Holland & Holland is one the UKs oldest and most famous gunmakers. In this video by TGS Outdoors, Simon Reinhold, Holts Head of Operations, talks about the maker and goes over some guns that came up in Holts 2021 auction.
Superb Charles Boswell 410ga O/U Pinless sidelock – Truly a bespoke gun in every regard! Long barrels with superb dimensions: This gun made in 2007, after Chris Batha obtained the rights to the Charles Boswell name in 2004, to make bespoke best quality guns under this name, with prices starting at $85,000.00. This beautifully filed, fitted, and finished creation of functional art by many Purdey and Holland trained gunmakers (Gerry Swanson, finisher) would certainly be well in excess of that number. This gun has 30 – 1/4″ demi bloc barrels fitted with solid matted rib. Left side of top barrel is engraved “Charles Boswell London.” Breech end of top barrel and ejector bolsters are scroll engraved. Flat of bottom barrel is stamped with 2007 London nitro proofs for 3″ chambers. Serial number is engraved on bottom barrel. Beautifully sculpted small sized over/under action fitted with pinless sidelocks is somewhat rounded with nicely filed beads. Action features non-automatic safety and gold plated non-selective single trigger and is engraved with near full coverage well cut rose and scroll by noted ex-Purdey engraver Dave Tallet. (Signature on trigger plate) “Charles Boswell” is in gold diagonally across front portions of lockplates, and also in arched banner on bottom of action over “London”. Blued single beaded small bow trigger guard with matching scroll has serial number in gold on tang. Well marbled and figured European walnut straight grip buttstock with checkered wood butt with engraved steel heel and toe plates. Classic drop points are behind lockplates, and well cut semi flat top point pattern checkering is at grip. A silver oval engraved “CW” is on toe line. Matching slim one piece ejector forend has Anson type release. Gun is housed in a best quality oak and brown leather case by Ian Tomlin, has gold canvas brown leather trimmed outer cover. Case is lined in burgundy cloth and has Boswell paper label in lid. Tops of case partitions are also of oak, and case contains Boswell marked square oil bottle and snap caps. Two piece cleaning rod is still in its original wrapper. Cleaning brushes are in black leather case. Price: $47,500
E.J. Churchill “The Regal Model” XXV London Baby Frame BLE – 28ga – 25” – Sk/IMSK – Abercrombie & Fitch – Double Trigger – Checkered Butt: Abercrombie & Fitch – Fine Tapered Raised Hand Matted Rib – Double Trigger – Checkered Butt – 99% Condition – The Lightest Weight 28ga I have ever listed for sale – This Shotgun is Tiny but graceful in the hands – Amazing Little English VC Case. Price: $21,995
F.W Heym 20 Bore O/U German Shotgun: A super nice Heym circa 1926 20 bore O/U bored .010 and .013 – Mod and Mod. 28″ Solid Rib barrels. Bores are perfect with good walls. Stock Dimensions: 1 3/8″ x 2 3/8″ x 14 3/8″ with 1/4 cast off at heel. Weight 6 lbs. 2.3 oz. Price: $9850
MERKEL 200E EJECTOR 12 GAUGE SHOTGUN: 28 inch barrels. Extra Full & Extra Full. .052 & .057. Solid rib. Double triggers. Hinged front. Ejectors. Cocking indicators. 3 piece forearm. 14 1/4 LOP butt plate. 2 3/4 chambers. 50-60% case color. 96% blue. Excellent bores. 1957 mfg. Price: $1,895
BERETTA SILVER SNIPE 20G OU SHOTGUN: Solid gun in good condition with some light handling marks. Extractors Condition: Preowned Metal Condition: Good Barrels: 26″ Action: Boxlock Triggers: Single Gauge: 20 Gauge Stock Comb: 1 1/2″ Stock Heel: 2 1/4″ Stock Cast: Off Fore End: Checkered Weight: 6lbs Chokes: IC/F Case: No. Price: $800
Extraordinary early Parker A1 Special 12ga 2 barrel set- 30” and 34” – PGCA letter ordered by W.F. Parker! Deepest relief engraving I’ve ever seen!: Per the PGCA Research Letter – This gun Ordered by and likely used by Wilbur F. Parker! Truly Exceptional Parker A1 Special 12ga two barrel set, made in 1907 on a #2 Frame. This very rare gun is equipped with two sets of Whitworth Fluid Steel barrels- one set is 30″ long (original set), the other is 34″ (also definitely factory) long- an extreme rarity in these guns and also extremely desirable today. This gun would make the ultimate vintage Pigeon Gun. This gun currently sports a fantastic straight stock with gold plated double triggers, beavertail forend, and was made with auto ejectors, auto safety, and has older Silver’s type pad. The top lever is beautifully sculpted as are the breech balls as seen in the photos. These early A-1 Specials are some of the best engraved of all the Parker shotguns and this one is no exception. The quality of the relief flowers are spectacular and by far the best executed I have seen. The depth of the relief engraving and the quality is the finest on any Parker I have examined. The fully engraved safety with gold inlaid “SAFE” in front. See the photos for details on the engraving – it is breathtaking. The PGCA letter for this gun is fascininating and worthy of review- see the photos for this as well. This gun remains in pleasing overall condition. The gun has been updated, likely by Remington with both sets of barrels now having ventilated ribs, which are good and sound. Mechanics are crisp throughout. The gun has been completely restored with later Remington case color- likely done when the gun went back in for service in 43,45, or 46, though undoubtedly a Remington Parker work and quality. The mechanics are crisp and the bores are brilliant and shiny. This extremely rare and desirable Parker is both pleasing to look at in the gun room and in the field. Price: $60,000
ARRIZABALAGA SLE 20 GAUGE: Gun is in very good condition with some light handling marks. Oval is initialed. Caliber Info: 20 Gauge Ejectors: Yes Metal Condition: Very Good Barrels: 28″ Action: Sidelock Triggers: Double Gauge: 20 Gauge Stock Comb: 1 1/2″ Stock Heel: 2 3/8″ Stock Cast: Off Fore End: Checkered LOP: 15 1/4″ Rib: Concave Weight: 6.5 lbs Chokes: IC/IM Case: Leather Luggage. Price: $12,775
