Good gun alert: 12g Charles Hellis boxlock SxS…

CHARLES HELLIS 12GA Boxlock Ejector Side-by-Side
CHARLES HELLIS 12GA Boxlock Ejector Side-by-Side

Here’s a real nice boxlock ejector that just popped up on the market. It’s a Charles Hellis with awesome damascus barrels, and if I didn’t already have enough doubles, I would be on the phone to the seller trying work out a deal for it.

Charles Hellis, gunmakers, was founded by its namesake in 1884, and by the 20th century it was another of London’s prosperous gunmakers. Hellis made many different grades and types of guns, from modestly-priced boxlocks to Best-quality sidelocks. The company also specialized in lightweight boxlocks and sidelocks tagged “The Featherweight” and usually engraved with images of feathers on the actions or lockplates. The inlayed side panels on this Hellis boxlock are another of the company’s signature styles.

Gunmaker Charles Hellis outside his shop on Edgware Road, London
Gunmaker Charles Hellis outside his shop on Edgware Road, London

Something to note: Check out the proof marks on this gun. The barrels were originally proofed at two different bore sizes: 13 and 13/1 (.710″ & .719″) and the reproofed at .719″ and .729″ (13/1 & 12). While it’s unusual to see a set of barrels with two different bore sizes at proofing, it’s not unheard or wrong in anyway. What’s important is that both tubes are in proof with good wall thicknesses (which is the case with this SxS).

CHARLES HELLIS 12GA Boxlock Ejector Side-by-Side
CHARLES HELLIS 12GA Boxlock Ejector Side-by-Side

CHARLES HELLIS 12GA  Boxlock Ejector Side-by-SideA very nice London, ejector, damascus, nitro proofed, game gun. Tight lockup and ribs. Excellent bores. In proof. No dents. No cracks. Price: $3275
Serial Number: 1239
Bore: R.720 L.729
Chambers: 2 1/2in
Ejectors: YES
Condition: EXCELENT
Metal Condition: EXCELLENT
Wood Condition: EXCELLENT
Bore Condition: EXCELLENT
Barrels: 30IN
Barrel Type: DAMASCUS

CHARLES HELLIS 12GA Boxlock Ejector Side-by-Side
CHARLES HELLIS 12GA Boxlock Ejector Side-by-Side

Gauge: 12GA
Stock Comb: 1 1/2IN
Stock Heel: 2 1/4IN
Butt Pad: HARD RUBBER?HORN?
LOP: 14 3/4IN
Weight: 6LBS 12OZ
Manufacture Date: 1900-1905
Choke Left: SKT II .015
Choke Right: SKT .005
Proof:Nitro: YES
Minimum Wall Thickness Left: .028
Minimum Wall Thickness Right: .030

CHARLES HELLIS 12GA Boxlock Ejector Side-by-Side
CHARLES HELLIS 12GA Boxlock Ejector Side-by-Side
CHARLES HELLIS 12GA Boxlock Ejector Side-by-Side
CHARLES HELLIS 12GA Boxlock Ejector Side-by-Side
CHARLES HELLIS 12GA Boxlock Ejector Side-by-Side
CHARLES HELLIS 12GA Boxlock Ejector Side-by-Side. Nice forend tip — unusual for a boxlock.
CHARLES HELLIS 12GA Boxlock Ejector Side-by-Side
CHARLES HELLIS 12GA Boxlock Ejector Side-by-Side

Good gun alert: 12 gauge John Harper boxlock double….

12 gauge John Harper Boxlock side-by-side
12 gauge John Harper Boxlock side-by-side

I’m always looking for good doubles (as you can probably tell). When I find a bargain, I hate to pass it by. But sometimes I have to, and in the case of this 12 gauge John Harper side-by-side shotgun, passing it up is killing me.

John Harper was a gunmaker in Birmingham, England. He opened a shop in 1902 and his business was in operation until 1975. From what I can tell, most of his trade was in good quality boxlocks, sort of the meat-and-potatoes of the English shotgun business.

12 gauge John Harper Boxlock side-by-side
12 gauge John Harper Boxlock side-by-side

The side-by-side you see here was one of those meat-and-potato kind of guns. Built on an Anson & Deeley patent, this side-by-side looks like it’s still in excellent original conditions. It also has ejectors – a nice plus – and some great looking wood. The price is the best part — just $2299. I hate to let it go, but I guess you can’t own them all.

12 gauge John Harper Boxlock side-by-side
12 gauge John Harper Boxlock side-by-side

Good Gun Alert: 20 gauge F. Beesley Boxlock…

In England, 12 gauge shotguns rule. That’s why it seems like you’ll see a dozen or more 12gs for every 16g or 20g double barrel you come across. And because many of the smaller-gauge guns were made for smaller people, these side-by-sides often have shorter barrels and stubby stocks.

20 gauge F. Beesley double barrel shotgun
20 gauge F. Beesley double barrel shotgun

That’s not the case with this Frederick Beesley 20 gauge boxlock ejector coming up to auction this weekend at Poulin’s Antiques. This gun has 28″ barrels and a 14″ stock–the kind of specs you find on most 12g British Boxlocks.

If you’re looking for a nice, lightweight 20 gauge side-by-side shotgun, this clean and very original double may be worth bidding on.

Here’s auctioneer’s complete listing:

Lot #2379: Cal. 20 Ga./ 2 1/2″. S# 2751. Bbl. 28″. Cylinder & 1/2 choke. Bbls. have nitro proof markings for 7/8 oz. of shot. Top rib marked “F. Beesley., 2 St. James’s Street, London, S.W.”

Box lock action with foliate scroll engraving. Automatic ejectors. Dbl. triggers. Checkered splintered forearm & straight grip stock of English walnut. LOP: 14 1/4″ to serrated butt; Drop at comb: 1 9/16″; Drop at butt: 2 3/16″; Weight: 5 lbs 2.3 oz.

CONDITION: bbls. have 80% blued finish with light scratches. Action has 60% case colors on receiver with 70% blue on floorplate & trigger guard. Tight action with sound mechanics. Very good bright bores.

UNATTACHED ACCESSORIES: canvas case with maker’s label containing cleaning rod, oil bottle, pewter parts container & cleaning accessories. (11-2236/DS). CURIO. $3000-4000.

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