CG BONEHILL BLE Express .577NE Cased in O&L Like new condition Mfg 1903: Serial # 1550, Country of Origin England, Barrel Length (in Inches) 26″, Trigger DT (Double), Stock Configuration Capped Pistol Grip with English type cheekpiece, Forearm Type Splinter Forearm with lever release, Rib Type Level filed Rib with express sights (1 standing 2 folding), Receiver Finish Casehardened, Engraving Type Full coverage fine scroll, Other Options Massive action, Extended top and bottom tangs, Automatic safety, Flip up night sight, Front sight hood, Panels and drop points, Sling swivel rings, Silvers pad, Original oak & leather case with accessories, Condition Gun is near PERFECT unused Condition, case shows some wear, Weight 13#15oz, Dimensions 14 7/8″ LOp, Other Details Mfg 1903, Gun is in near new unused condition. Price:$49,000
Westley Richards – Best Droplock SxS – 12 GA: Ejectors: Yes, Trigger: Double, Grip: Straight Grip, Forend: Splinter, Lop: 15 1/8 “, Pad thickness: 0.75 “, Type of butt: Leather Covered Pad, Drop comb: 1 1/2 “, Drop heel: 2 “, Cast amount: 1/8 “, Cast: On, Weight: 6 lbs, 4 oz, Manufactured in: England, Manufacture Year: 1951, 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 Motor Case, Barrel info: Gauge: 12 GA, Chamber: 2 3/4 “, Length: 26 “, Chokes: IC/M, Rib type: Raised, Comments: Best Grade Droplock in very good condition. Includes original leather motor case. Price:$14,000
FRANCOTTE SPECIAL BOXLOCK SXS 28 GAUGE: 26″ MOD AND FULL 2 3/4″, DOUBLE TRIGGER, EJECTORS, SPLINTER FOREARM, ENGLISH GRIP, NEAR NEW CONDITION, 4LBS 15 OZ, 2 1/2″ DAH, 1 1/2″ DAC, 15″ LOP. Price:$8,500
CSMC RBL 16ga/29″ SxS (LNIC): Factory original and excellent condition appearing test fired only: exhibition grade stock, truoil finish, straight grip, splinter forend, double trigger, ejectors, case colored receiver with scroll engraving surrounding a pointer and setter on each side of the receiver, solid game rib, assisted opener. The barrels are choked Skeet / Modified, the stock measures 1 1/2″ x 2 1/8″ x 15 1/4″, and weighs 6 pounds 11 ounces. Comes with the factory ABS plastic case, owner’s manual, registration card, and nickel-plated snap caps. Price:$4,250
Hemingway went to Africa in 1933 and 1954. On his second trip, the .577 Nitro Express Westley Richards you see here and in the video above was the gun he carried.
The .577 Nitro Express is one of the most bad-ass hunting rounds of all time. Hemingway’s rifle fired a 750 gr. bullet, and generated a crushing 7,010 ft⋅lbf. By comparison, a .30-06 Springfield shooting a 220-gr bullet generates a wimpy 2,981 ft⋅lbf.
Famous Africa hunter John “Pondoro” Taylor wrote that the .577 Nitro Express was “a magnificent killer – it literally crumbles up an elephant”. Unfortunately, it could have the same impact on the man shooting it.
