Good gun alert: a nice looking 20g Dumoulin O/U…

DUMOULIN 20 GAUGE EJECTOR - SCALLOPED ACTION WITH 4 BITES - 26 1/2" BARRELS:
DUMOULIN 20 GAUGE EJECTOR – SCALLOPED ACTION WITH 4 BITES – 26 1/2″ BARRELS:

A lot of guys like new shotguns. I’m not one of them. I prefer old doubles (and old stuff). That’s why I like this 20 gauge Dumoulin O/U caught my eye. It looks very original, and its straight grip, double triggers, and unique action give it a lot of character. I dig the three-piece forend, too. Some guys will say the 26 1/2″ bbls are too short, but I doubt they matter in the grouse woods.

There have been Dumoulins in the Belgian gun trade for centuries. Today there’s still a gunmaker in Herstal called Dumoulin. I think this shotgun was made by Fs. Dumoulin & Cie, or François Dumoulin & Company. Fs. Dumoulin was founded in 1849 and I think they had a factory in Liege into the 1950s. They made all sorts of guns: pistols, cheap rifles, high grade sidelock shotguns, etc.

Frank Pugliese was American gunmaker. He was around in the 1940-1950s, and I think he specialized in Springfield Sporters. It looks like he imported this shotgun as is, right from Belgium. I’m not sure how many shotguns Frank  Pugliese brought into the US, but here’s another one that has been on the market for a while.

DUMOULIN 20 GAUGE EJECTOR – SCALLOPED ACTION WITH 4 BITES – 26 1/2″ BARRELS: Here is a Dumoulin 20 gauge ejector made in 1958. Scalloped action with good case color. Rose and scroll engraving. Straight grip with long trigger tang. Double underbite with two extra fasteners on top barrel – very strong indeed. Dumoulin “D over Crown” makers stamp. Barrels are 26 1/2″. Bottom bore is .625 with 10/1000 choke (IC) while top bore is also .625 with 25/1000 choke (Imp Mod). Chambers are 2 3/4″. This high quality Belgian double was imported by Gunsmith/Gunmaker Frank Pugliese and has his name on the top barrel. Three piece forend. Weight of gun is 6 LBS 4 1/2 OZ. LOP – 14 1/4″. Drop at Comb – 1 5/8″. Drop at Heel – 2 3/8″. Price: $2,250

DUMOULIN 20 GAUGE EJECTOR - SCALLOPED ACTION WITH 4 BITES - 26 1/2" BARRELS:
DUMOULIN 20 GAUGE EJECTOR – SCALLOPED ACTION WITH 4 BITES – 26 1/2″ BARRELS:
DUMOULIN 20 GAUGE EJECTOR - SCALLOPED ACTION WITH 4 BITES - 26 1/2" BARRELS:
DUMOULIN 20 GAUGE EJECTOR – SCALLOPED ACTION WITH 4 BITES – 26 1/2″ BARRELS:

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

JOSEPH MANTON 16 BORE PERCUSSION BALL & SHOTGUN
JOSEPH MANTON 16 BORE PERCUSSION BALL & SHOTGUN

JOSEPH MANTON 16 BORE PERCUSSION BALL & SHOTGUN. 16 bore, 32″ twist steel barrels, stepped at 22 1/2″ from the muzzle and intended for ball as well as shot. The barrel legend reads “JOSEPH MANTON & SON, 6 HOLLES STREET, CAVENDISH SQUARE, LONDON”. Serial number 10651 and listed in the Manton book with a full description including the stepped barrel. Cased in a magnificent pigskin lined oak box by John Dickson & Son’s for Charles Gordon around 1890. It is now in mint condition with all of the accessories that include both shot flask and mold.  Price: $24,500.00

Beautiful Belgium Browning Superposed Midas 20 Gauge RKLT
Beautiful Belgium Browning Superposed Midas 20 Gauge RKLT

Beautiful Belgium Browning Superposed Midas 20 Gauge RKLT: Very desirable 28″ bbl, 3″ chambers, f/f, 14 1/4″ LOP. 100% factory original, original Browning pad. Vranken engraved, and signed 3 times! 1960 gun, RKLT. 1960 was the first year of the named Brownings, before that they were grades. Vranken was the engraver who designed the new Midas engraving, this is his work, possibly even one of the first. Conservative 95% condition. Cased. Price: $17,950

Westley Richards Droplock 12ga Single Trigger 27"
Westley Richards Droplock 12ga Single Trigger 27″

Westley Richards Droplock 12ga Single Trigger 27″: The nicest Westley I have seen weighs only 6lbs 9oz , has a factory single trigger, ejectors, 27in barrels,choked imp. cyl./ full  ,unbelievable wood, 14 1/2 in LOP to a checkered butt, straight english stock  gun is marked # 1 in gold. Price: $13,450.00

