Good guns @ Gunrunnerauctions.com…

Gun Runner Online Auctions has a few nice double barrel shotguns in their January auction. You can bid on these auctions now. They end on 1/14 & 1/15.

I’ve never dealt with Gunrunner, but they seem pretty legit. But be aware that all sales are final. So ask lots of questions before you bid.

A.H. Fox 12g AE – double triggers, round knob grip, nice wood. Ends 1/14

Baker 12g Paragon – double triggers, extractors, nice engraving, damascus barrels. Ends 1/15.

Baker Paragon at Gun Runner online auctions

See all shotguns in this auction

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.

At auction–an 8 gauge L.C. Smith…

This 8-gauge L.C. Smith side-by-side, double barrel shotgun is on Gunbroker right now. The seller says it has 32″ barrels. From the pics, it looks like it might be a No. 1 grade.

8 gauge L.C. Smith shotgun on Gunbroker.com
8 gauge L.C. Smith shotgun on Gunbroker.com

L.C. Smith made very few 8 gauges – estimates vary from 30-35. From what I’ve been able to find out, they made them from about 1895-1898 and every one was hammerless. This guy here has several 8-gauge L.C. Smiths, at least two in No. 2 grades.

Of all the major American makers, Parker made the most 8 gauges – hammerless and hammerguns- and Lefever made the fewest. Baker made a few, and Colt made at least one. A.H. Fox never made any.

Eight gauges used to be very popular for wildfowl. They pushed a ton of lead and this made them ideal for swatting flocks of birds at a time – just what a market hunter on the Chesapeake Bay wanted to do. Eight-gauge shotguns were outlawed for use on waterfowl in the US in the early 20th century.

BTW: if you have an 8 gauge double, or you know of any out there, please let me know. I’m interested in purchasing one and will pay a finder’s fee for a nice one.

Good Gun Alert…Parker DHEs in CT…

Nadeau’s Auctions in Windsor, CT, has two Parker DHE double barrel shotguns coming up on Saturday at its January 1st sale. The guns are both 12 gauges. Here’s the info on them from the auctioneers:

Lot 300A: Parker Brothers twelve gauge double barrel shotgun titanic steel with ejectors in leather bound case, serial # 90137. Parker Brothers twelve gauge double barrel shotgun titanic steel with ejectors in leather bound case, serial number 90137.

Lot 300B: Parker Brothers twelve gauge double barrel shotgun titanic steel with ejectors, serial number #141592. Parker Brothers twelve gauge double barrel shotgun titanic steel with ejectors, serial number N141592.

Here are more pics. Look closely, these are two different Parkers.

Parkers: D grade hammergun, decent DHEs…

There are a bunch of  decent, D-grade Parker double barrel shotguns on Gunbroker right now.

Parker D-grade hammergun, 10 gauge

The first one is this 10 gauge D-grade hammergun. To my eye, the gun looks cleaned up a bit. The action looks too silver to be all original. A few of the screws are buggered, so it has been monkeyed with a bit. The finish on the barrels is odd, too. The seller is offering a 3-day inspection and this is definitely a gun I would want a certified Parker expert to go over before I closed the deal.  It’s a rare gun, though.

There’s also this nice DHE 12 gauge on a #1 frame. This gun looks all original and it has it’s original butt plate. The gun weighs 7lbs, so it would be a nice shooter. I bet it won’t hit its reserve, though.

Here’s another 12 gauge DHE like the one above. It’s another nice side-by-side shotgun. This one has been on Gunbroker for a while, though, and it’s getting stale. I doubt it will sell.

Parker DHE double barrel shotgun, 12 gauge, 2-bbl set
Parker DHE double barrel shotgun, 12 gauge, 2-bbl set

Finally, there’s this 12g DHE two barrel set. The seller is calling it “Unique and Important.” I don’t know about that, but it is neat. It has two sets of damascus barrels–26″ and 30″. It also has sling swivels and a bunch of spare parts in their original paper envelope from Parker. According to the seller, everything on the gun letters as original. The finish on everything sure looks good. That canvas case is probably original, too. Pretty cool.

Tons of Good Guns — 11/6, Ephrata, PA, Horst Actions…

Horst Auctions in Ephrata, PA, is holding a big gun auction on Saturday, 11/6.

