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

Joseph Manton SxS Flintolock 22-bore
Joseph Manton SxS Flintolock 22-bore

Joseph Manton SxS Flintolock 22-bore: Incredibly rare 22-bore, double-barreled, flintlock Sporting Gun, initially completed in 1815 and cased complete with the original Manton parts for the field conversion to percussion ignition, ca. 1820.   Weight: 5 Lbs 12 oz.   Stock Dimensions:
14 5/8”x 1 1/8”x 2 1/8”x straight. Superb 30” rebrowned Damascus barrels with no dents or dings, excellent bores (.599”/.599”) and walls (both .060”-.033”).  Joseph Manton Patent, Platinum-lined, touch holes. Manton Patent Stepped-in, and Inverted, Breeches which allowed for faster ignition in addition to directing rainwater away from the pan and toward a rectangular drain hole in the center of the breech allowing the water to flow out a hole in the bottom of the trigger plate just in front of the trigger guard bow. The Manton Patent Elevated Top Rib is engraved, “Joseph Manton’s New Improvements by His Majesty’s Patent”. Absolutely peerless quality locks, also loaded with Manton Patented features;  Cocks, reinforced at the neck, Patent Hammers (frizzen’s), Gravitating Stops, with platinum-inlaid counterweights, to prevent the cock accidentally falling during loading with cocks inadvertently left at full cock.  In addition to all these features,  included with the gun are the parts and tools for rapid field conversion to percussion ignition (can be accomplished in under 2 minutes for each lock), likely added by Manton, ca. 1820. Locks tight and mechanically perfect in every way. Tang screw, side nail, both cock screws, and left frizzen replaced by LDA. The iron mounts are all nicely engraved in the pattern common to Joe Manton sporting guns of the late flintlock, 1815 -1817, era. The Figured Walnut stock has a repair to the head done by LDA and an old minor repair to the wood just forward of the finial on the trigger plate.  Overall,  the stock is in fine condition showing minimal wear and no abuse. The whole is cased in an ultra-rare original, two-tiered (for a pair of Manton double flintlock sporting guns), Joseph Manton case complete with all period accessories and a proper original Trade Label from the 1815-17 period listing many of the Manton Patent features found on the gun. This extraordinarily rare gun represents the ultimate development of the British flintlock sporting gun by, arguably, the greatest British Gun maker who ever lived, having all of the best innovations present and in working order on a single firearm by Joseph Manton. Overall, mechanically perfect and in fine condition throughout with traces of original finish. Price: $75,000

PURDEY - BEST DELUXE EXTRA FINISH, TWO BARREL SET , 12 GAUGE/12 GAUGE
PURDEY – BEST DELUXE EXTRA FINISH, TWO BARREL SET , 12 GAUGE/12 GAUGE

PURDEY – BEST DELUXE EXTRA FINISH, TWO BARREL SET, 12 GAUGE/12 GAUGE:
29″ BARRELS, M/F CHOKED – 29″ BARRELS, SK/IC CHOKED – DOUBLE TRIGGERS – HINGED FRONT TRIGGER – ORNAMENTAL ENGRAVING – 3 1/4 TON PROOF – BEAVERTAIL FOREND & SPLINTER FOREND – TURKISH WALNUT STRAIGHT GRIP STOCK – CHECKERED BUTT – SIDE CLIP – 3RD FASTENER – RAISED MATTED RIB – MAKER’S LEATHER MOTOR CASE INCLUDED 7 LBS. 11 OZ. 14 3/4″ X 1 3/8″ X 2 1/4″. Price: $49,500  

Beretta AS-20EL 20g OU Shotgun
Beretta AS-20EL 20g OU Shotgun

Beretta AS-20EL OVER UNDER SHOTGUN (S 22364): 27 1/2″ barrels.  Ic/mod.  Solid rib.  Double triggers. Long length of pull to a checkered butt.  Straight grip.  All the good stuff.  5 lbs. 11oz.  One small depression in the stock (see photo) otherwise about perfect. Price: $8450

Perazzi MX28 (S138143) OU SHOTGUN
Perazzi MX28 (S138143) OU SHOTGUN

Perazzi MX28 (S138143) OU SHOTGUN: 28 guage. Ejectors: Yes. Condition: Good. Barrels: 30”. Stock Comb: 1 3/8”. Stock Heel: 2 1/8”. Fore End: English. LOP: 14 5/8”. Weight: 5lb 8oz. Single selective trigger.  Perfect bores.  Really pretty wood.  Few knicks and scratches but a dandy little bird gun. Comes with Perazzi hard case. Chokes: Briley. Price: $7950

PARKER BROS. 20 GAUGE VH - 26" BARRELS CHOKED FULL/FULL - STRAIGHT STOCK - DOUBLE TRIGGERS- SPLINTER FOREND -DOGS HEAD BUTT -CASE COLORS 45%
PARKER BROS. 20 GAUGE VH – 26″ BARRELS CHOKED FULL/FULL – STRAIGHT STOCK – DOUBLE TRIGGERS- SPLINTER FOREND -DOGS HEAD BUTT -CASE COLORS 45%

PARKER BROS. 20 GAUGE VH – 26″ BARRELS CHOKED FULL/FULL – STRAIGHT STOCK – DOUBLE TRIGGERS- SPLINTER FOREND -DOGS HEAD BUTT -CASE COLORS 45%: BLUE 90 % & – TRIGGER GAURD PATINA – CHECKERING VERY GOOD – ACTION TIGHT WITH TOP LEVER RIGHT OF CENTER – BLANK INITIAL SHEILD -LOP 14″ – DAC 1 7/16″ X DAH 2 1/16″ –  WEIGHS 6 LBS. 2 OZS. – ALL ORIGINAL CONDITION. Price: $4,500

Rare, made even rarer: A unique Boss Round Body SxS …

Unique Boss & Co Round Body SxS Shotgun
Unique Boss & Co Round Body SxS Shotgun

Boss & Co Round Body side-by-sides are some of the rarest shotguns in the world. Introduced in 1893, the company has made fewer than 400 of them to date. Over the last 20 years, I’ve come across around a 1/4 of them. The one you see here is the most unique one I’ve seen: Boss & Co. Best Quality SLE 12 bore Rare Round Body

Unique Boss & Co Round Body SxS Shotgun
Unique Boss & Co Round Body SxS Shotgun

While it’s “round”, it still carries some shaping from a standard Boss SxS action. You can see this ahead of the locks and behind the hinge pins. This shaping also continues onto the bottom of the action.

Unique Boss & Co Round Body SxS Shotgun, showing the unusual bead field into the action
Unique Boss & Co Round Body SxS Shotgun, showing the unusual bead field into the action

Why is this extra shaping there? I’ve seen Belgian shotguns with similar rounded actions like this. Maybe the person who commissioned this gun saw guns like that, too, and asked Boss to make him a similar pair. Or maybe the person wanted a Boss Round Body with a personal spin?

Unique Boss & Co Round Body SxS Shotgun, showing the unusual bead field into the action

Of course, the Boss tradesman who filed up the action may have just finished the gun this way. Boss was a quirky gunmaker, and it’s not uncommon to see variations in their actions that make little sense — other than they may have pleased the man building the gun.

For reference, here’s a standard Boss Round Body:

Standard Boss Round Body SxS Sidelock Shotgun
Standard Boss Round Body SxS Sidelock Shotgun
Standard Boss Round Body SxS Sidelock Shotgun
Standard Boss Round Body SxS Sidelock Shotgun

Fantastic engraving by the master Keith Thomas …

P.V. NELSON BEST SIDELOCK SXS 20 GAUGE WITH EXTRA BARRELS
P.V. NELSON BEST SIDELOCK SXS 20 GAUGE WITH EXTRA BARRELS

Keith Thomas is one of the world’s top engravers. Check out the P.V. Nelson shotgun you see here to see why Thomas’s rose & scroll patterns are considered to be some of the finest ever cut.

P.V. NELSON BEST SIDELOCK SXS 20 GAUGE WITH EXTRA BARRELS
P.V. NELSON BEST SIDELOCK SXS 20 GAUGE WITH EXTRA BARRELS

Thomas began his engraving career in 1964 as an apprentice with Holland & Holland. In 1975, he went out on his own and since then he engraved guns for most of the world’s top gunmakers, including Boss & Co, W. W. Greener, Hartmann & Weiss, and A. A. Brown.

