This week’s five good guns…

 

PIOTTI 20 MOD KING I- VIRTUALLY as NEW- 28" CHOPPER LUMP Bbls.- VERY NICE DARK WOOD- 1994- 100% CASE COLORS- VERY NICE ENGRAVING- 99.5% OVERALL
PIOTTI 20 MOD KING I- VIRTUALLY as NEW- 28″ CHOPPER LUMP Bbls.- VERY NICE DARK WOOD- 1994- 100% CASE COLORS- VERY NICE ENGRAVING- 99.5% OVERALL

PIOTTI 20 MOD KING I- VIRTUALLY as NEW- 28″ CHOPPER LUMP Bbls.- VERY NICE DARK WOOD- 1994- 100% CASE COLORS- VERY NICE ENGRAVING- 99.5% OVERALL#9206, Fratelli Piotti, Gardone Val Trompia, Brescia Italy: A 20 Bore Model King 1 Bar Action Sidelock Ejector Game Gun Built in 1994, 28″ Chopper Lump barrels at .620 .006 & .013″ (Imp. Cyl. & Mod.), 3″ original chambers, KG 1,140 weight barrels, Concave matted top rib, Double triggers with the front articulated, Rolled trigger guard edge for the right hand, Splinter forend with an Anson release, Straight hand stock at 14 3/4 x 1 9/16 x 2 3/8″ over a 100% full face checkered butt, Neutral stock, 6 lbs. 4 oz., 98% coverage of small scale H&H Royal Scroll by Granetti on a case color hardened frame, Very nice dark wood, It has 100% original case colors, The original barrel blue at 100%, The original stock finish at 99%, The checkering is at 100%, The barrels inside and out remain as new. The piece has great balance and points like a dream. This super 20 Bore Game Gun for all intents and purposes is like new and has an overall appearance of never being hunted. Here is another Classic game gun, with the proper size action body with the correct weight, for 20 Bore gunning by one of the leading gunmaking firms in the world. This piece will remain a treasure forever.  Price: $18,900 

E.J.CHURCHILL BEST SXS .41028″ BARRELS FUL AND FULL 3″ CHAMBERS DOUBLE TRIGGER EJECTORS SPLINTER FOREARM ENGLISH GRIP NEW ORIGINAL CONDITION MAKERS CASE 4LBS 12  OZ X 2″ X 1 1/2″ X 14″. Price: $12,500

E.J.CHURCHILL BEST SXS .410
E.J.CHURCHILL BEST SXS .410

 

W.W. Greener G60 Royal 12 ga. Side-by-Side shotgun
W.W. Greener G60 Royal 12 ga. Side-by-Side shotgun

W.W. Greener G60 Royal 12 ga. Side-by-Side shotgunHeavy proof, 30″ Sir Joseph Whitworth compressed steel barrels.  Choked extra full (.040/.040). Automatic ejectors, double triggers. Built circa 1918, profusely engraved, deep cut arcaded fences, oak leaf, and fine scroll.  Game scenes of setter, partridge, waterfowl, and woodcock. Gold crown on toplever. This high-grade Greener weighs in at 8 lbs, 5 oz.   An outstanding vintage heavy game gun, ideal for pigeon, clays or waterfowl.  Barrels measure 040 minimum wall thickness.  Straight hand stock of dark, highly figured walnut measures 1-1/2″ comb, 2-1/4″ heel, 14-3/8″ LOP over a horn butt plate. Price: $10,900

Parker VH 16ga. SxS Double Barrel Shotgun:
Parker VH 16ga. SxS Double Barrel Shotgun:

Parker VH 16ga. SxS Double Barrel Shotgun: Built in 1934. This gun has 28″ Vulcan steel barrels choked modified (.015″) and full (.035″). The gun is in excellent condition retaining 70% of the original case colors,98% of the original barrel blue,and 98% of the original wood finish. The bores are mint and free of any rust, pits or dents. The stock is sound with no cracks or damage. The stock dimensions are 143/4″LOP over a Pachmayr Old English pad,15/8″ at comb, and 25/8″ at heel. The barrels lock up tight to the action with no play. The gun is built on a #1 frame and weighs 6-10. This is one of the last Parker Bros.guns built before Remington took over. It is 17 serial numbers away from the first Remington built gun. A classic 16 gauge that would make a great dove or pheasant gun. Price: $3495

Browning ~ BBS ~ 12 ga ~ Boxlock Ejector SxS Shotgun
Browning ~ BBS ~ 12 ga ~ Boxlock Ejector SxS Shotgun

Browning ~ BBS ~ 12 ga ~ Boxlock Ejector SxS ShotgunPrice: $1,199.99 
Chambers: 3″
Metal Condition: Good
Wood Condition: Good
Bore Condition: Good
Barrels: 28″
Triggers: Single
Stock Dimensions: 14.75″ LOP
Butt Pad: Rubber
Weight: 7 lb 12 oz
Sights: Single Beed
Chokes: Modified and Full

Good gun alert: Fox Sterlingworth Skeet & Upland Game…

 

A.H. Fox Skeet and Upland Game 12 bore SxS Shotgun
A.H. Fox Skeet and Upland Game 12 bore SxS Shotgun

The A.H. Fox Sterlingworth is about as basic a shotgun as you’ll find. Introduced in 1910, Sterlingworths were great deals in their day. Hunters recognized this and bought thousands of them.

