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Craig Koshyk is the author of one of my favorite dog books: Pointing Dogs, Volume One: The Continental. He’s also a talented photographer, and, of course, a passionate upland hunter. His photo essay Prairie Dogs: Under the Broomhill Sky takes a look at the people, horses, and dogs that make the Broomhill Field Trials so special. The pictures are beautiful, so click through and give yourself a treat.

Prairie Dogs Under the Broomhill Sky, by Craig Koshyk

Prairie Dogs Under the Broomhill Sky, by Craig Koshyk

Pointing a Spring Woodcock

Puck pointing a woodcock in the spring

I used to read the magazine Sporting Classics regularly, but in the past few years I’ve stopped. Judging by the quality of these two stories, perhaps I should pick it up again. Both these stories are quick reads and, if you love bird dogs, well worth your time.

There’s Hardly a Man Who Can’t Be Improved By a Good Dog: By Robert Matthews

“At the time, I vowed that I wouldn’t get another dog. Life’s thread had grown too short, the grief too deep and the task too burdensome, I reasoned. And I knew for certain that I would never find another dog like Sam. A dog like that comes along only once in lifetime….”

“We think of ourselves as hunters, and of our pups as gun dogs. Yet as important as the hunting is—and make no mistake, it is important—the time we spend afield is only a part of it. There’s a bigger picture. It’s the tail thumps when we walk into the room, the gentle weight of his head on our knee, the absolute trust that shines in his eyes, the way that our hand seems to find his ear of its own volition. It’s the fact that, as every attentive dog owner knows, our dogs define the term “unconditional love.” Hell, if we had half their innate capacity for love—if we had a quarter of it—this magnificent world, which we treat with such studied indifference, would be a paradise.”
Pre-war Boss 20 ga., 26-1/2" barrels

Pre-war Boss 20 ga., 26-1/2″ barrels

Pre-war Boss 20 ga., 26-1/2″ barrels: Choked improved cylinder and modified (.007/.010).  Original 2-3/4 1oz. heavy proof. Raised concave game rib marked “Boss & Co. 41 Albermarle Street Picadilly London W”.  Built with the style and grace that these “golden era” Boss guns are famous for.  The petite “easy opening” action gun weighs a mere 5lbs, 5 oz.  Fitted with the Boss patent single trigger.  Well-figured stock measures 1-3/8″ comb, 1-7/8″ heel, 14-1/4″ LOP to a checkered butt.  Balanced directly on the pin, this estate-fresh example retains 97% original blue, 80% vibrant case colors over the jewel-like engraving by the renowned Jack Sumner.  Built in 1930 to the true small bore specs, a unique opportunity to purchase a seldom-seen heavy proof vintage 20.  Cased in original violin case. Price: $59,500

A&S Famars Castore Hammergun – Pasolini Engraved and Fabulous Wood – Like New Condition

A&S Famars Castore Hammergun – Pasolini Engraved and Fabulous Wood – Like New Condition

A&S Famars Castore Hammergun – Pasolini Engraved and Fabulous Wood – Like New Condition: Beautiful A&S Famars Castore 12 gauge self-cocking hammergun with double triggers engraved by Master Engraver Pasolini and restocked by Piotti in a fabulous piece of Circassian walnut. Cased in a leather maker’s case with trade label and mahogany three-piece cleaning rod. Made in 1974 when both Mario Abbiatico and Remo Salvinelli were active in the business. In fact, “Remo” is engraved on the bottom of the rear lug indicating that he personally worked on this gun.   ***   The frame is beautifully engraved and has uniquely shaped fences, ornately engraved hammers, and a signature likeness of Neptune on the pierced toplever. Maker’s name “Famars” is inlaid in gold on the bottom of the frame and a gold crown is inlaid in the toplever. Overall weight is 7lb 4oz.   ***   The 28” barrels have 2-3/4” chambers and auto ejectors. The right barrel has a constriction of 0.010 for Improved Cylinder choke. The left has a constriction of 0.020 for Modified choke. Topped with a smooth concave game style rib. The breech ends of the barrels are adorned by two gold rings with one ring at the muzzles as well. The maker’s name “Armi Famars” is inlaid in gold on the top of the rib.   ***   This Castore was restocked in a fabulous piece of Circassian walnut by Piotti in Italy. Straight grip and splinter forearm. Professionally installed leather recoil pad. Stock dimensions are 1-3/8” by 2-1/4” by 15”.   ***   This rare and highly desirable double is in like new condition. Price: $18,495

