Dec 23rd, 2016 by Gregg
Simon Clode, Chairman & Managing Director or Westley Richards, passed away this week. In honor of the man and company he worked so hard to keep at the forefront of British gunmaking, I’m going to dedicated a few posts to Westley Richards’ fabulous guns.
To start, let’s leap back in time and check out this jaw-dropping, “Treasure Grade” Westley Richards droplock double rifle in 300 Sherwood. Made in 1912, it’s 100+ years old and still in stunning original condition.
Dec 22nd, 2016 by Gregg
Get it before it’s gone (and it will be gone fast)! Winchester’s Model 21 wasn’t the most popular double ever made in America, but it was one of the most rugged.
To me, early ones like this with the boat-paddle stocks, double triggers and extractors are the most “American”. They’re sort of like basic F150s – rugged, no frills, and handsome in their own way (like an American Water Spaniel).
Issues? Well, this one is heavy. But be a man! Lightweight doubles are for sissys (and they kick harder).
These guns usually list for around $3-3,500. If this one is all good, it’s steal. Get it now.
Caliber: 12 Ga.
Chambers: 2 3/4
Metal Condition: Good
Wood Condition: Good
Bore Condition: Excellent
Triggers: Double Trigger
Stock: Walnut with diamond checkering
14″ LOP, 1 3/4″ DAC, 2 1/2″ DAH
Fore End: Walnut with diamond checkering
Butt Pad: Whiteline Butt Pad
Weight: 7 lbs. 14 ozs.
Chokes: Modified / Modified
According to its name, a “Best” gun sounds like it should be the finest shotgun a gunmaker builds. But that’s not always the case. With some makers, there’s a grade above “Bests” — “Better Bests”, I guess.
Overall, guns with Extra Finish are built to the same level as the maker’s standard Best-quality guns (or maybe a bit better, in the case of this pair). But as you can see, their engraving is taken to the next level (here’s a standard Purdey).
These two may have been engraved by Ken Hunt (aka “The Godfather of Gun Engraving”), a British craftsman who worked at Purdey’s and learned his trade from Harry Kell. Along with the gorgeous engraving, the guns are beautifully made all around. Check out the metal-to-metal fit and the way the forend iron fits onto the action. Then look at those perfect drop points on the stock.
Does all this make them worth $125,000? Perhaps. Even with twice that much money, you would have a hard time duplicating the quality of these Purdeys today. Personally, I don’t think you could do it.
PURDEY BEST EXTRA FINISH SXS PAIR 12 GAUGE: THESE APPEAR TO BE KEN HUNT ENGRAVED #266XX BOTH GUNS ARE IDENTICAL AND HAVE BEEN USED ON ONE DRIVEN HUNT IN THE LATE 50S THESE CAME FROM ORIGINAL OWNER 28″ SELF OPENERS 008 AND 022 2 3/4 DOUBLE TRIGGER EJECTORS SPLINTER FOREARM ENGLISH GRIP CHECKERED BUTT MAKERS MOTOR CASE NEW CONDITION 6LBS 11 OZ X 2 1/8″ X 1 7/16″ X 14 1/4″. Price: $125,000
I’ve been looking at old shotguns for twenty + years now, and the one thing I still love to see more than ever is original color-case hardening, especially when it has had decades to mellow and age.
This 12 gauge sidelock by James Woodward and Sons has tons of that kind of color. It also has killer engraving and all of Woodward’s signature features — 29″ barrels, arcaded fences (kind of like claw-foot pedestals), and a T-shaped safety.
James Woodward started out in the trade around 1825 with an apprenticeship with the London gunmaker Charles Moore. In 1872, he went into business as James Woodward & Sons with his two boys, James Jr. and Charles. The firm lasted until 1948 when it was sold to James Purdey & Sons.
Up until its sale, Woodward recorded 5,184 serial numbers (they started with #2,000 and ran to #7,184). So they may have made 5,184 guns. (Or, if they assigned serial #s to extra barrels and new sets of barrels, fewer than that.) Of these, I bet fewer than 2,000 are fully refined, hammerless SxSs shotguns like the one here. That’s not a lot guns. Considering they’re all 70+ years old, finding ones in excellent original condition like this are hard to do.
JAMES WOODWARD & SONS BEST SXS 12 GAUGE: THIS IS THE HIGHEST CONDITION WOODWARD WE HAVE EVER HAD #69XX 28″ 004 AND 017 2 3/4 PROOFED DOUBLE TRIGGER EJECTORS SPLINTER FOREARM PISTOL GRIP MAKERS CASE EXCELLENT ORIGINAL CONDITION 6LBS 12 OZ X 2 1/4 X 1 7/16 X 15 1/8 Price: $39,500
Here’s a great little OU for everything from quail to grouse and woodcock. These Rizzini’s are built on a proven, triggerplate design. With a color-case hardened action, they’re great looking doubles.