Fox added the Skeet and Upland Game Gun to the Sterlingworth lineup in 1935. it was designed to “…meet the demand for a moderately priced skeet and upland game double gun”.  Skeet was new then, having been invented in 1920 by a grouse hunter from Andover, MA. The game boomed and by the ’1930s, makers offered shotguns tailored for the sport.

 

A.H. Fox Skeet and Upland Game 12 bore SxS Shotgun
A.H. Fox Skeet and Upland Game 12 bore SxS Shotgun

A.H. Fox Skeet and Upland Game 12 bore SxS ShotgunVery nice scare Fox Upland Skeet model Sterlingworth Utica, NY manufacture. 12 bore with .005 & .012 chokes in the original 26″ barrels. Bright shiny bores. 2 3/4″ chambers. Solid rib with ivory front and center bead. Extractor & double triggers. Case color in the protected areas with the balance of the receiver faded bright.  Very nice original straight grip buttstock and semi-beavertail forend. Good checking and finish and less than normal nicks and dings. 14 1/4″ LOP 1 1/2″ DAC and 2 1/8″ DAH. Lever falls to the center and has a tight lock up and is on the face. Excellent original blue on the barrels and trigger guard showing only a few scattered freckles. Matching numbers. An excellent scarce Fox for the shooter or collector. Price: $2,350

A.H. Fox Skeet and Upland Game 12 bore SxS Shotgun
A.H. Fox Skeet and Upland Game 12 bore SxS Shotgun

Francotte: “… an imported hand made gun at an American price.”

Francotte Shotguns, from 1938 Abercrombie & Fitch catalog
Francotte Shotguns, from 1938 Abercrombie & Fitch catalog

For most of the 20th century, Abercrombie & Fitch was the most famous name in American sporting goods. From a retail store on NYC’s Madison Avenue, and through catalogs sent out across North American, A&F sold everything from firearms to fishing lures.

In 1938, the first spread of their Rifle-Shotgun catalog opened with the following copy:

“In our opinion the Francotte, famous Belgian gun adapted by us to the American Sportsman and improved over a period of 50 years, represents real gun value second to none. It is, in fact, an imported hand made gun at an American price.”

Three pages of Francottes followed: From the top of the line Eagle Grade Hammerless Ejector No. 45 Quality to the Knockabout Ejector. All these guns featured Siemen-Martin ‘Special’ fluid steel barrels and could be ordered with Greener-crossbolts or doll’s head extensions. They were made made on what A&F called a “Francotte lock action”, said to be an improvement on Anson & Deeley-type boxlock action, and featured Francotte-patent ejectors.

Francotte (Abercrombie & Fitch) 28 gauge SXS Shotgun
Francotte (Abercrombie & Fitch) Quality 30E 28 gauge SXS Shotgun

Price wise, Francottes weren’t cheap. But they weren’t super expensive, either. At a time when a Parker Quality A-1 Special Quality with ejectors was $890, a Parker Quality B.H.E. was $375 and a Fox X.E. was $165, Francotte’s Eagle Grade Hammerless Ejector No. 45 Quality was $550. Their most affordable double — the Francotte Knockabout Ejector — was $175. In between were models like the No. 30 Quality (30E) at $400 and a No. 20 Quality (20E) at $275.

Compared to their American competitors, all these Francotte’s were built on superior designs, featured better finishing and proper scaling, and were more aesthetically pleasing overall. If you had stopped into A&F’s Madison Avenue store and placed a Parker, Fox, and Francotte side by side, it would have been plain to you which one was superior.

Francotte (Abercrombie & Fitch) 28 gague SXS Shotgun
Francotte (Abercrombie & Fitch) Quality 30E 28 gauge SXS Shotgun

Francotte (Abercrombie & Fitch) “30E” 28 gauge SXS ShotgunFrancotte Pre-war (Abercrombie & Fitch) SXS Shotgun. Side plated 28 GA. Ejectors, side clips, 26 inch BBL, Full and Full, Double triggers, 14 1/2 inch pull to horn butt plate with Abercrombie and Fitch Leather case. Bores like new. Price: $17,995

FRANCOTTE MODEL “20E” DOUBLE 20 GAUGE SIDE-BY-SIDE SHOTGUN RETAILED BY ABERCROMBIE & FITCH28″ barrels choked  R: .009″   L: .030″.   Engraved sideplate action with auto ejectors, side clips, hiddend third bite (crossbolt with rib extension), double triggers, top lever.  Checkered splinter forend and semi-pistol grip buttstock.  Stock measurements:   Comb: 1 1/2″  Heel: 2 1/2″  LOP: 14 1/4″ to a horn buttplate.  Weight 5lbs 13oz.   In beautiful original condition retaining nearly all of the casehardened finish on the action and sideplates.   Trigger guard and top lever have all of the high polish charcoal blue remaining.  Barrels showing 98% original blue with the maker’s  and A&F’s names engraved on top.  “A FRANCOTTE MAKER” and patent info on the left  sideplate at the bottom.  Excellent wood and checkering. 1949 mfg. Price: $8,750

