Auction alert: An awesome Rigby 12g SxS…

Excellent Vintage Rigby Rising Bite 12 gauge Side-by-Side British Shotgun:
Excellent Vintage Rigby Rising Bite 12 gauge Side-by-Side British Shotgun:

You never know what you’ll find at Gunbroker.com. While a lot of the shotguns there don’t interest me, every now and then something special pops up–like this.

It’s a John Rigby & Co hammerless sidelock built on a Rigby-Bissel rising bite action with a snap-action underlever and Purdey-style bites.

To open the gun, you push forward the lever that wraps over the triggerguard. After the gun is fired, doing this also cocks the hammers.

Overall, this SxS shotgun is stunning. But what really impresses is the engraving. Fantastic. Just look at how tight and well laid out it is. Check out how much depth it has.

John Rigby & Co is the oldest gunmaking firm in continuous existence in the English-speaking world. (Yes, Beretta is older, but they speak Italian.) Founded in Dublin, Ireland, in 1775, Rigby patented their legendary Rigby-Bissel rising bite action in 1879 and built them regularly until 1910.

In that time, about 1,000 guns and rifles were built using the patent (this side-by-side is the 205th they built). While the rising-bite was famous for its strength, it required extensive hand–which made it very expensive to build. Rigby reintroduced their rising-bite action in 2015 and the company is still building them today. Prices start at £95,000.

Excellent Vintage Rigby Rising Bite 12 gauge Side-by-Side British Shotgun:
Excellent Vintage Rigby Rising Bite 12 gauge Side-by-Side British Shotgun:

Excellent Vintage Rigby Rising Bite 12 gauge Side-by-Side British Shotgun: Rare and beautiful Vintage Rigby “Third Rising Bite” Sidelock 12 bore double game gun. Gun # 15441 (ca. 1884) is an English “BEST” and is about as good as it gets. Lightweight at just 6 lbs, 8 oz. using the smooth-topped “Snap” action with the legendary Bissell’s 1879 patent Third Rising Bite (usage # 205) and Purdey double underbites. About as strong an action there is – the same lock-up used on their legendary double rifles.

Features trademark beveled Rigby “Dipped” lock plates and the Old English script lettering that Rigby is known for. Perfectly laid out deep-cut scroll and signature carved Fern fences and action body are as about as good as it gets! Fore end is splinter type with perfect borders and desirable Rigby’s “Patent” throw lever.

CONDITION: Excellent as tastefully and professionally restored without sacrificing that aged-in look coveted by vintage collectors. Original 30” fluid compressed steel barrels with maker’s name and London and Dublin addresses in bold script on the top rib. Nitro proved barrels have 100% of their restored deep rust blue.

Excellent Vintage Rigby Rising Bite 12 gauge Side-by-Side British Shotgun:
Excellent Vintage Rigby Rising Bite 12 gauge Side-by-Side British Shotgun:

BARREL LENGTH: 30″ CHAMBERS: 2 3/4″ BORE DIAMETERS: L. .735 R. .739 MIN WALLS: L. .025 R. .025 (one small spot near muzzle on underside @ .021 likely an old dent repair) CHOKES: L. .015 R. .000 (true Cylinder)

Original, highly figured French walnut stocks are excellent as lightly re-oiled – no cracks/dings. Checkering is sharp & near perfect with a VG, nicely aged, original horn butt plate. Straight grip stock measures: 14 1/8” x 2” x 3” at heel.

Mechanically excellent, timed screws are VG and everything is tight and functioning properly. Cased in an English made, custom-fitted all-leather case with stitched corners, wool felt lined with shot card and trade label all of which are excellent (case alone is worth $600). Has several accessories which include a near perfect vintage sling complete with forged sling-hooks to match the factory loops on the gun – rare find indeed!

Excellent Vintage Rigby Rising Bite 12 gauge Side-by-Side British Shotgun:
Excellent Vintage Rigby Rising Bite 12 gauge Side-by-Side British Shotgun:

Also, has vintage A&F “New York” marked snap caps in excellent condition. I’m the owner, so I’m open to trade offers on Manton / Purdey double muzzleloader shotguns; flint or Percussion in shootable condition. Here’s a chance to get ahold of a real-deal Rigby classic from the heyday of English gun making! NOTE: This is the only Rising Bite Rigby shotgun on the market today! Don’t miss out!

