Making a double the Holland & Holland way…

What does it take to build the best? Check out these videos to find out. They do a great job of documenting just how Holland & Holland builds their legendary shotguns and double rifles.

Pair of new Holland & Holland Royal side-by-side shotguns
Pair of new Holland & Holland Royal side-by-side shotguns

Compared to the Beretta video I posted the other day, it looks like H & H uses a lot more handwork. Is this true? Maybe, or maybe the people who created the video chose to focus more on the handwork. Either way, I think the first video does a great job of what we call “Building Value” in the ad world.

The second video is another look inside the Holland factory. It’s worth watching if you have the time.

Holy wow. Check out this Dickson double rifle coming up at Holts…

MADE FOR CHARLES GORDON JOHN DICKSON & SON AN EXCEPTIONAL .500 (3IN.) BLACK POWDER EXPRESS ROTARY-UNDERLEVER DOUBLE HAMMER RIFLE, serial no. 3868,
MADE FOR CHARLES GORDON
JOHN DICKSON & SON
AN EXCEPTIONAL .500 (3IN.) BLACK POWDER EXPRESS ROTARY-UNDERLEVER DOUBLE HAMMER RIFLE, serial no. 3868

Here’s a jaw dropper. This stunning black-powder double rifle was by John Dickson & Son for eccentric collector Charles Gordon.

Lot 967: MADE FOR CHARLES GORDON
JOHN DICKSON & SON

AN EXCEPTIONAL .500 (3IN.) BLACK POWDER EXPRESS ROTARY-UNDERLEVER DOUBLE HAMMER RIFLE, serial no. 3868

28in. black powder only fine damascus barrels with dolls-head extension, raised matted rib with open sights and two folding leaf sights with white metal inlaid sight lines and marked for 100, 200 and 300 yards, bead fore-sight, tubes engraved ‘JOHN DICKSON & SON. 63 PRINCES STREET. EDINBURGH’, Jones patent rotary-underlever, finely carved percussion fences, non-rebounding back-action locks with front bolted hammers, fine border and acanthus scroll engraving, retaining much original colour-hardening and finish, 14 5/8in. well-figured pistolgrip stock with cheekpiece, floral engraved sling eyes, engraved and colour-hardened steel pistolgrip-cap, chequered steel buttplate with ribbon and scroll engraving retaining much original blued finish, fore-end with large grip-catch release lever, weight 9lb. 5oz., in its brass-mounted oak case, fitted internally in the French style with green baize lining, with some original accessories and with its original leather outer cover with later brass name plaque engraved ‘A MATHESON’

MADE FOR CHARLES GORDON JOHN DICKSON & SON AN EXCEPTIONAL .500 (3IN.) BLACK POWDER EXPRESS ROTARY-UNDERLEVER DOUBLE HAMMER RIFLE, serial no. 3868,
MADE FOR CHARLES GORDON
JOHN DICKSON & SON
AN EXCEPTIONAL .500 (3IN.) BLACK POWDER EXPRESS ROTARY-UNDERLEVER DOUBLE HAMMER RIFLE, serial no. 3868,

Provenance: The makers have kindly confirmed this to be a ‘Gordon Gun’ and that it was completed for him on 5th February 1886 as a ‘.500 hammer double C.F. Express rifle, underlever’.

Of the 229 recorded guns and rifles ordered from John Dickson & Son by Charles Gordon, just 25 were centrefire hammer rifles.

In the 1908 auction of Charles Gordon’s Collection by Dowell’s of George Street, just one centrefire rifle by Dickson’s was offered for sale, Lot 319. Described simply as ‘Breech-loading rifle, under lever action, by John Dickson, Edinburgh, and waterproof cover’. It sold for 21/-.
It is possible that this is when the rifle came into the possession of the current Vendor’s family.

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

Pre-war Boss SxS Shotgun 20 ga., 26-1/2" Barrels
Pre-war Boss SxS Shotgun 20 ga., 26-1/2″ Barrels

Pre-war Boss SxS Shotgun 20 ga., 26-1/2″ Barrels: Choked improved cylinder and modified (.007/.010).  Original 2-3/4 1oz. heavy proof. Raised concave game rib marked “Boss & Co. 41 Albermarle Street Picadilly London W”.  Built with the style and grace that these “golden era” Boss guns are famous for.  The petite “easy opening” action gun weighs a mere 5lbs, 5 oz.  Fitted with the Boss patent single trigger.  Well-figured stock measures 1-3/8″ comb, 1-7/8″ heel, 14-1/4″ LOP to a checkered butt.  Balanced directly on the pin, this estate-fresh example retains 97% original blue, 80% vibrant case colors over the jewel-like engraving by the renowned Jack Sumner.  Built in 1930 to the true small bore specs, a unique opportunity to purchase a seldom-seen heavy proof vintage 20.  Cased in original violin case. Price: $59,500

SAUER & SOHN, SUHL DOUBLE BARREL RIFLE: SAUER & SOHN, SUHL DOUBLE BARREL RIFLE, CALIBER 43 MAUSER. CONDITION MINT ALL FACTORY PRE WAR ORIGINAL WOOD AND METAL FINISH.  BARRELS MARKED KRUPP-ESSEN GUSS-STAHL.  WE ALSO HAVE FACTORY AMMO, DIE SET AND EMPTY BRASS ALONG WITH PROPER DIA BULLETS ALL INCLUDED IN PRICE. Price: $14,995

