I’ve been looking at this double for a while, and I can’t figure out why its price is so low.
Not only is a Birmingham-built SxS that uses one of the most reliable actions of all time (the Anson & Deeley boxlock), but it also appears to be in excellent original condition. Does it have any faults? Maybe its weight. It’s not light, but it weighs as much as a lot of 16g Parkers (and some 20g Parkers).
The Army & Navy Stores were a cooperative that served British military officers throughout the old British Empire. They were not gunmakers. Instead, they had guns built for them by tradesman in Birmingham and London.
Army & Navy CSL ~ BLE ~ 12 Ga: Chambers: 2.5″, Metal Condition: Some Light User Marks, Wood Condition: Some Lite User Marks, Bore Condition: Bright and Shiny, Barrels: 30″, Triggers: Double Triggers, Stock: Checkered English Grip, Stock Dimensions: 14 1/4″ LOP, Fore End: Checkered Splinder, Butt Pad: Checkered Butt, Weight: 6 Lbs 14 Oz., Sights: Front Bead, Chokes: IC & LMOD Price:$1,849.99
But…the stock on this Sterlingworth looks right for a Fox. So how did it get there? It may have been special ordered, the gun may maybe have gone back to the factoy for it, or this Sterlingworth may have been restocked by someone who really knew what they were doing.
Regardless, this little 20g side-by-side is a nice gun. With ejectors it’s rare, too. Overall, I think it’s a good deal.
Fox Sterlingworth SxS 20 Gauge Ejectors Nice Wood!!: 28″ barrels 14″ LOP 1 .75 drop at comb. 2.5 drop at heel. 2 weight barrels. Choked M/Cyl. Bores are bright and shiny. Bluing on barrels is in great shape with no dents. Muzzle has some minor handling marks. Case coloring is 40-50%. Screws are in good shape and the slots are not rolled over. Bluing on trigger gaurd show some wear around serial numbers. Top lever is right of center. Showing that it locks tight and has been gently used. Automatic saftey link is still there and working. Stock finish is in nice shape. I do not see any splits or cracks in wood. Butt plate in great shape. Checkering in great shape. Price:$2,650.
I’ve written this before, but if Webley & Scott is the Ford of British gunmaker, the Model 700 is their F150 pickup. Introduced in the 1950’s, the rugged and reliable M700 was the double of choice for thousands of shooters in the UK and Europe.
But almost all those Webleys were 12 gauges. The Brits have never loved the smaller bores, and their gunmakers have never made 16s & 20s in great numbers. That’s one of the things that makes the side-by-sides you see here special. The other thing that makes them unique is their condition. Both of these SxSs look new – pretty impressive when you consider they’re at least 40 years old.
Webley & Scott Model 700 16 bore 30″ barrels: This is great well balanced bird gun. I think 16ga Webleys with 2 3/4″ chambers are harder to find than the 28ga guns. 16ga, 30″ barrels, Imp/ Full (.008/.036), 2 3/4″ chambers, semi-pistol grip stock, 14 1/2″x1 1/4″x2 1/8″ and cast off, 6 lbs. Two triggers, ejectors, grooved stock end, excellent codition. Barrel blue is 99%, case colors 99 %, wood 97 %. Bores are perfect with no dents or bulges. Price: $ 3995
Webley & Scott Model 700 20 bore 28″ barrels: High condition W & S Model 700 20 bore with rare 28″ barrels with 3″ chambers. Original Birmingham nitro 3 1/2 ton proof. Gun remains in proof. Little used. Game rib. Barrels have engine turned breech. 139xxx series made in Birmingham in the ’60s or ’70s. Lacquered original case colors. Original blacking. Slight wear at muzzles and sides of action from case. Shiny bores choked Skeet 1 right and Modified left. Double triggers. Pleasing wood and sharp checkering with a few marks. Blank oval. Checkered butt. Properly balanced gun. Weight approximately 5 lb 9 oz. Dimensions 14 5/8 x 14 1/2 x 14 3/4. Drop 1 3/8″ x 2″. Cast off 1/4″. Ejectors in time, no buggered screws! This is a nice, true English built gun. Price: $4795
If there’s a side-by-side that you could call the perfect starter double, Webley & Scott’s 700 is the gun. A basic boxlock built on the tried and trued Anson & Deeley action, 700s were made for decades.
They’ve always been great guns, and if you’re looking for a solid, reliable English shotgun that’s on the affordable side, it’s a great choice.