FRANCOTTE MODEL "20E" DOUBLE 20 GAUGE SIDE-BY-SIDE SHOTGUN RETAILED BY ABERCROMBIE & FITCH
FRANCOTTE MODEL “20E” DOUBLE 20 GAUGE SIDE-BY-SIDE SHOTGUN RETAILED BY ABERCROMBIE & FITCH

EARLY FRANCOTTE 12 GAUGE DOUBLE EJECTOR GUN: 26″ damascus steel barrels, auto ejecgtors, beautiful scroll engraved sideplates and relief engraved fences.  Double triggers, top lever, double underlocking lugs with Greener type third bite.  Bores measure .729″ both barrels with walls over .030″   Chokes:  R: .003″  L: .033″   Weight: 6lbs 7oz.    Stock measures   Comb: 1 1/2″   Heel: 2″  LOP: 14 1/2″ over a thin English hardrubber pad.  The barrels retain all of the beautiful damascus pattern,  The action showing lovely subdued case colors.  Mint bores, excellent checkering and varnish.  This would make a perfect bird gun. Price: $5,950

EARLY FRANCOTTE 12 GAUGE DOUBLE EJECTOR GUN
EARLY FRANCOTTE 12 GAUGE DOUBLE EJECTOR GUN

That’s odd. Something’s strange about a 12g Boss SxS…

A 12 gauge Boss SXS with a quirk
A 12 gauge Boss SXS with a quirk

Boss & Co builds fantastic doubles. But some of their guns are peculiar–like the SxS you see here. With double beads on the action, banner-style engraving, and lovely patina, it’s one of the nicest pre-WW1 Boss side-by-sides I’ve seen. But it does have a quirk.

Compare its forend to the forend on other Boss SxSs (like this one) and you’ll see it: The missing diamond-shaped medallion in the center of the checkering. That medallion seats the screw going up through the forend, and into the iron. Some makers don’t use a connection like this to pull these pieces together. But every other Boss I’ve ever seen does — except this one. So what’s up?

The forend on that quirky 12 gauge Boss SXS. No medallion.
The forend on that quirky 12 gauge Boss SXS. No medallion.

I have no idea. Does this shotgun have standard Boss ejectors? Yup. Is everything else about the forend the same as on other Boss SxSs from the same period? Yup, again. Is the forend wood thinner than on other Boss SxSs? Nope. Could the gun have been ordered this way? Perhaps — but unlikely. I can’t imagine a customer specifying a detail like that. They would have to be a bigger doublegun dork than I am.

A '30s era Boss SxS with the forend medallion found in all their other SxSs
A ’30s era Boss SxS with the forend medallion found in all their other SxSs

So what could I be? Perhaps it was just what gunmaker had available at the moment, or perhaps he wanted to try something else out. Or maybe the piece was lost and the foreman say “Make it right or you’re not getting paid” to the guy who messed up. We’ll never know.

What we do know is that it’s beautiful. I wish it were mine.

BTW: Just to set things straight, I think this gun is 100% right. I’ve had it in my hands, and it’s great.

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A 12 gauge Boss SXS with a quirk
A 12 gauge Boss SXS with a quirk

This week’s good guns: Powered by Gunsinternational.com…

Winchester Model 21 SxS - 3 Bbl, 20 & 28 gauge set: Price: $16,669.99
Winchester Model 21 SxS – 3 Bbl, 20 & 28 gauge set: Price: $16,669.99

Winchester Model 21 SxS – 3 Bbl, 20 & 28 gauge setPrice: $16,669.99
Caliber: 20 Gauge and 28 gauge
Chambers: 20 ga – 2-3/4 inch, 20 ga – 3 inch, 28 ga 2-3/4 inch
Metal Condition: Excellent
Wood Condition: Excellent
Bore Condition: Bright and shiny, all three barrels
Barrels: 20 ga 3 inch – 30 inch; 20 ga – 2-3/4 inch – 26 inch; 28 ga – 26 inch
Triggers: Single selective
Stock: Checkered walnut, straight grip
Stock Dimensions: 14 inch LOP
Fore End: Matching checkered walnut beavertail
Butt Pad: Soft rubber pad
Weight: 6 lbs – 14 oz with 30 inch 20 gauge bbl installed
Sights: 20 ga 3 inch – solid matte rib with gold bead; 20 ga – 2-3/4 inch – solid matte rib with red and white beads; 28 ga – solid matte rib with red and silver bead
Chokes: 20 ga 3 inch – Fixed Ful and Full; 20 ga – 2-3/4 inch – Fixed WS-1 and WS-2; 28 ga – Skeet and Skeet

BELGIUM GUILD 410 GAUGE BOXLOCK DOUBLE BARREL SHOTGUN
BELGIUM GUILD 410 GAUGE BOXLOCK DOUBLE BARREL SHOTGUN

BELGIUM GUILD 410 GAUGE BOXLOCK DOUBLE BARREL SHOTGUNSMALL FRAME BOXLOCK SIDE BY SIDE – 28 1/2″ BARRELS CHOKED IC/FULL – LOCK UP IS DOUBLE UNDERBITES AND CROSS BOLT AS WELL AS SIDE CLIPS – STRAIGHT STOCK LOP 14″ – DROP COMB 1 1/4″ – DROP AT HEEL 2  3/8″ – WEIGHT 4 LBS  6  OZS. – GROOVED BUTT – CASE COLORS 50% – HARD TO FIND SMALL FRAMED 410’S WITH LONG BARRELS. Price: $6,250