You can see more of Keith Thomas’s work here

P.V. NELSON BEST SIDELOCK SXS 20 GAUGE WITH EXTRA BARRELS
P.V. NELSON BEST SIDELOCK SXS 20 GAUGE WITH EXTRA BARRELS
P.V. NELSON BEST SIDELOCK SXS 20 GAUGE WITH EXTRA BARRELS
P.V. NELSON BEST SIDELOCK SXS 20 GAUGE WITH EXTRA BARRELS
P.V. NELSON BEST SIDELOCK SXS 20 GAUGE WITH EXTRA BARRELS
P.V. NELSON BEST SIDELOCK SXS 20 GAUGE WITH EXTRA BARRELS

Auction alert: A new 12g Holloway & Naughton best-quality sidelock SxS …

This nearly-new 12g sidelock shotgun is coming up in Poulin Auctions Spring 2019 sale, which starts 3/30. It’s a best-quality, British gun made around 1994, and it’s built on a Beesley action, just like a Purdey. Watch the video above to learn more about it.

LOT 1045, POULIN AUCTIONS SPRING 2019 SALE: MAGNIFICENT HOLLOWAY & NAUGHTON BEST CASED TWO BARREL SET SIDELOCK SXS SHOTGUN:
LOT 1045, POULIN AUCTIONS SPRING 2019 SALE: MAGNIFICENT HOLLOWAY & NAUGHTON BEST CASED TWO BARREL SET SIDELOCK SXS SHOTGUN:

LOT 1045: MAGNIFICENT HOLLOWAY & NAUGHTON BEST CASED TWO BARREL SET SIDELOCK SXS SHOTGUN: Both sets of bbls. are 12 Ga. w/ 2 3/4″ chambers. S# H&N 12-94. Bbl. 1) Length: 30″. Choke constrictions: .011″ right, & .021″ left. Bbl. 2) Length: 28″. Choke constrictions: .011″ right, .020″ left. A true Best Quality gun, this H&N is stocked to the fences with drop points. The firing pins are bushed. Exquisite Delahaut bouquet & scroll engraving decorates all of the action metal with carbona blue pins. A banner “HOLLOWAY & NAUGHTON” in gold with gold stripe cocking indicators provides a dramatic contrast against the elegant case colors. As the gun was made in 2006, it wears the vivid colors that made Ray St. Ledger a legend in the English gun trade.

LOT 1045, POULIN AUCTIONS SPRING 2019 SALE: MAGNIFICENT HOLLOWAY & NAUGHTON BEST CASED TWO BARREL SET SIDELOCK SXS SHOTGUN:
LOT 1045, POULIN AUCTIONS SPRING 2019 SALE: MAGNIFICENT HOLLOWAY & NAUGHTON BEST CASED TWO BARREL SET SIDELOCK SXS SHOTGUN:

Barrels are struck to perfection & finished with luscious rich blue that appears inches deep. No less impressive than the metal, mother nature’s most elegant marble cake walnut highlights the stock & forend. Smoky figure abounds throughout the auburn backgrounds with perfect layout for a gun of this quality. Both bbl. sets feature file cut concave game ribs with brass front beads. Both bbls. use the same forend. Both bbl. sets are chopper lump bbl. construction. Checkered walnut straight hand stock with checkered butt. Checkered splinter forend. Double triggers with front trigger articulated. Purdey style self opening action. Toeline of stock features nameplate marked “RDP”. DAC: 1 1/2″. DAH: 2 3/8″. LOP: 14 5/8″. Weight: 6.95 lbs. with 28″ barrels & 7.05 lbs. with 30″ barrels. UNATTACHED ACCESSORIES: maker’s very compact 2 barrel case replete with “Holloway & Naughton” marked nickel plated oil bottle & snap caps. The body of the snap caps & fitted turn screws feature off white synthetic bodies. Ebony & brass 2 piece cleaning rod. Key is included. CONDITION: all aspects near excellent with 28″ barrel set (left barrel) showing faint thinning of blue for the last 1/2″ to the muzzle. PROVENANCE: From the Robert Pettus Collection. ESTIMATE: $40,000-60,000.

LOT 1045, POULIN AUCTIONS SPRING 2019 SALE: MAGNIFICENT HOLLOWAY & NAUGHTON BEST CASED TWO BARREL SET SIDELOCK SXS SHOTGUN:
LOT 1045, POULIN AUCTIONS SPRING 2019 SALE: MAGNIFICENT HOLLOWAY & NAUGHTON BEST CASED TWO BARREL SET SIDELOCK SXS SHOTGUN:
LOT 1045, POULIN AUCTIONS SPRING 2019 SALE: MAGNIFICENT HOLLOWAY & NAUGHTON BEST CASED TWO BARREL SET SIDELOCK SXS SHOTGUN:
LOT 1045, POULIN AUCTIONS SPRING 2019 SALE: MAGNIFICENT HOLLOWAY & NAUGHTON BEST CASED TWO BARREL SET SIDELOCK SXS SHOTGUN:

“A Striking Innovation in Modern Gunnery”!

Super rare Boss & Co "O.U. Gun" catalog, 1920s
Super rare Boss & Co “O.U. Gun” catalog, 1930s

Not all revolutions happen quickly. Some, like the way over-under shotguns overcame SxSs to dominate the world of doubles, took decades to happen.

In many ways, the over-under revolution began in 1909. That’s when Boss & Co introduced its OU. While Boss & Co didn’t invent these shotguns, they did perfect it.

Firearms with stacked barrels have been around for hundreds of years, and Merkel started building breechloading, centerfire OUs in the 1890s. But Boss was the first gunmaker to build an OU with the sleek looks and a dynamic feel that could compete with best-quality British side-by-sides.

To date, Boss has built 500+ OUs. It’s not that hard to find them on the used market. That is not the case with the Boss OU catalog you see here. This is the only copy of this 1930s-era catalog I’ve seen in two decades.

Check it out for a unique glimpse into how Boss sold their OU shotguns back in the day.

BTW: If you have one of these catalogs or any other Boss catalogs/promotional materials (or shotguns) you would like to sell, please drop me an email at gregg@dogsanddoubles.com

Super rare Boss & Co "O.U. Gun" catalog, 1930s
Super rare Boss & Co “O.U. Gun” catalog, 1930s
Super rare Boss & Co "O.U. Gun" catalog, 1930s
Super rare Boss & Co “O.U. Gun” catalog, 1930s
Super rare Boss & Co "O.U. Gun" catalog, 1930s
Super rare Boss & Co “O.U. Gun” catalog, 1930s
Super rare Boss & Co "O.U. Gun" catalog, 1930s
Super rare Boss & Co “O.U. Gun” catalog, 1930s
Super rare Boss & Co "O.U. Gun" catalog, 1930s
Super rare Boss & Co “O.U. Gun” catalog, 1930s
Super rare Boss & Co "O.U. Gun" catalog, 1930s
Super rare Boss & Co “O.U. Gun” catalog, 1930s

Super rare Boss & Co "O.U. Gun" catalog, 1930s

Super rare Boss & Co "O.U. Gun" catalog, 1930s
Super rare Boss & Co “O.U. Gun” catalog, 1930s
Super rare Boss & Co "O.U. Gun" catalog, 1930s
Super rare Boss & Co “O.U. Gun” catalog, 1930s
Super rare Boss & Co "O.U. Gun" catalog, 1930s
Super rare Boss & Co “O.U. Gun” catalog, 1930s
Super rare Boss & Co "O.U. Gun" catalog, 1930s
Super rare Boss & Co “O.U. Gun” catalog, 1920s
Super rare Boss & Co "O.U. Gun" catalog, 1930s
Super rare Boss & Co “O.U. Gun” catalog, 1930s
Super rare Boss & Co "O.U. Gun" catalog, 1930s
Super rare Boss & Co “O.U. Gun” catalog, 1920s
Super rare Boss & Co "O.U. Gun" catalog, 1930s
Super rare Boss & Co “O.U. Gun” catalog, 1930s
Super rare Boss & Co "O.U. Gun" catalog, 1930s
Super rare Boss & Co “O.U. Gun” catalog, 1930s
Super rare Boss & Co "O.U. Gun" catalog, 1930s
Super rare Boss & Co “O.U. Gun” catalog, 1930s
Super rare Boss & Co "O.U. Gun" catalog, 1930s
Super rare Boss & Co “O.U. Gun” catalog, 1930s
Super rare Boss & Co "O.U. Gun" catalog, 1930s
Super rare Boss & Co “O.U. Gun” catalog, 1930s

 

The very best: 28 gauge Hartmann & Weiss over under shotgun …

HARTMAN & WEISS BEST BOSS STYLE OVER UNDER 28 GAUGE
HARTMAN & WEISS BEST BOSS STYLE OVER UNDER 28 GAUGE

Back in the 1950s, Otto Weiss was a young gunmaker working at W. Glaser in Zurich. He had grown up in the guntrade, and by the time he was in Switzerland, he had already worked for two of Germany’s most famous firms: Ernst Thälmann Werke and Merkel. So he knew a bit about shotguns.

