Here’s an unusual little 20 gauge OU that’s coming to auction next week at Poulinantiques.com. It shows the odd connections that used to exist in the European gun trade. This double was made & proofed in Germany, but sold in the U.S. by a British gunmaker named Samual A. Leanord.
S. A. Leonard was the son of British gunmaker Daniel Leonard and a former head stocker at James Purdey & Sons. He grew up in the London trade and as a top craftsman at Purdey’s reached its pinnacle.
He emigrated to the U.S. around 1928 and in the mid-’30s partnered with George J. Hyde, the shop foreman and metal man at Griffin & Howe, to create Leonard and Hyde. Before that, it looks like he imported some German OUs into the United States.
Leonard would have known quality when he saw it and where to source shotguns that met his high standards. This over-under was built in Suhl, Germany, and proofed in August 1933. With Krupp-steel barrels, double triggers and cool quarter ribs, it’s a beautiful little gun. The stock on it is very well done — just look at the drop points. I bet Leonard did the work himself.
Lot #1029: S. A. LEONARD 20 GAUGE O/U SHOTGUN: 2 3/4″. S# 1014. Bbls. 26 3/4″ of Krupp Fluid steel. Plain bbl. w/ 3″ Boss-style short rib at breech & ivory front bead on raised sight ramp. High quality German shotgun mfg. for S. A. Leonard of New York. Case colored side plated boxlock action w/ arabesque scroll & borderline engraving. Action has double underlug bolting w/ top bite. Dbl. triggers. Selective ejectors. Bbls. have unusual side rib extensions forming upper portion of forearm above checkered walnut lower section. Straight hand walnut stock w/ checkered wrist having teardrop points behind side plates. LOP: 14 1/8″ over solid red decelerator pad. DAC: 1 5/8″. DAH: 2 3/8″. Stock is cast off. Bore diameter: over – .636″, under – .636″. Choke restrictions: over – .037″, under – .037″. Minimum wall thickness: over – .037″, under – .031″. Weight: 6 lbs., 2 oz. CONDITION: 90% lightly faded bbl. blue. Action retains 50% lightly faded case colors. Stock has worn finish showing scratches & marks. Clean bright bores. (17-3916/DS). CURIO. $1,250-1,750.