I’ve known Sean & Liz Delaney since they started their shooting trips to the UK. I’ve watched their business grow and their clients list expand.
They’ve done this by offering clients great sporting experiences at prices that are more affordable than what British companies charge for the same thing. See for yourself what people say about Delaney & Sons in this long list of testimonials.
“Why …?” is a question I ask a lot when looking at guns. Why did Parker use a doll’s head? Why did Greener think a side safety was a great idea?
Another “Why?” I’ve asked many times is “Why did MacNaughton build a 28g Round Action shotguns?”
These guns pop up every now and then, and every time I see one, I scratch my head and wonder what the thinking was behind them. The one’s I’ve seen were made in the 1890s, had 24″-24 1/2″ barrels, and weighed around 5lbs. They also had adult-size stocks dimensions (which kills the whole “made for kids” idea).
People have told me these guns were made for walked-up woodcock shooting in the UK. I’ve also heard these SxS were made for naturalists gathering birds for avian collections. Both sounded like plausible explanations to me.
To learn more about MacNaughtons and their mysterious 28-gauge side-by-sides, check out this post from the John Dickson & Son site:
John Dickson of Edinburgh Classic Round action with great original barrels and stock dimensions ~ Light at 6 lbs. 4.5 oz.! Makers case: Hammerless Sidelocks – This gun dates from 1934 . A very nice Dickson from between the wars with great wall thickness and dimensions. This is the period that many consider to be the pinnacle of the UK gunmaking trade. The Bores are bright and shiny with a few pits in the right barrel towards the muzzle but in proof and nothing deep Note the weight! Serial Number: 7279 Ejectors: Yes Barrels: 27″ Barrel Type: Steel Action: trigger plate round action Gauge: 12 gauge Stock Comb: 1 7/16″ Stock Heel: 2″ Stock Cast: 1/4″ LOP: 14 3/8″ to wood butt Weight: 6 lbs. 4.5 oz. Choke Left: .028″ full Choke Right: .015″ IC-Mod Proof: Nitro: 2 1/2″ nitro Minimum Wall Thickness Left: .029″ Minimum Wall Thickness Right: .028″. Price:$12,000
Superb high original condition Parker DHE 12ga 28″ Game Gun with original SST and Straight Stock: EXCEEDINGLY RARE TRANSITION GUN – not marked “Parker” anywhere on the action! Very few of these (less than 6 in D Grade) known!!! Made on a 1-1/2 Frame with 28″ Titanic Steel barrels. This scarce gun with splinter forend, straight stock and original Parker SST. Gun has finely figured stocks with what is probably the original leather faced pad. Perfect choke combo in this gun for upland game! Overall the gun is in superb original condition. Retains about 97% original barrel blue, more than 97% bold original case color and crisp original wood finish. Mechanics are crisp and bores are brilliant and shiny. Gun has been fired but very very little. Price:$8750
BERETTA – SO2 – 28″ Bbls – Double Triggers – Solid Vintage Sidelock SO: 1968 – Beretta SO2 – 12ga, 2-3/4″, 28″ IM / F (.027 / .043) Boehler Steel Bbls, Ejectors, Double Triggers, LOP 14-1/2″ Drop 1-1/2″ to 2-1/4″, 1/8″ OFF, Weight 7 lbs. 6 oz. Just in time for Bird Season! Mechanically Perfect Condition. This gun has seen very little use. It feels like a New Gun. Your chance to own a True U/O Sidelock of Beretta Quality. Serial Number: 34733 Barrel Length: 28″ Bore Info: Original Chambers: 2 3/4″ Ejectors: Strong Ejectors Condition: VG Bore Condition: Exc Barrels: Boehler Antinit Steel Action: U/O Triggers: DT Stock: POW Stock Drop: 1 1/2″ Stock Comb: 2 1/4″ Stock Cast: 1/8″ OFF Fore End: Game Butt Pad: Silvers LOP: 14 1/2″ Rib: Vented
