On the face of it, the word “best” s a simple meaning: Traditionally, it was the top-grade gun built by a manufacturer. But in an era when guns were almost entirely hand made, quality varied, and some best guns were best-er than others.
Check out this H&H Royal to see what I mean. I don’t know who they made this gun for or why they did such a nice job on it, but it’s one of the finest Holland & Holland Royal I’ve seen.
The engraving pattern on this gun is the company’s famous acanthus-scroll (inspired by the work of textile designer William Morris), but it’s executed a higher level than what you see on your average Royal. Everything is done a bit better, too. The action is a bit crisper, the wood a bit more elegant, the checkering a bit more careful. Overall, it’s a stunning gun.
Parker – VHE, 0 Frame Skeet, 20ga. 26″ Barrels Choked SKEET IN / SKEET OUT: Parker factory original single selective trigger, automatic ejectors, factory beavertail, checkered butt, 14 1/8″ LOP, straight grip. This is an untouched, unmolested, straight out of an estate gun. 90% brilliant case color. The only reason we’re knocking down the percentage is because there’s some patinna mixed in. There’s untouched screws never taken apart. The trigger guard has over 90% of the original blue. Minor handling marks in the wood with a beautiful piece of feathered walnut. The gun has minor handling marks and is untouched and we we guarantee it. Twin ivory sights, 98% barrel blued. If you want one of the best small bore skeet guns on the market. 6 lbs. 6 oz. 14 1/8″ x 1 1/2″ x 2 1/4″. Price:$12,995
Beautiful and near mint W.C. Scott “The Chatsworth” Model 20ga with case: Stunning and beautiful little 20ga gun made by W&C Scott. Likely made in the late 1970’s, this gun with 27″ barrels, splinter forend with Anson push bottom release, straight grip buttstock which terminates in finely checkered butt, double triggers, and auto ejectors. Beautifully engraved with case hardened action and blued trigger plate. The stocks have a diamond shaping on both the forend and the butt. The gun is lively and balances well. Cased in a tan canvas case with original owners initials which are also in gold towards toe of the stock as seen in the photos. This gun is near mint and appears test fired only. There are a couple of minor handling marks but overall the gun is near mint. Case is excellent with some light fading. Bores are brilliant and shiny and mechanics are crisp. Price:$7295
H&H Cavalier 12 ga. best boxlock SxS shotgun: For a few years H&H took what was essentially a best quality Birmingham boxlock similar to a W C Scott Bowood; added H&H improvements and extra finish to make the Cavalier. Such upgrades as a removable hinge pin for future tightening capabilities, chopper lump barrels, higher grade wood and better finishes. It is my understanding that H&H could never market/sell the Cavalier for enough money to cover their costs, so production stopped after three years for economic reasons. This is a Holland & Holland. The 28” chopper lump barrels are finished in a dark rust blue and are fitted with a tapered, concave smooth solid rib and just a front silver bead. The bore diameters are as stamped, .728” with the right barrel choked .010” (IC) and the left barrel choked .020” (Mod) and minimum wall thicknesses of .035” in each. The frame in nicely finished with original case colors retaining over 85% and a blued floor plate and blued trigger guard. The handsome walnut straight hand stock has a 15” LOP over and original ½” full leather recoil pad. There is 1 3/8” DAC, 2 ¼” DAH and 14” right hand cast. The splinter forearm is fitted with a Deeley release. This truly delightful game gun weighs 6 lbs. 5 oz., lively and balanced perfectly between the hands. The gun comes cased with H&H accessories. SN: 5002. Price:$8,475
Connecticut Shotgun Mfg. ~ A-10 American ~ Over Under ~ 20 Gauge: American black walnut English grip stock, hunting forend, Galazan recoil pad, gold single selective trigger adjustable for length of pull. Full side lock shotgun with hand detachable locks, tasteful light scroll engraving over traditional bone and charcoal case coloring. Satin blue 26″ barrels. Excellent condition in makers travel case.Chambers: 2 3/4 Inch Barrels: 26 Inch Triggers: Single, Tang Select Stock Dimensions: 14 1/2 Inch LOP, 2 1/4 Inch DAH, 1 1/2 Inch DAC, Neutral Cast Fore End: Field Weight: 6 Lbs 2 Oz. Sights: Matted Vent Rib, Red Front Chokes: 5- Tube Set. Price:$7,999.99
Beretta S3 12 Gauge OU Shotgun: 28 1/2″ Chokes: F – F L.O.P. : 14″ Drop: 1 1/2″C x 2 3/8″H Weight: 7 lbs 4 oz Ser. #: 19438 Stock #: 9481 Price:$5,950
Belgian Browning Super Light Superposed 20 Ga: Consigned to Cole’s is this very nice Belgian Browning Superposed Super Light in 20 ga with 26-inch barrels. The shotgun bears serial # 223PW02990. The bores are excellent. The upper barrel is choked Mod (**) and the lower is choked IC (**-). This shotgun weighs in at 5lbs 14 oz, a true super lightweight. The shotgun has a long tang, straight grip. The LOP is 14 ¾” and terminates with a Decelerator recoil pad. The stock has various minor nicks and dings from days afield. The gun is nice and tight and there is no looseness to be found open or when in battery. The bluing is just starting to flake from the bottom of the receiver from carry. Some very minor loss of factory finish is observed along the tang as well. Again, this from honest use pursuing dove and quail. One of the best I have seen or found out here in a very, very long time. Price:$4650
