When I first got into doubles, Stephen Bodio’s Good Guns Again was one of my favorite books. I agree completely with how one reviewer summed it up: “…Bodio at his finest, the unleashed, unfettered gun fanatic, haunting the gun shops, evaluating, and offering a unique insight into the world of sporting firearms.”
Of all the unique insights Bodio offered it, many were focused on what makes a gun special, unique or good. The 16 gauge French SxS you see here was one he thought was more than just “good”. He thought it was spectacular (and one of the prettiest shotguns ever made).
Manufrance Ideals are the French version of a Dickson round action. With a Rigby-style rising bite action, coil springs and a triggerplate design, they’re simple, rugged, and elegant. That little lever behind the trigger opens the gun and cocks it after firing. It also makes these side-by-sides a pleasure to use.
This model would be a great grouse gun — and it’s built-in, retractable leather sling is just plain cool (and rare to see intact in these). BTW: You can see more Ideals and learn more about them here.
Lot # 1022: FRENCH MANUFRANCE MODEL IDEAL 2R 16g SXS SHOTGUN: Cal. 16 Ga., 2 3/4″. S# 45899. Bbls. 27 1/2″ marked “Acier Hercule” (Hercules steel). Matted swamped rib. Bead front sight. Doll’s head top fastener. Marked on right side ‘ MANUFACTURE FRACAISE D’ARMES ET CYCLES DE SAINT ETIENNE”. Bbl. flats marked “CHARGE NORMALE”. Graceful through lump round action is fitted w/ dbl. triggers & extractor. Decorated w/ modest amount of fine scroll engraving. Action opens by
pulling upwards on lever at back of trigger guard. Ambidextrous safety fitted beside trigger plate. Checkered straight hand stock w/ black buttplate. Checkered splinter forend w/ toggle lever release. LOP: 14 1/4″. DAC: 1 3/8″. DAH: 1 7/8″. Minimum bbl. wall thickness: .028 – right, .030 – left. Both measured w/in 6″ of muzzle. Consignor states this gun was once owned by famed author Stephen Bodio. Unique & rare retractable leather sling is fully intact & functional. CONDITION: wood shows few compression marks w/ some sm. voids where the trigger plate is inletted into wood. Notable gouge near toeline on right side. Engraving remains crisp on silvered action, through lumps show substantial blue wear. Bbls. retain strong blue w/ few light scratches & rub marks. Blue fading slightly at bbl. breeches. Left bbl. has sm. dent 6″ from muzzle. Bright shiny bores. (18-711/TB). CURIO. $1,000-1,500.