This week’s 5 doubles you don’t want to miss….

 

E.J. CHURCHILL PREMIER QUALITY OVER UNDER DOUBLE BARREL SHOTGUNS PAIR
E.J. CHURCHILL PREMIER QUALITY OVER UNDER DOUBLE BARREL SHOTGUNS PAIR

E.J. CHURCHILL PREMIER QUALITY OVER UNDER DOUBLE BARREL SHOTGUNS PAIR: BOTH GUNS ARE THE SAME DIMENSIONS, 28″ SOLID RIB, CHOKED .007″ AND .014″ with 2 3/4″ CHAMBERS, DOUBLE TRIGGERS, EJECTORS, FIELD FOREARM, PISTOL GRIP, CHECKERED BUTT MINT CONDITION MAKERS CASE, 7 LBS 4 0Z, DIMENSIONS: 2″ DAH,1 9/16″ DAC, 14 1/8″ LOP. Matched pair E.J. Churchill O/U The Premier Quality.  12 Bore game guns.  Gun I made in 1926, Gun II Made in 1929. Serial Nr. 4220 was made for Abercrombie & Fitch and 3173 for a Mr. Wilson in San Francisco. They were both originally pigeon guns with 32” barrels. They were matched up as a pair and re-barreled to 28” through Churchill, Atkin, Grant & Lang, and Don Masters chocked IC/M and probably restocked by the maker, work which was done for a Danish nobleman whose coat of arms are on the escutcheon.  Both guns have a full London proof.  The actions of these guns are exact copies of the Woodward O&U actions, and were made by the firm of Hills, who also made the actions for Woodward. It was said at the time that Woodward built the Over & Under guns for Bob Churchill. This may be indeed true, but it is not likely, I believe Hill did all the actioning and in addition, they both used the same outworkers. A marked difference is the ejector system, which differs from Woodward and shows the Churchill input, as Bob Churchill felt it needed improvement. In total only 15 Over & Under guns were built by Churchill before WWII, of which this pair is believed to be in the best condition of those remaining.  One of these guns is pictured in the book “The House of Churchill” by Don Masters. Price: $46,500

F.LLI PIOTTI Model BSEE, Boxlock, SxS, 16ga 29" Upgraded wood, Upgraded action shaping, 6#3oz Near Perfect condition
F.LLI PIOTTI Model BSEE, Boxlock, SxS, 16ga 29″ Upgraded wood, Upgraded action shaping, 6#3oz Near Perfect condition

F.LLI PIOTTI Model BSEE, Boxlock, SxS, 16ga 29″ Upgraded wood, Upgraded action shaping, 6#3oz Near Perfect condition: Serial #  A03. Barrel Length (in Inches):  29″,  Choked R  SKT(.005) Choked L  IM(.020), Trigger  DT (Double), Straight Grip, Splinter Forearm, English-style Smooth Concave Rib, Fine Scroll & Rosette Engraving, Upgraded wood, Upgraded action shaping, Checkered butt, Original box. Near PERFECT Condition. Weight  6#3oz. Dimensions  1 3/8 x 2 1/4 x 14 3/4 with 1/4 cast off. Mfg 2007, The ideal upland bird gun. Price: $14,900

Stephen Grant Classic Hammer Sidelever SxS with original Nitro Proofed Damascus Barrels
Stephen Grant Classic Hammer Sidelever SxS with original Nitro Proofed Damascus Barrels

Stephen Grant Classic Hammer Sidelever SxS with original Nitro Proofed Damascus Barrels Serial Number: 3822, Ejectors: No, Barrels: 30″, Barrel Type: Damascus, Action: back-action side lever with rebounding hammers, Gauge: 12 gauge, Stock Comb: 1 7/16″, Stock Heel: 2 1/4″, Stock Cast: 1/8″, LOP: 14 1/2″, Weight: 6 lbs. 14 oz., Choke Left: .003 Near Cyl., Choke Right: .003 Near Cyl.
Proof:Nitro: 2 1/2″, Minimum Wall Thickness Left: .030″, Minimum Wall Thickness Right: .028″. Price: $6,900

Webley and Scott 16 gauge SxS Boxlock Shotgun
Webley and Scott 16 gauge SxS Boxlock Shotgun

Webley & Scott 16 gauge SxS Boxlock Shotgun: Nice old prewar Webley & Scott 16 ga. Choked imp and full 29” barrels, DT, AE, LOP is 14 3/4”, leather pad, this piece has a third fastener, really nice old shotgun. Price: $3,895

Ithaca Model 280 is a side by side 20 Ga. shotgun
Ithaca Model 280 is a side by side 20 Ga. shotgun