“SCARCE” James Purdey of London Double Rifle chambered in .450 BPE that was manufactured in 1868 for the 15th Duke of Norfolk: The amount of man hours was very high when one of these rifles was made. From the factory letter we know that this rifle was completed in 1868. It was built for the Duke of Norfolk and stocked by John Robertson. The caliber is listed as a 60 bore which is the equivalent to the .450 BPE cartridge. This J. Purdey .450 “BPE” Black Powder Express Rotary Underlever Big Game Hammer Double Rifle is all matching with no alterations. The bores are in excellent condition being bright with excellent lands and grooves in the 30” barrels. It has a 3-leaf rear sight with one fixed and two folding blades. Each blade has a Platinum center line and are marked “100, 200 and 250.” The finish shows no signs of rust or pitting with strong pattern colors. The forearm is in very fine condition with no cracks and one chip as shown. The butt stock is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks or repairs. This after 153 years is quite amazing. The receiver shows very fine and detailed engraving as you can see in the pictures. The rifle is tight and obviously has seen very little use over the decades. The rifle functions as it should with no issues. The original oak case has some accessories and the original cleaning rod. The center lock mechanism is missing but both side levers are present. No FFL transfer is needed to transfer this antique. The factory letter will be included. Price: $10K
MERKEL 200E 20ga 26″ IC&M, DT, Mfg 1955 Excellent: Serial # 41176 Country of Origin Germany Barrel Length (in Inches) 26″ Choke U IC (.005″), Choke O M (.015″) Trigger DT (Double) Stock Configuration Capped Pistol Grip, Recoil pad Forearm Type 3-piece Forearm Rib Type Solid rib Receiver Finish Casehardened Engraving Type Ornamental Scroll Engraving Other Options 2 3/4″ chambers, Cocking indicators, Horn grip cap Condition EXC. Condition Weight 6#0oz Dimensions 1 1/2″ x 2 1/2″ x 14″ with 3/8″ cast off. Other Details Mfg 1955. Price: $5,500
Beretta ~ Model S686 Special ~ OU ~ 20 GA: Description: This Beretta S686 is in overall very good condition. Metal Condition: Very Good Wood Condition: Very Good Bore Condition: Excellent Barrels: 26″ Triggers: Single Selective Safety Stock Dimensions: 14″ LOP Fore End: Checkered Walnut Semi Pistol Grip – Checkered Walnut Forend Butt Pad: Black Rubber Butt Pad Weight: 6 lbs Sights: Front Bead – Mid-Bead Chokes: With Screw in Choke Tubes Wood shows some light handling marks and dings. Complete with case! 20 Gauge. Price: $2,099.99
Truly exceptional, genuine, and very rare early Parker A1 Special 12ga – Superior engraving and metal work- early “Whit1” gun & the 6th A1: This extraordinary Parker A1 Special ranks amongst one of the nicest A1 Special 12ga guns I have handled. Made in 1906 on a #2 frame, this exact gun is pictured on pages 359 and 360 of “The Parker Story. This gun, with beautiful 30” Whitworth steel barrels made with fully checkered forend with fleur-de-lis pattern. Made with double triggers, auto ejectors, auto safety, buttstock with gold capped pistol grip and terminates with an older Silver’s type pad. The action is full coverage engraved in very deep relief floral and scroll pattern. Sculpted fences. The grip cap has a lined gold washer and the cap itself with full gold initial plate as seen in the photos. Truly exceptional – this is the 6th A1 Special Parker Bros. ever made and is documented exactly as found today. This gun remains in excellent overall condition. The barrels are superb with more than 97% factory quality rust blue. Action has toned mostly with sharp engraving throughout. Checkering is excellent and shows light handling wear. Stocks are sound and retain most of their original finish with finish added for preservation. The pad is an older replacement. This exceptional and rare Parker is housed in a full leather case. The case is in excellent condition with only minor rubs. Price: $89,500
Purdey SxS 12 Gauge Sidelock SxS Game Gun: All original James Purdey & Sons 12 ga self opening game gun. All original gun (except possibly pad), originally built in 1933. Pad may be original as well as gun resold new in 1941 (original buyer did not take delivery of gun). 28 inch barrels, 2 5/8 inch chambers, choked IC / 1/2, measuring .006R/.020L. Barrel wall thickness at .029 both. Original London Proof Marks, matching serial numbers on all components, and Purdey barrel numbers intact. Concave Game Rib marked with Purdey name, address, and special steel markings. Ejectors. Anson Fore-end fastener. English straight stock LOP 14 3/8 in to pad, 13 5/8 in wood. Drop 1 1/2 to 2 3/8 in. Minimal Cast Off. Weight 6 lb 4 oz. Later leather case with Maker’s Label. Assortment of accessories (some are A&F, New York) included. Recent Purdey factory sales history document (2020) and 1930s Sales Brochure supplied with gun. 35 photo zip file available to interested parties. Price: $27,500
A H FOX, PHIL., XE GRADE – GORGEOUS 12 GAUGE: 28″ KRUPP FLUID STEEL BARRELS, NUMBER 4 WEIGHT, MODIFIED (.020) AND FULL (.034), 2 3/4″ CHAMBERS EXCELLENT BLUE, MIRROR-BRIGHT BORES, TWIN IVORY SIGHTS, BARRELS RING BEAUTIFULLY. DEEP CUT ACANTHUS SCROLL ENGRAVING AT THE BREECH ENDS. CASE COLORED FRAME HAS GORGEOUS DEEP RELIEF CUT ENGRAVING, VIGNETTE ON RIGHT WITH TWO QUAIL IN FLIGHT, LEFT SIDE HAS A PAIR OF DUCKS IN FLIGHT, STANDING FOX ON THE BOTTOM, BOLD LEAF FOLIATE PATTERN WITH STIPPLED BACKGROUND. 100% COVERAGE INCLUDING TOP LEVER, FENCES, TANG, TRIGGER GUARD AND FOREARM IRON, SCREWS. TOP LEVER TO THE FAR RIGHT, TIGHT ON FACE. ROUND KNOB GRIP, LONG SPLINTER FOREARM WITH EBONY TIP. FINE CHECKERING WITH RIBBON BANDS. VERY ATTRACTIVE ENGLISH WALNUT WITH BOLD BLACK STREAKS. ORIGINAL SILVERS PAD, 1 1/2″ X 2 1/2″ X 14 1/4″, 6 POUNDS 10 OUNCES. WONDERFUL EARLY FOX IN VERY PLEASING CONDITION. MADE IN 1915. Price: $11,000
Westley Richards Boxlock Game Gun 12 Gauge: Serial Number: T10352, Barrel Length: 26″, Stock Dimensions:1 1/2″ C x 2 1/2″ H, LOP: 14 1/8, Weight: 5 lbs 14 oz, Chokes: 1/4 – 3/4, Price: $2,950.
