See this week’s 5 doubles you don’t want to miss …

The most extraordinary Fox Shotgun upgrade Extant - A Grade Special Made for W.H. Gough with nearly a dozen Gold Inlays- Truly Exceptional!!!
The most extraordinary Fox Shotgun upgrade Extant – A Grade Special Made for W.H. Gough with nearly a dozen Gold Inlays- Truly Exceptional!!!

The most extraordinary Fox Shotgun upgrade Extant – A Grade Special Made for W.H. Gough with nearly a dozen Gold Inlays- Truly Exceptional!!!: Easily the most extraordinary and exceptional A.H. Fox shotgun we know of is serial number 6500, made for W.H. Gough.  This gun, an exact duplicate of the the original is truly the epitome of the gun makers art.  This gun, also serial number 6500, made with 30″ Krupp fluid steel barrels that have a fully hand engraved top rib and floral scroll wedges at the muzzle ends as well as gold inlays and 3″ floral scroll wedges at the breech.  The gun has a splinter forend, capped ball grip, gold plated double triggers, auto ejectors, and auto safety.  The gun is completely and fully engraved in exact duplication of serial number 6500 with full Gough floral scroll throughout the frame.  Gold “SAFE” in front of safety as well as gold inscription on top rib which reads “Built Expressly for W.H. Gough by A.H. Fox Gun Co, Philadelphia, PA”. This gun was made with extraordinary European Walnut stocks which are fabulously carved in leafy and floral patterns.  The butt terminates with a 1/2″ full leather covered pad.  Ball grip with incredible horn and gold cap.  The quality of the workmanship on this gun cannot be overstated. This gun is truly a display of what can be done, when no expense is spared in the art of gunmaking.  The gold inlays speak for themselves and the beauty of this gun cannot be overstated. If you are someone who is only satisfied by “the very best” look no further.  The cost of the work on this gun would far exceed $100k if done today, and the original gun is not obtainable at 2 or 3x that amount. This gun is offered at $64,500 plus shipping and insurance to your FFL. Price: $64,500

ABBIATICO & SALVINELLI SELF COCKING EJECTOR HAMMER GUN 28 GAUGE
ABBIATICO & SALVINELLI SELF COCKING EJECTOR HAMMER GUN 28 GAUGE

ABBIATICO & SALVINELLI SELF COCKING EJECTOR HAMMER GUN 28 GAUGE: SEVERIN ENGRAVED, #143, 26″ 002 AND 003 2 3/4″, SINGLE TRIGGER, EJECTORS, SPLINTER FOREARM, ENGLISH GRIP, CHECKERED BUTT, NEW TEST FIRED ONLY, 5LBS 2 OZ, 1 3/4″ DAH, 1 5/16″ DAC, 14 5/16″ LOP. Price: $35,000

CASED J. PURDEY & SONS BEST QUALITY EJECTOR SELF-OPENING SIDELOCK 12 GA. SHOTGUN MANUFACTURED IN 1912
CASED J. PURDEY & SONS BEST QUALITY EJECTOR SELF-OPENING SIDELOCK 12 GA. SHOTGUN MANUFACTURED IN 1912

CASED J. PURDEY & SONS BEST QUALITY EJECTOR SELF-OPENING SIDELOCK 12 GA. SHOTGUN MANUFACTURED IN 1912: 30”, 1 1/4oz. Sir Joseph Whitworth barrels with original 2 ¾” chambers choked Improved Cylinder and Modified. Double triggers. Extra grade engraving with Purdey’s classic relief chiseled “LEAF” motif fences. A number “2” gun of a set with top lever engraved in a floral circular cartouche “2”. Fancy walnut stock with solid pad (14”pull, 1 ½”,2 ½” drop, ¼”cast off) with silver “2” inlaid at heel and a silver monogram plate. Matching forend. Weight 7 pounds, 7 ounces. All matching and original with barrels re-proofed and refinished in Britain. Excellent condition with much original color case hardening. Mounts and screws with considerable original blue. Barrel with all the blue. Engraving and barrel address in top condition with the latter as sharp as can be attesting to the quality of the finishing. Perfect working order and excellent bright bores. Original Purdey best grade oak and leather luggage case with label with original serial number label for a similar gun a few hundred numbers away originally owned by the same person who ordered this gun. Direct from estate of the descendant of the original owner of both this gun and it’s case. Price: $18,500

Ithaca NID magnum field grade 10ga 3.5in
Ithaca NID magnum field grade 10ga 3.5in

Ithaca NID magnum field grade 10ga 3.5in: Very nice late gun with border engraving and nice stock wood. Original condition gun never refinished. Great vintage Duck, Goose or Turkey gun. Serial Number: 500616, Barrel Length: 32″, Ejectors: yes, Condition: very good, Triggers: double, Stock Comb: 1 1/2″, Stock Heel: 2 1/2″, LOP: 14 5/8″, Weight: 11lbs 4oz, Choke Left: full, Choke Right: full. Price: $4,500

BROWNING SUPERPOSD SUPERLIGHT OU SHOTGUN 20 GAUGE
BROWNING SUPERPOSD SUPERLIGHT OU SHOTGUN 20 GAUGE

BROWNING SUPERPOSD SUPERLIGHT OU SHOTGUN 20 GAUGE: 1972 Belgium mfg. 26.5 inch IC and Mod. Long tang. 13 1/8 LOP Pachmayr White Line pad. 97%. Excellent bores. Price: $2,895

See this week’s 5 doubles you don’t want to miss…

F.lli Piotti King I 20 Gauge Sidelock SxS
F.lli Piotti King I 20 Gauge Sidelock SxS

F.lli Piotti King I 20 Gauge Sidelock SxS: 28″ Chokes: IC – M L.O.P. : 14 3/4″ Drop: 1 1/2″C x 2 1/4″H Weight: 6 lbs 4 oz Ser. #: 9189 Stock #: 852. Price: $22,000

Gebruder Merkel 12 Gauge – MOD. 127E, PRE-WAR SIDELOCK SIDE-BY-SIDE, MINTY
Gebruder Merkel 12 Gauge – MOD. 127E, PRE-WAR SIDELOCK SIDE-BY-SIDE, MINTY

Gebruder Merkel 12 Gauge – MOD. 127E, PRE-WAR SIDELOCK SIDE-BY-SIDE, MINTY: Year 1926, 12 Gauge, 7lbs 2oz, Chokes F/F, LOP 14 1/4″, DAH 2 3/4″, DAC 1 5/8″, Serial Number: 14777. I have been collecting, buying, and selling fine shotguns for over 30 years.  It is a treasure hunt extraordinaire that I have enjoyed immensely.  There are times when you think you have seen it all, and then you come across a truly rare and amazing shotgun.  Merkel has been building fine firearms since 1898 and built its first side x side in 1914.  Mostly known for their fine shotguns made post-WWII after the lifting of the Iron Curtain, it is their PRE-WAR guns that collectors and shooters covet most.  Pre-war Gerbruder Merkel is associated with finely crafted over/under guns more than the side x side guns.  I have seen many of their over/unders.  However, I was unaware of their BEST GUN sidelock side x sides known as the Model 127E as shown here with the fine Merkel we are offering for sale today.  This Merkel, sn14777 built in 1926, remains in incredible factory original condition with 99% factory barrel blue, 99% vivid, bold factory case color, 99% charcoal blue trigger guard, and 98% factory finish remaining on the wonderfully figured European walnut stocks.  This is a Holland & Holland style 9-pin sidelock action, complete with beaded fences, sculpted bolster on the frame, cocking indicators, and ALL GOLD-WASHED INTERNALS, INCLUDING THE EJECTOR RODS, EJECTOR HAMMERS, COCKING RODS, TRIGGERS, AND ALL PARTS OF THE LOCKS INCLUDING THE PINS THAT SHOW TO THE OUTSIDE.  You just don’t see these features on anything but the company’s finest offering of the day.  The engraving is the most detailed and perfectly executed rose and scroll engraving I have witnessed from any maker in the world.  Study the photos on our and you will see what I mean.  The gun is in as new condition both visually and mechanically.  This is a VFI CERTIFIED GUN WITH A 90 DAY MECHANICAL WARRANTY.  We have stripped the action and forend to its smallest parts, Ultrasonic cleaned the old, dried oil from all the parts, inspected all for function and integrity, lubricated all and reassembled.  The barrels have a wedge of engraving on the Krupp Steel rib, are tight on face and the hinge pin like a new gun, with ribs tight and barrels that ring true.  See the specifications below for stock measurements, chokes, barrel wall thickness, etc.  This is a rare gun, and a rare opportunity to own the finest Merkel has ever offered as a named Model 127E.  Thanks for looking! Price: $17,950