SAUER & SOHN, SUHL DOUBLE BARREL RIFLE
SAUER & SOHN, SUHL DOUBLE BARREL RIFLE

PAIR PARKER REPRODUCTION 28GA/28″ BARRELS CONSECUTIVE SERIAL NUMBERS: MATCHING PAIR, CONSECUTIVE SERIAL NUMBERED WINCHESTER PARKER REPRODUCTION 28GA, 28″ BARRELS, DOUBLE TRIGGERS, PISTOL GRIP, SPLINTER FOREARM.  BOTH CHOKED Q1, & Q2.  COMES WITH ORIGINAL BOXES, DUST COVERS, AND CASE.  Price: $9850

PAIR PARKER REPRODUCTION 28GA/28" BARRELS CONSECUTIVE SERIAL NUMBERS
PAIR PARKER REPRODUCTION 28GA/28″ BARRELS CONSECUTIVE SERIAL NUMBERS
FRANCOTTE KNOCKABOUT ABERCROMBIE & FITCH SXS 28 GAUGE
FRANCOTTE KNOCKABOUT ABERCROMBIE & FITCH SXS 28 GAUGE

FRANCOTTE KNOCKABOUT ABERCROMBIE & FITCH SXS 28 GAUGE: 26″ MOD AND FULL 2 3/4 DOUBLE TRIGGER EJECTORS BEAVER TAIL FOREARM PISTOL GRIP MAKERS CASE MINTY ORIGINAL CONDITION 5LBS 8 OZ X 2″ X 1 3/8″ X 14 3/4″. Price: $8,500

VOGEL HAMMER SHOTGUN – MADE IN GERMANY – NITRO PROOF 30 3/8″ STEEL BARRELS – 16 GAUGE: Here is nice condition 16 gauge German hammer shotgun made by Vogel. This gun features 30 3/8″ nitro proofed steel barrels. Barrels are in proof. Right barrel original proof at 16 measures .668 with 18/1000 choke (Mod) while Left barrel original proof at 16/1 measures .676 with 36/1000 choke (Full). Mirror bores. No swivels or cheek piece. Prince of Wales of grip. Steel butt plate. Stock oval. Pre-war quality. Rebounding hammers. Chambers are 3″. Weight of gun is 5 LBS 14 OZ. Price: $1,150

VOGEL HAMMER SHOTGUN - MADE IN GERMANY - NITRO PROOF 30 3/8" STEEL BARRELS - 16 GAUGE
VOGEL HAMMER SHOTGUN – MADE IN GERMANY – NITRO PROOF 30 3/8″ STEEL BARRELS – 16 GAUGE

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

ALEXANDER HENRY HAMMER DOUBLE RIFLE .500 BPE
ALEXANDER HENRY HAMMER DOUBLE RIFLE .500 BPE

ALEX HENRY HAMMER DOUBLE RIFLE 500 BPE: 28″  DAMASCUS BARRELS WITH 3 LEAF EXPRESS SIGHT AND PERFECT BORES DOUBLE TRIGGER EXTRACTORS SPLINTER FOREARM PISTOL GRIP EXCELLENT ORIGINAL CONDITION WITH LIGHT WEAR AND MAKERS CASE 8LBS 7 OZ X 14 1/4. Price: $12,500

L.C. SMITH HUNTER ARMS SPECIALTY GRADE SxS SHOTGUN 20 GAUGE:  30″ BARRELS, FULL & FULL, VERY GOOD BLUE, MIRROR BORES.  AUTOMATIC EJECTORS, HUNTER SINGLE SELECTIVE TRIGGER.  FEATHERWEIGHT FRAME, UNTURNED SCREWS, LIGHT CASE COLOR, TYPICAL ENGRAVING WITH GAME BIRDS AND SCROLLWORK.  PISTOL GRIP STOCK, SPLINTER FOREARM, NICELY FIGURED WOOD, EXCELLENT WOOD AND CHECKERING.  ORIGINAL GRIP CAP AND BUTTPLATE.  GREAT DIMENSIONS 1 1/2″ X 2 5/8″ X 14″, 6 POUNDS 2 OUNCES.  L C SMITH RECORDS, LETTER INCLUDED.  MADE IN 1925, 100% ORIGINAL CONDITION.  SCARCE GUN. Price: $5,800

L.C. SMITH HUNTER ARMS SPECIALTY GRADE SxS SHOTGUN 20 GAUGE
L.C. SMITH HUNTER ARMS SPECIALTY GRADE SxS SHOTGUN 20 GAUGE
PARKER GHE 12 GAUGE DOUBLE BARREL SHOTGUN
PARKER GHE 12 GAUGE DOUBLE BARREL SHOTGUN

PARKER GHE 12 GAUGE DOUBLE BARREL SHOTGUN: 32″ damascus steel barrels choked full & full. Auto ejector’s, double triggers, and deluxe checkered wood. LOP: 14 3/8″ to a dogs head buttplate. COMB: 1 1/2″ HEEL: 2 1/2″ Weight: 8lbs 6oz. Retaining 97% plus original barrel finish and pattern. The frame showing 95-97% original case colors. Triggerguard bow and tang 97% plus original bright blue. Super wood and checkering. Bores are mint. Price: $4950

Francotte model 14E 20ga Boxlock Ejector: 26″ barrels choked modified(.017″) and full(.027″).Semi pistol grip stock,double triggers,ejectors.Imported in the 1930s by V,L,&D.Weighs 6-4.2 3/4″ chambers.Stock dimensions are 143/8″ LOP,1 5/8″ at comb, and 2 3/4″ at heel.Nicely engraved.A fine little upland bird gun. Price: $4,000

Francotte model 14E 20ga Boxlock Ejector
Francotte model 14E 20ga Boxlock Ejector

 

 

 

 

 

B. Rizzini Aurum Classic O/U 20 gauge: 28″ barrels,10 choke tubes. English grip, field forend. DAC 1 1/2″ DAH 2 1/4″ CAST 1/8″ off LOP 14 5-8″ to checkered butt. 6lbs 4oz. Gun is in excellent condition. Price $2,400

B. Rizzini Aurum Classic O/U 20 gauge
B. Rizzini Aurum Classic O/U 20 gauge

A trio of awesome H&H Royal double rifles. But will they sell?