Ithaca ~ 280 ~ 20 Ga. ~ Side-by-Side ~ Boxlock Shotgun: This Ithaca Model 280 is a side by side 20 Ga. shotgun. It has 25 inch barrels with a solid rib and 3 inch chambers. A checkered grip walnut straight grip stock and beavertail forearm. Has a very nicely engraved receiver with birds in flight. In over all good condition it comes as is.Ithaca-SKB checkered black plate. Weighs 6 lbs. 3 oz. Shows a little use and wear. Price: $1,699.99

Good gun alert: a super nice 20g Belgian sidelock SxS…

Belgian Best 20 gauge Sidelock Ejector SxS Shotgun
Belgian Best 20 gauge Sidelock Ejector SxS Shotgun

“Buy the gun, not the name” – that’s a bit of wisdom firearm collectors toss around all the time. It’s good advice, too. There are lots of big-name shotguns out there in lousy condition. When you’re buying, it’s easy to be blinded by  a  famous name — like James Purdey & Sons —  and overlook the problems a gun has.

It’s also easy to overlook great guns built by lesser known makers, especially if you haven’t developed an eye for quality. Because the shotgun shown here was built by an unknown Belgian maker, many people would pass by it without giving it a second look. But quality wise, it’s just a notch below a British best and probably better than the finest Spanish stuff. Price wise, it’s costs 1/3 to 1/4 of what you would pay for nice 20 gauge by Holland & Holland or Boss.

Here’s more about this double from the seller:

Belgian Best 20 gauge Sidelock Ejector SxS Shotgun: A spectacular 20ga sidelock ejector gun great engraving the gun was built in the late 50s on a Francotte action fit and finish as good as Holland or Purdey for a lot less 27 1/2 in barrels all the original blue articulated front trigger 14in LOP double trigger splinter checkered butt. Couldn’t replace for twice the price. Price: $12,500.

Belgian Best 20 gauge Sidelock Ejector SxS Shotgun
Belgian Best 20 gauge Sidelock Ejector SxS Shotgun
Belgian Best 20 gauge Sidelock Ejector SxS Shotgun
Belgian Best 20 gauge Sidelock Ejector SxS Shotgun
Belgian Best 20 gauge Sidelock Ejector SxS Shotgun
Belgian Best 20 gauge Sidelock Ejector SxS Shotgun
Belgian Best 20 gauge Sidelock Ejector SxS ShotgunBelgian Best 20 gauge Sidelock Ejector SxS Shotgun
Belgian Best 20 gauge Sidelock Ejector SxS Shotgun
Belgian Best 20 gauge Sidelock Ejector SxS Shotgun
Belgian Best 20 gauge Sidelock Ejector SxS Shotgun

The cost of quality…

Stephen Coker & Co, Gun & Rifle Manufacturers
Stephen Coker & Co, Gun & Rifle Manufacturers

Time is our enemy. Second to second, minute to minute, it passes the same today as yesterday, last year, and a decade ago. That’s no the case with us. As time passes, we wear out and break down. The same is true with our shotguns.

When an old double needs work, getting it repaired right can be expensive – especially top-quality work on Best-quality guns. In this great blog post, Mike Rowe of Stephen Coker & Co talks about why the best quality pairs are expensive.

Workmanship and the Cost of Best-Quality Repairs, from Mike Rowe, Stephen Coker & Co.

“So it must be”. These words flowed from the prolific pen of William Wellington Greener, whilst writing his epic tome “The Gun, and Its Development”. He continued, “Unless attention be given to every piece, no matter how seemingly unimportant, the gun is not well made, and may fail just where least expected”. And so it goes with repairs.

I am often asked during the course of my work on Best Quality antique guns, to provide an estimate on the cost of certain repairs or the making of a replacement part. Unfortunately for owners of fine English guns, repairs are not inexpensive. And it was the same a hundred years or so ago, when the guns were made. Most of the time my replies are met with either a look of disbelief, or stunned silence…

Read the rest of Mike Rowe’s piece now.

 

Great looking! A 20 gauge side-by-side by Gastinne Renette…

20 gauge Gastinne Renette Sidelock Ejector Side-by-Side
20 gauge Gastinne Renette Sidelock Ejector Side-by-Side

London is the traditional source of the world’s best shotguns, and for good reason. Boss & Co., Purdey & Sons, Holland & Holland and other makers based their have been making fantastic doubles for over 150+ years. But Best-quality doubles have also come from other parts of the UK and Europe.

This 20 gauge sidelock by Gastinne Renette is one of them. Gastinne Renette was one of Europe’s most famous gunmakers. With a shop in Paris, they sold all sorts of firearms, from presentation-grade percussion rifles to this little double. And from what I can see of this 20 gauge, it’s on par with the finest shotguns from London and any other city in the world.