Finish: Coin Weight: 7lbs 6oz Manufacture Date: 1968 Chokes: IM/F Engraving: Rose/Scroll. Price: $5,350
REMINGTON 1894 – C GRADE – 32″ ORDNANCE STEEL BARRELS WITH EJECTORS – 12 GAUGE: Here is Remington 1894 C Grade with the rare 32″ Ordnance Steel Barrels. This 12 gauge gauge gun has perefctly timed ejectors and sharp and well executed engraving. Mirror bores measuring .725 as original with 35/1000 Full Chokes in each barrel. Chambers are 2 3/4″. Tight on face. No loose ribs, barrels ring very nicely. No cracks to wood. Ivory front bead has cracked as photo shows. Auto safety. Weight of gun is 8 LBS 1 3/4 OZ. LOP – 14 1/4″ Drop at Comb – 1 5/8″ Drop at Heel – 2 1/8″ Price:$3,750
David McKay Brown Trio of 16g Side by Side Game Guns: Consecutively numbered, true trio of 16g round action trigger plate self-opening Side by Side game guns by Scottish maker, David McKay Brown. Each gun is built on the classic Scottish trigger plate action with its rounded bar. Each gun features two triggers, auto-safeties, color case hardening and wonderfully executed small English scroll by renowned engraver Dave Tallett. Each gun features the Maker’s name inlayed in gold on the bottom the actions. Finally, each gun is appropriately numbered “1, 2, or 3” in gold and and the word “SAFE” is also inlayed in gold. All three guns feature 29” chopper lump barrels with 2 ¾” chambers and 2002 London proof marks. All three sets of barrels are bored and choked the same at: 3/8 (.015″) and 1/2 (.020″) with smooth concave game ribs. The guns are stocked in a lovely set of well matched stock blanks with straight hand grips and splinter forend. There is a 15″ LOP over checkered butts and the guns are cast off 1/8″. The guns weigh a lively 6 lbs. 2 oz. and are complete in the Maker’s three gun motor case. The guns show some signs of use, but are overall in excellent condition, tight on face, and the barrels and stocks free from any dents, bulges or cracks. Each gun is a superb example of the classic Scottish round action game gun. According to Donald Dallas’ book, David McKay Brown, Scotland’s Gun & Rifle Maker, The definitive history authorized by David McKay Brown, (2011 Quiller Press), the three guns were finished in 2003 and are the only trio of 16g Side by Side Game Guns shown in the ledgers when the book was published. Price:$95,000
VERY RARE AH GRADE PARKER 12 GAUGE SxS SHOTGUN: Gun features a 30 inch barrel with an unusual 2 Ivory beads on it. Choked improved cylinder and modified. AH stamp on the water table as well as a number 6. 175k serial range. Original straight grip stock measuring 14-5/8 inches to the end of the Josten pad. Excellent condition with most original varnish. Sharp checkering. It has a gold inlaid unused inscription plate in the stock. This Parker is in beautiful shape with 85-90% bright case colors on the frame. Bottom of the receiver retains just traces of case color. The trigger guard is nicely engraved with a dog and has traces of blue remaining. Bottom of the receiver has a beautifully done dog with a bird in it’s mouth and a running deer. Both sides of the receiver are game scene engraved. Quite delicately done. Gun has the correct splinter forearm as well automatic ejectors. Also has the correct barrel markings “Acme Steel” on top of the rib. Overall this just a great gun. This is the 3rd A grade I have bought this week. This one came from an estate out of Fargo North Dakota. It has been identified in the Parker gun identification and serialization book having all the mentioned features. Has never been on the market before. Gun weighs 7pounds 5 ounces. Price:$41,500