BERETTA – Abercrombie & Fitch – SO3 – 28-1/8 Bbls – M / F – Double Triggers – Hand Built Sidelock OU Gun: 2-3/4″, 28-1/8″ M / F (.024 / .039)Solid Rib Barrels, Double Triggers, Cocking Indicators, Factory Sling Swivels, Prince of Wales Grip with Checkered Butt, LOP 14-5/8″ Drop 1-7/16″ to 2-3/8″, Weight 7 lbs. Very High Condition Original Gun from a time when the Engraving Patterns were slightly different, and the SO Guns still had Cocking Indicators. Price: $5950

BERETTA - Abercrombie & Fitch - SO3 - 28-1/8 Bbls - M / F - Double Triggers - Hand Built Sidelock Gun
BERETTA – Abercrombie & Fitch – SO3 – 28-1/8 Bbls – M / F – Double Triggers – Hand Built Sidelock Gun
Ithaca, NID, Grade Four SxS, 12g, - 100% Factory Original
Ithaca, NID, Grade Four SxS, 12g, – 100% Factory Original

Ithaca, NID, Grade Four SxS, 12g, – 100% Factory OriginalITHACA N.I.D., GRADE FOUR, 12 GAUGE, 30″ BARRELS, I.C. AND FULL, 99% BRIGHT BLUE, MIRROR BORES.  BOLD VIVID CASE COLOR, UNTURNED SCREWS, TYPICAL ENGRAVING PATTERN WITH PHEASANT ON RIGHT SIDE, WATERFOWL ON LEFT SIDE PLUS SCROLLWORK AND BORDERS.  GOLD PLATED TRIGGERS, AUTOMATIC EJECTORS.  TOP LEVER TO THE FAR RIGHT, TIGHT ON FACE.  PISTOL GRIP STOCK, SPLINTER FOREARM, FINE CHECKERING WITH FLEUR DELIS PATTERN.  GOLD SHIELD IN STOCK, NICELY FIGURED WALNUT.  GREAT DIMENSIONS 1 1/2″ X 2 1/2″ X 14″, ORIGINAL ITHACA SUNBURST PAD.  100% FACTORY ORIGINAL GUN IN FINE CONDITION, 7 POUNDS 4 OUNCES, CIRCA 1930. Price: $4,500

FRANCOTTE 16GA SIDELOCK SIDE-BY-SIDE "FUNERAL" SHOTGUN
FRANCOTTE 16GA SIDELOCK SIDE-BY-SIDE “FUNERAL” SHOTGUN

FRANCOTTE 16GA SIDELOCK SIDE-BY-SIDE “FUNERAL” SHOTGUNA well balanced high quality game gun. No issues. Great barrels. Ready for range or field. Price: $1950
Chambers: 2 9/16″
Barrels: 30IN
Gauge: 16GA
Stock Comb: 1 5/16 IN
Stock Heel: 2 3/8 IN
LOP: 14 3/8IN
Weight: 6LB 12OZ
Manufacture Date: 1922
Choke Left: IMP/CYL
Choke Right: IMP/CYL
Proof:Nitro: YES
Minimum Wall Thickness Left: .034
Minimum Wall Thickness Right: .035

Feeling lucky, punk? A 12g James Purdey & Sons SXS @ auction…

J. Purdey & Sons Best Quality, 12 ga. side by side shotgun, 30" Whitworth steel barrels, Hammerless, Ejectors, Trunk Case, England
J. Purdey & Sons Best Quality, 12 ga. side by side shotgun, 30″ Whitworth steel barrels, Hammerless, Ejectors, Trunk Case, England

The internet is an incredible tool — especially if you’re interested in old guns. I’ve spent hundred of hours online learning about all sorts of SxSs and OUs. I’ve also done a fair amount of buying there — either through straight sales or online auctions.

Over the course of doing this, I’ve learned one lesson over and over: Buying online is always a gamble. Occasionally, the odds are my favor (or I think they are). But most of the time, the odds of getting a good deal are against me. From what I can see, that’s the case with the 12g Purdey SxS you see here.

This Purdey could be an awesome gun. Purdey built some of their finest doubles from the 1890s to WW1. But while this example looks good and original in the pictures, what you can’t see could end up being bad. And while there are a lot of words in the description, there’s still a lot the auctioneer isn’t saying.

J. Purdey & Sons Best Quality, 12 ga. side by side shotgun, 30" Whitworth steel barrels, Hammerless, Ejectors, Trunk Case, England
J. Purdey & Sons Best Quality, 12 ga. side by side shotgun, 30″ Whitworth steel barrels, Hammerless, Ejectors, Trunk Case, England

Even after studying everything and even reaching out to the seller for more info, here are some questions I still have:

-Is the gun tight and on the face?

-Are the ejectors in time?

-Are there any dents, dings, or bulges in the barrels? Any signs of repairs?

-Are there any cracks, splits, or repairs in the wood?

On top of these questions, the barrel measurements provided are useless. It’s impossible to tell if the gun is in proof from them, and there’s no way of knowing the barrels’ minimum wall measurements.

So is this Purdey worth bidding on? It’s up to you. Do you feel lucky?