At Glaser, he had an experience which changed his life. “When I was in Switzerland and came across some high-quality English guns, I thought ‘this is what I have to do’.” Fulfilling this ambition took him to London where he worked for Purdeys and then back to Germany where he met fellow gunmaker Gerhard Hartmann. Together, they formed — Hartmann & Weiss.

Today, many people believe Hartmann & Weiss is the finest gunmaker in the world. The over-under you see here is a good reason why. Built on Boss designs (with some improvements from H&W) and engraved by Ralph Bone, it’s about as perfect a shotgun as I’ve seen.

HARTMAN & WEISS BEST BOSS STYLE OVER UNDER 28 GAUGE
HARTMAN & WEISS BEST BOSS STYLE OVER UNDER 28 GAUGE

Check out these posts to see more pics of stunning Hartmann & Weiss OUs: It’s 1905 all over again & A HARTMANN & WEISS 20g Over and Under Engraved by Alan Brown &  The English and German Gunmakers. Hartmann & Weiss and Boss & Co.

HARTMAN & WEISS BEST BOSS STYLE OVER UNDER 28 GAUGEI THINK THAT THERE ARE ONLY 4 OR 5 OF THESE IN EXISTENCE. ENGRAVED IN THE KELTIC STYLE BY THE LATE RALPH BONE 27″ BARRELS WITH A SOLID RIB  IC AND MOD 2 3/4 SINGLE TRIGGER EJECTORS BOSS STYLE FOREARM ENGLISH GRIP CHECKERED BUTT NEW UNFIRED IN MAKERS CASE 5LBS 6 OZ X 2″ X 1 9/16″ X 14 1/4″ LOP. Price: $199,500

HARTMAN & WEISS BEST BOSS STYLE OVER UNDER 28 GAUGE
HARTMAN & WEISS BEST BOSS STYLE OVER UNDER 28 GAUGE
HARTMAN & WEISS BEST BOSS STYLE OVER UNDER 28 GAUGE
HARTMAN & WEISS BEST BOSS STYLE OVER UNDER 28 GAUGE
HARTMAN & WEISS BEST BOSS STYLE OVER UNDER 28 GAUGE
HARTMAN & WEISS BEST BOSS STYLE OVER UNDER 28 GAUGE
HARTMAN & WEISS BEST BOSS STYLE OVER UNDER 28 GAUGE
HARTMAN & WEISS BEST BOSS STYLE OVER UNDER 28 GAUGE
HARTMAN & WEISS BEST BOSS STYLE OVER UNDER 28 GAUGE
HARTMAN & WEISS BEST BOSS STYLE OVER UNDER 28 GAUGE

Greener on the outside, Boss on the inside…

W.W. GREENER PREMIER SIDELOCK SXS DOUBLE BARREL 16 GAUGE SHOTGUN
W.W. GREENER PREMIER SIDELOCK SXS DOUBLE BARREL 16 GAUGE SHOTGUN

I’m pretty sure I’ve gushed about this gorgeous gun before. It’s a 16 gauge W.W. Greener side-by-side, built in 2005 by Richard Tandy and David Dryhurst.

W.W. Greener is one of the world’s most famous gunmakers. Founded in 1829 by William Greener, the company played a key role in the evolution of fine sporting arms. With SxSs like this G70 Imperial and this FH70, they proved themselves to be innovators and brilliant gunmakers.

W.W. GREENER PREMIER SIDELOCK SXS DOUBLE BARREL 16 GAUGE SHOTGUN
W.W. GREENER PREMIER SIDELOCK SXS DOUBLE BARREL 16 GAUGE SHOTGUN

Like most British gunmakers, W.W. Greener went through hard times in the ’60s and ’70s. In 1985, the company was bought out by a team which included Graham Greener (W.W. Greener’s great grandson) and two of the world’s top finest gun makers: David Dryhurst and Richard Tandy,

Dryhurst and Tandy have been building shotguns and double rifles under the W.W. Greener name ever since. The one you see here was made in 2005, and it’s of the finest side-by-sides on the market today. While it says W.W. Greener on the outside, the lockwork, ejectorwork, self-opening system and some other aspects of it are all Boss.

W.W. GREENER PREMIER SIDELOCK SXS DOUBLE BARREL 16 GAUGE SHOTGUN
W.W. GREENER PREMIER SIDELOCK SXS DOUBLE BARREL 16 GAUGE SHOTGUN

Boss & Co is another one of the world’s oldest and best gunmakers. In 1891, the firm was acquired by John Robertson. With a mind for innovation, an eye for aesthetics, and a whole lot of guts, Robertson revitalized Boss & Co and pushed it to the forefront of London’s gunmakers. The fact that two of today’s top gunmakers choose his designs as the basis for one of their shotguns is a testament to Robertson and Boss & Co’s brilliance.

W.W. GREENER PREMIER SIDELOCK SXS DOUBLE BARREL 16 GAUGE SHOTGUN
W.W. GREENER PREMIER SIDELOCK SXS DOUBLE BARREL 16 GAUGE SHOTGUN

W.W. GREENER PREMIER SXS 16 GAUGEENGRAVED BY TALLET AND COGGAN  MADE 2005 29″ BARRELS SELF OPENING 006 AND 011 2 3/4 EVERYTHING INTERNALLY ON THIS GUN IS A BOSS DOUBLE TRIGGER EJECTORS SPLINTER FOREARM PISTOL GRIP AS NEW IN MAKERS OAK AND LEATHER CASE 6LBS 5 OZ X 2 7/16 X 1 9/16 X 14 9/16 LOADS OF CORRESPONDANCE BETWEEN THE BUYER AND DAVID DRYHURST. PRICE: $89,500

W.W. GREENER PREMIER SIDELOCK SXS DOUBLE BARREL 16 GAUGE SHOTGUN
W.W. GREENER PREMIER SIDELOCK SXS DOUBLE BARREL 16 GAUGE SHOTGUN
W.W. GREENER PREMIER SIDELOCK SXS DOUBLE BARREL 16 GAUGE SHOTGUN
W.W. GREENER PREMIER SIDELOCK SXS DOUBLE BARREL 16 GAUGE SHOTGUN
W.W. GREENER PREMIER SIDELOCK SXS DOUBLE BARREL 16 GAUGE SHOTGUN
W.W. GREENER PREMIER SIDELOCK SXS DOUBLE BARREL 16 GAUGE SHOTGUN
W.W. GREENER PREMIER SIDELOCK SXS DOUBLE BARREL 16 GAUGE SHOTGUN
W.W. GREENER PREMIER SIDELOCK SXS DOUBLE BARREL 16 GAUGE SHOTGUN
W.W. GREENER PREMIER SIDELOCK SXS DOUBLE BARREL 16 GAUGE SHOTGUN
W.W. GREENER PREMIER SIDELOCK SXS DOUBLE BARREL 16 GAUGE SHOTGUN
W.W. GREENER PREMIER SIDELOCK SXS DOUBLE BARREL 16 GAUGE SHOTGUN
W.W. GREENER PREMIER SIDELOCK SXS DOUBLE BARREL 16 GAUGE SHOTGUN
W.W. GREENER PREMIER SIDELOCK SXS DOUBLE BARREL 16 GAUGE SHOTGUN
W.W. GREENER PREMIER SIDELOCK SXS DOUBLE BARREL 16 GAUGE SHOTGUN

More pics of that great 10 gauge James Purdey hammergun…

James Purdey 10 Bore SxS Hammer Gun
James Purdey 10 Bore SxS Hammer Gun

There are a lot of Purdeys on the market today. Some are worked over, some are worn out  and some are overpriced. A lot are of them are all three, and that’s why so many of these guns have been looking for buyers for so long. But every now and then a real legit Purdey pops up. When it does, it usually sells right away.

This is one of these nicest vintage Purdeys I’ve seen in a while. It has condition and it was reasonably price. That’s why it sold in fewer than 12 hours.

James Purdey 10 Bore SxS Hammer Gun
James Purdey 10 Bore SxS Hammer Gun

From what I can tell, this gun was made in the late 1860s, early 1870s. Westley Richards invented the toplever in the 1862 and James Purdey patented their underbolt in 1863. The Scott spindle used to connect the two was patented in 1865. The gun you see here uses all three, so it has to be post 1865.

James Purdey 10 Bore SxS Hammer Gun
James Purdey 10 Bore SxS Hammer Gun

This gun also has a keyed forend, a feature from the percussion era that Purdey stop using when they switched to the Anson-patent forend release (introduced in 1872), and bar-action locks, which Purdey was just switching to as it developed a more modern look for its guns. One thing it’s missing is drop-points. This is pretty common on earlier Purdey. The sideclips are interesting. You don’t see side clips on a hammergun, and this has to be one of the first doubles Purdey used them on.

