Of all the odd-ball shotguns I’ve handled, from Darnes and Manufrance Ideals to Lancaster 4-bbls, the SuperBritteis my favorite and the only one I would like to own. Unlike those other weird guns, the SuperBritte’s quirkiness is a benefit–instead of an impediment.
While the side-opening action and sidelever look odd, they made the gun extremely trim, lively, and easy to use. Learning how to operate a SuperBritte takes a box of shells or so. Then you discover it’s as easy to shoot as a SxS, but with pointability and precision of an OU.
A Belgian gunmaker named Theophile Britte patented the “SUPERBRITTE” side-opening OU shotgun in 1931. “Super” refers to “superimposed” (French for Over Under). Britte — obviously — his name and the name of well-known Belgian gunmaker.
The Britte gunmaking company built SuperBrittes from 1932 to 1936. Only 250 of them were completed. Sometime in the 1990s, Griffin & Howe acquired a small collection of finished SuperBritte OUs plus several 12-gauge SuperBritte action/barrel sets. I think the SuperBritte you see here is one of the original, completed guns in the batch Griffin & Howe’s acquired.
SuperBritte – Side Opening – 16 ga – OU – Shotgun: Ejectors: Yes, Trigger: Double, Grip: Straight Grip, Forend: Checkered Lop: 15 3/8 “, Pad thickness: 1 ” ,Type of butt: Leather Covered Pad, Drop comb: 1 1/2 “, Drop heel: 2 3/8 “, Cast amount: 3/8 “, Cast: Off, Weight: 6 lbs, 6 oz Manufactured in: Belgium, Finish: Coin, Overall condition: Very Good, Stock condition: Very Good, Metal condition: Very Good, Stock: Original finish, Metal: Original finish, Type of Case: G&H luggage case, Extra barrels: 0 Barrel info: Gauge: 16 ga, Chamber: 2 3/4 “, Length: 27 1/2 “, Chokes: M/IM, Rib type: Solid, Comments : A very unique side open action. Gun is in very good condition. Price:$30,000
Boss & Co is one of my favorite gunmakers–and for good reason. Not only have they made some of the most beautiful and finest shotguns and rifles ever, but during their Robertson era, they were also innovators. One of their greatest creations was the Boss single trigger, developed by Robertson in the 1890s.
To show off the effectiveness and reliability of his new singles triggers (and of his firm’s gunmaking skills), Robertson had Boss & Co build a couple 3-barreled SxSxS shotguns. Of the ones they made, this is the only one still around. Asking price: $333,333.00
The following is from an email Griffin & Howe sent me about it this gun:
“As a promotion for his single trigger, Robertson engineered among the most important shotguns to emerge from the Boss & Co. London workshop in the company’s 205-year history: the triple-barrel SxSxS that incorporated a single trigger. Although a marvel of ingenuity, the shotgun actually reveals the lengths that Robertson went in order to demonstrate the feasibility and safety of the single trigger to a skeptical marketplace.
Robertson certainly wasn’t the first gunmaker to experiment with a single trigger. Single-trigger sporting guns had been tinkered with by various gunmakers as far back as the late 17th century. An array of patents had been filed for them in England. Between 1893 and 1895, however, Robertson had applied for three single-trigger patents, each more sophisticated than the previous. By 1894, he had successfully demonstrated the single trigger on a side by side to the sporting press in London.
Still, Robertson must have felt that he needed to do more in order to validate his single trigger. Thus, over a two-year period, he set about building a 12-bore prototype, triple-barrel, SxSxS shotgun that relied on the single trigger.
Understandably, it is extremely difficult and expensive to make such a gun. Nonetheless, it was Robertson’s way of “cocking a snoot” at the London gun trade who had been trying to verbally undermine the flawless operation of the Boss single-trigger system.
The first SxSxS prototype of the Boss & Co. was a 12-bore built in 1898 with serial number 4605. Since it was never actually ordered, no reference appears in the Boss Order Ledgers. Number 4605 was subsequently sold to a Mr. Herbert Lawton on July 3, 1922 (24 years later). Mr. Roy Lyu, former General Manager of Boss & Co, Best Gunmakers, reports it was lost in a house fire while in the custody of Lawton.