J. Purdey & Sons Best Quality, 12 ga. side by side shotgun, 30" Whitworth steel barrels, Hammerless, Ejectors, Trunk Case, England
J. Purdey & Sons Best Quality, 12 ga. side by side shotgun, 30″ Whitworth steel barrels, Hammerless, Ejectors, Trunk Case, England

Lot #13: J. Purdey & Sons Best Quality, 12 ga. side by side shotgun, 30″ Whitworth steel barrels, Hammerless, Ejectors, Trunk Case, England:  Serial #14952, mfg. 1894 in London, England. Antique. Very good condition. Wow! A drop-dead GORGEOUS example of the finest shotgun ever produced – a “Best Quality” Purdey in superb condition. 30″ Whitworth steel barrels have bright shiny bores – choked FULL/FULL. Tight lock-up with top lever dead center. Bluing on barrels is 90% with some thinness on the carry area above the forearm center. Beautifully scrolled lockplates with maker’s name on both sides. 20% faint case color remaining on lockplates. Ejectors work well! Double triggers. All matching iron. Splinter forearm. LOP is 14 1/2″ over original red pad which is a bit squished as expected. The dark European walnut is to die for with black swirls and figure. Straight grip – slender and dainty wrist. Fine line checkering is superb – shows just a bit of smoothness from hunting chores. This firearm has remained in a Montana family – having started its life in 1894 as a pair (#1’s whereabouts is unknown) with an Irish noble who hunted/shot driven birds with it, then it came over the “pond” to America where it was hunted with as well and then passed to the great-grandson. Lovingly cared for, it is a superb piece with some hunting marks on the wood as expected. Totally exceptional double! Underside of barrel has “Crown P” and “Crown V” proofs. Barrels are serialed to receiver. DAH 2 3/8″. DAC 1 3/8″. Left cast. Barrel measurements: Barrel wall – .0555 and .0460, outside diameter – .821 and .827, inside diameter – .710 and .735 and mid bore – .733 and .735. Included with this Purdey is a factory history from the London factory (an email – everything in the email is stated below). It states this fine shotgun was built for Mr. G.E. Pollock in August of 1894 and was number two of a pair (“2” is on the rear of barrel rib , on watertable and on the top lever). The present configuration is confirmed by the factory records as “30” Whitworth steel barrels, 2 3/4″ chambers, full choke both barrels”. Also noted is: “3rd grip to action, stock length is 14 9/16″ mid and weight of gun is 7 lb. 1/2 oz.” David Maynard of the factory staff added: “I would suggest an insurance value for this gun of 15,000 pounds ($19,623.75 in U.S. dollars).” Includes the family’s leather/silver appointed/green crushed velvet interior/key trunk case (good condition) that was purchased for this shotgun prior to W.W. I. A breathtaking example of a steel-barreled Best Quality Purdey. Today to have this gun made you would be in the six figures. Antique. Can ship right to your door. Gunrunner West item. NOTE: Extra photos available including shots of the barrel underside and watertable.

J. Purdey & Sons Best Quality, 12 ga. side by side shotgun, 30" Whitworth steel barrels, Hammerless, Ejectors, Trunk Case, England
J. Purdey & Sons Best Quality, 12 ga. side by side shotgun, 30″ Whitworth steel barrels, Hammerless, Ejectors, Trunk Case, England

Auction alert: Two HE Super Foxes, a 12 & a super-rare 20 gauge…

Rare 20 gauge A. H. Fox He Grade Superfox Double Ejectorgun Shipped To E.C. Crossman
Rare 20 gauge A. H. Fox He Grade Superfox Double Ejectorgun Shipped To E.C. Crossman

Here are two tough-to find American doubles coming to auction. They’re both A.H. Fox HE SxS, one in 12 gauge and one in 20 gauge. Both are coming up this weekend at Amoskeag Auctions March sale.

Fox made about 300 of these HE-grade Super Fox side-by-side shotguns — just sixty in 20 gauge and the rest in 12. All of them were heavy, overbored doubles made for wildfowling with Western Cartridge’s new-at-the-time Super-X ammo.

Lot # 85: Rare A. H. Fox He Grade Superfox Double Ejectorgun Shipped To E.C. Crossman. Serial #202292, 20 Ga. (2 3/4”), 32” Chromox barrels choked full and full with bright excellent bores showing just some faint remnants of light pitting in a couple spots with a tiny dent in the right tube near the muzzles which was professionally raised. The barrels retain about 90% original blue, the loss due to overall light fading, actually appearing much stronger undernormal ambient light. The frame is lovely and retains 75-80% original color case-hardening which is quite vivid, the belly of frame toning to a silvery case-hardened patina; it features light fancy borderline engraving with little floral sprays around the pins and screw holes.