20 gauge Gastinne Renette Sidelock Ejector Side-by-Side
20 gauge Gastinne Renette Sidelock Ejector Side-by-Side

Here’s a bit more about it from the seller:

20 gauge Gastinne Renette Sidelock Ejector Side-by-Side: 27 1/2″ bbls, Mod & Full, Like new original condition 5LB 15 OZ X 2 1/4 X 1 1/4 X 14 1/4. Price: $19,500.00

20 gauge Gastinne Renette Sidelock Ejector Side-by-Side
20 gauge Gastinne Renette Sidelock Ejector Side-by-Side
20 gauge Gastinne Renette Sidelock Ejector Side-by-Side
20 gauge Gastinne Renette Sidelock Ejector Side-by-Side

Shooting a rare Purdey double rifle…

Purdey .303 Double Barrel Underlever Rifle
Purdey .303 Double Barrel Underlever Rifle

Here’s an as-good-as-it-gets, best quality James Purdey & Sons double rife. Of the 30,000+ firearms that Purdey has made, fewer than 400 of them have been hammerless double rifles.

The one you see here is .303, snap-action underlever, made on a Beesley action and in excellent original condition.

Purdey .303 Double Barrel Underlever Rifle
Purdey .303 Double Barrel Underlever Rifle

 

Purdey .303 Double Barrel Underlever Rifle
Purdey .303 Double Barrel Underlever Rifle

Fantastic gun alert: an A.A. Brown & Sons sidelock 12 gauge…

A.A. Brown & Sons is not well known. Even though their Supreme de Luxe double barrel was just named one of the best British guns of the last 60 years, few people have heard of this gunmaker’s name.

A.A. Brown & Sons, 12g shotgun, matthewbrownphotography. c. 2012.
A.A. Brown & Sons, 12g shotgun, www.matthewbrown-photography.com. c. 2012.

This is understandable.  Since opening 1938, many of A.A. Brown & Sons’s double barrels have been made for the trade. Through the 1950s-1960s, side-by-sides “made” by firms like Holland & Holland and E. J. Churchill were manufactured in Birmingham by A.A. Brown & Sons. This Westley Richards sidelock was also made by by them.

Today, A.A. Brown & Sons makes best-quality side-by-sides under their own name. The Supreme de Luxe is their sidelock. It’s hand made to the highest quality and almost all the work is done in house. Only the raw bbl tubes and the engraving are farmed out. A.A. Brown & Sons even makes their own locks and does their own color case hardening.

Currently, the base price for new Supreme de Luxe is £38,000 (+ engraving) — expensive, but cheaper than the £62,500 that Holland & Holland wants for a new Royal. A.A. Brown & Sons builds just a few Supreme de Luxes a year and the wait list for them is long. So when a nice used one comes up, it’s usually sold before pictures of it can be taken.

A.A. Brown & Sons, 12g shotgun, matthewbrownphotography. c. 2012.
A.A. Brown & Sons, 12g shotgun, www.matthewbrown-photography.com c. 2012.

This nearly-new 12g was just available. It’s price —  £24,000 — is steep, but more than 50% below the price of a new one.

Images by Matthew Brown Photography, c. 2012

A.A. Brown & Sons, 12g shotgun, matthewbrownphotography. c. 2012.
A.A. Brown & Sons, 12g shotgun, www.matthewbrown-photography.com. c. 2012.

 

 

Top guns: Fine doubles on the market right now…

If you’ve have cash to spend, now’s a great time to be looking for a double barrel shotgun. There are more fine side-by-sides and over-unders on the market right now than ever before.

W.W. Greener 28 gauge sidelock double barrel shotgun
W.W. Greener 28 gauge sidelock double barrel shotgun

Of these, this W.W. Greener 28 gauge, best quality side by side is on of the very best.

Even though W.W. Greener built their reputation on boxlocks, they’ve always made top-quality sidelocks. This 28 gauge represents the new generation of those best-quality Greener shotguns.

It was made in the last 15 years by the gunmaking team of David Dryhurst and Richard Tandy. It’s right up there with the finest double barrels the company has ever produced. Right now, W.W. Greener has closed the books on new orders. So if you want one of these new sidelock, you’ll have to pick one up on the used market. To date, I’ve only seen two on the market: this 28 gauge and a 16 gauge with a Prince of Wales grip.

Details…

Best-quality guns are all about the little details – the shape of the drop points, the fit of the forend, the shaping of the fences, and the composition of the engraving.

At the Southern a few weeks ago, I saw an unusual gun that hit all these little things out of the park. It was a 12 gauge F. Thirifays double barrel shotgun. All I know about this double barrel is that it was made in Belgium, probably before WW2. It was in fantastic condition and beautiful.

Take a look for yourself. And check out the little details, especially on the stock. When you see sideviews of the action, check out that little nipple of wood poking into the metalwork. That’s how a master stockmaker shows off.

Who the heck was Guyot?