 

This week’s good guns: 5 doubles worth checking out…

 

RIGBY RISING BITE 470 N. E. SIDE-BY-SIDE DOUBLE RIFLE- BORES as NEW with ORIG. Bbls.- SUPERB 1911 SIDELOCK CLASSIC- 26" EJECTOR CHOPPER LUMP Bbls.- OUTSTANDING WOOD
RIGBY RISING BITE 470 N. E. SIDE-BY-SIDE DOUBLE RIFLE- BORES as NEW with ORIG. Bbls.- SUPERB 1911 SIDELOCK CLASSIC- 26″ EJECTOR CHOPPER LUMP Bbls.- OUTSTANDING WOOD

RIGBY RISING BITE 470 N. E. SIDE-BY-SIDE DOUBLE RIFLE- BORES as NEW with ORIG. Bbls.- SUPERB 1911 SIDELOCK CLASSIC- 26″ EJECTOR CHOPPER LUMP Bbls.- OUTSTANDING WOOD#17625, John Rigby & Co. 43 Sackville Road, London: A Rising Bite 470 Nitro Express Bar Action Sidelock Ejector Double Rifle with Original Barrels That Have Bores Like New, Made in 1911, 26″ Ejector Chopper Lump Barrels, Full length rib with 1 standing & 2 folding rear sights, Fold-up night sight, Nitro proved at 75 cordite with a 500 grain bullet, Bushed strikers, Double triggers, Spring actuated locking safety, Horn grip cap, 14 3/4″ LOP over a 1″ leather pad, 11 lbs. 2 oz., 97% coverage of classic Rigby scroll; “Jno. Rigby & Co.” in Gold on both sidelocks, The top rib, Serial number & Safe, Excellent European walnut with dark and deep contrast with great color, This piece was completely refinished from muzzle to butt, Fresh case colors, Reblacked barrels with the striking like the day it left Rigby, The stock and forend reoiled, It remains in 99% condition since the work was done. – Now the unbelievable news is the bores are virtually as new and these are the original barrels that have been there since day one. Then Marvin Huey built a full Deluxe Elephant hide brass cornered trunk case and added a lot of nice accessories. Here is a solid London Classic Rising Bite Rigby in the 470 cartridge with bores like new and a piece of wood that meets the eye very well. /////////////////////////////////////// The breech face marked with the R & B (John Rigby & Thomas Bissell) Patent #1141 which was patented March 21, 1879, the beginning of the Hammerless gun era, for the barrel locking method which we call the rising-bite. It is also marked #1026 in this vignette which applies to this gun as being the 1,026th gun built under the R & B patent. Price: $74,000.00

Extraordinary Purdey 450/360 Double Rifle Formerly Owned by Prime Minister of Great Britain
Extraordinary Purdey 450/360 Double Rifle Formerly Owned by Prime Minister of Great Britain

Extraordinary Purdey 450/360 Double Rifle Formerly Owned by Prime Minister of Great Britain: Extremely fine Purdey double barrel hammerless rifle owned by the former Prime Minister of Great Britain, the fifth Earl of Rosbery and used by him at the country estate of Dalmeny for deerstalking. Cal: 450/360 – 2 3/8″ BP. Serial #:14xxx. 27″ Whitworth fluid steel barrels w/ extractors and single rear and front sight. Top rib marked: “J. Purdey & Sons  Audley House South Audley Street London Made of Sir Joseph Whitworth Fluid Pressed Steel” .Case colored and fine rose & scroll engraved Beesely self-opener sidelock action with side-clips, double underlugs, and hidden third fastener. Top tang slide safety w/ “SAFE” in gold and additional small swing-tang secondary safety. Double triggers. Beautiful black-streaked english walnut stock with paneled cheekpiece and checkered butt. Finely engraved steel gripcap. 14 1/2″ LOP. Sling swivel. Gold escutcheon plate engraved with Roseberry’s arms. Weights: 8lbs 2oz. Bbls only: 4lbs13oz. Cased in original brass bound oak and leather case w/ maker’s label intact and original red baize lining. Has “Great Northern Railway”  label on outside of case with destination “Dalmeny” (the home of the Earl of Rosebery). included accessories are: various ebony handled tools, rosewood cleaning rod, brass jags, rectangular Dixon marked plated oil bottle, spare gilt firing pins & springs. Condition: Gun is in extremely fine original condition. Most all original case color remains bright and vivid. Barrels on-face. Bores clear. Scant miscellaneous handling marks on wood. Price: $24,900

PARKER QUALITY 4 TOP LEVER HAMMER SHOTGUN 12 GAUGE SxS
PARKER QUALITY 4 TOP LEVER HAMMER SHOTGUN 12 GAUGE SxS

PARKER QUALITY 4 TOP LEVER HAMMER GUN 12 GAUGE: IT WOULD BE TOUGH TO FIND ANOTHER HAMMER GUN IN AS ORIGINAL CONDITION AS THIS 32″ BERNARD STEEL BARRELS GREAT BORES 2 1/2″ CHAMBERS BOTH BARRELS ARE CYLINDER BORED DOUBLE TRIGGER EXTRACTORS SPLINTER FOREARM PISTOL GRIP SKELETON BUTT 8LBS 7 OZ X 3″ X 2″ X 14 1/4″. Price: $18,500