On July 3, 1899 Boss & Co. was commissioned by Signor W. Baldi of Florence, Italy to build a 16 bore SxSxS shotgun that fired with the famous, patented single trigger design concomitant with the Boss & Co name. This gun was completed on June 21, 1901 bearing serial number 4690. The length of delivery time confirmed the complexity of the build process.
With the loss of number 4605, 4690 is the world’s only known enduring example. It has been entrusted to Griffin & Howe for sale, marking the first time the only 16-bore SxSxS has become generally available. The overall condition and considerable amount of case color remaining belies its 117 years of age. It is offered at $333,333.33.00
FABBRI – PIGEON GUN IN 12 GAUGE – HAND MADE IN 1966: Here is a hand made Fabbri Pigeon Gun with 29 5/8″ barrels. Spectacular engraving featuring ribbons, scroll, vines and flowers. Gold Inlay pigeon in the forend. Bores at .732. Briley chokes. Chambers at 2 3/4″. Barrels are Phoenix Steel and marked as such. Weight of gun is 7 LBS 10 1/4 OZ. Leather case as shown. Shipping and insurance is $80. Stock dimensions follow. LOP 14 3/8″ (13″ to end of wood). Drop at Comb – 1 7/16″. Drop at Heel – 1 3/4″. Price:$27,500
HOLLOWAY 28 BORE- JENKINSON in N.Y. IMPORT- MADE in 1952- REMAINS in 99% OVERALL COND.- EXC. ENGLISH DETAIL & WORKMANSHIP- NICE PIECE:
#700 Holloway, G & S: A 28 Bore English Boxlock Ejector Game Gun that was imported by B. (Bob) Jenkinson, New York, N. Y. and so marked, Jenkinson imported a fair number of English guns in the 50’s & 60’s and I believe nearly all were made by Holloway, This 28 Bore was made in 1952, 26″ dovetail lump barrels at .550 .013 & .016″ (Mod. & Imp. Mod.), Original 2 3/4″ chambers, Proved in Birmingham at 3/4 ounce, Double triggers, Splinter forend with an Anson release, Straight hand stock at 14 3/4 x 1 1/2 x 2 1/4″ over a checkered butt, Slight cast-off with a swept comb that points like a dream, 28 bore weight at 5 lbs. 1 oz., 60% coverage of English scroll, Nice wood, The original barrel blue at 99%, The gun retains 98% original bright & vivid case colors, The stock finish is original and at 99%, The checkering at 100%, The blue on the floorplate, trigger guard, trigger guard tang and forend metal is 99%, The bores are as new from breech to muzzle, The gun is smack on the face with plenty of bite, The barrels ring with a nice chime. This is flat out one nice 1952 English boxlock with excellent workmanship on both the metal & wood. The stock inletting is superb and the checkering is as well cut as you will find on any English Best Sidelock. This is like buying it new in 1952. The Jenkinson serial # is 700 and the Holloway # is 22734. /////////////////////////////////// Holloway & Co. has been around since the 19th century. They had premises at 10-12 & 14 Vesey Street in Birmingham. In 1901 Tommy Naughton was the manager at Holloway & Co. and he bought the firm and it became Holloway & Naughton Ltd. but they continued business separately. G & S (George & Sidney) Holloway were for the most part makers to the trade and maintained an excellent reputation before and after WWII. About 1978 production of new Holloway guns was dropped but they continued with repairs. Graham Clive Holloway of G & S Holloway died in February of 1994 and that was the end of an era for G & S Holloway. To this day Holloway & Naughton shotguns are still made and manufactured to the client’s individual requirements and they can be found at hollowaynaughton.co.uk B. (Bob) Jenkinson was a dealer in many Holloway made guns during the 1950’s & 1960’s in New York City. Price:$8,500