James Purdey 10 Bore SxS Hammer Gun
James Purdey 10 Bore SxS Hammer Gun

James Purdey 10 Bore SxS Hammer Gun: Rare light weight (8 pound) hammer game gun. Outstanding all original condition with very nice wood and good amount of case cloring remaining. Excellent 31 inch fine damascus barrels.Rare side clips and top lever. Very nice engraving and checkering.Proper 2 5/8 inch chambers with open chokes. Throws outstanding patterns and feels like a 12 bore. Excellent shootable dimensions and 14.5 inch LOP. Very little lifetime use and overall excellent condition.

James Purdey 10 Bore SxS Hammer Gun
James Purdey 10 Bore SxS Hammer Gun

Fabulous gun alert: A 12g SxS by Ogden Smiths & Hussey…

Ogden Smiths & Hussey Imperial Ejector SxS Shotgun
Ogden Smiths & Hussey Imperial Ejector SxS Shotgun

In a the world of fine shotguns, “Best-gun” seems like a phrase with a pretty obvious definition: The very best shotgun a manufacturer can make. But because these were hand made by different people at different time periods, each one is a bit different. That means some bests are best-er than others.

Ogden Smiths used to be a fishing tackle company in London. In 1923, Walter Sydney Ogden Smith of the Ogden Smith family joined with the gunmaker Henry H. Hussey (son of gunmaker H.J. Hussey’s) to sell guns under the name Ogden Smiths & Hussey, Limited. This partnership lasted until 1933 and produced shotguns and rifles of different styles and qualities, including single-barrel trap guns like this and the best-quality, SxS, Imperial you see here.

Ogden Smiths & Hussey Imperial Ejector SxS Shotgun
Ogden Smiths & Hussey Imperial Ejector SxS Shotgun

The Hussey family Imperial grade sidelock shotguns since old man H.J. started his own operations after being fired from Lang & Hussey in 1898 (in fact, Lang & Hussey’s finest gun was also called the Imperial). Today, these Imperials pop up on the market on a regular basis. They’re nice guns, but none of the I’ve seen have been anywhere near as nice as this one. In fact, it’s this is the best Hussey Imperial I’ve ever seen.

Ogden Smiths & Hussey Imperial Ejector SxS Shotgun
Ogden Smiths & Hussey Imperial Ejector SxS Shotgun

On this one, the engraving on the fences and action, as well as the overall finish on all the metalwork, is a step above any of the others I’ve come across. With it’s high stock, long chambers, tight chokes, heavy proof, and wide, file-cut rib, it sure looks like it was made for live-pigeon shooting. Sure, the buttstock is a bit plain. But it is original and I bet the maker used the blank because of the strength of its straight grain. I’d be looking at the rest of the gun and never notice it.

Ogden Smiths & Hussey Imperial Ejector SxS Shotgun
Ogden Smiths & Hussey Imperial Ejector SxS Shotgun

Ogden Smiths & Hussey Imperial Ejector SxS Shotgun: A fabulous quality and condition pre-war 12 bore double trigger gun retaining nearly all of its original color 90% plus, and a London black. Gold line cocking indicators, exquisite very fine rose and scroll engraving with carved fences. The 30 inch Whitworth steel barrels with a pigeon rib, have the original 3 inch chambers with 1 3/8 ounce proof, choked full and full. The stock measures 14 1/2 to a checkered horn plate with a drop of 1 1/2 by 2 1/8. The gun weight is 7lbs. 7 oz. Articulated front trigger and the guard has 80% of it’s charcoal blue. Locking screws on the first guard and ejector stop screw. Blank gold oval. This gun is as good as it gets from a best maker. Price: $18,500

Ogden Smiths & Hussey Imperial Ejector SxS Shotgun
Ogden Smiths & Hussey Imperial Ejector SxS Shotgun
Ogden Smiths & Hussey Imperial Ejector SxS Shotgun
Ogden Smiths & Hussey Imperial Ejector SxS Shotgun

As good as it gets: 12g Boss SxS from 1931…

BOSS & CO SxS 1931- A BEST GUN from the BEST ERA by a BEST MAKER- SUPERB ORIG & CORRECT GOLDEN ERA- 85% ORIG CASE COLORS- DELUXE WOOD- 12 BORE
BOSS & CO SxS 1931- A BEST GUN from the BEST ERA by a BEST MAKER- SUPERB ORIG & CORRECT GOLDEN ERA- 85% ORIG CASE COLORS- DELUXE WOOD- 12 BORE
BOSS & CO SxS 1931- A BEST GUN from the BEST ERA by a BEST MAKER- SUPERB ORIG & CORRECT GOLDEN ERA- 85% ORIG CASE COLORS- DELUXE WOOD- 12 BORE
BOSS & CO SxS 1931- A BEST GUN from the BEST ERA by a BEST MAKER- SUPERB ORIG & CORRECT GOLDEN ERA- 85% ORIG CASE COLORS- DELUXE WOOD- 12 BORE
BOSS & CO SxS 1931- A BEST GUN from the BEST ERA by a BEST MAKER- SUPERB ORIG & CORRECT GOLDEN ERA- 85% ORIG CASE COLORS- DELUXE WOOD- 12 BORE
BOSS & CO SxS 1931- A BEST GUN from the BEST ERA by a BEST MAKER- SUPERB ORIG & CORRECT GOLDEN ERA- 85% ORIG CASE COLORS- DELUXE WOOD- 12 BORE
BOSS & CO SxS 1931- A BEST GUN from the BEST ERA by a BEST MAKER- SUPERB ORIG & CORRECT GOLDEN ERA- 85% ORIG CASE COLORS- DELUXE WOOD- 12 BORE
BOSS & CO SxS 1931- A BEST GUN from the BEST ERA by a BEST MAKER- SUPERB ORIG & CORRECT GOLDEN ERA- 85% ORIG CASE COLORS- DELUXE WOOD- 12 BORE
BOSS & CO SxS 1931- A BEST GUN from the BEST ERA by a BEST MAKER- SUPERB ORIG & CORRECT GOLDEN ERA- 85% ORIG CASE COLORS- DELUXE WOOD- 12 BORE
BOSS & CO SxS 1931- A BEST GUN from the BEST ERA by a BEST MAKER- SUPERB ORIG & CORRECT GOLDEN ERA- 85% ORIG CASE COLORS- DELUXE WOOD- 12 BORE

Here’s a gun that gets my heart pumping.

Boss & Co made some of the finest shotguns the world has ever seen, and the one you see here is a great example of what makes them so special. If you study it closely, you’ll notice how big and bulbous the fences are. You’ll also see how the tails of the locks are more rounded, too, and the stock is super straight through the hand. Then there are the beads that runs up and around the fences. They’re quite crisp and defined.

These are all parts of Boss’s house style, and they’re the subtle differences that set these guns apart from Holland & Hollands, Purdeys, and other Best-quality doubles.

This gun also has the refinements Boss introduced into its SxSs in the mid-to-late 1920s — disc-set strikers, pins in the fences to secure the strikers — as well as the streamlined engraving pattern the company also switched to at that time. Overall, it’s a stunning side-by-side and reminder of just how nice vintage Boss & Co shotgns can be.

BTW: Santa, throw this one on my list. You know I deserve it.

BOSS & CO SxS 1931- A BEST GUN from the BEST ERA by a BEST MAKER- SUPERB ORIG & CORRECT GOLDEN ERA- 85% ORIG CASE COLORS- DELUXE WOOD- 12 BORE: #7904, Boss & Co., 41 Albemarle Street. Piccadilly. London. W.: A 1931 – 12 Bore Sidelock Ejector That Remains Totally Original and Correct Plus it Remains in Superb Condition. This outstanding piece was made for Mr. Jas. T. McMillan from Detroit, Michigan and ordered January 19, 1931. He was the second President of Packard Motor Co. It was ordered exactly as follows; 26″ Chopper Lump barrels at the correct and original bore size and original chokes at .730 .008 & .019 (Imp.Cyl. & Mod.), Original 2 3/4″ chambers, London proved at 1 1/4 ounce with 2 3/4″ chambers, Bushed strikers, The famous John Robertson Boss patent single non-selective trigger, Splinter forend, Straight hand stock at 14 9/16 x 1 3/8 x 2 1/8″ over a checkered butt, Very slight cast-off for the right hand, Rolled trigger guard edge for the right hand, Dead-up 6 lbs. even, 95% coverage of very fine rose & scroll engraving by Mr. Jack G. Sumner, The barrel striking is perfect, It retains 98% barrel blue, It retains 85% bright & vivid original case colors, Deluxe wood with outstanding color & contrast with deep black & brown color, The original oil finish remains at 92% with light handling marks only, The trigger guard & tang retain 90% original blue, The screw heads remain at 99%, The whole is cased in the original maker’s leather trunk with the correct & proper trade labels, Boss marked snap caps & oil bottle, All cleaning gear, Original spare strikers in their leather pouch, The case is in the same condition as the gun with a full protective cover. This piece comes from the Golden Era of Best English guns with most of the Robertson family influence still in place. It was crafted with their full staff of Gunmakers as it is one of 112 sporting pieces built in 1931. In 1934 they laid off 7 Gunmakers and about 50 guns were made, the great depression was taking a toll. Here is the embodiment of 1931 Best Quality, original condition, correct bore size & chokes, 2 3/4″, great weight, deluxe wood, Boss single trigger and it comes to the hand with ease, style and grace. A true Best Gun from a Best Gunmaker made in the Best years for the modern game gun. This is special stuff here.