A. Hollis .577 Nitro Express SxS Double Rifle: Underlever hammer rifle. Weight 13-3/4 pounds, 25″ Krupp-Steel Chopper-Lump barrels, proofed 650-90 Cordite 577 3″ Nitro Express. Barrels have great bores with crisp, sharp rifling from back to front, dolls head extension, flip-up ivory night sight and excellent blacking. 15-1/8″ pull over Silvers recoil pad, Holland-style cheekpiece, excellent wood to metal fit, and blank initial oval. Traces of case-color remain on the lever, action and rebounding hammers. Includes trunk case and accessories as pictured, as well as RCBS loading dies, and a decent supply of brass, and Woodleigh bullets. Price:$34,500
8LBS 2OZS AS SHOTGUN 27 ½ INCH SHOTGUN BARRELS2 ½ CHAMBERS
AS NEW CONDITION INSIDE AND OUT
BELGUIM PROOFED OUTSTANDING QUALITY
Parker BHE 12 Gauge SxS Shotgun, 30” Barrels Pistol Grip Stock Splinter Forearm: 2 ¾” chambers, chokes measure .039 right and .040 left. Barrels retain 96% original bluing with various light handling marks. The rib has dual white beads and is marked “PARKER BROS. MAKERS. MERIDEN. CONN. ACME STEEL”. Bores are clean and shiny. #2 frame has darkened and retains 40% original case coloring. Floorplate has darkened and retains 60% original color. Trigger guard retains 20% original bluing. Forend iron retains little color. Double triggers, ejectors and automatic safety. Pistol grip stock and forearm have had varnish added. Both have various light handling marks. Length of pull: 14 1/2” to the front trigger over a Pachmayr Old English recoil pad. Drop at comb: 1 3/4″. Drop at heel: 3 1/8″. Weight: 7.8 lbs. Mechanics are good. Price:$16,995
MANUFRANCE COSTO SxS 16 GAUGE – HIGH CONDITION – OPEN AND FULL CHOKES: Here is a Manufrance Costo 16 ga with special barrels. The right barrel has slight rifling designed to dramatically open the pattern on the first shot (front trigger). This was confirmed by examining a vintage copy of the product catalog. This high condition gun has all original case color and finish. Excellent bores. The famous French retractable swivel system is fully intact with the leather as supple as new. It is very rare to find these swivel devices in fully functional condition. Swamped rib. Barrels are 27 5/8″ with bore measurements of .669 right and .671 left. While the right barrel has the spreader choke, the left barrel has 45/1000 choke (extra full). Chambers are 2 3/4″. Extractors. Swamped rib. Non-auto safety. Weight is 6 LBS, 3 1/2 OZ. LOP is 14 7/16″. A rare gun in this condition. Price:$1,650
William Young, Bury St Edmunds, S’folk. Exceptional 19-bore double barreled flintlock sporting gun, ca. 1815: Weight: 5 Lbs. 15 oz. Superb 30” Damascus barrels retaining much of an original brown finish have excellent bores which appear to be unaltered from their original boring. Stepped-in breeches with platinum touch hole liners retain much of the original hardening color and show little evidence of use. One of the gold breech poincon is a replacement. Extremely fine locks show little use and feather springs retain traces of the original fire blue from being “drawn” after tempering. Stock shows lots of minor handling marks but retains virtually all of the original varnish. Original ramrod. Overall in beautiful , little used, condition retaining a fair amount of original finish throughout and in superb mechanical condition. Extremely fast ignition comparable in lock time to the best British maker’s of the day. This gun (each barrel) will still place 37% of a 1 oz. load of #6 shot on a 22”x 32” sheet of paper at 43 yds. using 2 ¼ drams of Goex fffg powder (1100 ft/sec). Compare that performance with your favorite modern sporting gun ….. you might be surprised at the results! These late British flintlock-era double guns are quite rare in this condition and you would be hard pressed to find a better example. Price:POR
John Blanch Sidelock SxS Shotgun with Stunning nitro proofed Damascus and Woodward snap action style forward under lever:This high grade English sidelock is just plain elegant and beautiful. Look at the pictures and see the stunning Damascus pattern and the wonderful wood, engraving, and fences, and I am sure you will agree. The nitro proofed bores are totally shiny and clean with no pitting. The Balance is perfect. I hunt with a forward underlever and find them very ergonomic. I probably will never go back to a top lever gun I like these guns so much. Price:$4,800
Serial Number: 5263
Barrel Type: Damascus
Gauge: 12 gauge
Stock Comb: 1 1/2
Stock Heel: 2
Stock Cast: 3/16
LOP: 14 3/4″ to heel and
Weight: 6 lbs. 8 oz.