Zoli & Rizzini Field Grade S/S 20 Gauge: Offered for sale is this classic Field Grade double trigger side-by-side shotgun manufactured by Zoli&Rizzini in Magno Italy and imported to the U.S. by Abercrombie & Fitch in the1960s. The overall condition of this gun is very good to excellent rating in the 90% range. It has magnificent case hardened scalloped coloring enhanced by intricate engraving patterns and a blue finish on the frame, boxlock, lever and breech areas. The hardwood checkered Wales type grip and forearm are distinct and show very little ware. The top lever and boxlock plate also show fine engraving patterns adding value to this gun. Lock up is tight and the trigger mechanics are crisp. Overall the bluing is very uniform on both barrels with the possible exception of some very small age spots on the right side barrel. The stock shows some limited handling marks on one side which is to be expected for a field grade gun of this age. Overall it was well cared for over the years and is a very collectible firearm. Excellent value in this price range. Manufacturer: Zoli & Rizzini, Model: A&F Field Grade. Serial Number: 2427, Barrel Length: 26″, Bore Info: 2 3/4″, Ejectors: No, Condition: Very Good, Metal Condition: Good, Wood Condition: Lite Handling Marks, Bore Condition: Good, Barrels: 2, Action: Box Lock, Triggers: 2, Gauge: 20, Stock: Walnut, Butt Pad: Original, LOP: 14.25 inches, Finish: Blue, Weight: 6.5 pounds, Manufacture Date: 1965, Choke Left: M, Choke Right: IC. Price: $1,995
A pre-owned 20 gauge Holland & Holland ‘Royal’ Sidelock Ejector Shotgun with 26-inch barrels: Holland & Holland sidelock ejector with patent assisted opening mechanism, double triggers and automatic safety. Chamber: 2 3/4 inch, Rib: Game concaved with file cut surface, Chokes: 1/4 & 1/4 Stock: Length: 14 5/8 inches, Grip: Semi pistol grip, Butt End Finish: Chequred, Forend: Splinter Style Forend. Engraving: Description: Royal Scroll Finish: Case colour finish. Weight: 5lbs – 10 oz, Case: Single Leather case. Date of Manufacture: 1960. Price:$38,000
Perazzi MX20 SC3 OU 20ga with 27 3/4″ bbls, Multichoke: Perazzi MX20 SC3 game gun with fine rose and scroll engraving, vibrant color case hardening, single selective non-removable trigger, rich-grained straight grip stock (14 7/8″ lop over leather covered pad), tapered forend, ventilated rib, and factory external choke tubes. This may be one of the most attractive versions of the SC3 upgrades offered by Perazzi through the years. Factory luggage case included. Price:$13,495
Beautiful A.H. Fox A Grade 16 Gauge SXS with Original Box: Beautiful A.H. Fox “A” Grade 16 Gauge shotgun. Has the original box. Made in 1937. 16 Gauge with 28” barrels. Gun is in mint condition. All of the original blue and case colors remain. Engraving is sharp. Wood is excellent. This is a double extractor gun. This gun comes in the original box and is in mint condition. There is a letter accompanying this gun confirming all features. Beautiful example of an A.H. Fox “A” Grade double-barrel shotgun. Price:$7,950
Pedro Arrizabalaga ~ Side by Side ~ 20 Gauge: This handcrafted Pedro Arrizabalaga 20 gauge side by side features and English style straight stock. The deluxe walnut stock has an oil finish and fine checkering. The receiver is engraved with heavy scroll work. There is a second forend, original paperwork. Chambers: 2-3/4 inch, Metal Condition: Excellent, Wood Condition: Excellent, Barrels: 27-1/2 inch barrel, Triggers: Smooth double triggers, Stock Dimensions: LOP 14-1/8 inch to forward trigger; DAC 1 3/4″; DAH 2 1/2, Fore End: Matching semi beavertail, second forend splinter style, Butt Pad: Checkered. Price:$4,599.99
HOLLAND & HOLLAND 8 BORE HAMMER EXPRESS DOUBLE RIFLE: Serial # 8878, Barrel Length (in Inches): 24″, Trigger: DT (Double), Stock Configuration: Pistol Grip, Forearm Type: Splinter Forearm w/ lever latch, Rib Type: Level Flat Rib, Receiver Finish: Casehardened, Engraving Type: Border Engraving, Other Options: Jones underlever, rifled bores, rebounding hammers, doll’s head rib extension, standing sight, horn grip cap, long top tang, cheek piece, eyelet sling swivels, pretty wood, Silver’s pad, cased. Condition: Remarkable – EXC. Plus Condition. Weight 18lb 3oz, Dimensions: dac 1-5/8″, dah 2-3/4″, lop 14-3/8″, c/o 3/8″. Other Details: Charge data 10 Dram 3-3/4″ Case, date stamped on bbl, 1885. Price:$45,000
Merkel 303EL 16 gauge Sidelock Over-Under Exhibition Gun from 1948: Year of Proof: 1948 and 1950 Caliber: 16/70 Serial Nr: 29806 LOP: 14 1/4 in. Weight: 6lb. 14 oz, Barrel Length: 28 in. Overal Length: 44 3/8 in. Choke: Mod and Imp Extras: Gun made for Exhibition in 1948. Sold in 1950 (e-mail from Merkel stating the history is shown below). This Merkel 303 EL (Exhibition Grade) Sidelock O/U Shotgun in 16/70 from 1948 is a very fine example of German craftsmanship. LOP is 14 1/4 inches. Weight is approx. 6.9 lbs. This Sidelock O/U has very nice exclusive engraving on the side locks with 4 pheasants and a hawk on the right side, 6 Ducks on the left side. Country Side fill. Chokes are Mod and Imp in the 28 in Barrels. I recently received an e-mail from the Merkel Team in Suhl. This gun was made for an exhibition in 1948 for which it was first proofed. It was sold in 1950 and proofed again at that time. There are NO importer’s markings anywhere on the gun. Today’s value is in excess of $ 25.000. This is truly a great value for an investment or just a beautiful gun to hunt with. This is a fine gun for any collection. It will definitely make some collector or shooter very happy. Price:$13,950
J.P. SAUER SIDELOCK EJECTOR SXS 20 GAUGE: #391XXX, 26 1/2″ IC AND MOD 2 3/4″, DOUBLE TRIGGER EJECTORS SPLINTER FOREARM PISTOL GRIP, EXCELLENT ORIGINAL CONDITION, 6LBS X 2 9/16″ X 1 5/8″ X 14 1/2″. Price: $7,950
ITHACA NID – 12 GAUGE – MADE IN 1941 – 100% ORIGINAL CASE COLOR – TIME CAPSULE CONDITION: Here is a high condition Ithaca NID in 12 gauge made in 1941. This gun has 100% of theinal case color and 99% blue. Stock finish also at 99% with a few light handeling marks. Extractor gun. Barrels are 28″ with mirror bores. Right bore measures .734 with 20/1000 choke (Mod) while left is .732 with 37/1000 (Full). Chambers are 2 3/4″. All serial numbers match. Weight of gun is 6 LBS 14.3 OZ. Stock has Property Identification Marks from the Alabama National Guard. Marks are in light paint and can be removed if so desired. A property hang tag is also included. Stock dimensions follow. LOP – 14 1/8″, Drop at Comb – 1 5/8″, Drop at Heel – 2 5/8″. Price:$1,500
I love guns that tell a story, and as I was checking out the doubles in Poulin Auctions’ upcoming sale, this old double rifle starting telling me one the moment I saw it.