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

JOHN RIGBY BEST PRE WAR SXS DOUBLE RIFLE 22 HI POWER
JOHN RIGBY BEST PRE WAR SXS DOUBLE RIFLE 22 HI POWER

JOHN RIGBY BEST PRE WAR SXS DOUBLE RIFLE 22 HI POWERSIDELOCK EJECTOR 24″ BARRELS WITH 1/4 RIB ONE STANDING SIGHT GREAT BORES DOUBLE TRIGGER PISTOL GRIP SPLINTER FOREARM EXCELLENT PLUS CONDITION MAKERS CASE WITH ACCESORIES 7LB 6 OZ X 14 7/8″. Price: $69,500

HOFFMAN ARMS CO. SIDE-BY-SIDE DOUBLE RIFLE
HOFFMAN ARMS CO. SIDE-BY-SIDE DOUBLE RIFLE

HOFFMAN ARMS CO. SIDE-BY-SIDE DOUBLE RIFLE10.75x68mm Mauser caliber (similar to .404 Jeffery).   26″ barrels with automatic ejectors and raised quarter rib with four leaf folding express sights.  The frame and barrels were supplied by Sempert & Krieghoff in 1929 to the Hoffman Arms Co.   It was stocked,  and finished by Seymour Griffin formerly of Griffin & Howe.  The receiver although unsigned appears to be beautifully engraved by Rudolph Kornbraith and has  “HOFFMAN ARMS CO”  in a banner on each side.  Checkered forend and pistol grip buttstock with engraved grip cap and ending with a hard rubber pad.  Condition is very high retaining considerable barrel blue, excellent casehardened finish on the receiver and triggerguard.  Super wood and checkering.  Beautiful mint bores.  Weight: 9lbs 6oz.  LOP: 14 1/8″   Comb: 1 1/2″  Heel: 2 1/4″.   This rifle is very accurate and with the proper load and  bullet will handle most anything. Price: $24,950

BERETTA - RARE - ASE - 20ga - 26" - Vent Rib - Single Trigger - Prince of Whales - 1959 Hand Built Quality
BERETTA – RARE – ASE – 20ga – 26″ – Vent Rib – Single Trigger – Prince of Whales – 1959 Hand Built Quality

BERETTA – RARE – ASE – 20ga – 26″ – Vent Rib – Single Trigger – Prince of Whales – 1959 Hand Built Quality: IC / IM (.009 / .020), Tapered Field Style Vent Rib, Ejectors, Single Trigger, Prince of Whales Round Knob Grip, LOP 14-3/8″, Drop 1-1/4″ to 2-1/8″, Cast Off for the Right Hand, Weight 5 lbs. 8 oz. Appears to be all original and overall Excellent Condition. Clearly hasn’t been used hard. Price: $5,150

  • Barrels – about perfect condition.
  • Bores – as new and measure exactly as they left the factory in 1959.
  • Forearm – excellent plus.
  • Receiver and Trigger Guard – excellent plus.
  • Butt Stock – original, but some finish issues. No cracks or repairs. New laquer fixes any problems with the Butt Stock. The butt plate has shrunk. I’ve seen this on Beretta shotguns from this era before.
WILLIAM R. PAPE ISLAND SIDELOCK 12GA HAMMERGUN
WILLIAM R. PAPE ISLAND SIDELOCK 12GA HAMMERGUN

WILLIAM R. PAPE ISLAND SIDELOCK 12GA HAMMERGUN: WITH RARE LEVER RELEASE, BEAUTIFUL TIGHT ENGLISH SCROLL ENGRAVING WITH TRACES OF CASE COLORS, 29″ FINE DAMASCUS BBLS WITH DOLLSHEAD, 2 3/4″ NITRO PROOF, 850 BAR, MIN WALLS, 28 THOU PLUS, CHOKED IC/FULL, STANDARD GAME RIB, EXTRACTORS, DBL TRIGGERS, HIGHLY FIGURED ENGLISH WALNUT WITH ENGRAVED TOE & HEEL PLATES, LOP 14 1/2, 1 3/8, 1 13/16, 6LBS 7OZ, BERY FINE ORIGINAL CONDITION, EXCELLENT BORE, TIGHT ON FACE!  Price: $4,295

CHARLES DALY MODEL 500 20GA SxS BY MIROKU
CHARLES DALY MODEL 500 20GA SxS BY MIROKU

CHARLES DALY MODEL 500 20GA SxS BY MIROKU: The nicest Model 500 I have seen. Very few minor imperfections in wood and metal. Close to new. 28in barrels have had the chokes opened to IC and MOD . Price: $1200
Manufacturer: Miroku
Model: Charles Daly Model 500
Bore: 20 GA
Chambers: 3IN
Condition: Close to New
Barrels: 28IN
Triggers: 2
Stock Comb: 1 1/2IN
Stock Heel: 2 9/16IN
LOP: 14 1/4
Weight: 6.6 lbs

 

 

A dream almost comes true …

12g W. & C. Scott Premier hammergun, bar in wood
12g W. & C. Scott Premier hammergun, bar in wood

I love old W. & C. Scotts, especially Premiers. They’re one of the apexes of gunmaking, and in their day, they were one of the finest guns made (and extremely expensive). Scott sold a lot of them to American shooters, and most of the ones you see on the market today are hammerless models like this one, and, occasionally, bar-action hammerguns like this.

But here’s a W & C Scott Premier hammergun unlike any others I’ve ever seen. It’s a 12g Premier hammergun built on a bar-in-wood style action. A few years ago, a dealer called Mid South advertised one of these. I wonder if it’s the same gun? Actually, I hope it’s not.

12g W. & C. Scott Premier hammergun, bar in wood
12g W. & C. Scott Premier hammergun, bar in wood

On this one, some knucklehead F-up the bbls. They’re cut, and the chambers have been lengthened. Other than that, it’s a stunning shotgun, and it looks like it’s in great shape. When I first saw it, I was on the phone right away. I had 1/2 the dealer’s number punched in before I read the part about the barrels. Then I hung up. That kind of shit is a deal killer for me.

BTW: A gunsmith friend of mine told me that a lot of the English bar-in-wood shotguns he has seen came out of the same shop in Birmingham – at least in the early stages. This includes bar-in-woods with famous names like James Purdey on them.

This guns looks like the some of the Purdey bar-in-woods I’ve seen. I wonder if it originated in this same place.

12g W. & C. Scott Premier hammergun, bar in wood
12g W. & C. Scott Premier hammergun, bar in wood

A beautiful pair of Boss .410 SxS shotguns …

BOSS & Co. BEST PAIR SXS 410 SHOTGUNS
BOSS & Co. BEST PAIR SXS 410 SHOTGUNS

A Boss is beauty. Side-by-side and over-unders by this maker can be stunning, and the nicest Bosses are some of the finest shotguns ever built in London, the UK, and the world.

The pair of Boss & Co. SxSs  you see here is near this top — especially for modern guns. They’re .410s, and they were made in 2002/2003.

Notice how Boss put a nice black on the triggerguard, toplever, and forend iron? That’s the classic British way to finish these parts (sometimes the forend iron was color-case hardened). Unfortunately, not every maker does this today. Some are color-case hardening all these parts. This is a shame.

BOSS & Co. BEST PAIR SXS 410 SHOTGUNS
BOSS & Co. BEST PAIR SXS 410 SHOTGUNS

Another thing I like about these guns is the nitre-blue finish on the safety, the toplever pin, the hinge-pin cap, the pin at the front of the triggerplate, and the one securing the metalwork in the forend. Some of these details are signature elements of Boss’s house style, and it’s good to see the company was holding themselves to those standards when they built these SxSs.  Again, not every British maker does that anymore.

