Sure Browning is famous for their Superposed and Citori OUs, and their A5 autoloaders.
But the company also “made” some great SxSs. I say “made” because Browning had their SxSs built by another company (just like they did with their OUs). For the BSS, that copy was Miroku in Japan.
Browning offered the Miroku-made BSS from 1971 to 1988. With a straight grip and a slim forend, the gun you see here is a Sporter model, which was Browning lightweight version of this gun. These doubles are great for grouse, woodcock, and qual, and at this price, this one is a fair deal.
Browning BSS BOXLOCK SXS 20GA: 26″ solid rib barrels modified to accept choke tubes, Colonial Arms choke tubes installed MOD – SKEET, smooth shiny bores, blued finish, white mid-bead, white bead front sight, very nice checkered straight buttstock – forearm, light marks consistent with field use, LOP – 14 1/2″, DAC – 1 5/8″, DAH 2 5/8″, and black Decelerator recoil pad. Price: $1,399
In New England, a ruffed grouse is called a pa’tridge. I don’t know why. There’s always one gauge I associate with pa’tridge hunting: the 16. I don’t know why this is, either.
Sixteen gauges have been around forever, but they’ve been very popular. The British never loved them, at least not as breechloading centerfires. It think it’s because the standard British game gun is a 12 gauge that’s weighs around 6lbs, 12oz. and is proofed for 1 1/8 ounces of shot.
Most British 16 gauge shotguns weigh just a few ounces less, and they’re proofed for a 1 ounce load. So for a gun buyer in the UK, the sixteen offers little benefit in weight while it pushes a 10%+ smaller payload.
But American 12 gauges are bigger guns, usually in the 7 1/2 pound+ range. For most makers, you had to drop down a gauge to get a double in the 6 1/2 – 6 3/4 pound range. I think that’s why the 16 gauge was more popular in the States.
The sixteen you see here is Parker’s VH grade. The VH was Parker’s original knock-about gun, and even though it was the least expensive hammerless double the company offered until they introduced the Trojan grade in 1913, the VH was never a cheap gun. It cost $50 when it was introduced in 1899. The same year, Winchester Model 97 repeater retailed for $27.
Parker called the VH “A gun for hard usage that cannot be equaled” and most buyers purchased them off the rack in 12 gauges on No. 2 frames with pistol grips. With its straight grip, this one was probably specially ordered.
Here’s more about it from the seller:
Parker VH 16, Remington Era, Straight grip, 28″ Exc. original: Serial Number 240237, made approx. 1937. It is a VH 16 gauge with 28″ barrels choked light modified and modified. 2 3/4″ chambers with excellent bores. Length of pull is 14″ over the original dog’s head plate. The original straight grip stock is in excellent condition with sharp checkering. Both the wood and trigger guard are number matched to the shotgun and are without any doubt original. The wood is probably 2X fancy and is the nicest peice of wood we have seen on a V grade.
There are generous amounts of original case color remaining on the receiver sides and around the lever. Lock up is tight and the shotgun remains in excellent mechanical condition. DAH is 2 5/8″ DAC is 1 1/2″ and the weight is approx. 6 lbs 10 oz.. This is one fine original little English stock 16 gauge Parker with tons of condition. Price: $5,500.00
Just in time for the upland season — a great little O/U that’s all you need for grouse, woodcock, and quail. It’s online at Gunbroker.com now, and the auction end in tomorrow, 10/8/2013, @ 8:29:00 PM ET. So if you like what you see, get on it now.
Every gun nut has THE shotgun they’re trying to find. For a friend of mine, it’s 2o gauge Lindner-made Charles Daly with damascus barrels. Another guy I know is searching everywhere for an all original, color-case hardened Belgian-made 20g sidelock with 28″+ tubes.
My holy-grail used to be a 16 gauge L.C. Smith No.2 with a straight grip and double triggers. I spent years trying to track one down. When you look at the gunmaker’s production numbers, it’s easy to see why.
According to the L.C. Smith Collector’s Association, the folks in Fulton made just seven-hundred and ninety-three 16-gauge No. 2s. I bet at least 90% of these had pistol grips, and that’s why one with this configuration are easy hard to find (I’ve owned at least 3).
But swap in a straight grip, ask for double triggers, and now you’ve got a tough gun to track down. L.C. Smith probably set up fewer than thirty 16g No. 2s like this, and I’ve spent a decade looking for one.