I could tell it had seen a lot of action, and considering the caliber, I could imagine what that action was: Africa during the golden days and lots of big, dangerous game. I sure it has had many cape buffalo, rhinos, and elephants in its sights.
Instead of being a Holland & Holland Royal, it’s a Grade 3 / Dominion. Rifles like these were workhorses, favored by professional hunters and serious sportsman who wanted a rugged gun that could be counted on to perform flawlessly safari after safari.
Holland & Holland — Royal Sidelock Double Rifle — .500-450 3 1/4″ Nitro Express: 26″ SxS chopper-lump barrels with fine silver bead ramp front sight and folding ivory twilight bead, smooth swamped rib, sling eye, raised matted quarter rib with one platinum-lined standing express sight. 14 1/2″ pull from checkered, articulated front trigger to Silvers red rubber recoil pad. 1/2″ cast-off. Figured English walnut stocks with lever-release splinter forend, steel trapdoor pistol grip cap, classic point-pattern checkering, teardrops, beaded pancake cheekpiece, classic comb, vacant gold oval and rear sling swivel. Classic Holland & Holland Royal scroll
engraved receiver with a concealed third fastener, bushed firing pins with retaining setscrews, silent extractors, manual top tang safety with SAFE inlaid in gold, triggerguard tang extending to grip cap and top tang extending over comb. Back-action sidelocks with gold-line cocking indicators and intercepting sears. London proofed for 70 grains cordite and 480-grain bullets. Weight: 10lbs, 5 1/2oz. Built 1906 as No.2 of a pair with all components so numbered in gold. 98% proper barrel re-blue and 40% original casehardening colors. Barrels tight on the face, and with excellent bores. Stock heads up tight to action. In maker’s leather-trimmed canvas covered trunk case with snap caps, oil bottle, cleaning accessories and trade label. Price:$54,975.
L.C. Smith Crown Grade 20 Gauge – FACTORY 99% CASE COLOR, 30” VENT RIB, 1 OF A KIND!: General Specs: L.C. Smith, year 1926, 20 Gauge, 6lbs 11oz, Side by Side
Serial Number: FWE89799. The Crown Grade Elsie; one of the finest, most elegant American doubles ever produced…a “MADE TO ORDER” shotgun, with only 800 made in all gauges, and only 145 made in 20 gauge. If you consider loss and damage, there are likely less than 125 Crown Grade 20’s left on the planet. What a RARE, ONE-OF-A-KIND CROWN GRADE we have here in this 1926 vintage Elsie, snFWE89799. What is rare…really? How about 1 of 29 20ga. Crown Grades with 30” barrels? How about 1 of 32 with vent rib barrels? How about 1 of 3 with every factory option, ie. Beavertail forend, ejectors, Hunter One trigger, factory pad (we replaced the hard, mushroomed pad with the same, original Hawkins pad it came with), vent rib? How about 99% factory case color, 98% blue, exceptional wood with the original factory finish and checkering? The Crown Grade engraving is some of the most handsome found on any American double gun. I have seen many Crown Grade Elsie’s and all have a version of the same engraving. THIS GUN HAS UNIQUE, SPECIAL ORDER ENGRAVING with waterfowl flying over a marsh in the ovals. It is definitively factory original and shown in Col. Brophy’s book “LC Smith Shotguns” on page 96. HOW ABOUT 1 OF 1, THE ONLY L.C. CROWN GRADE 20GA. OF ITS KIND. I think we can all agree this is the epitome of a truly rare, high condition, highly desirable vintage American double. This gun is in excellent condition, with mirror bores, excellent checkering and wood finish, tight as new on breech face and hinge pin with lever right of center, and perfect screws. This gun has desirable 30″ barrels, M/F chokes, double beads, and great shooting dimensions. Nicely balanced, weighing a mere 6lbs. 11oz on a featherweight frame with a reinforced forend lug, it would be a great clays or upland gun. A true collectible, investment quality firearm that will continue to rise in value as you enjoy its use. All parts are original to the gun. People often ask me “What is the best investment in a firearm?” I always tell them the same thing…low production guns in smaller gauges, in high grades, with tons of original factory original condition…and with features sought after by the modern day shooter/collector. Today’s shooter/collectors want long barrels. So this is one of those guns that have it all; rarity, condition, and desirability, including outstanding wood figure and overall aesthetics. WHAT A GREAT FIND! DON’T LET THIS ONE GET AWAY! Price:$24,950
X 1 9/16” X 2 3/8” – 6 lbs 6 oz: Rich Color Case – Rolled Trigger Guard – Turkish Walnut – IC/Mod – 27” – 14 3/8” X 1 9/16” X 2 3/8” – 6 lbs 6 ozs – Nizzoli Leather Case (Accessories) – Ser. #8601 – Checkered Butt – Fleur de Lis Engraving by Granetti – A True Italian MASTERPIECE in Straight Grip Field Configuration – This gun has been all over Texas and out west on quail and grouse hunts – it is a craftsman’s wonder in the hands. Treat yourself to the best! Price:$19,900
Factory Parker GHE Pigeon Gun SXS — 32″ full/full, no safety with options: Beavertail forend — single trigger — ejectors — Straight stock — Pad — 1 1/2 Frame — solid rib — twin beads — Pigeon dimensions with 1 7/8 drop at heel — Beautiful wood — 40/50% fading case color — 95% blue — Gun has spent its entire career in Pennsylvania — Very nice gun! 14 1/2″ x 1 1/2″ x 1 7/8″ Price: $5500
Unlike your standard H&H Royal rifle, this one has a slightly rounded bar (nice is you ever carry it there) and a blued action with minimal engraving. The blued action is gorgeous to the eye. But to the gunmakers, I’m sure it was pain in the ass. On a finish like that, the tiniest screw-up stands out like fresh blood trail on snow.