Scaling a sidelock down to a .410 is hard to do. Some parts — like mainsprings and the ejector work — can only get so small before they fail to work. Others parts have to be a certain size to be functional (that’s why the triggers and the triggerguard bows on these look a little big). These factors can distort the gun’s proportions and throw off the lines of the entire shotgun.

I don’t think that’s the case with these guns. They look perfectly proportioned and as nice as a 12g Boss.

BOSS & Co. BEST PAIR SXS 410 SHOTGUNS
BOSS & Co. BEST PAIR SXS 410 SHOTGUNS

BOSS & Co. BEST PAIR SXS 410 SHOTGUNSPROOFED 2003  THESE ARE THE SMALLEST FRAME GUNS BOSS EVER MADE AND STATED WILL NEVER DO AGAIN BOTH ARE IDENTICAL 28″ SELF OPENER FULL AND FULL 3″ CHAMBERS SINGLE TRIGGER EJECTORS SPLINTER FOREARM ENGLISH GRIP CHECKERED BUTT NEW UNFIRED IN MAKERS OAK AND LEATHER CASE 5LBS 3 OZ X 2 1/4″ X 1 1/2″ X 15″.

 

BOSS & Co. BEST PAIR SXS 410 SHOTGUNS
BOSS & Co. BEST PAIR SXS 410 SHOTGUNS
BOSS & Co. BEST PAIR SXS 410 SHOTGUNS
BOSS & Co. BEST PAIR SXS 410 SHOTGUNS
BOSS & Co. BEST PAIR SXS 410 SHOTGUNS
BOSS & Co. BEST PAIR SXS 410 SHOTGUNS

A nice 12g James Purdey & Sons SxS at an OK price …

James Purdey and Sons Side-By-Side 12 Gauge
James Purdey and Sons Side-By-Side 12 Gauge

A friend of mine hates Purdeys. Even though he’s as much of a double dork as I am, he just can’t stand how people fall all over themselves for any shotgun with P-U-R-D-E-Y on the lockplate.

I get what he’s saying. I’ve seen guys foam at the mouth for tired, shot out SxSs by this maker and then dismiss a lesser known, top-quality doubles in much better condition.

But that’s the power of a name. And to be fair, Purdeys are fabulous shotguns (if they’re in nice, original condition). When you own one, you’re getting top quality, plus all the fame and mystique that comes with owning a true, best-quality, London-made SxS.

If you’re in the market for Purdey today, this is one worth considering. It looks very original, and the price is pretty reasonable.

James Purdey and Sons Side-By-Side 12 Gauge
James Purdey and Sons Side-By-Side 12 Gauge

James Purdey and Sons Side-By-Side 12 Gauge: Featured here is a rare Heavy Field Gun built by James Purdey and Sons in 1928 (serial number 23486, barrel assembly numbers 57810 and 57811). This gun features Frederick Beesley’s famous self-opening (or “self-operating”) action. This gun was originally built with 3 inch chambers. It has Purdey’s interpretation of the Greener patent single inertia trigger (combined with Purdey’s 1911 single trigger patent). As with most all of Purdey’s Heavy Field Gun, this gun has 30 inch barrels, side clips, and Purdey’s patent third fastener (or “third bite”). Barrel wall thickness measures .030 inch six inches back from the muzzles for both barrels. Price: $23,999.99

James Purdey and Sons Side-By-Side 12 Gauge
James Purdey and Sons Side-By-Side 12 Gauge

Manufacturer: 1928
Caliber: 12 Gauge
Chambers: Factory 3 Inch
Metal Condition: Very Good 90%
Wood Condition: Very Good 85%
Bore Condition: Very Good
Barrels: 30 Inch .0285 / .030 BWT at 9 Inch from muzzle
Triggers: Single
Stock: Walnut
Stock Dimensions:
14 Inch LOP, 1 1/2 Inch DAC, 2 1/8 Inch DAH, 1/8 Inch Cast Off
Butt Pad: Wood Checker
Weight: 7 Lbs 9.7 Oz

James Purdey and Sons Side-By-Side 12 Gauge
James Purdey and Sons Side-By-Side 12 Gauge

Sights: Bead
Chokes: -.009/ -.021

Video: The Making of a William & Son Shotgun

Best-quality William & Son Double Barrel SxS Shotgun
Best-quality William & Son Double Barrel SxS Shotgun

William & Son isn’t London’s most oldest or most famous gunmaker. But they are one of its best, and in this video you can see a bit of what goes into making one of their side-by-side shotguns.

Here’s a bit about these guns from the Chairman & Founder, William Asprey:

“..These are truly the ultimate in bespoke pieces and our London guns are considered to be some of the finest. While our craftsmanship and excellence in this field is second to none, our prices are better than many. Indeed, William & Son goes one better: it considers the whole experience that investing in a handcrafted shotgun entails and matches the customers commitment to an age old sport with our dedication to service. Our gunmaker, Paul West, is able to discuss the best gun for your needs, and meet any special requirements you may have.”

The Making of a William & Son Shotgun from William & Son on Vimeo.

Bargain bests: A nice pair of 12g sidelock Henry Atkin shotguns…

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

Best vs. Best: Comparing SxSs by Boss & Co. & J. Woodward & Sons…

12 gauge Boss & Co. SxS shotgun, late 1920s
12 gauge Boss & Co. SxS shotgun, late 1920s

In the world of fine shotguns, a Best-quality double is just that: The very best side-by-side or over-under a company could make (or in some cases, the best one they retailed). Best guns were top-of-the-line, and top gunmakers made their best guns in special ways. This was called the “House Style”, and it was applied to the entire gun, from the engraving pattern and the shaping to the action, metalwork, and stock.

The side-by-sides you see here are Best-guns by Boss & Co. and James Woodward & Sons. The Boss is 12g made the later 1920s. The Woodward is a 16g. I think it’s from the 1930s. Even though these doubles have a lot in common, they are very different guns. Look closely and you’ll see what sets them apart.

16g SXS, James Woodward & Sons
16g SXS, James Woodward & Sons
12 gauge Boss & Co. SxS shotgun, late 1920s
12 gauge Boss & Co. SxS shotgun, late 1920s
16g SXS, James Woodward & Sons
16g SXS, James Woodward & Sons
12 gauge Boss & Co. SxS shotgun, late 1920s
12 gauge Boss & Co. SxS shotgun, late 1920s
16g SXS, James Woodward & Sons
16g SXS, James Woodward & Sons
12 gauge Boss & Co. SxS shotgun, late 1920s
12 gauge Boss & Co. SxS shotgun, late 1920s
16g SXS, James Woodward & Sons
16g SXS, James Woodward & Sons
Top: 12g Boss & Co, Bottom: 16g J. Woodward & Sons
Top: 12g Boss & Co, Bottom: 16g J. Woodward & Sons
Top: 12g Boss & Co, Middle: 16g J. Woodward & Sons, Bottom: 20g Boss & Co.
Top: 12g Boss & Co, Middle: 16g J. Woodward & Sons, Bottom: 20g Boss & Co.

Dream doubles: Boss .410 shotguns in Julia’s upcoming Fall 2014 sale…

BOSS .410 OVER-UNDER, SIDELOCK EJECTOR, SINGLE TRIGGER GAME GUN WITH CASE
BOSS .410 OVER-UNDER, SIDELOCK EJECTOR, SINGLE TRIGGER GAME GUN WITH CASE

I already put up a post about these incredible Boss shotguns. Now that the auctioneer has posted a complete set of pics and a full description for each one, I wanted to mention them again. They are that stunning — and rare.

.410 Boss & Co. Side-by-Side Shotgun

.410 Boss & Co. Over-Under Shotgun

These shotguns are best-quality, London-made sidelock .410s by Boss & Co: a side-by-side and an over under. Ordered in the 1950s, they are in incredible original condition. Pre-auction estimates put their value at $135,000+ a piece. The final hammer price will probably be much higher – especially for the O/U. Last spring, a set of 28 gauge Bosses in similar condition came up at Julia’s. The final prices for those 28g guns were $138,000 for the SxS and $207,000 for the O/U.

BOSS .410 GAUGE SIDE BY SIDE, SIDELOCK EJECTOR, SINGLE TRIGGER GAME GUN WITH CASE.
BOSS .410 GAUGE SIDE BY SIDE, SIDELOCK EJECTOR, SINGLE TRIGGER GAME GUN WITH CASE.