In the past few month — bang! — two of them have popped up on the market. When I found the first one, I shocked by the condition – 90%+ all original – and stunned by the price – $8,0000. This one has less of that condition, but the price is still steep. Of course, it may be the last one you every see:
16 gauge L.C. Smith 2E with an original straight grip and double triggers: Nice, original condition LC Smith 16 GA, grade 2E. 28″ barrels choked .021 modified right and .032 left. Both bores are .661. Barrels retain 75-80% original blue. Engraving is sharp and clear, original case color remains at 50% or so. Straight hand stock with splinter fore-end. Checkering is sharp and un-damaged. Butt stock has an extension added that is so good that is hard to see.(see photos). LOP is 14 7/8″ to a 1/2″ pad. DAC 1 5/8, DAH 2 3/4, Cast is neutral. Mechanically perfect, this one is ready for some action in the field or on the range. Price: $5,495.00
Sorry for being MIA the past few days. Work has been a bear the past few days – 10, 11 hours a day in the office – and I haven’t had extra time or energy to do much more. But now I’m back. And so are the good guns.
The Browning Superposed was the last firearm designed by John Browning, and this over-under shotgun went into production in 1931 – five years after its inventor’s death. I think the Superlights were introduced in the late ’60s and offered into the ’70s. The one you see here weighs just 6 lbs. 8 oz., so it looks like it lives up to its name.
For some reason, Americans have never loved shotguns with straight-gripped stocks. That’s why most of the doubles by American makers like Parker, A.H. Fox, & L.C. Smith feature pistol grips.
When you do see straight-gripped stocks on an American double, it’s usually on a higher grade model. The higher-grades were custom made, and customers could order whatever they wanted.
But most of the lower-grade guns were bought off the rack at a local sporting-goods shop or hardware store, and buyers took what they could get. And that was usually a double with a pistol grip.
So all this means that this Field-grade L.C. Smith is a tough shotgun to find — especially in original condition.
L C Smith, Hunter Arms, 20 Gauge Straight Stock: Field grade, 28″ bbls, Full & Full, 2 3/4″ chambers, Very good blue, Mirror bores, Light case color, Featherweight frame, Straight-grip stock, Splinter forearm with the Curtis Forend Fastener (refer to page 424 in the John Houchin’s L.C. Smith book). Very good wood and checkering. 1 1/2″ X 2 3/4″ X 14 1/2″. Made in 1913. Price: $1650
Back in 1949, Beretta started building a series of shotguns that would become legends. This was the AS-line, and the shotguns were boxlock O/Us. Beretta built them as lightweight hunting guns, and the company offered 2 gauges (12g and 20g) and 3 grades (ASE, ASEL, and ASEELL). Today, a lot of Beretta fanatics consider the AS-grades to be the best boxlock shotguns made by the Italian company. If you want one, they’re usually out there, but hard to find.
The one you see here is one of the tougher configurations to come across. It would be perfect in the uplands, and even though the bbls are a bit short, but I doubt a couple inches will make a difference on grouse & woodcock.
Here’s more about it from the seller:
1953 Beretta AS 20E Boxlock 20 Gauge: 26 inch skeet and skeet chokes. This gun is 99% receiver 97% barrels and 98% wood. Serial # is 11xxx. WT 5lb 7oz DAC 1 3/8 DAH 2 1/8 LOP 14. Price: $3,700.00
The Brits have always liked lightweight 12 gauges. For most of their shooting, 1 to 1 1/8 ounces of lead are just right. Once they realized this, they built most of their doubles to shoot for this much lead. And those doubles are twelves.
Today, that means twenty-gauge British doubles are hard to find, especially ones like the W. & C. Scott you see here. This one has 28″ barrels, long stock (14 1/2″) and the high dimensions ( DAC 1 5/8″, DAH 2″) barrels and stock.
It also has condition. From what I can see, this Scott is very original. That’s incredible for a shotgun was made before the first World War. And it makes the price — just $3,995 –very fair. So fair, that I bet this SxS will be sold in a few days. If it looks good to you, buy it now.
Here’s more about it from the seller:
W. & C. Scott and Son, 20 GA BLE: 2 1/2″ chambers, bores are bright and shiny. In proof 7/8oz. 5# 9oz. 28″ barrels with both bores .617. Chokes are .027 full and.031 full. Barrels retain 90-95% original blue. Action and fore-end hardware retain 75% original vivid case color. DAC 1 5/8″, DAH 2″, LOP 14 1/2″to a checkered butt, Initial oval in stock is blannk. Cast off 3/8″. Nicely figured wood with sharp checkering. A hard to find 20GA English gun with shootable dimensions. Price: $3995.00
The Baltimore Arms Co. was one of America’s didn’t-make-it gunmakers. From 1900 to 1904, they manufactured side-by-side shotguns based on a patent designed by Frank Hollenbeck. this Sunday, June 2, @ 8am, one of these shotguns is coming up at Redding Auction Service in Gettysburg, PA.