Gorgeous early CSMC Fox XE-grade 20ga two-barrel set with case: Made in 1995, this fantastic early CSMC XE Fox has it all – and remains in exceptionally nice original condition to boot. The gun is engraved in factory XE Grade pattern, signed by Leopold Schickl. Made originally with two sets of barrels and two forends – one in 27″ and one 26″, this would be the one gun any man would need for all seasons. The gun was made with straight grip, double triggers, and splinter forends with Schnabel tips. The gun is beautifully engraved with quail on left, woodcock on right, and standing Fox on the bottom all surrounded by well executed factory oak leaf pattern. This gun was made with exceptionally nice highly figured dark wood, as per the original order. The stock terminates with the original checkered butt, and the grip is diamond shaped which is smooth and delicate. Initials “E.H.” in gold stock shield near toe. Each barrel with single ivory bead. The gun is housed in its original two barrel set case with all accessories. Overall, the gun remains in near mint original condition retaining nearly all of its original finish to both wood and metal. Mechanics are crisp and bores are brilliant and shiny. Price:$17,000
BERETTA – RARE – European Market – S57E – 20ga – English Stock Double Triggers Ejectors – Like New! Very Very few Beretta shotguns were imported to the U.S. with English Stocks. 1963 – Beretta – S57E – – 20ga, 2-3/4″, 26-3/4″ M / F (.014 / .024) Vent Rib, Mid Rib Bead, Ejectors, Double Triggers – Front Articulated, Completely Hand Engraved, Long Trigger Guard Tang, English Stock, Game Forearm, LOP 14-1/4″, Drop 1-5/16″ to 2-1/8″, Very Slight Cast Off, Weight 5 lbs 14 oz. Very tight gun. Still doesn’t fall open. Perfect Bores. Shot very little. Metal is 99+%. Wood about 97%. Shipping to CONUS included in price. Price:$2850
AYA sidelock SxS shotgun, No.1 20ga: This AYA is a 20GA with double triggers and a 26″ barrel. Both barrels are set in improved cylinder for the chokes. It comes with a hard case. This Shotgun is in very nice condition with little to no use wear. 20 Gauge. Metal Condition: Very good, Minor to no use wear. Wood Condition: Very good, Minor to no use wear. Barrels: 26″ Triggers: Double triggers Stock Dimensions: LOP 13 1/4″. Weight: 6 lb. 8 oz. Sights: Front metal bead. Chokes: IC/IC. Price: $2,499.99
Here’s your chance to buy one of the rarest and most beautiful side-by-side shotguns ever made.
John Dickson & Son has been building Round Action shotguns since the 1880s. Since then, they’ve made approximately 2,000 of these SxSs. Of these, I believe fewer than a dozen of these have been sixteen gauges.
Besides being a rare gauge, the one you see here is special for couple other reasons, to: First, the engraving. It’s an unusual pattern, probably executed by Harry Kell. Second, the damascus barrels. According to the seller, this gun was made in 1905. That’s late for damascus barrels, so whoever ordered this gun specified that he want them instead of fluid-steel.
