From the 1860s to 1980s, twelve gauges ruled in my blog. They were the standard game gun and what most men shot. After the first World War, there was a movement in the UK toward lighter and lighter doubles, and 2″ 12gs like the one you seehere were the result. These guns weigh 6lbs or less, but shill had the proportions and feel of a standard British game gun.
Today, these guns are ideal for upland hunting, especially over pointing dogs. These guns throw great patterns and they’re built to push 7/8-ounces of lead, enough to knock down quail, woodcock, and most grouse.
Charles Hellis was a well-respected London gunmaker, and this gun looks like it’s in great shape overall and very fairly priced. The seller is one of the most highly-respected dealers in the country, too.
Beautiful and ultra lightweight 12 bore Charles Hellis 2″ Chambered boxlock SxS game gun: Absolutely dandy lightweight 12bore 2″ game gun weighing in at just 5lbs 6oz! This petite case hardened box lock action with Anson pushbutton release splinter forend made with extractors, double triggers and straight hand buttstock. If you’ve never used a 2″ 12 bore cartridge before, you absolutely have to give it a try. It is a ball and this gun would be a joy to carry all day long and will knock down any game bird in North America! Price:$2995
J. Purdey & Sons – Best Sidelock Ejector – 410 ga – OU: #30309. Trigger: Single, Grip: Prince of Wales grip, Forend: Checkered, Lop: 15 1/8 “, Type of butt: Checkered Wood, Drop comb: 1 3/8 “, Drop heel: 1 7/8 “, Cast amount: 3/16 “, Cast: OFF, Weight: 5 lbs, 10 oz, Manufactured in: England, Finish: Coin & Black, Overall condition: Very Good, Stock condition: Very Good, Metal condition: Very Good, Stock: Original finish, Metal: Original finish, Type of Case: Leather Luggage Case, Chamber: 3 “, Length: 29 “, Chokes: F/F, Rib type: Solid, Comments : Beautiful gun with a small stock repair on left side of wrist. Price:$80,000
LANCASTER 450/400 3 1/4″ BPE- DELUXE GRADE- SUPERB ORIG. COND.- FULLY ENGRAVED- DELUXE WOOD- ACCURATE- MADE 1884 for NAWAB of BAHAWALPUR- SCREWS: #5415, Charles Lancaster: 151 New Bond Street, London: A 450/400 3 1/4″ Black Powder Express Deluxe Grade Double Rifle That Remains in Superb Condition, Fully engraved, Excellent wood, It is Accurate, Made in 1884 for Nawab of the Princely State Bahawalpur, A Jones action underlever back-action locks with non-rebounding hammers, London proved, 28″ “Non-Fouling Smooth Oval Bore Rifling” steel barrels with a rib extension dolls head, Full length matted rib with 1 standing rear sight that is Gold lined, Percussion style fences, Dolphin hammers, Rear sliding hammer safeties, A long trigger guard tang that is engraved and checkered, An absolute deluxe piece of wood with great color contrast, Extremely solid wood that will last another 137 years, Shadowline cheekpiece, Sling eyes, The forend release is a patented rotating snap that has a friction-reducing roller under the forend iron that is spring loaded to force the rod forward so it will snap into the bite on the forend loop mounted on the barrels, To remove it you insert your finger tip at the forward end of the forend and pull down so the roller allows the spring to compress, A novel and secure tiedown that came from George Hackett as patent #964 of 1878, 14 1/4″ LOP over a fully checkered and engraved steel buttplate, Great weight at 8 lbs. 7 oz., 95% coverage of excellent period scroll engraving that covers all the metal including the forend iron and trigger guard, The original & honest barrel blue remains at 94% with excellent striking, 40% original case colors that is very vivid in some areas, The breech face has 50% case colors with zero primer burn at the striker holes, The butt & forend are as solid as they were 137 years ago, The original stock finish is at 80% with 137 years of handling but never refinished, The original checkering remains at 95%, The bores and chambers are absolutely excellent plus without a pit to be had, The inletting looks like the tree grew around the metal, Every screw including