Whitworth Company Limited .451 SxS Percussion Double Rifle Cased
Whitworth Company Limited .451 SxS Percussion Double Rifle Cased

Whitworth Company Limited .451 SxS Percussion Double Rifle Cased: This one of very few percussion double rifles built by the Whitworth company, the pair of barrels were built out of one bar of steel! No rib, regulated in the boring! This rifle is cased in the original cased and has been shot by Ken Owen as well as myself and the owner. 485-500 grain bullets, hex bores that are very clean, 1 standing, 5 folded to a front sight that is adjustable for windage. The action is clean with stalking safe and engraved Whitworth crown detail, clean screws, original nitre blue on the safeties. The barrels are 26″ with what appears to be original blue, a few rack/ handling marks, the ramrod is period correct. The stock is very stable with no oil soaking, no cracks, good chequering, original appearing oil finish with scattered handling marks and dents, 14 1/2″ length of pull to a steel plate with good blue. This rifle is wonderful at the shoulder with no excessive drop and wonderful balance. The sights come up as a modern rifle would. The Case is in fair condition. 9lbs 10oz. Price: $15,000

H. S. Greenfield & Son Matched Pair Lightweight 12g SxS Boxlock
H. S. Greenfield & Son Matched Pair Lightweight 12g SxS Boxlock

H. S. Greenfield & Son Matched Pair Lightweight 12g SxS Boxlock: H. S. Greenfield & Son, 4 & 5 Upper Bridge Street, Canterbury, Kent consecutively numbered matched pair of lightweight game guns with 26″ ejector dovetail lump barrels with Churchill ribs. Birmingham proved at .729,  3 1/4 Tons,   2 3/4″ chambers. Both sets of barrels exhibit excellent bores. Bores and chokes are identical on both guns. Bores measure .732 on the right and .730 on the left. Choked .009 [IC] on the right and .019 [M] on the left. Fancy back scalloped receivers retain 90% vivid original color case hardening and 90% coverage of Holland & Holland style scroll engraving. Gold inlayed #1 & #2 on receiver, barrels, and forend on both guns respectively. Barrel, trigger guard, and floorplate blue remains at 98% on both guns. Stocked in nicely figured English Walnut with good color and contrast. Receiver drop points. Initialed stock ovals. Buttstocks show light field use with slightly more on the #1 gun.  Lop is 14 1/2″ to leather covered pads on both.  DAC-1 1/2″   DAH-2 1/8″   Cast off 1/2″   Both weigh 5lb 15oz. This is an outstanding and exactly matched consecutively numbered pair from an obviously very talented provincial maker that remain in high condition. Outstanding upland bird guns that you can carry all day. Top drawer stuff. I just doesn’t get any better than this. Cased in their original monogramed leather motor case with canvas cover and cleaning rod also in very good condition. Price: $9850

16g Parker VHE, SxS, 6 lbs. 9 oz
16g Parker VHE, SxS, 6 lbs. 9 oz

16g Parker VHE, SxS, 6 lbs. 9 oz: Serial Number: 158831, Ejectors: Yes, Barrels: 26 inches, Action: SE, Triggers: Double Trigger, Gauge: 16 Gauge, Stock Comb: 1 1/2 inches, Stock Heel: 2 3/8 inches, Fore End: Splinter, LOP: 14 1/4 inches, Weight: 6 lbs. 9 oz. Price: $4,500

This week’s 5 doubles your don’t want to miss …

PURDEY BEST QUALITY OVER UNDER PAIR 16 GAUGE KELL ENGRAVED
PURDEY BEST QUALITY OVER UNDER PAIR 16 GAUGE KELL ENGRAVED

PURDEY BEST QUALITY OVER UNDER PAIR 16 GAUGE KELL ENGRAVED: PURDEY SAYS MADE 1949, NOTED IN RECORDS ENGRAVED BY  KELL, BOTH GUNS ARE THE SAME: 28″ SOLID RIB, CHOKED 012″ AND 032″, 2 1/2 CHAMBERS, SINGLE TRIGGER, EJECTORS, FIELD FOREARM, ENGLISH GRIP, MAKERS OAK AND LEATHER CASE, EXCELLENT ORIGINAL CONDITION, 6LBS 5 OZ, 2 1/2″ DAH, 1 5/8″ DAC, 14″ LOP FROM REAR POSITION SINGLE TRIGGER. Price: $139,500