Armes De Luxe Masqulier Liege 12ga SxS (Paul Jaeger Import): Made in Liege, Belgium, Imported by Paul Jaeger of Jenkintown, PA. Like New Condition. English (Straight) Stock. 26 3/8″ barrels MOD/CYL. 15.25 LOP x 2.5D@H, Mod & Cyl. Price: $4,295.00

Armes De Luxe Masqulier Liege 12ga SxS (Paul Jaeger Import)
Armes De Luxe Masqulier Liege 12ga SxS (Paul Jaeger Import)
Francotte #14 Jubilee 16ga. (Abercrombie & Fitch Import)
Francotte #14 Jubilee 16ga. (Abercrombie & Fitch Import)

Francotte #14 Jubilee 16ga. (Abercrombie & Fitch Import): 28″ Churchill style solid rib, choked IM/F, 70% coverage engraving,DT’s jectors,breathtaking long tang Belgium Bastogne straight walnut stock & forearm, 14 1/4″+ LOP, 1 1/2″ DAC – 2 3/” DAH – 6 lbs., 99%+ As New Condition condition. Price: $3,999.00

Good gun alert: 12 gauge Francotte hammergun, fluid steel barrels…

12 gauge Francotte Steel Barrel Hammergun, Floral Engraving
12 gauge Francotte Steel Barrel Hammergun, Floral Engraving

Francotte is one of my favorite gunmakers. In the 190+ years they were around, they made thousands and thousands of side-by-side shotguns from their factory in Leige, Belgium. Today, the ones we see more often are boxlocks like this. They were imported into the US by companies like Von Lengerke & Detmold and Abercrombie & Fitch.

The Francottes we rarely see are hammerguns like the one here – especially ones with fluid-steel barrels and straight grips. Hammerguns are a lot of fun to shoot, and every time I pick one of mine up I feel like I’m traveling back in time. If you would like to experience the same feeling yourself, this Francotte would be a great way to do it.

12 gauge Francotte Steel Barrel Hammergun, Floral Engraving
12 gauge Francotte Steel Barrel Hammergun, Floral Engraving

Here’s more about it from the seller:

12 gauge Francotte Steel Barrel Hammergun, Floral EngravingHere is nicely engraved Francotte Steel Barreled Hammer Gun with 28 1/4″ barrels. Rebounding hammers. Sideclips and Greener style third fastener. Double underbite lock up. Straight grip with long trigger tang. Francotte marked on the barrel flats – “Crown AF” for August Francotte. Elegant sculpted and engraved hammers – have the appearance of English style. Old swivel holes in stock and barrel – plug them for a better apperance. Slotted and engraved swivel plugs for the barrel are an excellent solution.

12 gauge Francotte Steel Barrel Hammergun, Floral Engraving
12 gauge Francotte Steel Barrel Hammergun, Floral Engraving

Right bore measures .730 with 25/1000 choke (Imp Mod) while left barrel also measures .730 with 35/1000 choke (Full). Forcing cones lengthened. Chambers measure 3″. Anson push rod forend fastening system. Recoil pad is a “Western Field” – poorly fitting and should be replaced. Top tang screw should be replaced as it is below the the top tang – budget $150 for this. Weight of gun is 6 LBS 8 1/2 OZ. Shipping is $35 and will be shipped in a hard case. Stock dimensions follow. LOP 14 3/4″, Drop at Comb – 1 1/2″, Drop at Heel – 2 5/8″. Price: $2,900

12 gauge Francotte Steel Barrel Hammergun, Floral Engraving
12 gauge Francotte Steel Barrel Hammergun, Floral Engraving

A nice little hammergun, from Liege, Belgium…

Lovely 16 GA. SXS Belgian hammer shotgun by F. Lancelot & Co. Liege Retailed by P. Varriale, Naples.
Lovely 16 GA. SXS Belgian hammer shotgun by F. Lancelot & Co. Liege Retailed by P. Varriale, Naples.

Liege used to be the gunmaking capital of the world.

Located in eastern Belgium, it straddles the banks of the Meuse River. In the early 19th century, John Cockerill develop a steel industry there, and it was with this steel that countless gunmakers and craftmen filed up and turned out millions of firearms, from crudest muskets for the African slave trade to the finest shotguns for Kings, Czars and other rich folks around the world.

The double barrel shotgun you see here is fell somewhere in between these extremes. It was made by F. Lancelot — a gunmaker lost to history — and it’s a basic, 16 gauge hammergun with fluid steel barrels. Even though it was an inexpensive shotgun in its day, I’m sure it was still very well made. Here’s more about it from the seller:

Lovely 16 GA. SXS Belgian hammer shotgun by F. Lancelot & Co. Liege Retailed by P. Varriale, Naples.
Lovely 16 GA. SXS Belgian hammer shotgun by F. Lancelot & Co. Liege Retailed by P. Varriale, Naples.