Holland & Holland Royal SxS Double Rifle .303 British: A Back-Action Sidelock Double Rifle chambered for the .303 British cartridge. It has 28” rifled barrels, File cut quarter rib with platinum lined express rear sights – 1 standing (100 Yds) and 2 folding (200 & 300 Yds). Island base foresight, Bushed strikers (Disk set strikers) with retaining set screws, Double triggers, An extended top strap over the comb, Holland & Holland traditional full coverage “Royal Scroll” engraving pattern with case color hardened finish, Full length trigger guard tang to an engraved steel grip cap, Best quality walnut stock has shadow line (Beaded) cheekpiece, Drop points, Pistol grip, Splinter forend with Anson release, 14 1/8” LOP to a horn plate, 9 Lbs. 9 Oz. Price:$39,750
GREIFELT #1 PRE WAR O/U 20 GAUGE VL&D IMPORT: 26″ SOLID RIB IC AND MOD 2 1/2 CHAMBERS, DOUBLE TRIGGER, EJECTORS, 3-PIECE FOREARM, ENGLISH GRIP, MAKER’S CASE, EXCELLENT ORIGINAL CONDITION, 5LBS 14 OZ, 3″ DAH, 2″ DAC, 14 1/2 LOP. Price:$13,500
John Dickson of Edinburgh Classic 12 Gauge Round action with great original barrels and stock dimensions ~ Light at 6 lbs. 4.5 oz.! Makers case! This gun dates from 1934 . A very nice Dickson from between the wars with great wall thickness and dimensions. This is the period that many consider to be the pinnacle of the UK gunmaking trade. The Bores are bright and shiny with a few pits in the right barrel towards the muzzle but in proof and nothing deep. Serial Number: 7279, Ejectors: Yes , Barrels: 27″, Barrel Type: Fluid steel, Action: trigger plate round action, Stock Comb: 1 7/16″, Stock Heel: 2″, Stock Cast: 1/4″, LOP: 14 3/8″ to wood butt, Weight: 6 lbs. 4.5 oz., Choke Left: .028 full, Choke Right: .015 IC-Mod, Proof: Nitro: 2 1/2″ nitro, Minimum Wall Thickness Left: .029″, Minimum Wall Thickness Right: .028″. Price:$12,000
If I had to pick one shotgun for all my shooting, it be a British 12 gauge. And if I wanted to get a great deal, it would be the British 12 gauge you see here.
This boxlock is built an Anson & Deeley action, a solid, time-tested design. The maker — Mortimer — was one of Britain’s older gunmakers. Founded in the 1750s, they merged with John Dickson & Sons in 1938. Judging by the proof marks on this double, it was built between 1925 and 1938. It doesn’t appear to have been used much since then.
Event though its weight isn’t noted, I bet it comes in at 6 1/2 – 6 3/4 lbs, and the stock is probably 14 1/4″ inches long with 2 1/8″ drop at the heel. If the barrels are sound, tight and on the face, and everything else is in order, it’s a great deal (and with a little haggling, I get you could talk the price down to super-fantastic deal).
John Dickson & Son Pre-Owned ‘Round Action’ Side-by-Side Shotgun: A pre-owned 12 bore John Dickson & Son ‘Round Action’ Ejector Shotgun with 28 inch barrels at our New York Showroom. John Dickson & Son best quality round action ejector with double trigger and automatic safety. Price: $29,900
Barrel Length: 28 Inches – New 1989
Chamber: 2 1/2 Inch
Chokes: Bottom: 1/4 Top: 3/4
Length: 14 3/8 Inches
Bend: 1 5/8 – 2 5/16
Weight: 6lb 5oz
Case: Single Leather Motor
Date of Manufacture: 1899
Westley Richards, SxS hand detachable sidelock assisted opening 12 Ga: #19133, Westley Richards , hand detachable sidelock assisted opening 12 Ga. Made in 1965 , in maker leather case with snap caps and cleaning rod. 28” dovetail lump barrels, 2 ¾” chambers in like new condition , bores measure .730” With mirror finish, chokes are .009” and .017” ( Imp Cyl and Mod) . Narrow swamped rib with like new soldering . Holland type, spring loaded opener . Original blacking in 95+% condition.
Bar action , hand detachable sidelocks, single selective single trigger with selector on the right lock .