W.R. Pape ~ Newcastle ~ A great light little 12 by one of England’s top makers:
Boxlocks – What a delightful little game gun by one of my favorite makers. William Rochester Pape was known among the English shotgun crowd as the “Purdey of the North.” This was a direct tribute to their quality and attention to detail. Serial Number: 11816, Ejectors: Yes, Barrels: 30″, Barrel Type: Steel, Action: Box lock ejector, Gauge: 12 gauge, Stock Comb: 1 7/16″, Stock Heel: 1 7/8″, Stock Cast: 1/8″, LOP: 14 7/8″, Weight: 6lbs 6oz., Choke Left: .034 full, Choke Right: Cyl., Proof: Nitro 2 1/2″, Minimum Wall Thickness Left: .029, Minimum Wall Thickness Right: .031. Price: $2,500
Purdey sidelock Over-Under 20 gauge, 30″ Bbls, 2003 and mint, Teage Choke Tubes, Leather Case w/canvas cover: I am original buyer and owner of this Purdey sidelock 20 Gauge, Over and Under, with 30″ Barrels, Teague Chokes. Specs were to make the ideal driven pheasant shotgun, as well as for partridge and other small bird game. It’s a marvelous shotgun and here is the whole story on the shotgun which was ordered in 2001 and delivered in Declember 2003. Description per the mini Purdey book included with the gun as follows: 20 Bore, Over & Under Square Bar, Trigger Single, Beaded Edge, Automatic safety, weight 6lb 8 oz, Barrels 30″, Chamber 2 and 3/4″, Rib solid matted, Chokes Teague x 6 tubes, Proof 1200 BAR, Weight of Barrels 2 lb 12 oz, Stock Pistol Grip with Metal Cap, Chequered Butt, Measurements 1 3/8 x 1 7/8, Length 15 3/8 Mid, Cast off 3/8″ Heel, Forend Slim Tapering, No oval, Case Light Tan + Canvas Outer. Engraving Fine Rose & Scroll. Gold Purdey name on Locks and Forend Iron; Colour Hardened Finish. Total shells fired less than 3 boxes; used once in the field. Gun is in excellent plus condition per photos posted here; no bad surprises! All the little parts that Purdey delivers with shotgun are here: Purdey engraved snapcaps, Purdey cleaning rod, Purdey mini leather holder with chamber brushes, a mini Purdey book with all specs of gun. There is also a thumb drive with photos of the making of this shotgun in the Purdey factory in England. Stock was hand selected in the Purdey wood room at Audley House. Gold Purdey name on Locks each side, and on Forend iron add a touch of distinction. The 30 inch barrels with the Teague chokes allow you many possible uses of just one gun, from open chokes for Partridge to full chokes for driven pheasant; you get to pick which of the 6 chokes you want. I thought the 20 gauge over-under was the best option for various game events, and that would include skeet and even sporting clays. Note in the leather case–and case was made specifically for this gun–the Teague chokes come with one small wrench which is eacy and fast to change choke tubes; each of the tubes is fitted into the case. Also note that the case holds small silver colored bottle for oil, and small tan leather holder for barrel brushes, and the rod with Pudey naming is tucked neatly into the case, along with Purdey engraved snap caps. The good news is that all the mini parts are here and included. It’s a marvelous gun looking for a new home! (PS: Using 2017 Purdey price list, this shotgun prices out at $165,117 plus Duty $4170 Excise Tax $17,644 and shipping w/insurance $3,000. ) Price: $125,000
Piotti 28 gauge BSEE Model boxlock ejector side by side: A pre-owned Piotti 28 gauge BSEE Model boxlock ejector side by side. Calibre: 28 gauge, Action: Boxlock ejector, Triggers: Double, Safety: Non-Automatic, Barrel Length: 29 1/2 inches, Chamber: 2 3/4 inch, Rib: Game Concaved, Chokes: Right : 1/4 Left : Tight 1/4, Type: Deluxe, Length: 14 1/2 inch, Grip: Classic Straight hand, Butt End Finish: 1/2 inch recoil pad, Forend: Game style, Description: Fine Decrotive Scroll, Finish: Case Colour, Weight: 5 lbs – 13 oz, Case: Makers Leather Case, Date of Manufacture: 2008. Price: $19,995
E. J. Churchill The Regal 20ga/25″ Boxlock SXS: 23xxx serial number range Churchill “The Regal”: case colored scalloped frame boxlock with floral and scroll engraving, double trigger, ejectors, drop points, solid raised rib with twin beads, straight grips, splinter forearm, 2 3/4″ chambers. Right barrel measures .615″ with .008″ choke, left barrel measures .615″ with .025″ choke. Stock measures 1 1/2″ x 2″ x 14 1/4″ over a checkered butt. Weight is 5 pounds 2 ounces. Comes with a factor leather case and cleaning accessories. Price: $8,995
Beautiful Parker DHE 16ga Game Gun – All original and in excellent condition: I have for sale a very nice all original Parker DHE 16ga. The gun was made in 1928 on a #1 frame with 28″ Titanic barrels. The gun was made with auto ejectors, a splinter forend, double triggers, and capped pistol grip buttstock with very fine grain which terminates with what I believe is the original pad. Nicely engraved in standard DHE pattern as seen in the photos. Overall the gun remains in pleasing original condition with 60% strong original case color, nearly all of the original barrel blue and more than 95% fine original stock finish. The gun has excellent screws and appears as it left the factory. Trigger guard retains about 1/3 of the original blue. Stocks are sound though there is a small scratch behind the right side of the frame – that is NOT a crack – guaranteed. Here are the technicals on the gun: 2 5/8” Chambers, 1 Frame, Weight 6lbs. 12 oz., LOP 14 1/8″ over orig. pad , Drop at comb 1 5/8″, Drop at heel 2 3/4″, Cast 0, Right Bore .665”, Left Bore .664”, Chokes R .023 (mod) L .029 (full) , Minimum Barrel Wall Thickness R .026″, L .023″. Price: $6500
Terrific Remington 1894 CEO grade 12-gauge boxlock side by side: Gun has 30” ordinance steel barrels with an English stock, double triggers, and ejectors. Really nice engraving on a case-colored receiver. Serial number P136362. Gun is over 100 years old and in spectacular condition. All original. $4,500. From my family collection. Email or text seller with questions. Price: $4,500
On the face of it, the word “best” s a simple meaning: Traditionally, it was the top-grade gun built by a manufacturer. But in an era when guns were almost entirely hand made, quality varied, and some best guns were best-er than others.
