From the 1860s to 1980s, twelve gauges ruled in my blog. They were the standard game gun and what most men shot. After the first World War, there was a movement in the UK toward lighter and lighter doubles, and 2″ 12gs like the one you seehere were the result. These guns weigh 6lbs or less, but shill had the proportions and feel of a standard British game gun.
Today, these guns are ideal for upland hunting, especially over pointing dogs. These guns throw great patterns and they’re built to push 7/8-ounces of lead, enough to knock down quail, woodcock, and most grouse.
Charles Hellis was a well-respected London gunmaker, and this gun looks like it’s in great shape overall and very fairly priced. The seller is one of the most highly-respected dealers in the country, too.
Beautiful and ultra lightweight 12 bore Charles Hellis 2″ Chambered boxlock SxS game gun: Absolutely dandy lightweight 12bore 2″ game gun weighing in at just 5lbs 6oz! This petite case hardened box lock action with Anson pushbutton release splinter forend made with extractors, double triggers and straight hand buttstock. If you’ve never used a 2″ 12 bore cartridge before, you absolutely have to give it a try. It is a ball and this gun would be a joy to carry all day long and will knock down any game bird in North America! Price:$2995
CHARLES LANCASTER Patent Four Barrel Breechloading Hammerless Smoothbore Rifle, .500/.450 No.1 Express 2 3/4″ BPE, Cased on maker’s leather: Serial # 5084, Country of Origin England, Barrel Length (in Inches) 26″, Trigger ST (Single), Stock Configuration Straight Grip, English cheekpiece, Checkered Horn butt, Silver oval, Forearm Type Splinter Forearm with pin release, Rib Type Short ribs, Express sights, Receiver Finish Casehardened, Engraving Type Border Engraving with maker’s name in ribbon banners, Other Options Jones underlever, Cased in original maker’s leather case, Condition EXC. Plus Condition, Weight 10#4oz, Dimensions 14 5/8″ LOP, Other Details Mfg 1882, Uses 270 gr paper patched bullet and 100gr No.6 BP, All original finish, Spotless bores, Mechanically excellent, Uses a unique revolving firing system, A super rare and very interesting gun. Price:$50,000
CHARLES HELLIS 12G BEST SLE, CASED, ORIGINAL CONDITION: A beautiful shotgun in original condition with the original bill of sale dated Nov. 1, 1935, Hyde Park, London. Sold to A.H.P Hope. Esq. Basildon Home Farm, Pangbourne, Berks. Also, a Bill of Sale for 12 bore Cartridges to the same buyer. CASED IN ORIGINAL MAKERS’ LEATHER CASE made for the gun with Hellis label and all accouterments.
BARRELS: 26” steel, flawless blue, dolls head extension of 1/4”, on the rib is “ C Hellis and Sons Hyde Park London”. RB .007” (IC). LB .030” (FULL). Minimum wall thickness – RB .031”, LB 031. Bore is perfect. STOCK-RECEIVER: receiver has original case coloring and is covered with unworn scroll engraving. Crossed feathers on both sides indicate a lightweight gun. Chambered for 2 1/2” 12g shells, nitro proofed for 1 1/8 loading. LOP is 14 7/16” to butt, DAC -1 1/2”, DAH- 2 1/16”, cast off -3/8”. Stock is straight English style. with a checkered butt. FOREARM: Splinter with Anson and Deeley pushbutton release. Wt: 6 # 2 oz. Date of mfg. is 1935 so sale and transfer of ownership has to be in accord with current regulations. Price- $8000 plus cost of shipping and insurance to your FFL dealer. The unique thing about this SLE is it’s original and unrestored condition. It looks u as if it were in Hellis’s salesroom! Price:$8,000
Westley Richards 12 gauge Boxlock restored in the UK to near new and cased with full accessories. Note the exhibition English walnut stock with a super long LOP!: A stunning restoration done by A.W. Rule in England ( See awruleandsongunmakers.co.uk/ ) This fine Westley is tight and ready to go! The pictures and data tell it all. Manufacturer: Westley Richards restored in the UK to near new and cased with full accessories. Note the exhibition English walnut stock with a super long LOP! Serial Number: 6041, Ejectors: Yes, Barrels: 28″, Barrel Type: Steel, Action: Boxlock ejector, Gauge: 12 gauge, Stock Comb: 1 9/16″, Stock Heel: 2 3/16″, Stock Cast: 5/16″, LOP: 15 3/4″ to checkered, Weight: 6 lbs. 10 oz., Choke Left: .018 Tight Mod, Choke Right: .005 Skeet, Proof: Nitro: 2 3/4″, Minimum Wall Thickness Left: .029″, Minimum Wall Thickness Right: .031″. Price:$7,600
Here’s a real nice boxlock ejector that just popped up on the market. It’s a Charles Hellis with awesome damascus barrels, and if I didn’t already have enough doubles, I would be on the phone to the seller trying work out a deal for it.