I have checked and serviced the gun for the last 5 years, and the single trigger has been absolutely trouble free. 95% coverage of acanthus leaves with a 95%+ original condition charcoal case color hardening. Automatic safety. Splinter forend with Anson release and Southgate ejectors. Nice game gun with weight at 6 lbs. 8 oz. and a balance point at the hinge. Stock measures 14 5/8” LOP over a .600” leather covered pad , drop is 1 3/8” and 2 1/16” with a ¼” cast off. The wood is in 95% original condition with some light marking in the finish and checkering. Obviously this gun has been well taken care of and maintained for the last 52 years . A chance to own a 95% condition bespoke game gun for a third of the new replacement. Price:$24,900
Parker VHE 20 ga Skeet gun in 95 % Original Factory Condition: 26” Barrels bored Skeet 1 and Skeet 2, Single Selective Trigger, Beavertail Forend, and Auto Ejectors. This is a late Remington gun (SN 2423XX) in almost new condition throughout. Case colors are about 95% showing slight ware just below the hinge pin on the bottom of the action bar. Standard dimensions for a skeet gun but would also work well for sporting clays or quail: LOP = 14 ¼ in. over the factory original Noshock pad, DC = 1 ½ and DH = 2 ¼ inches. A truly lovely little gun priced to sell. Price: $12,500
PARKER BROS. VHE 12 GA. No.1 FRAME: 28” BARRELS M/FULL, DT, PG, 14 1/4” X 1 ½” X 2 7/16′, CASE COLORS 90% plus – WT. 6 LBS. 14 OZS., VERY CLEAN HIGH CONDITION ORIGINAL GUN. Price:$4,250
BROWNING SUPERPOSED 20 GAUGE OVER/UNDER SHOTGUN: 26 12/” BARRELS WITH MINT BORES, 3″ CHAMBERS, BORES: OVER .610 CHOKE .009, UNDER .610 CHOKE .009, MEASURES IMPROVED CYLINDER BOTH BARRELS, CHOKES MARKED SKEET, LEVER WELL RIGHT OF CENTER, USED BUT NOT ABUSED, PERFECT FOR THE FIELD SUPERPOSED, ROUND KNOB LONG TANG, MADE IN BELGIUM CIRCA 1959′ , DIMENSIONS WITH FACTORY BUTTPLATE 14 1/4″-1 1/2″-2 1/4″ Price:$1,950
Of all the iconic British designs for hammerless double barrel shotguns, the Dickson Round Action is certainly the most unique.
And according to a lot of people, it’s also the most beautiful. Take a look at this one which just came up at Lyon & Turnbull auctioneers in Edinburgh, Scotland to see if you agree.
James MacNaughton filed a patent for a the world’s first trigger plate, round action hammerless breech loading SxS shotgun in July, 1879. Six months later (January of 1880), John Dickson filed a patent for what would become his company’s legendary Dickson Round Action.
Both designs were innovative and brilliant. By moving the lockwork onto the triggerplate and behind the breechface, MacNaughton and Dickson freed themselves to build trim, sleek actions which were still extremely strong.
On this Dickson, the full-coverage scroll engraving and the Acanthus-leave carvings on the fences are very unique, and part of what makes this side-by-side so beautiful.
About twenty-five years ago, the beginning of the double-gun renaissance began. The Double Gun Journal was a big part of this resurgence. So were Donald Dallas’s books on the famous London gunmakers.
Dallas published his first book — Boss & Co, Builders of Best Guns Only — in 1995. Books about James Purdey & Sons and Holland & Holland followed. While information about all these makers had already been published many times, Dallas’s books were these firms’s definitive histories. His original research corrected many errors and resulted in page after page of new information.
Dallas’s latest book — JOHN DICKSON & SON, THE ROUND ACTION GUNMAKER — does the same. With 352 pages and 447 photographs, this hefty, coffee-table size book tells two amazing stories: One is of John Dickson & Son; the other is of how much love the author has for this firm.
Dallas spent years researching and writing this book, and to get it into print he used his own funds. It is based on hundred of hours of original research, as well as on Dallas’s exclusive access to the maker’s archive and records. Along with the history of the company, readers will also find:
-Full color pictures of some of the finest Dickson firearms to ever be built.
-The ledgers of John Dickson & Son, with information on the 7,000 or so firearms the company built from 1840 – 2010.
-Production figures for Dicksons guns, rifles, and pistols.
-The patents of John Dickson & Son.
-The trade labels used by the company.
-A reprint of two John Dickson & Son catalogs, 1935 & 1962.
– The story of Charles Gordon, The mad Scottish gun Collector and Dickson patron.
