Gone! Yesterday’s 20 gauge is already sold…

20 gauge Charles Smith & Son Boxlock Ejector Double Barrel Shotgun

Wow – that was quick. This nice, original 20 gauge Charles Smith & Son side by side that I wrote about yesterday is already sold.

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.

20 gauge Charles Smith & Son Boxlock Ejector Double Barrel Shotgun
20 gauge Charles Smith & Son Boxlock Ejector Double Barrel Shotgun

Good gun alert: this one won’t be on the market long…

20 gauge Charles Smith & Son Boxlock Ejector Double Barrel Shotgun
20 gauge Charles Smith & Son Boxlock Ejector Double Barrel Shotgun

Nice, original 20 gauge British doubles are hard to find – especially boxlocks as nice as this Charles Smith & Son side by side.

With 28″ barrels, ejectors, a 14 1/2″ stock, lots of original finish, and a very fair price (just $3599), I bet it won’t be around for very long.

Guess this Greener’s secret…

W.W. Greener made a lot of beautiful side-by-side shotguns, including this little 16 gauge. But this double has a secret. Take a look and see if you can spot it.

W.W. Greener Double Barrel, Side-by-Side 16 gauge shotgun
W.W. Greener Double Barrel, Side-by-Side 16 gauge shotgun
W.W. Greener Double Barrel, Side-by-Side 16 gauge shotgun
W.W. Greener Double Barrel, Side-by-Side 16 gauge shotgun
W.W. Greener Double Barrel, Side-by-Side 16 gauge shotgun
W.W. Greener Double Barrel, Side-by-Side 16 gauge shotgun
W.W. Greener Double Barrel, Side-by-Side 16 gauge shotgun
W.W. Greener Double Barrel, Side-by-Side 16 gauge shotgun

The secret: sleeved barrels. See the seam in the pic above? That’s what give the sleeving job away. Sleeving isn’t a bad thing. Done right, it can revive an old double and give it another century of life. From the looks of things, I’m sure that’s the case with this Greener.

Style…

When it comes to bird dogs, different breeds hunt in different ways. This is especially true with Continental and English Pointers.

Last weekend when I was out with Bob I had a chance to see these differences in action. Check out these videos to see what a mean.

This is my English Pointer, Puck. Check out how high she holds her head. She’s also a bit rangier and more dynamic in the field.

This is Bob’s GSP Nelly. She’s an easy-handling, closer ranging bird dog. Check out how she holds her head lower and looks for scent closer to the ground. Her body tends to “rocking horse” a bit.

Where Pointers Come from, Part 2…

Pointing Dogs: Volume One, The Continentals
Pointing Dogs: Volume One, The Continentals

The story of pointing dogs is full of half truths,  distortions, and outright lies. Craig Koshyk has dedicated thousands of hours separating fact from fiction, and he put it all together in his excellent book Pointing Dogs: Volume One, The Continentals.

Here’s the intro:

“The French revolution began in 1789. When it was Over 11 years later, Napoleon was in power and nearly every aspect of French life, including hunting and dog breeding, had changed forever. Some of the changes were positive. The revolution had given the average French citizen the right to hunt. But for the dogs kept in the kennels 
of aristocrats, the revolution spelled disaster. Many were slaughtered outright and others were stolen, but most were simply released to roam the countryside….”

You can read the rest of the story here, in The History of Pointing Dogs Part 2: Progress. And you can read part 1 of the story here.

Good Gun Alert: a Webley & Scott Model 700 12 gauge…

Webley & Scott Model 700 12 ga.
Webley & Scott Model 700 12 ga.

If Webley & Scott was the Ford of British gunmakers, the Model 700 was their F150 pickup. Rugged and dependable, the M700 was introduced in the 1950s as an entry-level shotgun and it went of to become one of the most popular side-by-sides ever made.

This 12 gauge Model 700 side-by-side on Gunbroker.com is a great example of how good a gun they could build, and of how a nice double don’t have to cost a fortune. It would be great for grouse and woodcock. Because it has been inspected, overhauled and maintained by one of the top gunsmiths in the country, you know it will be surprise free.

Webley & Scott Model 700 12 ga.
Webley & Scott Model 700 12 ga.

Specs:

-12 ga. with 26″ barrels, modern 2 3/4″ chambers and proofs (Birmingham proofed at 3 1/4 tons), choked R .011″ L .024″ (IC, IMod)

-Double triggers, splinter fore-end, straight grip stock

-Ejectors

-Stock – 1 3/8 x 2 x 15 LOP (15 1/8 x 15 x 15 3/8)

-Weighs 6 lbs 9 oz

-Bores are clean; no dents, dings or bulges on barrels

 

Daily Double: 12 gauge Frederick Williams boxlock non ejector…

12 gauge Frederick Williams Boxlock Double Barrel Shotgun
12 gauge Frederick Williams Boxlock Double Barrel Shotgun

Ejectors are unnecessary for most of the shooting I do. Even though I like the gratifying punfk! that spent shells make when they’re kicked from the barrels, I can’t think of a situation where this feature has actually benefited me.

