I love big, German over unders, and I wanted this one the moment I saw it. It’s a beast, made by Abesser & Merkel with 32″ barrels (choked full X even fuller), 2 3/4″ chambers, and 8lbs 10ozs of recoil-sucking-up weight.
It locks up with Purdey-style underbolts under the bbls and double Kerstens at the top of the action. Even though the seller is calling it a sidelock, I’m 99.9% sure it’s built on a Blitz Action with sideplates – a very common set up for top-quality German O/Us from this period.
In the 1920s, Suhl, Germany, was full of gunmakers. A number of them turned out very fine shotguns, including Abesser & Merkel. Paul Abesser & Ernst Merkel established Abesser & Merkel in 1925, and even though Ernst shared a last name with Gebrüder Merkel, he was not a direct descendent, or ever a ever part of, that famous gunmaking family.
12g Abesser & Merkel OU Full Side Lock Pigeon Excelsior Grade SUHL NICE: Pre War Abesser & Merkel 12 gauge, ejector full side lock over under live bird double barrel shotgun. Serial number 22200. Made in Germany in the 1920’s, this high grade and extensively engraved shotgun remains in EXCELLENT original condition. Features include NO SAFETY, Factory single selective trigger, 32 inch barrels choked full and extra full with a double beaded ventilated rib. The full coverage engraving is finely detailed with much of the original case coloring remaining. The original barrel and trigger guard blue are also excellent as are the bores. The wood is highly figured with fine original sharp checkering. There are ebony drop points, a scalloped horn grip cap and original recoil pad with horn spacer. Excellent screws all around with only the screws in upper forend showing signs of removal at one time. The shotgun is tight and mechanically in great shape. Length of pull is 14 1/4 inches from the rear position single trigger over the original pad. Drop at comb is 1 1/2 inches and drop at heel is 1 3/4 inches. Chambers are 2 3/4. and weight is 8 pounds 10 ounces. This is a true piece of gunmaker’s art and has many factory features that are not normally seen on a Pre-war German over unders. Price: $9,500