Lot 560: Parker AAHE Grade Pigeon gun, 12 gauge 2 ¾” chambers, 32” barrels: Serial number 205648. About 240 made. Excellent as restored condition by DelGrego. Barrels show Peerless steel marking. The interior of the barrels are very good plus with 99% plus of the proper color refinish. The action has been lightly polished. The trigger guard has been refinished. The stock remains in excellent as restored. LOP 14 ½”, 1 7/8” drop at the heel, ½” drop at the comb. Wall thickness .29 right and .25 left. . Est.: $35,000- $70,000.
Lot 600:Parker CHE grade 12 gauge double barrel shotgun, 30″ barrels: Serial #118334. English style straight stock, double triggers, auto ejectors, Titanic steel marked barrels, in very good+ to near fine original condition, . The barrels show 75-85% original blue; action retains 40-60% case hardening; the trigger guard has drifted to traces of blue; the stock shows a good grain and fancy checkering, with the forend almost fully checkered. LOP 14-1/2″. The gun locks tight, the bores are bright, and this is a very nice looking collector’s grade Parker. Est.: $6,000-$12,000
Lot 197:Parker VHE grade 20 gauge, SxS shotgun: Fine original condition. Serial #210670. The barrel’s measure 26”. 14 ¼” LOP The barrel’s retain 95% plus bright original blue, action shows 50% to 70% bright original case hardening. Trigger guard shows 50% to 70% thinning original blue. The gun is completely authentic and not abused. A collectors quality Parker out of a local estate. The barrels are both choked improved modified showing 2 ½” drop at the heel and 1 ½” drop at comb. Full 2 ¾” chambers and the ejectors work well. Est.: $1,400-$2,800.
Lot 176: Parker Brothers 12 gauge GHE grade Factory Skeet, by Remington: Serial #241791. In fine to near excellent condition. 26” barrels with ventilated rib, single trigger, auto ejectors, beavertail forend, pistol grip stock, skeleton butt plate. The gun shows 95% to 98% original blue and case hardening with just some slight handling and minor use. The stocks are also fine to near excellent showing a nice burled wood grain. The barrels are both choked cylinder or skeet. 14” LOP. Est.: $7,000 -$14,000.
Lot 1463: 28 gauge Parker CHE double barrel SxS shotgun, OO frame: Serial #184814. Barrels originally 30”, now 26”. English style straight stock, skeleton steel butt plate and checkered butt, serial number 184814. Old factory or Del Greco quality refinish of which and 90% to 95% of this blue finish remains showing good sharp edges and sharp markings with just a few small scratches, slight toning and minor losses. The frame is typically Parker engraved with fancy scrolls showing hunting dog on left and right with game bird on bottom. The frame shows 65% to 85% proper and old-style case hardened colors. Select checkered walnut stocks which of also been lightly refreshed and refinished. The action is tight and the bores are near excellent . Est.: $20,000-$40,000
UPDATE: It turns it out this Beretta has 26 3/4″ barrels. It’s still nice gun, though.
I’ve written before about Beretta’s fabulous AS series of over/under shotguns. Handling wise, they’re up there with some of the most expensive O/Us in the world. For the money, they’re one of the best O/Us you can buy.
Most of the ones you see today have pistol grips and single triggers. They’re nice guns, but not perfect (not in my mind, anyway). This one is perfect, though. It’s a 20 gauge with a straight grip, 28″ barrels and double triggers. That’s the holy grail of Beretta’s AS-series shotguns. On top of all this, the price is pretty fair, too. Considering the quality, $5100 is more than fair.
Beretta started making their AS series in 1949 and the company offered them into the 1960s (and maybe later). They came in three models (ASE, ASEL, and ASEELL), the biggest difference being the amount of hand engraving and quality of the wood. They lockup like Beretta SO-series shotguns and ASs made after 1960 or so have Boehler Antinit steel barrels. Basically they’re top quality doubles at low end prices.
I search for shotguns every night. In about 20 minutes I can check all of the major gun website for new double barrels. Most night I see nothing. While there are always new guns, they’re rarely ones I’m interested in. Weeks go by like this, sometimes months. Then one day something nice pops us and all the searching is worth it.
Here’s one of those double barrel shotguns. It’s a 16 gauge A.H. Fox A grade with double triggers and a straight grip. It’s a tough gun to find, especially in all-original condition, and probably one of the best grouse guns ever made in American.
I saw it today Gunsinternational.com. It had been online fewer than 12 hours early, probably less, and as soon as I saw I was on the phone. The seller picked up on the third ring. Sold.