $1695

Browning Citori Upland Special OU in 20 Gauge

Browning Citori Upland Special OU in 20 Gauge

Browning Citori Upland Special OU in 20 GaugeCouple very minimal handling marks otherwise, excellent condition. Price: $1,499.99
Caliber: 20 Gauge
Chambers: 3 Inch
Metal Condition: Excellent
Wood Condition: Excellent
Bore Condition: Bright
Barrels: 26 Inch
Triggers: SST
Stock: Straight Grip, Checkered Walnut
Stock Dimensions:
14 1/4″ LOP
Fore End: Schnabel tip
Butt Pad: Decelerator Recoil Pad
Weight: 6 Lbs 6 Ozs
Sights: Vent Rib, Metal Bead
Chokes: Mod / Imp. Cylinder Fixed

Grouse shooting in Scotland, from the BASC web site

Grouse shooting in Scotland, from the BASC web site

I’ve never been to Scotland and I’ve never shot a red grouse. But visiting the first to do the second is at the top of my bucket list. According to this article from National Geographic, I might want to cross it off soon.

The article’s well written and worth checking out if you’ve ever dreamed of traveling to the UK for the the Glorious Twelfth (simply August, 12, here) or if you just want to look at some gorgeous photographs.

Beretta 686 Onyx 20 gauge Over Under 2 Barrel Set

Beretta 686 Onyx 20 gauge Over Under 2 Barrel Set

Here’s one of the finest double-barrel shotguns you’re going to find. These Beretta 686s handle like OUs costing many times more. They’re also reliable, easy to fix, and with this kind of Onyx finish, just plain sexy. For grouse, woodcock, and quail, they’re just about ideal.

With two set of barrels, 26.5″ and 29.5″, and a price tag of just $1699.99, this one is extra special. That’s why I’m saying someone needs to buy this gun. If someone else doesn’t snatch it up soon, I just might be the one to do it.

Beretta 686 Onyx 20 Gauge Over Under 2 Barrel SetThis is a very nice Beretta 686 Onyx 2 barrel set. The pictured barrels are 26.5 inch matte black and the second set are 29.5 inch blue, both have vent ribs. The walnut stock and matching forearm are a nice grade of wood with a small hairline crack on the left side of the forearm. All in all a very nice shotgun at a very nice price.  Price: $1699.99
Caliber: 20 Gauge.

Beretta 686 Onyx 20 gauge Over Under 2 Barrel Set

Beretta 686 Onyx 20 gauge Over Under 2 Barrel Set

Chambers: 2 3/4 and 3 inch Over/Under with ejectors.
Metal Condition: Excellent.
Wood Condition: Very good with a small crack on the left side of the forearm.
Bore Condition: All are bright and shiny.
Barrels: 26.5 inch matte black and the second set are 29.5 inch blue.
Triggers: Single silver color.
Stock: Nice mid-grade walut with a checkered pistol grip.
Stock Dimensions:
15 inch LOP
Fore End: Matching checkered walnut with finger grooves.
Butt Pad: Replacement black rubber butt pad.
Weight: 6 Lbs 3 Oz with the 26.5 inch barrels.
Sights: Vent ribs with single front beads.
Chokes: Screw in, comes with 9 total chokes.
Extras: Comes with the second barrel and extra chokes.

Grouse counting is a game-management technique used on grouse moors across the UK. This beautiful video explains how it works. But the best part of seeing how the dogs point and work the field.

The Untold Story – Grouse Counting

The Untold Story - Grouse Counting

The Untold Story – Grouse Counting

PRE-WAR BOSS 20GA SxS SIDELOCK SELF-OPENING GAME GUN

PRE-WAR BOSS 20GA SxS SIDELOCK SELF-OPENING GAME GUN

Very rare and VERY expensive. That’s how I would sum up this twenty gauge side-by-side. It was made in 1936 by London’s Boss & Co, and it has several features which add up to make it an exceptionally rare British shotgun:

  • Barrel length: 28″ tubes are hard to find in smallbore Bosses
  • Original 2 3/4″ chambers: Most 20 gauge Bosses (and British shotguns) have 2 1/2″ chambers
  • Original 1 ounce heavy proofer: Most are proofed for 7/8 ounce loads
  • Genuine self opener: Boss may have built 60-70 self-opening SxSs in all. Most were 12 bores.
PRE-WAR BOSS 20GA SxS SIDELOCK SELF-OPENING GAME GUN

PRE-WAR BOSS 20GA SxS SIDELOCK SELF-OPENING GAME GUN

Here’s more info about the gun from the seller.