the buttplate remains at 98% and they lay north & south, The inside of the forend almost looks like it left the shop yesterday, The dolls head fits like new. It is cased in a near vintage oak & leather trunk that is in very nice condition. It is very accurate with .406″ 250 & 254 grain bullets using 4198 powder at 50 yards and shoots to the point of aim. This is very nice stuff in a total Deluxe Grade double from the real Golden Era of the British gun trade. Dreams of tigers and ships and palaces, fine spices and women and silk. As my friend Mr. Wal Winfer would say, “We are but temporary custodians of all things on this planet. Treat this old piece gently. Load and shoot it with care. But, above all, preserve its integrity for the future enjoyment of the next temporary custodian.” Price:$12,750
WINCHESTER MODEL 21 20 GAUGE SxS SHOTGUN: #178XX, 28″ IC AND M 006 AND 015 CONSTRICTION, DOUBLE TRIGGERS, EJECTORS, SPLINTER FOREARM, ENGLISH GRIP, EXCELLENT WITH LIGHT WEAR, 6LBS 4OZ, 2 3/16″ DAH, 1 1/4″ DAC, 14 3/4″ LOP. Price:$8,500
Charles Hellis & Sons Two Inch 12 gauge London Box Lock Ejector SxS Game Gun: This is a rare London address high grade box lock ejector in the Two Inch 12 bore. Built on a Birmingham proved action by London Best gun makers, Charles Hellis & Sons, it has fine, full coverage London rose, or bouquet, and scroll engraving, nicely figured walnut straight grip stock with drop points and fine checkering, excellent rust blue barrels and case colored action. Most two inch 12 bores were built very plain for low cost use by young shooters and ended up in poor condition. This one is quite the opposite, a beautiful higher grade London built boxlock in fine condition with adult dimensions and no problems. Very light weight and pleasant to shoot, it weighs just 5 pounds, 7 ounces. It has automatic ejectors, 26 inch dovetail lump barrels, double triggers, auto safety, 14-1/4” stock over an Old English recoil pad. Bores are bright and shiny with no rust and measure .732 left and right. Both barrels are choked modified at .020, leaving room for adjustment if you desire. Bluing remains excellent overall with no rust and little wear. Case coloring remains quite strong on the action. Engraving includes fences and splinter forend iron. The name C.Hellis & Sons, Ltd. Is engraved on both sides of the action, and the name and address is also engraved on the swamped game rib as ‘Charles Hellis & Sons, Ltd, 121 & 123 Edgeware Road, Hyde Park, London W.’ Also inlaid on the rib in either sterling silver or white gold are the words’FOR 2 INCH CASE ONLY’. Serial number is 4129 and it was likely built pre war in the early 1930s. Price: $6500
CAESAR GUERINI / LL BEAN .410 OU SHOTGUN: SPECIAL EDITION CAESAR GUERINI FOR LL BEAN, 410 UPLAND SHOTGUN WITH 28″ VENT RIB BARRELS. COMES WITH 4 CHOKE TUBES. EXCELLENT CONDITION! 6LB….CASED LOP 14 7/8″-1 1/2″-2″. Price:$3,000
Here’s a real nice boxlock ejector that just popped up on the market. It’s a Charles Hellis with awesome damascus barrels, and if I didn’t already have enough doubles, I would be on the phone to the seller trying work out a deal for it.
Charles Hellis, gunmakers, was founded by its namesake in 1884, and by the 20th century it was another of London’s prosperous gunmakers. Hellis made many different grades and types of guns, from modestly-priced boxlocks to Best-quality sidelocks. The company also specialized in lightweight boxlocks and sidelocks tagged “The Featherweight” and usually engraved with images of feathers on the actions or lockplates. The inlayed side panels on this Hellis boxlock are another of the company’s signature styles.
Something to note: Check out the proof marks on this gun. The barrels were originally proofed at two different bore sizes: 13 and 13/1 (.710″ & .719″) and the reproofed at .719″ and .729″ (13/1 & 12). While it’s unusual to see a set of barrels with two different bore sizes at proofing, it’s not unheard or wrong in anyway. What’s important is that both tubes are in proof with good wall thicknesses (which is the case with this SxS).