Harris Holland 500BPE Side-by-Side Double Rifle

Harris Holland .500 BPE Side-by-Side Double Rifle

Harris Holland .500 BPE Double Rifle: A Holland 3″ 500BPE double express rifle by Harris Holland. SN 39xx. Harris was the first of the Hollands in “Holland and Holland” and the founder if the initial company. This rifle is in excellent condition for a 140 year old rifle. It has been well taken care of. The 28″ damascus barrels have near excellent bores probably regulated by Bill Froome because it shoots excellent diagrams with black or smokeless powder. They have early Metford style rifling with square lands and grooves. LOP is 14″ to a steel shotgun style butt. It weighs 8 1/2 lbs. Load data appears on left action bar – characteristic of Holland rifles. There is about 60% coverage of fine English scroll crisp and like new. It is very tight and on face with a unique “dolls head” top rib projection – see photos. There are no “negatives” regarding this rifle. I will pay shipping to the contiguous 48. I have plenty more pics and will create specials upon request. Price: $14,500

PARKER REPRODUCTION DHE 28 GAUGE: 26″IC AND MOD 2 3/4 DOUBLE TRIGGER EJECTORS SPLINTER FOREARM PISTOL GRIP SKELETON BUTT NEW CONDITION IN MAKERS CASE 5LBS 6 OZ X 2 1/8″ X 1 3/8″ X 14 1/2″. Price: $5,500

PARKER REPRODUCTION DHE 28 GAUGE

PARKER REPRODUCTION DHE 28 GAUGE

Lefever EE 16ga SxS double Barrel Shotgun - Rare

Lefever EE 16ga SxS double Barrel Shotgun – Rare

Lefever EE 16ga – Rare: Gun retains 50%-60% plus bright original overall case color on frame and sideplates. Roughly 85-90% original plum barrel blue. Original chokes and chambers- 2 5/8″ chambers and choked I/C and Mod.  Excellent bores, 28″ Krupp fluid steel barrels. Original butt stock retains most of the original varnish and does have a white line pad on it. Splinter forearm which, while matches nicely, is likely an early Ithaca replacement based on the engraving and checkering pattern. Nicely engraved with one dog on each side in typical E grade pattern in the 54,xxx serial range. Price: $4995

ATKIN 12 SIDELOCK PAIR- NEW CHOPPER LUMP Bbls. in 1988 by the MAKER

ATKIN 12 SIDELOCK PAIR- NEW CHOPPER LUMP Bbls. in 1988 by the MAKER

I love vintage British shotguns – especially sidelocks. But even though I think they’re as good as guns get, they can have problems. One comes from their age. Because they’re old, people have had a lot of time to mess with them. That’s why so many Purdeys, Holland & Hollands, and other top-tier British shotguns around today are tired, shot out, and pretty much dead.

This pair of best-quality Henry Atkins was made around 1896, so they’re very vintage. What caught my eye is their new stocks and barrels, all made by Atkin, Grant & Lang in 1988. They make this pair of 119-old SxSs part vintage and part brand new.

Whoever had these guns rebarreled and restocked spent a lot of money. Today, a single set of new barrels by Atkin, Grant & Lang costs £8995. These guns have two new sets – so that’s £17990, or about $28,000. All new wood costs $10,000+ a gun and brings the costs to $48,000 in all.

When you see the asking price —  just $24,000 — you understand why these Atkins such a steal.