PRE-WAR BOSS 20GA SIDELOCK SXS GAME GUN: Fantastic original pre-war Boss 20 bore game gun. 28” nitro-proof steel barrels with game rib. Original 2 ¾” chambers. Ejectors. Case-colored sidelock action with classic rose & scroll engraving. Double triggers. Fabulous black-streaked English walnut straight grip stock and splinter forend. Leather case with maker’s label and accessories. Price: $89,500

Model: BEST SIDELOCK GAME GUN
Bore: 20
Chambers: 2 3/4″

PRE-WAR BOSS 20GA SxS SIDELOCK SELF-OPENING GAME GUN

PRE-WAR BOSS 20GA SxS SIDELOCK SELF-OPENING GAME GUN

Ejectors: YES
Condition: EXCELLENT
Metal Condition: EXCELLENT
Wood Condition: EXCELLENT

Bore Condition: BRIGHT

Barrels: 28″
Barrel Type: STEEL
Action: SIDELOCK
Triggers: DOUBLE
Gauge: 20
Stock: ENGLISH WALNUT
Stock Dimensions:
STRAIGHT GRIP

PRE-WAR BOSS 20GA SxS SIDELOCK SELF-OPENING GAME GUN

PRE-WAR BOSS 20GA SxS SIDELOCK SELF-OPENING GAME GUN

Stock Comb: 1 3/8″
Stock Heel: 2 1/4″
Stock Cast: 1/8″
Fore End: SPLINTER
Butt Pad: CHECKERED BUTT
LOP: 14 3/4″
Rib: GAME
Finish: BLUE
Weight: 5LBS 14OZ
Manufacture Date: 1936
Choke Left: .020
Choke Right: .011
Engraving: ROSE & SCROLL
Case: LEATHER FACTORY CASE
Proof:Nitro: YES
Minimum Wall Thickness Left: .029″
Minimum Wall Thickness Right: .030″

Hunting Cape Buffalo with a SAFARI IMPERIAL 700 NE boxlock made by Verney-Carron

Hunting Cape Buffalo with a SAFARI IMPERIAL 700 NE boxlock made by Verney-Carron

Here’s a cool look at hunting Cape Buffalo with a SAFARI IMPERIAL .700 Nitro Express boxlock side-by-side double rifle made by the gunmaker Verney-Carron.

The 700 Nitro Express was created by Holland & Holland in 1988. It shoots a 1,000 gr (65 g) bullet at 2,000 ft/s (610 m/s) and with about 8,900 foot-pounds of muzzle energy . In an 18-pound rifle, this load pushes back with 160 ft·lbf —  10X more recoil than most .308s. Ouch.

 

PARKER DH DAMASCUS SxS 28 GAUGE 1 OF 8 MADE BEST IN THE WORLD

PARKER DH DAMASCUS SxS 28 GAUGE 1 OF 8 MADE BEST IN THE WORLD

PARKER DH DAMASCUS SxS 28 GAUGE 1 OF 8 MADE BEST IN THE WORLD: O FRAME
#121XXX 26″ DAMASCUS FULL AND FULL 2 1/2″ CHAMBERS. DOUBLE TRIGGER EXTRACTORS SPLINTER FOREARM PISTOL GRIP SKELETON BUTT. YOU WILL NEVER SEE A BETTER MORE ORIGINAL. 5LBS 8 OZ X 2 1/2″ X 1 9/16″ X 14 1/4″ Price: $59,500

PARKER PH DAMASCUS SIDE-BY-SIDE 20 GAUGE#88XXX, O FRAME, 30″ DAMASCUS BARRELS IC AND IC 2 1/2″ CHAMBERS DOUBLE TRIGGER EXTRACTORS SPLINTER FOREARM PISTOL GRIP EXCELLENT NEAR MINT ORIGINAL CONDITION WITH ALOT OF CASE COLORS 6LBS 11 OZ X 3 X 2 X 14 TO DOGS HEAD BUTT. Price: $5,500

PARKER PH DAMASCUS SIDE-BY-SIDE 20 GAUGE

PARKER PH DAMASCUS SIDE-BY-SIDE 20 GAUGE

J P Clabrough impressive 8 gauge Side-by-Side sidelock hammer double:

J P Clabrough impressive 8 gauge Side-by-Side sidelock hammer double:

J P Clabrough impressive 8 gauge Side-by-Side sidelock hammer double: SxS hammer shotgun, circa 1887.  Until acquiring this gun I couldn’t use the words massive and beautiful in the same sentence when describing a shotgun!  The 36” barrels are Damascus steel with the pattern showing nicely, slightly browning with flawless/bright bores and chambers.  The barrels are fitted to a finely, fully engraved frame featuring with lots of scroll and game scene vignettes of pheasants on the left side and English black grouse on the right side with good traces of original colors present.  The engraved English black grouse were something of a “signature” engraving pattern on Clabrough mid and higher grade guns.  The double triggers are housed by a large trigger guard and the bottom tang that is fitted all the way to the engraved metal pistol grip cap.  The stock has a 14” LOP to the center of the original horn buttplate, 2” DAC and 3” DAH with neutral cast.  The stock and cross pin forearm have all of their original finishes with a fair amount of handling marks and yet no cracks or chips.  This is a really spectacular example of a Clabrough gun and an even more incredible example of an early 8 gauge, graded hammer gun.  By the “way” it weighs 13 lbs. 15 oz. SN:  16821  Price: $5,150

AyA No.1 - 20ga - Churchill Style Gun - - 25" IC / M - Churchill Rib

AyA No.1 – 20ga – Churchill Style Gun – – 25″ IC / M – Churchill Rib

AyA No.1 Sidelock Ejector – 20ga, 2-3/4″, 25″ IC / M (.006 / .015) Churchill RibDouble Triggers – Front Articulated, English Stock, Splinter Forearm, LOP 14-3/8″ over a very nicely executed 1″ Leather Covered Pad, Drop 1-1/2″ to 2-3/8″, Slight Cast Off for the Right Hand. Weight 6 lbs. 1 oz. A Very Nice, High Quality, little gun that would be perfect for Quail or Grouse. Originally, the number 2 gun of a pair. Overall Excellent Condition. Metal finishes at 98% or better. Bores are flawless. Oil finished stocks excellent with some typical handling marks. This gun has more engraving than any Model No. 2 I’ve seen, so I believe it is a Model No. 1. Price: $3450

 

 

L. Van Cauwenberghe SxS Boxlock Shotgun 16 GA:  $799.99
Chambers: 2 3/4″
Metal Condition: Excellent, Light Finish Wear, Small Nicks & Scratches
Wood Condition: Stock is Excellent, Minor Nicks and Scratches
Bore Condition: Bright
Barrels: 27 1/2
Triggers: Double Triggers

L. Van Cauwenberghe SxS Shotgun 16 GA

L. Van Cauwenberghe SxS Shotgun 16 GA

Stock: Semi Gloss Finish
Stock Dimensions: 14 1/4″ LOP
Fore End: Checkered
Butt Pad: Factory Butt Plate
Weight: 6 Lbs 8 ozs
Sights: Single Gold Bead
Chokes: Fixed IM / Full

A&S Famars 28ga Jorema SLE Shotgun, 27 1/2 inch Single Trigger O/U

A&S Famars 28ga Jorema SLE Shotgun, 27 1/2 inch Single Trigger O/U

A&S Famars 28ga Jorema SLE 27 1/2 inch Single Trigger O/U:  Straight english stock with a rear single trigger  It has a 15in LOP with a pad  It does have the original leather covered pad  that will take it to 15 1/2 LOP  Beautiful wood   great engraving  Priced great. Price: $19,750

PIOTTI BSEE – 16 GAUGE – SxS – BOXLOCK – SPECIAL KING I ENGRAVING PATTERN – 29″Piotti 16 gauge BSEE with 29″ barrels. Granetti Engraved in a Special King I Pattern. Highly figured wood. Mint condition. Scalloped action. Hand filed slighly concave rib. Ejectors. Non-auto safety. Leather covered recoil pad. Bores at .670 with chokes at 7/1000 (IC) and 20/1000 (Imp Mod). “BS” proof date. Weight of gun is 6 LBS 11 1/2 OZ.  LOP – 14 7/8″ Drop at Comb – 1 3/8″ Drop at Heel – 2 1/8″.  Price: $14,500

PIOTTI BSEE - 16 GAUGE - SxS - BOXLOCK - SPECIAL KING I ENGRAVING PATTERN - 29

PIOTTI BSEE – 16 GAUGE – SxS – BOXLOCK – SPECIAL KING I ENGRAVING PATTERN – 29

JOHANN SPRINGER- 450 3 1/4" BPE in INCREDIBLE 94% COND.- 1894 for the MAHARAJA of DHOLPUR- BORES ABSOLUTELY as NEW- 95% ORIG. CASE COLORS

