Good Gun Alert: 20 gauge Francotte 14E in fantastic condition…

20 gauge Francotte 14 E Double Barrel Shotgun
20 gauge Francotte 14 E Double Barrel Shotgun

It’s hard to believe, but Abercrombie & Fitch used to call itself ‘The Greatest Sporting Goods Store in the World”. Judging by the inventory of fine guns they use to carry, that claim is easy to believe.

Along with new double-barrel shotguns by everyone from Parker to Purdey, Abercrombie & Fitch also stocked a number Francotte side-by-sides. This 20 gauge Francotte 14E on Gunbroker.com now is an excellent example of one of those shotguns.

20 gauge Francotte 14 E Double Barrel Shotgun
20 gauge Francotte 14 E Double Barrel Shotgun

Even though the Grade 14 was the lowest grade Francotte that Abercrombie carried, these guns were fantastically well made. They weren’t cheap, either. In 1951 a 20 gauge Francotte 14E cost $550 (a Winchester Model 21 was $329.20). And that’s without the case and accessories.

This 20 gauge Francotte 14E on Gunbroker.com looks like it’s in excellent, all original condition. With it’s 28″ barrels, double triggers and modern dimensions (1 3/8 x 2 1/4 x 14 1/2) and sub-six pound weight, I think it would be a perfect shotgun for grouse and woodcock. Best of all, it’s pretty much brand new.

20 gauge Francotte 14 E Double Barrel Shotgun
20 gauge Francotte 14 E Double Barrel Shotgun

A good deal on a nice Francotte .410…

Francotte Grade 14 .410 double barrel shotgun
Francotte Grade 14 .410 double barrel shotgun

Most of the vintage .401s side-by-sides I see on the used market are small guns with tiny proportions – short stocks, stubby barrels, etc.

This Francotte caught my eye because it looks like it was made with full-grown person in mind. With 28″ bbls and a 14 3/4″ stock, it’s a pint sized double barrel that would fit most of us. The price looks pretty fair, too (and check out the wood).

Here’s the listing from Gunsinternational.com:

Francotte Grade 14 .410 double barrel shotgun
Francotte Grade 14 .410 double barrel shotgun

August Francotte #14 SxS, 410 ga. 3″ chambers, 28″ IM/F, Churchill rib, blue receiver , border engraving, DT’s, extractor, AA oil finished English stock, 14 3/4″ LOP pver checkered horn buttplate, 95% blue (OA), light handling, 4 lbs. 13 ozs. Cased. Price: $5,650.00

 

Francotte Grade 14 .410 double barrel shotgun
Francotte Grade 14 .410 double barrel shotgun

A 1951 Abercrombie & Fitch Ad…

Here’s an interesting look into what double barrel shotguns used to cost. Back in 1951, Abercrombie & Fitch’s store on NYC’s Madison Avenue carried all types of side-by-side shotguns, from Purdey to Parkers. They also sold Winchesters and  Francottes. This ad shows what those guns cost. From the ad:

1951 Abercrombie & Fitch advertisement
1951 Abercrombie & Fitch advertisement

Winchester Model 21 Shotgun: An outstanding American-made shotgun noted for its dependability and balance. Factory tested with excessive load proof charges. Standard Grade. 12 to 20 gauge in various barrel lengths and borings: $329.20

Francotte Shotgun: In durability and beautiful balance, these guns are in a class by themselves. Hand made by August Francotte et Cie. of Belgium. Grade 14, 12 to .410 gauge in barrel lengths from 26″- 30″. $550.00

Today, the prices on these guns are a little higher. Here are two listed as being in excellent condition.

A nice 16 gauge Winchester M21 from 1951. The seller wants $6,999. Here’s a nearly-new 2o gauge Francotte Grade 14e for $6,500.

 

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