A few years after I became obsesses with doubles, I stumbled into a job at gunshop called New England Arms. Located in Kittery Point, ME, New England Arms (NEA) was the finest gunshop in the world back then (we’re talking 1999) and the SxSs and OUs they had on their floor went from Fox Sterlingworths and Parker AH-grades to Purdeys, Bosses and Fabbris.
New England Arms also had these OUs built by for them in Italy by Fabbrica Armi Isidoro Rizzini (FAIR). These guns were built on the classic Brescian triggerplate action and used a Boss/Woodward-inspired lockup. They were solid, reliable guns, great for hunting. The one you see here is special with it’s double triggers, straight stock, and subtly color-case hardened action. At $1,150, I don’t see how it’s not a deal.
FAIR Rizzini NEA 500 OU 28 Gauge: With Imp & Mod Choke Tubes. It is in good shape with normal wear from shooting sporting clays. Straight English syle stock with double triggers and automatic ejectors. Excellent price for this shotgun. Chambers: 2 3/4″, Ejectors: Yes, Condition: Good , Barrels: 28″, Triggers: Double, LOP: 14.5″, Chokes: Imp / Mod Price:$1,150
Ithaca 1911 Grade 4E Flues SXS 20ga with Ejectors 28″ Krupp Fluid Steel Barrels Beautiful: Wow, what a nice piece to add to anyone’s Collection, very early, 1911 Ithaca Flues Grade 4 Side by Side 20ga Shotgun with 28″ Barrels. Price:$5,999
Model: Flues 4E
Serial Number: 214159
Metal Condition: Excellent
Wood Condition: Excellent
Bore Condition: Mirror
Manufacture Date: 1911
Engraving: Grade 4 Yes!
Ansley H. Fox Side By Side 20 Gauge “A E” Grade: This shotgun’s serial number is 202993. It is a 20 gauge shotgun fitted with auto ejectors and double triggers The barrels are 28 inches long. These barrels have the solid rib. They are choked Full and Full. The “pull’ is 14 and 3/8 inches from the front trigger. The recoil pad is a “Old English” style pad. The barrels have no dents or blemishes. The barrels are made with chromox fluid compressed steel. The barrels also say Made By A.H. Fox Gun Co. Phila. Pa. U.S.A. The engraving is sharp and clean. The checkering is in very fine condition with sharp diamonds. This shotgun locks up tight. The automatic safety works smoothly. The wood finish is in fully intact condition and pleasing to the eye. The rust blued barrels would rate a 98% condition. The color cased finish is faded on the receiver. This is a very nice condition A. H. Fox Shotgun that will fit well for the collector as well as the shooter. Price:$5500
BROWNING SUPERPOSED 12 GA SUPERLITE OU SHOTGUN: MADE IN BELGIUM IN 1967. FIRST YEAR OF THE SUPERLITES. BARRELS ARE 26 INCHES WITH A SOLID RIB AND CHOKED I.C. AND MOD. 98% CONDITION. Price:$3,000
Metal Condition: EXCELLENT
Wood Condition: EXCELLENT
Bore Condition: EXCELLENT
LOP: 14 1/4
Weight: 6.7 PDS
PARKER BROS, SXS, VH, 12 GA: 1 1/2 Frame, 28”, IM& F, DT, Capped Pistol Grip, Splinter Forearm, Matted Concave Rib, Scroll Border Engraving, Casehardened Receiver , Pad, sn 219xxx, A nice all original gun with lots of casecolors and nice modern dimensions, Dimensions 1 1/2 x 2 3/8 x 14 1/4 with 0 cast, Weight 7#3oz, ID 3439, EXC. Condition. Price:$2495
Back when I first got into doubles, I visited a shop called New England Arms in Kittery Point, ME. At the time, New England Arms was the best gunshop in the world, and sitting in its racks were hundreds of shotguns: Purdeys, Holland & Hollands, Fox XEs, Francottes and on and on. I was impressed — blown away, really — so much so that four months later I quit a great job in the corporate world to go work there.
This was back in 1999, and at that time New England Arms was introducing a new line of over-under shotguns to the American market. These O/Us were made in Italy for NEA by Fabbrica Armi Isidoro Rizzini (F.A.I.R) and the 16 gauge you see here is one of those guns. It’s on Gunbroker.com now and the online auctions end 4/13/2015 @ 12:42:41 PM ET.
The NEA/FAIR O/Us are solid, reliable doubles. The sixteens were built on true 16-gauge frames, and that’s why they’re pretty lightweight. This one comes in at 6lbs, 3oz, – pretty trim for an O/U with 28″ bbls and a 14 1/2″ LOP.
FAIR I. Rizzini 16 gauge 28″ barrels: Excellent condition 16 gauge O/U. 28″ barrels. 14.5″ LOP. 6 pounds 3 ounces. Comes with Briley Chokes: SK, IC, LM, LM, M, IM. The gun has been fired less than 1000 times.