Shooting sportsman around the world know that there are a lot mysteries in the world of fine firearms, even today when the web makes information so easy to find. One of these mysteries is the gunmaker, or gunmakers, Guyot.

Over the years, I’ve come across a bunch of double barrel shotguns with the name Guyot on them. They have come in a variety of grades – from field-grade boxlocks to Best-quality sidelocks. All of them appear to have been from France and they have all been very well made.

Guyot, Arqer. A Paris, 18 Rue de Ponthieu

A few year ago, the gunsmith James Flynn wrote this article about a 16 gauge Guyot shotgun a customer had sent him. It originally appeared in Shooting Sportsman magazine. Here’s an image of gun, courtesy of Mr. Flynn:

James Flynn Guyot 16 gauge double-barrel shotgun

This guns looks to have been made in the 1880s. With a bar-in-wood-style action and a push-forward underlever, this is an unusual hammerless gun. These features were more popular on hammerguns, like on this Purdey from Steve Barnett Fine Guns, but almost never seen on hammerless models. The gun also has Whitworth fluid compressed steel bbls and it’s a non ejector. I suggest you read the whole article and check out the pics to learn just how interesting and well made this gun is.

Hey London, eat your heart out.

Here’s another Guyot sidelock, courtesy of Lewis Drake and Associates. This is a 12g, Best-quality game gun, marked N. Guyot, Paris. It was made in the 1930s and it’s in near new, original condition:

12g Guyot, Paris, sidelock shotgun


Description from Drake’s site:

“Guyot, Paris, best 12ga. lightweight sidelock game gun. Wt. 6 3/4 lbs. Stock dimensions: 14 1/2″x 1 5/8″x 2 3/4″x straight. Superb 28″ chopper lump steel barrels with 2 1/2″ chambers and mint bores (.726″/.726″), choked .011″/.020″, with good wall thickness (.030″/.033″), retain 100% of the original black finish. Nicely engraved action with ejectors, hidden 3rd. fastener, bushed firing pins, articulated front trigger, and automatic safety. Beautiful bar action sidelocks with intercepting safety sears are of the highest quality and, along with the action, retain 95% of the original hardening colors. Nicely figured straight grip stock with checkered butt and splinter forend retain virtually all the original finish.”

Nice, huh? Looks at how the forend iron matches up and fits into the action. I’ve seen Purdeys that aren’t as well made.

Here are more pics of this fabulous gun. As you can see, it’s a best quality – I would say on par with some of the finest guns made in the UK.

Here’s another N. Guyot, Paris, sidelock, pic courtesy of Safari Outfitters. I saw this gun at a show last winter and I thought it was a Purdey:

Another 12g Guyot, Paris, shotgun

It sure looks like Guyot was influenced by Purdey’s engraving pattern and overall style. The toplever is also Purdey-esque and the gun has chopperlump Whitworth-steel bbls — like a Purdey. Notice that the hinge pin screws in from the right-hand side on this one. On the Guyot above, it comes in from the left. Why? I don’t know. Also, the screw that fastens the lock to the action is blued on this gun. On the other one it’s color-case hardened. Again, I have no idea why.

Beautiful boxlocks, too.

Along with sidelocks, I’ve also come across some fantastic boxlocks by N. Guyot, Paris. Some of them have looked Belgian and reminded me of Francottes (I’ve heard of Guyots bearing just Belgian proof marks). Others have had their own look. Here’s a 16g, image courtesy Cabela’s Gun Library:

16g Guyot boxlock shotgun

As you can see, this N. Guyot boxlock is a top-quality shotgun. It features Sir Joseph Whitworth fluid-compressed steel bbls (very English), ejectors, a hinged front trigger, and it looks like it intercepting safety sears (these would keep the gun from firing if the hammers dropped without the triggers being pulled).

Those dimpled pin/screw heads are real Continental, too. I like how the action is filed up on the gun, especially the shoulders/double beads on the sides. Whoever made this gun put a lot of time and work into it. Just look at the metal-to-metal fit. Very well done.

And finally, here’s a pair of 16g Guyots, also courtesy of Steve Barnett Fine guns. These are sideplated boxlocks with exquisite, full coverage engraving. Again, these are very nice guns.
Pair of 16g Guyots


So what do we know?

Not much, really:

-A number of gun makers and gun retailers who traded under the Guyot name.

-They spanned a timeframe from the last 19th to the mid 20th century.

-They made some very nice guns.

-They may have had some guns made by Francotte or by other makers in the Belgian trade.

Here’s what I’ve found out about the gunmakers going by the name Guyot:

This listing of Guyots from a guide to Europeans who were involved in the gun trade

And that’s about it.

Do you know any more about them? Do you have one?

Contact me and we’ll talk.

Thanks

Gregg@Dogsanddoubles.com

%d bloggers like this: