People have all sorts of opinions of Ruger’s Red Label O/Us shotguns. But while the 12 gauge & 20 gauge models have their quirks (OK, problems), the 28g is the one Ruger hit a home run with. It’s a fantastic double and one of the best birds gun America has ever made. If you’re a grouse, quail, woodcock hunter, it’s all the gun you need to get the job done.
This 28g Ruger Red Labelis on Gunbroker.com. It’s a NO RESERVE auction and it ends 4/27/2015 @ 10:30:00 PM ET. While it does have a few dings, I don’t see anything to worry about. All I see is a great gun — and the chance to get a great deal.
RUGER RED LABEL 28GA: 26″ BBL, SINGLE SELECT TRIGGER, AUTO EJECT, W/ ONLY 2 FACTORY CHOKE TUBES, 1-IC, 1-MOD. 99% BBL BLUE, WOOD 95% SOME LIGHT SCRATCHES HERE AND THERE. METAL RECEIVER SOME LIGHT HANDLING MARKS. BORES EXCELLENT. ALL ORIGINAL FINISHES, W/ BOX AND MANUAL.
Nice side-by-side shotguns can cost a small fortune. But you have to pay one to get a quality double. For example, check out the Browning sidelock BSS you see here. It’s on Gunbroker.com now, and the listing ends 4/19/2015 @ 5:14:32 PM ET. Even though the opening bid is high ($3,700), you’ll get a great deal if you can buy this gun for that much.
Browning starting offering boxlock side-by-side shotguns in 1971 and in 1983 the company introduced the sidelock model. All of these shotguns were made in Japan by Miroku, and they have a reputation for being solid, reliable guns.
Browning BSS Sidelock 12 Ga: Excellent (and rare) used Browning BSS sidelock SxS 12 gauge. 2 3/4in chambers. 28 inch barrels choked Mod and Full. Metal finish near new and action is still tight as new. Few small marks on wood as shown. Previous use of a slip on recoil pad has left faint line on buttstock as shown.
Here’s a fair price on one of the hardest-to-find Parker Repros: a 20g DHE, 26″ & 28″ set, with a straight grip and double triggers.
In 1984, America’s most famous double-barrel shotguns was reborn as the Parker Reproduction by Winchester. Built in Japan until 1989, these side-by-sides were offered for sale until around 1997. Since then, they’ve gained a following and their prices have risen steadily.
If you’re into Parkers, these three side-by- sides will get your heart thumping. They’re all VHEs, and they’re all in very nice original condition. The first two double barrels are phenomenal. Just check out all that color. The 16g is real nice, too, and it would be a great gun for grouse hunting.
Parkers like this are very hard to fine, and all three are priced accordingly.
Parker VHE 20ga SKEET Spectacular: An amazing Original Remington Era 20ga VHE Single Trigger Beavertail 0 Frame Skeet gun Skeet In Skeet Out beautiful wood with a pistol grip cap 14 in LOP to a checkered butt Strong 99% case colors blueing is mint serial # 241531 wood is great beavertail has maybe a repair hard to tell. Price:$17,000
Parker VHE 16ga 28in M/F Exc: This gun has a PG with cap with DT Ejectors 28in barrels with strong blue m/f Made on a #1 Frame has strong case colors 75-80% Has a 14 3/8 LOP to a dogs head buttplate wood is very nice has some marks but nice figur. Price:$5,750
The Winchester M21: Uglier than a hairless dog and as balanced as a sledgehammer OR Marlboro-man handsome and eminently American. Whatever you think of these side-by-sides, one thing is for certain: collectors go crazy for the M21s.
Winchester’s Model 21 was first produced in 1931, and it was manufactured by them until 1993. In all, about 35,000 of them left the Winchester factory. Here’s one of them. This shotgun is on Gunauction.com now, and the listing ends onAugust 31, 2014 17:45:00 PT.
Winchester Model 21 “Custom Grade” Side-by-Side 12-gauge: It wears 28″ barrels, has 2-3/4″ chambers, and is choked Modified and Improved Cylinder (the choking is reverse of standard with the tighter constriction on the right barrel). The barrel has a raised solid matted rib with an ivory front bead and a silver metallic mid-bead. The frame features the Custom Grade style hand-cut scroll engraving and the gun has a gold plated single-selective trigger, automatic ejectors, and a non-automatic safety. The barrel and frame flats & breeching surfaces are factory engine turned and the rib panel is marked “Custom Built by Winchester”. The buttstock is of the pistol grip variety with steel grip cap and is fitted with a “Decelerator” pad (the original ventilated Winchester pad is included). The LOP measures 14-1/4″, just 1/8″ more than original. The forend is of the skeet beavertail configuration with ebony insert. The Model 21 was always a hand-built gun of the highest quality. When it comes to durability, strength, and ultimate reliability, the Model 21 stands peerless above all other American doubles.
Overall condition is quite good and this beautiful double retains nearly all of the original factory blue finish. I’d grade the finish at 98-99% with just a few minor handling marks. There is no rust or any pitting and all markings are sharp and crisp. The grade AA fancy walnut stocks feature very nice figure and are in generally very good shape. There are some handling marks, a couple of dents in the butt, and also a fine/tight crack running down from the upper tang. I believe this crack would be a fairly easy repair. The gold oval nameplate on the underside of the stock was originally factory engraved with initials but has been buffed to remove them. The mechanics are in perfect working order and the bores are excellent…mirror bright with no issues. It comes with a Cody/Factory Letter which confirms the configuration of the gun and indicates that it was shipped in 1973. Also included is a vintage Winchester takedown case which I believe was original to a Winchester Model 23.
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.
If people are still collecting shotguns in 2114, one double I’m sure they’ll be call an American classic is the 28 gauge Ruger Red Label over under.
Ruger introduced their Red Label shotguns in 1977 and offered them until 2011 (and they’re introducing a modified version this year, btw). First available as 20 gauges and then 12s, the Red Labels were decent guns. In most of the shops I visited as a kid, they were the most expensive shotguns on the racks, right up there with the Belgian Browning Superposed and the Beretta 686s.
One-hundred percent American made, Red Labels tended to be heavy, and the fit and finish on a lot of them was not good. But the 28 gauge Ruger Red Labels were different – like a single, gorgeous pup in a litter of malformed runts. These Red Labels were lightweight and sleek. If you could find a good one, they were beautiful upland guns.
And it looks like the one you see here might be a good one. It’s on Gunbroker.com now and the listing end on 1/21/2014 5:15:24 PM ET. So if you like what you see, step up and get it. The price looks very fair.
28 gauge Ruger Red Label over under, 28″ bbls: VR barrel…boxlock, SST, auto ejectors, checkered English straight grip stock, stainless steel frame…Comes with the original box, manual, choke wrench and all 5 choke tubes…Gun is mint/hard to even tell if it has been fired/Like New.
Here’s one of the best American-made doubles you’ll find for grouse & woodcock hunting. Most of these I see have 26″ barrels and pretty plain wood. So the longer barrels and the nicely figures stock made this Red Label a special little gun.
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.
In New England, a ruffed grouse is called a pa’tridge. I don’t know why. There’s always one gauge I associate with pa’tridge hunting: the 16. I don’t know why this is, either.
Sixteen gauges have been around forever, but they’ve been very popular. The British never loved them, at least not as breechloading centerfires. It think it’s because the standard British game gun is a 12 gauge that’s weighs around 6lbs, 12oz. and is proofed for 1 1/8 ounces of shot.
Most British 16 gauge shotguns weigh just a few ounces less, and they’re proofed for a 1 ounce load. So for a gun buyer in the UK, the sixteen offers little benefit in weight while it pushes a 10%+ smaller payload.
But American 12 gauges are bigger guns, usually in the 7 1/2 pound+ range. For most makers, you had to drop down a gauge to get a double in the 6 1/2 – 6 3/4 pound range. I think that’s why the 16 gauge was more popular in the States.
The sixteen you see here is Parker’s VH grade. The VH was Parker’s original knock-about gun, and even though it was the least expensive hammerless double the company offered until they introduced the Trojan grade in 1913, the VH was never a cheap gun. It cost $50 when it was introduced in 1899. The same year, Winchester Model 97 repeater retailed for $27.
Parker called the VH “A gun for hard usage that cannot be equaled” and most buyers purchased them off the rack in 12 gauges on No. 2 frames with pistol grips. With its straight grip, this one was probably specially ordered.
Here’s more about it from the seller:
Parker VH 16, Remington Era, Straight grip, 28″ Exc. original: Serial Number 240237, made approx. 1937. It is a VH 16 gauge with 28″ barrels choked light modified and modified. 2 3/4″ chambers with excellent bores. Length of pull is 14″ over the original dog’s head plate. The original straight grip stock is in excellent condition with sharp checkering. Both the wood and trigger guard are number matched to the shotgun and are without any doubt original. The wood is probably 2X fancy and is the nicest peice of wood we have seen on a V grade.
There are generous amounts of original case color remaining on the receiver sides and around the lever. Lock up is tight and the shotgun remains in excellent mechanical condition. DAH is 2 5/8″ DAC is 1 1/2″ and the weight is approx. 6 lbs 10 oz.. This is one fine original little English stock 16 gauge Parker with tons of condition. Price: $5,500.00
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.
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!
The sixteen was never America’s favorite gauge Even though all our makers built 16s, the gauge that was most popular with us was the twelve. There’s a simple reason for this: versatility. Most American shooters were opportunistic. They shot everything from waterfowl to rabbits and upland game. A twelve could handle all this action.
But the sixteen always had lot of fans – and for good reason. For an upland game it’s hard to beat. Slightly larger than a standard 20, it handles a bit more lead if required. It’s also feel better in your hands (at least it does in mine).
Of all the America makers, Lefever made the fewest 16 gauge double barrels. Daniel Myron Lefever was one of the geniuses of American gunmaking. Born in 1835, he started making firearms under his own name in 1857. In 1880 he formed the Lefever Arms Co in Syracuse, NY. The company was only around until 1919, and in that time they only built around 65,000 shotguns. I’m not sure how many of these were 16s, but I bet the number is under 10%.
Lefever Sidelock 16 GA: 28″ damascus bbls, Full & Full chokes, double triggers, 14″ LOP, 6 1/4lbs. Metal has little finish remaining but bores remain excellent. Lockup is tight and solid. Wood has darkened with age and forend has a filler peice added. Sidelocks have cockimg indicators and mechanical function is excellent! Price: $1,199.99
Here are a couple of doubles that combine two things you rarely find in the shotgun world: high quality and low prices. These SxSs were made by Miroku, a Japanese gunmaker who has been in the firearms business since 1893. In 1973 they started producing the Browning’s Citori O/Us. They also made SxSs for the company, including the BSS boxlock and a shortlived line of sidelocks.
Set of Miroku Sidelock SxS’s, F-grade & FE, 20 gauge & 12 gauge: Both have 28″ barrels. The 12 has ejectors and the 20 has extractors. Both guns are from the early eighties and were holdovers from when Browning cancelled their contract with Miroku for the Browning Side Lock shotgun. Very well made with true 7 pin H&H style side locks. Bores are great, and pictures tell the story. Price: $4700 for pair
Armi Piotti is one of Italy’s best known gunmakers. Founded in the early sixties by brothers Araldo and Faustino Piotti, the company has earned a reputation for top-quality doubles at reasonable price (reasonable when compared to new British doubles, that is).
I think “Used” is the best way to buy them. If I were in the market for a real small bore, I would take a long look at this King No. 1 sidelock .410. It caught my eye for three reasons:
1.) The 28″ barrels. Most of the .410s you see out there are weare shorter tubes – usually 26″. But when it comes to little guns like this, longer is better. Those two inches may not seem like much, but the birds will hate you for it.
2.) The long-ish stock. With a 14 3/8″ LOP, this double will fit a lot of guys right out of the box. With a pad, it could fit even more.
3.) The price. While this gun isn’t cheap ($19,750), it costs less than 1/2 its replacement cost.
Here’s more about it from the seller:
Piotti .410 King No. 1 In outstanding Condition: In Makers Case. Granetti Engraved. 28″ Mod/Full With 3″ Chambers. Double trigger with articulated front. Gun Weighs 5Lbs. 2.5 Oz. File Cut Taperd Solid Rib. 14 3/8″ LOP. 1 1/2″ – 2 1/8″ To Checkered Butt. Cast Off. Price: $19,750.00
FABULOUS 0 FRAME 16GA PARKER WITH VULCAN BARRELS: ALL ORIGINAL 0 FRAME VH 16GA WITH VULCAN STEEL BARRELS — 28″ FULL/FULL — PERFECT ORIGINAL SCREWS — 35% ORIGINAL COLOR THAT IS VIBRANT IN AREAS — 90%++++ ORIGINAL BLUE — SOO HARD TO FIND STEEL BARREL 0 FRAME 16’S — GUN HAS EXCELLENT ORIGINAL VARNISH AND CHECKERING. 14 1/2 1 1/2 X 2 1/2 TO ORIGINAL SILVERS PAD. Price: $3,750.00
Boss O/Us are impressive shotguns. As one of the most influential designs in shotgun history, they’ve had an incredible impact on modern over unders. In fact, most of the O/Us made today owe a debt to this British design. But that’s not all that makes these O/Us special.
BossS over & unders are also beautifully made. John Robertson was a gunmaker and artists, and the sweeping lines of the stock, the exposed forend iron, and the unique sculpting on the action, make these guns in stunning. The experience and skills that they put into their doubles — especially the SxS and O/Us from 1920-1930s — represent the apex of the trade and are almost extinct today.
Boss made around 450 of their “Vertical Guns,” so handling and inspecting one is a memorable event for a shotgun fanatic like myself. Having the chance to do this with four of them, including two that have never been fired, is extraordinary. But that’s exactly what I had happen a couple Saturdays ago.
A friend of mine invited us over to view part of his collection. Along with a couple minty 12 gauges by Purdey & Woodward, he also showed us his Boss O/Us. At one point, we had Boss O/U in 16 gauge, 20 gauge, 28 gauge, and .410 lined up in front of us. That’s a once-in-a- lifetime site, and the I’m grateful for the chance to see it.
This little Boss was one of the highlights. Being a 20 gauge Boss O/U from the 1930s, it’s a rare shotgun. Add in the 28″ barrels, Boss single trigger, and Boss rising-bite style action and you have an insanely rare double. The fact that I had the chance to take a long, close look at it and raise it to my shoulder many times made the weekend incredibly special.
When it comes to duck hunting, pumps and autoloaders are the shotguns you’re most likely to share space with in a blind. If you do see a double, it’s probably an O/U working. So if you prefer side-bys-sides, you may think you don’t have any options.
Fortunately you do, and this Browning BSS is one of them. It’s also about as good a duck gun as you’ll ever find. With 28″ barrels, a reliable single trigger, and enough beef to soak up heavy rounds, it can deliver the medicine to just about anything you can decoy in.
Wondering about steel shot? Don’t worry. From what I’ve been told, the barrels on a Browning BSS should be fine with steel loads in the smaller shot sizes. Just be sure the chokes are open enough to handle it (I’ve been told that Modified is as tight as you should go).
Fox Sterlingworths are the gateway drug of vintage doubles. A Sterly was my first side-by-side, and I was hooked on doubles forever once I shots a few pheasant with it.
The A.H. Fox Company started making Sterlingworths around 1910. The company offered them right up to its end. In that time, these shotguns were one of America’s best buys. Rugged and reliable, they came in all sorts of configurations – from the Standard model you see here to a Sterlingworth Wildfowl and Sterlingworth Brush models.
This 16 gauge would be perfect as is for grouse and woodcock. But be warned: If you buy it, you’re a big step closer to an addiction to old doubles.
Here’s a more about it from the seller:
Fox Sterlingworth 16GA Double Barrel Shotgun#368593: The 28″ bores are are excellent with 2 5/8″ chambers. No dents. There is a patch under the barrels, in front of the forend with light surface pitting. There are a few other spots of even lighter corrosion. This is a non-ejector gun. The pull is about 14 1/8″. There are no chips or cracks in the wood. It is excellent mechanically and test fired OK.