BROWNING SUPERPOSED 20 GAUGE OVER/UNDER SHOTGUN: 26 12/” BARRELS WITH MINT BORES, 3″ CHAMBERS, BORES: OVER .610 CHOKE .009, UNDER .610 CHOKE .009, MEASURES IMPROVED CYLINDER BOTH BARRELS, CHOKES MARKED SKEET, LEVER WELL RIGHT OF CENTER, USED BUT NOT ABUSED, PERFECT FOR THE FIELD SUPERPOSED, ROUND KNOB LONG TANG, MADE IN BELGIUM CIRCA 1959′ , DIMENSIONS WITH FACTORY BUTTPLATE 14 1/4″-1 1/2″-2 1/4″. Price: $1,950

BROWNING SUPERPOSED 20 GAUGE OVER/UNDER SHOTGUN:
BROWNING SUPERPOSED 20 GAUGE OVER/UNDER SHOTGUN:

SKB – Model 280 – 12ga 28″ M/F SxS – As New Condition: Ejectors, Single Selective Trigger, English Stock, LOP 14-1/4″, Drop 1-5/8″ to 2-1/2″. Weight 7lbs. 1 oz. Excellent Plus – 99+% Condition. This gun appears almost New Unfired. Price: $1475

SKB - Model 280 - 12ga 28" M/F SxS - As New Condition:
SKB – Model 280 – 12ga 28″ M/F SxS – As New Condition:

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

JOHN RIGBY BEST PRE WAR SXS DOUBLE RIFLE 22 HI POWER
JOHN RIGBY BEST PRE WAR SXS DOUBLE RIFLE 22 HI POWER

JOHN RIGBY BEST PRE WAR SXS DOUBLE RIFLE 22 HI POWERSIDELOCK 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: $69,500

HOFFMAN ARMS CO. SIDE-BY-SIDE DOUBLE RIFLE
HOFFMAN ARMS CO. SIDE-BY-SIDE DOUBLE RIFLE

HOFFMAN ARMS CO. SIDE-BY-SIDE DOUBLE RIFLE10.75x68mm Mauser caliber (similar to .404 Jeffery).   26″ barrels with automatic ejectors and raised quarter rib with four leaf folding express sights.  The frame and barrels were supplied by Sempert & Krieghoff in 1929 to the Hoffman Arms Co.   It was stocked,  and finished by Seymour Griffin formerly of Griffin & Howe.  The receiver although unsigned appears to be beautifully engraved by Rudolph Kornbraith and has  “HOFFMAN ARMS CO”  in a banner on each side.  Checkered forend and pistol grip buttstock with engraved grip cap and ending with a hard rubber pad.  Condition is very high retaining considerable barrel blue, excellent casehardened finish on the receiver and triggerguard.  Super wood and checkering.  Beautiful mint bores.  Weight: 9lbs 6oz.  LOP: 14 1/8″   Comb: 1 1/2″  Heel: 2 1/4″.   This rifle is very accurate and with the proper load and  bullet will handle most anything. Price: $24,950

BERETTA - RARE - ASE - 20ga - 26" - Vent Rib - Single Trigger - Prince of Whales - 1959 Hand Built Quality
BERETTA – RARE – ASE – 20ga – 26″ – Vent Rib – Single Trigger – Prince of Whales – 1959 Hand Built Quality

BERETTA – RARE – ASE – 20ga – 26″ – Vent Rib – Single Trigger – Prince of Whales – 1959 Hand Built Quality: IC / IM (.009 / .020), Tapered Field Style Vent Rib, Ejectors, Single Trigger, Prince of Whales Round Knob Grip, LOP 14-3/8″, Drop 1-1/4″ to 2-1/8″, Cast Off for the Right Hand, Weight 5 lbs. 8 oz. Appears to be all original and overall Excellent Condition. Clearly hasn’t been used hard. Price: $5,150

  • Barrels – about perfect condition.
  • Bores – as new and measure exactly as they left the factory in 1959.
  • Forearm – excellent plus.
  • Receiver and Trigger Guard – excellent plus.
  • Butt Stock – original, but some finish issues. No cracks or repairs. New laquer fixes any problems with the Butt Stock. The butt plate has shrunk. I’ve seen this on Beretta shotguns from this era before.
WILLIAM R. PAPE ISLAND SIDELOCK 12GA HAMMERGUN
WILLIAM R. PAPE ISLAND SIDELOCK 12GA HAMMERGUN

