The Manufrance Ideal is an odd double. With its unique underlever opening/cocking lever, sleek, light weight, rounded action, and retractable sling, it’s sort of the Citroën of side by sides. But even though it’s peculiar, the Ideal is also one of handiest upland shotguns ever.
Manufacture d’ Armes de Saint Etienne introduced the Ideal in 1887 and they made them into ’60s. The company built around 79,000 of them, but few of these doubles were imported into the US. Many of the ones we see here were brought in one at a time by Americans who picked them up overseas. Few of those are are nice Grade 2 20 gauges like the one below:
Here’s more about it from the seller:
MANUFRANCE IDEAL GRADE 2 RARE 20 GAUGE: Hate to use the term rare or unique but have to on this Manufrance Ideal grade 2 20 gauge. I have researched on line and have not found but one grade 2 in 12 gauge and it was not in nice condition. This grade 2 still has a lot of case coloring, the bluing is probably 95 %. The LOP is 13 7/8 to end of bone butt plate DOC is 1 ½ and DOH is 3”. The choke is cylinder & .028 full and wieghs a nice 5# 14oz with a swamp rib or Churchill rib.. The stock may need to be redone but really high grade French Walnut. You can see in one of the picture the 2 screws need to be redone as someone did not know how to use a screw driver. The stock has a built in retractable sling. Price: 4450.00 OBO