Here’s a good look at how Holland & Holland turns out best-quality side-by-side and over/under shotguns today.
The stuff that comes with vintage double barrel shotguns is almost as cool as the guns themselves. Leather cases, oil bottles, snap caps — they’re part of the history and magic of a vintage firearm.
Here are some interesting accessories that are Ebay now. One of them may be just right for your old side by side shotgun.
W. Richards Leather Case: W. Richards has been making double barrel shotguns since 1780. If you own one, this original case with label would be a great home for it.
J. Purdey 12 gauge Nickel Plated Snap Caps: The real thing, and essential if you own a Purdey shotgun. These appear to be in excellent shape.
Holland & Holland Pewter Oil Bottle & Snap Caps: Another essential case accessory. Make your H & H double barrel shotgun feel at home.
Leg o’Mutton gun cases go with American double barrels like peanut butter goes with honey. Shotgun retailers have been selling these cases for almost one hundred years. Most of the ones on the used market were made with a layer of fiberboard sandwiched between leather and felt. This fiberboard gives the cases their rigidity. Over time, this same fiberboard absorbs moisture, rots and collapses. Not good.
But not every maker used fiberboard. Some used molded leather. While this was a more expensive way to do it, the cases it produced were tougher and longer lasting. H.H. Heiser was a maker who used the all-leather construction technique. Today his cases are as prized as the old shotguns they were made to carry.
Heiser’s cases came in a variety of styles, each with their own finishes. I’ve picked up several of these cases over the years and I’m at the point now where I have a nice little collection of them. You can see them below.
BTW: two of these cases came from the same person: the plain-finished model and the carved model made for a single shotgun. The seller was a gentleman in Texas. I bought the carved case off from him a few years ago. He offered me the other case this summer, in remembrance of his father, who owned the case and enjoyed reading this blog.