The one you see here, looks like it can be bought for $3,000 – a great price for a solid Birmingham boxlock in nearly-new condition. If this shotgun looks good to you, get on it now. The auction ends Wednesday, 6/12/2013 @ 12:07:43 PM ET.
The Brits have always liked lightweight 12 gauges. For most of their shooting, 1 to 1 1/8 ounces of lead are just right. Once they realized this, they built most of their doubles to shoot for this much lead. And those doubles are twelves.
Today, that means twenty-gauge British doubles are hard to find, especially ones like the W. & C. Scott you see here. This one has 28″ barrels, long stock (14 1/2″) and the high dimensions ( DAC 1 5/8″, DAH 2″) barrels and stock.
It also has condition. From what I can see, this Scott is very original. That’s incredible for a shotgun was made before the first World War. And it makes the price — just $3,995 –very fair. So fair, that I bet this SxS will be sold in a few days. If it looks good to you, buy it now.
Here’s more about it from the seller:
W. & C. Scott and Son, 20 GA BLE: 2 1/2″ chambers, bores are bright and shiny. In proof 7/8oz. 5# 9oz. 28″ barrels with both bores .617. Chokes are .027 full and.031 full. Barrels retain 90-95% original blue. Action and fore-end hardware retain 75% original vivid case color. DAC 1 5/8″, DAH 2″, LOP 14 1/2″to a checkered butt, Initial oval in stock is blannk. Cast off 3/8″. Nicely figured wood with sharp checkering. A hard to find 20GA English gun with shootable dimensions. Price: $3995.00
Sixteen-gauge O/Us are tough shotguns to find, especially ones made on true 16-gauge frames. Many of the 16g over-unders made in the last couple decades were really 12 gauge actions with smaller-gauge barrels mounted on them. That doesn’t appear to be the case with the Merkel you see here.
This double must have been made on a 16g frame. That’s the only way Merkel could have pushed the weight so low. The gun also has double triggers – a feature that makes it even more special.
If you like what you see, act now. This gun is on Gunbroker.com and the auction ends later today at 7:40:59 PM ET. Here are the vitals on it: 26 3/4″ bbls, 14″ LOP, weight just over 6 lbs. Appears to have ejectors and seller is saying that the bores are clean.
Holland & Holland Royal SXS 12 GAUGE: Made 1952. #339XX, 26″ bbls, Chokes 009 and 016, 2 3/4″ chambers, self opener, leather covered pad, excellent original condition with light handling marks. 6lbs 11oz . 14 3/4 LOP. Price: $37,500.00
Army-Navy Side-by-Side Double Rifle .470 Nitro Express: No. 45921, 25″ barrels. Built on the Webley Long Bar action, perhaps the strongest double rifle action ever made. Double triggers, ejectors and intercepting sears. Bores are good to very good with rifling square and tall. Wt.- 11 lbs. Pull- 14 1/2″ from front trigger. A super classic hunting rifle! Price: $29,500.00
Fr. Wilh. Heym Side Plate 20ga: 28” barrels, IMP CYL/MOD, SG/DT Leather pad, matt rib, cocking indicators, splinter for end, AE, doll’s head extension, 2 ¾”, Krupp steel barrels, pre-war. Extreme high quality gun. In its original compact leather case. The highest grade, side plate gun with magnificent semi-relief game scenes, of pointers, setters, fox and duck scene. Balance of receiver covered in semi-relief ornamental scroll, with deep chisel breeches. Retaining most all case color, barrel blue and wood finish. We have owned 12’s and 16’s but never had the opportunity of handling a 20 ga. This gun is of superior quality over most other guns. With perfect dimensions, light weight and fast, all of the best options and configuration, side clips, third fastener. The very best pre-war quality. 14 5/8” x 1 ½” x 2 3/8” 5lbs 13oz. Price: $14,500.00
A. H. Fox CE 12 Ga: Ser. No. 33915 12 Ga.- 2 3/4″ chambers- 30″ Chromox barrels choked M/F. DT, EJ, SF, Semi PG stock to hard butt. 14″ X 1 1/2″ X 2 1/2″. 60% CC, 95% blue and finish. A nice old Fox. Price: $6,500.00
London is the traditional source of the world’s best shotguns, and for good reason. Boss & Co., Purdey & Sons, Holland & Holland and other makers based their have been making fantastic doubles for over 150+ years. But Best-quality doubles have also come from other parts of the UK and Europe.