I  bet this is true for most shotgun shooters in the US. That’s why non-ejector British boxlocks like this 12 gauge by Frederick Williams make so much sense for us. These guns are tend to be very well made, and because they’re non ejectors, they usually cost 1/3 less than models with them

12 gauge Frederick Williams Boxlock Double Barrel Shotgun
12 gauge Frederick Williams Boxlock Double Barrel Shotgun

Frederick Williams was an English gunmaker with operations in Birmingham and London from 1884 to 1950. I’ve seen all sorts of guns by him, from models like this boxlock to nicely finished sidelocks like this. From what I can see, this non ejector boxlock looks like pretty original and it could be a great deal at just $1,299.

 

12 gauge Frederick Williams Boxlock Double Barrel Shotgun
12 gauge Frederick Williams Boxlock Double Barrel Shotgun

Huge gun brings a big price at Julia’s…

How much would you pay for a 4 gauge double barrel shotguns? For one person, the answer was $86,250.00. That’s what this 4 bore Dickson brought the other day at Julia’s March 2012 auction.

4 gauge Dickson Double Barrel Shotgun, Julia's March 2012
4 gauge Dickson Double Barrel Shotgun, Julia's March 2012

With 42″ barrels, and weighing in at over 22 pounds, this gun is a beast. Eccentric British collector Charles Gordonhad it made for him in the 19th century. The gun has seen a little refinishing, but it’s still in excellent overall condition.

BTW: This 4 bore is not a punt gun.  Punt guns were larger, usually attached to small boats (called punts) and used shoot flocks of ducks and geese. This Dickson would have been fired from the shoulder and used to pass shoot larger waterfowl including swans.

Here’s a 4 bore punt gun in action:

Here’s a guy firing a 4 bore from the shoulder at sporting clays.

Upland Hunting — the 2011 season begins…

The upland hunting season in Maine started on October 1st. But due to the crummy weather, my first day chasing grouse and woodcock was this past Saturday – 10/8. It was hot out all day – above 80 degrees at the peak – and the leaves were still up and very green. It looked like September. Right now fall’s about 2 weeks behind. I hope colder weather is on the way. I want those leaves down.

The hunting was hard. The thick cover and heat teamed up on us to make the shooting tough and the walking even harder. I went out with Master Maine Guide Bob Foshay. I’ve been hunting with Bob for the past 6 years. He’s 79 now and still going strong. We went out with his GSP Nelly and my girl Puck. In all, we moved 10 woodcock and 2 grouse – not bad. I shot two grouse. From here the season should only get better. Now if only those leaves would turn and drop.

The rise of the tail…

You’ve heard it before: England and America are two countries separated by a common language. They have bespoke, we have custom. They have lorries, we have trucks. Differences like this occur in the gun world, too. The Brits shoot; we hunt. They wear tweed; we wear blaze. And their pointers and setters point with flat tails, while our dogs hold there tails high and straight.

This hasn’t always been the case. Our dogs mimicked used to mimic their ancestors in the UK. Take a look at the engraving on this old Parker and you’ll see old-timey American hunting dogs with their tails level with the ground. But in the last 50-60 years, new, American style pointers and setters have emerged. One of big differences in these dogs is their tails – how they hold them and how long they are.

English Pointer - Old time tail
English Pointer - Old time tail

 

Pointer & Setter, tails starting to rise
Pointer & Setter, tails starting to rise

 

 

 

 

 

 

Modern English Pointer in US, Nitro's Elhew All American
Modern English Pointer in US, Nitro's Elhew All American
Modern English Pointers in Scotland
Modern English Pointers in Scotland

Everyone loves puppies…

Craig Doherty up at Wild Apple Kennel  emailed me the other day with this video of the pups his female Indian Creek Triple Rail just had.

Wild Apple Kennels English Pointer Pups
Wild Apple Kennels English Pointer Pups

Craig’s three-time champion Wild Apple Jack sired the litter and I’m sure these pups will make fantastic grouse and woodcock dogs. You can find out more about the breeding and pups here.

For fun, here’s another video of pointer puppies to enjoy.

Just-barely-spring woodcock…

For over a month now, the woodcock have been making their way further into New England. They arrived in southern Maine a few weeks ago. As the snow has melted away, they’ve crept further north.

And another one!
Woodcock - right over there!

It amazes me how far these little birds travel each year. I’ve read that some them start in New Brunswick and make it as far south as Louisiana. Then they turn and repeat–every fall and every spring. That’s an incredible trip for a bird that’s the size of a softball.

Puck and I start chasing woodcock as early in the spring as we can. Even though we can’t hunt them, I love to get the dog out, give her some birdwork, and just see the woodcock.  By the end of April the birds start nesting up, so we leave them alone. We’ll go back into the woods around the fourth of July, the same time we start looking for grouse again.

In this series of pics, you can see how much snow is still in our covers, plus the kind of spots where we first find woodcock this time of year. Since woodcock feed heavily on earthworms, they need open, unfrozen ground to forage and feed on.

Still a lot of snow in my woodcock cover
Still a lot of snow in my woodcock cover
Leaves on an Ash? tree
Leaves on an Ash? tree
Point! First one of the day
Point! First one of the day
Point number two
Point number two
There one goes--woodcock on the wing
There goes one--a woodcock on the wing
Bare ground where the woodcock were hanging
Bare ground where the woodcock were hanging
Wild flush, but Puck holds her point
Wild flush, but Puck holds her point
There goes another one!
There goes another one!
Warmer ground with a wet seep
Warmer ground with a wet seep
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