Check out this H&H Royal to see what I mean. I don’t know who they made this gun for or why they did such a nice job on it, but it’s one of the finest Holland & Holland Royal I’ve seen.
The Royal is Holland & Holland’s flagship gun. They’ve been building it since the 1890s, and it has been copied by countless makers in the UK to Spain, Germany, and Japan.
The engraving pattern on this gun is the company’s famous acanthus-scroll (inspired by the work of textile designer William Morris), but it’s executed a higher level than what you see on your average Royal. Everything is done a bit better, too. The action is a bit crisper, the wood a bit more elegant, the checkering a bit more careful. Overall, it’s a stunning gun.
#23367. 31″ NITRO PROOFED STEEL BARRELS 2 7/8″ CHAMBERS, PROOFED FOR 1 1/2 OZ, DOUBLE TRIGGER, EJECTOR, SPLINTER FOREARM, ENGLISH GRIP, MINT CONDITION, ORIGINAL, OAK AND LEATHER MAKERS CASE, 9LBS 4 OZ, 2 1/4″ DAH, 1 1/2″ DAC, 14 3/4″ LOP. PRICE: $49,500
Here’s a cool video from one of the UK’s best-quality, boutique gunmakers: Smith & Torok. Check it out to see some classic, old-school gunmaking technques.
Here are some items I just listed on Ebay. All have $1 starts, no reserves.
Made in the 1990s for a 20g Boss OU shotgun, possibly by Vincent Rickards.
Genuine “Lightweight Flat V.C Canvas Case”, superb original condition, made for a 12-gauge side-by-side shotgun, 28” barrel compartment.
Holds up to 500 12-gauge shotgun shells. Made for a British aristocrat.
The sidelock, double-barrel over-under shotgun you see here is one of the holy grails of British shotguns — and one of the mysteries of British gunmaking. It’s coming up to auction tomorrow, 10/17, and it has an estimated hammer of $25,000.00 – $50,000.
Boss & Co. patented their OU action in 1909. According to the company’s website:
“Robertson did not invent the O/U shotgun, but he created an Over and Under gun that was elegant, shapely, strong and far lighter than any other on the market. Until that time Over and Under guns often hailed from Germany but were heavy and ungainly. But Robertson’s OUs were strong, lively, light and slender, marking the Boss & Co Over and Under as the best on the market as soon as it was introduced. Immediately it set the standard and became the benchmark, a celebrated design that remains unsurpassed.”
Since 1909, Boss & Co. has built around 600 over-under shotguns. Very, very few of them were built with a feature that’s on the gun being auctioned off tomorrow: A Boss-style rising-bite action.
No one knows how many OUs Boss built with its rising-bite style action. The feature appears around 1920 and shows up on 12-gauges and 20-gauges through the ’30s (here it is on a gun they built in 1937). I’ve never seen it on a Boss OU built after WW2 (Note: Boss & Co just started building rising-bite actions again and completed one in the last year or so).
But Boss never patented their version of the rising bite. I’ve never seen any evidence that the company promoted this feature or offered it as an upgrade or an option. From what I can tell, it just appears on certain guns and then disappears.
One thing to note: While this gun was originally nitro-proofed with 2 3/4″ chambers for 1 1/4 – ounce loads, it wasn’t made to shoot modern, high-pressure/high-velocity shells. So if you buy it, do the gun a favor and use ammo like this.