JOHANN SPRINGER- 450 3 1/4″ BPE in INCREDIBLE 94% COND.- 1894 for the MAHARAJA of DHOLPUR- BORES ABSOLUTELY as NEW- 95% ORIG. CASE COLORS

JOHANN SPRINGER- 450 3 1/4″ BPE SIDE-BY-SIDE BOXLOCK DOUBLE RIFLE  in INCREDIBLE 94% COND.- 1894 for the MAHARAJA of DHOLPUR- BORES ABSOLUTELY as NEW- 95% ORIG. CASE COLORS#8449, Joh. Springer, Erben In Wien: A superb 450 3 1/4″ BPE Hammerless Toplever Boxlock Extractor Made for the HH Rana Nihal Singh the Maharaja of Dholpur in 1892 and delivered in 1894, 25 3/8″ dovetail extractor damascus barrels with bores like the day it was delivered in 1894, Rib extension crossbolt, 1 standing & 1 folding rear sights, Intercepting safety sears, Double triggers with the front articulated, Steel trigger guard tang to the grip cap, No sling eyes, Very nice piece of wood, Steel engraved grip cap, Anson forend release, 14 1/2″ lop over the original 1″ Silvers pad, 8 lbs. 8 oz., 85% coverage of very nice period scroll, 95% original & vivid case colors remain, 90% original browning on the barrels, The original wood finish remains at 95%, The original checkering at 98%, The bores are literally brand new, The inside of the forend has 100% case colors, The wood is as stout as it was 123 years ago. This friend is one incredible double rifle that remains in unbelievable and incredible condition in a cartridge you can find all kinds of ammo and it is fun to shoot. It has a Gold escutcheon on the stock line with a crown and the very distinct initials ‘NS’ (Nihal Singh). Price: $12,500

JOHANN SPRINGER- 360 2 1/4" BPE in INCREDIBLE 90% COND.- 1894 for the MAHARAJA of DHOLPUR- BORES ABSOLUTELY as NEW- 95% ORIG. CASE COLORS

JOHANN SPRINGER- 360 2 1/4″ BPE in INCREDIBLE 90% COND.- 1894 for the MAHARAJA of DHOLPUR- BORES ABSOLUTELY as NEW- 95% ORIG. CASE COLORS

JOHANN SPRINGER- 360 2 1/4″ BPE SxS BOXLOCK DOUBLE RIFLE in INCREDIBLE 90% COND.- 1894 for the MAHARAJA of DHOLPUR- BORES ABSOLUTELY as NEW- 95% ORIG. CASE COLORS#8451, Joh. Springer, Erben In Wien: A superb 360 2 1/4″ BPE Hammerless Toplever Boxlock Extractor Made for the HH Rana Nihal Singh the Maharaja of Dholpur in 1892 and delivered in 1894, 25″ dovetail extractor damascus barrels with bores like the day it was delivered in 1894, Sideclip action body, Rib extension crossbolt, 1 standing & 1 folding rear sights, Intercepting safety sears, Double triggers, Steel trigger guard tang to the grip cap, No sling eyes, Very nice piece of wood, Steel engraved grip cap, Anson forend release, 14 1/2″ lop over the original 1″ Silvers pad, 6 lbs. 12 oz., 85% coverage of very nice period scroll, 95% original & vivid case colors remain, 90% original browning on the barrels, The original wood finish remains at 92%, The original checkering at 96%, On the right side at the head of the stock a small piece of wood was replaced that is very well done and hardly noticeable, The bores are literally brand new, The inside of the forend has 100% case colors, The wood is as stout as it was 123 years ago. This flat out a neat double rifle at 6 3/4 pounds and it remains in superb condition. We can load the ammo for this piece. Price: $8,900

1973 – BROWNING Superposed – Superlight – 12ga – OU- 27-1/2″ – M/FTapered Vent Rib, English Stock, Schnable Forearm, LOP 14-3/8″, Drop 1-5/8″ to 2-1/2″, Weight 6 lbs. 9 oz. Very hard to find Superlight with long barrels! Price: $2475

1973 - BROWNING Superposed - Superlight - 12ga - OU- 27-1/2" - M/F

1973 – BROWNING Superposed – Superlight – 12ga – OU- 27-1/2″ – M/F

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