Griffin & Howe — Pre-war Boxlock Ejector — 20 Gauge, 2 3/4″: 28″ SxS barrels of Krupp Fluid Steel with matted rib, choked improved cylinder & modified. 14 1/4″ pull from single selective trigger to original basketweave-molded horn buttplate. 1 1/2″ – 2 3/8″drop. Figured European walnut stock with horn-tipped Deeley-release splinter forend, straight English grip, classic point-pattern checkering and with checkered sidepanels, teardrops and vacant brass initial oval. Fine scroll and game scene engraved, scalloped boxlock action, with deep chiseled fences, cocking indicators, automatic ejectors, Greener crossbolt, side clips, and manual top tang safety with S inlaid in gold. Weight: 5lbs, 10 1/2oz. German built in 1932. In Abercrombie & Fitch leather VC case with snap caps and oil bottle. Price:$7950
LEFEVER, SYRACUSE, EE GRADE 12 GAUGE, 32″ DAMASCUS BARRELS: FULL AND FULL TWIN IVORY SIGHTS, BOLD DAMASCUS PATTERN, BRIGHT CLEAN BORES, AUTOMATIC EJECTORS. ATTRACTIVE ENGRAVING WITH SETTER DOG IN A CIRCLE ON RIGHT LOCK, POINTER DOG IN CIRCLE ON LEFT LOCK, PLUS FINE SCROLLWORK AND BORDERS MALLARD ON TRIGGERGUARD, COCKING INDICATORS, LIGHT CASE COLOR, PERFECT ENGRAVED SCREWS, TOP LEVER TO THE RIGHT, TIGHT ON FACE. PISTOL GRIP STOCK, SPLINTER FOREARM WITH THE CLAMSHELL LATCH, HIGHLY FIGURED IMPORTED WALNUT, FINE CHECKERING. ORIGINAL GRIP CAP AND BUTTPLATE, 1 3/4″ X 2 3/4″ X 13 3/4″, 7 3/4 POUNDS, 100% ORIGINAL CONDITION.PRICE:$3,950
Beretta S2 12 gauge Over Under Gamegun: 28″ solid rib barrels choked improved modified and full (.020/.040), automatic ejectors. Imported and retailed by Abercrombie & Fitch New York and is so inscribed on the barrels. Produced in 1950, this example appears to be unfired. Save for a few of the most minor handling marks, this gun appears as new. Perfect screws, perfect wood to metal fit! The sidelock action is moderately engraved and retains all of its original bright finish. Double triggers, straight grip stock of nice figured European walnut measures 1-3/8″ comb, 2-3/8″ heel, and 14-3/4″ LOP to an original buttplate. No pad, no buggered screws, no excuses, if you want the best, this is it. Weighs 6 lbs, 15.5 oz. Complete with a full leather Beretta Gallery trunk case. Price: $7,250
E. J. CHURCHILL BY GRIFFIN & HOWE 12 Gauge: E. J. CHURCHILL BY GRIFFIN & HOWE -2″ CHAMBERS – BOXLOCK EJECTOR WITH SCROLLBACK ACTION,12 Gauge, D.T., STRAIGHT STOCK, 25″ BARRELS WITH CHURCHILL RIB, IC/IC, WT 5 LBS 7 OZS., LOP 14″ OVER LEATHER COVERED PAD, 1 1/2″ X 2 1/16″, CASE COLORS 90%. Price: $5,300.00
GRIFFIN & HOWE BEST PAIR 12 gauge, 2″ Game Guns: GUN #1 IS SIDEPLATED WITH 17 GOLD INLAYS 25″031 AND 042 2″ CHAMBERS DOUBLE TRIGGER EJECTOR SPLINTER FOREARM ENGISH GRIP CHECKERED BUTT 5LB 5 OZ X 2 1/2 X 1 5/8 X 14 GUN #2 IS A SCALLOPED FRAME WITH 26 GOLD INLAYS AND LOTS OF GOLD WIRE DOUBLE TRIGGER EJECTOR BEAVERTAIL FOREARM ENGLISH GRIP CHECKERED BUTT 5LB 11 OZ X 2 1/4 X 1 1/2 X 14 1/2 BOTH ARE CASED IN A MAKERS OAK AND LEATHER CASE. Price: $59,500.00
Beretta 687 Silver Pigeon V, 28 Gauge: 2 3/4 Inch, 28 Inch Vent-Rib Barrel, Walnut Straight Grip Stock, LOP 14 1/8 Inch, Beretta Recoil Paid, 6 lbs. Comes with a Beretta hard case, manual, and two choke tubes .Price: $3,899.99
Griffin & Howe has been importing these spanish-made side-by-sides for a while now. I’m pretty sure they’re made by Arrieta. Brand new at G&H, this is a $9,500 shotgun. If this one auctions off for $5,000, or less, it will be a steal.