ATKIN 12 SIDELOCK PAIR- NEW CHOPPER LUMP Bbls. in 1988 by the MAKER

ATKIN 12 SIDELOCK PAIR- NEW CHOPPER LUMP Bbls. in 1988 by the MAKER

ATKIN 12 SIDELOCK PAIR- NEW CHOPPER LUMP Bbls. in 1988 by the MAKER- NEW BUTTSTOCKS by the MAKER- ALL LONDON: #912 & 913, Henry Atkin (From Purdey’s) 6 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London, A Very Nice Pair of Bar Action Sidelock Ejector 12 Bore Game Guns, Both guns with modern and new 28″ Chopper Lump barrels installed and proved in London in 1988 when they operated as Atkin Grant & Lang & Co Ltd at 6 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London (The address on these barrels), Both barrels remain as new since 1988: The #1 gun London proved at 3 1/4 tons with 2 3/4″ chambers, #1 is .730 .008 & .020″ (Imp.Cyl. & Mod.), 2 3/4″ chambers: The #2 gun London proved at 3 1/4 tons with 2 3/4″ chambers, #2 is .730 .008 & .016″ (Imp.Cyl. & Mod.), 2 3/4″ chambers, Wall thickness all the way around at .032″, Both with new buttstocks with excellent internal inletting (I presume done in 1988 when the new barrels were added), Very nice wood with excellent color and contrast, The pair with Ejectors, Double triggers, Splinter forend with an Anson release, Straight hand stock and both 14 3/4 x 1 9/16 x 2 1/8″ over checkered butts, Both guns 6 lbs. 11 oz., Stanton & Son locks, 94% coverage of period scroll engraving, The action body’s still retain 15-20%

ATKIN 12 SIDELOCK PAIR- NEW CHOPPER LUMP Bbls. in 1988 by the MAKER

ATKIN 12 SIDELOCK PAIR- NEW CHOPPER LUMP Bbls. in 1988 by the MAKER

original case colors, The barrel blue at 97% on both, The buttstocks and forends remain at 94%, The checkering at 98%, Number 1 & 2 in Gold in 3 places, The engraving is very sharp & crisp and has never been brushed, All 4 barrels are almost as new inside & out, The pair is cased in what appears to be the original brass cornered trunk & now with the trade label from AG &L when the new barrels and new buttstocks were installed in 1988. Here is a very nice pair of guns with new modern Chopper Lump barrels & wood that will go a lifetime. These are a super pair of guns that are in much better condition than many of the vintage pairs offered on the market today. Price: $24,000

RENATO GAMBA – London Model 12ga.

RENATO GAMBA – London Model 12ga.

I’ve covered a ton of gunmakers on this blog. But one I haven’t written about is Renato Gamba.

Renato Gamba is one of Italy’s most established gunmakers. Located in Brescia, Italy, they’re best know in the US for O/U target guns like their Daytona. The company also makes side-by-sides, though, and the two you see here look nice doubles — and very fair deals.

This first model is a 12 gauge Renato Gamba “London“, the company’s second-grade SxS. I think the 12 gauge is an early Renato Gamba “Ambassador”, their best-quality side-by-side.

RENATO GAMBA – London Model 12ga.

RENATO GAMBA – London Model 12ga.

RENATO GAMBA – London Model 12ga. 27 ½”: IC/Light Mod. Straight grip stock to a checked butt, double triggers with the front trigger being articulated, automatic ejectors, gold oval, splinter forend, sidelock gun with case coled finish, Churchill rib, London oil finish, gun remains in pristine condition, includes case. 7 lb., 1 oz. 14 3/4”x 1 3/8” x 2 5/16”. Price: $4,500.00

GAMBA 20 BORE ITALIAN SIDELOCK EJECTOR - BEST & HIGHEST GRADE:

GAMBA 20 BORE ITALIAN SIDELOCK EJECTOR – BEST & HIGHEST GRADE:

GAMBA 20 BORE ITALIAN SIDELOCK EJECTOR – BEST & HIGHEST GRADE: – 28 1/2″ CHOPPER LUMP BARRELS – TOTALLY ORIGINAL GUN – 1974 – Double Triggers – Straight Hand at 14 1/4″ LOP – 6 Lbs. 11 Oz. – 98% Engraving Coverage – All the Features – Excellent Value #37272, Armi Renato Gamba S.p.A 25063 Gardone V.T., Brescia Italy. A 20 Bore Best Grade Sidelock Ejector Bar Action SxS Best Model Game Gun Made in 1974 with 28 1/2″ Ejector Chopper Lump Barrels with a hand filed flat rib at .628 .019 & .044″ (Imp.Mod. & Full), 1.300 KG weight barrels, 2 3/4″ chambers, Correct & Original bores & chokes, Bushed strikers, Double triggers with the front articulated, Pierced toplever, Rolled trigger guard for the right hand, Splinter forend with an Anson release, Straight hand stock at 14 1/4 x 1 1/4 x 1 7/16″ over a full face checkered butt, Slight cast-off for the right hand, Nice wood, 6 lbs. 11 oz., 98% coverage of fine floral engraving with bird scenes on a soft coin finished frame, Engraved & signed by A. Gamba, This Best Gun has 8 retaining locking screws on key screws, The barrels ring with a very pronounced chime. This gun remains in excellent plus condition and it is 97-98% since it left Brescia, Italy 40 years ago. This piece has all the features of their best gun in every respect. This is a very good value for a Quality Sidelock Game Gun from Italy. Price: $7,500.00

GAMBA 20 BORE ITALIAN SIDELOCK EJECTOR - BEST & HIGHEST GRADE:

GAMBA 20 BORE ITALIAN SIDELOCK EJECTOR – BEST & HIGHEST GRADE:

 

Thomas Bland, Gunmakers, Strand, London

Thomas Bland, Gunmakers, Strand, London

If there’s one thing that gets my heart racing, it’s a nice, old hammergun. I’ve always loved hammerguns. If they have any faults, it’s that most of them are 120+ years old. That means they’ve have had plenty of time to be used and abused, leaving them so worn out and so messed with I wouldn’t want to own them.

But that doesn’t appear to be the case with either of these hammerguns. From what I can see, they both look they’re in excellent, shootable condition. Both of them were made by Thomas Bland & Sons, a British gunmaker that started out in 1840 and continues on to this day.

12 gauge Thomas Bland Improved Gamekeeper SxS Hammer Shotgun

12 gauge Thomas Bland Improved Gamekeeper SxS Hammer Shotgun

Thomas Bland Improved Gamekeeper: 12ga , 30 inch 1/4 and full choke barrels, nitro proofed, the gun is in like new mechanical condition, mint bores, the entire gun is very tight, 14 3/8 LOP, beautiful walnut stock. I believe the gun was professionally reconditioned in England, great balance and fit, no cast, 1 1/2 DAC, 2 1/2 DAH, 2 3/4 chambers, a great shooter. Price: $1,950

T. BLAND 12GA LONDON HAMMERGUN ANTIQUE: Very nice 12ga London made non rebounding hammergun. Made before well 1889. Gun has been reproofed in London for Nitro powder 850 BAR. Gun locks up tight on face. Barrels ring. Very nice brown Damascus Pattern with a few scatterd blemishes. Crisp locks. Nice wood with a few hunting marks. Good shooting dementions. Ribs are tight, no dents, bores are bright with scattered imperfection and a few light pits. Price: $2575

T. BLAND 12GA LONDON HAMMERGUN ANTIQUE SxS

T. BLAND 12GA LONDON HAMMERGUN ANTIQUE SxS

Manufacturer: T.BLAND
Model: NON REBOUNDING HAMMERGUN
Serial Number: 3235
Bore: R.721 L .722
Chambers: 2 1/2in
Condition: EXCELENT
Metal Condition: Excellent
Wood Condition: Excellent
Bore Condition: VERY GOOD
Barrels: DAMASCUS
Gauge: 12GA
Stock Comb: 1 9/16IN
Stock Heel: 2 1/4IN

T. BLAND 12GA LONDON HAMMERGUN ANTIQUE SxS

T. BLAND 12GA LONDON HAMMERGUN ANTIQUE SxS

Stock Cast: RIGHT HAND
Butt Pad: heel & toe clips
LOP: 14 5/16
Weight: 7.45lbs
Manufacture Date: well before 1889
Choke Left: CYL
Choke Right: CYL
Proof:Nitro: 850 BAR 1990

Minimum Wall Thickness Left: .035
Minimum Wall Thickness Right: .031

Ah – opening day in South Dakota. I used to look forward to it every year. Tom Brokaw’s documentary Opening Day explores the economic, social, cultural, and emotional impact this day has on people, families, and businesses throughout the state. It’s a great show, and I suggest checking out the whole thing.