Cased Holland & Holland Engraved Royal Double Barreled Express Rifle in 375 Magnum Flanged Cartridge Complete with all H&H Accessories and Factory Documentation
Cased Holland & Holland Engraved Royal Double Barreled Express Rifle in 375 Magnum Flanged Cartridge Complete with all H&H Accessories and Factory Documentation

Talk about extraordinary. Rock Island Auctions has this incredible set of Holland & Holland Royal double rifles coming up in this week’s sale:

Magnificent Set of Three Consecutively Serial Numbered Cased Holland & Holland Engraved Royal Double Barreled Express Rifles Complete with all H&H Accessories and Factory Documentation

The guns are from 1954 and consecutively serial numbered: 35248 – a 7 M/M Magnum Flanged35249 – a .300 H&H Flanged, and  35250 – a .375 Magnum Flanged. They’re all original and they come cased with just about every option imaginable: original scopes & mounts, extra sets of locks, ivory-bead front sights, a full compliment of cleaning accessories and more.

But while they’re certainly nice, I just can’t convince myself that they’re worth the amount quoted at the low end of the estimate – $90,000 a piece or $275,000 for all three. We’ll see if anyone disagrees with me.

Cased Holland & Holland Engraved Royal Double Barreled Express Rifle in 300 H&H Flanged Cartridge Complete with all H&H Accessories and Factory Documentation
Cased Holland & Holland Engraved Royal Double Barreled Express Rifle in 300 H&H Flanged Cartridge Complete with all H&H Accessories and Factory Documentation
Cased Holland & Holland Engraved Royal Double Barreled Express Rifle in 7 M/M Magnum Flanged Cartridge with all H&H Accessories and Factory Documentation
Cased Holland & Holland Engraved Royal Double Barreled Express Rifle in 7 M/M Magnum Flanged Cartridge with all H&H Accessories and Factory Documentation

Awesome! A super original 1933 Holland & Holland Modele De Luxe double rifle…

HOLLAND & HOLLAND 240 MAG FLANGED ROYAL "MODELE De LUXE"- GOLDEN ERA of 1933- APPEARS UNFIRED
HOLLAND & HOLLAND 240 MAG FLANGED ROYAL “MODELE De LUXE”- GOLDEN ERA of 1933- APPEARS UNFIRED

Many collectors believe that London-made shotgun built between World War 1 and World War 2 are among the finest side-by-sides and over-unders ever created. Take a look at the double rifle you see here and you’ll understand why. Holland & Holland was known for making the best double rifles in the world, and the Modele De Luxe was the top gun – the absolute very best of he best in 1933 and today.

HOLLAND & HOLLAND 240 MAG FLANGED ROYAL “MODELE De LUXE”- GOLDEN ERA of 1933- APPEARS UNFIRED: #31475, Holland & Holland, 98 New Bond Street, London: A Holland & Holland Hand Detachable Back Action Sidelock Royal “Modele De Luxe” Ejector 240 Magnum Flanged with the Bolstered Frame, Made in the Golden Era of 1933. It has 25″ Ejector Chopper Lump barrels with rib extension third bite, 1/4 rib with 1 standing & 2 folding rear sights, Fold over night sight, Original Nitro Proof at 31 1/2 Cordite – 100 grain bullet & a 2 1/2″ case. The small size action body is complete with a bolstered frame, Bushed strikers, Double triggers, Hand detachable locks, Extended top tang over the comb of the stock, Rolled trigger guard edge, The stock with a trap grip cap with a spare front sight, Shadowline cheekpiece, 13 7/8″ LOP over a 7/8″ Silvers pad, Proper 240 weight at 8 lbs. 5 oz.

HOLLAND & HOLLAND 240 MAG FLANGED ROYAL "MODELE De LUXE"- GOLDEN ERA of 1933- APPEARS UNFIRED
HOLLAND & HOLLAND 240 MAG FLANGED ROYAL “MODELE De LUXE”- GOLDEN ERA of 1933- APPEARS UNFIRED

This Royal “Modele De Luxe” has 100% coverage of the typical but seldom seen pre-war Deluxe engraving with baroque gargoyles, serpents, dragons, grotesque masks and sneering faces. This is very well cut engraving with a fair amount of cut relief. The stock on this gun is with Deluxe wood that has excellent color and contrast of deep blacks and brown. It has an engraved trap grip cap with a sneering face and a spare front sight inside.

The piece retains 99% original & vivid case colors, The barrels have 99% original blue, The trigger guard blue is 100%, The original oil stock finish remains at 98%, The checkering is at 100%, Every screw is 100%, The bores are excellent plus and appear as new, The locks are in the same condition as the outside of the gun, The stock inletting is clean and solid in every respect and looks like it was cut yesterday. The whole is cased in the maker’s original brass cornered leather trunk with a canvas cover, all accessories including spare strikers, turnscrews, snap caps & cleaning gear.

