At auction 3/12: an awesome 16 gauge Woodward O/U shotgun…

16 gauge James Woodward Patent Under & Over Double Barrel O/U Shotgun
16 gauge James Woodward Patent Under & Over Double Barrel O/U Shotgun

James Woodward & Sons O/U are one of the finest double-barrel shotguns ever created. Patented in 1913, Woodward made his legendary O/U for 35 years — right up to his company’s end in 1948. In that time, he  turned out just 225 of them. Just 41 of those O/Us were made in 16 gauges.

That means the one you see here is very rare. It’s also in great shape. Best of all, it’s coming to auction on Tuesday, March 12, at James D. Julia’s Spring 2103 auction. Here’s all the info on it from the auctioneer:

16 gauge James Woodward Patent Under & Over Double Barrel O/U Shotgun
16 gauge James Woodward Patent Under & Over Double Barrel O/U Shotgun

LOT 2163: VERY FINE 16 GA. WOODWARD OVER-UNDER SIDELOCK EJECTOR BOSS SINGLE TRIGGER GAME GUN: SN 6602. (ca 1921) Cal. 16 ga. 28″ Demi-block bbls with full length file cut solid rib, are engraved “James Woodward & Sons. 64. St. James’s Street. London. S. W.” and “Made of Sir Joseph Whitworth’s Fluid Pressed Steel” on either side of rib. Bbls are stamped with London nitro proofs for 1 oz of shot. Beautifully filed, case hardened, low profile action features typical Woodward automatic T-safety (SAFE inlaid in gold), bolstered sides, gold band tumbler end cocking indicators, and Boss non-selective single trigger.

16 gauge James Woodward Patent Under & Over Double Barrel O/U Shotgun
16 gauge James Woodward Patent Under & Over Double Barrel O/U Shotgun

The Woodward action is renown for its grace, and is the prime reason for Purdey’s acquiring Woodwards and the rights to this action, in 1948. All subsequent Purdey OU shotguns and rifles were built on this action. The action and sidelocks of this particular gun are engraved with exceptionally well cut, shaded, small scroll with rose bouquet highlights in Woodward house style. “J. Woodward & Sons” is in rolled scroll flanked device on front of each lockplate. Bottom of action is engraved “Woodward’s Patent Under & Over”. Some time after the initial making of this gun, probably 1950’s, it was fitted with Boss’ renown single trigger, with new trigger plate and small bow single beaded trigger guard installed. Gun is accompanied by Abercrombie & Fitch hang tag, filled in with specifications of this gun. The original notation of “double trigger” has “double” lined out and “single” written above.

Color hardening of trigger plate and bright blue of trigger guard are both vivid, and engraving, although the correct style, is by a different hand. Nicely figured, and beautifully marbled Circassian walnut straight grip buttstock measures 14-1/8″ over ribbed horn buttplate, and features drop points, diamond hand, classic point pattern checkering with mullered borders, and a silver oval on toe line engraved “P”. Matching one piece ejector forend has Anson release. Bore diameter: top -.663, bottom -.663. Bore restrictions: top -.023 (full), bottom -.013 (mod). Drop at heel: 2-7/16″, drop at comb: 1-7/16″. Weight: 6 lbs. 2 oz. LOP: 14-1/8″.

16 gauge James Woodward Patent Under & Over Double Barrel O/U Shotgun
16 gauge James Woodward Patent Under & Over Double Barrel O/U Shotgun

PROVENANCE: Factory letter giving the history of this gun as evidenced by a number of entries in the VL & D and A & F inventories, being first rec’d by VLD in March 1923, last sale was in 1956 to Grant Pierce.

CONDITION: Very fine. Bbls retain approx 95% of an old London quality re-black, silvered on sharp edges of bolsters, rib, and muzzles. Action retains 40 – 50% muted orig case hardening colors, vivid where protected, especially at top fence. Lockplates retain most of their muted orig colors. Orig color on trigger plate is near 100% and vivid. Top lever and forend iron retain most of their orig charcoal blue, with silvering at thumbpiece and rounded edges of iron, some loss due to flaking. Charcoal blue on trigger guard is near 100%. Screw slots show some use. Stocks retain most of their orig hand rubbed oil finish with numerous small marks and light scratches from normal handling and use. There are a few minor chips on left side forearm at juncture of iron. Checkering is slightly worn. Bores are excellent, bright and shiny throughout. Action has hint of vertical play and a glimmer of light visible on top bbl. Ejectors are in time. Trigger works. Hang tag shows some creases. A great handling, all time classic.