Charles Hellis, gunmakers, was founded by its namesake in 1884, and by the 20th century it was another of London’s prosperous gunmakers. Hellis made many different grades and types of guns, from modestly-priced boxlocks to Best-quality sidelocks. The company also specialized in lightweight boxlocks and sidelocks tagged “The Featherweight” and usually engraved with images of feathers on the actions or lockplates. The inlayed side panels on this Hellis boxlock are another of the company’s signature styles.
Something to note: Check out the proof marks on this gun. The barrels were originally proofed at two different bore sizes: 13 and 13/1 (.710″ & .719″) and the reproofed at .719″ and .729″ (13/1 & 12). While it’s unusual to see a set of barrels with two different bore sizes at proofing, it’s not unheard or wrong in anyway. What’s important is that both tubes are in proof with good wall thicknesses (which is the case with this SxS).
CHARLES HELLIS 12GA Boxlock Ejector Side-by-Side: A very nice London, ejector, damascus, nitro proofed, game gun. Tight lockup and ribs. Excellent bores. In proof. No dents. No cracks. Price:$3275
Serial Number: 1239
Bore: R.720 L.729
Chambers: 2 1/2in
Metal Condition: EXCELLENT
Wood Condition: EXCELLENT
Bore Condition: EXCELLENT
Barrel Type: DAMASCUS
JAMES PURDEY & SONS EJECTOR SIDELOCK 12 GA. SELF-OPENING DOUBLE SHOTGUN, CIRCA 1907: 30” barrels with 2 ½” chambers choked improved modified in both barrels. Automatic ejectors and double triggers. Center rib engraved “J. PURDEY & SONS. AUDLEY HOUSE. SOUTH AUDLEY STREET. LONDON. MADE OF SIR JOSEPH WHITWORTH’S FLUID PRESSED STEEL”. No “3” engraved on the both the rib and the lever. Lock plates signed with maker’s name. Checkered walnut straight grip stock and checkered splinter forend. 14 ½” pull over checkered butt. 2”, 1 ½” drop. .Best Quality rose bouquet and scroll engraving. Matching serial numbers in the 17,xxx range. All original except the barrel finish which has been expertly custom blued. Locks and frame with much of the original case hardening color and the lever and the trigger guard with most of the original blue. Stock and forend with the original finish. Forend with small sliver missing near the release button on the left side. Perfect working order and excellent bores. Price:$16,500
Model: SPE Skeet Grade
Serial Number: 34970
Chambers: 2 3/4
Triggers: Single selectable
Fore End: Beavertail
Manufacture Date: May 27, 1937
Winchester Model 21 Field Grade 20 Gauge 1935 Production: This Winchester was produced in 1935. The shotgun’s serial number is 5294. The barrels are 26 inches. The barrels are solid rib choked Full and Modified. It has the single selective trigger. The trigger works correctly. The safety is the automatic engaged safety. The ejectors are manual ejectors. The recoil pad is the red Winchester pad. The barrels are bright with no damage or dents. The lockup is tight. The barrels have the solid rib. This gun has seen field use and handling. There is blue loss on the underbelly of the receiver due to carrying. This is a great light handling 21 in a great gauge. This gun can give the owner many years of great service. This is one of the original condition early model 21’s that has not been “restored”. The unusual feature is the single selective trigger without the automatic ejectors on this shotgun. This feature is not commonly seen. This shotgun’s overall condition would rate a 90% condition. The overall approximate weight is 6 pounds. The length of pull is 13 and 1/2 inches. This shotgun has had only two owners. Price:$5750
Ithaca Grade 4 16 Gauge – NICE ORIGINAL GUN, 80% CASE COLOR:#376165, Made in 1924, 16 Gauge, 6lbs 7oz, Side by Side. This gun, sn376165 built in 1924, is no exception, balanced dead on the hinge pin and weighing 6lbs. 7oz. it is a delight in hand. Retaining 80% factory case color, gorgeous engraving, checkering, and wood, this gun is a work of art at a very affordable price. It has great barrels with plenty of wall thickness, mirror bores, choked perfect for upland game, and with nice shooting dimensions it has everything a shooter/collector might want. Price:$4,950.00
Barrel Length: 26″
Chokes: .013/.028 LM/F
Bore Diameter: .670/.668
Wall Thickness: .029/.028
% Blue: 100%
Chambers: 2 3/4″
Action: tight, way right of center
Ejectors or Extractors: extractors
Case Color: 80% fading
Engraving: clear, sharp
Trigger Type: double, crisp
Trigger Guard Color: 93%
Type: capped pistol grip/splinter forend
LOP To End Of Wood: 13 5/8″
DAH: 2 5/8″
DAC: 1 11/16″
Cast: 1/8″ off
Checkering Condition: very good
Butt Treatment: factory plate
C. Hellis & Sons Boxlock SxS 12ga/28″ IC/Full: Case colored boxlock with double triggers, straight grip stock, auto-ejectors, splinter forend, and checkered butt. Lop measures 14″ with 1 1/4oz proof and 2 3/4″ chambers. Condition is very good overall with strong color case and excellent barrel blue. This is a very nice gun overall. Price:$3,995