Lot #110: Boss & Co. Best O/U 12ga Shotgun: One of England’s finest… Desirable, elegant, made for a shooter. This shotgun has simple lines yet elegant and exceptionally designed side lock. Currently, Boss & Co. only produces about 20 shotguns annually. This one was manufactured in 1919-1920, and proofed for modern shells. Solid rib barrels have a single silver bead front sight, marked with proofs, Nitro proofs and more near breech. Forend is highly ornate with metal side skirts along the back half of the top, engraved with a tight scroll and finely blued. Barrels mate with the hinge pin and special locking mechanism near top lever. Locks are engraved 1005 with fine English scroll. Top lever and trigger are blued and equally ornate. Case coloring is accented with lock pins in both a polished or bright blue. Chamber indicators have horizontal gold inlay. Auto ejectors are crisp and timed superbly. Auto safety. High grade straight English stock with oil rubbed finish completed with a checkered butt and metal plates protecting heel and toe. Choked “Full” and “Mod”, ideal for clays or pheasant. Includes original leather bound case, Boss & Co. label on inside. Factory accessories. Must ship to FFL or C&R Condition: Antique Excellent. Bluing is in the 90-95% with the loss in touch points only (lower tang, forend, top lever, etc.). Case coloring is around 40%, fences and transition areas exhibit fine color striations while side of locks is muted. Wood is excellent, hard to find imperfections, probably cleaned at some point. Mechanically excellent. Barrels and Bores are nearly blem free and mirror bright. Gun Measurements: Chamber size is 2 ¾” Bore Diameter: Over Barrel – From 9” at the breech .733, 12” from the breech is .731 and continues at .731 until it hits the choke and final measurement at muzzle is .714 giving it a “Modified” choke. Under Barrel- From 9” at the breech .7325, 12” from the breech is .7315 and continues at .7315 until it hits the choke and final measurement at muzzle is .694 giving it a “Full” choke. Barrel Wall Thickness: Over Barrel- 12” from breech is .038, 12” from muzzle is .033 and is consistent through to muzzle Under Barrel- 12” from breech is .039, 12” from muzzle is .033 and is consistent through to muzzle LOP @ Heel= 14 7/8″ LOP @ Toe= 15 1/4″ Choke: O=.709 (Mod) U=.689 (Full) Drop @ Comb = 1 1/2″ Drop @ Heel = 2 1/8″ Weight= 7.4 lbs Cast Neutral Barrel Length: 30″ Serial: 6605 Manufacturer: BOSS & CO., LTD. Gauge: 12ga Year-Range 1919 – 1920. Estimate: $25,000.00 – $50,000.00 USD
Piotti Boss style pre-owned pair of 28 gauge sidelock over & under’s with 30 inch barrels: Action: 28 gauge, Sidelock ejectors, Single triggers Non-Automatic safeties. Barrel Length: 30 inches, Chamber: 2 3/4 inch, Rib: Game solid rib, Chokes: Bottom : M/C Top : M/C. Deluxe Grade Walnut Stock. Length: 14 3/4 inches. Grip: Semi pistol grip. Butt End Finish: Chequred. Forend: Game Style Forend. Fine Rose & Scroll engraving. Case Colour finish. Weight: 6 lbs – 4oz. Double leather case. Date of Manufacture: 2013. Price: $175,000
OGDEN SMITH & HUSSEY IMPERIAL PIGEON SXS 12 GAUGE: 30″ WIDE PIGEON RIB 036 AND 038 CONSTRIXTION 2 3/4 NITRO, DOUBLE TRIGGER, EJECTORS, SPLINTER FOREARM, ENGLISH GRIP, EXCELLENT CONDITION, 7LBS 15 OZ, 2 1/8″ DAH, 1 1/2″ DAC, 14 1/4″ LOP. Price: $12,500
Extremely Fine Documented Parker $135 Grade 14 Bore – The finest early 14 bore known! This incredible early Parker Hammer gun is recognized widely by advanced collectors as the finest 14 bore hammer gun known. The gun is pictured on page 233 of “THE PARKER STORY” and described as a $135 Grade Gun. It was made with straight stock which terminates with a blued full steel buttplate, splinter forend with wedge fastener, and 30″ Damascus barrels. The gun is an early “Pin Lifter” as seen in the photos. The gun weighs 8lbs 8oz and retains about 60% gorgeous original case color. The barrels retain about 90% original damascus pattern. Bores are very good with some minor freckles but incredibly nice for a gun of this vintage. The checkering is original and crisp. The gun retains about 90% original stock finish. There are some minor ancient grain separations at the bottom stock fingers which have been expertly repaired. The full steel buttplate retains about 40% original blue! Unheard of on a gun of this vintage. Trigger guard retains about 70% original blue, toned a bit on the bow, quite strong on the tang. Widely recognized as the “finest 14 bore hammer gun known” this gun is a true treasure for a serious student of the Parker Gun. Price: $9500
Woodward – SLE – 12 ga: SxS, Ejectors: Yes, Trigger: Double, Grip: Straight Grip, Forend: Checkered, Lop: 14 3/4 “, Type of butt: Checkered Wood, Drop comb: 1 1/2 “, Drop heel: 2 3/8″ Cast amount: 3/16” Cast: Off Weight: 7 lbs, oz Manufactured in: England Finish: Case Colored Overall condition: Very Good Stock condition: Very Good Metal condition: Very Good. Price: $8,200
AYA No 2 16 Gauge Sidelock SxS Shotgun: 28″ Chokes: IC – IM L.O.P. : 14 1/2″ Drop: 1 3/8″C x 2″H Weight: 6 lbs 6 oz Ser. #: 16-03-291-03
To a lot of people in the gun trade, “Best gun” is fighting words. Traditionally, it’s a handmade sidelock side-by-side shotgun or double rifle built to the highest standards by one of the major London makers like Holland & Holland or James Purdey & Sons.
But today, as some of these famous makers are relying more and more on CNC equipment to build their guns, is it fair to still call these “Best Guns”? And do they still justify their incredibly high prices? Find out what one person thinks.
“With the gun first created in “virtual reality” and so much less hand work involved, one does wonder why the price of a modern best is so high, especially considering that one of the biggest names in best gunmaking now makes guns “for stock”, presumably for the buyer who just can’t wait for a bespoke gun. It might even be said that the buyer is paying for something that he is not receiving, because he believes that he is purchasing a handmade gun when in fact, that gun is mostly made on CNC machinery.”