HOLLAND & HOLLAND 240 MAG FLANGED ROYAL "MODELE De LUXE"- GOLDEN ERA of 1933- APPEARS UNFIRED
HOLLAND & HOLLAND 240 MAG FLANGED ROYAL “MODELE De LUXE”- GOLDEN ERA of 1933- APPEARS UNFIRED

The piece has all the appearance of never being fired and is almost like walking out of 98 New Bond Street 80 years ago with a brand new gun. This Classic Royal “Modele De Luxe” piece remains in superb condition, a fun cartridge, outstanding wood that will go a lifetime, bores like new, bolstered frame and is a top drawer Deluxe gun from one of the greatest sporting gun makers of the British trade. We have loaded for this cartridge and can do it again if you want us to go there but it appears unfired. Price: $85,000.00

HOLLAND & HOLLAND 240 MAG FLANGED ROYAL "MODELE De LUXE"- GOLDEN ERA of 1933- APPEARS UNFIRED
HOLLAND & HOLLAND 240 MAG FLANGED ROYAL “MODELE De LUXE”- GOLDEN ERA of 1933- APPEARS UNFIRED
HOLLAND & HOLLAND 240 MAG FLANGED ROYAL "MODELE De LUXE"- GOLDEN ERA of 1933- APPEARS UNFIRED
HOLLAND & HOLLAND 240 MAG FLANGED ROYAL “MODELE De LUXE”- GOLDEN ERA of 1933- APPEARS UNFIRED
HOLLAND & HOLLAND 240 MAG FLANGED ROYAL "MODELE De LUXE"- GOLDEN ERA of 1933- APPEARS UNFIRED
HOLLAND & HOLLAND 240 MAG FLANGED ROYAL “MODELE De LUXE”- GOLDEN ERA of 1933- APPEARS UNFIRED
HOLLAND & HOLLAND 240 MAG FLANGED ROYAL "MODELE De LUXE"- GOLDEN ERA of 1933- APPEARS UNFIRED
HOLLAND & HOLLAND 240 MAG FLANGED ROYAL “MODELE De LUXE”- GOLDEN ERA of 1933- APPEARS UNFIRED
HOLLAND & HOLLAND 240 MAG FLANGED ROYAL "MODELE De LUXE"- GOLDEN ERA of 1933- APPEARS UNFIRED
HOLLAND & HOLLAND 240 MAG FLANGED ROYAL “MODELE De LUXE”- GOLDEN ERA of 1933- APPEARS UNFIRED

Cool little double rifle: An Alexander Henry .300 Sherwood, 19 3/4″ bbls..

Alexander Henry, Gunmaker, Scotland, from Wikipedia
Alexander Henry, Gunmaker Scotland, from Wikipedia

After John Dickson & Son, Alexander Henry may be Edinburgh’s most famous gunmaker. Mr Henry   opened his business in 1853, and within a decade he was know throughout Scotland and the UK for his competition rifles, sporting rifles, and a major for the Henry rifling used in the famous Martini-Henry rifle. In 1870, he also invented snap caps.

Even though Mr Henry died in 1894, his is business lived up until about World War 1. The petite little double rifle / shotgun you see here was made at that time. The 300 Sherwood cartridge it uses was introduced by Westley Richards in 1901. Made for small game hunting, the cartridge pushes a 140 grain projectile at 1,400 feet per second and generates 610 foot pounds of energy — comparable to a .357 Magnum.

Alexander Henry & Co. Edinburgh. .300 Sherwood & .410 Sidelock Double Rifle & Shotgun
Alexander Henry & Co. Edinburgh. .300 Sherwood & .410 Sidelock Double Rifle & Shotgun

Alexander Henry & Co., Edinburgh, .300 Sherwood & .410 Sidelock Double Rifle/Shotgun: Scroll Engraved. AE, 2 Barrel Set: 19 3/4″ .300 Sherwood nitro proof. 1 standing & 4 leaf folding sights & 28″ inch Mod. & Full 3″ nitro proof. Pistol grip, Auto Safety, 14″ LOP to checkered butt. Highly figured Walnut Stock. 85% case color, 5 pound 1 ounce, & 5 pound 3 ounce. Original Oak and Leather Case with tools plus 50 rounds of Kynoch .300 Sherwood Ammunition. Price: $29,500.00

Alexander Henry & Co. Edinburgh. .300 Sherwood & .410 Sidelock Double Rifle & Shotgun
Alexander Henry & Co. Edinburgh. .300 Sherwood & .410 Sidelock Double Rifle & Shotgun
lexander Henry, Gunmaker, Edinburgh & London
lexander Henry, Gunmaker, Edinburgh & London
Box of .300 Sherwood Kynoch Rifle Cartridges
Box of .300 Sherwood Kynoch Rifle Cartridges

At auction: A rare 12g SxS shotgun by Wm. R. Schaefer…

Wm R Shaefer & Sons, Boston, Gunmakers, From Buffalo Bill Center of the West
Wm R Shaefer & Sons, Boston, Gunmakers, From Buffalo Bill Center of the West

Boston isn’t a city we think of as gun friendly. But in the 19th and early 20th century, it was home to a number of famous gunmakers, including William R. Schaefer.

Wm R. Schaefer started making percussion guns around 1853. By 1883, his sons had joined the business and they were making custom shotguns and rifles in Boston at 61 Elm Street (Elm Street was at the edge of Scollay Sq, near Faneuil Hall).