CHARLES HELLIS 12GA Boxlock Ejector Side-by-Side: A very nice London, ejector, damascus, nitro proofed, game gun. Tight lockup and ribs. Excellent bores. In proof. No dents. No cracks. Price:$3275
Serial Number: 1239
Bore: R.720 L.729
Chambers: 2 1/2in
Metal Condition: EXCELLENT
Wood Condition: EXCELLENT
Bore Condition: EXCELLENT
Barrel Type: DAMASCUS
JAMES PURDEY & SONS EJECTOR SIDELOCK 12 GA. SELF-OPENING DOUBLE SHOTGUN, CIRCA 1907: 30” barrels with 2 ½” chambers choked improved modified in both barrels. Automatic ejectors and double triggers. Center rib engraved “J. PURDEY & SONS. AUDLEY HOUSE. SOUTH AUDLEY STREET. LONDON. MADE OF SIR JOSEPH WHITWORTH’S FLUID PRESSED STEEL”. No “3” engraved on the both the rib and the lever. Lock plates signed with maker’s name. Checkered walnut straight grip stock and checkered splinter forend. 14 ½” pull over checkered butt. 2”, 1 ½” drop. .Best Quality rose bouquet and scroll engraving. Matching serial numbers in the 17,xxx range. All original except the barrel finish which has been expertly custom blued. Locks and frame with much of the original case hardening color and the lever and the trigger guard with most of the original blue. Stock and forend with the original finish. Forend with small sliver missing near the release button on the left side. Perfect working order and excellent bores. Price:$16,500
Model: SPE Skeet Grade
Serial Number: 34970
Chambers: 2 3/4
Triggers: Single selectable
Fore End: Beavertail
Manufacture Date: May 27, 1937
Winchester Model 21 Field Grade 20 Gauge 1935 Production: This Winchester was produced in 1935. The shotgun’s serial number is 5294. The barrels are 26 inches. The barrels are solid rib choked Full and Modified. It has the single selective trigger. The trigger works correctly. The safety is the automatic engaged safety. The ejectors are manual ejectors. The recoil pad is the red Winchester pad. The barrels are bright with no damage or dents. The lockup is tight. The barrels have the solid rib. This gun has seen field use and handling. There is blue loss on the underbelly of the receiver due to carrying. This is a great light handling 21 in a great gauge. This gun can give the owner many years of great service. This is one of the original condition early model 21’s that has not been “restored”. The unusual feature is the single selective trigger without the automatic ejectors on this shotgun. This feature is not commonly seen. This shotgun’s overall condition would rate a 90% condition. The overall approximate weight is 6 pounds. The length of pull is 13 and 1/2 inches. This shotgun has had only two owners. Price:$5750
Ithaca Grade 4 16 Gauge – NICE ORIGINAL GUN, 80% CASE COLOR:#376165, Made in 1924, 16 Gauge, 6lbs 7oz, Side by Side. This gun, sn376165 built in 1924, is no exception, balanced dead on the hinge pin and weighing 6lbs. 7oz. it is a delight in hand. Retaining 80% factory case color, gorgeous engraving, checkering, and wood, this gun is a work of art at a very affordable price. It has great barrels with plenty of wall thickness, mirror bores, choked perfect for upland game, and with nice shooting dimensions it has everything a shooter/collector might want. Price:$4,950.00
Barrel Length: 26″
Chokes: .013/.028 LM/F
Bore Diameter: .670/.668
Wall Thickness: .029/.028
% Blue: 100%
Chambers: 2 3/4″
Action: tight, way right of center
Ejectors or Extractors: extractors
Case Color: 80% fading
Engraving: clear, sharp
Trigger Type: double, crisp
Trigger Guard Color: 93%
Type: capped pistol grip/splinter forend
LOP To End Of Wood: 13 5/8″
DAH: 2 5/8″
DAC: 1 11/16″
Cast: 1/8″ off
Checkering Condition: very good
Butt Treatment: factory plate
C. Hellis & Sons Boxlock SxS 12ga/28″ IC/Full: Case colored boxlock with double triggers, straight grip stock, auto-ejectors, splinter forend, and checkered butt. Lop measures 14″ with 1 1/4oz proof and 2 3/4″ chambers. Condition is very good overall with strong color case and excellent barrel blue. This is a very nice gun overall. Price:$3,995