Joseph Manton SxS Flintolock 22-bore: Incredibly rare 22-bore, double-barreled, flintlock Sporting Gun, initially completed in 1815 and cased complete with the original Manton parts for the field conversion to percussion ignition, ca. 1820. Weight: 5 Lbs 12 oz. Stock Dimensions:
14 5/8”x 1 1/8”x 2 1/8”x straight. Superb 30” rebrowned Damascus barrels with no dents or dings, excellent bores (.599”/.599”) and walls (both .060”-.033”). Joseph Manton Patent, Platinum-lined, touch holes. Manton Patent Stepped-in, and Inverted, Breeches which allowed for faster ignition in addition to directing rainwater away from the pan and toward a rectangular drain hole in the center of the breech allowing the water to flow out a hole in the bottom of the trigger plate just in front of the trigger guard bow. The Manton Patent Elevated Top Rib is engraved, “Joseph Manton’s New Improvements by His Majesty’s Patent”. Absolutely peerless quality locks, also loaded with Manton Patented features; Cocks, reinforced at the neck, Patent Hammers (frizzen’s), Gravitating Stops, with platinum-inlaid counterweights, to prevent the cock accidentally falling during loading with cocks inadvertently left at full cock. In addition to all these features, included with the gun are the parts and tools for rapid field conversion to percussion ignition (can be accomplished in under 2 minutes for each lock), likely added by Manton, ca. 1820. Locks tight and mechanically perfect in every way. Tang screw, side nail, both cock screws, and left frizzen replaced by LDA. The iron mounts are all nicely engraved in the pattern common to Joe Manton sporting guns of the late flintlock, 1815 -1817, era. The Figured Walnut stock has a repair to the head done by LDA and an old minor repair to the wood just forward of the finial on the trigger plate. Overall, the stock is in fine condition showing minimal wear and no abuse. The whole is cased in an ultra-rare original, two-tiered (for a pair of Manton double flintlock sporting guns), Joseph Manton case complete with all period accessories and a proper original Trade Label from the 1815-17 period listing many of the Manton Patent features found on the gun. This extraordinarily rare gun represents the ultimate development of the British flintlock sporting gun by, arguably, the greatest British Gun maker who ever lived, having all of the best innovations present and in working order on a single firearm by Joseph Manton. Overall, mechanically perfect and in fine condition throughout with traces of original finish. Price: $75,000
PURDEY – BEST DELUXE EXTRA FINISH, TWO BARREL SET, 12 GAUGE/12 GAUGE:
29″ BARRELS, M/F CHOKED – 29″ BARRELS, SK/IC CHOKED – DOUBLE TRIGGERS – HINGED FRONT TRIGGER – ORNAMENTAL ENGRAVING – 3 1/4 TON PROOF – BEAVERTAIL FOREND & SPLINTER FOREND – TURKISH WALNUT STRAIGHT GRIP STOCK – CHECKERED BUTT – SIDE CLIP – 3RD FASTENER – RAISED MATTED RIB – MAKER’S LEATHER MOTOR CASE INCLUDED 7 LBS. 11 OZ. 14 3/4″ X 1 3/8″ X 2 1/4″. Price: $49,500
Beretta AS-20EL OVER UNDER SHOTGUN (S 22364): 27 1/2″ barrels. Ic/mod. Solid rib. Double triggers. Long length of pull to a checkered butt. Straight grip. All the good stuff. 5 lbs. 11oz. One small depression in the stock (see photo) otherwise about perfect. Price: $8450
Perazzi MX28 (S138143) OU SHOTGUN: 28 guage. Ejectors: Yes. Condition: Good. Barrels: 30”. Stock Comb: 1 3/8”. Stock Heel: 2 1/8”. Fore End: English. LOP: 14 5/8”. Weight: 5lb 8oz. Single selective trigger. Perfect bores. Really pretty wood. Few knicks and scratches but a dandy little bird gun. Comes with Perazzi hard case. Chokes: Briley. Price: $7950
PARKER BROS. 20 GAUGE VH – 26″ BARRELS CHOKED FULL/FULL – STRAIGHT STOCK – DOUBLE TRIGGERS- SPLINTER FOREND -DOGS HEAD BUTT -CASE COLORS 45%: BLUE 90 % & – TRIGGER GAURD PATINA – CHECKERING VERY GOOD – ACTION TIGHT WITH TOP LEVER RIGHT OF CENTER – BLANK INITIAL SHEILD -LOP 14″ – DAC 1 7/16″ X DAH 2 1/16″ – WEIGHS 6 LBS. 2 OZS. – ALL ORIGINAL CONDITION. Price: $4,500
Boss & Co Round Body side-by-sides are some of the rarest shotguns in the world. Introduced in 1893, the company has made fewer than 400 of them to date. Over the last 20 years, I’ve come across around a 1/4 of them. The one you see here is the most unique one I’ve seen: Boss & Co. Best Quality SLE 12 bore Rare Round Body
While it’s “round”, it still carries some shaping from a standard Boss SxS action. You can see this ahead of the locks and behind the hinge pins. This shaping also continues onto the bottom of the action.
Why is this extra shaping there? I’ve seen Belgian shotguns with similar rounded actions like this. Maybe the person who commissioned this gun saw guns like that, too, and asked Boss to make him a similar pair. Or maybe the person wanted a Boss Round Body with a personal spin?
Of course, the Boss tradesman who filed up the action may have just finished the gun this way. Boss was a quirky gunmaker, and it’s not uncommon to see variations in their actions that make little sense — other than they may have pleased the man building the gun.
For reference, here’s a standard Boss Round Body:
Keith Thomas is one of the world’s top engravers. Check out the P.V. Nelson shotgun you see here to see why Thomas’s rose & scroll patterns are considered to be some of the finest ever cut.
Thomas began his engraving career in 1964 as an apprentice with Holland & Holland. In 1975, he went out on his own and since then he engraved guns for most of the world’s top gunmakers, including Boss & Co, W. W. Greener, Hartmann & Weiss, and A. A. Brown.
This nearly-new 12g sidelock shotgun is coming up in Poulin Auctions Spring 2019 sale, which starts 3/30. It’s a best-quality, British gun made around 1994, and it’s built on a Beesley action, just like a Purdey. Watch the video above to learn more about it.
LOT 1045: MAGNIFICENT HOLLOWAY & NAUGHTON BEST CASED TWO BARREL SET SIDELOCK SXS SHOTGUN: Both sets of bbls. are 12 Ga. w/ 2 3/4″ chambers. S# H&N 12-94. Bbl. 1) Length: 30″. Choke constrictions: .011″ right, & .021″ left. Bbl. 2) Length: 28″. Choke constrictions: .011″ right, .020″ left. A true Best Quality gun, this H&N is stocked to the fences with drop points. The firing pins are bushed. Exquisite Delahaut bouquet & scroll engraving decorates all of the action metal with carbona blue pins. A banner “HOLLOWAY & NAUGHTON” in gold with gold stripe cocking indicators provides a dramatic contrast against the elegant case colors. As the gun was made in 2006, it wears the vivid colors that made Ray St. Ledger a legend in the English gun trade.
