This guy had an awesome mom. These two O/Us prove it …

Frederick Surkamer, Chicago 12 bore on a Merkel 301-E boxlock action
Frederick Surkamer, Chicago 12 bore on a Merkel 301-E boxlock action

I have no idea who TAK who was (Theo A. Koch?), but I do know he had an awesome mom. How? Because she bought him the two shotguns you see here.

Both of these OUs were built in Germany and then stocked by Frederick Surkamer, a Chicago-area gunsmith who built custom rifles, worked for Von Lengerke & Antoine and Marshall Fields, and imported & finished drillings and shotguns from Europe.

These O/Us both look very Merkel to me, and even though both listing says the doubles are boxlocks, I bet both of these shotguns are built on Blitz-style actions.

Frederick Surkamer, Chicago 12 bore on a Merkel 301-E boxlock action
Frederick Surkamer, Chicago 12 bore on a Merkel 301-E boxlock action

Frederick Surkamer, Chicago 12 bore on a Merkel 301-E boxlock action: proved in January of 1929 with 30″ F/XF Krupp Steel ejector barrels with raised file cut solid rib with ivory mid and front beads. Bores are as new measuring .724 top and bottom. Choked .046 top and .040 bottom. This is the best of Merkel boxlocks with double underlugs and double bite. Double Kersten top lock. Bushed strikers. Triggers turned for the right hand. Extensive and very well done German Acanthus leaf and gamebird engraving. Stocked in English Walnut. Two piece forend with wrap around checkering. Pistol grip buttstock with arrowhead points and Monte Carlo. 15 3/8″ LOP to a solid 5/8″ pad. DAC-1 1/2″  DAH-2 1/2″ although effectively less with the Monte Carlo configuration. The pistol grip cap reads “From Mother TAK [Theo A. Koch] 1928. This is an outstanding Pre -War gun and a true piece of Americana in outstanding condition showing minimal use. Overall condition is 99%. The previous owner had this gun for 50 years and acquired it from the original owner. It is an outstanding collector piece and well configured for Sporting Clays or Live Birds.

F. Surkamer - Boxlock Ejector - 12 ga - OU - Double Barrel Shotgun
F. Surkamer – Boxlock Ejector – 12 ga – OU – Double Barrel Shotgun

F. Surkamer – Boxlock Ejector – 12 ga – OU – Double Barrel Shotgun:

Action: Boxlock
Manufactured in: Germany
Manufacture Year: 1928
Ejectors: Yes
Trigger: Double
Grip: Pistol Grip
Forend: Checkered
Lop: 15 3/8 ”
Pad thickness: 0.75 ”
Type of butt: Pachmayr Pad
Drop @ comb: 1 5/8 ”

F. Surkamer - Boxlock Ejector - 12 ga - OU - Double Barrel Shotgun
F. Surkamer – Boxlock Ejector – 12 ga – OU – Double Barrel Shotgun

Drop @ heel: 2 1/2 ”
Cast amount: 1/8 ”
Cast: Off
Weight: 8 lbs, oz

Chamber: 2 3/4 ”
Length: 30 ”
Chokes: IM/M
Proof:
Reproof:
Rib type: Solid

Frederick Surkamer, Chicago 12 bore on a Merkel 301-E boxlock action
Frederick Surkamer, Chicago 12 bore on a Merkel 301-E boxlock action
Frederick Surkamer, Chicago 12 bore on a Merkel 301-E boxlock action
Frederick Surkamer, Chicago 12 bore on a Merkel 301-E boxlock action
F. Surkamer - Boxlock Ejector - 12 ga - OU - Double Barrel Shotgun
F. Surkamer – Boxlock Ejector – 12 ga – OU – Double Barrel Shotgun
F. Surkamer - Boxlock Ejector - 12 ga - OU - Double Barrel Shotgun
F. Surkamer – Boxlock Ejector – 12 ga – OU – Double Barrel Shotgun
F. Surkamer - Boxlock Ejector - 12 ga - OU - Double Barrel Shotgun
F. Surkamer – Boxlock Ejector – 12 ga – OU – Double Barrel Shotgun

Never screw a billionaire…

You never know it from their website, but Rock Island Auctions is in a bit of hot water. According to this article, Rock Island may have messed with the wrong guy. It sounds like the gun-auction company screwed with William Koch. Not smart.

Rock Island Auctions is feeling the heat
Rock Island Auctions is feeling the heat.

William Koch does not like to be messed with. According to Forbes, he’s the 316th wealthiest man in the world. And judging by his litigious past, he’s also damn ornery. A few years ago he was involved in a deal for several bottles of wine that were said to have been owned by Thomas Jefferson. They weren’t, and when Koch found out he wasn’t nice about it.

If you have the time, check out this article in the New Yorker. It’s an interesting account of the man and the auction business.

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