The Wm R. Schaefer boxlock you see here was probably made in the 1880s. It looks very “Westley Richards” to me, which isn’t surprising. Schaefer was an agent for Harrington & Richardson’s A&D hammerless guns. Here’s more about this double from the seller:

Wm R Schaefer Double Barrel Shotgun 12 ga:

Wm R Schaefer Double Barrel Shotgun 12 ga
Wm R Schaefer Double Barrel Shotgun 12 ga

s/n 4170; brl length 30″; top break SxS; Good cond; checkered pistol grip, heavily engraved action, trigger guard, damascus brls, light rust at top front.

 

 

 

Wm R Schaefer Double Barrel Shotgun 12 ga
Wm R Schaefer Double Barrel Shotgun 12 ga
Wm R Schaefer Double Barrel Shotgun 12 ga
Wm R Schaefer Double Barrel Shotgun 12 ga
Elm Street, Scollay Sq, Boston, 1920.
Elm Street, Scollay Sq, Boston, 1920.

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

RIGBY BEST PRE WAR DOUBLE RIFLE 22 SAVAGE HI POWER
RIGBY BEST PRE WAR DOUBLE RIFLE 22 SAVAGE HI POWER

RIGBY BEST PRE WAR DOUBLE RIFLE 22 SAVAGE HI POWER: SIDELOCK EJECTOR 24″ BARRELS WITH 1/4 RIB ONE STANDING SIGHT GREAT BORES DOUBLE TRIGGER PISTOL GRIP SPLINTER FOREARM EXCELLENT PLUS CONDITION MAKERS CASE WITH ACCESORIES 7LB 6 OZ X 14 7/8. Price: $79,500.00

“LeFever” JA Prechtel Ornately Engraved High Grade Gun, 10 & 12 gauge Set: 10ga. Steel Barrels 29”, Cyl/Cyl, with 3” chambers, marked JA Prechtel Maker Clevland Ohio / Made for Dr. EJ Cuttler on rib, 12ga. Damascus barrels 30” F/F with 2 ¾” chambers, marked J Weston on rib – pistol grip stock with a hard rubber butt plate, Double triggers, splinter forend, solid ribs, extractors. Not marked Lefever and there is no serial number but it is obviously a Lefever, thumb lever opening, high grade gun with beautiful ornate engraving, very unique with two sets of barrels and two gauges one Damascus and one steel, this is a great gun that is untouched unmolested, ready for immediate delivery. 14” x 1 3/4”x 3 1/4”. 8lb. 9oz.(12ga)   8lb. 15.5oz.(10ga). Price: $7,995

"LeFever" Ornately Engraved High Grade Gun, 10 & 12 gauge Set
“LeFever” Ornately Engraved High Grade Gun, 10 & 12 gauge Set
L C Smith, Hunter Arms, A1 Grade, 12 Gauge, Damascus Gorgeous
L C Smith, Hunter Arms, A1 Grade, 12 Gauge, Damascus Gorgeous

L C Smith, Hunter Arms, A1 Grade, 12 Gauge, Damascus Gorgeous: 30″ DAMASCUS BARRELS, FULL & FULL, PERFECT MIRROR BORES, FINE DAMASCUS PATTERN.  AUTOMATIC EJECTORS, ATTRACTIVE ENGRAVING – DOGS ON POINT, FINE SCROLLWORK, INTRICATE BORDERS, PAIR OF QUAIL ON THE TRIGGER GUARD.  PISTOL GRIP STOCK, SPLINTER FOREARM, EXTREMELY FINE CHECKERING, NICELY FIGURED ENGLISH WALNUT, ORIGINAL BUTTPLATE.  MADE IN 1895, GORGEOUS GUN.  Price: $7,500.00

Charles Ingram BLE 12 Gauge Double Barrel Boxlock Shotgun: 30”bbls, Nitro Proofed 3 Tons Per Square Inch, IC & Full chokes, 2 ½” chambers. Double triggers, ejectors, English stock, splinter forend. 15” LOP to plate. 7lbs. Price: $3,799.99

Charles Ingram BLE 12 Gauge Double Barrel Boxlock Shotgun:
Charles Ingram BLE 12 Gauge Double Barrel Boxlock Shotgun
RIGBY BEST PRE WAR DOUBLE RIFLE 22 SAVAGE HI POWER
RIGBY BEST PRE WAR DOUBLE RIFLE 22 SAVAGE HI POWER

BERETTA 627EL Sport – 12ga – 28″ – Briley Chokes – English Stock: 1985 – Beretta 627EL Sport – 12ga, 28″, 2-3/4″, Briley Chokes, English Stock, Single Trigger, LOP 14-3/8″, Drop 1-1/2″ to 2″, Weight 6 lbs. 14 oz. Overall Excellent Condition. This is a “Y” gun – indicating it has been back to Beretta for some reason. The barrels have been reblued. The gun is mechanically very nice. Lever over to right. Barrels ring like a church bell. Includes: Eight (8) Briley Chokes (CYL, CYL, IC, IC, LM, M, IM, F) and Briley Wrench. Price: $2,750.00

Wow- Is this a super rare Dangerfield-Nichols-Lefever American drilling?

12 gauge - 38-55 Ballard Drilling, possibly made by Dangerfield-Lefever
12 gauge – 38-55 Ballard Drilling, possibly made by Dangerfield-Lefever

Daniel Myron Lefever was one of the geniuses of American gunmaking. Judging by the number of partnerships and businesses he formed in his career, he must have been mercurial, too.

Born in 1835, Uncle Dan started making firearms under his own name in 1857. Around 1871-1872, he was involved with a guy named Francis Dangerfield of Auburn NY. Then in 1876 Lefever partnerd up with a guy names John Nichols. This association was also short lived. By 1879, it was over and Lefever was back to making guns under his own name.

