One of my favorite doubles: The Beesley “Shotover” O/U shotgun…

FREDERICK BEESLEY SHOTOVER 12 GAUGE OVER UNDER
FREDERICK BEESLEY SHOTOVER 12 GAUGE OVER UNDER

What do you get when one of England’s most inventive gunsmiths takes on the O/U? The gun shown here – a Frederick Beesley “Shotover”.

In 1880, Frederick Beesley created the Beesley-Purdey Self Opener, one of England’s most successful shotgun actions- the Beesley-Purdey Self Opener. He invented the Shotover in 1913, four years after Boss & Co. created came out with their revolutionary over under. While the Shotover shares some similarities with Boss’s design, it’s really a much different gun. To learn about what makes it so special, check out this article by Morris L. Hallowell IV. I have a feeling the gun you see here is the same 12g featured in that piece.

FREDERICK BEESLEY SHOTOVER 12 GAUGE OVER UNDER: EXTREMELY RARE BRITISH OVER UNDER 30″ BARRELS 011 AND 020 2 3/4 SINGLE TRIGGER EJECTORS FIELD FOREARM PISTOL GRIP MAKERS CASE EXCELLENT ORIGINAL CONDITION WITH REBLACKED BARRELS AND VIVID ORIGINAL CASE COLORS 6LBS 14 OZ X 2 X 1 1/4 X 14 1/2. Price: $35,000.

FREDERICK BEESLEY SHOTOVER 12 GAUGE OVER UNDER
FREDERICK BEESLEY SHOTOVER 12 GAUGE OVER UNDER
FREDERICK BEESLEY SHOTOVER 12 GAUGE OVER UNDER
FREDERICK BEESLEY SHOTOVER 12 GAUGE OVER UNDER
FREDERICK BEESLEY SHOTOVER 12 GAUGE OVER UNDER
FREDERICK BEESLEY SHOTOVER 12 GAUGE OVER UNDER
FREDERICK BEESLEY SHOTOVER 12 GAUGE OVER UNDER
FREDERICK BEESLEY SHOTOVER 12 GAUGE OVER UNDER
FREDERICK BEESLEY SHOTOVER 12 GAUGE OVER UNDER
FREDERICK BEESLEY SHOTOVER 12 GAUGE OVER UNDER
FREDERICK BEESLEY SHOTOVER 12 GAUGE OVER UNDER
FREDERICK BEESLEY SHOTOVER 12 GAUGE OVER UNDER
FREDERICK BEESLEY SHOTOVER 12 GAUGE OVER UNDER
FREDERICK BEESLEY SHOTOVER 12 GAUGE OVER UNDER
FREDERICK BEESLEY SHOTOVER 12 GAUGE OVER UNDER
FREDERICK BEESLEY SHOTOVER 12 GAUGE OVER UNDER
FREDERICK BEESLEY SHOTOVER 12 GAUGE OVER UNDER
FREDERICK BEESLEY SHOTOVER 12 GAUGE OVER UNDER
FREDERICK BEESLEY SHOTOVER 12 GAUGE OVER UNDER
FREDERICK BEESLEY SHOTOVER 12 GAUGE OVER UNDER
FREDERICK BEESLEY SHOTOVER 12 GAUGE OVER UNDER
FREDERICK BEESLEY SHOTOVER 12 GAUGE OVER UNDER
FREDERICK BEESLEY SHOTOVER 12 GAUGE OVER UNDER
FREDERICK BEESLEY SHOTOVER 12 GAUGE OVER UNDER
FREDERICK BEESLEY SHOTOVER 12 GAUGE OVER UNDER
FREDERICK BEESLEY SHOTOVER 12 GAUGE OVER UNDER

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4 thoughts on “One of my favorite doubles: The Beesley “Shotover” O/U shotgun…

  1. Every inch of that gun reeks “insanely hard to build.” What a very cool and interesting OU but no wonder they are so rare. Of course, now I really want one.

    Is it me or is there a slight reverse curve on the bottom edge of the stock?

  2. Yeah – it was difficult and expensive to build. That’s why they made so few of them. I’ve heard they can be bit finicky, too.

    Good eye – there is a reverse curve to the stock. I bet the maker did this to thin out the than and to make the gun look a bit sleeker. The action on the gun is a bit thick, so this was one way to keep the gun from being cumbersome.

    BTW: Boss did the same thing on their straight-gripped O/Us.

    Gregg

  3. I’ve examined this gun and it is a rebounding-lock or self opening version. One could order the gun as a regular “barrel cocking” version or a self-opener akin to the Beesley Patent 31 of 1880. The nice thing is the self-opener works only when the gun has been fired. It has a Beesley patent single trigger which are quite reliable. I believe this gun sat is a cabinet for a long time – look at the recoil par and case colours.

  4. Yeah – it’s a beauty, and I don’t think it has been used much. Thanks for the info on it. They are so scarce, you just don’t get to see them very often.

    Gregg

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