Tom Brokaw's Opening Day, chronicling the impact of pheasant hunting on SD

Click to watch Tom Brokaw’s Opening Day, a documentary chronicling the impact of pheasant hunting on SD

See how we did in 2014.

Cool stats. Fun graphics. Click to see how we Dogs & Doubles did in 2014.

It’s been another great year for Dogs & Doubles. Thank you for your support.

I started this blog back in February, 201o and finished that year with 31,885 visits. Last year was quite a bit better. We finished 2014 with 219,374 visits. If you like stats and infographics, click here to find out more about how my blog did in 2014.

Since 2010, I’ve changed companies twice, married, bought a home, lost Puck (my first great bird dog), added Lexi, picked up some nice doubles, and hunted all over the place.

I’m going to try and do more with Dogs and Doubles in 2015. I’d like to get my total visits above 300,000 for the year. That’s a big jump, so Pplease keep checking on a regular basis to see what Lexi and I have going on – and to see all sorts of great side-by-side and over-under shotguns.

Browning, Belgium, Year 1972, 20 Gauge, 5lbs 11oz, O/U

Browning, Belgium, Year 1972, 20 Gauge, 5lbs 11oz, O/U

Here’s one of the greatest grouse guns of all time – and if its all good, it’s heck of deal. This Browning Superlight is lightweight and it has modern dimensions and 2 3/4″ chambers, and one of the most reliable single triggers ever made.

Browning, Belgium, Year 1972, 20 Gauge, 5lbs 11oz, O/U

Price: $2,895

Serial Number: 2736v72

Browning, Belgium, Year 1972, 20 Gauge, 5lbs 11oz, O/U

Browning, Belgium, Year 1972, 20 Gauge, 5lbs 11oz, O/U

The Browning Superposed has been the most notable over/under commercially produced in the world.  From its arduous beginning in the late 1920’s, to its introduction in the U.S. in 1931, the Superposed has been popular amongst shooters and collectors alike.  Adorned with various levels of engraving and decoration, this creation of genius gun designer John Browning was finally discontinued from full production in 1977 with the beginning of the “Presentation Series”.

In 1969 Browning introduced the Superposed “SUPERLIGHT” in the 20ga. and finally was born a true upland bird gun.  A typical Browning Lightning hunting model weighs about 6 1/2lbs. in 20ga.  At 5lbs. 11oz. and balanced dead on the hinge pin, this 20 bore Superlight is over 3/4lbs. lighter!  This is a truly dynamic upland bird gun, with its straight hand stock, rounded frame, and schnabel forend that can be carried all day without fatigue.  This gun, sn2736V72 has indeed been carried, as it has honest wear throughout.  Built in 1972, it is one of only 746 total 20ga. Superlight guns made between 1969 and 1977.  Highly desired by upland hunters that are in the know, these guns usually trade in the mid $4000 or more when in high condition.  With about 92% factory blue on the receiver and barrels and 98% factory finish on the stocks, the gun is still ready for the field as she sits.  Priced to sell to a guy that hunts more than he collects, this is an opportunity to own a great Browning.

Browning, Belgium, Year 1972, 20 Gauge, 5lbs 11oz, O/U

Browning, Belgium, Year 1972, 20 Gauge, 5lbs 11oz, O/U

Barrel Length: 26 1/2″
Chokes: IC/IC .007/.008
Bores: excellent
Wall Thickness: .030/.031
% Blue: 92%
Chambers: 2 3/4″
Ribs: vent rib, tight
Sights: single

Action: tight, right of center
Ejectors or Extractors: ejectors, strong, timed
Case Color: blue 92%
Screws: perfect
Engraving: sharp
Trigger Type: single selective trigger, crisp
Trigger Guard Color: long tang 50%

Type: english stock/schable forend
LOP: 14 3/8″
LOP To End Of Wood: 14″
DAH: 2 1/2″
DAC: 1 3/8″
Cast: 0
Checkering Condition: very good
Butt Treatment: factory plate

Merry Christmas…..