Rare 20 gauge A. H. Fox He Grade Superfox Double Ejectorgun Shipped To E.C. Crossman
Rare 20 gauge A. H. Fox He Grade Superfox Double Ejectorgun Shipped To E.C. Crossman

The gun is stocked half-pistolgrip in a nice grade of walnut, the stock rating very good plus to near excellent with much original varnish and only minor dings and handling marks from the years. It is fitted with a more contemporary Hawkins recoil pad, added to the contour of the butt, the original pad having deteriorated with the years, the length of pull is 14 7/16” with drops of 1 1/2” and 2 7/8”; the forend is a bit darker and rates very good plus as well showing a thin sliver of bedding compound at its junction with the forend iron. The gun locks up Fox-tight with the top lever still right of center, the gun seems to operate well mechanically and the ejectors are robust; the safety is non-automatic. The included factory letter confirms the configuration and shows shipment to none other than E.C. Crossman on August 14, 1925 “for Phill Crosman” (sic). Savage historian John T. Callahan took the liberty of including copies of the original build card and job tag for the shotgun. The build card, under the “For” heading reads “E.C. Crossman”, the rear of the card showing pellet count for left and right barrels. The job tag reads on front and back: “Test Gun and send to Phill Crosman” and “Mr. Roll This Gun shoots 79% in 5 shots out of Right bbl 79 1/2% out of 5 shots in Left bbl B.Becker”, obviously from the renowned Burt Becker to Adolph Roll, Fox Sales Manager. With only sixty 20 ga. Super Fox shotguns ever made, this is a really rare and lovely Super Fox in its own right, all-the-more desireable with the connection to the famous Crossman clan. Truly a super – Super Fox. Estimate: $8000 – $10000.

12 gauge A. H. Fox He Grade Super Fox Boxlock Double Ejectorgun.
12 gauge A. H. Fox He Grade Super Fox Boxlock Double Ejectorgun.

Lot # 386: A. H. Fox He Grade Super Fox Boxlock Double Ejectorgun: Serial #29562, 12 Ga. (3”), 30” barrels choked full and full with bright excellent bores. The barrels retain about 98% excellent quality restored blue finish with some light muzzle wear and a remnant or two of light pitting beneath. The frame is lovely retaining 99% restored vibrant color case-hardening with the familiar light H-grade borderline engraving and makers name; the triggerguard shows excellent blue as well. The round knob pistolgrip buttstock rates excellent as professionally refinished with evidence of a repaired crack at left and right of top tang; it seems to have been effective and the stock seems sound and will not flex. The splinter forend is in a similar state of condition and both show perfectly chased checkering.

12 gauge A. H. Fox He Grade Super Fox Boxlock Double Ejectorgun.
12 gauge A. H. Fox He Grade Super Fox Boxlock Double Ejectorgun.

The length of pull to the grooved hard rubber buttplate is 14 1/8” with drops of 1 5/8” and 3” (although the factory letter indicates 2 3/4”, the stock appears original in all respects). The safety is non-automatic and two of the screws show some light slot damage…they are not quite regulated and clearly someone with an incorrect width blade attempted to turn them. The gun locks up tightly with the top lever still right of center and the gun seems to operate properly mechanically. The included factory letter verifies the configuration and shows shipment in September of 1925 to W. R. Burkhard Co. (St. Paul Minn.). Really an excellent as-restored Super Fox that should be taken back afield for some waterfowl bustin in the fall seasons. Estimate: $2500 – $4000

Good gun alert: 12 gauge Francotte hammergun, fluid steel barrels…

12 gauge Francotte Steel Barrel Hammergun, Floral Engraving
12 gauge Francotte Steel Barrel Hammergun, Floral Engraving

Francotte is one of my favorite gunmakers. In the 190+ years they were around, they made thousands and thousands of side-by-side shotguns from their factory in Leige, Belgium. Today, the ones we see more often are boxlocks like this. They were imported into the US by companies like Von Lengerke & Detmold and Abercrombie & Fitch.

The Francottes we rarely see are hammerguns like the one here – especially ones with fluid-steel barrels and straight grips. Hammerguns are a lot of fun to shoot, and every time I pick one of mine up I feel like I’m traveling back in time. If you would like to experience the same feeling yourself, this Francotte would be a great way to do it.

12 gauge Francotte Steel Barrel Hammergun, Floral Engraving
12 gauge Francotte Steel Barrel Hammergun, Floral Engraving

Here’s more about it from the seller:

12 gauge Francotte Steel Barrel Hammergun, Floral EngravingHere is nicely engraved Francotte Steel Barreled Hammer Gun with 28 1/4″ barrels. Rebounding hammers. Sideclips and Greener style third fastener. Double underbite lock up. Straight grip with long trigger tang. Francotte marked on the barrel flats – “Crown AF” for August Francotte. Elegant sculpted and engraved hammers – have the appearance of English style. Old swivel holes in stock and barrel – plug them for a better apperance. Slotted and engraved swivel plugs for the barrel are an excellent solution.

12 gauge Francotte Steel Barrel Hammergun, Floral Engraving
12 gauge Francotte Steel Barrel Hammergun, Floral Engraving

Right bore measures .730 with 25/1000 choke (Imp Mod) while left barrel also measures .730 with 35/1000 choke (Full). Forcing cones lengthened. Chambers measure 3″. Anson push rod forend fastening system. Recoil pad is a “Western Field” – poorly fitting and should be replaced. Top tang screw should be replaced as it is below the the top tang – budget $150 for this. Weight of gun is 6 LBS 8 1/2 OZ. Shipping is $35 and will be shipped in a hard case. Stock dimensions follow. LOP 14 3/4″, Drop at Comb – 1 1/2″, Drop at Heel – 2 5/8″. Price: $2,900

12 gauge Francotte Steel Barrel Hammergun, Floral Engraving
12 gauge Francotte Steel Barrel Hammergun, Floral Engraving

Big bucks for a plain Charles Daly boxlock…

Prussian. Lindner-made Charles Daly Empire Grade Double Barrel, Side by Side, Boxlock ejector, Shotgun
Prussian. Lindner-made Charles Daly Empire Grade Double Barrel, Side by Side, Boxlock ejector, Shotgun

Lindner-made Charles Daly side-by-side shotguns used to be one of the best buys in the vintage double world. That’s why I was excited to see this lightweight 12 gauge come up yesterday at Amoskeag Auctions. It was in great condition and I was hoping to get a deal.