Colt 1878 Grade 8 SxS Hammer Gun
Colt 1878 Grade 8 SxS Hammer Gun

Colt 1878 Grade 8 SxS Hammer Gun: Serial Number: 20648, Barrels: 30 inches, Triggers: Double Triggers, Gauge: 12 Gauge, Fore End: Splinter, LOP: 14 /14 inches, Weight: 7 lbs. 10 oz. Price: $24,500

Extremely Rare Sir Joseph Whitworth .451 Percussion Double Rifle With Hexagonal Bore
Extremely Rare Sir Joseph Whitworth .451 Percussion Double Rifle With Hexagonal Bore

Extremely Rare Sir Joseph Whitworth .451 Percussion Double Rifle With Hexagonal Bore, and Case: Extremely Rare Sir Joseph Whitworth Percussion Double Rifle with Hexagonal .451 Bores with case, and powder flask.  Very few were produced, and it is said that no more than 50 were made in total.  Possibly fewer. Whitworth’s single-shot rifles were prized by Confederate sharpshooters during the Civil War and were also used extensively in target shooting in the apex of the percussion rifle era. Parker Hale continues to market reproductions as to the Target rifle variants with the correct Hexagonal rifling. (I took a very large bull elk, quite cleanly, with one of these reproductions, before I owned this double!)  Far fewer Sporting rifles were produced by Whitworth, and, again, fewer still of the double rifle variety. These double’s barrels were produced from a single piece of bar stock which Whitworth bored. A very unusual method of production, but extremely effective when done right, and Whitworth was one of England’s most renowned machinists.  Hex bullets can be used of course, or, more commonly, people use .451 +/- conical bullets that simply bump up to hex shape upon firing.  These are very effective hunting rifles as the bullets have great sectional density when weighing 485-500 grains or so. This provides almost the perfect combination of bullet diameter and penetration.   Bullet molds are quite common in this configuration. Most users recommend a powder charge of approximately 90-95 grains of FF Black powder.  This example shows honest use, but was maintained properly, and is in excellent condition overall, as is it’s original case. Mechanically and functionally excellent, and very good as to appearance is the way I would grade this example.  Folding sights in 100-yard increments to 500 yards. Test targets are included showing how well this rifle’s barrels are regulated at both 50 and 100 yards, and the powder charge and bullet type used to achieve these tight groups. Bores are excellent, and show little if any frosting whatsoever.  Stock shows numerous handling marks and scratches, but no cracks or splits. Stock has pistol grip cap of steel, and a silver stock oval which is not yet engraved.  Rifle’s Bluing is browning on the tang, the locks and receiver, and is quite good on the buttplate. Barrels also quite good as to blue. Some Scattered scratches and handling marks in the barrel bluing. Locks and triggers work perfectly. Ramrod correct for rifle, and there is a period powder flask in the case. Weighs 9 pounds 8 ounces, and balances well.  The pictures tell the story, but feel free to contact me with questions. Try to find another! 🙂 For those with genuine interest, more photos can be supplied. A truly special rifle for the percussion enthusiast. Thanks for looking! Price: $19,999

PRUSSIAN CHARLES DALY - TIME CAPSULE CONDITION - MADE IN 1932 - EJECTORS - 30" BARRELS
PRUSSIAN CHARLES DALY – TIME CAPSULE CONDITION – MADE IN 1932 – EJECTORS – 30″ BARRELS

PRUSSIAN CHARLES DALY – TIME CAPSULE CONDITION – MADE IN 1932 – EJECTORS – 30″ BARRELS: Here is a Prussian Charles Daly 12 gauge made in 1932 with exceptional condition. Superior Quality with Krupp Steel Barrels. Original condition throughout. Strong case colors. Detailed scroll engraving. Scalloped action. Cocking indicators. Ejectors. Arcaded fences. Double underbite with a Greener Style Hidden Third Fastener. Auto safety. Elegant stock with Prince of Wales Round Grip. Tight on face / no loose ribs / 30″ barrels ring perfectly / no cracks to wood. Mirror bores with right measuring at .727 with 37/1000 choke (Full). Left measures .735 with 48/1000 choke (Extra Full). Chambers are 2 3/4″. Shipping is $40. Original basketweave butt plate. Stock dimensions: LOP – 14 3/8″, Drop at Comb – 1 1/2″, Drop at Heel – 2 1/2″. Price: $5,500 