Established in 1838 at 60 Princes Street, Edinburgh, the firm quickly gained a reputation for building very high quality guns and rifles, their two-groove percussion rifles achieving international acclaim. John Dickson (3) made the greatest contribution to the firm by patenting the round action gun in 1880 that instantly achived critical acclaim as a best gun utilising a trigger plate action. The beautiful and elegant three-barrelled gun followed in 1882 and by the time the ejector had been patented in 1887 the Dickson round action had been perfected. In 1923 John Dickson (3) retired and the business was sold. In 1928 the firm moved to 32 Hanover Street and in 1937 to 21 Frederick Street, the present day location of the firm.
This book goes into great detail on all the types of Dickson guns and rifles built and was written with the full permission of John Dickson & Son. 352 pages, 447 photographs.
Abbiatico & Salvinelli Best Quality Side Lock in 28 gauge: With 27″ smooth game rib barrels choked IC&M . Straight grip stock of outstanding light walnut with vivid black streaking in both sides. Matching splinter forend. LOP 14 1/2 over checkered butt. Beautiful and very fine full coverage english scroll engraving signed by master engraver Goldani. Gun is in 98% condition and is cased in it’s original trunk case. Price:$15,995
Mortimer and Sons .450 3 1/4 BPE: This is a original, mechanically sound double rifle, with Jones underlever chambered for the .450 3 1/4″ BPE. It has a 27 3/4″ barrels with full length file cut rib and three rear sight leaves, one fixed at 100,and two folding at 200 and 300 yards. The Henry
rifling in both barrels is very good with a teeny bit of pitting in each. There is very generous engraving on the action and lock plates and it is sharp with some color remaining in protected areas. The fore end has a lever style release and across the steel butt plate is written, “charge 120 grains”. The length of pull is 14 5/8″ and it tips the scales at a fraction under 9lbs. The only known defects are a 1/2″ crack in the heal of the stock just in front of the widow’s peak of the buttplate and a one inch sliver missing from the fore end, both of which are pictured and why I’m not asking $7500. The stock has what I believe to be original finish, the checkering is very good, with handling marks comensurate to a rifle this old. Overall, a very nice example of a fine Scottish double rifle. Price:$6,850
1903 LC Smith No. 3 12G SxS Shotgun: Very nice 1903 year manufacture L.C. Smith with chain damascus 30″ barrels. Faint case color. Original factory engraving with grade 3 oval on each sideplate. All original with factory straight stock. Solid gun in very good condition. Lever is in center position. Price:$2250
John Dickson & Sons is Scotland most famous gunmaker. Established in 1820, Dickson first made a name for itself in the 1840s with their fine “Improved Two Grooved Rifles”, a modified version of the British Army’s Brunswick rifle. Later in 1880, the company patented their famous Round Action trigger plate shotgun. In between, they built the 10 bore hammer gun you see.
This double was sold by Dickson in December, 1875, and it looks very original. As you can tell from the specs, it’s big, heavy gun, probably made for pigeon shooting or waterfowling. I would love to get my hands on it and find out how those 32″ barrels feel.
Someone needs to buy this great looking Scottish side-by-side right away. This gun was made for Charles Ingram Gunmakers, of Waterlook St. Glasgow– a business that began in 1835 — and it looks like it has a lot of original finish. I love the scroll engraving and the reddish cast of the wood, too. This SxS has post-1925 and post-1954 proof marks on it, so it has been reproofed. I would take a close look at the wall thicknesses and also check to see if the barrels have been reblued.
British boxlocks like this are some of the best deals in the vintage gun market, so I’m sure it will sell quickly.
James MacNaughton opened his gunmaking business in 1864 and in 1879 he introduced his Edinburgh Patent Hammerless Ejector – the world’s first “round-action” shotgun. The first MacNaughton round actions were lever cockers, and the locks cocked when you operated the gun’s top lever to open the breech. Later models, like the on you see here, switched over to a barrel-cocking design.
BTW: if you would like to have a new one, Dickson/MacNaughton will be happy to build one for you. Prices start at £38,775.