Horst Auction
Horst Auction

Here is a listing plus pics of everything in the auction. There are plenty of good guns there. Lots featuring double barrel shotguns are listed below:

108.     W. W. Greener hammer double ser.# 23915.

110.     Parker Bros. “T” Quality ser.# 76804.

112.     Baker Gun Co. “Model 1897” ser.# 32066.

114.     Moore & Harris percussion double ser.# 500

116.     J. P. Sauer & Son hammer double ser.# 239414.

118.     Browning “Citori Lightning” ser.# 27339NX773

123.     Parker Bros. “VH Grade” ser.# 179744

135.     Ithaca “Crass Quality 1” ser.# 92137.

137.     Parker Bros. “Lifter Action” ser.# 8399

141.     Moore & Harris percussion double ser.# 4227

145.     Remington Arms Co. mod. 1889 ser.# 252033.

147.     A. H. Fox “Sterlingworth” ser.# 91323

149.     J. P. Sauer & Son mod. V or 60?? ser.# 141721

180.     A. H. Fox “Sterlingworth” ser.# 122724

185.     Savage-Fox “Sterlingworth” ser.# 266415

202.     Parker Bros. “G” Quality ser.# 64751.

203.     Browning “Superposed” ser.# 2785.

204.     J. P. Sauer & Son mod. V or 60?? ser.# 122997

205.     Lefever Arms Co. “H Grade” ser.# 58831

207.     Charles Daly “Superior” grade ser.# 1771

209.     Meriden Firearms Co. “The A. J. Aubrey “T” Quality” ser.# 2949

210.     Remington Arms Co. mod. 1900 “Trap Gun F Grade” ser.# P135125

212.     A. H. Fox “CE Grade” ser.# 31688

213.     Lefever Arms Co. “G Grade” ser.# 47604.

214.     G. L. Rasch hammerless ser.# 672

215.     G. Hemenway hammer double ser.# 6321

216.     Prize Machine Gun mod. 1883 ser.# 28946

218.     Parker Bros. “G” Quality ser.# 129283

219.     Darne mod. R10??? ser.# SPC623. — 20g

259.     Regina hammerless ser.# 1421

260.     A. H. Fox “A Grade” ser.# 301319. — 16g

262.     Parker Bros. “G” Quality ser.# 89164

263.     W. & C. Scott & Son “The Monte Carlo B” ser.# 70886

264.     W. & C. Scott & Son “The Excellentia” ser.# 34334.

265.     George Gibbs mod. unknown ser.# C700.

266.     Lefever Arms Co. “BE Grade” ser.# 39303

267.     H. Clarke hammer double ser.# 8516.

268.     Charles Holloway hammer double ser.# 1213

269.     E. Remington & Sons mod. 1882 ser.# 15344.

270.     Prize Machine Gun mod. 1883 ser.# 35470

Auction Alert: Parkers, Fox, LC Smiths, Francottes…

Some nice double barrel shotguns coming to auction. Check them out:

Parker CH 10g @ Sacor River Auctions
Parker CH 10g @ Sacor River Auctions

-Saco River Auctions, Biddeford, ME, 10/23 @ 4pm

A nice and rare Parker CH 10 gauge double barrel shotgun

Marquis Auctions, Earlville, NY, 10/23, 6pm

An interesting looking Euro double. Pics here and here.

Redding Auctions, Gettysburg, PA, Sunday, 10/24 @ 9am

Lots of good guns, including a couple 12g Fox A grades, several  L.C. Smiths (including a Trap grade) and a handful of Parker, including a GH with an original strengthing rod in the buttstock.

Cottone Auctions, Geneseo, NY, Friday, 11/ 5th @ noon

A nice looking 12 gauge Parker BHE double barrel shotgun

20 gauge Francotte at Thomaston Place
20 gauge Francotte at Thomaston Place

-Thomaston Place Auction Gallery, Thomaston, ME, Saturday, 11/6 @ 11am

Several nice guns, including this and this Francotte double barrel and this 12 gauge Parker DHE shotgun. The Parker may be an original Skeet Gun. Lots of Winchesters, too. You can see all the firearms here.

An L.C. Smith hits the market….

Guys call me all the time about shotguns.

L.C. Smith double barrel, side-by-side shotgun, No. 2 grade, pre-1913
L.C. Smith double barrel, side-by-side shotgun, No. 2 grade, pre-1913

Most of the side-by-sides they mention are every day doubles — Nitro Specials, Sterlingworths, no-name Euro shotguns from WW2. The callers are nice folks; I’m happy to help them out. They ask questions, I throw out values and usually say no thanks when buying is mentioned.