Santa taking a break from his duties

Santa taking a break from his duties

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays from Dogs & Doubles. Lexi and I hope you having a wonderful day with your loved ones, family and friends.

Here are a couple doubles I wish Santa had left me under the tree. I guess he couldn’t fit them down the chimney – or maybe he decided to keep them for himself

This first one America’s original magnum shotgun – a. Ithaca 3 1/2″ 10 gauge SxS. It’s the perfect double for pass-shooting your Christmas goose – especially from a flying sleigh.

The hammerless Alex Henry double rifle looks fabulous — especially for a SxS that’s 100+ years old. It would be a great deer rifle. Of course, you shouldn’t  mention this to Rudolph, Dancer, and the rest of Santa’s string.

 

Ithaca Gun Co, Year 1939, 10 Gauge, 10lbs 7oz, Side by Side:

Ithaca Gun Co, Year 1939, 10 Gauge, 10lbs 7oz, Side by Side:

Ithaca Gun Co, Year 1939, 10 Gauge, 10lbs 7oz, Side by Side: Serial Number: 500683. In the world of vintage American double big bore shotguns, this gun is a legend.  Only Parker and Ithaca made a true 10ga. magnum, both rarely seen for sale.  Of course, if a Parker comes up it is priced sky high, as they made precious few and Parkers rein King in the way of price.  The Ithaca Mag 10 came about in 1932 when Spencer Olin came up with the cannon sized shotgun shell, the 3 1/2″ magnum 10ga. with 2 ounces or more of shot.  He approached Ithaca and the boys there came up with the 10 1/2lb. Ithaca 10 Mag.

Ithaca Gun Co, Year 1939, 10 Gauge, 10lbs 7oz, Side by Side:

Ithaca Gun Co, Year 1939, 10 Gauge, 10lbs 7oz, Side by Side:

Ithaca guns are great guns, and eminently more affordable than the Parker.  Total production in all grades of the Ithaca 10 Mag was 887 guns.  Only 156 were made in Grade 2, making this a truly rare gun.  Unaltered and well cared for since it left the factory, this gun, sn500683 made in 1939, is raw power for your long range shooting.  Whether it be geese, turkey, or blocking corn fields for pheasants, the 3 1/2″ 10ga. magnum is the hardest hitting double shotgun allowed in the USA.  Still carrying lots of factory condition, this is a rare, investment grade shotgun that will continue to grow in value as you enjoy its use.  No closet queen, this gun is ready to hunt.  It is not beat up, but has enough wear on it that you will not hesitate to take it afield.  You will not have this opportunity again for a very long time with production numbers so low.  There cannot be 150 Grade 2 Magnums left on the planet, and few as nice and original as this one.  Price: $6,950

Alexander Henry Double Rifle, Edinburgh & London- .360 caliber:

Alexander Henry Double Rifle, Edinburgh & London- .360 caliber

Alexander Henry Double Rifle, Edinburgh & London- .360 caliber: Charge 2 1/4″ Drs, 26” barrels, full sidelock. A finest construction available as it was Built for the Maharaj Rana of Dholpur. This outstanding small frame gun is a double rifle almost in miniature, has virtually 100% of the case color, blue, Damascus finish on the barrels, and wood finish. Leather pad, French fitted case with every conceivable accessory, flip up sights, double trigger, large gold escutcheon in stock with the Maharaj’s stamp, there is no finer gun available in finer condition, one of best guns ever made, superb unaltered condition, the gun is virtually unused. Comes with original Oak and crocodile presentation case and with some correspondence to the NRA. A wonderful item. 6lb. 7oz. 13 7/8” x 1 7/8” x 2 7/8”. Price: $32,500

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