F. Lancelot, Liege- Retailed by P. Varriale, Naples: Lovely 16 GA. SXS Belgian hammer shotgun by F. Lancelot & Co. Liege Retailed by P. Varriale, Naples. This smokeless proofed fluid steel barrelled  shotgun has it’s original 2 9/16″ (65m/m) chambers with long forcing cones and side clips.  Chokes measure .027 and .022 (16.4 and 16.5) barrel length 27.5″ Straight grip stock measures 14″ LOP to a bone butt plate. This strong action has three locking lugs including a Greener type cross bolt. The barrels retain 95+% of the original blue. The fore end and butt stock wood retain all of their original finish with only very minor nicks and scratches. An excellent Belgian pre-war hammer double. Price: $1750

Lovely 16 GA. SXS Belgian hammer shotgun by F. Lancelot & Co. Liege Retailed by P. Varriale, Naples.
Lovely 16 GA. SXS Belgian hammer shotgun by F. Lancelot & Co. Liege Retailed by P. Varriale, Naples.
Lovely 16 GA. SXS Belgian hammer shotgun by F. Lancelot & Co. Liege Retailed by P. Varriale, Naples.
Lovely 16 GA. SXS Belgian hammer shotgun by F. Lancelot & Co. Liege Retailed by P. Varriale, Naples.

Gold inlays that don’t suck…

FRANCOTTE BEST SIDELOCK PRE WAR 410
FRANCOTTE BEST SIDELOCK PRE WAR 410

I’m not a big fan of gold on shotguns.  Too little of it looks out of place and too much of it makes a double look like it was overhauled by Pimp My Ride. This 20 L.C. Smith Deluxe Grade comes to mind. Yeah – yuck.

But when gunmakers get it right, gold can actually make a double barrel more elegant and beautiful. That’s the case with this .410 Francotte sidelock that Steve Barnett has right now.

The gold on this shotgun makes a statement. But instead of screaming “Look at me and how expensive I am” it encourage you to admire the entire gun. There’s plenty to admire, too.

FRANCOTTE BEST SIDELOCK PRE WAR 410
FRANCOTTE BEST SIDELOCK PRE WAR 410

First, there’s the overall composition and execution of the inlays. Instead of looking superfluous, this gold work is part of the action’s sculpting, engraving and overall design. By varying the size, style, and positions of the birds, the engraver added depth and life to the work. This makes the inlays interesting and far more appealing. Instead of being stuck on top of the lockplates, these birds look like they’re alive and in flight.

I also like how the flashiness of the gold is restrained by dusky color-case hardening on the action (gold on a coin-finish is a bad idea). The bling that’s there actually enhances the blood-red hues and chocolate swirls of the French-walnut stock, making both more pronounced and stunning.

Along with its perfect adornment, this .410 Francotte is also beautifully made. Check out how well the forend iron fits against the barrels and action. Then look at those drop points and the shaping of the stock. Again, first quality work.

Mention gold inlays to me and I’m going to think “ostentatious”. There’s no way around it. On a gun, gold is always flashy and almost never necessary. It’s only there to call attention to itself. How it calls attention to itself, and the impression it leaves, are what’s important. In the case of this .410 Francotte, the impression leaves me, well, impressed.

FRANCOTTE BEST SIDELOCK PRE WAR 410
FRANCOTTE BEST SIDELOCK PRE WAR 410

 

FRANCOTTE BEST SIDELOCK PRE WAR 410
FRANCOTTE BEST SIDELOCK PRE WAR 410

Auction Alert: 12 gauge Francotte, 12g Westley Richards

12 gauge Francotte Grade 14 double barrel shotgun
12 gauge Francotte Grade 14 double barrel shotgun

Here are a couple double barrel shotguns coming up at auction tomorrow. Sorry for the late notice, but I just found out about them.

12 gauge Westley Richards, boxlock ejector, 30″ bbls. Wiederseim Associates, Inc. in Chester Springs, PA, has this shotgun and the auction is tomorrow, 6/9/

Francotte has always made nice double barrels – especially Anson & Deeley boxlocks. There’s one coming up tomorrow, 6/9, at Hap Moore Auctions in southern Maine.

From the auctioneer’s site:

-Francotte Model 14 (extractors) 12ga shotgun with leather case. 2 ¾” chambers. 30” barrels with good bores. Walls L .026, R .028. Chokes L .026, R .004. Weight 6 lbs  15 oz. Lop 14 1/8” over a 1″ kickeez pad.

