If you collect big bore, waterfowling shotguns, or want to start, you’re in luck: Two of finest you’ll ever find are coming up in James D. Julia’s April, 2017, auction. In their day, big bores like these were far too expensive to be used by commercial hunters as “market guns.”
Instead, they were bought by well-off sportsmen and used to pass shoot ducks, geese and even swans. From what I’ve read, as hunting pressure along the Eastern flyways increased, waterfowl became warier (and scarcer). To bring them down, hunters needed guns that could reach out further. With their big loads and heavy charges, big bores were able to do this.
A monstrous & fabulous E.M. Reilly 4 gauge Side-by-Side hammer shotgun. I’ve had this double in my hands, and it’s incredible. To help it resist corrosion, it was nickel-plated and it features no engraving. It was probably made in England in the 1870s, and it remains in incredible — and to my eye — all original condition. Interestingly, it has stalking safeties on it – a feature normally reserved for hammer rifles.
An L.C. Smith 8 gauge Quality No. 2 Side-by-Side hammerless shotgun. I’m pretty sure this shotgun popped up on the market a few years ago. If it’s the same gun, it’s in incredible original condition and pretty much new. L.C. Smith probably made fewer than 50 eight gauges. This one has to be the finest one in existence. The Quality No. 2 was L.C. Smith’s lower middle grade. The company built them from 1890-1914 and made 12,483 total. Of those, just 38 were 8 gauges.
Boss & Co. 12 gauge Best Quality and extremely rare self opening London sidelock: This Boss was built between the wars and is one of only 56 ever made as a true self opener. Having excellent original wall thickness and dimensions this fine Boss correctly and elegantly represents what is considered the paragon of British gun making, the Boss BEST sidelock ejector. This Boss comes in a correct VC (stands for Very Compact) motor case and is truly ready for the field and to be appreciated by its new owner. Price: $32,000.00
Serial Number: 8355
Barrels: 28″, Choke: IC, Skeet 1
Action: Sidelock ejector
LOP: 14 1/8″ (13 11/16″ o
Weight: 6 lbs. 5 oz.
Proof: Nitro: 2 1/2″
Reilly 8 Bore underlever hammer double rifle: Fully rifled 8 Bore Jones underlever rebounding hammer double rifle. 24″ damascus barrels with strong rifling with minor pitting in front of the chambers. Bores are very good. The full lenth rib has a dolls head extension with one fixed sight and one folding sight. This double rifle was made about 1892 and is very very similar to the Holland and Manton 8 Bore double rifles and was probably made by the same maker. The right weight for an 8 Bore at 16 pounds 8.8 ounces with the barrel weight at 9 pounds 12 ounces. The twist is about 1 in 56 indicating a conical bullet rifle. The chambers are 3 1/4″. The double rifle locks up on face and is mechanically in very very good condition. It is border engraved and the makers name is on both back action locks.The pull is 14 3/8 ” over what looks to be a horn butt plate. The stock is solid and very sound with NO proud metal. Wood to metal fit is very very good also! The barrels were rebrowned in England and retain about 95% finish. The stock has the correct patina as you would expect for an English double rifle, the checkering is crisp. The stock has a shadowline Holland style cheekpiece and is in excellent condition. The screw heads are in good condition showing very little wear. The detriment to the rifle is the pitting over the action, locks, underlever and forend iron. The pitting does NOT effect the use of the rifle and could be polished out and the border engraving recut. Price: $15,950