12 gauge - 38-55 Ballard Drilling, possibly made by Dangerfield-Lefever
12 gauge – 38-55 Ballard Drilling, possibly made by Dangerfield-Lefever

The gun you see must have been made during one of Lefevers association with Danagerfield or Nichols, or maybe right after these partnerships dissolved. Even though it doesn’t carries a maker’s name, it’s built with Dangerfield and Lefever patents, and it looks like the hammerguns made by Nichols & Lefever.

Whatever it is, it’s beautifully made, and it looks very original. Here’s more about it from the seller:

12 gauge - 38-55 Ballard Drilling, possibly made by Dangerfield-Lefever
12 gauge – 38-55 Ballard Drilling, possibly made by Dangerfield-Lefever

12 gauge, 38/55 Ballard. Possibly made by Dangerfield/Nichols/Lefever: This is a no name, no proof marks, no letters or numbers of any kind on the gun to suggest it was made in Europe. You can see from the pictures that the gun was built by an artist. It is a side by side 12 gauge with 2 and 9/16 chambers over a 38-55 Ballard rifle barrel. I have had a myriad of experts look at the gun and about the only thing they agree on is it was made in America around 1870 to 1880. The fixture on the barrel that holds the forend on is a Dan L., 1878 patent, #205193. Also identified is a 1872 Dangerfield patent, #130984.

12 gauge - 38-55 Ballard Drilling, possibly made by Dangerfield-Lefever
12 gauge – 38-55 Ballard Drilling, possibly made by Dangerfield-Lefever

Keep in mind these are not marked on the gun but rather identified by the experts, hence the patent dates and numbers were provided to me. The gun appears to have been shot very little. The reversed trigger not only cocks the hammerless rifle barrel but it also activates and creates a set trigger out of the left shotgun trigger but only when in the rifle mode. The removable gizmo on the end of the barrels is called a false muzzle, the purpose of which was to satisfy the wisdom of those days that the rifle would be more accurate if the rifling were engraved on the bullet before firing. The bullet was pushed/tapped down the barrel with a pre measured wooden dowel to a waiting primed and loaded case with just a thin wad to hold the powder. I can say with confidence that no one who has seen this gun has ever seen a gun of this quality with no markings. If you have I would like to hear from you. Price: $15,000.00

12 gauge - 38-55 Ballard Drilling, possibly made by Dangerfield-Lefever
12 gauge – 38-55 Ballard Drilling, possibly made by Dangerfield-Lefever
12 gauge - 38-55 Ballard Drilling, possibly made by Dangerfield-Lefever
12 gauge – 38-55 Ballard Drilling, possibly made by Dangerfield-Lefever
12 gauge - 38-55 Ballard Drilling, possibly made by Dangerfield-Lefever
12 gauge – 38-55 Ballard Drilling, possibly made by Dangerfield-Lefever
12 gauge - 38-55 Ballard Drilling, possibly made by Dangerfield-Lefever
12 gauge – 38-55 Ballard Drilling, possibly made by Dangerfield-Lefever
12 gauge - 38-55 Ballard Drilling, possibly made by Dangerfield-Lefever
12 gauge – 38-55 Ballard Drilling, possibly made by Dangerfield-Lefever
12 gauge - 38-55 Ballard Drilling, possibly made by Dangerfield-Lefever
12 gauge – 38-55 Ballard Drilling, possibly made by Dangerfield-Lefever
12 gauge - 38-55 Ballard Drilling, possibly made by Dangerfield-Lefever
12 gauge – 38-55 Ballard Drilling, possibly made by Dangerfield-Lefever

Buying a shotgun? Here’s the word that matters most…

Holland & Holland Royal Express Double Rifle in 375 Ex
Holland & Holland Royal Express Double Rifle in 375 Ex. Is that finish original?

I was raised on gunshops and gunshows – rows of beat up guns, surly guys, rusty junk, and every now and then an OK double.  Today, most of my firearms shopping happens online, and it’s amazing how many nice shotguns I can see.

To date, I’m sure I’ve read over a million listings for side-by-side, double rifles, and over unders. (I need a more productive hobby) One of the thing I’ve learned: What a listing doesn’t say is more important than what it does say. A lot of sellers leave out important stuff. Sometimes these omissions are subtle, but significant.

These listings are a good examples of this phenomenon. Even though they say a lot, there’s one word  they don’t mention (even though one of them bounces all around it). Can you guess the word?

Holland & Holland Royal Express Rifle in .375EX: Barrel finish slightly faded and some wear; case color has some wear at edges; scope finish has handling marks. Wood has some minor dings and marks; overall very good. 26″ bbls, 2 1/2″ chambers. Bright; strong rifling. Oil finished walnut stock with raised cheek piece and checkered pistol grip; case colored engraved grip cap with trapdoor. 9 lbs 13 ozs with scope. Changeable front blade with 3 leaf express rear/ Voigtlander scope on quick disconnect. Factory leather bound case and accessories; compartment in pistol grip contains 2 extra firing pins and extra front sight and screw. 15 1/2 LOP. Price: $29,999.00

Boss Best 16g: #65XX: 27″ 003 AND 009. Self opener, Double trigger, Splinter forearm, English grip, Excellent condition in maker’s case. 5lbs 15oz. 2 3/8 X 14 1/4 overall including 1/2″ pad and 1/2″ spacer. Price: $65,000

A.H. Fox A Grade, 16ga:  28” barrels choked M/IM.  Chromox Barrels, Philadelphia PA gun, 100% new and unfired.  Large bold engraving. Capped pistol grip, butt plate, splinter forend. 100% case color, 100% barrel blue and 100% wood finish. A perfect example. Price: $6,995

The word’s ORIGINAL Is its omission a big deal? Probably not, especially if the seller is willing to confirm it in writing. But if the seller balks…well, that would make me worry.

