High quality doesn’t always equal high price. Case in point: I’ve always been amazed by how well-made pre-World War II German OUs are and how low their prices remain.
The 16g F.W. Heym Grade 9D you see here is a great example
It’s on Gunbroker.com now and the online auction listing ends Sunday, 10/2/2022 @ 8:25 PM EST.
F.W. Heym was founded in Suhl, Germany, in July 1865. The company is still around today. They built this shotgun in the 1920s. It features a Merkel-style triggerplate action, sideplates, ejectors, and 28″ barrels with a full-length vent rib. It also has original 2 3/4″ chambers.
Back in the ’20s, this shotgun was one of the highest-grade F.W. Heyms imported into the US. It was expensive and costs about as much as Paker BHE SxS.
I’ve shot fancy British OUs that cost 10x-12x more than guns like this Heym. Are those Purdeys and Woodwards 10x-12x better? I didn’t think so.
Friedrich Wilhelm Heym Grade No 9D 16 Ga 28″ Over/Under Shotgun 1919-33: Make: Friedrich Wilhelm Heym of Suhl, Germany Model: Grade No. 9D Serial#: 5805AH Year of Manufacture: Circa 1919-1933
Finish Originality: Original
Gauge: 16 Gauge, 2 3/4″ chamber.
Weight: 6 Pounds and 7.9 Ounces
Barrel Length: 28” with a ventilated rib, the ribs are sound and tight.
Choke: The top barrel has a Full choke and the bottom barrel has a Improved Modified Choke. Both chokes are fixed.
Action Type: Over/Under Hammerless Top-Break Shotgun with a Barrel Selector and Ejectors
Markings: The receiver is covered in floral scroll engravings and on the bottom is marked “FR. WILH. HEYM, SUHL / GERMANY”. The top of the receiver, obscured by the barrel when it is in the down position, is marked with two Weimar-era proof marks (a German Eagle and a crowned “U” which was a definitive proof) above Germany on the right side and features the serial number on the right “5805AH”. The belly features a medallion marked “G.P.” The upper left portion of the top barrel, concealed by the side panel, is marked “ROECHLING”, “GTC” inside an oval, “ELEKTROSTAHL”, and has faded German proof marks concealed by a wood side panel (an eagle next to “NITRO” which was a nitro proof, two faded eagles, a corwned “U” definitive proof, “16” inside an oval which was the gauge designation and some marks that are no longer legible). The bottom barrel, visible when the forend is removed, is marked “ROECHLING”, “GTC” inside an oval and “ELEKTROSTAHL”. The bottom of the lower barrel is serial matched. The left rear portion of the upper barrel, which is visible when the gun is fully assembled, is marked “NEW-YORK”, “GRADE No 9 D” and Nitro next to a faded mark. The right rear portion of the upper barrel, which is visible when the gun is fully assembled, is marked “SLOANS SPORTING GOODS Co INC”. The forend iron is serial matched.
Sights/ Optics: The front sight is a red bead and there is a red colored bead about half way down the rib.
Stock Configuration & Condition/ Grip: The stock is 4 piece wood featuring a checkered detachable forend, two smooth wood side panels, a checkered semi-pistol grip with a engraved metal cap, a fluted straight comb, a medallion on the belly and a textured black synthetic butt-plate. The stock has some light handling marks, nicks and scuffs. Notably, there is a tiny crack at the tip of the top tang. The LOP is 14.5” from the trigger to the rear of the butt-plate. The drops are approximately 1.75” and 2.5” inches from the comb and heel respectively. The butt-plate has some light handling marks. Overall, the stock is in Very Good-Fine condition.
Type of Finish: Blue and Case Color
Bore Condition: The bores are mostly bright with some light erosion concentrated around the muzzles.
Overall Condition: The shotgun retains about 65% of its metal finish. There are some light-moderate handling marks, nicks and scuffs. Notably, the case-colored receiver’s finish has largely worn off, with some surviving finish on the top tang, concealed by the barrel and on the sides. The barrels have a patch of moderate finish loss on the forward left side, light wear around the leading edges and some light wear around the muzzles. Some of the markings have faded but most remain clear. The screwheads are lightly tooled and remain serviceable. Overall, the shotgun is in Very Good condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The barrels lock with no play on the frame. We have not fired this shotgun. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance requirements.
Box Paperwork and Accessories: None.
Our Assessment: Friedrich Wilhelm Heym was a Suhl based industrialist who founded his namesake company in mid 1865. The company is most famous for the shotguns and rifles it has produced. The company primarily exported its goods to the Russian Empire before shifting its focus to the United States around the time WWI broke out (Germany and Russia went to war in 1914). Ironically, Germany would end up fighting the United States as well in 1917. Despite this, when WWI ended the company continued to export arms to the U.S., primarily exporting shotguns and drillings. The company survived WWII and remains in operation today.
This particular specimen is an over/under shotgun, designated the Grade No. 9D, which was made during the Weimar-era based on the proof marks. The gun has some handling wear but it retains its beautiful engravings and is still mechanically sound. The gun should make a wonderful addition to any collection. Good luck on your bid!