Here’s the info on it, as provided by the auctioneer: Griffine & Howe 28 gauge double barrel shotgun with case hardened receiver, beautiful floral engraving. English stock and hand carved buttplate. Condition: new in original carrying case. Estimate: $6,000 – $10,000.
Wow – check out this 20 gauge Charles Daly Regent Diamond shotgun that just hit the market. it appears to be in excellent original condition. This side-by-side looks like it’s spectacular original condition. While it’s not cheap ($24,000), that price is pretty fair when you consider how rare and well made it is.
Regent Diamonds were the most “deluxe” of deluxe guns that Lindner made for Charles Daly (go to this post to compare it to a regular Diamond). The workmanship on them is absolutely top notch. Just check out how beautifully sculpted the action, fences and toplever are. Even though the gold on this one is a bit over the top, it’s well tastefully executed so that it helps make this a real elegant little gun.
Charles Daly 20 gauge Regent Diamond double barrel shotgun #2390:
Chamber: 2 1/2 “
Length: 26 ” Chokes: IC/F
Lop: 14 1/2 ”
Pad thickness: 1 ” Type of butt: Old English Pad Drop comb: 1 3/4 ” Drop heel: 2 7/8 ”
I love all types of 16 gauges, boxlocks, sidelocks, old, & new. To me, they’re the perfect bird gun.
If you agree and you’re looking for something made for modern 2 3/4″ ammo, this Orvis/Arrieta at Griffin & Howe is worth looking at. It’s a classy looking, true sidelock, with just about everything you could want in the perfect double barrel shotgun for grouse & woodcock. Unless I’m missing something, it’s also a steal at just $2,450.
Specs from Griffin & Howe:
BBL LENGTH: 27 ” CHAMBERS: 2 3/4 ” CHOKES: SK/M
LOP: 14 3/8 ” (.875 ” Pad) x 1 1/2 ” x 2 3/8 “. CAST: 3/8 ” OFF
Here’s a challenge: Find a 6.5-6.75lb vintage double barrel shotgun with shootable dimensions, 28″+ barrels, two triggers, 2 3/4″ chambers, and a price tag that’s under $1000.
It’s hard to do. That’s why this Franz Sodia on Griffin & Howe’s used gun list caught my eye. It has it all: light weight, long barrels, a straight stock, a quality name, and, best of all, a low price. Basically, it looks like a great bird gun. And even though it looks like it has a few issues (the pitting in the left bbl), it looks like it’s also a great deal.
(But if you buy it, make sure you have your own gunsmith go over it closely before you OK the deal.)
Here’s G&H’s info about the gun:
Franz Sodia – Scalloped BLE – 12 ga – $850.00
Trigger: Double Grip: Straight Grip Forend: Splinter Lop: 15 1/8 ” Pad thickness: 1 ” Type of butt: Pachmayr Vent Pad Drop @ comb: 1 3/8 ” Drop @ heel: 2 1/2 ” Cast amount: 0 ” Cast: Weight: 6 lbs, 4 oz
Comments : Inside left barrel has some pits. Right barrel okay inside. Outside of barrels has some surface rust & minor pitting. Finish wear on outside surfaces. Gun sound and tight. Mars and handling marks on wood.