This 20 gauge sidelock by Gastinne Renette is one of them. Gastinne Renette was one of Europe’s most famous gunmakers. With a shop in Paris, they sold all sorts of firearms, from presentation-grade percussion rifles to this little double. And from what I can see of this 20 gauge, it’s on par with the finest shotguns from London and any other city in the world.
Merkel is not a gunmaker I associate with dynamic shotguns. Most of the Merkels I’ve seen have been stout O/Us with full pistol grips and robust forends. While these guns looked like they could chew through thousands of rounds without a glitch, they didn’t look like they would do it with any liveliness or grace.
That’s why this 20 gauge Merkel side-by-side that I saw at Julia’s on Saturday surprised me. It’s going to be sold tomorrow, 3/12, if you’re looking for a nice looking bird gun, it’s worth looking at and taking a shot on.
This Merkel was made in conjunction with L.L. Bean’s 100th anniversary, and I picked the gun I wasn’t expecting much. But I very impressed once I had the gun in my hands. This double has all the snap that I would expect to find in something British, and it was beautifully engraved and well finished. As the day went on and I looked at other doubles, I came back to this Merkel a few more times. I think this Merkel is one of the sleepers of the sale, and whoever gets it will get a nice shotgun — and probably a great deal.
Lot 2210:L.L. BEAN 100TH ANNIVERSARY PROTOTYPE MERKEL 147SL 20 GA. SIDELOCK EJECTOR SHOTGUN WITH CASE. SN 482432. Cal. 20 ga. 3″ Chambers. 28″ Shoe lump bbls with concave, matted game rib and crossbolt extension, are gold inlaid “L.L.Bean 002”. Two prototypes were manufactured. No. 001 was retained by the family. This gun(002)was the working prototype and has been handled, shot or positively reviewed by some of the most respected writers in the industry from Field & Stream, Shooting Sportsman, Upland Almanac, Sporting Classics and others. From an Upland Almanac review: “L.L.Bean should be very proud to put their name on this gun as it stands as a testament to their renowned quality, precision and well thought out products…a fantastic high quality shotgun that anyone would be product to own…the perfect shotgun to commemorate a century of excellence from this iconic company.”
It is now being offered by James D. Julia, Inc. with all proceeds going to National Wild Turkey Federation’s JAKES program to support getting more youth involved in the hunting and shooting sports. This will be the only L.L.Bean prototype that will ever be available to the public. Bbls are marked with Merkel’s address, grade and importer. Breech ends have 2-1/2″ triangles of well executed open shaded scroll. Bbl flats are stamped with German nitro proofs for 20 ga. 3″ chambers. Coin finished action with automatic safety, bushed strikers, raised rib tumbler end cocking indicators, detachable locks with H & H style takedown pin, side bolsters, and double triggers, is engraved with very fine scroll. Sideplates are semi-relief engraved, with well shaded sporting scenes of dogs and game birds; with pointer on point as trio of ruffed grouse explode from undergrowth on left lockplate; and a trio of woodcock are settling into alders on right. Top lever is gold inlaid “LL”.
Bottom of action is gold inlaid with “L.L.Bean, Inc.” and “100 Years” in scroll terminated ribands above and below gold inlaid rendition of the time honored and famous, rubber bottom and leather upper, Bean’s “Maine hunting shoe”, flanked by dates “1912” and “2012”. This fine engraving is the work of “B. Hafner” whose signature appears on bottom front of left lockplate. Nicely figured and smoky marbled European walnut straight grip buttstock measures 14-1/2″ over checkered wood butt, and features skip line point pattern checkering, as well as a vacant gold oval on toe line. Matching splinter ejector forend has Deeley release. Bore diameter: left-.625, right -.625. Bore restrictions: left -.014 (mod), right -.008 (IC). Wall thickness: left -.030, right -.031. Drop at heel: 2-1/2″, drop at comb: 1-7/16″. Weight: 6 lbs. 8 oz. LOP: 14-1/2″. High quality leather toe under case with stitched leather corners, has stitched on leather label embossed with the same treatment as bottom of action, depicting hunting shoe. Interior is lined in green felt with same label stitched in lid. Case contains cocobolo and brass two piece cleaning rod with mop, jag and brush in leather case, pair of snap caps, and a square plated oil bottle, along with an L.L.Bean wipe down cloth.