PARKER BROS., MODEL DHE., 20 GA., 0 FRAME. Price: $12,500
ID # 6140
Make PARKER BROS
Gauge / Caliber 20 GA
Serial # 236110
Country of Origin America
Barrel Length (in Inches) 26
Choke R/U M (Modified)
Choke L/O F (Full)
Trigger DT (Double)
Stock Configuration Pistol Grip
Forearm Type Splinter Forearm
Rib Type Matted Concave Rib
Receiver Finish Casehardened – TRACES OF COLOR IN PROTECTED AREAS
Engraving Type DHE: Fine Scroll w/ Cameos Engraving
Other Options 0 FRAME, FACTORY DOGS HEAD BUTT. GOLD OVAL
Condition Near EXC. Condition, ALL ORIGINAL
Weight 5LB 12 OZ
Dimensions DAC 1-1/2, DAH 2-5/8, LOP 14, C/O 1/4
Other Details BRADY BROS. LEATHER CASE, PARKER BROS. FACTORY PAPERS, LIGHT WEIGHT GAME GUN
Manufrance Ideal #4 SxS Shotgun: 16GA, 2 3/4″ chambers, double trigger extractors, 28 M&F with mint bores, 100% color case in the protected areas and 60% around the action, 60% on the rest of the gun with nice open engraving. Original blue. Nice piece of wood, straight grip with retractable sling. Original butt plate. This gun is in excellent condition and has a very tight action. Dimensions are 14 x 1 1/4 x 2 1/4, weight 5lb 13oz. It is very hard to find a round action gun like this one. Price:$3,500
Beretta 471 Side x Side ~ 20 Gauge: With original factory hard case and manual Price:$2,699.99 Manufacturer: S/N – S10351A
Caliber: 20 GA
Metal Condition: Excellent
Wood Condition: Very Good / Excellent
Bore Condition: Mirror
Stock: Checkered Walnut
Fore End: Checkered Walnut
Butt Pad: Brown Rubber
Weight: 6lb 15oz
Sights: Bead Front
Chokes: CYL X IC
Lot 32401: 12 gauge A.H. Fox HE Grade Boxlock Ejector Double Barrel Shotgun: Serial no. 29397. 12 gauge. 30-inch barrels with matted concave rib. Casehardened border engraved boxlock action. Watertable marked with: H. Finely checkered replacement straight stock of semi-figured contrasting walnut. Silver’s style recoil pad. Fox D-style checkering pattern with scalloped panels at head of stock and arrow head points at grip. Finely checkered replacement splinter fore-end with Fox D-style checkering with diamonds and waves. DATA: Barrel dimensions: Bore diameter: 0.744/0.744 inches. Chokes: 0.048/0.048 inches. (Extra Full/Extra Full) Chambers: 3 1/4 inches. Stock dimensions: Pull: 14 3/4 inches. Weight: 8 pounds, 9 ounces. Estimate: $3,000 – $4,000.
Condition: Excellent, as completely redone. Gun was converted to straight grip, stocked and reblued by Keith Kearcher. Barrels show 99% reblued finish. Action with 99% vivid Doug Turnbull case colors. Triggerguard has been lengthened, reblued and re-engraved. Replacement stock & fore-end show a few very small marks.
Lot 32402:A.H.Fox A Grade Lightweight Double Barrel Shotgun: Serial no. 201859, 20ga, 28-inch barrels with matted rib and marked: CHROMOX FLUID COMPRESSED STEEL/MADE BY A.H.FOX GUN Co. PHILA.PA.U.S.A. Floral-engraved receiver marked: ANSLEY H. FOX. Extractor. Checkered walnut stock and forearms. Whiteline butt pad. LOP is 14-inches. Estimate: $1,000 – $1,500.
Condition: Good to Very Good. Barrels retaining approximately 60-70% blue. Receiver with a gray-brown patina. Stock very good with handling wear and fine scratches. Pinned chip repairs at frame.
