An awesome 12g Parker Bros AHE-grade SxS shotgun …

VERY RARE AH GRADE PARKER 12 GAUGE SIDE-BY-SIDE SHOTGUN AT MERZANTIQUES.COM
VERY RARE AH GRADE PARKER 12 GAUGE SIDE-BY-SIDE SHOTGUN AT MERZANTIQUES.COM

The side-by-side, double-barrel shotgun you see here is one of the icons of American gunmaking.

VERY RARE AH GRADE PARKER 12 GAUGE SIDE-BY-SIDE SHOTGUN AT MERZANTIQUES.COM
VERY RARE AH GRADE PARKER 12 GAUGE SIDE-BY-SIDE SHOTGUN AT MERZANTIQUES.COM

It’s a Parker Bros A.H.-quality with ejectors (which makes it an A.H.E.) and ACME fluid steel barrels. Back when it was built in 1917, it was Parker’s third-best gun, two down from the top-of-the-line A1 Special and a single step below the company’s famous AAH-quality shotguns.

Parker AH Grade Shotgun, page from a Parker catalog, from parkerguns.org
Parker AH Grade Shotgun, page from a Parker catalog, from parkerguns.org

As you can imagine, it was expensive in its day. It cost more than most guys took home in six months, and that’s one big reason why Parker only built a total of 306 AH-grade shotguns. They were just too expensive for most folks.

Parker AH Grade Shotgun, page from a Parker catalog, from parkerguns.org
Parker AH Grade Shotgun, page from a Parker catalog, from parkerguns.org

But if you had the money ($250 in the 1920s), you could buy yourself a great looking gun.

VERY RARE AH GRADE PARKER 12 GAUGE SIDE-BY-SIDE SHOTGUN AT MERZANTIQUES.COM
VERY RARE AH GRADE PARKER 12 GAUGE SIDE-BY-SIDE SHOTGUN AT MERZANTIQUES.COM

VERY RARE AH GRADE PARKER 12 GAUGE SIDE-BY-SIDE SHOTGUN: Gun features a 30 inch barrel with an unusual 2 Ivory beads on it. Choked improved cylinder and modified. AH stamp on the water table as well as a number 6. 175k serial range. Original straight grip stock measuring 14-5/8 inches to the end of the Josten pad. Excellent condition with most original varnish. Sharp checkering. It has a gold inlaid unused inscription plate in the stock. This Parker is in beautiful shape with 85-90% bright case colors on the frame. Bottom of the receiver retains just traces of case color. The trigger guard is nicely engraved with a dog and has traces of blue remaining. Bottom of the receiver has a beautifully done dog with a bird in it’s mouth and a running deer. Both sides of the receiver are game scene engraved. Quite delicately done. Gun has the correct splinter forearm as well automatic ejectors. Also has the correct barrel markings “Acme Steel” on top of the rib. Overall this just a great gun. This is the 3rd A grade I have bought this week. This one came from an estate out of Fargo North Dakota. It has been identified in the Parker gun identification and serialization book having all the mentioned features. Has never been on the market before. Gun weighs 7pounds 5 ounces. Price: $ 41,500.

Wow – an awesome Purdey Pigeon gun…

JAMES PURDEY & SONS BEST PRE WAR PIGEON GUN 12 GAUGE
JAMES PURDEY & SONS BEST PRE WAR PIGEON GUN 12 GAUGE

When people talk about the very best shotguns, this is what they have in mind. The Purdey SxS you see here is one of the finest I’ve seen, and it’s in superb condition.

JAMES PURDEY & SONS BEST PRE WAR PIGEON GUN 12 GAUGE
JAMES PURDEY & SONS BEST PRE WAR PIGEON GUN 12 GAUGE

This gun is a great example of what a true Best-quality shotgun should be. Overall, it has a distinct look — handsome and proud, but not gaudy or ostentatious. Metal-to-metal and metal-to-wood fit is as perfect as it gets, all around. The action and little things like the toplever are filed up beautifully. And the stock and forend are shaped and proportioned perfectly. And check out those drop points.

JAMES PURDEY & SONS BEST PRE WAR PIGEON GUN 12 GAUGE
JAMES PURDEY & SONS BEST PRE WAR PIGEON GUN 12 GAUGE

Because it’s all original, this SxS is also a great example of how a gun from that period was finished. Look closely. See how the hinge pin, safety, and screw in the toplever are all a bright blue, while the toplever itself, as well as the triggerguard and forend iron are an inkier blue to almost black? Now see how the blueing on the barrels has turned a purplish hue over time. This mix of finishes is a big part of what makes these old, original shotguns so beautiful — and desirable.

JAMES PURDEY & SONS BEST PRE WAR PIGEON GUN 12 GAUGE
JAMES PURDEY & SONS BEST PRE WAR PIGEON GUN 12 GAUGE

Also, check out how the action looks a bit dull and dirty overall. That’s because it was varnished when new to protect the color-case hardening. Much of that original varnish remains, and over the last 80+ years, it has yellowed a bit, picked up some grime, and lost its sheen.

JAMES PURDEY & SONS BEST PRE WAR PIGEON GUN 12 GAUGE
JAMES PURDEY & SONS BEST PRE WAR PIGEON GUN 12 GAUGE

Made for live-pigeon shooting, it was built in in the 1930s — one of the best periods for British shotguns. As crazy as it seems, it’s gun #3 of at least a trio. Perhaps that’s why it was never used — the owner had two others just like it to go to first.