James MacNaughton Skeleton Round Triggerplate “The Edinburgh”, circa 1907: A very scarce skeleton (bar-in-wood) triggerplate round action from this famed Scottish maker having only approximately 100 ever being made, 12 bore, 2 1/2″ chambers, replacement 28″ fluid steel nitro proved at 3 Tons barrels by the makers in 1972 and choked .006 Skt. and .009 IC, smooth concave game rib engraved “James MacNaughton & Sons, Hanover Street, Edinburgh”, 14 3/4″ LOP over a leather pad, 1 1/2″ DAC, 2 1/4″ DAH, 3/16″ cast off, 6 lbs. 12 oz., ejectors, double triggers, straight grip, splinter forend, automatic MacNaughton “lever” safety, later barrel cocking design with normal top lever length, typical top tang inspection plate and inspection plate screw with cutout, fine typical MacNaughton skeleton grape vine engraving pattern with “MacNaughton & Sons” engraved on both sides of action, triggerplate engraved to match action, originally no. 1 of a pair with “1” in gold inlay on top lever and barrel rib, highly figured European walnut stock, A&D push button forend release, stock gold oval engraved with a rather mystical animal head. Excellent condition gun that is tight and sound and without any cracks, a few spots of thin barrel blue, exceptional bores and walls on the newer barrels and ready for it’s next 100+ years of service. These are very rare guns with MacNaughton making the most at about 100 and Dickson having made only about 12-15 skeleton round actions. Price:$24,950
Winchester Model 21 Skeet Grade Field gun in 16 gauge: With 28″ matted rib barrels and choked M&IM ( Chokes measure .012 & .020 ) Beautiful pistol grip stock with 14 1/4″ LOP over checkered butt . Hard grip cap. Beavertail forend . Single selective trigger, Auto ejectors. An outstanding model 21. Price:$7,995
W & C. Scott and Son 12g Premier grade double – barreled SxS shotgun: With patented crystal indicator windows. 12 gauge with two sets of original Damascus barrels remaining in near fine original condition . The first set of barrels measure 30” in length with 2 ½” chambers choked .20 for modified left and 0 for cylinder right. The second set measure 30” and are choked modified and modified and show almost no use with 95% to 98% bright original tobacco brown finish and serial numbered to match with near fine bores. The stock measures 14 ½” to the end of a English type pad and nearly 14 inches to the end of the wood. There is a 3 ¼ inch drop at the heel with a 2 inch drop at the comb. The wall thickness measures .26 left barrel and .33 right barrel. The barrels retain 90% to 95% of their original light brown finish with some minor scratches and just beginning slight aging. Approximately 95% of the Damascus pattern shows well and there is some very vivid tobacco colored brown finish remaining. The frame shows 85% to 90% case hardening that is just drifting and toning slightly. The action is profusely engraved with bank note scrolls and profuse game bird scenes. The gun locks tight and the bores are still bright. Price:$5,900.
ITHACA NID, GRADE FOUR 12 GAUGE, HEAVY FRAME 3″ MAGNUM, 26 ” BARRELS: EXCELLENT BLUE, MIRROR BORES, TWIN IVORY SIGHTS, BRILEY STEEL SHOT CHOKE TUBES, FORCING CONES LENGTHENED. AUTOMATIC EJECTORS, SINGLE SELECTIVE TRIGGER, TYPICAL ENGRAVING PATTERN, PHEASANT ON RIGHT, MALLARD ON LEFT, PLUS SCROLLWORK AND FINE BORDERS. STRAIGHT GRIP STOCK, BEAVERTAIL FOREARM, FINE FLEUR DI LIS CHECKERING, GORGEOUS HIGHLY FIGURED WOOD, GOLD INLAY IN BUTTSTOCK. GREAT DIMENSIONS 1 1/2″ X 2″ X 13 3/4″, ORIGINAL ITHACA SUNBURST PAD. ITHACA PRODUCED A TOTAL OF 87 12 GAUGE HEAVY MAGNUMS, ONLY 14 GRADE FOURS WERE MADE. ALL ARE SERIAL NUMBERED OVER 500,000. 8 POUNDS 6 OUNCES. THE PERFECT WATERFOWL DOUBLE SHOTGUN. AN EXTREMELY RARE GUN. Price:$4,850
Charles Hellis & Sons Ltd. 121 & 123 Edgeware Road. Hyde Park. London W. 2″ game gun built in 1939: 26″ Cyl/IC extractor barrels with makers name and adress and “FOR 2 INCH CASE ONLY” inlayed in platinum on the rib. Gun is totally in proof with original 2″ chambers. Bores measure .732 right and left. Choked .002 on the right and .008 on the left. Minimum wall thickness is .026 Reciever retains 60% original case colors with border engraving only. Barrels retain 96% blue with 60% blue on bottom of reciever and trigger guard. Stock and forend completely solid with some fairly nice figure in the buttstock. 14 1/2″ LOP to checkered butt. DAC 1 1/2″ DAH-2 3/8″ Checkering has been recut and a light refinish on buttstock and forend. This gun remains in excellent mechanical condition. It is tight and on face. Barrels ring like a chime. Weighs in at 5lb 9oz These 2″ game guns are few and far between with many not in proof or in poor condition. This is a real gem for the avid woodcock or quail hunter. Price:$4695