Estimate: $30,000-$60,000

16 gauge James Woodward Patent Under & Over Double Barrel O/U Shotgun
16 gauge James Woodward Patent Under & Over Double Barrel O/U Shotgun

On Gunbroker.com now: a real early 16 gauge Lefever double barrel shotgun…

16 gauge Lefever E-grade Thumb Lifter Shotgun
16 gauge Lefever E-grade Thumb Lifter Shotgun

Daniel Myron Lefever was one of the geniuses of American gunmaking. Born in 1835, he started making firearms under his own name in 1857. Fifteen years later he was working with machinist Francis Dangerfield. Together they patented a doll’s head, thumb lift locking mechanism for breechloading shotguns.

In 1883, Lefever used part of this design on his new barrel-cocking hammerless shotgun, the first of its kind created in the US. The 16 gauge Lefever Arms Co. E grade you see here is built on those two patents. Made around 1886, it’s one of the first sixteens that the Lefever Arms Co. produced. From what I can see, it looks like it’s in pretty original condition. The only issue I can see with it is with the bbls: They’re short (26″) and possibly cut. Other than that, this125+ years old side-by-side looks like it in excellent shape.

16 gauge Lefever E-grade Thumb Lifter Shotgun
16 gauge Lefever E-grade Thumb Lifter Shotgun
16 gauge Lefever E-grade Thumb Lifter Shotgun
16 gauge Lefever E-grade Thumb Lifter Shotgun
16 gauge Lefever E-grade Thumb Lifter Shotgun
16 gauge Lefever E-grade Thumb Lifter Shotgun
16 gauge Lefever E-grade Thumb Lifter Shotgun
16 gauge Lefever E-grade Thumb Lifter Shotgun
16 gauge Lefever E-grade Thumb Lifter Shotgun
16 gauge Lefever E-grade Thumb Lifter Shotgun
16 gauge Lefever E-grade Thumb Lifter Shotgun
16 gauge Lefever E-grade Thumb Lifter Shotgun
16 gauge Lefever E-grade Thumb Lifter Shotgun
16 gauge Lefever E-grade Thumb Lifter Shotgun

 

I have not idea what this is…

RARE BIRMINGHAM BREAK UNDER HAMMER DOUBLE RIFLE 450 BPE
RARE BIRMINGHAM BREAK UNDER HAMMER DOUBLE RIFLE 450 BPE

I’ve seen lots of doubles, from boxlocks and sidelocks, shotguns and rifles, there aren’t a lot of designs I’ve haven’t come across. But I have to say that this double rifle is new to me.

Other than British & cool, I have no idea what itis. It’s 100% new to me. If you know more about it.

 

A side-by-side comparison of a Boss Over & Under Double Rifle…

Boss O/Us: shotgun on top, double rifle on bottom
Boss O/Us: shotgun on top, double rifle on bottom

Here’s part three of the unfolding story of the rarest Boss Over & Under in the world. This Boss is an double rifle, two barrel set, made around 1929. Here are the first and the second posts I put up about it.

In the pics here you can see how much the double rifle differs from a Boss & Co. Over & Under shotgun. I have no idea why the double rifle has a rounded action with minimal engraving and a blued finish. Boss did what their customers wanted, and I’m sure they would try anything  — if the customer could pay the bill.

Regardless, the work is breathtaking and the double rifle is in stunning original condition (that shotgun is pretty nice, too).

Boss O/Us: shotgun on top, double rifle on bottom
Boss O/Us: shotgun on top, double rifle on bottom
Boss O/Us: shotgun on top, double rifle on bottom
Boss O/Us: shotgun on top, double rifle on bottom
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