Here’s an incredible over under. It’s an all original, nearly new Ogden Smiths & Hussey Imperial Ejector from around 1930. It’s in its original case and it comes with all its original accessories. Double triggers. Straight grip. All that color case hardening. Holy sh!t is right.
Ogden Smiths was a fishing tackle company at 62 St. James St. in London’s prestigious West End. In 1923, the company reformed with the addition of gunmaker Henry H. Hussey (son of famed gunmaker H.J. Hussey) to sell guns under the name Ogden Smiths & Hussey, Ltd. Even though this partnership lasted until 1933, very little is known about the guns they made. We do know that Hussey built firearms of different styles and qualities, including single-barrel trap guns, Anson & Deeley boxlocks and best-quality, SxSs.
This OU has 1925-1954 London proofmarks on it. It’s the second I’ve seen with the Ogden Smiths & Hussey name on it, and I think there are at least two more out there, including one that may be a 16 gauge.
All these OUs were probably built for Ogden Smiths & Hussey by the Hill family. Charles Hill was one of the creators of the James Woodward-patent Under & Over shotgun. After helping Woodward come up with the design for their famous shotgun, he built similar doubles for other gunmakers. When he died, the Hill family carried on this work and built OUs for firms like Henry Atkin, Churchill, and Ogden Smiths & Hussey.
BTW: If you have an Ogden Smiths & Hussey shotgun, case, accessories, or catalog, or if you know anything about the company, please drop me an email: Gregg@DogsandDoubles.com.
I would love to hear about them. And I would like to thank author John Newton for some of the information in this post.
The London gun trade has always been a bespoke business. If you wanted it and could pay for it, a gunmaker would build it for you — or in the case of the Henry Atkin O/U you see here, the gunmaker would find someone else to build it for you.
Henry Atkin started in the gun trade in 1848 as an apprentice at Purdeys. Around 1875, he was building shotguns in his own name, and he did so until his death in 1907. His firm continued on until it was absorbed by Atkin, Grant & Lang in 1960. Even though Henry Atkin was a talented gunmaker, he never developed a design for an over-under shotgun. After he died, his company continued their focus on side-by-side shotguns. So in 1925 when one of their customers wanted an O/U, Atkin turned to another team of gunmakers and had them build the gun instead. I’m 99% certain this team was the Hill family.
Charles Hill played a major role in creating the over-under shotgun James Woodward & Sons patented in 1913. Unfortunately, he received little credit for his contributions (or not as much as he though he should). So Mr Hill left Woodward and started turning out Woodward-style O/Us for other makers.
12 bore Henry Atkin over and under sidelock ejector circa 1925: #2680. Twenty eight inch original fluid steel barrels with solid file cut top rib, choked quarter quarter and chambered for two and a half inch cartridges. The action is of “James Woodward” patent, fully engraved with “Henry Atkin” bouquet and scroll pattern, retaining full original colour and finish with double triggers. The stock measures fourteen and seven eighths with no extension, cast slightly for a right hander with a strait hand grip. Gun is presented in original maker’s oak and leather case with accessories. Price:£49,995