But every now and then something nice pops up and makes it all worthwhile.

Last March a gentleman from Maryland called me about a double barrel. In less than twelve weeks, this shotgun would change hand three times and almost double in price.

“YOU   THE   FELLA   INTERESTED   IN   L.C.   SMITHs?” he hollered at me over the phone. He spoke slowly, with an accent that sounded just south of the Mason Dixon line.

“Yeah, that’s me,” I said.

“I’ve got one – a 20 gauge No. 2. Twenty-eight inch barrels, ejectors, two triggers…”

He gave me the run down.  “What kind of stock?” I asked, scrambling to find a pen and paper for notes.

“Straight.”

I looked harder for a pen and paper.

“What about condition?” I said, expecting bad news.

“Ninety-nine percent” he said matter of factly.

“You mean 99% refinished?”

“No – I mean 99% ALL ORIGINAL,” he said, hollering again. “I DOUBT ITS HAD A BOX OF SHELLS THROUGH IT.”

Well now, I thought, a 20 gauge No. 2, 99% ALL ORIGINAL. That’s a gun.

Minty 2E 20 gauge L.C. Smith side-by-side shotgun
Minty 2E 20 gauge L.C. Smith side-by-side shotgun

Twenty gauge, pre-1913 LCs are hard to find. The Hunter Arms Company didn’t start making them until 1907. In the next six years they turned 5,198 twenties, fewer than 5% of all the guns they made from 1889 to 1913.

They made just 404 twenties in No. 2 grade. Probably fewer than 10% had straight grips, or 40-50 guns. And this caller had one that was almost new, meaning it could be the finest in existence.

“Let me get this straight,” I said, slowing down the conversation to gather my thoughts. “Your Smith is a 20g No. 2 grade, two triggers, ejectors, 28″ bbls, a splinter forend, straight grip, 14 1/4″ to a buttplate, and just about all its original condition. Is that right?”

“Yes sir. And it’s in its original case.”

I hesitated, thinking wow.

“So what are you looking to get for it?”

“$7,500”

“$7,500?” I replied, pausing for affect. “That’s a lot.”

English stock on the 20 gauge L.C. Smith double barrel shotgun
English stock on the 20 gauge L.C. Smith double barrel shotgun

“It’s a lot of gun,” he stated without hesitation. He was right – if the gun really was in near-new condition.

“Well, how about you send me some photos and we’ll see what we can do.”

He agreed. We hung up and all I could think was how am I going to scrounge up $7,500?

Nice guns have always been expensive. Even though Hunter Arms considered No. 2s to be lower- to middle-grade shotguns “…just right for rough usage…” they still cost a lot of money.

In 1907, a 20g No. 2E L.C. Smith was $95. At that time, most guys in America earned $300 a year. This means $95 shotgun was 31% of their annual salary. Today, the average American male makes $44,000.  Thirty-one percent of that equals $14,000 – a lot of money for a gun (just ask your wife). So was $7,500 was actually a bargain price for this LC? Perhaps.

After several weeks of waiting, pictures of the 20g L.C. arrived. They weren’t the best, but the gun looked right. The only problem: I still hadn’t found $7,500. In the end, I had to pass on the gun.

But instead of letting it get away, I forwarded the pics to a friend. A few weeks later he brought the gun home with him in the trunk of his car. The final price: $7,200.

LC Smith 2E 20 gauge shotgun, all original
LC Smith 2E 20 gauge shotgun, all original

My friend is a crazy for vintage American guns. When he saw this LC Smith he had to have it. “You just don’t walk away from condition like that,” he told me afterwards as we rehashed the deal.

But even though this LC was almost new, my friend soon traded it to a dealer. A week later this dealer had the little Elsie 20g on the open market for $9,995.

My friend and I were both surprised. Ten grand for a LC Smith No. 2 grade? While they’re nice, they’re not that nice – at least not to us. That kind of money lifts you into another league of double barrel shotguns.

But what did we know? Within a few weeks the gun sold to a second dealer. When it appeared on his website, the asking price had jumped – to $12,995!

L.C. Smith 2E 20 gauge side by side shotgun
L.C. Smith 2E 20 gauge side by side shotgun

In just a few months this 20 gauge LC Smith had gone from $7,200 to $12,995. That’s an 80% jump in value.

I wish my 401(k) would perform just as well.

Thanks to a friend of mine for the color images.

First image is from the L.C. Smith Collector’s Organization web site.

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