Auction alert: 16g French SxS boxlock, no reserve …

 

French 16ga SxS Boxlock Chukar Gun 5lbs 11oz
French 16ga SxS Boxlock Chukar Gun 5lbs 11oz

Here’s a double that looks like a great deal. It’s no-name Belgian gun, probably made for sporting goods shop in France. Unlike in the US, European gunmakers built thousands of shotguns like this  for retailers throughout the continent. Sometimes retailers would put their name on the gun, other times they wouldn’t.

French 16ga SxS Boxlock Chukar Gun 5lbs 11oz
French 16ga SxS Boxlock Chukar Gun 5lbs 11oz

I’ve seen lots of Anson & Deeley-style boxlock Belgian guns like this, and they’ve been solid, reliable SxSs. I bet this would be a great upland — and it looks like its going to go for very little money. It’s on Gunbroker.com now and the listing ends tomorrow, 5/19/2019, @ 9:00 PM.

French 16ga SxS Boxlock Chukar Gun 5lbs 11oz
French 16ga SxS Boxlock Chukar Gun 5lbs 11oz

One thing: I would be sure to ask the seller about his inspection & return policy before bidding. Right now, he doesn’t mention anything about it in his listing.

French 16ga SxS Boxlock Chukar Gun 5lbs 11oz
French 16ga SxS Boxlock Chukar Gun 5lbs 11oz

French 16ga SxS Boxlock Chukar Gun 5lbs 11oz: Here is a very solid, lightweight 16 gauge boxlock non-ejector, built in France. There is no maker’s name, but the gun bears St. Etienne proofs and is stamped “Medaille d’Or (gold medal) on the barrel flats. The barrels are 68cm (26 3/4″) with 2 1/2″ chambers and shiny bores, choked .020/.032 (about modified/full). The action features side-clips and locks up tight. The fore-end has a Deeley-style latch release, and is unusually long (about 11”.) The stock has plenty of dings and scratches but is quite solid, and measures 1 3/4″ x 2 7/8″ x 14 1/2″ over a horn butt. There is slight cast off. A fine all-around upland gun, and absolutely perfect for the chukar hunter.

French 16ga SxS Boxlock Chukar Gun 5lbs 11oz
French 16ga SxS Boxlock Chukar Gun 5lbs 11oz

How to shoot a ruffed grouse: One pro’s opinion…

Cal Robinson is one of Maine’s great guides. In the summer, he chases striped bass along the coast. Come fall, he heads up to the Rangeley area where he sets his pointers loose and chases grouse and woodcock.

In the video above from Bird Dogs Afield, Cal explains the key mistakes most guys make when shooting ruffed grouse — and what you need to do to be a more effective shot.

Find out how to shoot like this

Fantastic engraving by the master Keith Thomas …

P.V. NELSON BEST SIDELOCK SXS 20 GAUGE WITH EXTRA BARRELS
P.V. NELSON BEST SIDELOCK SXS 20 GAUGE WITH EXTRA BARRELS

Keith Thomas is one of the world’s top engravers. Check out the P.V. Nelson shotgun you see here to see why Thomas’s rose & scroll patterns are considered to be some of the finest ever cut.

P.V. NELSON BEST SIDELOCK SXS 20 GAUGE WITH EXTRA BARRELS
P.V. NELSON BEST SIDELOCK SXS 20 GAUGE WITH EXTRA BARRELS

Thomas began his engraving career in 1964 as an apprentice with Holland & Holland. In 1975, he went out on his own and since then he engraved guns for most of the world’s top gunmakers, including Boss & Co, W. W. Greener, Hartmann & Weiss, and A. A. Brown.

You can see more of Keith Thomas’s work here

P.V. NELSON BEST SIDELOCK SXS 20 GAUGE WITH EXTRA BARRELS
P.V. NELSON BEST SIDELOCK SXS 20 GAUGE WITH EXTRA BARRELS
P.V. NELSON BEST SIDELOCK SXS 20 GAUGE WITH EXTRA BARRELS
P.V. NELSON BEST SIDELOCK SXS 20 GAUGE WITH EXTRA BARRELS
P.V. NELSON BEST SIDELOCK SXS 20 GAUGE WITH EXTRA BARRELS
P.V. NELSON BEST SIDELOCK SXS 20 GAUGE WITH EXTRA BARRELS

Be impressed. New film about Boss & Co, gunmakers …

Without a doubt, Boss & Co is one of the world’s top gunmakers. In this film you find out a bit more about why the company has succeeded for so long and why their guns are still prized by shooters around the world.

12g Boss & Co. SxS Shotguns, 1925, post-Roberston. From www.drake.net
A pair of 12g Boss & Co SxS shotguns

This week’s 5 doubles you don’t want to miss…

 

HOLLAND & HOLLAND 8 BORE HAMMER EXPRESS DOUBLE RIFLE
HOLLAND & HOLLAND 8 BORE HAMMER EXPRESS DOUBLE RIFLE

HOLLAND & HOLLAND 8 BORE HAMMER EXPRESS DOUBLE RIFLE: Serial # 8878, Barrel Length (in Inches): 24″, Trigger:  DT (Double), Stock Configuration: Pistol Grip, Forearm Type: Splinter Forearm w/ lever latch, Rib Type: Level Flat Rib, Receiver Finish: Casehardened, Engraving Type: Border Engraving, Other Options: Jones underlever, rifled bores, rebounding hammers, doll’s head rib extension, standing sight, horn grip cap, long top tang, cheek piece, eyelet sling swivels, pretty wood, Silver’s pad, cased. Condition: Remarkable – EXC. Plus Condition. Weight 18lb 3oz, Dimensions: dac 1-5/8″, dah 2-3/4″, lop 14-3/8″, c/o 3/8″. Other Details: Charge data 10 Dram 3-3/4″ Case, date stamped on bbl, 1885. Price: $45,000

Merkel 303EL 16 gauge Sidelock Over-Under Exhibition Gun from 1948
Merkel 303EL 16 gauge Sidelock Over-Under Exhibition Gun from 1948

Merkel 303EL 16 gauge Sidelock Over-Under Exhibition Gun from 1948: Year of Proof: 1948 and 1950 Caliber: 16/70 Serial Nr: 29806 LOP: 14 1/4 in. Weight: 6lb. 14 oz, Barrel Length: 28 in. Overal Length: 44 3/8 in. Choke: Mod and Imp Extras: Gun made for Exhibition in 1948. Sold in 1950 (e-mail from Merkel stating the history is shown below). This Merkel 303 EL (Exhibition Grade) Sidelock O/U Shotgun in 16/70 from 1948 is a very fine example of German craftsmanship. LOP is 14 1/4 inches. Weight is approx. 6.9 lbs. This Sidelock O/U has very nice exclusive engraving on the side locks with 4 pheasants and a hawk on the right side, 6 Ducks on the left side. Country Side fill. Chokes are Mod and Imp in the 28 in Barrels. I recently received an e-mail from the Merkel Team in Suhl. This gun was made for an exhibition in 1948 for which it was first proofed. It was sold in 1950 and proofed again at that time. There are NO importer’s markings anywhere on the gun. Today’s value is in excess of $ 25.000. This is truly a great value for an investment or just a beautiful gun to hunt with. This is a fine gun for any collection. It will definitely make some collector or shooter very happy. Price: $13,950

J.P. SAUER SIDELOCK EJECTOR SXS 20 GAUGE
J.P. SAUER SIDELOCK EJECTOR SXS 20 GAUGE

J.P. SAUER SIDELOCK EJECTOR SXS 20 GAUGE: #391XXX, 26 1/2″ IC AND MOD 2 3/4″, DOUBLE TRIGGER EJECTORS SPLINTER FOREARM PISTOL GRIP, EXCELLENT ORIGINAL CONDITION, 6LBS X 2 9/16″ X 1 5/8″ X 14 1/2″. Price: $7,950