Lot 32425: 20 gauge Charles Daly Diamond Grade Boxlock Ejector Double Barrel Shotgun: Serial no. 10599. 20 gauge. 28-inch Kochlings Spezial Steel barrels. Matted concave rib marked Charles Daly Diamond Quality. Extended rib with square cross bolt. Barrels with wedges of fine foliate scroll. Casehardened scalloped boxlock action fully engraved with fine foliate scroll and a game scene on the underside. Watertable stamped: PRUSSIA. Ejectors. Sideclips. Auto safety. Intercepting safeties. Cocking indicators. Casehardened triggerguard with game scene. Finely checkered half pistolgrip stock of highly figured walnut. Vacant silver oval. Horn inlay at grip. Drop points and checkered panels at head of stock. Finely checkered splinter fore-end with Deeley-style release & horn tip. Later leather covered recoil pad. DATA: Barrel dimensions: Bore diameter: 0.629/0.628 inches. Chokes: 0.031/0.031 inches. (Extra Full). Chambers: 2 1/2 inches. Proof: German Nitro 20/20, 12/23. (Note: Out of proof due to enlarged bores, by 0.003 and 0.004 inches respectfully.) Stock dimensions: Pull: 14 3/8 inches. Drop at comb: 1 3/4 inches. Drop at heel: 2 3/4 inches. Cast-off: 3/16 inches. Weight: 5 pounds, 11 ounces. Estimate: $6,000 – $8,000.
Condition: Excellent, as partially refreshed. Barrels retain 99% reblued finish. Lower rib, under the fore-end with 4 plugged holes. Excellent bright bores. Action shows 90-95% dark case colors with thinning at front from carry-wear. Triggerguard with 80-90% case colors with wear at the lower tang. Stock shows a few light nicks, some dull areas & some areas of light recoated finish.
Lot 32428: Cased E. M. Reilly Bar-in-Wood Hammer Double Barrel Shotgun: Serial no. 22423. 12 gauge. 30-inch Damascus barrels with game rib marked: E. M. Reilly & Co., New Oxford St. London & Rue Scribe, Paris. Casehardened side-lever bar- in-wood action. Rebounding locks. Percussion fences. Finely checkered straight grip stock of figured walnut. Drop points. Horn buttplate. Finely checkered splinter fore-end with Anson release. DATA: Barrel Dimensions: Bore Diameters: 0.731/0.732. Choke: 0.011/0.014 inches (Improved Cylinder/Modified). The left choke is recessed. Chambers: 2 3/4 inches. Proof: Birmingham Nitro, .729/.729, 2 1/2, 3 tons. (Note: Not in proof due to lengthened chambers.) Stock Dimensions: Pull: 13 3/4 inches. Drop at comb: 1 1/4 inches. Drop at heel: 2 inches. Cast-off: 1/8 inches. Weight: 6 pounds, 9 ounces. Brown leather trunk case with green baize interior. Brass fittings. Maker’s period label. Replacement straps. Estimate: $3,000 – $4,000.
Condition: Fine, as partly refinished. Barrels with 94-96% rebrowned finish, excellent bright bores. Barrels show slight external unevenness from rebrowning. Action a nice polished silver gray finish. Reblued triggerguard shows 97-98% finish. Refinished stock with a few light marks, possible older restock. Recheckered stock and fore-end. Fore-end with some slight marring to checkering. Trunk case in very good condition with nicks and scrapes to the exterior. Interior shows some wear and fading.
Lot 180: E. M. Reilly & Co. 12-bore sidelock ejector, No. 33922
30-inch damascus barrels with 2 1/2-inch chambers, about improved cylinder and full choke boring, doll’s head extension, the frame, back action bar lock and top lever with bouquet and scroll engraving and retaining much original hardening colour, 14 3/4-inch well figured stock, 6lb. 9oz., nitro proof. Bores/walls: Rt: 734/26 & Lt: 736/26. Estimate: £1,800-2,400
Pros: Looks like it could be very original. Good bores, good walls, damascus bbls, excellent maker, nice weight.
Cons: Not sure of the quality of the gun – would have to see more pics. Wood & bbls could be refinished, same with toplever & triggerguard. Again, would have to see more pics.
This is the kind of double that makes me drool. It’s probably from around 1890 -1895 and it has that great vintage look. It looks like it has escape the British refinish mill, too.