Here are the full descriptions for the Boss & Co. .410s from Julia’s site:

TRULY EXCEPTIONAL, HIGH CONDITION BOSS .410 GAUGE SIDE BY SIDE, SIDELOCK EJECTOR, SINGLE TRIGGER GAME GUN WITH CASE: SN 9067. (1954) Cal. .410. 3″ Chambers. 26″ Chopper lump bbls are engraved “Boss & Co” “41 Albemarle Street Piccadilly London.” “Made in England” on tops, either side of slightly raised, flat, matted rib, fitted with two red Bradley beads. Bbl flats are stamped with London nitro proofs for 3″ chambers. SNs are on bottoms of bbls. Nicely filed, diminutive, case hardened action is fitted with front action sidelocks, also exquisitely scaled down, and in perfect proportion with action. Action features non-automatic safety (SAFE inlaid in gold), (factory records instruct “remove safety wire and attach to gun (“wire” or rod is in case)), gold band tumbler end cocking indicators, as well as Boss’s superb single trigger. Engraving is in typical Boss house style with 17 rose bouquets surrounded by small scroll. Scroll engraved, small bow, single beaded trigger guard has SN at grip. Exceptional, strikingly flame figured, nicely marbled European walnut straight grip buttstock measures 14-1/2″ over checkered wood butt, with engraved steel heel and toe plates. Stock features classic drop points, point pattern checkering with mullered borders, and an individual gold initial “P” inlet into toe line, which is beautifully swept with approx 1/4″ negative camber. Slim beavertail forend with Anson release is fitted with Boss’s highly regarded ejector system which lifts cartridges well clear of breech ends of bbls when acting as extractors. Bore diameter at muzzles: left-.401, right -.403. Minimum wall thickness: left -.042, right -.038. Drop at heel: 2-9/16″, drop at comb: 1-5/16″. Weight: 4 lbs. 15 oz. LOP: 14-1/2″. Fine quality toe under leather case with stitched leather corners. Case has leather trimmed canvas outer cover with central medallion. Interior is lined in burgundy cloth, and has small paper Boss Albemarle Street label on lid. Case contains 2-pc brass and walnut cleaning rod with mop, jag, and Turk’s head, unmarked round oil bottle, pincher type broken case extractor, small horn handled turnscrew, pair of A & F marked snap caps, and envelope containing and marked for “Safety rod for .410 gun”. Also included are two Abercrombie & Fitch hang tags with information for this gun. PROVENANCE: Copy of factory records confirming all specifications and stock shaping.

BOSS .410 GAUGE SIDE BY SIDE, SIDELOCK EJECTOR, SINGLE TRIGGER GAME GUN WITH CASE.
BOSS .410 GAUGE SIDE BY SIDE, SIDELOCK EJECTOR, SINGLE TRIGGER GAME GUN WITH CASE.

CONDITION: Exceptionally fine, near new, showing only exceptionally light evidence of firing and use, with only the faintest of handling marks on bbls. Damascening on breech ends is exceptionally fine. Action has only a hint of silvering on beads. Breech faces show only slight extractor wipe marks. Trigger guard retains essentially all of its orig blue. Top lever has only a hint of silvering on thumbpiece. Lock pins show essentially all of their bright polish and temper blue. Stocks retain nearly all of their orig rubbed oil finish with a few light handling marks. Bores are excellent. Action is tight. Trigger works. Ejectors are strong and in time. Case leather is very fine with a number of scuffs and marks. Handle is fine. Outer cover has some rubs and scuffs. Interior cloth shows some soiling and compressions. Label is very fine, slightly foxed. Partitions are tight, but show some re-working in action area. Accessories are excellent. This exquisite and dainty little gun is in an extraordinary state of preservation, and is also exceptionally rare. Dr. Ronald S. Gabriel in AMERICAN AND BRITISH .410 SHOTGUNS relates “In a conversation in 1982 with Boss’s ancient and retired barrel maker, Jack Rennie, he told me that the firm had made “perhaps” 13 .410s – 10 side by sides and “3 or 4″ over under .410s” An exceptional, perfectly proportioned, great handling small bore British classic in a condition worthy of the finest collection. Estimate: $100,000- $200,000

BOSS .410 OVER-UNDER, SIDELOCK EJECTOR, SINGLE TRIGGER GAME GUN WITH CASE
BOSS .410 OVER-UNDER, SIDELOCK EJECTOR, SINGLE TRIGGER GAME GUN WITH CASE

EXCEPTIONALLY RARE AND SUBLIME BOSS .410 OVER-UNDER, SIDELOCK EJECTOR, SINGLE TRIGGER GAME GUN WITH CASE: SN 8855. (1952) Cal. .410. 3″ Chambers. 26″ Demi-bloc barrels are engraved “Boss & Co 41 Albemarle Street. Piccadilly. London. W.” on left side of top bbl, which is mounted with flat, matted, solid rib sporting Bradley red beads. Right side is stamped with London nitro proofs for 3″ chambers. Bbl flat is stamped with matching proofs. SN is on bottom of bottom bbl. Diminutive Boss low profile O/U action is fitted with back action sidelocks and incomparable Boss single trigger. Case hardened action is nicely filed and engraved in classic Boss house style of medium scroll and 14 rose bouquets. “Boss & Co” is on the front of each lockplate, and “Patent 3307-1909″ (O/U gun) is engraved on each side of action. Single beaded trigger guard is scroll engraved and has another rose bouquet on small bow. SN is at grip. Beautifully marbled and elegantly flame figured European walnut straight grip buttstock has negative camber along toe line giving racy look. Butt is checkered and flanked by engraved steel heel and toe plates. Other features include classic drop points, point pattern checkering with mullered borders, and the initial “P” inlaid in gold on toe line. Small forend housing Boss’s unique ejector system, matches wood and checkering of butt, and has Anson type release. Bottom rear of iron is engraved “Boss’s Patent 3308-1909″ (ejector system). Bore diameter at muzzles: top -.398, bottom -.399. Minimum wall thickness: top-.032, bottom -.030. Drop at heel: 2-1/2″, drop at comb: 1-7/16″. Weight: 4 lbs. 15 oz. LOP: 14-1/2″. This lovely creation comes with its original leather case with stitched leather corners. Case is lined in scarlet cloth. Paper Boss label in lid has Dover Street address crossed out and Albemarle Street address stamped in. A second label gives instructions regarding ejectors. Case contains a pair of brass snap caps marked “Parker” “Made in England”, an H & H marked round oil bottle, and a 2-pc oak and brass cleaning rod, with mop, jag, Turk’s head, and lead remover in brown leather wallet. A horn handled small turnscrew and key are in covered compartment with brass knob. Accompanied by a copy of the original Boss ledger page for this gun order 12th May,1952 with specifications as observed.

BOSS .410 OVER-UNDER, SIDELOCK EJECTOR, SINGLE TRIGGER GAME GUN WITH CASE
BOSS .410 OVER-UNDER, SIDELOCK EJECTOR, SINGLE TRIGGER GAME GUN WITH CASE

CONDITION: Exceptionally fine, as found, near new, showing scant evidence of handling and firing, with only a few very light handling marks on bbls. Nearly all damascening marks are on breech ends. Action retains nearly all of its orig case hardening color with slight silvering evident on beads, and on sharpest edges. Breech faces show only a hint of firing halos. Safety button retains over 60% orig bright blue, as do hinge pin covers. Trigger guard and top lever show only the slightest of silvering. Stocks retain essentially all of their lovely rubbed oil finish, with only a few minor pings and marks. Checkering shows only a hint of wear. Bores are excellent. Action is tight. Bbls are on face. Ejectors are strong and in time. Trigger works flawlessly. Case leather is excellent with only a few very minor marks. Straps and handle are very fine. Interior cloth is excellent with only a few slight rubs. Leather action guard shows some scuffs. Labels are slightly soiled and foxed. Accessories are fine. As well as being in an extraordinary state of preservation, this exceptional wand is also extremely rare. Dr. Ronald S. Gabriel in his book AMERICAN AND BRITISH .410 SHOTGUNS relates that he has studied the Boss records, and found only five .410 O/U’s before SN 10000. He further states that the 5th found was SN 10000 commissioned by an American dealer. A unique opportunity to own one of the finest and rarest British shotguns in existence. ESTIMATE: $100,000- $200,000

BOSS .410 GAUGE SIDE BY SIDE, SIDELOCK EJECTOR, SINGLE TRIGGER GAME GUN WITH CASE.
BOSS .410 GAUGE SIDE BY SIDE, SIDELOCK EJECTOR, SINGLE TRIGGER GAME GUN WITH CASE.
BOSS .410 GAUGE SIDE BY SIDE, SIDELOCK EJECTOR, SINGLE TRIGGER GAME GUN WITH CASE.
BOSS .410 GAUGE SIDE BY SIDE, SIDELOCK EJECTOR, SINGLE TRIGGER GAME GUN WITH CASE.
BOSS .410 OVER-UNDER, SIDELOCK EJECTOR, SINGLE TRIGGER GAME GUN WITH CASE
BOSS .410 OVER-UNDER, SIDELOCK EJECTOR, SINGLE TRIGGER GAME GUN WITH CASE
BOSS .410 GAUGE SIDE BY SIDE, SIDELOCK EJECTOR, SINGLE TRIGGER GAME GUN WITH CASE.
BOSS .410 GAUGE SIDE BY SIDE, SIDELOCK EJECTOR, SINGLE TRIGGER GAME GUN WITH CASE.