Charles Boswell London, Boxlock Ejector, 20ga, 26" CLEAN
Charles Boswell London, Boxlock Ejector, 20ga, 26″ CLEAN

Charles Boswell London, Boxlock Ejector, 20ga, 26″ CLEAN: Double triggers, Fixed C and IC chokes (.000 and .010). Factory finish on both wood and metal. Great case colors! 15″ LOP to checkered butt, 1 1/2″ DAC, 2 1/4″ DAH, 1/4″ cast off. Price: $4,999

ITHACA NID - 12 GAUGE - MADE IN 1941 - 100% ORIGINAL CASE COLOR - TIME CAPSULE CONDITION:
ITHACA NID – 12 GAUGE – MADE IN 1941 – 100% ORIGINAL CASE COLOR – TIME CAPSULE CONDITION:

ITHACA NID – 12 GAUGE – MADE IN 1941 – 100% ORIGINAL CASE COLOR – TIME CAPSULE CONDITION: Here is a high condition Ithaca NID in 12 gauge made in 1941. This gun has 100% of theinal case color and 99% blue. Stock finish also at 99% with a few light handeling marks. Extractor gun. Barrels are 28″ with mirror bores. Right bore measures .734 with 20/1000 choke (Mod) while left is .732 with 37/1000 (Full). Chambers are 2 3/4″. All serial numbers match. Weight of gun is 6 LBS 14.3 OZ. Stock has Property Identification Marks from the Alabama National Guard. Marks are in light paint and can be removed if so desired. A property hang tag is also included. Stock dimensions follow. LOP – 14 1/8″, Drop at Comb –  1 5/8″, Drop at Heel – 2 5/8″. Price: $1,500 

A first time for me: a 20g P.V. Nelson sidelock …

 

P.V. NELSON BEST SIDELOCK SXS 20 GAUGE WITH EXTRA BARRELS
P.V. NELSON BEST SIDELOCK SXS 20 GAUGE WITH EXTRA BARRELS

Here’s something I’ve never seen before: it’s a Peter V. Nelson shotgun for sale on the open market.

Peter Nelson is one of the world’s greatest gunmakers. He also a gunmaker few people know anything about.

P.V. NELSON BEST SIDELOCK SXS 20 GAUGE WITH EXTRA BARRELS
P.V. NELSON BEST SIDELOCK SXS 20 GAUGE WITH EXTRA BARRELS

Nelson started his career in the 1950s as an actioner at James Purdey & Sons. From there, he worked on guns for Hartmann & Weiss. In 1989, he went out on his own and built guns under his own name. I think he retired from gunmaking in 2012. This Queen’s Golden Jubilee Gun was one of the last firearms he built.

According to Vic Venters, Nelson built around 84 guns in all. Nine clients commissioned these guns; two clients ordered around 60 of them. I believe a few of these guns have changed hands over the years, but it was always done with just a phone call. These guns were not advertised anywhere or on display at a gunshow or in a gunshop. Take a look at the craftsmanship of the SXS show here, you can see why.

P.V. NELSON BEST SIDELOCK SXS 20 GAUGE WITH EXTRA BARRELS
P.V. NELSON BEST SIDELOCK SXS 20 GAUGE WITH EXTRA BARRELS

P.V. NELSON BEST SIDELOCK SXS 20 GAUGE WITH EXTRA BARRELS: KEITH THOMAS ENGRAVED, MADE 1991, ROUNDED ACTION, 28″ 006 AND 006 2 3/4″, 26″ 009 AND 009 2 3/4″,  SINGLE TRIGGER, EJECTORS, BEAVERTAIL FOREARM, ENGLISH GRIP, CHECKERED BUTT, EXCELLENT WITH HANDLING MARKS IN THE WOOD, 5LBS 10 OZ, 2 1/2″ DAH,1 1/2″ DAC, 14 1/4″ LOP. Price: $57,500

P.V. NELSON BEST SIDELOCK SXS 20 GAUGE WITH EXTRA BARRELS
P.V. NELSON BEST SIDELOCK SXS 20 GAUGE WITH EXTRA BARRELS
P.V. NELSON BEST SIDELOCK SXS 20 GAUGE WITH EXTRA BARRELS
P.V. NELSON BEST SIDELOCK SXS 20 GAUGE WITH EXTRA BARRELS
P.V. NELSON BEST SIDELOCK SXS 20 GAUGE WITH EXTRA BARRELS
P.V. NELSON BEST SIDELOCK SXS 20 GAUGE WITH EXTRA BARRELS

Great gun alert: 20g Beretta BL-4, 28″ barrels …

Great gun alert: Beretta BL-4M o/u old original box 3" 20GA
Great gun alert: Beretta BL-4M o/u old original box 3″ 20GA

As I’ve said many times before, Beretta’s BL grade OUs are great shotguns. Introduced in the ’60s, these doubles were imported into the US by the Garcia Corp through the 1970s.

The BLs feature a shallow, low profile action scaled to match the gauge. They were priced to be values – not cheap, but well-made guns at fair prices. They came in a number of grades, with the BL-5s being the highest. All of them were rugged, reliable doubles, built to deliver a lot of quality for a fair amount of money.

Great gun alert: Beretta BL-4M o/u old original box 3" 20GA
Great gun alert: Beretta BL-4M o/u old original box 3″ 20GA

Today, Beretta BLs are steals, especially when they’re in this kind of condition.

Great gun alert: Beretta BL-4M o/u old original box 3" 20GA
Great gun alert: Beretta BL-4M o/u old original box 3″ 20GA

Used Beretta BL-4M 20 ga, 3″ over/under old original box: Serial number X.00790 which makes it early for this model, comes with original box and all paperwork from Italy, 28″ F and M, engraved, see photos, this is before the 2 letter stamps that indicate age, it is very tight, does not show a lot of use, light and swings very nice, the fact that it is a 20ga shows that it is a 50% added value over the 12ga in my book of gun values, just measured the length of pull, 14 3/4″ trigger to end of butt pad, the trigger to end of wood without the butt pad is 13 3/4″, the roman numerals stamped under the barrels XXIV so that should make it a 1968 manufacture it is a 2 3/4 or 3″ shells. Price: $1,350

Last minute auction alert: Nice 16g Lefever H grade …

Nice Lefever H Grade 16ga with 30" Barrels
Nice Lefever H Grade 16ga with 30″ Barrels

The Lefever Arms Co. made some of America’s SxS shotguns, and the one you see here is a perfect example of what makes these doubles so special. With its sideplated action, this H-grade looks as sleek and elegant like as British sidelock, and the proportions all around are compliment one another and make the entire gun look great.

Nice Lefever H Grade 16ga with 30" Barrels
Nice Lefever H Grade 16ga with 30″ Barrels

Nice Lefever H Grade 16ga with 30″ Barrels: Nice original Lefever H Grade 16ga guns dont come along every day – this particular gun has 30″ twist barrels which makes it rather rare. Built with double triggers, extractors, splinter forend, and capped pistol grip stock, the gun remains in quite pleasing original condition. Case colors are around 70% original. Stocks retain about 90% original finish and are mostly sound. The barrels retain nearly all of their bold black and white twist pattern. Bores are bright and shiny, and mechanics are crisp. The only visible flaw in the gun is a very small repair at the toe which can be seen in the photos. The gun weighs 6lbs 12oz. Both barrels measure .672 with .017 (mod) choke in the right, and .035 (Ex-full) in the left. Min wall thickness is .025 in the right and .027 in the left. Stock measures 1-9/16″ DAH, 2-3/4″ DAH, and 13-5/8″ LOP over the original Lefever Arms Co. monogrammed buttplate. Imagine carrying this gun on a pheasant hunt with this weight, dimensions, and choke combo! You will look long and hard to find another 30″ 16ga Lefever in this clean condition.

Nice Lefever H Grade 16ga with 30" Barrels
Nice Lefever H Grade 16ga with 30″ Barrels
Nice Lefever H Grade 16ga with 30" Barrels
Nice Lefever H Grade 16ga with 30″ Barrels

This week’s 5 doubles you don’t want to miss …

 

Beretta 451 EELL Full Side lock, 12ga, 28" Mint in case:
Beretta 451 EELL Full Side lock, 12ga, 28″ Mint in case:

Beretta 451 EELL Full Side lock, 12ga, 28″ Mint in case: Fixed IC and IM chokes. Gun is used, but looks mint in leather case! SN is H04xx. Factory checkered butt, LOP is 14″. 1 5/8″ DAC, 2 3/4″ DAH, 1/4″ Cast off. Chokes are .012 & .032. Barrels are 1.330 Kg. Made in 1974. Gun is straight on 7 pounds. Factory finish on both metal and wood, full side lock model. Price: $13,999

Winchester Pre-War Mod 21 16ga, Double triggers
Winchester Pre-War Mod 21 16ga, Double triggers

Winchester Pre-War Mod 21 16ga, Double triggers: Ser no 63xx, 28″, M/Cyl, It is stamped M/F so the one barrel has been opened, Sides of receiver and barrel have real nice blue, The bottom plate and trigger guard have flaked to silver, Winchester Butt Plate, Great bores, 14″ X 1 1/2″ X 2 1/2″. Price: $4995

MILLER & VAL GREISS LIVE PIGEON GUN - 32" BARRELS - FULL SIDELOCK WITH EJECTORS
MILLER & VAL GREISS LIVE PIGEON GUN – 32″ BARRELS – FULL SIDELOCK WITH EJECTORS

MILLER & VAL GREISS LIVE PIGEON GUN – 32″ BARRELS – FULL SIDELOCK WITH EJECTORS: Pre-War Miller & Val Greiss Pigeon Gun with True 32″ Krupp Three Ring Ejector Barrels. Back action sidelock with sideclips and a Purdey Style Third Fastener. Mirror bores measuring .726 with Full and Full Chokes (40/1000). Chambers as original at 2 1/2″. No loose ribs. Gun is tight on face. Manual safety. Prince of Wales Diamond Grip. LOP – 14 1/8″, Drop at Comb – 1 1/2″, Drop at Heel – 2 5/8″. Price: $4,250 

Webley & Scott - Model 720 - 26" IC / IM - All Original - Nice Shape:
Webley & Scott – Model 720 – 26″ IC / IM – All Original – Nice Shape

Webley & Scott – Model 720 – 26″ IC / IM – All Original – Nice Shape: 26″, 2-3/4″, IC / IM (.005 / .020), Ejectors, Double Triggers, English Stock, Checkered Butt, Splinter Forearm, LOP 14-3/4″, Drop 1-1/2″ to 2-3/8″, Neutral Cast, Weight 5 lbs. 14 oz. Nice Original Gun that has been used in the field. Barrels 98+%, Wood 95+%, Frame shows some loss of finish – probably 85%. Price: $4850 

Aya ~ No. 2 ~ 12 Ga. ~ Sidelock ~ 28" bbls
Aya ~ No. 2 ~ 12 Ga. ~ Sidelock ~ 28″ bbls

Aya ~ No. 2 ~ 12 Ga. ~ Sidelock ~ 28″ bbls: Triggers: Dual triggers, front is the right barrel, rear is the left barrel. Stock: Checkered straight grip (English style) walnut stock. Stock Dimensions: 14 5/8 inch length of pull front trigger, 13 5/8 inch length of pull rear trigger. Fore End: Checkered fore-end matches the stock. Butt Pad: Red rubber recoil pad.  Weight: 7 pounds. Sights: Single bead at the muzzle. Chokes: Fixed choke, both barrels are Full choked. Price: $1,999.99 

Auction alert: 16g Auguste Francotte OU shotgun, No Reserve …

 

Auguste Francotte 16ga Over/Under London Retailer
Auguste Francotte 16ga Over/Under London Retailer

Here’s something you rarely see. It’s a vintage 16 gauge over-under with double triggers, and it appears to be in decent original condition. It’s on Gunbroker.com now and the listing ends tomorrow, 4/21/2019 @ 9:15 PM.

Auguste Francotte 16ga Over/Under London Retailer
Auguste Francotte 16ga Over/Under London Retailer

Back before WW2, the OU was the latest thing in firearms. Even though gunmakers had been building them for centuries, over-unders didn’t become popular until companies like Merkel and then Boss and Woodward started offering hammerless designs.

I’m not sure what patent this gun is built on. Even though it looks a bit clunky, I bet it handles really well.

Auguste Francotte 16ga Over/Under London Retailer
Auguste Francotte 16ga Over/Under London Retailer

Auguste Francotte 16ga Over/Under London Retailer: Very nice Belgian made 16ga over/under shotgun. Retailer marked “L. Le Personne & Co., LTD, London” on left side of barrel and “Auguste Francotte” on right side. All numbers match. LOP of 14.5” to end of stock which is finely checkered. 27” barrel choked Full/Full. For use with 2 3/4″ shells. Drop at heel of 2″ and drop at comb of 1.5″. Weighs approx. 6.5 lbs. Probably made between 1930-1950. Original finish on both metal and wood with nicely blued trigger guard and latch offset by fine muted case color receiver. Barrels have their original blue and are nice and shiny inside. Mechanics work well and are still stiff. The handguard has a hairline crack on each side that is hardly noticeable, common on these hand made forearms that are very slight in nature. We sold this one a few weeks back and it was returned because it lacked the AF mark typically seen on both barrels on Francotte shotguns- take a look at the pictures and you decide. This London retailer and Auguste Francotte marked 16ga over/under shotgun is offered with no reserve!

Great gun alert: 20g Parker VHE, 30′ bbls, 1930 gun …

Gorgeous high original condition Parker VHE 20ga SxS with 30" barrels:
Gorgeous high original condition Parker VHE 20ga SxS with 30″ barrels:

If I had to own just one Parker, this one here would be it. Built in the 1930, it’s a late gun with decent dimensions. It’s also all original and its 30″ bbls made it a bit unique.

Gorgeous high original condition Parker VHE 20ga SxS with 30" barrels:
Gorgeous high original condition Parker VHE 20ga SxS with 30″ barrels:

Gorgeous high original condition Parker VHE 20ga SxS with 30″ barrels:  Beautiful little Parker with 30″ Vulcan barrels.  Lots of original case color remain.  The gun has not been touched and is original in all respects. Specs are as follows: 1930 VHE 20g, Serial Number 233749, Pistol Grip, 30″ Barrels, 0 Frame, 2-3/4″ chambers, 14 1/4 LOP, Drop at comb 1 5/8″, Drop at heel 2 5/8″, Cast: 0, Right Bore: .617″, Left Bore: .617″, Chokes: R .025 L .011, Barrel Wall Thickness: R .028  L .029 Just a great all original Parker suitable for any collection! Price: $7795

Gorgeous high original condition Parker VHE 20ga SxS with 30" barrels:
Gorgeous high original condition Parker VHE 20ga SxS with 30″ barrels:
Gorgeous high original condition Parker VHE 20ga SxS with 30" barrels:
Gorgeous high original condition Parker VHE 20ga SxS with 30″ barrels:
Gorgeous high original condition Parker VHE 20ga SxS with 30" barrels:
Gorgeous high original condition Parker VHE 20ga SxS with 30″ barrels:

Becoming a collector — my story from Covey Rise magazine ….

Covey Rise, VOL. 1 NUM. 2, the first issue I saw
Covey Rise, VOL. 1 NUM. 2, the first issue I saw

I still remember the first issue of Covey Rise magazine I saw. I was at Barnes & Noble checking for the Doublegun Journal when I saw this stunning picture of a field-bred cocker spaniel. I didn’t recognize the magazine’s title, but that image made me want to pick it up and learn more.

That picture was on Vol 1, Num 2, of the Covey Rise magazine, published in February 2013. Since then, the magazine has impressed me issue after issue with stunning photos and writing about everything from gunmakers and places to hunt to enjoying scotch and fine cigars.

My first story for Covey Rise appeared in Vol. 1 Num. 6, published in October, 2013, and I’ve been a regular contributor to the publication ever since. The piece below appeared in Vol 3, No. 3. If you like it, subscribe to Covey Rise right away.

THIS ARTICLE FIRST APPEARED IN COVEY RISE MAGAZINE, VOLUME 3, NUMBER 3
THIS ARTICLE FIRST APPEARED IN COVEY RISE MAGAZINE, VOLUME 3, NUMBER 3

BECOMING A COLLECTOR

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN COVEY RISE VOLUME 3, NUMBER 3

Here’s a short list of things I love: wild brook trout, snowstorms, wood-canvas canoes, pointers, and—of course—shotguns. For the past 30 years, I’ve been obsessed with shotguns. I’ve worked lousy jobs to buy them, flown across oceans to admire them, and walked away from promising careers to immerse myself in the study of them. I’ve contributed countless hours and thousands of dollars to this passion, and I don’t believe a single one has been misspent. Collecting fine, old shotguns has been one of the most rewarding activities of my life—and, in many ways, one of the most revealing.

W & C. Scott and Son 12g Premier grade double – barreled SxS shotgun
W & C. Scott and Son 12g Premier grade double – barreled SxS shotgun

Day to day, I’m surrounded by shotguns. As I write this, books and magazines about side-by-sides and over-and-unders are all around me—multivolume sets outlining the evolution of their design, a thigh-high stack of Double Gun Journal magazinesa pillar of gunmaker histories, and on and on. Then there are the actual firearms. I keep one double close by for admiring. Today, it’s a 12-gauge William Powell & Son hammergun built in 1869 for a “Captain Cave.” Who was this Captain? What did he see? Even though we live more than a century apart, in different worlds, we’ve met through this gun (if only spiritually, perhaps). Its metal buttplate has touched his shoulder and mine. Our hands have wrapped around the stocks and our fingers have reached for the front trigger. Did the Captain carry our Powell to the grouse moors of Scotland? Did he take it to pheasant shoots on an English estate? All is lost to history, but wondering about it is one of the greatest pleasures I get from old shotguns.

LocksA William Powell & Son "Best" quality hammergun from 1869 off a William Powell & Son "Best" quality hammergun from 1869
A William Powell & Son “Best” quality hammergun from 1869

I’ve owned dozens of shotguns over the past three decades. A 20-gauge Remington pump was my first. I bought it when I was 14 with money I earned by flipping burgers. I loved that gun because it had a straight, English stock. But the same as most of my shotguns, I sold it when something better came along. This time it was a 16-gauge Winchester Model 12. That gun had 80-plus years of wear on it and I loved the rubbed-away blueing and dinged stock. Since the Model 12, I’ve owned Parkers, Foxes, and L. C. Smiths, British sidelocks, Belgian side-by-sides, and Italian over-and-unders. Some I traded away after a few days; others have been with me for decades. As I’ve done this, I’ve gone from being a shotgun accumulator to a shotgun collector.

Like dogs in heat, accumulators have low standards—or at least I did when I was one. If a shotgun had two barrels and a couple triggers, I wanted it. A Parker with sawed-off barrels, rattly British boxlocks, an Ithaca pimpled with rust—I bought them all and traded them away when something else came along. Along the way, I picked up a few I couldn’t bear to sell: a W. & C. Scott Premier, a W. W. Greener FH 35, a Super Fox, and Captain Cave’s Powell. These guns had something I couldn’t part with. As I realized this, I became a collector.

Collectors know what they want—or at least they have a better idea of what they’re looking for than accumulators do. Most focus on a single maker, such as A. H. Fox or Lefever. Others collect early centerfire or hammerless models. My parameters are still pretty broad. I like old doubles—Pre–World War I is nice, guns from the 19th Century are better. I also like Damascus barrels and double triggers. I used to prefer straight stocks, but these days I’m okay with round-knob or half-pistol grips. British and European shotguns interest me most, but there’s a Parker DHE on the market right now that keeps tugging at me. I feel I need to own it, and I’ll probably do my best to buy it.

As I made my way from accumulating to collecting, I made a lot of mistakes. I learned a few lessons, too. I can help save you from following me down the same path. If you’re thinking about starting a shotgun collection, start with some important considerations:

12 gauge Stephen Grant Double Barrel Shotgun with Sidelever, 1897
12 gauge Stephen Grant Double Barrel Shotgun with Sidelever, 1897

DISCOVER WHAT MATTERS TO YOU Gun collecting is a bit like growing up: You begin with what others say is important; then you figure out what’s important to you. Parkers are the most collected shotguns in America, and the high-grade ones are more coveted than great grouse dogs or pinelands full of wild quail. Several years ago, I handled the highest-grade Parker ever made—an Invincible. For some collectors, this would have been a holy moment. Not for me. Although I appreciated what I was seeing, my heart didn’t skip a beat. I have the same reaction to super-expensive Italian shotguns. Even F.lli Rizzinis and Fabbris—althought they are supposed to be the finest doubles ever made, every one I’ve seen has made me yawn. A low-grade L. C. Smith I owned a couple of years ago thrilled me more. You may feel differently, and to build a collection that means something. Follow that feeling.

TRY TO STICK TO SHOTGUNS IN ALL-ORIGINAL CONDITION By all original I mean guns with their original blueing, blacking, color-case-hardening, and wood finishes. There are a lot of refinished and restored shotguns on the market today—but like pen-raised pheasants, they’re not the same as their original cousins.

Refinished and restored shotguns may look okay, but they don’t hold their value as well as comparable ones in all-original condition. If I’m going to spend thousands of dollars on a side-by-side, I want to know I can sell it and get my money back. Making a little extra would be even better. With doubles in all-original condition, you stand a better chance of this happening.

Refinished and restored shotguns don’t hold as much meaning for me, either. The thing I love most about old doubles is their history, and a double’s original finish is a crucial part of that history. It was put there by men who lived in another time and touching it connects me to their history. Also, I like the dings, scrapes, and scratches you find on old shotguns—which give authenticity and character and contribute to the story of the gun’s life. I want to leave that story intact and, as the gun’s latest owner and steward, add my own chapter to that history.

12 gauge James Purdey & Sons SxS shotgun with extra finish, 1920
12 gauge James Purdey & Sons SxS shotgun with extra finish, 1920

DO MORE LEARNING THAN BUYING When it comes to collecting, books are cheap and knowledge is priceless. So build up your library. If you’re new to doubles, McIntosh’s Shotguns & Shooting is a good place to begin. If you’re interested in British guns, Burrard’s The Modern Shotgun and Hadoke’s Vintage Guns for the Modern Shot will tell you what sets guns apart and what to look for when buying them. All the major American and British makers have had books written about them. All are worth reading.

Of course, as you’re learning, you also want to see as many side-by-sides and over-and-unders as possible. While the Internet is a great way to do this, nothing compares to having a gun in hand. To make this happen, you can visit gun dealers. But those who specialize in fine shotguns are spread thin around the country. So think about visiting high-end gun shows, instead. Most of the major gun dealers attend the Las Vegas International Sporting Arms Show, the Vintage Cup Exhibition, or the Southern Side-by-Side. You can see hundreds of nice shotguns, in one place, at these shows, from Fox Sterlingworths to Holland & Holland Royals. You’ll get a great education.

GET ACQUAINTED WITH THE PRICES To get a feel for what nice shotguns are selling for, check websites like gunsinternational.com. But know this: Most of those prices are asking prices. Haggling is a part of the gun-buying game, and to account for this sporting gamesmanship, most dealers add a little room to their prices. What this means is, don’t be reluctant to make an offer on a gun, and don’t hesitate to walk away if the seller says no. Unless a double is spectacular—and few really are—I would rather have cash in the bank than too much money in one gun.

MAKE FRIENDS WITH A GOOD GUNSMITH A gunsmith should inspect every shotgun you’re thinking about buying—before you close the deal. Ask around and find one who works on old side-by-sides and over-and-unders all the time. Of course, your gunsmith will charge you for this service. But it will be money well spent, and if you can be there when your ’smith is looking over the gun, you can learn a lot about doubles.

Several years ago I came across a 12-gauge hammerless Purdey at a fair price. The gun was online, and I was in touch with the seller within minutes of seeing it. He sent me plenty of pictures. I looked for all the right things and asked all the right questions. I even contacted Purdey in London to confirm the gun’s original specs. From what I could tell, the gun was a go, and I was ecstatic. So I sent the check, and the Purdey was sent to my gunsmith. It arrived at his shop a few days later. Within minutes of looking it over, he spotted a major problem and got on the phone to tell me about it: The barrels had been replaced, and not by Purdey. What!? How did I make such a huge mistake? Because whoever replaced the barrels had done a great job of making the new ones look original. The giveaways were small—just a few missing proof marks on the barrels—but the impact was enormous. Now the gun wasn’t a collectible double at a good price—it was just an overpriced shooter. So back it went for a refund. Although the whole experience cost me a couple of hundred dollars, my gunsmith saved me from wasting thousands of dollars more.

BE WARY OF AUCTIONS Back when I first got into doubles, a newspaper called Antiques and the Arts Weekly was my favorite publication. Each edition published hundreds of listings for upcoming auctions throughout the Northeast. I scanned each one with ink-stained fingers and tired eyes, searching for used shotguns. Back then, few auctioneers had websites or even email addresses. So when I found something, the only way to see it was to jump in my truck and go to it in person.

Today, you can go on the Internet and search hundreds of auction listings in minutes. When you find a double that looks nice, you can bid for it online. A collector’s dream, right? Not really. Auctions have always been buyer-beware situations. Today, that’s truer than ever. While you can find bargains at auctions, you can also get burned.

Here’s the problem: Every auction is a gamble, and when you’re bidding online, you’re the one taking all the risk. Few auctioneers are experienced with fine shotguns. While most can tell you basic information like gauges and barrel lengths, almost none know crucial details like bore measurements and barrel-wall thicknesses. On top of this, few auctioneers guarantee their descriptions or that the information is accurate or even correct. (I’m not kidding—check the small print.) So if you’re the winning bidder on a shotgun, you own it, regardless of what kind of condition it’s really in. This is how you can end up paying $5,000 for a double that’s really worth $2,500—or even less.

A 12g Boss OU at Griffin & Howe. Check out the Arabic script on the bbls.
A 12g Boss OU at Griffin & Howe. Check out the Arabic script on the bbls.

Of course, there are smart ways to bid on shotguns at auctions. The first is to show up, inspect everything you’re interested in buying, and stay to bid on it yourself. The second is to hire someone to do this for you. If you’re new to doubles, option two is the only way to go.

Most important of all, enjoy yourself. As you learn more about shotguns, visit shows, and start a collection—have fun. Don’t ever feel pressured to buy something. I’ve missed out on all sorts of doubles—an 8-gauge J. D. Dougall, a straight-gripped Parker DHE, some great British boxlocks—mainly because I was broke when they became available. That used to eat at me. Today, I barely think about it. Great shotguns come up all the time—I know another “must-have” will be along soon. You will make mistakes, you will buy bad guns, and you will end up losing some money. But you will also meet great people, see some fantastic doubles, and find out a little more about what’s important to you. And that’s what makes collecting shotguns so special.

Auction alert: 12g John Dickson & Sons of Edinburgh Scottish SxS Shotgun …

John Dickson & Sons of Edinburgh Scottish 12 gauge SxS Shotgun
John Dickson & Sons of Edinburgh Scottish 12 gauge SxS Shotgun

Here’s a last-minute alert for what looks like a nice double. This Dickson SxS is on Gunbroker.com now. The listing end today, 4/15/2019, @ 9:36 PM. It’s a No Reserve sale and right now the gun is cheap. So if you like it, bid — you could get a deal.

John Dickson & Sons of Edinburgh Scottish 12 gauge SxS Shotgun
John Dickson & Sons of Edinburgh Scottish 12 gauge SxS Shotgun

John Dickson & Sons of Edinburgh Scottish 12 gauge SxS Shotgun: Double Hammerless Boxlock by J. Dickson & Sons of Edinburgh; ca.1920 Edinburgh Production; 12 Bore; Barrels: 30″ Chopper Lump Steel, Game Rib; Chambers: 3″; Choked: Modified & Full; Shared Extractor; Min. Wall Thickness: .033″ & .035″; Pistol Grip Walnut Stock: LOP: 14 1/2″; Drops: 1 3/4″ & 2 1/2″; Weight: 7lbs. 11oz.; Reproved at London Proof House in 1997 (Still in Proof)

John Dickson & Sons of Edinburgh Scottish 12 gauge SxS Shotgun
John Dickson & Sons of Edinburgh Scottish 12 gauge SxS Shotgun

Stunning, second-grade hammerless boxlock by J. Dickson & Sons of Edinburgh…manufactured between the wars, this bespoke J. Dickson represents a lovely example of the work produced by one of Scotland’s most celebrated makers. Identified by serial number and confirmed by feature, this model was regarded as the second of five grades, and would have been customized to the original buyers taste. The features include a 30″ barrel of durable fluid steel, shared extractor, Anson & Deeley action with third cross-bolt fastener, 3″ chamber, pistol grip stock of fancy flamed Walnut, and embellishment in the form of 75% coverage Acanthus scroll engraving from one of Edinburgh’s most accomplished masters. A remarkably original example, this gun was undoubtedly ordered by someone of means and-despite the British tradition of frequent refurbishment-appears to have only seen standard maintenance, as well as a period reblue of the barrels and refreshing of the stock, with the factory case colors, although softening, remaining at a lovely 60%. A stunning example of an English classic from the end of Britain’s golden age of gun making, this shotgun-reproved in 1997 and ready for trips afield this Fall-would be an outstanding addition to any discriminating collection.

Condition

Excellent, the re-blackened barrels are at 90%, the original bluing on the underside of the frame is evenly faded but remains at a lovely 75%, with the frame displaying softening but rich pastel case color hues trending from pink to violet and blue. There is dried lubricant, as well some honest fading, but neither rust or pitting are present on any metal surface. The markings include matching numbers, period Birmingham House proofs, J. Dickson & Sons signature on the sides of the receiver and Edinburgh address on the top rib of the barrel. None of the markings have been buffed, and the engraving is brilliantly executed, and finely preserved with crisp edges. Other markings include an importer mark on the barrel from the shotgun’s re-import in 1997, as well as London House proofing from that period-the gun remains in proof. The furniture displays some handling marks and a tight, non-flexing hairline crack extending from the right of the upper tang that, having been properly attended to, does not extend all the way through. The stock is capped with a horn grip cap and period Silver’s rubber recoil pad, and the forend, fitted with an Anson & Deeley release and ebony tip, is original and excellent. Mechanically flawless, the lock up is tight with both bores on face, the gun exhibits unparalleled balance, and both bores-clean and mirror bright-are excellent to near-mint.

This week’s 5 doubles you don’t want to miss…

Holland & Holland Royal SxS Double Rifle .303 British
Holland & Holland Royal SxS Double Rifle .303 British

Holland & Holland Royal SxS Double Rifle .303 British: A Back-Action Sidelock Double Rifle chambered for the .303 British cartridge. It has 28” rifled barrels, File cut quarter rib with platinum lined express rear sights – 1 standing (100 Yds) and 2 folding (200 & 300 Yds). Island base foresight, Bushed strikers (Disk set strikers) with retaining set screws, Double triggers, An extended top strap over the comb, Holland & Holland traditional full coverage “Royal Scroll” engraving pattern with case color hardened finish, Full length trigger guard tang to an engraved steel grip cap, Best quality walnut stock has shadow line (Beaded) cheekpiece, Drop points, Pistol grip, Splinter forend with Anson release, 14 1/8” LOP to a horn plate, 9 Lbs. 9 Oz. Price: $39,750 

GREIFELT #1 PRE WAR O/U 20 GAUGE VL&D IMPORT
GREIFELT #1 PRE WAR O/U 20 GAUGE VL&D IMPORT

GREIFELT #1 PRE WAR O/U 20 GAUGE VL&D IMPORT: 26″ SOLID RIB IC AND MOD 2 1/2 CHAMBERS, DOUBLE TRIGGER, EJECTORS, 3-PIECE FOREARM, ENGLISH GRIP, MAKER’S CASE, EXCELLENT ORIGINAL CONDITION, 5LBS 14 OZ, 3″ DAH, 2″ DAC, 14 1/2 LOP. Price: $13,500

John Dickson of Edinburgh Classic Round action with great original barrels and stock dimensions ~ Light at 6 lbs. 4.5 oz.! Makers case!
John Dickson of Edinburgh Classic Round action with great original barrels and stock dimensions ~ Light at 6 lbs. 4.5 oz.! Makers case!

John Dickson of Edinburgh Classic 12 Gauge Round action with great original barrels and stock dimensions ~ Light at 6 lbs. 4.5 oz.! Makers case! This gun dates from 1934 . A very nice Dickson from between the wars with great wall thickness and dimensions. This is the period that many consider to be the pinnacle of the UK gunmaking trade. The Bores are bright and shiny with a few pits in the right barrel towards the muzzle but in proof and nothing deep. Serial Number: 7279, Ejectors: Yes , Barrels: 27″, Barrel Type: Fluid steel, Action: trigger plate round action, Stock Comb: 1 7/16″, Stock Heel: 2″, Stock Cast: 1/4″, LOP: 14 3/8″ to wood butt, Weight: 6 lbs. 4.5 oz., Choke Left: .028 full, Choke Right: .015 IC-Mod, Proof: Nitro: 2 1/2″ nitro, Minimum Wall Thickness Left: .029″, Minimum Wall Thickness Right: .028″. Price: $12,000

BERETTA - SO3 - 12ga 28" Boehler Barrels - Checkered Butt - All Original
BERETTA – SO3 – 12ga 28″ Boehler Barrels – Checkered Butt – All Original

BERETTA – SO3 – 12ga 28″ Boehler Barrels – Checkered Butt – All Original! 28″, 2-3/4″”, IM / F (.028 / .042), Vent Rib, Single Trigger, Pistol Grip, Checkered Butt, LOP 14-1/4″, Drop 1-1/2″ to 2-3/8″, Neutral Cast, Weight 7 lbs. 4 oz. Nice Original Gun. About 95+% Overall. Price: $5975 

RIZZINI AURUM CLASSIC OU 28 GAUGE
RIZZINI AURUM CLASSIC OU 28 GAUGE

RIZZINI AURUM CLASSIC OU 28 GAUGE: 29″ VENT RIB WITH SCREW CHOKES, SINGLE SELECT TRIGGER, EJECTORS, FIELD FOREARM, PISTOL GRIP, MAKER’S CASE, EXCELLENT CONDITION, 6LBS, 2 3/8″ DAH, 1 9/16″ DAC, 14 9/16″ LOP. Price: $2,950

Auction alert: 16g Parker VH on an O frame, No Reserve…

 

Parker 16 ga. 0 frame VH grade 28-inch barrels
Parker 16 ga. 0 frame VH grade 28-inch barrels

Here’s your chance to get a deal on what looks like a good, original Parker side-by-side. This gun is on Gunbroker.com now at No Reserve. The listing ends 4/6/2019 @ 3:54 PM.

VH-grade Parkers were one up from the Trojan, the company’s bottom-of-the-line models. In its catalogs, the company called them “…a strictly high-grade gun at a very low price”.

Parker 16 ga. 0 frame VH grade 28-inch barrels
Parker 16 ga. 0 frame VH grade 28-inch barrels

The No. 0 frame (Number Zero frame) was the smallest action Parker sixteens were built on (they were also made on the larger No. 1).

Parker 16 ga. 0 frame VH grade 28-inch barrels
Parker 16 ga. 0 frame VH grade 28-inch barrels

Parker 16 ga. 0 frame VH grade 28-inch barrels: I have this super nice Parker VH in original condition chambered in 16 gauge on the ever desirable “0” frame receiver. SN: 1369xx shows this gun to be manufactured in 1906. The barrels are 28″ and have not been cut. Made of Vulcan steel they have extractors, nice bores, no visible dings or dents, nice solid barrels finished out with a pair of nice beads with the front one topped in brass. The chokes measure: RH- .649, LH- .636. The Length of pull measures 14 1/4″ to the front trigger. Drop at comb is 1 1/4″ and drop at heel is 2 1/4″. Weight is 6lb, 9oz. There is some nice figure in the walnut stock for a VH grade. The original spur type dogs head butt plate has an old repair in the spur area but is solid and won’t be an issue. See photo. Overall this is a super nice all original 16 gauge Parker on the rare 0 frame that locks up tight with no looseness and is still right of center. Has perfect shootable dimensions with Vulcan steel barrels that can be used as a collectible piece still capable to be used for hunting. No reserve, bid with confidence.

New film: The Story of AYA Fine Guns – Alex Aranzábal

Here’s a great new film about AYA shotguns from the folks at Project Upland. If you have a few minutes, you should check it out. It’s a great story.

AYA IMPERIAL Sidelock SxS shotgun
AYA IMPERIAL Sidelock SxS shotgun

In Our Veins – The Story of AYA Shotguns

“The story of AYA fine guns is long, interesting, and ultimately about people. Alex Aranzábal, now at the center of that story, is of the fourth generation of the AYA family. His story, like that of AYA itself, is full of layers, culture, and triumph.”

To learn more about AYA visit: http://www.aya-fineguns.com/

AYA ANNIVERSARY Sidelock SxS hammer shotgun
AYA ANNIVERSARY Sidelock SxS hammer shotgun
AYA LEGEND DE LUXE Over Under Shotgun
AYA LEGEND DE LUXE Over Under Shotgun

 

This week’s 5 doubles you don’t want to miss…

 

Parker Brothers ~ A-1 Special ~ 20 Ga. 
Parker Brothers ~ A-1 Special ~ 20 Ga.

Parker Brothers ~ A-1 Special ~ 20 Ga: S/N 158XXX – Circa 1912, Chambers: 2 3/4″ with Ejectors, Barrels: 28″, Stock Dimensions: 14″ LOP – DAC 1 11/16″ – DAH 2 1/4″, Butt Pad: Engraved Skeleton, Weight: 6 LB. Wood shows a bit of age cracking with a couple of small storage marks and a bit of moisture damage to the right side of the buttstock. Blue remains at 100% with mint bores. Receiver shows 100% rose and scroll engraving coverage that remains excellent. Truly a remarkable example of the gunmakers art! Complete with a Parker Collectors “Letter of Originality”. Price: $79,999.99 

BOSS & Co Best SLE 20ga 26" IC&M Original 2 3/4" chambers, Makers leather case, Mfg 1947, rare and very nice
BOSS & Co Best SLE 20ga 26″ IC&M Original 2 3/4″ chambers, Makers leather case, Mfg 1947, rare and very nice

BOSS & Co Best SLE 20ga 26″ IC&M Original 2 3/4″ chambers, Makers leather case, Mfg 1947, rare and very nice: Serial #  8764, Barrel Length: 26″, Choke R  IC(.005), Choke L  M(.011), Trigger  ST (Single), Rib Type  Smooth Concave Rib, Receiver Finish:  Casehardened with most colors remaining, Engraving Type:  Boss style Fine Scroll & Rosette Engraving, Other Options:  Makers case with label, Original 2 3/4″ chambers, Condition  EXC. Plus Condition. Weight  5lbs 7oz. Dimensions  1 3/8 x 2 3/8 x 14 3/4 with 1/4 cast off. Other Details  Mfg 1947, Very high condition  Very hard to find in 20ga. Price: $59,000

J. Purdey & Sons - 12ga - SLE - Self Opener - 25” Barrels - .732/.729 Chokes - 2 3/4” Shells - 15 1/8” x 1 5/8” x 2 3/4” - 6 lbs 2 ozs - Lightweight!! 
J. Purdey & Sons – 12ga – SLE – Self Opener – 25” Barrels – .732/.729 Chokes – 2 3/4” Shells – 15 1/8” x 1 5/8” x 2 3/4” – 6 lbs 2 ozs – Lightweight!!

J. Purdey & Sons – 12ga – SLE – Self Opener – 25” Barrels – .732/.729 Chokes – 2 3/4” Shells – 15 1/8” x 1 5/8” x 2 3/4” – 6 lbs 2 ozs – Lightweight!! Self Opener – Great Quail & Grouse Gun – Fast Action Gun!  Original case and proof label – “WTC” on leather case and on stock – “Blue” Pins and hightlights on the Action – lever is plum.  This Purdey is Tight and handles gracefully in high-pressure shooting situations. The gun was a 2 1/2” gun and was sent back to Purdey to be Re-Proofed and opened up to 2 3/4” – performs beautifully! Price: $34,995

John Wilkes, 20ga. Sidelock Ejector 27" Barrels:
John Wilkes, 20ga. Sidelock Ejector 27″ Barrels:

John Wilkes, 20ga. Sidelock Ejector 27″ Barrels Ic/Mod: A custom stocked gun in England with an extremely high quality Turkish Circassian walnut with a straight grip, splinter forend, highest quality full sidelock gun double triggers, automatic ejector, checkered butt, full coverage miniature rose bouquet and scroll engraving Cast for a lefthanded shooter (we can adjust it back to neutral), gold oval, gun remains in pristine condition throughout, includes leather makers’ case with canvas cover, available for immediate delivery. LOP – 15 1/8” x 1 ½” x 2 3/8”. 5 lb., 12 oz. Price: $19,999

Magnificent Remington Parker VHE 16ga 1 frame with Condition
Magnificent Remington Parker VHE 16ga 1 frame with Condition

Magnificent Remington Parker VHE 16ga 1 frame with Condition: 28″ Mod/full and factory marked — incredible original wood and finishes — perfect screws — double triggers — 2 3/4 ” factory chambers — ejectors — 80% original color that is vibrant — 99% blue and varnish — late single line DHBP — splinter forend — Just a wonderful Remington era gun that has all of the zing you expect from Parker — A perfect gun for all occasions afield with the right dimensions and weight.
14 1/4″  1 1/2″ x 2 3/8″  7lb 3oz. Price: $6,950.00 

Auction alert: Dueling pistols by John Blanch, London…

Now I know these duelers aren’t doubles, but there are two of them and they are cool. So that’s good enough for me. I’ve always been fascinated by dueling pistols, and this pair of Blanch’s caught my eye when I was up at Poulin Auctions looking over the lots on their Spring 2019 sale.

JOHN BLANCH CASED FLINTLOCK SET OF DUELING PISTOLS
JOHN BLANCH CASED FLINTLOCK SET OF DUELING PISTOLS

LOT 3379: JOHN BLANCH CASED FLINTLOCK SET OF DUELING PISTOLS: Cals. both approx. 64. NSN. Bbls. 8″ oct. Bbls. are very attractively patterned w/ top flat marked “London” in script. Engraved bbl. tangs. Silver inlaid single breech bands & touch hole surrounds. Ornately engraved original hammers & locks marked in front of hammers “J. BLANCH”. Locks & hammers show areas of vivid case colors. Dark finished iron trigger guards, entry thimbles & bbl. thimbles. Silver escutcheon plates & bbl. pin escutcheons. Screws are attractively engraved. Wooden ramrods w/ brass tips. Fine checkering surrounds the grips. John Blanch started business in London in the year 1809. This fine pair of guns was likely made early in his career given the fact they remain in original flint. The workmanship is exquisite & the attention to detail astonishing. Many, if not all, original tools & accessories still exist w/ this comprehensive cased set. A name plate attached to the inside center of the box reads “J.R.F. BURNETT VAUXHALL.” likely the original owner of this fine set. UNATTACHED ACCESSORIES: wooden case containing an ebony mallet, tin containing extra flints, brass lead ladle w/ screw-on ebony handle, bullet mold, sm. knife, powder flask, wad cutter, ivory & steel touch hole cleaner, spring clamp, approx. 30 rnd. lead balls, ebony cleaning & loading tools, 2 paper wrapped cartridges, oiler, ebony pan brush, ebony handled screw driver & other various tools & appendages. The case measures 17 3/4″ x 10 3/4″ x 3″. It has a rnd. brass escutcheon on the top & an interior name plate. The inside is lined in emerald green cloth that appears original to the set. CONDITION: pistols generally show very light use w/ minor dings & scratches to the wood. Most metal parts show original finish w/ no oxidation or notable wear. Near excellent bores. Accessories show use but have been well cared for during this set’s nearly 200 year life. (01-15763/BF). ESTIMATE: $2,500-5,000

BTW: This is how a pair of pistols like this would have been used.

Auction alert: Dickson 2″ 12 gauge SxS boxlock ejector…

Check out this hard-to-find shotgun coming up tomorrow, 3/30 at Poulin Auctions.

Auction alert: Dickson 2" 12 gauge SxS boxlock ejector...
Auction alert: Dickson 2″ 12 gauge SxS boxlock ejector…

It’s a 12 gauge J. Dickson & Son boxlock ejector with short, 2″ chambers. Twelve gauge shotguns with two-inch chambers were popular in the 1930s. People liked how they were lightweight guns, but they were still big enough to feel right to people who had always shot 12-gauge guns.

Auction alert: Dickson 2" 12 gauge SxS boxlock ejector...
Auction alert: Dickson 2″ 12 gauge SxS boxlock ejector…

Today, these doubles are awesome side-by-sides for upland hunters.

Auction alert: Dickson 2" 12 gauge SxS boxlock ejector...
Auction alert: Dickson 2″ 12 gauge SxS boxlock ejector…

LOT 1067: J. DICKSON & SON TWO INCH BOXLOCK EJECTOR SXS SHOTGUN: Cal. 12 Ga. S# 18014. Bbls. 27″ w/ Churchill rib. Ribbed surface is hand filed. Choked .007″ / .017″ (Light Imp. Cyl. / Light Mod.). Dbl. triggers. Ejectors. Auto safe. Bbl. lockup is via dbl. under lugs. Action is in the white. Blued bbls. & furniture. Checkered walnut straight hand stock w/ splinter forend. Action decorated w/ acanthus scroll plus “John Dickson & Son” in a banner on each side. LOP: 14 3/8″ over 1″ leather covered pad. DAC: 1 3/8″. DAH: 2 3/8″. Cast off: 1/4″. Minimum measured wall thicknesses: .032″ left & .036″ right; both measured 8″ from muzzle. Weight: 5 lbs., 12 oz. UNATTACHED ACCESSORIES: leather very compact case w/ red baize lining. Accessory compartment in case holds case straps. Also includes Dickson & Son oil bottle & 2″ snap caps marked “MORTIMER & SON”. CONDITION: like many British guns, this Dickson has been freshened still retaining 95%+ bbl. finish w/ crisp engraving on the action & deep rich blue on the furniture. Wood shows minimal marking w/ 95% freshened finish. Checkering remains crisp where recut. Initial plate is engraved w/ “LCT”. Leather covered pad retains its dark brown color. Bottom of bbls. stamped w/ “GRIFFIN & HOWE” import marks. Bbl. flats wear 1979 London proofs w/ bore diameters marked at .729″ (still measure). Bright shiny bores. ESTIMATE: $1,500-2,500.

Auction alert: A new 12g Holloway & Naughton best-quality sidelock SxS …

This nearly-new 12g sidelock shotgun is coming up in Poulin Auctions Spring 2019 sale, which starts 3/30. It’s a best-quality, British gun made around 1994, and it’s built on a Beesley action, just like a Purdey. Watch the video above to learn more about it.

LOT 1045, POULIN AUCTIONS SPRING 2019 SALE: MAGNIFICENT HOLLOWAY & NAUGHTON BEST CASED TWO BARREL SET SIDELOCK SXS SHOTGUN:
LOT 1045, POULIN AUCTIONS SPRING 2019 SALE: MAGNIFICENT HOLLOWAY & NAUGHTON BEST CASED TWO BARREL SET SIDELOCK SXS SHOTGUN:

LOT 1045: MAGNIFICENT HOLLOWAY & NAUGHTON BEST CASED TWO BARREL SET SIDELOCK SXS SHOTGUN: Both sets of bbls. are 12 Ga. w/ 2 3/4″ chambers. S# H&N 12-94. Bbl. 1) Length: 30″. Choke constrictions: .011″ right, & .021″ left. Bbl. 2) Length: 28″. Choke constrictions: .011″ right, .020″ left. A true Best Quality gun, this H&N is stocked to the fences with drop points. The firing pins are bushed. Exquisite Delahaut bouquet & scroll engraving decorates all of the action metal with carbona blue pins. A banner “HOLLOWAY & NAUGHTON” in gold with gold stripe cocking indicators provides a dramatic contrast against the elegant case colors. As the gun was made in 2006, it wears the vivid colors that made Ray St. Ledger a legend in the English gun trade.

LOT 1045, POULIN AUCTIONS SPRING 2019 SALE: MAGNIFICENT HOLLOWAY & NAUGHTON BEST CASED TWO BARREL SET SIDELOCK SXS SHOTGUN:
LOT 1045, POULIN AUCTIONS SPRING 2019 SALE: MAGNIFICENT HOLLOWAY & NAUGHTON BEST CASED TWO BARREL SET SIDELOCK SXS SHOTGUN:

Barrels are struck to perfection & finished with luscious rich blue that appears inches deep. No less impressive than the metal, mother nature’s most elegant marble cake walnut highlights the stock & forend. Smoky figure abounds throughout the auburn backgrounds with perfect layout for a gun of this quality. Both bbl. sets feature file cut concave game ribs with brass front beads. Both bbls. use the same forend. Both bbl. sets are chopper lump bbl. construction. Checkered walnut straight hand stock with checkered butt. Checkered splinter forend. Double triggers with front trigger articulated. Purdey style self opening action. Toeline of stock features nameplate marked “RDP”. DAC: 1 1/2″. DAH: 2 3/8″. LOP: 14 5/8″. Weight: 6.95 lbs. with 28″ barrels & 7.05 lbs. with 30″ barrels. UNATTACHED ACCESSORIES: maker’s very compact 2 barrel case replete with “Holloway & Naughton” marked nickel plated oil bottle & snap caps. The body of the snap caps & fitted turn screws feature off white synthetic bodies. Ebony & brass 2 piece cleaning rod. Key is included. CONDITION: all aspects near excellent with 28″ barrel set (left barrel) showing faint thinning of blue for the last 1/2″ to the muzzle. PROVENANCE: From the Robert Pettus Collection. ESTIMATE: $40,000-60,000.

LOT 1045, POULIN AUCTIONS SPRING 2019 SALE: MAGNIFICENT HOLLOWAY & NAUGHTON BEST CASED TWO BARREL SET SIDELOCK SXS SHOTGUN:
LOT 1045, POULIN AUCTIONS SPRING 2019 SALE: MAGNIFICENT HOLLOWAY & NAUGHTON BEST CASED TWO BARREL SET SIDELOCK SXS SHOTGUN:
LOT 1045, POULIN AUCTIONS SPRING 2019 SALE: MAGNIFICENT HOLLOWAY & NAUGHTON BEST CASED TWO BARREL SET SIDELOCK SXS SHOTGUN:
LOT 1045, POULIN AUCTIONS SPRING 2019 SALE: MAGNIFICENT HOLLOWAY & NAUGHTON BEST CASED TWO BARREL SET SIDELOCK SXS SHOTGUN:

Auction alert: Westley Richards .470 NE Droplock double rifle…

Here’s one of the all-time classic dangerous-game safari rifles. It’s coming up at Poulin Auctions Spring 2019 sale, which starts this Friday, 3/30.

Auction alert: Westley Richards .470 NE Droplock double rifle...
Auction alert: Westley Richards .470 NE Droplock double rifle…

Westley Richards Droplocks (aka “hand detachable locks”) are one of the most famous side-by-side actions ever created, and the .470 Nitro Express cartridge is also highly regarded. If you’re thinking of heading to Africa on safari, this gun would be ideal for everything from Cape Buffalo to Elephants. Westley Richards still makes them today. The double rifles have a starting price of around $100,000+.

Auction alert: Westley Richards .470 NE Droplock double rifle...
Auction alert: Westley Richards .470 NE Droplock double rifle…

LOT 1047, WESTLEY RICHARDS DROPLOCK DOUBLE RIFLE: Cal. 470 Nitro. S# 1431. Dovetail lump 26″ bbls. w/ single standing leaf express sight in matted quarter rib. pedestal front sight topped w/ blade including bright bead & flip up high visibility sight. Sling swivel attached to bottom rib. SST. Ejectors. Polished & jeweled hand detachable locks underneath hinged floorplate. Lock up is via dbl. under lugs w/ doll’s head top fastener. Westley Richards camming top lever. Stalking safety w/ gold “SAFE” & gold “BOLTED”. Action is decorated w/ 70% pattern of bold scroll. Full length bottom tang. Capped checkered walnut pistol grip stock w/ drop points checkered side panels, sling swivel & English leather covered pad. Grip cap is engraved to match & features trapdoor storage. Wide splinter forend w/ engraved pull lever style latch. Consignor states that rifle was recently checked for regulation by maker & that it is very accurate w/ Federal ammunition. LOP: 14″. Weight: 12 lbs. CONDITION: bbls. & furniture retain better than 90% freshened blue. Coin finished action exhibits crisp engraving. Hand detachable locks still display brilliant jeweling. Grip cap blue is beginning to show a plum tone. Wood shows a few scattered compression marks w/ none protruding through the finish. Checkering remains crisp. Initial oval is engraved w/ “LCT”. Leather covered pad retains strong black color. Action is tight & on face. Ejectors are strong. Bright bores w/ crisp rifling. ESTIMATE: $17,500-22,500.

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