When I was younger, I thought owning an old pickup truck, a couple of bird dogs, and a few fantastic shotguns would make me happy.
The sidelock 16 gauge Holland & Holland No. 2 SxS you see here is the kind of gun I had in mind.
The No. 2 was Holland & Holland’s second-quality shotgun (these Royals were first-quality). According to an H&H catalog from 1910, the No. 2 was “… intended to meet the requirements of those sportsmen who wanted a sound, well made, and good shooting weapon at a moderate price.” It cost about two-thirds of what Holland & Holland charged for a Royal.
Everything about this Holland & Holland No. 2 looks right, from the proportions of the action and locks and the metal-to-metal fit to the color-case hardening and the veins of figure in the gorgeous French walnut stock. None of these features steals the show, either. Instead, each complements the other, creating an elegant gun that can be admired in many ways.
Even though the gun is called a No. 2, nothing about it looks second-tier. It features a hidden third bite and even Holland’s hand-detachable locks, a feature the company patented in 1908. The rounded front of the action (the bar) is a nice touch, too, even if filing up the action that way helped keep the cost of the gun down.
According to the seller, this gun was finished in 1916. Holland introduced their “New Model 16-Bore Hammerless Ejector Gun” a few years earlier and called it a “… handy, well-balanced weapon weighing 6 lbs. (but handles considerably lighter)…” Along with a Special System of Boring, it featured a Special Treble Grip action and hand-detachable locks. I’m certain the gun you see here is one of them (Second Quality Hammerless Ejectors …… 50 Guineas).
Incredible Holland & Holland No. 2 16 ga SxS London Shotgun: Holland & Holland No. 2 later known as “The Badminton”. 29″ chopper lump barrels, hidden third bite with raised game rib, 2-1/2″ chambers choked improved modified and full (.020/.035). Fabulous original condition, this rounded bar sidelock finished in 1916 retains 98% rich case colors and lustrous blue. A true collector quality gun features hand detachable sidelocks, double triggers, auto ejectors, and auto safe. A wonderful H&H that would compliment the finest collection or the most discerning shooter. Straight hand highly figured French walnut stock of deep red color and black figure throughout measures 1-3/8′ comb, 2-1/4″ heel, 14-1/4″ length of pull over the original horn butt plate. A few very minor handling marks. Just a stunning example of old world craftsmanship in near new condition. The horn butt has a bit of worm damage that could easily be remedied. H&H factory records show the gun conforms in every detail and weighs 6 lbs even. Appears to have shot a couple of boxes of cartridges as the breech face has all the color. Simply the best. Price: $25,000*
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