 

Emile Warnant - Liege Belgium - Excellent Quality - Sidelock Ejector - 1925 Gun - 28" Bbls - 2-3/4" Chambers for sale
Emile Warnant – Liege Belgium – Excellent Quality – Sidelock Ejector – 1925 Gun – 28″ Bbls – 2-3/4″ Chambers for sale

Emile Warnant – Liege Belgium – Excellent Quality – Sidelock Ejector – 1925 Gun – 28″ Bbls – 2-3/4″ Chambers: Well Made Side Lock Ejector in Very Nice Condition at a Reasonable Price. (.015 / .027), Ejector Bbls, Raised Solid Rib, Hidden Third Bite, Bushed Firing Pins, Double Triggers – Front Articulated, English Stock, LOP 14-3/8″, Drop 1-1/2″ to 2-1/8″, Weight 6 lbs. 13 oz. Price: $2450 

A beautiful pair of shotguns by George Gibbs…

George Gibbs, Gun Maker, Trade Label
George Gibbs, Gun Maker, Trade Label

George Gibbs is a gunmaker we don’t hear a lot about today. Even though he helped design one of the most successful hammerless shotguns of the 19th century, and his son partnered with William Metford to create one of the finest falling-block rifles of the 1870 and 1880s, you would be hard pressed to find a hunter or shooter who recognizes the firms name today. This is a shame, because many of the guns built by George Gibbs, Gunmakers are fantastic.

This George Gibbs .450 3 1/4″ Double Rifle is one example of just how nice a Gibbs can be. The pair of sidelock shotguns you see here are two more. Graham Mackinlay has these guns now. Made as a true pair of Best-quality side-by-sides, they’re in beautiful shape.

    George Gibbs Sidelock Ejector Shotguns. Pic courtesy Graham Mackinlay
George Gibbs Sidelock Ejector Shotguns. Pic courtesy Graham Mackinlay

Pair of 12 gauge George Gibbs Sidelock Double Barrel Shotguns: These are ‘best’ grade sidelocks and have been in one family from new. Both guns retain a large amount of colour hardening. The actions and locks are engraved with incredibly fine acanthus scroll. They have 29″ steel barrels with fine sunken top ribs which read, ‘George Gibbs Bristol and 35 Savile Row, London W (barrels Sir Joseph Whitworth fluid pressed steel)’. The guns are in their original leather case with named accessories, striker pot and disc key. The highly figures stocks are 14 3/4″ with leather-covered pads. The barrels of these guns are in phenomenal condition and will last several generations. It’s rare to find some fine guns in this condition. Price: £ 25,000

    George Gibbs Sidelock Ejector Shotguns. Pic courtesy Graham Mackinlay
George Gibbs Sidelock Ejector Shotguns. Pic courtesy Graham Mackinlay
    George Gibbs Sidelock Ejector Shotguns. Pic courtesy Graham Mackinlay
George Gibbs Sidelock Ejector Shotguns. Pic courtesy Graham Mackinlay
George Gibbs Sidelock Ejector Shotguns. Pic courtesy Graham Mackinlay
George Gibbs Sidelock Ejector Shotguns. Pic courtesy Graham Mackinlay
    George Gibbs Sidelock Ejector Shotguns. Pic courtesy Graham Mackinlay
George Gibbs Sidelock Ejector Shotguns. Pic courtesy Graham Mackinlay

Good gun alert: a 12 gauge J.W. Tolley hammergun…

J.W. Tolley 12 gauge hammer sidelock double shotgun
J.W. Tolley 12 gauge hammer sidelock double shotgun

I bought my first hammergun 10+ years ago, and I’ve been a nut for them ever since. Breechloading hammerguns were a major step in the transition from percussion firearms to modern hammerless double barrels. Unfortunately, the  breechloading hammergun period peak quickly and then fell off just as fast.

J.W. Tolley 12 gauge hammer sidelock double shotgun
J.W. Tolley 12 gauge hammer sidelock double shotgun

Breechloading hammerguns came on the scene in the 186os, first as pinfires, then as centerfires. But by the late 1870s, these shotguns were falling out of fashion. That’s because new side-by-sides like Anson & Deeley’s boxlock and W. & C. Scott’s  sidelock were coming onto the market.

