Another nice Parker shotgun, this one is sweet little 20g AHE…

Parker AHE 20ga Double Barrel Shotgun
Parker AHE 20ga Double Barrel Shotgun

It must be rare-Parker season. Here’s another one that’s hard to find. Parker Bros. made just 306 AH grade hammerless shotguns. Of those, I bet very few are late 20 gauges like this one.

Parker AHE 20ga Double Barrel Shotgun: 0 Frame, Single trigger, English stock, Splinter forend, Skeleton butt. A rare sweet Parker with a beautiful piece of wood 14 1/4 LOP 0 Frame 26 in ic/m good case color and blue 3 quail on left side pheasents on right side and bottom A Remington Era gun Find another one of these 6lbs 6oz. Price: $49,500

Parker AHE 20ga Double Barrel Shotgun
Parker AHE 20ga Double Barrel Shotgun
Parker AHE 20ga Double Barrel Shotgun
Parker AHE 20ga Double Barrel Shotgun
Parker AHE 20ga Double Barrel Shotgun
Parker AHE 20ga Double Barrel Shotgun
Parker AHE 20ga Double Barrel Shotgun
Parker AHE 20ga Double Barrel Shotgun

Truly investment grade: a stunning 20 gauge Charles Daly Regent Diamond side by side…

20 GAUGE CHARLES DALY "REGENT DIAMOND" SxS DOUBLE BARREL SHOTGUN
20 GAUGE CHARLES DALY “REGENT DIAMOND” SxS DOUBLE BARREL SHOTGUN

Investing in shotguns is tricky business. Most of the time the subject comes up I snicker and think “Good luck.” I’ve seen a lot of shotguns and I’ve been around auctions & dealers for a while now. In that time, I’ve seen just a few guns I would consider good enough to invest in.  I think this 20 gauge Charles Daly Regent Diamond SxS is one of them.

For collectors, this little Daly has it all: original condition, incredibly high quality, and scarcity. It’s also another advantage. Over the last decade, shooters and collectors have rediscovered just how fantastic pre-WW2 Daly’s are. Demand has risen and prices have climbed. This trend will continue, especially when for guns like this one.

20 GAUGE CHARLES DALY "REGENT DIAMOND" SxS DOUBLE BARREL SHOTGUN
20 GAUGE CHARLES DALY “REGENT DIAMOND” SxS DOUBLE BARREL SHOTGUN

Regent Diamond’s were Daly’s best guns, and one of the best shotguns ever made. The one you see here is fantastic a example — and it’s a super scarce 20 gauge with 28″ barrels. When it comes to collecting, one thing people will always want is the best of the best. This is it.

TRULY EXCEPTIONAL, INVESTMENT QUALITY, 20 GAUGE CHARLES DALY “REGENT DIAMOND” GAME GUN WITH HANG TAGS. SN 25254. Cal. 20 ga. 2-3/4″ Chambers. This very fine, top of the line, small bore creation, made in Germany for the firm Charles Daly, has 28″ dovetailed bbls with raised, concave, matted game rib, fitted with Bradley red bead front and King red bead mid sights. Rib is gold inlaid on milled out portion, “Charles Daly Regent Diamond Quality”. Breech portion of bbls are engraved for 2-1/2″ with exceptionally well detailed open, shaded scroll emanating from acanthus ferns, as base for scroll framed logos for Witten Excelsior steel. 2-3/4″ chambers. Bottoms of bbls with provisional proofs are stamped “Excelsior Witten”.

20 GAUGE CHARLES DALY "REGENT DIAMOND" SxS DOUBLE BARREL SHOTGUN
20 GAUGE CHARLES DALY “REGENT DIAMOND” SxS DOUBLE BARREL SHOTGUN

Scallop-backed, case hardened, boxlock action with intercepting sears, stamped “PRUSSIA” on water table, features automatic safeties (SAFE inlaid in gold), gold-plated pin type cocking indicators, side clips, and square crossbolt third fastener. Nickel-plated double triggers have very fine checkering on finger blades. Action is embellished with exceptionally well cut and beautifully shaded large open scroll matching bbls, surrounding well detailed oval vignettes of game birds, gold inlaid in high relief. Buttstock measures 13-3/4″ over orig ribbed horn buttplate. There is a small inset horn oval on pistol grip tip, and a gold oval on toe line is engraved “G.P.” Stock side panels have broad chip carved borders to central checkered areas, drop point extensions which protrude into checkering which has fancy crenelated borders. Matching, long splinter ejector forend has fleur-di-lis extensions into checkering, horn tip, and Deeley type release. Bore diameter: left-.640, right -.640. Bore restrictions: left -.035 (Full), right -.025 (IMod). Wall thickness: left -.025, right -.026. Drop at heel: 3″, drop at comb: 1-7/16″. Weight: 5 lbs. 5 oz. LOP: 13-3/4″.

20 GAUGE CHARLES DALY "REGENT DIAMOND" SxS DOUBLE BARREL SHOTGUN
20 GAUGE CHARLES DALY “REGENT DIAMOND” SxS DOUBLE BARREL SHOTGUN

PROVENANCE: Charles Daly hang tag for this gun along with Abercrombie & Fitch hang tag for this gun, with specifications. (Affixed to trigger guard)

CONDITION: Exceptionally fine. Bbls retain nearly all of what appears to be orig lustrous blue, with only a few very minor marks, mostly from contact with action and forend. Action retains 95 – 98% orig case hardening color, with only a hint of silvering on highest points of fences and sharp edges. Trigger guard is slightly silvered at grip, top lever slightly silvered on thumbpiece. The only marks on breechface are from contact with ends of bbls. There are no cartridge or primer halos around firing pin holes. Stocks retain essentially all of their orig rubbed oil finish with some open grain and a few minor marks, checkering excellent. Bores are excellent, bright and shiny. Action is tight. Bbls are on face. Ejectors are in time. As fine an example of this super rare gun as one could ever hope to find. Estimate: $20,000-30,000

20 GAUGE CHARLES DALY "REGENT DIAMOND" SxS DOUBLE BARREL SHOTGUN
20 GAUGE CHARLES DALY “REGENT DIAMOND” SxS DOUBLE BARREL SHOTGUN
20 GAUGE CHARLES DALY "REGENT DIAMOND" SxS DOUBLE BARREL SHOTGUN
20 GAUGE CHARLES DALY “REGENT DIAMOND” SxS DOUBLE BARREL SHOTGUN

Good gun alert: 20g Fox Sterlingworth, 28″, ejectors…

20g Fox Sterlingworth Shotgun, 28" barrels, Ejectors
20g Fox Sterlingworth Shotgun, 28″ barrels, Ejectors

Here’s a double a lot of guys are looking for – and for good reason. Fox Sterlingworths are great American doubles. Finding one in 20g with this much condition, 28″ barrels and ejectors is tough to do.

If you like the looks of it, get on it now. It’s online and the auction ends 9/15/13 19:05:0. Here are the spec from the seller:

A.H. Fox Sterlingworth, 20 ga. side by side shotgun. Serial #263097, mfg. 1929. Very good condition. Oh boy, oh boy, we have a Prom Queen here! Go get the crown! Beautiful and elegant 20 ga. Sterlingworth on the small frame with ejectors and CONDITION: 70% fading case colors and 95% blue on the barrels! Yee haw! Nice tight action. 28″ ribbed barrels. Bright bores. Choked M/F. Marked “Savage Arms Corp., Utica, N.Y. USA” on top of left barrel and “Sterlingworth Fluid Compressed Steel” on right top of barrel. Original stock has some hunting marks as expected. Hard buttplate. Ejectors work great! Double triggers. All original and gorgeous!

Good gun alert: 20 gauge L.C. Smith Field, straight grip….

20 gauge L.C. Smith Field Featherweight. 28" bbls, straight-grip stock
20 gauge L.C. Smith Field Featherweight. 28″ bbls, straight-grip stock

For some reason, Americans have never loved shotguns with straight-gripped stocks. That’s why most of the doubles by American makers like Parker, A.H. Fox, & L.C. Smith feature pistol grips.

When you do see straight-gripped stocks on an American double, it’s usually on a higher grade model. The higher-grades were custom made, and customers could order whatever they wanted.

But most of the lower-grade guns were bought off the rack at a local sporting-goods shop or hardware store, and buyers took what they could get. And that was usually a double with a pistol grip.

20 gauge L.C. Smith Field Featherweight. 28" bbls, straight-grip stock
20 gauge L.C. Smith Field Featherweight. 28″ bbls, straight-grip stock

So all this means that this Field-grade L.C. Smith is a tough shotgun to find — especially in original condition.

L C Smith, Hunter Arms, 20 Gauge Straight Stock: Field grade, 28″ bbls, Full & Full, 2 3/4″ chambers, Very good blue, Mirror bores, Light case color, Featherweight frame, Straight-grip stock, Splinter forearm with the Curtis Forend Fastener (refer to page 424 in the John Houchin’s L.C. Smith book). Very good wood and checkering. 1 1/2″ X 2 3/4″ X 14 1/2″. Made in 1913. Price: $1650

20 gauge L.C. Smith Field Featherweight. 28" bbls, straight-grip stock
20 gauge L.C. Smith Field Featherweight. 28″ bbls, straight-grip stock
20 gauge L.C. Smith Field Featherweight. 28" bbls, straight-grip stock
20 gauge L.C. Smith Field Featherweight. 28″ bbls, straight-grip stock
20 gauge L.C. Smith Field Featherweight. 28" bbls, straight-grip stock
20 gauge L.C. Smith Field Featherweight. 28″ bbls, straight-grip stock
20 gauge L.C. Smith Field Featherweight. 28" bbls, straight-grip stock
20 gauge L.C. Smith Field Featherweight. 28″ bbls, straight-grip stock

Good gun alert: 20 gauge Charles Daly Diamond grade double….

20 gauge Charles Daly Lindner-made, Diamond quality double barrel shotgun
20 gauge Charles Daly Lindner-made, Diamond quality double barrel shotgun

I just found this Charles Daly on Gunbroker.com, and it looks like a very nice shotgun. It’s a 20 gauge, and it looks like a standard, Lindner-made Diamond quality. It’s a tough double to find in a small bore, and it looks like it’s in excellent condition. Right now it’s at $6000 – a very fair price.

If it looks good to you, bid on it right away. The auction ends today @ 5:50:12 PM ET. So bid away. The seller is offering a 3-day inspection, so you should be covered.

Here’s more about the shotgun from the seller:

20 gauge Charles Daly Lindner-made, Diamond quality double barrel shotgun
20 gauge Charles Daly Lindner-made, Diamond quality double barrel shotgun

20 gauge Charles Daly Diamond Grade Double Barrel Shotgun: Charles Daly. Made in Prussia. 20 Ga. Barrels Marked Excelsior Witton. Serial Number 2480. Matching Numbers. Ejectors. Double Triggers. LOP Measures 14″. THIS IS A USED FIREARM AND IS IN IT’S ORIGINAL CONDITION. APPROX 80% TO 85% CONDITION. HAS NOT BEEN CUT OR ALTERED IN ANY WAY. NO SPLITS OR CRACKS IN FOREARM OR STOCK, SMALL CHIP IN KNOB OF PISTOL GRIP, BORES ARE EXCELLENT.

20 gauge Charles Daly Lindner-made, Diamond quality double barrel shotgun
20 gauge Charles Daly Lindner-made, Diamond quality double barrel shotgun
20 gauge Charles Daly Lindner-made, Diamond quality double barrel shotgun
20 gauge Charles Daly Lindner-made, Diamond quality double barrel shotgun

Auction alert: 20 gauge A.H. Fox CE double barrel shotgun…

A.H. Fox CE Grade 20 GA Double Barrel Shotgun.
A.H. Fox CE Grade 20 GA Double Barrel Shotgun.

Here’s your chance to pick up a rare double by one of America’s most collectible gunmakers. This A.H. Fox CE 20 gauge is coming up on Saturday, Jun 15, at Morphy Auctions in Denver, PA.

Fox’s Cs were mid-grade shotguns, a little fancy and sort of affordable. Finding one in 20 gauge is not an easy feat, and I bet this one will well above the estimate. Here are the full details on this SxS from the auctioneer:

A.H. Fox CE Grade 20 GA Double Barrel Shotgun.
A.H. Fox CE Grade 20 GA Double Barrel Shotgun.

Lot 174: A.H. Fox CE Grade 20 GA Double Barrel Shotgun: Serial #: 202315. Manufactured date: 1910. Barrel length: 26″. Chamber length: 2-1/2″. Choke dimension: M & IC. Length of pull: 14″. Drop on the heel: 2-1/2″. Drop on the toe: 1-1/2″. Excellent shiny bores with a few frecklings of rust on barrels. Receiver shows trace of case coloring. Exceptional example of an “Ansley Fox” made in Philadelphia. Chromux fluid compressed steel. Barrels not factory length. Originality: 95%.
Condition (Fine). Estimate: $2,500-$4,000

A.H. Fox CE Grade 20 GA Double Barrel Shotgun.
A.H. Fox CE Grade 20 GA Double Barrel Shotgun.

 

Auction Alert: a bunch of nice Brownings…

I’m chilling and relaxing, and then I remembered this auction that

Browning - BSS 20 Ga Shotgun w/ Browning case
Browning – BSS 20 Ga Shotgun w/ Browning case

I had to tell everyone about: Cornwell Inc Land & Home Brokers in Aurora, NE, has this bunch of real nice Brownings in its sale, ending tomorrow around 10:30AM, EST:

Browning – Lightning Superposed 20 Ga Shotgun

Browning – 12 Ga Shotgun BSS w/ case

Browning – Lightning Superposed 12 Ga Shotgun

Browning – BSS 20 Ga Shotgun w/ Browning case

Browning – Citori Superlight Over/Under 410 Ga Shotgun; NIB

Browning – Belgium 12 Ga Shotgun 1931 w/black elephant hide case

20 gauge A.H. Fox XE shotgun: Really a good investment?…

20g Fox XE double barrel shotgun
20g Fox XE double barrel shotgun

“Investment” is a word that comes up a lot in the gun circles, as in “..right now, shotguns like this are excellent investments.” Statements like this make me think “maybe”.

To see what I mean, let’s consider this 20 gauge A.H. Fox XE side by side. It sold a couple weekends ago at Rock Island Auctions for $20,700. This same gun changed hands back in 2008 at Julia’s spring firearms auction for $14,950. (BTW: here are some better pics of it: 20g Fox XE double barrel shotgun, spring 2008).

So here were have a A.H. Fox 20 gauge XE selling twice in 4 years. Was the gun a good “investment”. Lets run some numbers and see.

First, we need to adjust the sale price. Both auctioneers are include a 15% buyer’s premium in the prices they show. We need to take this out to get the real sales prices: $18,000 in 2008 and $13,000 in 2012. This cuts the 4-year gain down to $5000. Still not bad.

Next, lets consider the seller’s premium. This fee is negotiable and if you bring the right stuff to an auctioneer, it can fall to zero. To keep things simple, we’ll just assume that the seller rung all the right bells and paid 0%.

Finally, there are the miscellaneous fees and taxes. Shipping the gun back and forth both times probably cost the seller several hundred dollars. We’ll use $250. Tax wise, since the seller had the gun for over a year, the gains will be dinged  28% – if the seller pays paid them. Most gun auctions don’t process 1099s on sales, so paying capital gains on stuff is totally up to the consignor. Of course, Uncle Sam says it’s something they must do.

This final bit of figuring knocks the gains down to $4750 without taxes and $3420 with them. So what kind of return is this over 4 years? If my math is right (and it may not be), the seller’s looking at 8.0% and 6%. That’s not bad. In this case, I would say that this gun was a decent place to stash some money for a few years.

What do you think?

BTW: please let me know if my calculations are wrong. I’m a writer, not an accountant or financial analyst.

Auction Alert: Fox, Ithaca & FN/Browning…

Good guns! Some nice double barrel shotguns are coming up to auction of the next few weeks. Here are couple side-by-sides and over-and-unders that caught my eye:

Fox A grade 20 gauge double barrel shotgun
Fox A grade 20 gauge double barrel shotgun

A.H. Fox Grade CE, 20 ga. side by side shotgun, mfg. 1927

A.H. Fox Grade A, 20 ga. side by side shotgun, 28″, mfg. 1930

Fabrique Nationale & Arms 28 Ga. O/U Shotgun

Ithaca Classic Doubles 4E 20 Gauge Shotgun

Couple good grouse guns at auction…

Amoskeag’s 11/19 auction has a bunch of good double barrel shotguns coming up in it. Here a couple that would be ideal in the uplands.

20g Browning Superlight – of all the classic “America” shotguns, the Belgian Brownings are the most shootable. With modern dimensions and chambers, they’re very handy guns. Most of them are heavy, though. The Superlights are the exception. In 20g, they make great upland guns.

 

20g Browning Superlight Shotgun
20g Browning Superlight Shotgun

20g Parker DHE – This is a nice, later Parker (1937) with a straight grip, 14 1/2″ LOP and 2 1/2″ of drop. That’s a combination you see in very few vintage American doubles, and it makes this Parker very desirable. The only drawback is that I’m sure a lot of people will be after it.

20g Parker DHE Double Barrel Shotgun
20g Parker DHE Double Barrel Shotgun

 

 

 

It take more than a missing safety…

Live Bird Gun — if you collect double-barrel shotguns, those three words can cost you plenty. There seems to be something special about doubles made for pigeon shooting–something that collectors like and sellers love. That’s why true pigeon guns command premium prices. It’s also why dealers are quick to label any side-by-side or over/under with certain features a Live Bird Gun.

To see what I mean, check out this 20 gauge Parker DHE. It’s a nice 20g–with no safety. A missing safety is supposed to be a rubber stamp that certifies a double as a “Live Bird Gun.” But while plenty of pigeon guns lack safeties, not all of them do, and a missing safety does not mean a double was made for pigeons. So in this Parker’s case, are we looking at a true pigeon gun? I doubt it.

My first objection is to the gauge  – 20. Live pigeon shooting is a competitive sport. It’s expensive to participate in. To succeed, you must down your bird in a set area (the ring). To do this effectively, you would want to put as much lead as possible on your target (shooters are limited to 1 1/4 oz. loads). While there are handicapped advantages for 14 & 16 gauges, there are none for 20s. So there’s no benefit to shooting live pigeons with a 20g. In a game where money rides on every pull of the trigger, zero advantage equals zero reason.

Also, this Parker is a light gun (it’s on an O frame) with a longish stock (14 3/8″ LOP) and 28″ barrels. Whoever ordered it  was not a small person (DH-grade Parkers were custom guns). Instead, this shooter were probably a bit bigger than average and they wanted a light-weight gun. But if you were shooting pigeons with a 20g, you would push the heaviest load possible through the gun–probably an ounce. To make the double comfortable to shoot, the gun would have to be much heavier than this one.

Finally, there’s the single trigger. Back when single triggers were less than 100% reliable, pigeon shooters tended to avoid them. Misfires and malfunctions count as balks–or missed birds–in the pigeon ring. And when a missed bird can cost you $1000+, you do everything possible to avoid them. That’s why pigeon shooters used to insist upon double triggers.

So why is this gun missing a safety? Not everyone liked them, that’s why. Charles Askins and Nash Buckingham had shotgun made without them (Bo Whoop didn’t have a safety), as did many other shooters. I’ve seen enough safety-less 20 gauge guns to think that it was common for people to order them without it.

My guess it that this Parker was made as a gentleman’s quail gun. The owner probably  shot on plantations over pointers and the gun spend most of its time in a case or scabbard. It would have been removed when the dogs were on point and loaded after it’s owner was ready to shoot and waiting for the flush. Whatever the case, I doubt it saw any time in a pigeon ring.

Auction Alert–20g Fox Sterlingworth Skeet & Upland game…

Of all the guns A.H. Fox made the Sterlingworth Skeet and Upland Game is one of the hardest to find. For collectors, finding a Skeet & Upland Game double barrel shotgun is quite a discovery.

A.H. Fox Sterlingworth Skeet & Upland Game, 20g, double barrel, side-by-side shotgun
A.H. Fox Sterlingworth Skeet & Upland Game, 20g, double barrel, side-by-side shotgun

Well, one in 20 gauge is coming up to auction tomorrow, 4/2, at Wright’s Auction in Newport, VT. I don’t know much about the gun, but it looks solid and clean. All the pics I have of the gun are below. I’m not sure how original the gun is, though. It’s hard to tell from the pics, but the blueing looks too good and the wood awfully clean. The same auction also has a 20 gauge RBL and some Winchesters.

Introduced in 1935, the Skeet & Upland Game was basically a lightweight, straight-gripped version of the regular Sterlingworth. It was offered in 12g, 16g, and 20, and all gauges had open choked, 26″ barrels. The guns also had pretty high stock dimensions, which makes them especially nice for shooters (unlike most Sterlingworths).

If you like Winchsester M21, be sure to check out the upcoming sale at South Bay Auction in East Moriches, L.I., NY. They have  Winchester M21 Skeet gun in20 gauge coming up on Saturday, April 9th. There are also some nice decoys there, all well as some nice antiques and sporting art.

More pics of the A.H. Fox Sterlingworth Skeet & Upland Game:

A.H. Fox Sterlingworth Skeet & Upland Game, 20g, double barrel, side-by-side shotgun
A.H. Fox Sterlingworth Skeet & Upland Game, 20g, double barrel, side-by-side shotgun

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A.H. Fox Sterlingworth Skeet & Upland Game, 20g, double barrel, side-by-side shotgun
A.H. Fox Sterlingworth Skeet & Upland Game, 20g, double barrel, side-by-side shotgun
A.H. Fox Sterlingworth Skeet & Upland Game, 20g, double barrel, side-by-side shotgun

Big prices for Parkers at Julia’s Spring ’09 Auction…

The James D. Julia Auction Company started their spring 2009 firearms auction yesterday, 3/16. Even though the economy stinks, there’s still money out there for good double barrel shotguns.

Several nice Parkers brought big money, although many of them missed their pre-sale estimates. This nice 20g A-1 Special with 32″ bbls hammered down at $95,000 (plus a 15% buyer’s premium). That’s a lot, but quite a bit below the auctioneer’s $120,000 – $150,000 estimate. While the gun is one of just a few 20g A-1 Specials Parker made, it had been “restored” some (reblued barrels, refinished wood) and that hurt it’s value.

This Parker AAHE 20g was another nice gun that went for big money, but failed to reach its low end estimate. The bidding on this one ended at $55,000, just under the pre-sale estimate of $60,000 – $90,000. The bbl and wood on this one had also been refinished – something the big spenders do not like to see.

One nice Parker that did beat its low-end estimate was was this very cool 28g CHE . This gun went to a buyer for $48,000 against an estimate of $30,000 – $60,000. Why did it do well? On top of being a small bore with very unique monte-carlo-style straight gripped stock, it’s excellent original condition. Parker CHE 28 gauge double barrel side by side shotgun at Julia's 2009 spring auctionAlmost all of the original barrel blue and color case hardening are present and the wood looks right too. And when it comes to guns, condition is king. Auction after auction has proven that buyers will pay a fat premium for it.

That being said, this Parker GHE 28g went for $48,000, just shy of it’s low-end estimate of $50,000. This gun was in fantastic, all original condition – pretty much new all around with all its blueing, color-case hardening, and wood finish – and it had great wood and a solid provenance. Parker GHE 28 gauge side by side shotgunEven though it’s a gun I would give my pinkies to own, I think there’s a simple reason it failed to blast past the estimate: the estimate was just too high. Prices for nice Parkers have skyrocket over the last few years. In the case of this gun, I think the auctioneer was bit too hopeful of what this gun was worth today.

On the more affordable side, a few nice Parkers did sell for under $5,000. This damascus-barreled 12g GH went for $2,750 – not a bad price considering all the original condition it had. Parker 12 gauge GH grade double barrel shotgunA gun like this would be a nice place for a new Parker fan to start building a collection.

Julia’s auction continues today, with lots of Colts and other stuff coming up. I’ll report back soon with info on other American doubles along with info on some British stuff, including a Rigby .450 double rifle and beautiful set of Purdey percussion guns.

As always, if you have any questions or comments, let me know.

Gregg@dogsanddoubles.com

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