CONDITION: Excellent, near new, showing only some light, careful use, with a few almost invisible marks mostly on buttstock. Perfect bores, mechanically crisp. Ejectors are perfectly timed. Case is excellent, exterior showing some minor scuffs, straps and handle some use. Interior is excellent, as are accessories.
Here’s another Charles Daly side-by-side that’s selling at auction tomorrow. This is a Prussian/Lindner-made Daly, and if you follow this blog at all you know how much I like these shotguns. If you don’t follow it, you can read more about these Prussian/Lindner-made Dalys here.
Prussian Charles Daly Empire Grade Double Ejector shotgun: Serial #1051, 12 ga., 28″ matted rib Krupp steel barrels choked skeet and improved modified with bright excellent bores. The barrels retain 98% original blue having scattered scratches, particularly around the breech end and some fading at the muzzles. The scalloped frame is embellished with a panel of scroll and the Charles Daly name on both sides and it exhibits 80% vibrant case colors with some fading around the balls of the fences and on the bottom plate. The triggerguard also exhibits good color but showing a silver tang.
The nicely figured round knob pistol grip stock rates very good to excellent having a few handling marks over a gentle refinishing and very fine checkering with some rounded diamonds. The splinter forearm has a lever release which still exhibits some fading color and an ebony tip, and also rates very good to excellent as lightly refinished with fine crisp checkering.
The stock has a gold monogram plate in the toeline and an expertly added leather covered recoil pad providing a length of 14 1/4″ and drops of 1 5/8″ at the comb and 2 1/2″ at the heel with no cast. The gun features double triggers, ejectors, and automatic safety, and weighs 6 lbs. 3 ozs. This is a beautiful Lindner Daly built with the precision and craftsmanship that is the hallmark of these early Prussian doubles, and would make a wonderful lightweight upland double. (Estimate $3000/$4000)
This double popped up on Gunsinternational.com on Thursday, am, and by the early afternoon it was sold. It had it all: ejectors, double triggers, 28″ barrels, a beautiful stock (14 1/2″LOP), and lots of original finish. Best of all, it was cheap: just $3599.
Rock Island Auctions is holding their Spring Premiere Collector’s Firearms Auction
on April 20, 21 & 22. Here’s a 12 gauge and a 20 gauge Westley Richards double barrel shotguns that caught my eye. These both look very original. BTW: if you’re interested in these guns, make sure you have a qualified gunsmith inspect them before you bid.
Description: This Westley Richards shotgun comes with two 20 gauge, 27 inch barrel sets numbered to the gun with each set sharing a checkered forearm and having a single brass bead front sight, 2 3/4 inch chambers, ejectors and a solid rib marked “WESTLEY RICHARD & CO., BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND”. The first set has improved modified/extra full choked barrels with a gold letter “C” on the rib near the breech. The second set has improved modified/modified choked barrels. The scalloped action has gold “WESTLEY RICHARDS” in a banner accented with scrollwork on the sides. The shotgun has double triggers and a tang safety. The nicely figured straight grip stock is checkered and has a blank initial oval and bare checkered butt. Length of pull is 14 1/2 inches. Comes with a locking takedown case with a Westley Richards label on the inside of the lid and accessories. The following accessories are included: two snap caps, two piece cleaning rod with attachments, and oiler.
Condition: Excellent. Both barrel sets retain 98% original blue finish showing some mild thinning. The receiver retains 97% original case colors. The wood is also excellent with some minor handling marks. Checkering is crisp overall.
Catalog description: Single bead sight, “WESTLEY RICHARDS & CO. LTD. BIRMINGHAM. ENGLAND” marked solid rib, 2 3/4 inch chambers, choked improved modified/improved cylinder, and ejectors. Scalloped box lock action marked in gold “WESTLEY RICHARDS” on both sides. Double triggers and tang safety with replacement forearm. Checkered straight grip stock with blank initial oval and bare checkered butt. Length of pull is 14 1/2 inches. Comes with a takedown case with a paper Westley Richards label attached to the inside of the lid, oiler, four snap caps, and cleaning rod with attachments
Condition: Excellent. The barrels retain 95% original blue finish showing some minor thinning with a series of tool like marks near the breech (left barrel) The right barrel shows dent repair at mid point. The receiver retains 90% original case colors. The wood is fine with a number of minor handling marks and overall crisp checkering. Two small holes have been drilled on the butt. Case is very good overall.
A little while ago, this discussion came up over at Doublegunshop.com regarding how a new stock on a double barrel shotgun would affect the gun’s overall value.