Well, a deal didn’t happen. This Charles Daly hammered down for $4200. Add in the buyer’s premium,and  the winner is going to pay at least $4830 for this gun. That’s a lot of money for a plain 12 gauge boxlock – even if it was made by the famous Lindner clan.

This week’s good guns: powered by Gunsinternational.com…

Boss and Co., London. Superb pair of light weight 12ga. game guns, ca. 1925 Boss &
Boss and Co., London. Superb pair of light weight 12ga. game guns, ca. 1925. Image courtesy Lewis Drake & Co.

Boss and Co., London. Superb pair of light weight 12ga. game guns, ca. 1925: Exceptionally nice pair of Vintage 12ga. light weight game guns, ordered by an American in 1925. Weight of each gun: 6 Lbs. 6 oz. Stock Dimensions: 14 ½”x 1 3/8”x 2 3/8”. 29” chopper-lump steel barrels with original 2 ½” chambers. Double triggers, ejectors, and automatic safeties. Beautifully figured original straight-grip stocks and splinter forends have been professionally and properly refinished at some point. $75,000

Westley Richards Ovundo 12 ga., 28" solid rib barrels, 2-5/8" chambers
Westley Richards Ovundo 12 ga., 28″ solid rib barrels, 2-5/8″ chambers

Westley Richards Ovundo 12 ga: 28″ solid rib barrels, 2-5/8″ chambers, choked improved cylinder and improved modified (.011/.022), automatic ejectors. Scroll engraved action features patented sliding top bolting. Westley selective “one trigger” and automatic safe. Stock measures 1-5/8″ comb, 2-1/8″ heel, 14-1/4″ LOP to the rear position trigger. Weighs 6 lbs, 11 oz. A seldom-seen vintage British O/U. Complete in lightweight leather trunk case. $11,950

ENGLISH DOUBLE FLINTLOCK 16 BORE SHOTGUN BY "H. W. MORTIMER, LONDON".
ENGLISH DOUBLE FLINTLOCK 16 BORE SHOTGUN BY “H. W. MORTIMER, LONDON”.

ENGLISH DOUBLE FLINTLOCK 16 BORE SHOTGUN BY “H. W. MORTIMER: 30″ twist steel barrels, flintlocks with platinum toucholes and French cocks. Waterproof pans and roller frizzens. Checkered straight grip stock with skeleton grip extension. LOP: 14″ to it’s engraved steel buttplate. $9950

John MacPherson 2 Inch Light Game Boxlock: 12 bore, 2 ” chambers, 28″ fluid steel barrels Nitro proved at 1 1/8 oz., choked .020 Mod and .027 IM, ejectors, 5 lbs. 12 oz., 14 3/4″ LOP over a red Silvers pad, 1 1/2″ DAC, 2 1/8″ DAH, neutral cast, fine English scroll engraving on action with  “John MacPherson & Sons” on both sides, straight grip, splinter forend, double triggers, ejectors, vacant gold oval in stock, Churchill style rib. Circa 1951.  A lovely condition gun with much case color and hard to find 28″ barrels on a 2″ chamber gun.  Also a bit heavier proof and weight than most 2″ guns. $5999

L.C. Smith Ideal 16E gauge S/S
L.C. Smith Ideal 16E gauge S/S

L.C. Smith Ideal 16E gauge SxS: LOP: 14″ Drop: 2-1/2″ – 1-1/2″ Cast: 0″
Barrel length:28″ Choke: F/M Weight: 6lb11oz A great 1946 Smith that is collector quality, lots of dark color & blue, mirror bores, very tight, super nice! 2-3/4″ chambers, chokes – R)663-021, L)664-029, ser#S10. $2,950.00

 

Auction Alert: a bunch of nice Brownings…

I’m chilling and relaxing, and then I remembered this auction that

Browning - BSS 20 Ga Shotgun w/ Browning case
Browning – BSS 20 Ga Shotgun w/ Browning case

I had to tell everyone about: Cornwell Inc Land & Home Brokers in Aurora, NE, has this bunch of real nice Brownings in its sale, ending tomorrow around 10:30AM, EST:

Browning – Lightning Superposed 20 Ga Shotgun

Browning – 12 Ga Shotgun BSS w/ case

Browning – Lightning Superposed 12 Ga Shotgun

Browning – BSS 20 Ga Shotgun w/ Browning case

Browning – Citori Superlight Over/Under 410 Ga Shotgun; NIB

Browning – Belgium 12 Ga Shotgun 1931 w/black elephant hide case

The things in my Inbox…

Like you, I get lots of emails. I sit down, scratch here and there, crack open the laptop, and find that my Inbox is full of emails. Sometimes they have pics attached. A couple times a year, these pics are of guns like this one: a 12g A.H. Fox HE grade double barrel shotgun

A.H. Fox HE grade 12 gauge shotgun
A.H. Fox HE grade 12 gauge shotgun

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Fox made about 300 HE-grade side by sides, and this one’s cherry enough to make my whole ‘friggin month.