Choke Left: .034 full
Choke Right: Cylinder
Proof:Nitro: 2 1/2″ nitro
Minimum Wall Thickness Left: .025
Minimum Wall Thickness Right: .021
BERETTA – SO2 – 28″ Bbls – Double Triggers – Solid Vintage SidelocK OU: 12ga, 2-3/4″, 27-1/2″ IC / LM (.007 / .012) Boehler Steel Bbls, Ejectors, Double Triggers, Prince of Wales Grip, LOP 14-1/2″ Drop 1-1/2″ to 2-7/16″, Weight 6 lbs. 15 oz. A wooden spacer and Beretta butt plate have been fitted to extend the stock. The stock has NOT been cut. Very nice work. The stock is 13-7/8″ without the extension. So, remove the extension and add a pad and the stock will go almost 15″ with a standard 1″ pad. Excellent Condition. The stocks have been refinished. The barrels appear to be original. Price:$3550
CHARLES DALY M-500 SXS 12 GA 2 3/4″ SxS Shotgun: 28″ bbls, bright shiny smooth bores, fixed FULL/MOD chokes, blued finish, very nice checkered grip stock and forearm, double trigger, LOP (front trigger) – 14″, DAC – 1 3/4″, and DAH – 2 3/4″. This shotgun is in excellent condition. Price:$699
C.G. Bonehill .577 3″ Side-by-Side Boxlock Double Rifle: 26″ chopperlump barrels, one standing three folding gold line express sights on a quarter rib, proofed for the 100 gr. cordite 750 bullet. Double triggers, auto ejectors. This is the real stopper, genuine article! Original heavy proof. Built on the Webley long bar, bushed pins, screw grip doll’s head. The Rock of Gibraltar! Finely scroll engraved, with the “C.G. Bonehill” name in gold. The rifle retains about 98% of what appears to be an older refresh. Chambers are perfect, bores very good +, with fine sharp rifling right up to the chambers. Tight on the face. Beautifully grained French walnut, straight through the head, fits perfectly – no gaps – no cracks, just perfect. A really rare pre-war ejector, in one of most of the most fabled calibers. A true .577 weighing exactly 14 lbs., they way they ought to be! 15″ LOP over a leather pad. This is the one you want when things get ugly! Cased in canvas trunk case with brass corners. Price:$57,000
MANUFRANCE IDEAL GRADE 6RE SxS – 16 GAUGE – 29″ BARRELS – HIGHLY ENGRAVED: Forend fastening system. Chisled vine fences with side clips. Ejectors. Ambidextrous safety. Acier barrel steel. Chambers 2 3/4″. Right bore measures .667 with 5/1000 choke (IC). Left bore at .668 with 28/1000 (Imp Mod). Barrels are 29″ and have a swamped rib. Gun is tight on face / no loose ribs. Loaded cartridge indicators. Stock has a 1″ ebony butt plate and skip line checkering. Weight is 6 LBS 2 1/2 OZ. Shipping is $50. Retractable sling is misisng. Stock dimensions: LOP – 14 7/8″, Drop at Comb – 1 3/8″, Drop at Heel – 2 3/8″. Price: $6,750
Ithaca NID 28 gauge SxS Shotgun: The gun is in great condition with no pitting on the barrel or bore. There is very little original finish remaining, the majority of the original finish can be found on top of the receiver. The LOP is 14 3/4”, the drop to heal is 2 1/8” and the drop to comb is 1 3/4”. The gun is overall in great condition and is ready to be taken out on your next bird hunt. Price:$4500
BERETTA – Model 471 Silver Hawk – SxS – 20ga – 28″ Mobilchoke – Cased: Single Selective Trigger, Selectable Ejectors or Extractors, English Stock, LOP 14-1/4″, Drop 1-3/8″ to 2-3/8″, Weight 6 lbs. 7 oz. Excellent Condition. The coloring is faded to a modeled gray patina. Very little wear. A few minor handling marks. Includes: Case, Manual, Socks, Total of Four Chokes. Price: $2875
L.C. Smith “O” Grade 16 Gauge – 1899 GUN, 70% CASE 70% CASE COLOR, CONDITION: 6lbs 14oz, Side by Side, Serial Number 60594. The L.C. Smith “O” Grade, a “pre-1913” name given to this grade by Hunter Arms prior to 1913 (too obvious?) was a step above the Field Grade that came out in 1913 from Hunter Arms in that it had a bit nicer wood and checkering, a black ebony inlay in the forend tip, and a set of nice damascus steel barrels. This gun, sn60594 built in 1899, is in remarkable condition for its 118 years of age, with lots of case color, perfect screws, perfect wood to metal fit, nicely figured European walnut (book says English walnut, looks like French to me), factory original checkering is excellent, no cracks anywhere, full length butt stock to the factory butt plate, 30″ damascus barrels that still retain 98% of their original black and white pattern, and tight as new mechanically. With the long barrels and 1/2 round pistol grip, this is a great sporting clays or upland gun, and weighing 6lbs. 14oz. is not too heavy to carry all day. They only made about 3100 of these guns in 16ga., likely less than 2500 or so left on the planet, so it is not a common gun, especially with this much factory condition remaining. Price:$1,995
Oct 1 marked the opening of grouse & woodcock season in Maine, and Lexi and I have made it the past two weekends. We’ve had little luck, though.