Barrels are struck to perfection & finished with luscious rich blue that appears inches deep. No less impressive than the metal, mother nature’s most elegant marble cake walnut highlights the stock & forend. Smoky figure abounds throughout the auburn backgrounds with perfect layout for a gun of this quality. Both bbl. sets feature file cut concave game ribs with brass front beads. Both bbls. use the same forend. Both bbl. sets are chopper lump bbl. construction. Checkered walnut straight hand stock with checkered butt. Checkered splinter forend. Double triggers with front trigger articulated. Purdey style self opening action. Toeline of stock features nameplate marked “RDP”. DAC: 1 1/2″. DAH: 2 3/8″. LOP: 14 5/8″. Weight: 6.95 lbs. with 28″ barrels & 7.05 lbs. with 30″ barrels. UNATTACHED ACCESSORIES: maker’s very compact 2 barrel case replete with “Holloway & Naughton” marked nickel plated oil bottle & snap caps. The body of the snap caps & fitted turn screws feature off white synthetic bodies. Ebony & brass 2 piece cleaning rod. Key is included. CONDITION: all aspects near excellent with 28″ barrel set (left barrel) showing faint thinning of blue for the last 1/2″ to the muzzle. PROVENANCE: From the Robert Pettus Collection. ESTIMATE: $40,000-60,000.
Not all revolutions happen quickly. Some, like the way over-under shotguns overcame SxSs to dominate the world of doubles, took decades to happen.
In many ways, the over-under revolution began in 1909. That’s when Boss & Co introduced its OU. While Boss & Co didn’t invent these shotguns, they did perfect it.
Firearms with stacked barrels have been around for hundreds of years, and Merkel started building breechloading, centerfire OUs in the 1890s. But Boss was the first gunmaker to build an OU with the sleek looks and a dynamic feel that could compete with best-quality British side-by-sides.
To date, Boss has built 500+ OUs. It’s not that hard to find them on the used market. That is not the case with the Boss OU catalog you see here. This is the only copy of this 1930s-era catalog I’ve seen in two decades.
Check it out for a unique glimpse into how Boss sold their OU shotguns back in the day.
BTW: If you have one of these catalogs or any other Boss catalogs/promotional materials (or shotguns) you would like to sell, please drop me an email at email@example.com
Back in the 1950s, Otto Weiss was a young gunmaker working at W. Glaser in Zurich. He had grown up in the guntrade, and by the time he was in Switzerland, he had already worked for two of Germany’s most famous firms: Ernst Thälmann Werke and Merkel. So he knew a bit about shotguns.
At Glaser, he had an experience which changed his life. “When I was in Switzerland and came across some high-quality English guns, I thought ‘this is what I have to do’.” Fulfilling this ambition took him to London where he worked for Purdeys and then back to Germany where he met fellow gunmaker Gerhard Hartmann. Together, they formed — Hartmann & Weiss.
Today, many people believe Hartmann & Weiss is the finest gunmaker in the world. The over-under you see here is a good reason why. Built on Boss designs (with some improvements from H&W) and engraved by Ralph Bone, it’s about as perfect a shotgun as I’ve seen.
Check out these posts to see more pics of stunning Hartmann & Weiss OUs: It’s 1905 all over again & A HARTMANN & WEISS 20g Over and Under Engraved by Alan Brown & The English and German Gunmakers. Hartmann & Weiss and Boss & Co.
HARTMAN & WEISS BEST BOSS STYLE OVER UNDER 28 GAUGE: I THINK THAT THERE ARE ONLY 4 OR 5 OF THESE IN EXISTENCE. ENGRAVED IN THE KELTIC STYLE BY THE LATE RALPH BONE 27″ BARRELS WITH A SOLID RIB IC AND MOD 2 3/4 SINGLE TRIGGER EJECTORS BOSS STYLE FOREARM ENGLISH GRIP CHECKERED BUTT NEW UNFIRED IN MAKERS CASE 5LBS 6 OZ X 2″ X 1 9/16″ X 14 1/4″ LOP. Price: $199,500
I’m pretty sure I’ve gushed about this gorgeous gun before. It’s a 16 gauge W.W. Greener side-by-side, built in 2005 by Richard Tandy and David Dryhurst.
W.W. Greener is one of the world’s most famous gunmakers. Founded in 1829 by William Greener, the company played a key role in the evolution of fine sporting arms. With SxSs like this G70 Imperial and this FH70, they proved themselves to be innovators and brilliant gunmakers.
Like most British gunmakers, W.W. Greener went through hard times in the ’60s and ’70s. In 1985, the company was bought out by a team which included Graham Greener (W.W. Greener’s great grandson) and two of the world’s top finest gun makers: David Dryhurst and Richard Tandy,
Dryhurst and Tandy have been building shotguns and double rifles under the W.W. Greener name ever since. The one you see here was made in 2005, and it’s of the finest side-by-sides on the market today. While it says W.W. Greener on the outside, the lockwork, ejectorwork, self-opening system and some other aspects of it are all Boss.
Boss & Co is another one of the world’s oldest and best gunmakers. In 1891, the firm was acquired by John Robertson. With a mind for innovation, an eye for aesthetics, and a whole lot of guts, Robertson revitalized Boss & Co and pushed it to the forefront of London’s gunmakers. The fact that two of today’s top gunmakers choose his designs as the basis for one of their shotguns is a testament to Robertson and Boss & Co’s brilliance.
W.W. GREENER PREMIER SXS 16 GAUGE: ENGRAVED BY TALLET AND COGGAN MADE 2005 29″ BARRELS SELF OPENING 006 AND 011 2 3/4 EVERYTHING INTERNALLY ON THIS GUN IS A BOSS DOUBLE TRIGGER EJECTORS SPLINTER FOREARM PISTOL GRIP AS NEW IN MAKERS OAK AND LEATHER CASE 6LBS 5 OZ X 2 7/16 X 1 9/16 X 14 9/16 LOADS OF CORRESPONDANCE BETWEEN THE BUYER AND DAVID DRYHURST. PRICE: $89,500
There are a lot of Purdeys on the market today. Some are worked over, some are worn out and some are overpriced. A lot are of them are all three, and that’s why so many of these guns have been looking for buyers for so long. But every now and then a real legit Purdey pops up. When it does, it usually sells right away.
This is one of these nicest vintage Purdeys I’ve seen in a while. It has condition and it was reasonably price. That’s why it sold in fewer than 12 hours.
From what I can tell, this gun was made in the late 1860s, early 1870s. Westley Richards invented the toplever in the 1862 and James Purdey patented their underbolt in 1863. The Scott spindle used to connect the two was patented in 1865. The gun you see here uses all three, so it has to be post 1865.