B Rizinni Aurum 28 Gauge Small Action Over Under Shotgun: 28 Gauge small action Italian B Rizzini over under Shotgun with original five choke tubes. Gun has been used very little with perfect bores with no marks, dings, wear marks or imperfections. Price: $2395
Metal Condition: Excellent
Wood Condition: Excellent
Bore Condition: Perfect
Action: Over under
Stock: Semi pistol grip
14 3/16 length of pull
LOP: 14 3/16
Chokes: Choke tubes
Nov 23rd, 2016 by Gregg
Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you’re celebrating it with friends, family & loved ones. I honor of everyone’s favorite T-day meal, here are three American doubles perfect for hunting America’s bird. Of these, the 10 gauge Ithaca is my favorite. With 3 1/2″ chambers, it throws an 8-gauge size load. Thankfully, they’re reall heavy guns.
RARE L.C.Smith Field Grade Heavy Duck, Straight Grip, 32″ Barrels, 3″ Chambers: High Condition and RARE L.C.Smith, 3″ Chambers, Heavy Duck Long Range Shotgun, 14 1/8″ LOP Straight Grip Stock with HR Butt, DAC 1 3/4″, DAH 2 3/4″ 32″ Barrels, 3″ Chambers, auto ejectors, factory single selective trigger, 95%+ original wood and metal finish. This L.C. is nearly unfired and in wonderful original condition. Price: $6550
ITHACA N.I.D., FIELD GRADE, 10 GAUGE, 3 1/2″ MAGNUM, 32″ BARRELS: FULL & FULL, TWIN IVORY SIGHTS, 98% BRIGHT ORIGINAL BLUE, INCLUDING TRIGGER GUARD. MOST ALL THE BOLD VIVID CASE COLOR EVEN ON THE BOTTOM. PISTOL GRIP STOCK, SPLINTER FOREARM, ATTRACTIVE DARK GRAINED WALNUT, NEARLY PERFECT CHECKERING. GREAT DIMENSIONS – 1 1/2″ X 2 1/2″ X 14″, ORIGINAL HAWKIN PAD. ONLY 574 OF THESE BIG MAGNUM FIELD GRADE WERE BUILT, CIRCA MID 1930’S. 100% ORIGINAL CONDITION. TOP LEVER TO THE RIGHT, TIGHT AS NEW, VERY SCARCE GUN. Price: $4,500.00
A H Fox HE Super Fox with 2 sets of 32″ barrels: One set of barrels –32″ choked full and full with 3″ chambers and so stamped. Second set has been sleeved and has 5 steel compatible Briley screw in chokes. Gun is restocked -1 1/2 X 2 1/4 X 14 1/2. The original stock is included. Both sets of barrels are tight on face and the single trigger and ejectors work perfectly. Price: $7800.
Nov 23rd, 2016 by Gregg
Every time I see one of these videos from Sky Dance Kennels, I think “that’s the life.” Horses, great dogs, wide-open country and lots of birds. If there’s a heaven, I hope it’s like this.
In this video you can see some of Sky Dance’s young setters stretch their legs, crack their tails and show off all the style they have. Not bad for long hairs…
What am I missing here? I’ve looked at this side-by-side a bunch of times, and I just don’t see any warts. Sure it has been reblued and the wood has been redone, but if the barrels are really tight and on the face, and if the gun is in proof, it’s a great deal.
The Army & Navy Co-operative Society was an organization on the UK that bought all sorts of good and supplies at low prices to members of the military. It evolved into a group of department stores carrying everything from home furnishings to firearms — sort of like Sears back in its heyday.
Army & Navy carried all types of doubles, from top-quality sidelocks to lower-end boxlock shotguns like the 16 gauge you see here. All of these guns were made in the UK, probably by Webley & Scott. Every one I’ve seen has been a solid, reliable shotgun, and I suspect the same is true with this one.
Army & Navy 16 ga, SxS, 5.5 pounds beautiful: This is a small framed 16 ga Army & Navy with 28 inch mod and improved chokes. Barrels are tight on the face, perfect bores, and min wall thickness of .30 in both barrels, nitro proofed at 3 tons. The stock is very sound with no cracks or issues, beautifully figured, LOP is 15.5 inches. The gun weighs just 5.5 pounds. Comes with a restored and fitted H&H case. 2 1/2″ inch shells, non-ejector, case not included. Price: $950