It has been a busy month for me – work, getting ready for the hunting season, walking Lexi, keeping the wife happy with non gun/dog related activities, writing, etc. All this has left me with little time for Dogs & Doubles. I’m trying to do better, though., and I’ll do all I can to be more consistent with my posts in the month to come.
Lexi and I headed down to Orvis’s Game Fair and Country Sports Weekend last Saturday. The event was at the Sandanona Shooting Grounds in Millbrook, NY — a very nice place north of New York City. It seemed to be well attended, with a mix of hunters, gun folks, outdoorsy types, and people curious to find out what it was all about.
There were a lot of guns on display, plus dog demos, shooting, and other events. Overall, it was a fun time, and I’m already looking forward to next year. This event does a great job of welcoming new people into shooting and exposing them to fine doubles. I hope Orvis continues it for years to come.
I saw a couple interesting doubles, some new, some old. The Merkel Paragon pictured here was one of them. It was absolutely stunning – a 20g sidelock with 32″ bbls, built on a Merkel 303 actioin. I know Merkel offered these guns in the late ’20s. I think they were the highest grade offered to the American market, This is the only one I’ve seen – or anyone else I know has seen. It was an absolutely spectacular shotgun.
Lexi and I are making the long drive over tomorrow to the Orvis Game Fair and Country Sports Weekend in Millbrook, NY. This event is held at the Sandnona Shooting Grounds – a very nice place – and it should be a lot of fun. There will be a lot going on, from shooting to displays by gun dealers, shooting preserves, and other vendors in the outdoor world.
I’ll be hanging around with the folks from Covey Rise. Lexi will be crazy pointer who wants to be friends with everyone. Please say hello if you see us.
If you’re looking for a decent upland gun, you should take a look at this FAIR/NEA Model 500 O/U. It appears to be in excellent, original condition, and at $1,429.99 , it’s a good deal.
FAIR is an acronym for Fabbrica Armi Isidoro Rizzini, an Italian maker who has been around since 1971. NEA was the notorious New England Arms, the high-end gun dealer known as “The Finest Gunshop in the World” and “The Most Dangerous Place to Buy a Double.” NEA worked with FAIR in the late 1990s to develop a line of O/U shotguns for the US market. The Model 500 started out as the least expensive model in that line, but it was replaced a couple years later by the Model 400. There were also a couple upper-grade models – the Model 700 and the Model 900. Each model came in 12 gauge, 16 gauge, 20 gauge, 28 gauge, and .410.
All the FAIR/NEA over-unders were built on the reliable trigger-plate style actions featured on many modern Italian O/Us, and their single triggers were sound and dependable.
New England Arms in Kittery Point, ME, used to be the finest gunshop in the world. At their peak, the shop usually had a couple hundred used guns on hand — everything from high-grade Lefevers and Parkers shotguns to Boss O/Us and Holland & Holland double rifles. They were also North America’s largest importer of Arrieta shotguns, and they also brought in new doubles by Italian makers Bosis, Bertuzzi, Flli Rizzini, and Fabbri.
Starting in 1999, they also brought in a line of O/Us made by F.A.I.R (Fabrrica Armi Di Isidoro Rizzini). These were solid, well made guns designed by NEA and built on a time-tested Italian triggerplate action. The one below was one of the fancier grades offered. It’s probably a decade old, and it looks to me like a heck of deal.
New England Arms (NEA) FAIR 702 20 gauge in the perfect configuration: 28″ over-under barrels are in excellent condition with clean, smooth bores, choked IC/M and bluing in great original condition. The straight English stock is an extremely well figured walnut with strong marbling. The case is blued with inset gold wire engraving scroll and lettering details. This gun only has the expected normal wear – some micros cratches. No gouges, chips, cracks, large scratches, etc. Schnabel forend. I have had this gun for a few years but only been able to shoot it twice. It fits and moves well (LOP is about 14″). Price: $2,200
Upland hunters: If you’re looking for one shotgun that can handle it all, this 16 gauge FAIR O/U is it. And at $1,199, it’s a steal.
FAIR stands for Fabbrica Armi Isidoro Rizzini, and Italian company that has been around since 1971. Since 1999, various importers have been bought them into the US and today it looks Cabela’s is at least one of the companies selling them.
A lot of the modern 16 gauge O/Us that you see are built on 12 gauge frames. This can make these shotguns heavy and clunky. So it’s nice to see that FAIR’s 16 gauge O/Us are built on true sixteen gauge frame.
Here’s more about the shotgun from the seller’s listing:
True sixteen gauge over and under shotguns are tough to find. By “true” I mean O/Us with actions scaled for sixteen gauge barrels. When a 16-gauge O/U is built on a 12-gauge action, it looses these handling benefits and makes itself obsolete.
This 16 gauge FAIR over-under is far from that. In fact, it’s a great double, a true step up from a 20, but lighter and quicker than a 12. FAIR shotguns were imported by New England Arms from about 1999-2005. I’ve seen a lot of them and most of them have been nice guns.