Size and performance wise, the .500/.465 Nitro Express pushes a 440 grain bullet @ 2,150 ft/s and generates a tooth-rattling 4,930 ft·lbs of force. That’s a bit less than a .470 Nitro Express (500 grs @ 2,150 Ft/s, generating 5,140 ft lbs of force), but more than enough to clobber all but the biggest, most POd animal (and a lot more than a .30-06 — about 2,850 ft lbs).
Holland & Holland .500/.465 Nitro SxS double rifle: 26″ Whitworth chopperlump barrels, quarter rib, one standing, two folding sights. Front sight with folding moon. An unusual Holland described in the ledger as a “best-quality hammerless ejector cordite express rifle”. Border engraved hand-detachable action with a blacked finish throughout. Fitted with the Holland detachable mounts, the scope is marked British made W. Ottway & Co. Ealing London. The rifle went back to Holland & Holland in 1951 for regulation of sights and scope. Appears to have seen little use since that time. Stock of densely grained, well-figured dark walnut measures 14-1/4″ over a leather pad. Tight on the face, the bores are perfect. Weighs 11 lbs, 12 oz with the scope. Cased. A fabulous rifle for your next safari! Price: $75,000
Back in the early 1900s, a new kind of shotgun appeared in British. It was the hammerless OU, probably Merkel’s “Bock” over unders. Even though stack-barrel guns had been around for centuries, the German design was unique, and it’s inventiveness inspired several London makers to come up with OUs of their own.
Boss & Co’s John Robertson was one of the first with his OU patent of 1909. James Woodward & Sons locked down their design in 1913. Not wanting to be outdone, other makers followed, including Holland & Holland.
The 12 gauge shotgun you see here is a Holland & Holland Royal built on the company’s first OU design. Patented in 1914, this model was made into the 1930s. But with its deep action and complex design, it flopped. According to author Donald Dallas, the company built just 14 of them (including this incredible double rifle, SN 28482).
After scrapping this model, Holland & Holland made another run at OUs in the ’50s with a second design. It failed. Then in the ’80s the company introduced their current Royal OU (a design developed by W.W. Greener gunmakers Richard Tandy and David Dryhurst).
Grip: Straight Grip
Lop: 15 ”
Pad thickness: 0.75 ”
Type of butt: Rubber Pad
Drop comb: 1 3/4 ”
Drop heel: 2 1/8 ”
Cast amount: 1/4 ”
Weight: 7 lbs, oz
Manufactured in: England
Manufacture Year: 1915Finish: Case Colored
Overall condition: Very Good
Stock condition: Very Good
Metal condition: Very Good
Stock: Original finish
Metal: Original finish
Gauge: 12 ga
Chamber: 2 5/8 ”
Length: 29 ”
Rib type: Solid
Comments : Gun is in very good condition with a few light blemishes.
Since James Purdey & Sons adopted the Beesley hammerless action in 1880, the company has done a remarkable job of building pretty much the same sidelock, side-by-side shotguns, over and over again. While modest updates and changes have been made, the guns have pretty much stayed the same. To see what I mean, compare this one from 1883 to this one 2006.
But every now and then Purdey did something unique. These are two side-by-side are a couple of those oddballs.
This first one looks pretty standard– until you see the hand-detachable locks. As far as I know, the first shotguns with easy-to-remove locks were droplock Westley Richards, introduced in 1897. But these were boxlocks. Holland & Holland was the first company to build sidelocks with hand-detachable locks, introduced in 1908.
(BTW: If you go here, you see how to remove Holland-style hand detachable locks.)
Whoever ordered this Purdey must have admired Holland’s idea and asked for it in his gun. Why? No idea. And even though I’m sure the request left the guys at the factory scratching their heads, they went about doing what the customer wanted (and could be billed more money for).
Unlike H&H-style actions, the locks on Purdey’s are not held together by a single pin running plate to plate. Instead, they’re attached to top, fronts of the action by separate screws. So to make the locks hand detachable, you have to build quick-release levers for of them. You can see them on either side of this shotgun. Not too very looking, but they do the job.
The next Purdey is one of the oddest hammerless Purdey’s I’ve seen, and the only one I’ve come across with a W.W. Greener-style crossbolt.
W.W. Greener introduced his rounded crossbolt in 1880 as part of his patent for the Facile Princips action. It’s not the most elegant way to secure a pair of bbls to an action, and with double underbites, it’s largely superfluous. But I guess no one told the guy who ordered this Purdey.
Like lightweight guns? Then you’ll hate this 4 gauge. At 21 lbs 4 oz., it weighs more than 3 Browning Superlights, and with its 4″, 4-bore chambers, it pushes out more lead, too.
