From the 1860s to 1980s, twelve gauges ruled in my blog. They were the standard game gun and what most men shot. After the first World War, there was a movement in the UK toward lighter and lighter doubles, and 2″ 12gs like the one you seehere were the result. These guns weigh 6lbs or less, but shill had the proportions and feel of a standard British game gun.
Today, these guns are ideal for upland hunting, especially over pointing dogs. These guns throw great patterns and they’re built to push 7/8-ounces of lead, enough to knock down quail, woodcock, and most grouse.
Charles Hellis was a well-respected London gunmaker, and this gun looks like it’s in great shape overall and very fairly priced. The seller is one of the most highly-respected dealers in the country, too.
Beautiful and ultra lightweight 12 bore Charles Hellis 2″ Chambered boxlock SxS game gun: Absolutely dandy lightweight 12bore 2″ game gun weighing in at just 5lbs 6oz! This petite case hardened box lock action with Anson pushbutton release splinter forend made with extractors, double triggers and straight hand buttstock. If you’ve never used a 2″ 12 bore cartridge before, you absolutely have to give it a try. It is a ball and this gun would be a joy to carry all day long and will knock down any game bird in North America! Price:$2995
J. Purdey & Sons – Best Sidelock Three Barrel Set – 20 ga: Price: $48,500.00
Item Number: PUR22212
Shotgun type: SxS
Grip: Straight Grip
Lop: 14 1/2 ”
Pad thickness: ”
Type of butt: Checkered Butt
Drop comb: 1 5/8 ”
Drop heel: 2 5/8 ”
Cast amount: 1/4 ”
Weight: 6 lbs, 4 oz
Manufactured in: England
Manufacture Year: Finish: Case Colored
Overall condition: Very Good
Stock condition: Very Good
Metal condition: Very Good
Stock: Original finish
Metal: Original finish
Type of Case: Leather Luggage Case
Serial # 192528
Choke R SKT(.005)
Choke L IM(.020)
Trigger DT (Double)
Stock Configuration Straight Grip
Forearm Type Splinter Forearm
Rib Type Matted Concave Rib
Receiver Finish Casehardened with traces remaining
Engraving Type Border Engraving
Other Options Dogs head butt plate, “0” frame, 2 3/4″ chambers
Condition VG Plus Condition
Dimensions 1 3/8 x 2 1/4 x 14 1/2 with 0 cast
Other Details Mfg 1921
number 237237 completed on June 25, 1935. This is a Remington Era Parker. This shotgun’s rare features letter up nicely. Straight stock, 12 Gauge, 26-inch barrels, single trigger and large fore end. The Parker research letter listing all options is included. Condition is excellent with much of the original and bright Remington Era case color remaining on the receiver. The barrel blue is also excellent with some light handling and wear. Twin ivory beads. The barrel flats are marked SKEET IN & SKEET OUT. Frame size is 1 1/2. The original straight stock is excellent and has a LOP of 13 1/4 inches from the REAR POSITION Parker single selective trigger over a Larry DelGrego & Son pad. Nice original and timed action screws. Drop at heel is 2 3/4 inches and drop at comb is 1 1/2 inches. The original Parker Beavertail fore end is in excellent condition with no chips or cracks and sharp original checkering. The shotgun is tight on the face with strong ejectors and proper functioning Parker single trigger. Weight is light at 7 pounds 9 ounces. Excellent bores. This is a fantastic highly optioned Parker Remington Era Skeet shotgun with a great Parker Research Letter that lists all options. Go to ironmenarms.com for more pictures. Price:$4550
& Fitch Co. New York. Has P.D. engraved on the trigger guard. Price:$1,499.99
Manufacturer: SN: N988343
Caliber: 12 GA
Chambers: 2 3/4 inch
Metal Condition: very good to excellent conditon, a handfull of minor scratches on the barrels, a couple of nicks on the bottom of the barrels, most of the color is left on the receiver, most of the bluing on the barrels is still intact
Wood Condition: very good to excellent condition, a few minor dings and marks on the stock and fore end
Bore Condition: bright and shiny
Barrels: 28 inch
Triggers: double, smooth triggers
Stock: checkered pistol grip with grip cap
14.5 inch lop at the front trigger, 13.5 inch lop at the rear
Fore End: checkered splinter style
Butt Pad: Deceletator rubber pad
Weight: 6.85 lbs
Sights: tapered solid rib with single brass bead
Chokes: fixed, right barrel: Cyl. left barrel: Imp. Cyl.
Extras: none, no box or case
Item Location: Kansas City, KS
FRANCHI – Instinct L – 20ga – 28″ Chokes – Factory New: 2014 – Franchi Instinct L – 20ga, 3″, 28″ Single Selective Trigger, Ejectors, Prince of Wales Grip, LOP 14-3/4″ Drop 1-1/2″ to 2-1/4″, Weight 6 lbs 3 oz. Factory New Gun – Very Low Price. These are well-made guns that balance and handle very nicely. Price:$975
Fox XE 16 Gauge – FACTORY ORIGINAL, MINT CONDITION: Year 1919, 16 Gauge, 5lbs 12oz, Side-by-Side: Serial Number 300,790. During the 20 years of chasing A.H. Fox guns of all grades and gauges for my personal collection and to assist my clients to build their collections, the Fox XE 16ga. has been one of the most difficult to find. I have only seen 5 offered for sale in the last 10 years. This fine example could be the very best XE 16 on Mother Earth, as it has all original factory finishes retaining 99% case color, blue, and wood finish. Built in 1919, sn300790 is one of 90 factory-documented Fox XE guns built in 16ga., with only 79 of those the cherished Philly made guns. Some of these guns have disappeared so it is likely there are less than 70 or so left in the world. Of the 70, few have this much condition remaining and most have been significantly altered since leaving the factory. I have examined this gun inside and out, and it is a near new, factory original gun. The signature A.H. Fox case colors are not duplicated in today’s world. The engraving on this gun is exceptionally sharp and clear and from the prime era of Fox engraving. When you examine the order card you will notice it shows 3 ½” drop at the heel which is an error on the card as the gun has 2 ½” drop at heel and THE GUN MATCHES ALL OTHER DETAILS ON THE ORDER CARD including the long length of pull, gun weight, barrel weight and length. Errors were made when handwriting order cards. The gun came from the factory with the 2 ½” drop at heel. The factory marked serial number is on the head of the stock as shown in the photos. Weighing just 5lbs. 13oz. and balanced perfectly on the hinge pin, you would be hard-pressed to find a more beautiful A.H. Fox. This gun has it all…rarity, high grade, incredible factory original condition, desirable features and stock dimensions, perfect mechanics, mirror bores, gorgeous wood figure, perfect screws…an A.H. Fox gun for the advanced collector or avid shooter/collector. When you consider this is likely your only chance to own such a gun, it is a wise investment vehicle for your hard-earned funds at the price offered. Price:$27,950
Parker Reproduction 16/20 Ga Combo SxS Shotgun: Like New Parker Reproduction 16/20 Ga Combo Set. This is #6 out of 100 Special Edition Set for The National Sporting Fraternity Limited. Shotgun has a Krieghoff 16 Ga barrel, 28″ IC-Mod. Second barrel is a 20 Ga, 26″ IC-Mod. Comes with Leather Hard Case, Canvas Dust Cover, 16-20 Ga Snap Caps and Oil bottle. Shotgun is in 99% condition with just a few faint handling marks. Bluing is excellent with very strong case colors. Comes with Parker Reproduction Catalog and a copy of Game & Gun magazine. Steve Smith reviewed the combo set in this magazine. Price:$8,500
Greifelt Grade 1 20ga O/U Double Barrel Shotgun: This beautiful little 20ga Greifelt remains in absolutely outstanding condition. With excellent scenes of birds on both sides of the action and delicate rose and scroll on the balance, it retains near 100% of the case colors. The 26″ barrels feature a solid rib with a metal bead; choked IC/IM with excellent bores and 98% bluing. The barrels also have rose and scroll engraving at the breech end. The scalloped boxlock action with a Kersten style top crossbolt and dual underlugs has dual triggers with the front trigger being articulated. The LOP is 14 1/2″ from the front trigger to the original horn buttplate. The dark-colored walnut straight gripped stock features the original finish and only has a couple of handling marks. The gun comes in the oak and leather case with the original Von Lengerke & Detmold label. Price: $5,500
WINCHESTER MODEL 21 – 30″ BARREL – EARLY PRODUCTION WITH LOW 3 DIGIT SERIAL NUMBER: Here’s an early Winchester Model 21 in 12 gauge – serial number 145. This honest gun has 30″ barrels choked mod and full. Mirror bores as original measuring .730 with 13/1000 choke in right and 35/1000 in left. Chambers at 2 3/4″. Extractors. Gun is tight and on the face with top lever right of center. No loose ribs – barrels ring true. All serial numbers match. No cracks to the wood with sharp checkering. One inch Winchester red recoil pad. Weight is 7 LBS 7 1/2 OZ. Shipping is $40. Great shootable stock dimensions follow. LOP – 14 1/2″, Drop at Comb – 1 1/2″, Drop at Heel – 2 3/8″. Price:$3,500
For most of the 20th century, Abercrombie & Fitch was the most famous name in American sporting goods. From a retail store on NYC’s Madison Avenue, and through catalogs sent out across North American, A&F sold everything from firearms to fishing lures.
In 1938, the first spread of their Rifle-Shotgun catalog opened with the following copy:
“In our opinion the Francotte, famous Belgian gun adapted by us to the American Sportsman and improved over a period of 50 years, represents real gun value second to none. It is, in fact, an imported hand made gun at an American price.”
Three pages of Francottes followed: From the top of the line Eagle Grade Hammerless Ejector No. 45 Quality to the Knockabout Ejector. All these guns featured Siemen-Martin ‘Special’ fluid steel barrels and could be ordered with Greener-crossbolts or doll’s head extensions. They were made made on what A&F called a “Francotte lock action”, said to be an improvement on Anson & Deeley-type boxlock action, and featured Francotte-patent ejectors.
Price wise, Francottes weren’t cheap. But they weren’t super expensive, either. At a time when a Parker Quality A-1 Special Quality with ejectors was $890, a Parker Quality B.H.E. was $375 and a Fox X.E. was $165, Francotte’s Eagle Grade Hammerless Ejector No. 45 Quality was $550. Their most affordable double — the Francotte Knockabout Ejector — was $175. In between were models like the No. 30 Quality (30E) at $400 and a No. 20 Quality (20E) at $275.
Compared to their American competitors, all these Francotte’s were built on superior designs, featured better finishing and proper scaling, and were more aesthetically pleasing overall. If you had stopped into A&F’s Madison Avenue store and placed a Parker, Fox, and Francotte side by side, it would have been plain to you which one was superior.
Francotte (Abercrombie & Fitch) “30E” 28 gauge SXS Shotgun: Francotte Pre-war (Abercrombie & Fitch) SXS Shotgun. Side plated 28 GA. Ejectors, side clips, 26 inch BBL, Full and Full, Double triggers, 14 1/2 inch pull to horn butt plate with Abercrombie and Fitch Leather case. Bores like new. Price:$17,995
FRANCOTTE MODEL “20E” DOUBLE 20 GAUGE SIDE-BY-SIDE SHOTGUN RETAILED BY ABERCROMBIE & FITCH: 28″ barrels choked R: .009″ L: .030″. Engraved sideplate action with auto ejectors, side clips, hiddend third bite (crossbolt with rib extension), double triggers, top lever. Checkered splinter forend and semi-pistol grip buttstock. Stock measurements: Comb: 1 1/2″ Heel: 2 1/2″ LOP: 14 1/4″ to a horn buttplate. Weight 5lbs 13oz. In beautiful original condition retaining nearly all of the casehardened finish on the action and sideplates. Trigger guard and top lever have all of the high polish charcoal blue remaining. Barrels showing 98% original blue with the maker’s and A&F’s names engraved on top. “A FRANCOTTE MAKER” and patent info on the left sideplate at the bottom. Excellent wood and checkering. 1949 mfg. Price:$8,750
EARLY FRANCOTTE 12 GAUGE DOUBLE EJECTOR GUN: 26″ damascus steel barrels, auto ejecgtors, beautiful scroll engraved sideplates and relief engraved fences. Double triggers, top lever, double underlocking lugs with Greener type third bite. Bores measure .729″ both barrels with walls over .030″ Chokes: R: .003″ L: .033″ Weight: 6lbs 7oz. Stock measures Comb: 1 1/2″ Heel: 2″ LOP: 14 1/2″ over a thin English hardrubber pad. The barrels retain all of the beautiful damascus pattern, The action showing lovely subdued case colors. Mint bores, excellent checkering and varnish. This would make a perfect bird gun. Price:$5,950
The one thing collector’s want most is original condition. Here’s an aweseome side-by-side Purdey shotguns with plenty of it. Just check out the color-case hardening on the action and the crispness of the wood. Great engraving, too.
Since its founding in 1814, Purdey has built 30,000+ firearms. I doubt they’ve built many like this, though. It’s a lightweight (5lb, 8oz) 12 gauge made to shoot 2″ shells. Of course, it’s built on Purdey’s famous Beesley action and appear to be in very nice original condition.
Twelve gauges with 2″ chambers were introduced by British makers in the 1930s and marketed as “featherweight” models.
Author Vic Venters, popular with sportsmen who hunted red grouse over pointers in the UK, not many were made. I can’t imagine Purdey built them in any significant numbers. And of the ones they made, how many are still in nearly-new original condition?
A lot of people think you have spend thousands of dollars to get decent SxS shotgun. While you certainly can do that, you can also spend a lot less. Just take a look at this Bernardelli Gamecock. It’s just $800 and an absolute steal.
I think twelve-gauge game guns like this are the most versatile shotguns you can guy. You can load them up to take pheasants or down to hunt grouse or quail. Typically, they run around 6.5lbs — so not too heavy to carry all day and not too light to shoot well or soak up recoil.
This one is on an Anson & Deeley action, so you know it’s tough and reliable. I’m pretty sure it has ejectors, too. Overall, it look like a real nice gun at an insanely low price.
Bernardelli Gamecock 12g SxS 28″ Straight Grip: DT, SS, SF, 12 gauge. This shotgun seems to have spent its life in a closet. Other than normal handling wear throughout its life, she is immaculate. All numbers match, checkering, blueing, bores are gorgeous. She still opens and closes like new. I had Mike Orlen hone the chokes to IC and Mod. Mike did his normal mirror finish and perfect regulation. Documentation included. Serial # is 97596. Excellent birdgun to last a lifetime and gorgeous, original case coloring. Price: $800
Here are two tough-to find American doubles coming to auction. They’re both A.H. Fox HE SxS, one in 12 gauge and one in 20 gauge. Both are coming up this weekend at Amoskeag Auctions March sale.
Fox made about 300 of these HE-grade Super Fox side-by-side shotguns — just sixty in 20 gauge and the rest in 12. All of them were heavy, overbored doubles made for wildfowling with Western Cartridge’s new-at-the-time Super-X ammo.
Lot # 85: Rare A. H. Fox He Grade Superfox Double Ejectorgun Shipped To E.C. Crossman. Serial #202292, 20 Ga. (2 3/4”), 32” Chromox barrels choked full and full with bright excellent bores showing just some faint remnants of light pitting in a couple spots with a tiny dent in the right tube near the muzzles which was professionally raised. The barrels retain about 90% original blue, the loss due to overall light fading, actually appearing much stronger undernormal ambient light. The frame is lovely and retains 75-80% original color case-hardening which is quite vivid, the belly of frame toning to a silvery case-hardened patina; it features light fancy borderline engraving with little floral sprays around the pins and screw holes.
The gun is stocked half-pistolgrip in a nice grade of walnut, the stock rating very good plus to near excellent with much original varnish and only minor dings and handling marks from the years. It is fitted with a more contemporary Hawkins recoil pad, added to the contour of the butt, the original pad having deteriorated with the years, the length of pull is 14 7/16” with drops of 1 1/2” and 2 7/8”; the forend is a bit darker and rates very good plus as well showing a thin sliver of bedding compound at its junction with the forend iron. The gun locks up Fox-tight with the top lever still right of center, the gun seems to operate well mechanically and the ejectors are robust; the safety is non-automatic. The included factory letter confirms the configuration and shows shipment to none other than E.C. Crossman on August 14, 1925 “for Phill Crosman” (sic). Savage historian John T. Callahan took the liberty of including copies of the original build card and job tag for the shotgun. The build card, under the “For” heading reads “E.C. Crossman”, the rear of the card showing pellet count for left and right barrels. The job tag reads on front and back: “Test Gun and send to Phill Crosman” and “Mr. Roll This Gun shoots 79% in 5 shots out of Right bbl 79 1/2% out of 5 shots in Left bbl B.Becker”, obviously from the renowned Burt Becker to Adolph Roll, Fox Sales Manager. With only sixty 20 ga. Super Fox shotguns ever made, this is a really rare and lovely Super Fox in its own right, all-the-more desireable with the connection to the famous Crossman clan. Truly a super – Super Fox. Estimate: $8000 – $10000.
Lot # 386: A. H. Fox He Grade Super Fox Boxlock Double Ejectorgun: Serial #29562, 12 Ga. (3”), 30” barrels choked full and full with bright excellent bores. The barrels retain about 98% excellent quality restored blue finish with some light muzzle wear and a remnant or two of light pitting beneath. The frame is lovely retaining 99% restored vibrant color case-hardening with the familiar light H-grade borderline engraving and makers name; the triggerguard shows excellent blue as well. The round knob pistolgrip buttstock rates excellent as professionally refinished with evidence of a repaired crack at left and right of top tang; it seems to have been effective and the stock seems sound and will not flex. The splinter forend is in a similar state of condition and both show perfectly chased checkering.
The length of pull to the grooved hard rubber buttplate is 14 1/8” with drops of 1 5/8” and 3” (although the factory letter indicates 2 3/4”, the stock appears original in all respects). The safety is non-automatic and two of the screws show some light slot damage…they are not quite regulated and clearly someone with an incorrect width blade attempted to turn them. The gun locks up tightly with the top lever still right of center and the gun seems to operate properly mechanically. The included factory letter verifies the configuration and shows shipment in September of 1925 to W. R. Burkhard Co. (St. Paul Minn.). Really an excellent as-restored Super Fox that should be taken back afield for some waterfowl bustin in the fall seasons. Estimate: $2500 – $4000
The British are famous for their game guns: 12 gauge side-by-sides with 28″ or 30″ barrels, 2 1/2″ chambers, a straight stock, and doubles triggers. Most of these doubles weigh in at around 6 3/4lbs, and they’re ideal for taking everything up to pheasants out to about 40 yards.
Of course, the Brits also made heavy twelves for waterfowling and pigeon shooting. The William Powell double you see here is one of them, and from what I can see, it looks like it’s a good deal. With original 2 3/4″ chambers, it should be proofed for 1 1/4 oz. loads – more than enough lead for clays shooting – and with it’s high stock and should fit most shooters pretty well.
This fine Birmingham double found its way to America by a rather circuitous route through Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. The left barrel is marked with the maker’s name and Carr’s Lane, Birmingham address and the right is marked, “Made for Donald Mackintosh, Melbourne”. Research indicates that Donald Mackintosh, Pty. Ltd. was a gunsmith and sporting goods store located on Latrobe Street in Melbourne and engaged in the importation of fine firearms from all over the world. An ad from the 1950’s announced the recent arrival of W. Powell and G. & S. Holloway hammerless SxS guns made to Mackintosh’s specifications. This would explain the pistol grip stock found on this shotgun as opposed to the classic English straight stock more frequently encountered on guns of this type. In any event, it is an excellent example of one of Birminham’s finer gunmakers with handsome engraving and barrels that ring clear and true. The lockup is as tight as the day it left England.
Estimated post WW II to early 1950’s by barrel flat markings
2-3/4″ – Ejectors
Engraved, case-colored receiver retains approximately 60% of original coloring with some vibrant areas remaining. Barrel bluing is approximately 85 – 90% with some freckling and patina.
Stock and forend are structurally sound, but carry the bumps and impression marks typically found on a field gun.
Ansley H. Fox’s started making “The Finest Gun in the World” under the A.H. Fox Gun Company name in 1905 and the C grade was one of the first models offered. In 1906, a C was a $100 shotgun. In 1927 when the one you see here was delivered, the price was up to $107.30. Here’s more about this gun from the seller:
A. H. FOX CE 12 GAUGE DOUBLE BARREL SHOTGUN: This is another Outstanding Original Collector Quality gun from my collection. I purchased it long ago from the original owner’s family but have misplaced their information. The gun comes with the ORIGINAL FOX HANG TAG. It has 28″ barrels with Right Bore at .730″ with .022″ constriction (Mod) and Left Bore at .729″ with .042″ constriction (Full). The barrels have twin Ivory Beads. Pistol Grip Stock with Splinter Fore end. LOP is 14 1/4″, DAH 2 3/4″ and DAC 1 5/8″. The gun weighs 7 pounds 3 ounces. The gun has 30% to 40% Case Color in exterior areas, full Case Color everywhere else. Bluing on barrels is 100%. Bluing on Trigger Guard is about 75%. The wood is perfect with no dents, scratches or cracks and has 100% Finish. The engraving is breath taking, clear and sharp. Price: $5,250
Duck gun, target gun, pheasant gun — all in one gun. That’s a 12 gauge Browning BSS. Rugged as an F350, and with a reliable single trigger, this gun can do it all. The 28″ barrels and fair price on this one make it that much sweeter.
Here’s an interesting idea: Take a 12 gauge Browning BSS Sporter, and add a set of 30″ barrels from Browning’s regular model. The results look like they would make a great target gun, and I’m sure it would be just as nice in a duck blind or a pheasant field. Considering all the work done to it, the price seems very fair, too.
Browning BSS Custom by Art Isaacson with 30″ barrels: On an English Sporter frame. Art took the barrels from a high-gloss pistol-gripped 30″ target model and expertly fit them to a single-selective triggered English stocked Sporter BSS. Semi Beavertail forend. One handling mark on stock (small dimple). Uncut stock fitted with a Browning Sporter hard rubber buttpad, 5/8″ thick. LOP is 14 1/2″, DAC is 1 5/8″, DAH is 2 1/2″. With 7 custom fitted thin-wall Briley chokes (2-SK1, IC, LT MOD, MOD, IMOD, Full). This is a one-of-a-kind Art Issacson original. The gun is 99%, tight as new. It was set up to be a classic SxS Sporting Clays gun. Price:$2300
I’m a big fan of Beretta’s original line of ASE boxlock O/U shotguns. Beretta introduced the ASEs in 1949 as lightweight hunting guns, and the company made them into the 1960s (the current ASEs are heavier, target guns, and not as nice). The early ASEs shotguns came in 2 gauges (12g and 20g) and 3 grades (ASE, ASEL, and ASEELL).
Most of the ASEs I’ve seen have been 20 gauges. The few 12 bores I’ve come across have had 26″ or 28″ barrels.
This is the first one I’ve seen with longer, 30″, tubes. It’s on Gunbroker.com now and the auction ends tomorrow, 1/4/2014, @ 12:29:31 PM ET.
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:
-More time to hunt
-More places to hunt
-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.
Is this the finest Purdey bar-in-wood side-by-side hammergun in America? The seller thinks so, and he might be right.
Many people who collect vintage doubles think Purdey’s bar-in-wood hammerguns are the most elegant side-by-sides ever made. I don’t know about the “most” elegant — I prefer lift-up models by William Powell & Son – but Purdey’s bar-in-woods are right at the top.
The one you see here is #11090, and it was made in 1881, and it looks like it’s in excellent original condition. Purdey built their first centerfire shotgun in 1865, and by 1868 (gun #7744), or maybe even earlier, they were making centerfires with bar-in-wood style locks & actions.
Many other makers made them, too, including Westley Richards, William Powell & Son, Stephen Grant, Army & Navy. A few companiess even built them with hammerless actions, including Purdey and Edinburgh’s McNaughton.
Here’s more about #11090 from the seller:
12 gauge James Purdey & Son Bar-in-Wood Double Barrel SxS Shotgun: You are looking at the best documented and best preserved 12 bore Purdey Bar in Wood Hammer shotgun available. Built in 1881, This gun is featured in the premier book on Purdey’s by Donald Dallas published in 2000 with three photos and a copy of the “Dimension Book” page with all specifications for Purdey # 11090 ( see photos ). It is almost unbelievable that the gun and the original case is in the pristine condition as found after 133 years.
This Purdey was made for Paul Fitter and his initials are still in the silver oval in buttstock and on the outside of case. The gun remains in perfect shooting condition and I have used it quite well in Vintage Sporting Clays events with lite Winchester AA target loads. The Damascus barrels are perfect…30″ with original CYL / F chokes, 2 5/8″ chambers , Bores are .735, hidden third bite, and not a rub, scratch or dent to be found. The action is tight as new and at 6lbs 15 oz. the gun balances beautifully.
The dimensions are shown on the work sheet and remain as is. The wood has been freshened a bit to remove old oil, etc. and the original horn buttplate is in excellent condition. The original case colors are strong and the fine Purdey rose and scroll engraving is vivid.
I am interested in finding a collector / Vintage shooter who is willing to continue to preserve this fantastic piece of Purdey’s history. You will not find a better example anywhere in the U.S.A. Price: POR
I’ve been on a bit of German/Prussian shotgun kick the past few months. The more time I spend looking at these doubles, the more I like them. Lately, I seem to run into one every few weeks that I would love to own.
This double barrel by Frederic Surkamer/Merkel is the latest one I’ve fallen for. If I only I could come up with a reason to own it — and the cash to buy it. Check out how beautifully made it is — stout as NFL linebacker but still elegant. What a gun!
Frederick Surkamer Merkel 301-E 12 Gauge Over-Under Shotgun: A Frederick Surkamer, Chicago 12 bore on a Merkel 301-E boxlock action proved in January of 1929 with 30″ F/XF Krupp Steel ejector barrels with raised file cut solid rib with ivory mid and front beads. Bores are as new measuring .724 top and bottom. Choked .046 top and .040 bottom. This is the best of Merkel boxlocks with double underlugs and double bite. Double Kersten top lock. Bushed strikers. Triggers turned for the right hand.
Extensive and very well done German Acanthus leaf and gamebird engraving. Stocked in English Walnut. Two piece forend with wrap around checkering. Pistol grip buttstock with arrowhead points and Monte Carlo. 15 3/8″ LOP to a solid 5/8″ pad. DAC-1 1/2″ DAH-2 1/2″ although effectively less with the Monte Carlo configuration.
Frederick Surkamer was a noted Chicago gunsmith born in Illinois in 1871 who was a contemporary of Fred Adolph and R.G.Owen. He built custom rifles on Springfield and Mauser actions. He did work for the great sporting firms Von Lengerke & Antoine and Marshall Fields in Chicago. He also imported drillings and shotguns from Europe and stocked these guns.
The pistol grip cap reads “From Mother TAK [Theo A. Koch] 1928. This is an outstanding Pre -War gun and a true piece of Americana in outstanding condition showing minimal use. Overall condition is 99%. The previous owner had this gun for 50 years and acquired it from the original owner. It is an outstanding collector piece and well configured for Sporting Clays or Live Birds. Price:$4995
German-style over-under shotguns are some of the most under rated shotguns out there – and also one of the best buys you’ll find. I own the 16g Heym O/U you can see in this pic. It beautifully made – far nicer than a Browning Superposed – and it handles as well as my 20g Beretta 686.
I’m sure the 12 gauge Miller & Val. Greiss you see here is just as well made and handy. And at $2199, it looks like bargain.
Made in Munich (Germany) with 30″ barrels, choked I.M. (.028) & Full (.039), has a tapered, matted solid rib with front and intermediate ivory bead sights, 2 3/4” chambers, ejectors, double triggers and a manual operating thumb safety. The barrels are of Bohler Special steel and the action features the Greener style cross bolt locking mechanism. The action is extensively engraved in a fine floral pattern. The bottom of the receiver is engraved with the initials MGM, and the top barrel on the left side is stamped with the name Frederic R. Sherman.
Last week I put up this post about a decent looking BC Miroku 12g sidelock that popped up on the market. Today, an even better deal has appeared. This double you see here is almost the same shotgun, except it’s a 20g with ejectors.
Browning BSS shotguns were made in that period when every American want short barrels. So 98% of the ones you see out there have 26″ barrels – especially the Sporters (the ones with straight stocks, rather than pistol grips). BSS are modern guns, and they’re made with moderns steel and meant to be used with modern ammo. So this one here is pretty worry free. The only thing you might want to do is open the chokes a bit for steel ammo. Other than that, it’s ready for the field, and just about anything that flies you way.
Quiet elegance — those words do a great job of describing Purdey’s standard shotgun. While James Purdey & Sons did make some of the finest doubles in the London, their standard, best-quality guns were never the flashiest in the city.
Instead of using grand gestures to grab your attention, Purdeys use subtle touches and tremendous quality to achieve subtle, refined, and more tasteful look. You can see the results in the 12 gauge game gun pictured here. Made between the World Wars, when the London’s gunmakers turned out some of the finest side-by-sides in the world, it’s coming up to auction next week at James D. Julia’s Fall Firearms Sale.
EXCEPTIONALLY FINE JAMES PURDEY SIDELOCK EJECTOR SINGLE TRIGGER LIGHT GAME GUN WITH ORIGINAL CASE AND ACCESSORIES. SN 23737. (1927) Cal. 12 ga. 27″ Chopper lump bbls are engraved “James Purdey & Sons. Audley House. South Audley Street. London.” and “Made of Sir Joseph Whitworth’s Fluid Pressed Steel” on narrow, deeply swamped game rib, fitted with red front and mid beads. Bbl flats are stamped with London nitro proofs for 1-1/8 oz of shot. Bottoms of bbls are stamped with SN. Bbl maker’s initial “H” (for long time Purdey craftsman William Hill) is on bottom of left bbl. Splinter is engraved “Made in England”. Tube nos. “58724” and “58725” are on loop. Case hardened, Beesley patent, self-opening, sidelock action features automatic safety (SAFE inlaid in gold), bushed strikers, raised rib tumbler end cocking indicators, and Purdey non-selective single trigger. Action and lockplates are engraved with exceptionally well cut small scroll with rose bouquet highlights in “house” style. “J. Purdey & Sons” is at the bottom of each lockplate, and also on bottom of action over “London”. Small bow trigger guard is engraved with medium scroll and with SN at grip. Well figured and nicely marbled, dark European walnut straight grip buttstock measures 14-3/8″ over checkered wood butt, and features standard point pattern checkering with mullered borders, drop points, and a gold oval on toe line engraved “G. P.” Matching splinter ejector forend has Anson release. Iron is stamped with actioners initials “FH” (Fred Hughes). Bore diameter: left-.734, right -.735. Bore restrictions: left -.007 (IC), right -.008 (IC). Wall thickness: left -.031, right -.030. Drop at heel: 2-1/4″, drop at comb: 1-3/8″. Weight: 6 lbs. 1 oz. LOP: 14-3/8″.
Maker’s oak and leather case with brass corners and push button latch has round brass central medallion and inset leather tag embossed with an early owner’s name on top. Front of lid is embossed “Made in England”. Interior is lined in scarlet cloth with gold embossed black leather Purdey label and charge card (for this gun) on lid. Case contains two 2-pc rosewood and brass cleaning rods with brush, mop, jag, and Turks head, pull through cleaning kit in black morocco wallet, action cleaning brushes in red morocco wallet, broken case extractor, 2 black wood handled turnscrews, striker disc tool, bone striker case with spare strikers, Purdey marked square oil bottle, and snap caps. Also included is a booklet “Instructions for Purdey Guns”, an inventory of items in case, and two keys.
PROVENANCE: Abercrombie & Fitch tag with specifications and price of $875.00 affixed to trigger guard.
CONDITION: Excellent. Action retains 60 – 70% orig case hardening color, silvered on bottoms and beads. Lockplates retain 85 – 95% orig case hardening color, left being the strongest. Top lever and forend iron retain most of their orig blue, slightly silvered Stocks retain nearly all of their orig rubbed oil finish with a number of minor marks.. Checkering is slightly worn and dark. Bores are excellent, smooth, bright and shiny throughout. Action is tight. Bbls are on face. Ejectors are in time. Trigger works. Case leather is excellent, with little discoloration,and a few bumps and rubs. Charge card is slightly foxed. Accessories are very fine. Pamphlet is slightly squished from being fit to case. A very fine, well balanced, fast handling, high condition gun from the 1920’s. Price: $15,000-$25,000
NOTE: Even though the seller has listed this gun as an XE, it appears to be a CE-grade Fox Shotgun. My mistake.
Knowing when to stop is crucial to embellishing a shotgun. Too much engraving, fancy checkering, cakey wood, or gold ruins a SxS or O/U. Too little leaves a gun looking dull and unfinished. Getting it just right is the trick.
Fox’s XE grades were higher grade doubles in their day, not the very best, but very, very good, and quite expensive. They featured Automatic Ejectors, a Silver’s Recoil Pad and Lyman Sights. The stocks were made of Circassian Walnut and oil finished with a full pistol, half pistol, straight grip, or Monte-Carlo style grip. They were offered with Chromox Fluid Steel in 26 “, 28″, 30″ & 32” barrels. Like all Fox shotguns, they came in 12 gauge, 16 gauge and 20 gauge.
“The XE is the result of the increasing demand for a gun which shall be as nearly perfect for the purpose as it is possible to be made. Each gun receives and elaborate amount of handwork, which.. is still the only way to produce a really accurate and high grade gun.”
Here’s more about the one you see here from the seller:
Ansley H. Fox, 12 Gauge, 28″ Barrels: Bores in Excellent Condition as is the Whole Shotgun, Mfg. in Phila. PA, Double Trigger, Half Pistol Grip, #4 Barrels Weight, Chromox Fluid Compressed Steel, Metal Bead, Ejector, LOP 14 7/16″, Choke Modified & Full. Hand Engraved Scroll Work and Game Scenes. Serial #30827. Price: $8950
Do you love the idea of ordering a bespoke shotgun? A lot of people do. But there can be a downside to a having a shotgun custom made just for you: After all your anticipating and money spent, what you specified on paper may not be what arrives at your door.
That’s one reason I like used doubles. With a used shotgun, you know what you’re getting (at least once your gunsmith has had a chance to look it over). Even if you buy a side-by-side or over-under online, you should be able to get your money back in a couple of weeks if there’s a problem.
So you’re thinking about “bespeaking” a 12 gauge Spanish sidelock, I would take a long look at the Arrieta you see here instead. I’m not sure if it’s 557, a 570, or something between. But whatever model it is, it sure looks like a good deal for $2,999 – especially when you consider that a brand new 12 gauge 557 costs $4,999.
If you agree, now. This shotgun is at Gunauction.com, and the listing ends September 14, 2013 19:57:00 PT. Here’s more about it from the seller:
12 gauge Arrieta Double Barrel Sidelock Shotgun: This elegant gun is one of Arrieta’s best guns! It’s a 7 pin Holland & Holland style lock. It has has a case colored receiver and is beautifully engraved with ultra fine scroll engraving, gold plated removable sidelocks, double trigger (front hinged), auto ejectors and so much more. Notice all the details like N/S screws, the beautiful case color, the fit of wood to metal and so on. This particular gun is “as built” with the exception of an added pad (owner is tall), no wood was cut off. It is a 12 bore choked light modified and improved modified. 6 pounds 12 ounces. Stats: LOP 15″, BBls 27&3/4″, DAH 2&1/4″, DAT 7&1/4″, OAL 45&1/4.