12 gauge J. MacNaughton & Sons, Edinburgh, #3558, Double Barrel Shotgun: This is the “Edinburgh Gun”. A Superb Conditioned and Very Elegant Hammerless Round Action Triggerplate Bar-In-Wood (Skeleton-Action) Double 12 Bore Nitro Made about 1933; This very gun, #3558, is the last recorded gun of the original MacNaughton business and their records, The record of this gun is undated and it is believed to have been delivered either during or shortly after WWII, The current owners have confirmed this fact, It has 28″ Ejector dovetail lump barrels with hidden third bite at .733″ .007 & .027″ (Open Imp.Cyl. & Imp.Mod.), 2 3/4″ chambers, Wall thickness on the right and left at .0275″; Original London Nitro Proved at 1 1/8 ounce and then London proved to 3 1/4 tons when the chambers were lengthened to 2 3/4″ from 2 1/2″ & marked with the proper reproof, The safety is a turning top lever on the top strap, Double triggers, The receiver top tang with the MacNaughton trap door, Splinter forend with an Anson release, Straight hand stock at 14 3/4 x 1 1/2 x 1 7/8″ over a 5/8″ removable leather pad with plugs, It will go 15 3/16″ with a 1″ pad, Cast-off for the right hand, Great game gun weight at 6 lbs. 11 oz., Very nice wood with excellent black/brown contrast, Good bite remains, 95% coverage of classic scroll engraving, 40% original case colors, 98% case colors remain inside the forend, 60% original case colors on the breech face, A professional reblack on the barrels and now remain at 97%, The stock & forend are at 95%, The checkering is at 98%, The bores are 100% bright and shiny and remain like new.
This is special stuff from one of the most famous Edinburgh Gunmakers of the 19th century. It is estimated that about 100 bar-in-wood MacNaughton actions were made and roughly about 200 solid bar actions. James MacNaughton was the patentee of the first round action similar to Dickson’s own later design. His round action triggerplate lockwork was patent #2848 of 1879 which included a falling block as well as this SxS. This patent is certainly the forerunner of all the round actions that are still made to this day. This classic MacNaughton system also carried a U. S. patent #264,723 of 1882. The firm became James MacNaughton & Sons at 36 Hanover in 1905 and remained there until 1940. In 1999 the owners of James MacNaughton bought John Dickson & Son Ltd and formed the company trading under the name of Dickson & MacNaughton to this day. Price: $27,750.00
After John Dickson & Son, Alexander Henry may be Edinburgh’s most famous gunmaker. Mr Henry opened his business in 1853, and within a decade he was know throughout Scotland and the UK for his competition rifles, sporting rifles, and a major for the Henry rifling used in the famous Martini-Henry rifle. In 1870, he also invented snap caps.
Even though Mr Henry died in 1894, his is business lived up until about World War 1. The petite little double rifle / shotgun you see here was made at that time. The 300 Sherwood cartridge it uses was introduced by Westley Richards in 1901. Made for small game hunting, the cartridge pushes a 140 grain projectile at 1,400 feet per second and generates 610 foot pounds of energy — comparable to a .357 Magnum.
Alexander Henry & Co., Edinburgh, .300 Sherwood & .410 Sidelock Double Rifle/Shotgun: Scroll Engraved. AE, 2 Barrel Set: 19 3/4″ .300 Sherwood nitro proof. 1 standing & 4 leaf folding sights & 28″ inch Mod. & Full 3″ nitro proof. Pistol grip, Auto Safety, 14″ LOP to checkered butt. Highly figured Walnut Stock. 85% case color, 5 pound 1 ounce, & 5 pound 3 ounce. Original Oak and Leather Case with tools plus 50 rounds of Kynoch .300 Sherwood Ammunition. Price: $29,500.00
British and Scottish gunmakers are famous for their lightweight game guns. But they also made great shotguns for waterfowl and bigger game.