Back in the 19th century, short barreled shotgun/rifles like this were used on the largest of large land mammals. They were essentially shotguns with rifled barrels. With it’s massive size, this one is more cannon than gun. It fires two shotgun-style shells, each stuffed with a single, ping-pong sized lead ball. That’s almost enough umph! to stop a train, and also why the thing is so heavy. Even at 20+lbs, I bet the recoil is more vicious than the animal you would be shooting at.
This particular one was made for an bigwig in India. Indian nobleman used to buy crates of shotguns and rifles from the major British makers. Who knows what this one saw or who hands touched it? We do know that James D. Julia Auctioneers sold it October, 2015, for $149,500. For a 130-year old gun, that’s a very princely sum.
BTW: If you have an old double barrel shotgun or rifle you would like to know more about (including its value), just drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Here’s all the info on this double from the auctioneer:
HUMONGOUS HOLLAND & HOLLAND FOUR BORE DOUBLE ELEPHANT RIFLE. SN 8336.: Cal. 4 bore. (.955 Groove diameter, 11 groove Enfield type rifling) 4″ Chambers. 24″ Fine Damascus bbls, swamped at center with slight flare toward muzzles, are fitted with full length flat rib with dolls head extension. Rear portion behind single standing leaf express rear sight marked for 50 yards, is file cut. Central portion of rib is engraved “Presented to Mirza Toffal Ali Beg Khan Bahadur by Nawab Salar Jung Mukhtar-ul Mulk, Prime Minister of Hyderabad, Ootagamund, June 15, 1885”. Silver bead front sight is longitudinally dovetailed into rib. Top of right bbl is engraved with H&H New Bond street address. Top of left is engraved “Winners of All the “Field” Rifle Trials London 1883″. Breech ends are engraved with wide acanthus bands behind 2-3/8″ triangles of exceptionally well cut scrolling acanthus with floral centers. Matching bands are at muzzles. Gun is numbered “2” on top of dolls head extension, top tang, and on forend iron. Bbl flats are stamped with London black powder proofs for 6 bore. SNs are stamped on bottoms of bbls. A large sling eye is soldered to bottom rib. Massive case hardened Jones underlever round bar action (almost 3-1/2″ across breech face) has nicely filed fences, and is fitted with rebounding back action locks by Brazier sporting large, flat bodied, serpentine hammers with dolphin heads. Top tang extends over comb. Action and locks are engraved with 30% coverage well cut sprays of scroll, as background and accent to very well rendered scenes of big game animals, many for which this rifle would be suited. Right side of action depicts a rhinoceros with large deciduous and palm trees in background. Left side depicts an elephant strolling through open savannah with some trees and mountain in background. A bear in similar background is on left lockplate, and a well limned tiger burns bright from the right. A fine portrait of a lion is on top of action between hammers. SN and “2” are on trigger guard tang which extends to horn grip cap. Fiddle figured and lightly streaked dense European walnut capped pistol grip buttstock measures 14-3/8″ over Silver type pad, and features right hand shadow line cheekpiece, point pattern checkering with mullered borders at grip, and a sling eye, matching but smaller than that on bottom of bbl, on toe line. Central portion of cheekpiece has inset gold circle engraved with complex monogram including the large letters “S” and “J” intertwined with smaller letters “M” and “K” and “JUS”. (This rifle is almost identical, except for some nuances of engraving, with four bore rifle no. 8333, made for the Nizam of Hyderabad, and pictured and described on pages 67-69 in HOLLAND & HOLLAND THE ROYAL GUNMAKER by Donald Dallas. Factory records indicate that both rifles were ordered through Rogers, Rock & Co., H&H’s Indian agents. This rifle was undoubtedly part of a large shipment of big bore rifles for various Indian princes.) Matching broad splinter forend has pivoting lever release. Drop at heel: approx 3-5/16″, drop at comb: approx 2-1/4″. Weight: 21 lbs 4 oz. LOP: 14-3/8”.
PROVENANCE: Copy of factory ledger page, confirming specs and stating rifle was regulated with 14 drams of powder in a spherical ball.
CONDITION: Very fine. Bbls retain over 80% orig Damascus brown with some areas of further browning and discoloration with a number of light marks and dings. Action and locks retain 60 – 70% orig case hardening color with some brown staining and high edges silvered. Top of action colors are vivid, fading and turning brown along grip strap. Trigger guard is essentially all gray to brown patina with traces of dark color hardening under opening lever. Stocks retain most of an old oil refinish over numerous marks and dings, both heavy and light. Sharp edges are slightly rounded. Wood is somewhat below metal at top of grip, which shows a number of well done repairs. Checkering nicely re-cut. Forend wood is fine, checkering re-cut, with a small chip at right front of bbl channel. Pad is an old replacement, fitted to orig curve, and factory specs state rifle was originally made with a “recoil buttplate”. Bores are excellent, very shiny with sharp rifling throughout, with one or two minor imperfections, most likely small flaws in Damascus. Action is tight. Bbls are on face. Locks are crisp. An exceptionally cool big bore. Estimate: $60,000-$90,000.