WILLIAM R. PAPE ISLAND SIDELOCK 12GA HAMMERGUN: WITH RARE LEVER RELEASE, BEAUTIFUL TIGHT ENGLISH SCROLL ENGRAVING WITH TRACES OF CASE COLORS, 29″ FINE DAMASCUS BBLS WITH DOLLSHEAD, 2 3/4″ NITRO PROOF, 850 BAR, MIN WALLS, 28 THOU PLUS, CHOKED IC/FULL, STANDARD GAME RIB, EXTRACTORS, DBL TRIGGERS, HIGHLY FIGURED ENGLISH WALNUT WITH ENGRAVED TOE & HEEL PLATES, LOP 14 1/2, 1 3/8, 1 13/16, 6LBS 7OZ, BERY FINE ORIGINAL CONDITION, EXCELLENT BORE, TIGHT ON FACE!  Price: $4,295

CHARLES DALY MODEL 500 20GA SxS BY MIROKU
CHARLES DALY MODEL 500 20GA SxS BY MIROKU

CHARLES DALY MODEL 500 20GA SxS BY MIROKU: The nicest Model 500 I have seen. Very few minor imperfections in wood and metal. Close to new. 28in barrels have had the chokes opened to IC and MOD . Price: $1200
Manufacturer: Miroku
Model: Charles Daly Model 500
Bore: 20 GA
Chambers: 3IN
Condition: Close to New
Barrels: 28IN
Triggers: 2
Stock Comb: 1 1/2IN
Stock Heel: 2 9/16IN
LOP: 14 1/4
Weight: 6.6 lbs

 

 

Merry Christmas! Here’s what was on my list…

Merry Christmas to everyone and your families. I hope you’re having a good great day. Here are a few of the things I was hoping Santa would bring me this year:

Boss & Co., London. Magnificent 12ga. OU game gun, two sets of barrels. Pic copyright 2013 Lewis Drake and Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Boss & Co., London. Magnificent 12ga. OU game gun, two sets of barrels. Pic copyright 2013 Lewis Drake and Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

-More time to hunt

-More places to hunt

-More birds

-More patience, so I can enjoy all of it.

Oh, and I thought this shotgun would be nice, too:

Boss & Co., London. Magnificent 12ga. OU game gun with rising-bite third-fastener and two original sets of barrels. Ordered from Boss in April, 1937.  Rare Boss single-selective trigger. Automatic safety. Incredibly rare, hidden, rising-bite third-fastener. Interesting “finger rest” on right lock plate specified in the original order records. Flawless fit and finish with action and locks retaining most of the original hardening colors. Barrels, forend iron, and mounts retain most of their original brilliant black finish. Highly figured original straight-grip stock with checkered butt and splinter forend retain all the original finish. The whole set cased in original maker’s case with trade label and a complete complement of original Boss accessories just as it left the maker in 1937. Overall mechanically perfect, lightly used, and remaining in near-mint, original, condition throughout.

Simply fantastic: a 1930’s vintage 20 gauge Boss O/U shotgun…

BOSS 20 BORE HEAVY PROOF SINGLE TRIGGER RISING BITE OVER-UNDER GAME GUN
BOSS 20 BORE HEAVY PROOF SINGLE TRIGGER RISING BITE OVER-UNDER GAME GUN

The Boss O/U is one of the world’s finest shotguns. It’s also one of the most revolutionary double barrels ever made. Patented in 1909, it was hardly the first shotgun made with stacked barrels. But Boss’s O/U was the first one able to compete with best-quality, London-made side by sides. To find out why, check out my post about the very first Boss O/U.

The Boss O/U you see here is from the 1930’s, a period when London gunmakers built some of the finest firearms ever made. It has superb 28″ barrels, top-notch Sumner engraving, beautifully detailing on the action, and the most desirable Boss-features — patent ejectors, patent single trigger AND an extremely rare rising-bite action.

BOSS 20 BORE HEAVY PROOF SINGLE TRIGGER RISING BITE OVER-UNDER GAME GUN
BOSS 20 BORE HEAVY PROOF SINGLE TRIGGER RISING BITE OVER-UNDER GAME GUN

Rigby & Co. was famous for using the Rigby-Bissell rising bite action on their finest rifles and shotguns. It’s an amazing piece of gunmaking and extremely difficult to build. In the late 1920s and into the ’30s, a version it made it onto a handful of Boss O/Us. No one is quite sure how (I have a theory).