JAMES PURDEY & SONS BEST PRE-WAR PIGEON GUN 12 GAUGE: #24XXX, 30″ SELF OPENING, CHOKED .041″ AND .041″, CHAMBERS 2 3/4″, DOUBLE TRIGGER, EJECTORS, SPLINTER FOREARM, ENGLISH GRIP, MAKER’S CASE, MINT ORIGINAL CONDITION, 7LBS 6 OZ, 2″ DAH, 1 9/16″ DAC, 14 3/4″ LOP. Price: $47,500

JAMES PURDEY & SONS BEST PRE WAR PIGEON GUN 12 GAUGE
JAMES PURDEY & SONS BEST PRE WAR PIGEON GUN 12 GAUGE
JAMES PURDEY & SONS BEST PRE WAR PIGEON GUN 12 GAUGE
JAMES PURDEY & SONS BEST PRE WAR PIGEON GUN 12 GAUGE
JAMES PURDEY & SONS BEST PRE WAR PIGEON GUN 12 GAUGE
JAMES PURDEY & SONS BEST PRE WAR PIGEON GUN 12 GAUGE

Watch it! Live pigeon shooting, San Remo, 1937…

 

12g James Purdey & Son SxS shotgun built for live pigeon shooting. See more pics.
12g James Purdey & Son SxS shotgun built for live pigeon shooting. See more pics.

Live pigeon shooting used to be a big-time sport. Back in the late 19th and early 20th century, shoots were held throughout the US and in Europe. In 1900, live pigeon shooting was even an event at the Paris Olympics.

Newspapers reported on these shoots and the top competitors attracted hundred of spectators, were sponsored by gunmakers and took home thousands of dollars if when they won an event.

San Remo, Italy, was one of the stops on the European live pigeon circuit. This video was shot there in 1937, and it’s a rare look at how popular and prestigious this sport used to be.

Auction alert: a 10 gauge James Purdey & Sons double barrel shotgun…

10 gauge James Purdey & Sons Double Barrel SxS Shotguns
10 gauge James Purdey & Sons Double Barrel SxS Shotguns

Ten gauge Purdey shotguns are not very common, so when one pops up, it catches my attention. The one you see here is at Alex Cooper Auctioneers in Towson, MD, and it goes off today, September 28 @ 1:00 PM EST.

Interestingly, this one is nitro-proofed for 1 1/2 oz loads. That’s the same amount of lead than a 12g, 3 1/2″ shell throws. But a ten gauge does it better and throw better patterns because of its larger bore size. It’s also built to handle the recoil, so it will do less damage to you, and itself, when you pull the trigger.

10 gauge James Purdey & Sons Double Barrel SxS Shotguns
10 gauge James Purdey & Sons Double Barrel SxS Shotguns

James Purdey & Sons 10 gauge Double Barrel Sidelock SxS Shotgun: London, 1905, made on order of J. H. Smith, Tuxedo Park, NY; blued double barrel, 31 in. L.; engraved case-hardened frame; checkered burl walnut stock and forearm; with original case and several accessories (including barrel rods, cleaning tools, and loading tools). Estimate: $20,000 – $25,000

10 gauge James Purdey & Sons Double Barrel SxS Shotguns
10 gauge James Purdey & Sons Double Barrel SxS Shotguns

Wow – a super nice 12 gauge Purdey double barrel Pigeon shotgun…

12 gauge James Purdey & Sons Double Barrel, SxS Shotgun
12 gauge James Purdey & Sons Double Barrel, SxS Shotgun

Before there was golf, there was pigeon shooting. At one time this game/sport was one of the most popular pastimes in America. Cities and towns across the country had clubs dedicated to pigeon shooting, and the local papers reported on the shoots like they were high school basketball games. Big money was won and lost at pigeon shoots and serious competitors had double barrel shotguns custom made for the game.

Today, most of the pigeon shooting clubs are gone. But many of the guns built for the ring are still around. With long barrels, tight chokes, a heavy proof, and a pretty high stock, the James Purdey side-by-side shotgun you see here may be one of those double barrels. It looks like it’s in fantastic original condition, and today it would be the perfect gun for sporting clays, high, driven pheasants, or to just check out and appreciate.

12 gauge James Purdey & Sons Double Barrel, SxS Shotgun
12 gauge James Purdey & Sons Double Barrel, SxS Shotgun

JAMES PURDEY & SONS – 12 ga.SIDELOCK EJECTOR SELF OPENING PIGEON GUN : 31’ BARRELS CHOKED 7/8 & FULL (.030/.045 ) – SIDE CLIPS & THIRD FASTENER – STRAIGHT HAND STOCK MEASURES 14 7/16” OVER PAD X 1 3/8” X 2” – PROOF IS 1 ¼” WITH 2 7/8” CHAMBERS – CASE COLOURS 75% – HAS RAISED MATTED PIGEON RIB – MADE IN 1926 – CASED IN ORIGINAL OAK & LEATHER . Price: $39,000.00

12 gauge James Purdey & Sons Double Barrel, SxS Shotgun
12 gauge James Purdey & Sons Double Barrel, SxS Shotgun
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