The Dickson boxlock you see here would be perfect in a duck blind, or beside you while you’re calling in a fat turkey. With original 1 3/8″ proofs, it can push enough shot to smack down large birds. Because the gun is built for these load, it’s heavy enough to swallow up all that recoil and keep you from getting hit just as hard.
This one was probably made in Birmingham for Dickson. It’s looks pretty original. If the barrels check out and the rest of the gun is sound, it could be a good deal.
JOHN DICKSON – 12 GA. BOXLOCK – HEAVY PROOF: EXTRACTORS, 30” M/F, D.T., P.G. STOCK. TRIGGER GUARD TANG EXTENDS TO GRIP CAP. LOP 14 ¼” OVER PAD. CASE COLORS 95%, WT. 7 LBS. 15 OZS. 1 3/8 OZ.PROOF, EXCELLENT CLAYS OR WATERFOWL – $3,600. Price: $3,600.00
My latest piece for Sporting Shot came out last week. Sporting Shot is the online brother of Shooting Sportsman magazine; my piece is about a spectacular collection of shotguns and rifles that I discovered last year.
The 12 gauge Daniel Fraser & Co. shotguns you see here are from that collection. As you can see, they’re fantastic side by sides. Check out the entire piece at Sporting Shot to find out more about them.
It was Saturday, a few minutes before noon. An hour earlier I had stepped off of a plane after a 1,200-mile flight, and my host had picked me up at the airport, driven me to his home in a suburban neighborhood of neat houses and nicely trimmed lawns. Now we were in his dining room,with the shades drawn against the midday sun. Ten leather shotgun cases were stacked on the table in front of us: Abercrombie & Fitches, nut-brown Bradys, and British oak & leathers with bright brass corners.
“How about right here?” I said, pulling aside an armchair and tapping one of the Bradys. I had a hunch about the case. It was tiny and had to hold a .410.
“Give it a go,” my host said, grinning like he knew I was about to be impressed. I sprung the case’s brass lock, lifted the lid and stopped.
After several moments of staring, all I could say was “Holy crap.” There, snug in the case’s red baize lining, was one of the rarest over/under shotguns on the planet: a Boss .410. And it looked brand-new.
“I told you,” my host said, grinning even wider. “And that’s just the start. We have nine more to go.”
Dickson round actions are one of those shotguns that guys go crazy about. First patented in 1880 and the refined throughout the 19th century, these doubles are made on a unique trigger-plate action that gives the guns their unique, rounded look.
Because they’ve been making side-by-sides for 100+ years, Dickson round-action shotguns are easy to find. Dickson round-action double rifles are not, though. In fact, this one coming to auction on Saturday, 10/6, is the first one I’ve ever seen. And from what I can tell, it appears to be a very nice, and very original rifle.
Lot 341: John Dickson & Son side by side top lever double-barrel Express rifle, .500 cal., London and black powder proof barrels with ejectors, a highly scroll engraved receiver, trigger guard, lever and tang, a gold-filled safe indicator, a right-handed English walnut stock with a cheek rest, a pistol grip with checkering to the wrist and fore end and a brass escutcheon on the butt stock, serial #4655, 28″ barrels. Estimated: $6000 – $8000
How much would you pay for a 4 gauge double barrel shotguns? For one person, the answer was $86,250.00. That’s what this 4 bore Dickson brought the other day at Julia’s March 2012 auction.
With 42″ barrels, and weighing in at over 22 pounds, this gun is a beast. Eccentric British collector Charles Gordonhad it made for him in the 19th century. The gun has seen a little refinishing, but it’s still in excellent overall condition.
BTW: This 4 bore is not a punt gun. Punt guns were larger, usually attached to small boats (called punts) and used shoot flocks of ducks and geese. This Dickson would have been fired from the shoulder and used to pass shoot larger waterfowl including swans.
Here’s a 4 bore punt gun in action:
Here’s a guy firing a 4 bore from the shoulder at sporting clays.