12 gauge Westley Richards Double Barrel Shotgun
12 gauge Westley Richards Double Barrel Shotgun

Daily Double: Masquelier 20 gauge double barrel…

20 gauge Masquelier sidelock double barrel shotgun
20 gauge Masquelier sidelock double barrel shotgun

Masquelier is one of the oldest gunmakers in Belgium. Founded in 1876, they’ve been making shotguns, rifles, and pistols for well over a century now.

The shotgun you see here is one of their higher-grade models. It’s a sidelock, and looks to me like it made was in the 1960s for the American market.

Special German doubles on the market right now…

German side-by-side shotguns are pretty common here in the States. A lot of them arrived here after the World Wars, and many more were imported before and in between.

20 gauge Max Knoll Shotgun
20 gauge Max Knoll Shotgun

While most of these guns are extremely well made– solid Anson & Deeley boxlocks with well struck barrels and crisp triggers — they usually have Teutonic features like full pistol grips and cheek pieces that make them awkward for shooters like us (and kind of ugly, too).

That’s why these two  caught my eye. Each of these double barrels has a straight, English-style grip and very shootable dimensions. Check them out.

This first is a 12 gauge Otto Geyger. This maker is a bit of a mystery. You can read more about in this string here. The gun looks very high-quality and it’s in excellent condition.

This next gun is a 20 gauge from Max Knoll. I’ve read that this maker was located in Liege before the first World War and then headed back to Germany once the conflict kicked off. Another one of his guns is listed here, along with some info about the maker.

 

H. Mahillon 20g: very Belgian, very beautiful…

Belgium used to be the world’s gunmaker. Up until World War II, tens of housands of people worked around Liege turned out everything from military rifles and cheap pistols to the very finest sporting arms.

One “gunmaker” doing this type of work was H. Mahillon. I say “gunmaker” because I’m not sure how much making they really did. Like a lot of shops in Belgium, I bet they just put their name on most of the guns they sold. After all, buying ready-made shotguns from the trade and then finishing them off was lot cheaper than employing a full-time team of craftsman.

But hat doesn’t mean that the guns produced by this system weren’t nice. Many of the ones I’ve seen have been very well made and some of them have been finished to a very fine standard. This 20 gauge, sideplated boxlock, is a good example of what I mean.

Here’s the old Gunbroker listing for this gun, too.

BTW: who says you have to spend a fortune to own a real nice double? Side-by-sides like this one are incredibly under valued. This one sold for $2750 – less than a decent A.H. Fox 20g A grade. And it’s a hell of a lot more gun, with dimensions that would actually fit you.

Great guns you can barely give away…

Most Belgian double barrel shotguns get a bad rap in this country. Unless they’re by one of the big names, like Francotte or Lebeau Courally, nobody wants them. That’s too bad, really. There a lot of barely know Belgian makers out there, and many of them made fantastic guns. In fact, some of these guns are on par with best-grade shotguns from the big English makers.

The good part of this is that these guns are fantastic values. While you can easily spend 2x-3x more for a bigger English name, or something trendy from Italy, you won’t be buying that much more gun.

Here are a few examples on the market right now:

12 gauge Ernest Wilmart double barrel sidelock ejector shotgun
12 gauge Ernest Wilmart double barrel sidelock ejector shotgun

An Ernest Wilmart 12 gauge sidelock ejector: Of the three gunmakers listed here, Ernest Wilmart is the only one I could find some information on. The firm was founded in 1879. This gun is a very fine sidelock ejector, finished and engraved and a very “Belgian” style. While its aesthetics may not be to your liking, it’s quality is pretty apparent. If this gun had a good decent British name on it, it would be priced in the $15,000 range. Right now, I think it’s still $3000-$4000 over priced. How many guys do you know who are lusting for a Wilmart?

A 12 bore double barrel sidelock ejector by “Fabrication Artisanal Ligeoise”: This is a good gun by a maker who is totally unknown to me. I couldn’t find anything about them, either. Judging by the name, I wonder if they were a cooperative or association of makers? Again, no idea. Regardless, though, this is a quality shotgun.

12 gauge Belgian-made double barrel sidelock ejector shotgun
12 gauge Belgian-made double barrel sidelock ejector shotgun

A DeFourney 16 gauge sidelock ejector side by side: This is a name I’ve heard. There were several DeFourney  (or Defournys) in the Liege from about 1870 and on. I’m not sure which one made this gun. But whoever did knew what they were doing. If you put this gun side by side with a Holland & Holland Royal, I think you would have a hard time telling me what makes the Holland worth $20,000 more. This little 16 gauge is THAT nice. These days, the engraving alone would cost more than the $7,000 asking price.

a 16 gauge DeFourney double barrel sidelock ejector side by side shotgun

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