On the first weekend, we hit a cover in the afternoon, after I spent the AM at Poulin’s and Julia’s, checking out the guns in their fall auctions. Poulins and Julia’s hold two major firearms auctions a years — one in the spring and one in the fall. I make a point of checking them both out, if only to see some of the spectacular doubles they’re selling.
Poulin’s sale had a couple doubles that caught that interested me. This 12g, J. Funken sidelock was good quality, and the finished looked pretty original to me. But while it was a nice gun, it didn’t WOW.
I thought this 12g Westley Richards droplock was sleeper. The gun was rebarrelled by Westley in the 50’s, and both tubes were in as-new shape (minus some of original blueing). The stock was a little messed with, but not in a bad way. Add a Silver’s pad, and it would be good to go.
Interestingly, the patent Westley based this gun’s single trigger on was developed and filed by an American: A.E. Lard. It’s a complicated design, but Westley built them with top-quality components, construction and fittings. This made them reliable and subsequently, very popular. L.C. Smith used a similar Lard-patent for their Hunter One single triggers, but failed to apply the same quality control. That’s one reason the Hunter Ones can be such PITA.
Over at Julia’s, a few guns caught my eye. If I were going to the UK to shoot high pheasants, I would have bought these Browning B25s. They’re rugged, reliable, good looking, and heavy enough to suck up a day’s worth of 1 1/4oz loads. These guns hammered down for $8000 against a reserve of $12,500 — so they didn’t sell. Has they hit $12,500, they still would have been a good deal. They’re a lot of quality for the money. To see just how much, compare them to this next pair of guns.
This OU is a titanium Fabbri, a double that’s supposed to b the pinnacle of modern gunmaking. Even though this one waspretty much new and probably cost the original owner $150,000+, bidding on it topped put at $80,000 against a reserve of $100,000.
I have mixed feeling about Fabbris. To me, they’re sort of like the new James Bond movies: I want to love them, but every time I see them I’m disappointed. According to this piece in The Field, Fabbris use advanced steel and building techniques to construct their guns. While I’m glad someone in the gun trade is doing this kind of stuff, I wonder if its unnecessary. After all, we’re talking about shotguns, not fighter jets. Perazzi’s and Krieghoffs don’t use super high-tech steels and advanced construction techniques, and their guns have withstood hundred-of-thousands of rounds and won enough Olympic medals to decorate the Christmas tree in Times Square. I imagine Fabbri does it for the same reason their customers buy these OUs: Because they can.
In these two side-by-sides, you could see the evolution of the really big bore. The 4-bore was built in 1884 and at that time it was one the biggest rifles you could buy. The .577 was from 1928. It pushed a 750 grain bullet with 90 grains of cordite — ka BOOM. Both guns were made for Indian princes. Judging by the guns’ conditions, the princes didn’t take these doubles out very much.
James Julia auctioned this piece of firearm/literary/American history today: this Westley Richards droplock double rifle in .577 Nitro Express that was once owned by Ernest Hemingway. The gun hammered down for $295,000. That’s without the buyer’s a premium of 15%. So whoever bought Papa’s mammoth double dropped around $340,000 to get it. Those are some deep pockets.
The gun would probably be worth $70,000 – $80,000 without the provenance. And who would ever want at .577 NE double rifle with a single trigger? Facing down a charging elephant is no time to run a quality check on something like that.
You can read more about Hemignway’s monster double in this article from Garden & Gun magazine.
If you really want a .577 and you missed out on Hemingway’s gun, go to Schwandt Classic Arms and take a look under double rifles. There you’ll see a better rifle for about half the money. It’s a Holland & Hollandy Royal in .577NE. It’s a sidelock (droplocks are over rated) AND it has double triggers. I’ve seen this gun in person and it’s awesome.
I don’t know if I would want to shoot a .577 NE , though. I’ve fired a .470 NE double rifle and that gun bounced my brain around pretty well. Anything more than that is too much for me.