Caution: Hammerguns like this W. Richards (Liverpool) are addictive…

W. Richards (Liverpool) Hammergun 12 Gauge Shotgun
W. Richards (Liverpool) Hammergun 12 Gauge Shotgun

Here’s a nice looking hammergun — too nice, really. Old doubles like this are like bird dogs – one is good, more is better. So if you buy this W. Richards and two years from now you have 4-5 more old doubles like it in your safe, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

W. Richards has been in business for over 200 years. According to their website, the firm was in Liverpool for most of their history (today they’re in East York).

W. Richards (Liverpool) Hammergun 12 Gauge: Trim action is adorned with fine scroll covering 60% of the action with perfussion-style fences for added flair. It is barreled with an exceptionally fine-patterned damascus finished in black and white. It’s stocked with a nicely figured piece of walnut and ends with heel and toe caps. The fore end fastens with a nicely engraved Rigby-style lever fastener.The gun locks up tightly on face with double under lugs and a doll’s head top fastener. Barrels were nitro proved at 18.9 mm (.744) in 1993 and remain at this diameter to date. Observed minimum barrel-wall thicknesses measure .022 on the right barrel and .028 on the left. Chokes measure .009 in both barrels. The gun is cased in a nice leather trunk case with the appropriate W. Richards Liverpool case label. Price: $1,999.99

W. Richards (Liverpool) Hammergun 12 Gauge Shotgun
W. Richards (Liverpool) Hammergun 12 Gauge Shotgun
Manufacturer: 1879
Caliber: 12 gauge
Chambers: 2 1/2
Metal Condition: Shows an elegant damascus pattern in black and white. No patina.
Wood Condition: Numerous marks though none through the finish.
Bore Condition: Bright and shiny
Barrels: 29″ damascus
Triggers: Double
Stock: Straight-hand
Stock Dimensions 14 3/8″ LOP. 1 3/8″ DAC. 2 1/8″ DAH.
Fore End: Splinter with lever fastener
Butt Pad: Checkered butt with heel and toe caps.
Weight: 6 1/2 lbs.
Chokes: IC/IC (.009/.009)

The big BOOM – 4 gauge and 8 gauge shotguns at auction…

Fredrick T. Baker 4 Gauge Shotgun
Fredrick T. Baker 4 Gauge Shotgun

Really big bore shotguns (2, 4 & 8 gauges) used to be popular in the United States–until they were banned in 1918. Unlike market guns, ones like these were made to pass shoot big birds like geese and swans. Today, some states allow you to use them on turkeys and pests like crows and coyotes. Other states have completely banned them for hunting.

Fredrick T. Baker, 4 ga. single barrel shotgun

Fredrick Baker made guns in and around London from 1857-1913. While I’ve seen other guns bearing his name, this is the first hammerless 4 gauge by him I’ve ever seen. In fact, it’s the first hammerless 4 gauge I ever seen. It looks like it’s in excellent shape. The sleeved/nitro proofed barrels and ammo make it an extremely rare, and desirable, package. I bet it will go for a lot of money.

Wm. Sumners 8 gauge shotgun
Wm. Sumners 8 gauge shotgun

Wm. Sumner 8 gauge single barrel shotgun

William Sumner was a gunmaker in Liverpool, England, from  about 1858 to 1890. Eight gauges like this one are the most common ones you see. They’re usually the most affordable, too. This gun was probably made around 1880. With that 42″ barrel, you could probably hold it up and let the birds run into it.

Nice vintage shotgun stuff on Ebay now…

The stuff that comes with vintage double barrel shotguns is almost as cool as the guns themselves. Leather cases, oil bottles, snap caps — they’re part of the history and magic of a vintage firearm.

W. Richards double barrel shotgun case on Ebay
W. Richards double barrel shotgun case on Ebay

Here are some interesting accessories that are Ebay now. One of them may be just right for your old side by side shotgun.

W. Richards Leather Case: W. Richards has been making double barrel shotguns since 1780. If you own one, this original case with label would be a great home for it.

J. Purdey 12 gauge Nickel Plated Snap Caps: The real thing, and essential if you own a Purdey shotgun. These appear to be in excellent shape.

Holland & Holland Pewter Oil Bottle & Snap Caps: Another essential case accessory. Make your H & H double barrel shotgun feel at home.