I contend that when all’s equal, restocked shotguns are always worth less than comparable, 100% original models. This is regardless of who restocks the gun or the quality of the work (in the online disussion, I’m the PITA who goes by Obsessed-with-Doubles).
Others disagreed. They felt that a properly restocked shotgun was just as valuable as one with the original wood, especially in the UK markets.
This leads us to the point of this post. On 4/18, we have the chance to put the BS to the test.
Catalog info: 29-inch replacement barrels by the maker (no. 9995), with 2 1/2-inch chambers, about 1/4 and 1/2 choke boring, the frame, locks and gold numbered top lever with fine bouquet and scroll engraving and retaining traces of hardening colour, gold lined cocking indicator, rolled edge trigger guard, 14 1/4-inch well figured replacement stock, 6lb. 11oz., nitro proof, lightweight leather case with reproduction label.
The maker confirms that the gun was rebarelled in 1988 and restocked at the same time. Bores/walls: Rt: 729/28 & Lt: 729/28.
To clear things up a bit, I emailed a few more questions to the auctioneer. Here’s the response I received from Gavin Gardiner:
“As you can see, the gun is a very attractive example, that was rebarreled and restocked by the makers in the late 1980’s. Since then the gun has been little used. The barrels have not been re-blacked since that time and neither has the furniture(lever, guard etc… though this will have been re-blacked when the gun was rebarreled). The hardening colour that remains on the action is the original. The barrels remain as new and are free from any pits bulges or dents and measure as for new. The gun is clean, crisp and tight and everything is functioning as it should. As I said, it appears little used since refurbishment, and is an excellent example that is ready to be used right away.”
Granted, this Boss has been more than restocked. It has also been rebarreled. But all the work has been done by Boss – the side-by-side’s original maker. So this should be the ultimate test of the “if it’s done right, it’s fine” line of reasoning.
Once this auction ends, we’ll compare this lot’s final price to what all original Boss sidelocks are bringing. This will give us a sense of how the market values restocking & new barrels.
For now, here’s a list of vintage Boss sidelock doubles on the US market. Take a look and check out what you get for your money.
Lot 180: E. M. Reilly & Co. 12-bore sidelock ejector, No. 33922
30-inch damascus barrels with 2 1/2-inch chambers, about improved cylinder and full choke boring, doll’s head extension, the frame, back action bar lock and top lever with bouquet and scroll engraving and retaining much original hardening colour, 14 3/4-inch well figured stock, 6lb. 9oz., nitro proof. Bores/walls: Rt: 734/26 & Lt: 736/26. Estimate: £1,800-2,400
Pros: Looks like it could be very original. Good bores, good walls, damascus bbls, excellent maker, nice weight.
Cons: Not sure of the quality of the gun – would have to see more pics. Wood & bbls could be refinished, same with toplever & triggerguard. Again, would have to see more pics.
This is the kind of double that makes me drool. It’s probably from around 1890 -1895 and it has that great vintage look. It looks like it has escape the British refinish mill, too.
Most Belgian double barrel shotguns get a bad rap in this country. Unless they’re by one of the big names, like Francotte or Lebeau Courally, nobody wants them. That’s too bad, really. There a lot of barely know Belgian makers out there, and many of them made fantastic guns. In fact, some of these guns are on par with best-grade shotguns from the big English makers.
The good part of this is that these guns are fantastic values. While you can easily spend 2x-3x more for a bigger English name, or something trendy from Italy, you won’t be buying that much more gun.
Here are a few examples on the market right now:
An Ernest Wilmart 12 gauge sidelock ejector: Of the three gunmakers listed here, Ernest Wilmart is the only one I could find some information on. The firm was founded in 1879. This gun is a very fine sidelock ejector, finished and engraved and a very “Belgian” style. While its aesthetics may not be to your liking, it’s quality is pretty apparent. If this gun had a good decent British name on it, it would be priced in the $15,000 range. Right now, I think it’s still $3000-$4000 over priced. How many guys do you know who are lusting for a Wilmart?
A DeFourney 16 gauge sidelock ejector side by side: This is a name I’ve heard. There were several DeFourney (or Defournys) in the Liege from about 1870 and on. I’m not sure which one made this gun. But whoever did knew what they were doing. If you put this gun side by side with a Holland & Holland Royal, I think you would have a hard time telling me what makes the Holland worth $20,000 more. This little 16 gauge is THAT nice. These days, the engraving alone would cost more than the $7,000 asking price.