Harris Holland 8 Guage SXS Hammer Shotgun: #3012, 13 lb, 36 in.Rebounding Hammers, No chokes.Silver sheild,
Gutta Percha Butt Plate, London Proofed 1874. 045 BBL thickness each BBL.excellent bores. Slight pitting on Breech end of chambers for 1/2 inch. BBLS refinished and rib address recut, Pitting on Breechface repaired, Butt Plate screws cleaned
Otherwise original finish. Nice gun Overall fine condition. Price:$19,500
CASED BERETTA S3EL (SO4 or SO-4) 12GA. OVER-UNDER EJECTOR SIDELOCK SHOTGUN CIRCA 1956: Profusely engraved superior quality gun from the mid 1950’s best era of engraving by the still working pre WW2 generation. Renaissance Scroll engraved side locks and mounts of the Master Quality signed in small engraved letters “U.G.” just forward of the trigger guard. 28 3/8th” solid rib barrels choked Improved Modified and Full. 2 ¾” chambers. Double triggers, automatic ejectors, cocking indicators and automatic safety. Straight grip fancy walnut checkered stock with 14 ½’ pull to checkered butt. 1 ½”, 2” drop. Matching checkered forend. Weight 7lbs. 2.5ozs. All original and about mint with all the blue and coin finish. Wood with the original finish in perfect condition. Mint bores and perfect working order. With original Beretta factory leather luggage case with Beretta label in upper left corner of inside of lid. Original canvas protective outer cover. Price:$12,500
Auguste Francotte 12 Gauge O/U Double Barrel Shotgun: This beautifully crafted Auguste Francotte 12 gauge Over/Under has deep engraving, nicely figured wood, Greener-type cross bolt, and auto ejectors. It would be a fine addition to the gun cabinet of shooters or collectors of O/U shotguns, as it is a great example of the origins of what has become the most popular type of doublegun. The 28” barrels have 2-3/4” chambers and are choked Improved Modified (.025) in the lower barrel and Full (.030) in the upper barrel. The wall thickness (right/left) for the lower barrel at 9” from muzzle is .035/.033 and at the middle of the barrel is .038/.036; the upper barrel is .035/.035 and .038/.038, respectively. Bores 9” from the breach are .729/.729. At some point in the gun’s history, the European-style sling mounts were removed from the lower barrel and stock. The stock and forearm are fine European walnut. The drop at the comb is 1-1/2” and at the heel 2-1/4”. Length of pull from the front trigger to the end of the wood is 14-1/4”. The butt of the stock is checkered. The gun locks up tight and on face; the top lever returns to the right of center. All serial numbers, 53774, match. The wood is refreshed and the barrels are refinished. Price:$2,000
The Holland & Holland Royal is one of the most iconic doubles every made. Introduced in 1885, the Royal’s design was based on a 1883 patent filed by Henry Holland and John Robertson. Throughout the 1880s, the Royal’s look & design was tweaked and refined until it evolved into the kind of gun we see here.
This Royal, coming up in James D. Julia’s Fall sale, was finished in 1894. At that time, the shooting world was transitioning from black powders to smokeless powders, and rifle makers were starting to introduced new “nitro express” loads to replace their black-powder express (BPE) cartridges.
The .450 BPE 3 1/4″ was one of the most popular cartridges of the black-powder era, and today it’s still a great round for anything you can hunt in North America. Because the 450BPE generates far less energy than the .450 Nitro Express, guns made for .450 BPE tend to be on the light side for double rifles. They ‘re also tend to be much more comfortable to shoot.
RARE EARLY HOLLAND & HOLLAND ROYAL HAMMERLESS SIDELOCK TOP-LEVER DOUBLE RIFLE WITH CASE: SN 17818. Cal. 450 BPE. 28″ Dovetailed bbls are fitted with full length file cut rib, central portion swamped, and not file cut, forming long, low ramp for white bead front sight. Rear portion of rib is fitted with one standing, two folding leaf express rear sight. Tops of bbls are engraved “Holland & Holland. 98. New Bond Street, London.” and “Winners of All the “Field” Rifle Trials, London.” Bbl flats are stamped with London black powder proofs for 450 express. Bottoms of bbls are stamped with SN. H&H Royal sidelock action with top tang extending over comb, features automatic safety with “SAFE and BOLTED” inlaid in gold. Action also has gold band tumbler end cocking indicators and dbl triggers. Action is engraved in early Holland “Royal” style with near full coverage well cut, varying sized, shaded scroll, surrounding “Holland & Holland” within broad scroll bordered device on front portion of each lockplate. Bottom of action is engraved “Charge 4 Drams” “Case 3-1/4 Inches”. Fences are engraved with exceptionally fine scallop shell central motifs, flanked by scroll and floral highlights. Trigger guard with scroll on bow has SN at grip, which extends to engraved steel cap. Lovely fiddle figured and lightly marbled European walnut capped pistol grip buttstock measures 14-1/4″ over ribbed horn buttplate. Stock is finished in classic H&H style with drop points, and point pattern checkering at grip, with mullered borders and inward curving rear line. A gold oval on toe line is engraved “W. H. C. Ll” “FROM R. W. & H. A. Ll.” “Nov 1st, 1904″. Matching splinter forend has Anson release. Drop at heel: approx 2-13/16″, drop at comb: approx 1-3/4″. Weight: 8 lbs 7 oz. LOP: 14-1/4″. What appears to be orig makers leather case with brass corners is embossed “Walter Lloyd” (matching engraving on gold oval on toe line) on top. Case is lined in royal blue cloth, and has large paper H&H label in lid, along with instruction label. The maker’s have kindly confirmed that the rifle was finished in 1894, and that in 1904 was sold 2nd hand to R. W. Llewelyn.
CONDITION: Very fine, original, as found. Bbls retain approx 60% orig blue, thinning overall, with some minor flecking. Action retains 50 – 60% orig case hardening color, strong where protected. Locks retain 60 – 70% orig color, right lock somewhat stronger. Top lever retains 80 – 90% of its orig blue, silvered on thumbpiece. Trigger guard retains perhaps 30% of its blue on bow, grip completely silvered. All engraving remains sharp and clear, no noted pitting. Stocks retain most of their fine orig hand rubbed oil finish, with some light marks and scratches, checkering lightly worn. Bores are excellent with bright sharp rifling throughout. A bit of looseness can be felt in action with forend removed, feels tight with forend in place. Bbls are very slightly off face. Case leather is darkening and has many light marks and scuffs. Straps and handle are good. Interior cloth is fine, with a bit of insect damage, and some blocks and partitions loose, with the butt block replaced and lined in green cloth. An exceptionally fine, elegant and rare, early top-lever Holland Royal rifle in a caliber suitable for almost any game with proper loads and bullets. Estimate: $27,500-$37,500
Here’s another nice looking leather leg’ o mutton case. This is a newer style. It was probably made in the 30 years or so, and it doesn’t have the rigid exterior you see in older models. It does appears to be in excellent original condition, though. The listing ends Tuesday, 9/8, @ 4:29PM EST.