This gun also has a keyed forend, a feature from the percussion era that Purdey stop using when they switched to the Anson-patent forend release (introduced in 1872), and bar-action locks, which Purdey was just switching to as it developed a more modern look for its guns. One thing it’s missing is drop-points. This is pretty common on earlier Purdey. The sideclips are interesting. You don’t see side clips on a hammergun, and this has to be one of the first doubles Purdey used them on.
James Purdey 10 Bore SxS Hammer Gun: Rare light weight (8 pound) hammer game gun. Outstanding all original condition with very nice wood and good amount of case cloring remaining. Excellent 31 inch fine damascus barrels.Rare side clips and top lever. Very nice engraving and checkering.Proper 2 5/8 inch chambers with open chokes. Throws outstanding patterns and feels like a 12 bore. Excellent shootable dimensions and 14.5 inch LOP. Very little lifetime use and overall excellent condition.
In a the world of fine shotguns, “Best-gun” seems like a phrase with a pretty obvious definition: The very best shotgun a manufacturer can make. But because these were hand made by different people at different time periods, each one is a bit different. That means some bests are best-er than others.
Ogden Smiths used to be a fishing tackle company in London. In 1923, Walter Sydney Ogden Smith of the Ogden Smith family joined with the gunmaker Henry H. Hussey (son of gunmaker H.J. Hussey’s) to sell guns under the name Ogden Smiths & Hussey, Limited. This partnership lasted until 1933 and produced shotguns and rifles of different styles and qualities, including single-barrel trap guns like this and the best-quality, SxS, Imperial you see here.
The Hussey family Imperial grade sidelock shotguns since old man H.J. started his own operations after being fired from Lang & Hussey in 1898 (in fact, Lang & Hussey’s finest gun was also called the Imperial). Today, these Imperials pop up on the market on a regular basis. They’re nice guns, but none of the I’ve seen have been anywhere near as nice as this one. In fact, it’s this is the best Hussey Imperial I’ve ever seen.
On this one, the engraving on the fences and action, as well as the overall finish on all the metalwork, is a step above any of the others I’ve come across. With it’s high stock, long chambers, tight chokes, heavy proof, and wide, file-cut rib, it sure looks like it was made for live-pigeon shooting. Sure, the buttstock is a bit plain. But it is original and I bet the maker used the blank because of the strength of its straight grain. I’d be looking at the rest of the gun and never notice it.
Ogden Smiths & Hussey Imperial Ejector SxS Shotgun: A fabulous quality and condition pre-war 12 bore double trigger gun retaining nearly all of its original color 90% plus, and a London black. Gold line cocking indicators, exquisite very fine rose and scroll engraving with carved fences. The 30 inch Whitworth steel barrels with a pigeon rib, have the original 3 inch chambers with 1 3/8 ounce proof, choked full and full. The stock measures 14 1/2 to a checkered horn plate with a drop of 1 1/2 by 2 1/8. The gun weight is 7lbs. 7 oz. Articulated front trigger and the guard has 80% of it’s charcoal blue. Locking screws on the first guard and ejector stop screw. Blank gold oval. This gun is as good as it gets from a best maker. Price: $18,500
Boss & Co made some of the finest shotguns the world has ever seen, and the one you see here is a great example of what makes them so special. If you study it closely, you’ll notice how big and bulbous the fences are. You’ll also see how the tails of the locks are more rounded, too, and the stock is super straight through the hand. Then there are the beads that runs up and around the fences. They’re quite crisp and defined.
These are all parts of Boss’s house style, and they’re the subtle differences that set these guns apart from Holland & Hollands, Purdeys, and other Best-quality doubles.
This gun also has the refinements Boss introduced into its SxSs in the mid-to-late 1920s — disc-set strikers, pins in the fences to secure the strikers — as well as the streamlined engraving pattern the company also switched to at that time. Overall, it’s a stunning side-by-side and reminder of just how nice vintage Boss & Co shotgns can be.
BTW: Santa, throw this one on my list. You know I deserve it.
BOSS & CO SxS 1931- A BEST GUN from the BEST ERA by a BEST MAKER- SUPERB ORIG & CORRECT GOLDEN ERA- 85% ORIG CASE COLORS- DELUXE WOOD- 12 BORE: #7904, Boss & Co., 41 Albemarle Street. Piccadilly. London. W.: A 1931 – 12 Bore Sidelock Ejector That Remains Totally Original and Correct Plus it Remains in Superb Condition. This outstanding piece was made for Mr. Jas. T. McMillan from Detroit, Michigan and ordered January 19, 1931. He was the second President of Packard Motor Co. It was ordered exactly as follows; 26″ Chopper Lump barrels at the correct and original bore size and original chokes at .730 .008 & .019 (Imp.Cyl. & Mod.), Original 2 3/4″ chambers, London proved at 1 1/4 ounce with 2 3/4″ chambers, Bushed strikers, The famous John Robertson Boss patent single non-selective trigger, Splinter forend, Straight hand stock at 14 9/16 x 1 3/8 x 2 1/8″ over a checkered butt, Very slight cast-off for the right hand, Rolled trigger guard edge for the right hand, Dead-up 6 lbs. even, 95% coverage of very fine rose & scroll engraving by Mr. Jack G. Sumner, The barrel striking is perfect, It retains 98% barrel blue, It retains 85% bright & vivid original case colors, Deluxe wood with outstanding color & contrast with deep black & brown color, The original oil finish remains at 92% with light handling marks only, The trigger guard & tang retain 90% original blue, The screw heads remain at 99%, The whole is cased in the original maker’s leather trunk with the correct & proper trade labels, Boss marked snap caps & oil bottle, All cleaning gear, Original spare strikers in their leather pouch, The case is in the same condition as the gun with a full protective cover. This piece comes from the Golden Era of Best English guns with most of the Robertson family influence still in place. It was crafted with their full staff of Gunmakers as it is one of 112 sporting pieces built in 1931. In 1934 they laid off 7 Gunmakers and about 50 guns were made, the great depression was taking a toll. Here is the embodiment of 1931 Best Quality, original condition, correct bore size & chokes, 2 3/4″, great weight, deluxe wood, Boss single trigger and it comes to the hand with ease, style and grace. A true Best Gun from a Best Gunmaker made in the Best years for the modern game gun. This is special stuff here.