These “hammerless” designs caught shooters’ attention, and then a bigger and bigger chunk of the new-gun market. Even though most makers offered hammerguns into the 20th century, the numbers of them ordered would never  surpassed their progeny again.

J.W. Tolley 12 gauge hammer sidelock double shotgun
J.W. Tolley 12 gauge hammer sidelock double shotgun

That bring us to this very nice vintage 12 gauge J.W. Tolley hammergun. Made in the early 20th century, it’s what I would call an late-era hammergun, and it was delivered towards the end of the gunmaker’s career.

James William Tolley was born in 1832 he started his business in Birmingham around 1858. His company was successful and by 1879 they had a reputation for large bore double barrelled guns and rifles. In about 1883 the firm opened a shop in London and around 1894 they even had a shop in New York City. Around 1919, J & W Tolley seems to have merged with Holloway & Naughton and by 1955 guns were no longer being made under the J & W Tolley name.

The 12 gauge you see here has a “New Bond St. London” address on it, so it was made around 1905 or so. It looks to me like it’s a medium-grade hammergun in very nice original condition. I especially like the color on the action and the original blueing on the Sir Joseph Whitworth’s Fluid Compressed Steel bbls. Overall, it’s a heck of a nice double, and a great way to start your own obsession with hammerguns.

J.W. Tolley 12 gauge hammer sidelock double shotgun
J.W. Tolley 12 gauge hammer sidelock double shotgun

Crazy Purdey…what the heck was the owner thinking???

12 bore J. Purdey, serial #10532
12 bore J. Purdey, serial #10532

J. Purdey shotguns have always been custom made, and for the most part, if you could afford it, they would build it. It’s obvious that the gentleman who ordered James Purdey #10532 could afford an awful lot.

This 12 gauge, bar-in-wood hammergun is coming up at Sunday at this auction in Italy, and I’m sure I’m not the only person who is looking at it and wondering what the original owner was thinking when he ordered it.

It has three sets of barrels (two damascus, one fluid), two original stocks and forends, but only one set of locks. I guess you could call it a “Half a Pair, Plus One.” The case is odd, too. You don’t see a lot of Purdeys in French-fitted cases, or with such a wide array of accessories. This one even has ivory-handled tools.

12 bore J. Purdey, serial #10532
12 bore J. Purdey, serial #10532

Here’s more info on the gun from the auctioneer’s site:

A Purdey double-barrelled centerfire gun in its original case Provided with a set of three different pairs of barrels: the first one, damascened, with rib marked “J. PURDEY & SONS. 314 1/2, OXFORD STREET, LONDON”, stamped with Victorian marks at the lower part and the writings “13 IV”, “12 B” and “NOT FOR BALL”; the second pair, identical to the first one, but stamped “JP” at the lower part on top of the writings; the last pair, blued, with blue finishing, rib with same mark followed by “MADE OF SIR JOSEPH WHITWORTH’S FLUID-PRESSED STEEL.”, with remains of Victorian stamps and number “12” at the lower part. All smooth, 12 gauge barrels, 76 cm long. The locks and the receivers finely engraved with racemes and small floral motifs, hammers and trigger guards en suite; plates signed “J. PURDEY & SONS”, opening levers with blue blueing and mark “PATENT”. Also provided with two butts of different briarwood, both checkered at the neck and decorated with a gold plaque at the bottom, engraved with same monogram. The gun is complete with two fore-ends, one marked “STEEL BARRELS”. All components (butts included) marked with serial number “10532”. The metallic parts keep most of the original blueing. Kept in its original, wooden case, lined with red velvet and covered by leather, with transportation handle (damaged); complete with Purdey label and two more labels, one marked with the gun serial number. Complete with original tools, having ivory handles. The owner commissioned a research at the Purdry archives and found out that a double-barrelled gun cal. 12, number 10532 was made in 1879 for “Mr. Park”, with 30 inch barrels and a set of extra barrels.
dimensions: length 117,5

12 bore J. Purdey, serial #10532
12 bore J. Purdey, serial #10532

Who the heck was Guyot?

Shooting sportsman around the world know that there are a lot mysteries in the world of fine firearms, even today when the web makes information so easy to find. One of these mysteries is the gunmaker, or gunmakers, Guyot.

Over the years, I’ve come across a bunch of double barrel shotguns with the name Guyot on them. They have come in a variety of grades – from field-grade boxlocks to Best-quality sidelocks. All of them appear to have been from France and they have all been very well made.