The Kings of Condition…

When it comes to collecting vintage shotgun, there are three things I focus on: condition, condition, & condition. Take a look at the hammer prices in an auction catalog and you’ll see why: original condition holds its value and sells, and I want to buy side-by-side shotguns that are going to be worth more in the future, not less.

Stephen Grant 12g Double Barrel Shotgun
Stephen Grant 12g Double Barrel Shotgun

With this in mind, here are a couple guns that really caught my eye last weekend at the Southern Side by Side. Both of these double barrel shotguns– a Charles Lancaster and a Stephen Grant–are awfully original (the buttstock on the Lancaster had been cut and the bbls on the Grant were rebrowned). But considering that both gun were made in the 1870s and the amount of original color, blueing, and wood finish they had, I still wanted both guns.

The Charles Lancaster is a very odd gun: a 16g with a sidelever. Charles Lancaster was actually Charles William Lancaster. His father had the same name and both of them were barrel men and gunmakers of the first order. Charles Lancaster, Sr., founded this firm of gun makers in 1826. He was located at 151 New Bond Street, London. His eldest son, Charles William Lancaster, joined him in about 1845. Both of them were well known for turning out fantastic guns and they were famous throughout England as barrel makers of the first order.

If there was one gun at the Southern that just stunk of class, the Stephen Grant was it. It is a quintessential British hammergun. This gun was made in 1877 and it has all the classic Grant features: including a sidelever and the Grant & Hodge’s Patent action. The gun also had toe and heel plates. It was fantastic.

Is one DHE more valuable…and why?

Value is an interesting concept, especially when it comes to double barrel shotguns. Why one gun is more valuable than another is sometimes hard to figure out. Here’s an an example of what I mean.

This Parker DHE side by side is online right now at Gunbroker.com:

Parker DHE 2-barrel set on Gunbroker.com
Parker DHE 2-barrel set on Gunbroker.com

This other Parker DHE double barrel shotgun is at Auctionarms.com:

Parker DHE 2-barrel set on Auctionarms.com
Parker DHE 2-barrel set on Auctionarms.com

Boths guns are pretty similiar: 12 gauge DHEs with single triggers. They’re both two barrel sets, and they’re both in excellent original condition. They even have similiar stock dimensions. So why is it that one is going to bring so much more than the other?

Their are only two big differences that I can see:

1. The DHE on Gunbroker letters as original. Of course, this is a big deal. Provable original condition is the gold-standard on old shotguns.

2. The online auction companies. Maybe Auctionarms doesn’t have the traffic that Gunbroker sees.

Big prices for Parkers at Julia’s Spring ’09 Auction…

The James D. Julia Auction Company started their spring 2009 firearms auction yesterday, 3/16. Even though the economy stinks, there’s still money out there for good double barrel shotguns.

Several nice Parkers brought big money, although many of them missed their pre-sale estimates. This nice 20g A-1 Special with 32″ bbls hammered down at $95,000 (plus a 15% buyer’s premium). That’s a lot, but quite a bit below the auctioneer’s $120,000 – $150,000 estimate. While the gun is one of just a few 20g A-1 Specials Parker made, it had been “restored” some (reblued barrels, refinished wood) and that hurt it’s value.

This Parker AAHE 20g was another nice gun that went for big money, but failed to reach its low end estimate. The bidding on this one ended at $55,000, just under the pre-sale estimate of $60,000 – $90,000. The bbl and wood on this one had also been refinished – something the big spenders do not like to see.

One nice Parker that did beat its low-end estimate was was this very cool 28g CHE . This gun went to a buyer for $48,000 against an estimate of $30,000 – $60,000. Why did it do well? On top of being a small bore with very unique monte-carlo-style straight gripped stock, it’s excellent original condition. Parker CHE 28 gauge double barrel side by side shotgun at Julia's 2009 spring auctionAlmost all of the original barrel blue and color case hardening are present and the wood looks right too. And when it comes to guns, condition is king. Auction after auction has proven that buyers will pay a fat premium for it.

That being said, this Parker GHE 28g went for $48,000, just shy of it’s low-end estimate of $50,000. This gun was in fantastic, all original condition – pretty much new all around with all its blueing, color-case hardening, and wood finish – and it had great wood and a solid provenance. Parker GHE 28 gauge side by side shotgunEven though it’s a gun I would give my pinkies to own, I think there’s a simple reason it failed to blast past the estimate: the estimate was just too high. Prices for nice Parkers have skyrocket over the last few years. In the case of this gun, I think the auctioneer was bit too hopeful of what this gun was worth today.

On the more affordable side, a few nice Parkers did sell for under $5,000. This damascus-barreled 12g GH went for $2,750 – not a bad price considering all the original condition it had. Parker 12 gauge GH grade double barrel shotgunA gun like this would be a nice place for a new Parker fan to start building a collection.

Julia’s auction continues today, with lots of Colts and other stuff coming up. I’ll report back soon with info on other American doubles along with info on some British stuff, including a Rigby .450 double rifle and beautiful set of Purdey percussion guns.

As always, if you have any questions or comments, let me know.

Gregg@dogsanddoubles.com

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