Vintage rare Holland (Mulholland) Leather 31 INCH Gun Case Leg-O-Mutton: Nice rare vintage Leg-O-Mutton leather take down shotgun/rifle case marked Made in USA, Holland Sport. This case is in great shape showing just a few character marks from light use over the years and with a little polish can probably be made to look near perfect. Al the stitching is solid and the interior felt is in perfect condition. This is a rare example from this maker and is rarely seen on the market.
Pre-war Boss 20 ga., 26-1/2″ barrels: Choked improved cylinder and modified (.007/.010). Original 2-3/4 1oz. heavy proof. Raised concave game rib marked “Boss & Co. 41 Albermarle Street Picadilly London W”. Built with the style and grace that these “golden era” Boss guns are famous for. The petite “easy opening” action gun weighs a mere 5lbs, 5 oz. Fitted with the Boss patent single trigger. Well-figured stock measures 1-3/8″ comb, 1-7/8″ heel, 14-1/4″ LOP to a checkered butt. Balanced directly on the pin, this estate-fresh example retains 97% original blue, 80% vibrant case colors over the jewel-like engraving by the renowned Jack Sumner. Built in 1930 to the true small bore specs, a unique opportunity to purchase a seldom-seen heavy proof vintage 20. Cased in original violin case. Price:$59,500
A&S Famars Castore Hammergun – Pasolini Engraved and Fabulous Wood – Like New Condition: Beautiful A&S Famars Castore 12 gauge self-cocking hammergun with double triggers engraved by Master Engraver Pasolini and restocked by Piotti in a fabulous piece of Circassian walnut. Cased in a leather maker’s case with trade label and mahogany three-piece cleaning rod. Made in 1974 when both Mario Abbiatico and Remo Salvinelli were active in the business. In fact, “Remo” is engraved on the bottom of the rear lug indicating that he personally worked on this gun. *** The frame is beautifully engraved and has uniquely shaped fences, ornately engraved hammers, and a signature likeness of Neptune on the pierced toplever. Maker’s name “Famars” is inlaid in gold on the bottom of the frame and a gold crown is inlaid in the toplever. Overall weight is 7lb 4oz. *** The 28” barrels have 2-3/4” chambers and auto ejectors. The right barrel has a constriction of 0.010 for Improved Cylinder choke. The left has a constriction of 0.020 for Modified choke. Topped with a smooth concave game style rib. The breech ends of the barrels are adorned by two gold rings with one ring at the muzzles as well. The maker’s name “Armi Famars” is inlaid in gold on the top of the rib. *** This Castore was restocked in a fabulous piece of Circassian walnut by Piotti in Italy. Straight grip and splinter forearm. Professionally installed leather recoil pad. Stock dimensions are 1-3/8” by 2-1/4” by 15”. *** This rare and highly desirable double is in like new condition. Price:$18,495
Harris Holland .500 BPE Double Rifle: A Holland 3″ 500BPE double express rifle by Harris Holland. SN 39xx. Harris was the first of the Hollands in “Holland and Holland” and the founder if the initial company. This rifle is in excellent condition for a 140 year old rifle. It has been well taken care of. The 28″ damascus barrels have near excellent bores probably regulated by Bill Froome because it shoots excellent diagrams with black or smokeless powder. They have early Metford style rifling with square lands and grooves. LOP is 14″ to a steel shotgun style butt. It weighs 8 1/2 lbs. Load data appears on left action bar – characteristic of Holland rifles. There is about 60% coverage of fine English scroll crisp and like new. It is very tight and on face with a unique “dolls head” top rib projection – see photos. There are no “negatives” regarding this rifle. I will pay shipping to the contiguous 48. I have plenty more pics and will create specials upon request. Price:$14,500
PARKER REPRODUCTION DHE 28 GAUGE: 26″IC AND MOD 2 3/4 DOUBLE TRIGGER EJECTORS SPLINTER FOREARM PISTOL GRIP SKELETON BUTT NEW CONDITION IN MAKERS CASE 5LBS 6 OZ X 2 1/8″ X 1 3/8″ X 14 1/2″. Price: $5,500
Lefever EE 16ga – Rare: Gun retains 50%-60% plus bright original overall case color on frame and sideplates. Roughly 85-90% original plum barrel blue. Original chokes and chambers- 2 5/8″ chambers and choked I/C and Mod. Excellent bores, 28″ Krupp fluid steel barrels. Original butt stock retains most of the original varnish and does have a white line pad on it. Splinter forearm which, while matches nicely, is likely an early Ithaca replacement based on the engraving and checkering pattern. Nicely engraved with one dog on each side in typical E grade pattern in the 54,xxx serial range. Price:$4995
Many collectors believe that London-made shotgun built between World War 1 and World War 2 are among the finest side-by-sides and over-unders ever created. Take a look at the double rifle you see here and you’ll understand why. Holland & Holland was known for making the best double rifles in the world, and the Modele De Luxe was the top gun – the absolute very best of he best in 1933 and today.
HOLLAND & HOLLAND 240 MAG FLANGED ROYAL “MODELE De LUXE”- GOLDEN ERA of 1933- APPEARS UNFIRED: #31475, Holland & Holland, 98 New Bond Street, London: A Holland & Holland Hand Detachable Back Action Sidelock Royal “Modele De Luxe” Ejector 240 Magnum Flanged with the Bolstered Frame, Made in the Golden Era of 1933. It has 25″ Ejector Chopper Lump barrels with rib extension third bite, 1/4 rib with 1 standing & 2 folding rear sights, Fold over night sight, Original Nitro Proof at 31 1/2 Cordite – 100 grain bullet & a 2 1/2″ case. The small size action body is complete with a bolstered frame, Bushed strikers, Double triggers, Hand detachable locks, Extended top tang over the comb of the stock, Rolled trigger guard edge, The stock with a trap grip cap with a spare front sight, Shadowline cheekpiece, 13 7/8″ LOP over a 7/8″ Silvers pad, Proper 240 weight at 8 lbs. 5 oz.