A couple incredible doubles: a .410 Boss & Co. OU & SxS…

.410 Boss Over-Under (O/U) Double Barrel Shotgun. Coming to auction Fall, 2014.Info at Juliaauctions.com
.410 Boss & Co Over-Under (O/U) Double Barrel Shotgun, as new in maker’s case. Coming to auction Fall, 2014. Info at Juliaauctions.com

Wow – talk about fantastic.

Two of the world’s rarest double-barrel shotguns are coming to market this fall James D. Julia Auctions. These shotguns are best-quality, London-made sidelock .410s by Boss & Co: a side-by-side and an over under.

Ordered in the 1950s, these doubles are in incredible original condition. They are also incredibly rare. Of the 10,200+ guns Boss & Co. has delivered to date, seventeen have been .410s: thirteen side-by-sides and four over unders.

These .410s are sure to attract big attention from around the world. They’ll also attract big bids. Pre-auction estimates put their value at $135,000+ a piece, and the final hammer price will probably be much higher – especially for the O/U. Last spring, a set of 28 gauge Bosses in similar condition came up at Julia’s. The final prices for those guns were $138,000 for the SxS and $207,000 for the O/U.

For more info on these spectacular doubles, go to Juliaauctions.com.

Picture courtesy of James D. Julia Auctioneers.

.410 Boss Side-by-Side Double Barrel Shotgun. Coming to auction Fall, 2014. Info at Juliaauctions.com
.410 Boss & Co Side-by-Side Double Barrel Shotgun, as new in maker’s case.. Coming to auction Fall, 2014. Info at Juliaauctions.com

 

Awesome 28 gauge Bosses bring big $$ at auction…

28 gauge Boss O/U Double Barrel Shotgun
28 gauge Boss O/U Double Barrel Shotgunv

Last week, two of the rarest double barrels in the world – an incredible 28g Boss O/U and SxS set- came to auction at Julia’s Spring 2014 sale. Buyers from the around the world battled it out over the phones for a chance to own one of these tremendous shotuns. When the final bids were in and the hammer fell, the sale prices were very big and very impressive.

LOT 3344: EXQUISITE 28 GAUGE BOSS SINGLE TRIGGER EJECTOR SIDELOCK OVER-UNDER GAME GUN WITH CASE — Sold for $207,000

28 gauge Boss SxS Double Barrel Shotgun
28 gauge Boss SxS Double Barrel Shotgun

LOT 3345: SUBLIME 28 GAUGE BOSS SIDELOCK EJECTOR SINGLE TRIGGER SIDE BY SIDE GAME GUN —  Sold for $135,000

Wow – what a Woodward. A Round Body 12 gauge Over-Under…

WOODWARD ROUND BODY OVER-UNDER SINGLE TRIGGER HEAVY GAME GUN
WOODWARD ROUND BODY OVER-UNDER SINGLE TRIGGER HEAVY GAME GUN

James Woodward & S0ns is a mysterious maker. Even though they made some of the finest double barrel SxSs and O/Us to come out of the UK, not a lot is known about the company.

In business from 1874 to 1948, Woodward created several influential designs, like the Woodward Automatic, a hammerless sidelock shotgun that cocked “autmatically” when you opened the shotgun, and in 1913 the Woodward-style over-under shotgun. Somewhere in the history of the Woodward O/U, the round-body action was introduced.

No one know why Woodward added this option to their O/Us. The London gun trade was brutally competitive. Makers were always looking for novel ways to set their guns apart. I suspect this is why Woodward introduced the round-body styling to their O/U shotguns. But like a things Woodward, we’ll never know if that’s the truth.

WOODWARD ROUND BODY OVER-UNDER SINGLE TRIGGER HEAVY GAME GUN
WOODWARD ROUND BODY OVER-UNDER SINGLE TRIGGER HEAVY GAME GUN

What we do know for certain is that this is an exceptional shotgun. It’s also exceptionally rare. I bet Woodward made fewer than 20 round-body over unders. I’ve seen 6-7 of them, and the one below is the finest one, by far. It’s coming up at Julia’s Auction next week. So if you like what you see, get your bids in today.

RARE AND FINE WOODWARD ROUND BODY OVER-UNDER SINGLE TRIGGER HEAVY GAME GUN WITH CASE. SN 7173. Cal. 12 ga. 2-3/4″ Chambers. 29-1/8″ Demi-bloc bbls with solid, file cut rib are engraved “James Woodward & Sons. 29. Bury Street. St. James’s. London. England.” on left side of top bbl. Right side of top bbl and bottom of bottom bbl are stamped with London nitro proofs for 2-3/4″ chambers. Case hardened, round body, low profile, OU action features automatic safety (SAFE inlaid in gold), gold band tumbler end cocking indicators, and non-selective single trigger. Action is engraved with well cut, classic, small, shaded scroll with rose bouquet highlights. “J Woodward & Sons” is in parchment scrolled device at front of each lockplate. Bottom of action is engraved “Woodward’s” and “Under & Over” in arches around recess cut for forend iron, which is engraved “Patent”. SN is on tang of scroll engraved small bowed trigger guard. Fully marbled and lightly figured European walnut straight grip

WOODWARD ROUND BODY OVER-UNDER SINGLE TRIGGER HEAVY GAME GUN
WOODWARD ROUND BODY OVER-UNDER SINGLE TRIGGER HEAVY GAME GUN

buttstock measures 14-1/2″ over leather faced, thin, red pad. Standard point pattern checkering with mullered borders is at grip. Toe line with gold oval engraved “G.P.” is shaped with about 3/16″ negative camber giving racy swept look. One piece matching ejector forend has Anson release. Bore diameter: top -.729, bottom -.729. Bore restrictions: top -.036 (Full), bottom -.037 (Full). Wall thickness: top-.024, bottom -.025. Drop at heel: 2-1/8″, drop at comb: 1-1/4″. Weight: 7 lbs. 12 oz. LOP: 14-1/2″. Makers oak and leather case with brass corners and leather trimmed canvas outer cover, is embossed with an early owner’s name on rectangular inset leather label on top. Leather is additionally embellished with embossed line borders with fleur-di-lis highlights. Interior is lined in scarlet cloth with gold embossed black leather Woodward label in lid. Case contains pair of A & F marked snap caps, red morocco wallet with cleaning brushes inside, 2-pc rosewood and brass cleaning rod with mop, Turk’s head and jag. There are also an A & F marked square oil bottle, hard rubber striker block, and the key.

PROVENANCE: Abercrombie & Fitch hang tags with specifications and known information.

WOODWARD ROUND BODY OVER-UNDER SINGLE TRIGGER HEAVY GAME GUN
WOODWARD ROUND BODY OVER-UNDER SINGLE TRIGGER HEAVY GAME GUN

CONDITION: Excellent. Action retains 90 – 95% of its orig bright case hardening color, silvered on sharp edges. Lockplates retain nearly all of their color. Top lever and forend iron show only slight silvering to their orig bright blue. Trigger guard re-blued, and retains essentially all of that blue, engraving still sharp. Stocks retain nearly all of a factory quality oil finish with some light marks and a small scuff in forend checkering. Pad added after making, as cut off piece of buttstock with checkered butt is in case. Bores are excellent, bright and shiny throughout. Action is tight. Bbls are on

WOODWARD ROUND BODY OVER-UNDER SINGLE TRIGGER HEAVY GAME GUN
WOODWARD ROUND BODY OVER-UNDER SINGLE TRIGGER HEAVY GAME GUN

face. Ejectors are in time. Trigger works, but is a bit sticky (probably needs cleaning). Case leather is very fine with some slight darkening and rubs. Straps and handle are fine. Canvas outer cover has rubs and discoloration, leather trim also rubbed, with some slight tatters. Straps are good. Interior cloth is fine with some areas patched, lightly soiled, and marked by gun and accessories. Accessories are good. By SN, one of the last guns to leave Woodward’s after being taken over by Purdey’s. Records indicate it was delivered in 1949, so was most likely finished by Purdey’s. Round body Woodward O/Us are very rare. This may be one of the finest extant. Estimate: $30,000-$50,000

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