Guyot, Arqer. A Paris, 18 Rue de Ponthieu

A few year ago, the gunsmith James Flynn wrote this article about a 16 gauge Guyot shotgun a customer had sent him. It originally appeared in Shooting Sportsman magazine. Here’s an image of gun, courtesy of Mr. Flynn:

James Flynn Guyot 16 gauge double-barrel shotgun

This guns looks to have been made in the 1880s. With a bar-in-wood-style action and a push-forward underlever, this is an unusual hammerless gun. These features were more popular on hammerguns, like on this Purdey from Steve Barnett Fine Guns, but almost never seen on hammerless models. The gun also has Whitworth fluid compressed steel bbls and it’s a non ejector. I suggest you read the whole article and check out the pics to learn just how interesting and well made this gun is.

Hey London, eat your heart out.

Here’s another Guyot sidelock, courtesy of Lewis Drake and Associates. This is a 12g, Best-quality game gun, marked N. Guyot, Paris. It was made in the 1930s and it’s in near new, original condition:

12g Guyot, Paris, sidelock shotgun


Description from Drake’s site:

“Guyot, Paris, best 12ga. lightweight sidelock game gun. Wt. 6 3/4 lbs. Stock dimensions: 14 1/2″x 1 5/8″x 2 3/4″x straight. Superb 28″ chopper lump steel barrels with 2 1/2″ chambers and mint bores (.726″/.726″), choked .011″/.020″, with good wall thickness (.030″/.033″), retain 100% of the original black finish. Nicely engraved action with ejectors, hidden 3rd. fastener, bushed firing pins, articulated front trigger, and automatic safety. Beautiful bar action sidelocks with intercepting safety sears are of the highest quality and, along with the action, retain 95% of the original hardening colors. Nicely figured straight grip stock with checkered butt and splinter forend retain virtually all the original finish.”

Nice, huh? Looks at how the forend iron matches up and fits into the action. I’ve seen Purdeys that aren’t as well made.

Here are more pics of this fabulous gun. As you can see, it’s a best quality – I would say on par with some of the finest guns made in the UK.

Here’s another N. Guyot, Paris, sidelock, pic courtesy of Safari Outfitters. I saw this gun at a show last winter and I thought it was a Purdey:

Another 12g Guyot, Paris, shotgun

It sure looks like Guyot was influenced by Purdey’s engraving pattern and overall style. The toplever is also Purdey-esque and the gun has chopperlump Whitworth-steel bbls — like a Purdey. Notice that the hinge pin screws in from the right-hand side on this one. On the Guyot above, it comes in from the left. Why? I don’t know. Also, the screw that fastens the lock to the action is blued on this gun. On the other one it’s color-case hardened. Again, I have no idea why.

Beautiful boxlocks, too.

Along with sidelocks, I’ve also come across some fantastic boxlocks by N. Guyot, Paris. Some of them have looked Belgian and reminded me of Francottes (I’ve heard of Guyots bearing just Belgian proof marks). Others have had their own look. Here’s a 16g, image courtesy Cabela’s Gun Library:

16g Guyot boxlock shotgun

As you can see, this N. Guyot boxlock is a top-quality shotgun. It features Sir Joseph Whitworth fluid-compressed steel bbls (very English), ejectors, a hinged front trigger, and it looks like it intercepting safety sears (these would keep the gun from firing if the hammers dropped without the triggers being pulled).

Those dimpled pin/screw heads are real Continental, too. I like how the action is filed up on the gun, especially the shoulders/double beads on the sides. Whoever made this gun put a lot of time and work into it. Just look at the metal-to-metal fit. Very well done.

And finally, here’s a pair of 16g Guyots, also courtesy of Steve Barnett Fine guns. These are sideplated boxlocks with exquisite, full coverage engraving. Again, these are very nice guns.
Pair of 16g Guyots


So what do we know?

Not much, really:

-A number of gun makers and gun retailers who traded under the Guyot name.

-They spanned a timeframe from the last 19th to the mid 20th century.

-They made some very nice guns.

-They may have had some guns made by Francotte or by other makers in the Belgian trade.

Here’s what I’ve found out about the gunmakers going by the name Guyot:

This listing of Guyots from a guide to Europeans who were involved in the gun trade

And that’s about it.

Do you know any more about them? Do you have one?

Contact me and we’ll talk.

Thanks

Gregg@Dogsanddoubles.com

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