This Royal “Modele De Luxe” has 100% coverage of the typical but seldom seen pre-war Deluxe engraving with baroque gargoyles, serpents, dragons, grotesque masks and sneering faces. This is very well cut engraving with a fair amount of cut relief. The stock on this gun is with Deluxe wood that has excellent color and contrast of deep blacks and brown. It has an engraved trap grip cap with a sneering face and a spare front sight inside.
The piece retains 99% original & vivid case colors, The barrels have 99% original blue, The trigger guard blue is 100%, The original oil stock finish remains at 98%, The checkering is at 100%, Every screw is 100%, The bores are excellent plus and appear as new, The locks are in the same condition as the outside of the gun, The stock inletting is clean and solid in every respect and looks like it was cut yesterday. The whole is cased in the maker’s original brass cornered leather trunk with a canvas cover, all accessories including spare strikers, turnscrews, snap caps & cleaning gear.
The piece has all the appearance of never being fired and is almost like walking out of 98 New Bond Street 80 years ago with a brand new gun. This Classic Royal “Modele De Luxe” piece remains in superb condition, a fun cartridge, outstanding wood that will go a lifetime, bores like new, bolstered frame and is a top drawer Deluxe gun from one of the greatest sporting gun makers of the British trade. We have loaded for this cartridge and can do it again if you want us to go there but it appears unfired. Price:$85,000.00
HOLLAND & HOLLAND ROYAL SXS 12 GAUGE ABERCROMBIE & FITCH: MADE 1963 SPECIAL ORDER ABERCROMBIE &FITCH NON SELF OPENER ROYAL WITH A LETTER 26 1/2″ 011 AND 021 2 3/4 DOUBLE TRIGGER EJECTOR SPLINTER FOREARM ENGLISH GRIP CHECKERED BUTT MAKES CASE NEW CONDITION 6LB 6 OZ X 2 3/16 X 1 1/2 X 14 1/2 Price: $35,000.00
Holland & Holland Royal Sidelock: 12 gauge, 26: bbls, MOD/FULL. London best gun specially made for Abercrombie & Fitch Co. New York — Full sidelock with 99% color case remain. Abercrombie & Fitch’s factory logo inlayed in gold on bottom of action. Straight grip stock measures 1 9/16″ x 2 9/16″ x 14 1/2″ over checkered butt, double triggers, splinter forend. 6lbs 9oz. Mint condition. Pricing: $31,995.00
Holland and Holland Royal matched pair 12 gauge: Each gun has 2 sets of barrels.One set is 30″ long and choked improved cylinder and improved modified.The second set is 25″long and choked improved and improved.The 30″ barrels are 21/2″ chambered and the shorter barrels are 23/4″.The stock dimensions are 143/4″ x 11/2″ x21/4″ with 3/8″ cast off at heel.The guns weigh 6-4 each.Cased in a VC motor case. Made in the mid 1920s.Serial numbers are 29453 and 29454. Price: $64,900
Pedro Arrizabalaga 20 gauge side by side shotgun: 27-1/2″ barrels with flat file cut rib, choked modified and full, 2-3/4″ chambers. A best quality, hand-detachable sidelock with sideclips, and hidden third fastener. Self-opening coin finished action engraved in an early Holland & Holland acanthus pattern. Double triggers with articulated front trigger, splinter forend, straight diamond grip of well-figured European walnut measures 1-3/8″ comb, 2-1/8″ heel, 15-1/8″ over a full leather fitted pad. Weighs 6 lbs, 6 oz. Cased. Price: $8,750.
L. Santina Bernardelli – Rebounding Hammer – Side Lock – 28ga – English Stock; 1969, 2-3/4″, 27-3/4″ Extractor Barrels, M / F (.016 / .030), Hand Filed Rib, Double Triggers, English Stock, LOP 14-5/8″, Drop 1-1/2″ to 2-1/4″, Weight 4 lbs. 14 oz. 99% with only a couple of very minor marks. Price: $3,650.00
BERETTA – BL-5 – – RARE Factory 2 Barrel Set, 12ga, 28″ M / F & 26-1/2″ SK / SK: Ejectors, Single Selective Trigger, LOP 14-1/4″, Drop 1-1/2″ to 2-3/8″, Weight 7 lbs. 2 oz. When the BL Series was first introduced, the BL-5 was Beretta’s best grade. Box Lock Over Under. This BL-5 was made at about the time of the BL-6 introduction. Much of the engraving on this gun is done by hand. It has a very nice stock, a long trigger guard tang, and a Silver Pigeon inlay on the operating lever. Mechanically, the gun is excellent: it is tight, has all original finishes, bores are perfect. There are scattered areas of surface rust. Price: $1,475.00
FOX STERLINGWORTH 16 GAUGE WITH 28″ BARRELS: Here is a nice condition Fox Sterlingworth 16 Gauge with 28″ barrels. Original case colors in protected areas. Gun is tight on face with toplever right of center. Bores measure right at .664 with Mod Choke and .661 with Full Choke. Chambers are 2 9/16″ as original. Good bores. Auto safety. No cracks in wood. Weight of gun is 6 LBS. 5 3/8 OZ. Shipping is $35. Stock dimensions follow. Price $1,100.
I also snapped some pics of a Holland & Holland double rifle that I saw the same day. The H&H was made for a larger cartridge. But because the cartridge was a black-powder load that generated lower pressures, H&H made this rifle much smaller and trimmer.