Since 1909, Boss has made very few 20g O/Us — around 85. How many have rising bites? No one knows for certain – but 2 or 3 is a fair guess. The last 20g with a rising bite action to hit the open market sold at auction for $190,000. This one could do just as well.

BOSS 20 BORE HEAVY PROOF SINGLE TRIGGER RISING BITE OVER-UNDER GAME GUN
BOSS 20 BORE HEAVY PROOF SINGLE TRIGGER RISING BITE OVER-UNDER GAME GUN

SUBLIME “GOLDEN AGE” BOSS 20 BORE HEAVY PROOF SINGLE TRIGGER RISING BITE OVER-UNDER GAME GUN: SN 8482. (ca 1937) Cal. 20 ga. 2-3/4″ Chambers. 28″ Demi-bloc bbls with broad, flat, matted rib, fitted with two red beads, are engraved “Boss & Co, 41, Albemarle Street, Piccadilly, London. W.” and “Made in England” on either side of top bbl. Right side of top bbl and damascened bbl flat are stamped with London nitro proofs for 2-3/4″ chambers and 1 oz. of shot. Case hardened, uniquely Boss, O/U action is beautifully sculpted at breech ends of bbls, with well filed beads at bottom. Action features hidden rising bite third fastener, bushed strikers, automatic safety (SAFE inlaid in gold), gold band tumbler end cocking indicators, Chilton locks with intercepting sears, and Boss’s unique and excellent single trigger. Action is engraved with exceptionally well cut, small, shaded scroll with 14 rose bouquets, and additional roses front and rear of forend cut in bottom of action (by Sumner). “Boss & Co.” is on each lockplate. “Patent No 3307.1909” referring to the over – under system, is on each side of the action. “Boss’s Patent No 22894” is on trigger plate, referring to single trigger. Forend iron is engraved “Boss’s Patent No. 3308.1909″, referring to ejectors. Blued top lever and single beaded trigger guard, are also scroll engraved. SN is on trigger guard tang. Nicely streaked and well figured, dark, European walnut round knob, semi-pistol grip buttstock measures 14-1/2” over leather covered Silver pad, and features drop points, classic point pattern checkering with mullered borders, and a gold oval on toe line engraved “G. P.” Matching, small, one piece, Boss ejector forend has Anson type release. Bore diameter: top -.615, bottom -.615. Bore restrictions: top -.007 (IC), bottom -.013 (Mod). Wall thickness: top-.027, bottom -.029. Drop at heel: 2-3/8″, drop at comb: 1-7/16″. Weight: 6 lbs. 6 oz. LOP: 14-1/2″.

BOSS 20 BORE HEAVY PROOF SINGLE TRIGGER RISING BITE OVER-UNDER GAME GUN
BOSS 20 BORE HEAVY PROOF SINGLE TRIGGER RISING BITE OVER-UNDER GAME GUN

PROVENANCE: Abercrombie & Fitch green hang tag with specifications of this gun.

BOSS 20 BORE HEAVY PROOF SINGLE TRIGGER RISING BITE OVER-UNDER GAME GUN
BOSS 20 BORE HEAVY PROOF SINGLE TRIGGER RISING BITE OVER-UNDER GAME GUN

CONDITION: Excellent.  Action retains 85 – 90% orig case hardening color, silvered on sharp edges and beads, thinning slightly around bottom, from normal carrying wear. Lockplates retain nearly all of their vivid orig color. Orig blue of forend iron/ ejector housings is at about 90%, thinned and browned around bottom. Top lever is silvered at thumbpiece. Trigger guard is silvered on bead. Tang has been re-darkened. Stocks retain most of what appears to be their orig rubbed oil finish, maintained over the years with some extra oil rubbed into butt, with a number of very light marks and scratches. Checkering is very fine, with slight wear, and is dark. Bores are excellent, bright and shiny throughout. Action is tight. Bbls are on face. Ejectors are excellent, and in time. Lock screws show some use. An exceptionally fine, and lightly used, svelte little gun, with barrels that measure perfectly. Twenty-gauge Boss O/Us with single triggers and rising-bite style actions are exceptionally rare and among the most desirable British shotguns ever made. Estimate: $50,000-$80,000

Gorgeous engraving on a Max Ern O/U double rifle…

Engraving can make or break a shotgun. Done right, it adds to a double’s overall elegance and beauty. Done wrong, its gaudiness screams “look at me” and ruins the entire gun. On this Max Ern O/U double rifle, I would say that the engraver got it right. You can see more examples of Max Ern firearms here.

Max Ern O/U Double Rifle
Max Ern O/U Double Rifle
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