This week’s good shotguns: powered by Gunsinternational.com…

Holland & Holland .500BPE Double Rifle
Holland & Holland .500BPE Double Rifle

HOLLAND & HOLLAND DOUBLE HAMMER RIFLE .500 3 1/4″: 27″ steel barrels, ramp front sight with folding night sight. Two leaf rear express sight. Lightly engraved back action locks and rebounding hammers. Stock dimensions LOP: 14 1/2″ Comb: 1 1/2″ Heel: 2 1/4″ Weight: 9lbs 2oz. Super untouched original barrel blue. The action and locks are lightly engraved and retain areas of casehardening with the remainder fading to a pleasing mottled gray. Mint bores and tight action. Beautiful wood and checkering. Left side of the receiver engraved “CHARGE 5 DRAMS, CASE 3 1/4 INCHES”. Price: 12,500

12 gauge A.H. Fox XE grade Double Barrel Shotgun
12 gauge A.H. Fox XE grade Double Barrel Shotgun

1916 Ansley H. Fox XE Grade 12ga: Serial # 23670, Made in 1916, Philadelphia, PA. This gun is in +95% Condition. Hand Engraving. This gun is a fine piece of American craftsmanship. This gun has been shot very little. 2 5/8” chambers, 28” bbls, Full & Mod, Chromox steel, #4 weight, 13 ¾” X 1 5/8” x 2 ¾”, 6lbs 13oz. Price: $11,995.00

12 gauge Churchill Double Barrel. Side-by-Side Shotgun
12 gauge Churchill Double Barrel. Side-by-Side Shotgun

CHURCHILL REGAL XXV ORIGINAL CASE: 12g Boxlock Ejectors: Nice original cased Churchill XXV Regal. 25” bbls. This Churchill is in very good condition and with a 59xx serial number is an early 30’s gun. Nice dimensions on a straight grip DAC 1 ½ X DAH 2 ¼ X LOP 14 to end of pad, with a 5/8 cast off for a right handed shooter. 6lbs. Priced to sell $3975.00.

16 gauge D.M. Lefever, #7 Grade, Double Barrel Shotgun
16 gauge D.M. Lefever, #7 Grade, Double Barrel Shotgun

DM LEFEVER #7 GRADE 16 GAUGE: 28″ MOD AND FULL 2 3/4 SINGLE SELECT TRIIGGER EJECTORS SPLINTER FOREARM PISTOL GRIP EXCELLENT CONDITION THE WOOD IS PROFESSIONALLY REFINISHED 6LB 6 OZ X 2 1/2 X 1 3/4 X 13 FROM REAR SINGLE TRIGGER. Price: $7,500.00

16 gauge Darne Halifax Double Barrel Shotgun
16 gauge Darne Halifax Double Barrel Shotgun

Darne Halifax 16 Gauge: Retains most of the case color on the action with blue in similar condition. 25 ½” bbls, 2 ½” chambers, double triggers, straight stock, 14 1/8″ LOP. 1 3/4″ DAC. 2 5/8″ DAH. 1/4″ cast on (for left-handed shooter), Price: $1,499.99

 

 

Shooting a rare Purdey double rifle…

Purdey .303 Double Barrel Underlever Rifle
Purdey .303 Double Barrel Underlever Rifle

Here’s an as-good-as-it-gets, best quality James Purdey & Sons double rife. Of the 30,000+ firearms that Purdey has made, fewer than 400 of them have been hammerless double rifles.

The one you see here is .303, snap-action underlever, made on a Beesley action and in excellent original condition.

Purdey .303 Double Barrel Underlever Rifle
Purdey .303 Double Barrel Underlever Rifle

 

Purdey .303 Double Barrel Underlever Rifle
Purdey .303 Double Barrel Underlever Rifle

Super rare Dickson Double Rifle brings big $$$$$….

Last week I put up this post about a rare Dickson Round Action double rifle. It went off at auction on Saturday, 10/6, and the hammer price blew away the pre-sale estimate. The Dickson hammered down at $23,700 vs. a pre-sale estimate of $6-8,000.

Dickson Round Action Double Rifle
Dickson Round Action Double Rifle

I was told that Dickson made fewer than 20 round action double rifles. That kind of scarcity, plus this examples good looking condition, are certainly the reason behind it’s high price. Here’s the info on the gun from the auctioneer:

John Dickson & Son side by side top lever double-barrel Express rifle, .500 cal., London and black powder proof barrels with ejectors, a highly scroll engraved receiver, trigger guard, lever and tang, a gold-filled safe indicator, a right-handed English walnut stock with a cheek rest, a pistol grip with checkering to the wrist and fore end and a brass escutcheon on the butt stock, serial #4655, 28″ barrels.

Daily Doubles, powered by Gunsinternational.com

guns-international-logo
guns-international-logo

A new feature. Each day I’m going to post the top new double-barrel shotguns and side-by-sides from GunsInternational.com.  I hope this makes it easier for folks to find a nice gun. Just looking is always fun, too.

JAMES PURDEY & SONS – BEST QUALITY 20 ga
Price: $50,000.00

A. H. Fox CE 12 Ga
Price: $6,500.00

Luciano Bosis 12 ga
Price: $20,000.00

PARKER DHE TRAP 12 GAUGE
Price: $9,950.00

W.C.Scott with classic crystal windows!
Price: $7,000.00

AH FOX CE 12 GAUGE
Price: $4,195.00

AH FOX AE 12 GAUGE
Price: $3,500.00

WESTLEY RICHARDS – OVUNDO – 12 GA
Price: $18,000.00

E. J. CHURCHILL BY GRIFFIN & HOWE 12 Gauge
Price: $5,300.00

PARKER BROS. GHE 12 GA. -BEAVERTAIL – 30″ BLS.
Price: $3,650.00

Savage Fox Sterlingworth 12GA — with ejectors!
Price: $650.00

J.P. Sauer & Sohn 12 Gauge Double Barrel SxS
Price: $900.00

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

You’re joking, right? A Boss Over / Under Double Rifle…

As I’ve said before, guys call me all the time about doubles. Most of them are looking for info on meat-and-potato, side-by-side shotguns: Parkers, L.C. Smiths, a Fox here and there. But every now and then I get call about something interesting…

The call I got about this gun was a lot more than interesting: It was un-friggin’-believable. A Boss Over & Under Double Rifle? Please. I thought the caller was joking – until he forwarded me the pics. Then I almost fainted. Stay tuned for more info…

Boss & Co. Over Under Double Rifle
Boss & Co. Over Under Double Rifle

How much of this “Purdey” was made by J. Purdey?

 

16 bore "Purdey" plains rifle, bbl #2869
16 bore "Purdey" plains rifle, bbl #2869

James Purdey & Sons is just two years shy of being 200 hundred years old. In all that time, they’ve made all sorts of shotguns and rifles. Even though I’ve seen lots of them, I’m still surprised by some of the stuff I come across. Just check out this 16 bore “Purdey” percussion stocking rifle. It’s coming up at Dakota Plains Auction Company’s 6/16-6/17 auction.

Even though the barrel is engraved “J Purdey 314 1/2 Oxford Street London” and it wears the other proper marks (serial #2869), I don’t think the entire gun was made in London. To me, the stock and triggers don’t look British. Then there’s the lock and hammer. It lacks the crispness and refinement that I would expect to see on a rifle coming from 314 1/2 Oxford Street London in 1837. Compare it to this and to this to see what I mean. Also, it’s strange that the lock isn’t marked. There’s no “Purdey”on it anywhere, something I would expect to see.

16 bore "Purdey" plains rifle, bbl #2869
16 bore "Purdey" plains rifle, bbl #2869

So what is it? I think it’s an American-made, half-stock percussion plains rifle built around a 16 bore J. Purdey barrel. Of course, I could be wrong. Regardless, it does look high quality. It will be interesting to see how much someone is willing to pay for it.

Auction Alert: W.W. Greener, Holland & Holland double rifles…

Good guns are where you find, and you never know where a nice side-by-side will pop up. Just check out these double rifles coming up at this little auction in Kuna, ID.

BTW: You can get great deals at little auctions like this. You can also get very burned. Be sure you have these guns checked out thoroughly before bidding.

W.W. Greener Double Rifle
W.W. Greener Double Rifle

W.W. Greener .450/400  – W.W. Greener DRs are hard to find and from what I can see this one looks very original. With a litt’e cleaning up and care, it could be  a great gun.

Holland & Holland Double Rifle
Holland & Holland Double Rifle

Holland & Holland – this DR has problems, and it looks like a P-R-O-J-E-C-T. But it does look original and it is an H&H.

Vintage double of the week: Patrick Mullin 8 gauge…

Let’s celebrate one of America’s finest gunmakers: Patrick Mullin. Don’t feel bad, most people have never heard of him. Patrick Mullin’s double barrel shotguns were some of the finest ever made on this side of the Atlantic.  This 8 gauge, 11lb 5oz., percussion shotgun with 33″ barrels is an excellent example of his work. It glows with excellence and proves that a best-quality gun doesn’t need engraving.

Patrick Mullin 8 gauge percussion shotgun
Patrick Mullin 8 gauge percussion shotgun

Patrick Mullin made guns in New York City from around 1850-1870. He was born in Donegal, Ireland,  in 1814 and trained in Dublin and London before emigrating to the US. His guns retailed for $400-$1000 — more than Purdeys made at the same time.

Patrick Mullin 8 gauge percussion shotgun
Patrick Mullin 8 gauge percussion shotgun

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Mullin’s death in 1895, the New York Times published his obituary and stated “He turned out guns of his own handiwork that were unsurpassed in excellence.” This 8 gauge shows that they were right. Pics courtesy Dismal River Armory.

Patrick Mullin 8 gauge percussion shotgun
Patrick Mullin 8 gauge percussion shotgun

 

Vintage double of the week – 8g Westley Richards…

Any hammerless 8g double barrel is hard to come by, and when you throw in “rifle” you have a side by side that is almost unheard of. That’s what makes this 8 gauge Westley Richards double rifle so amazing. Factor in it’s condition and you have an incredible rare double – probably one of a kind. You can see more pics of it here.

WESTLEY RICHARDS 8-BORE DOUBLE RIFLE
WESTLEY RICHARDS 8-BORE DOUBLE RIFLE

This rifle pushed a 1,200 grain bullet. While the FPS probably wasn’t too high, I’m sure that much lead still hit with a big thud. I’m not sure what the original owner hunted with it — may the last remaining pocket of T Rexes.

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