WO marked Fox Stirlingworth Boxlock 12 bore (Savage)
An interesting boxlock with a lot of history. Ansley H Fox is one of the most highly regarded names in American shotgun making. The company, like so many tied tot he top end of the market, struggled during the economic depression and was bought by Savage Arms in 1929. Production of Fox guns was moved to the Savage factory in Utica , New York State.After a short while to whole gun production business was moved to the old Stevens (another acquisition by Savage) in Chicopee Falls, Massachusetts. Most of the Savage produced Fox Sterlingworth guns were marked "FOX Sterlingworth". This example is marked simply "Sterlingworth" and this makes it a rare early Savage production. The Sterlingworth was the workhorse of the Fox range - simple relatively plain guns but with the high quality expected from the prestigious Fox stable. This one would heave been produced in 1929. The gun was then exported to the UK, and bears the Broad Arrow marks of the Board of Ordnance. It was not proofed at the time of import - the Birmingham proof marks can be dated to 1988. The import would have likely been during the Second World War, and with the country almost on it's knees, and facing invasion checking desperately needed firearms for proof was not considered a strict requirement. The import could have been made for a number of reasons. The most likely was that it was an early part of the USA Lend Lease package President Roosevelt signed in 1941. The equivalent of 2.3 Billion dollars of materials were sent to the UK (a loan for which the last repayments were made at the end of 2006). In the early days of the arrangement the UK was facing invasion and firearms of any sort were desperately needed - partly due to the losses at Dunkirk. The gun may have served in a Home Guard unit or similar. Another possibility is that the gun was a part of the American Committee for the Defence of British Homes. This private organistion was appalled by the popular isolationist majority in the USA who opposed giving support to a lonely and surrounded UK, and set about organising the shipment of weapons themselves, before the President managed to find a way though the opposition from Congress. Other possibilities are that the gun was used by aircrews for training in shooting moving targets. Clay pigeon traps and sometimes the gunners were in the back of moving lorries and practiced shooting moving targets. The gun has 32" barrels with 2 3/4" chambers. The stock has a 14 3/4" reach including a well fitted wood extension. The overall condition is good, with good bores, clean chequering and faded bluing being the only sign of the guns age. A useable and solid gun with an interesting history, which is worthy of further research.
Army and Navy Sidelock Ejector cased
A cased Army and Navy sidelock ejector 12 bore. The 28" barrels are choked at cylinder and 1/2. It is chambered for 2 1/2" cartridges. The bores are good, but fall short of perfect; they have very slight pitting which is only discernable after close inspection. The stock has a reach of just over 14 1/2", has some figure and the chequering is in very good condition. The lock plates are border engraved and free from pitting. My flash photography makes the locks look shinier than they really are. The gun comes in what I take to be its original leather case case with two original Army and Navy labels. The case is in solid and good condition with all straps and loops present. The catch works properly, but there is no key. The top of the case has the initials GDH. The serial number of the gun dates it's manufacture as being between 1910 and the start of the First World War. Army and Navy were not gun makers but were a cooperative society who had guns, amongst many other things, made for them. In 1871 a thirsty but astute group of army and navy officers thought they were paying too much for their port and clubbed together to buy a case wholesale. The operation was successful and repeated and thus the Army and Navy Cooperative Society was born. Initially restricted to Commissioned and Warrant Officers membership was soon expanded to include all ranks, families and then anyone wishing to make a purchase. Before long to society was supplying all manner of goods to anyone serving the empire across the globe. Branches were opened in London and also in Delhi, Calcutta, Karachi, amongst other places. I have a reproduction of a 1907 catalogue which includes a vast range of good, which could have been ordered and delivered by post. The items offered include groceries, cigarettes, furniture, garden furniture, saddlery, stationary, surgical instruments, drugs, clothes and all manner of weapons, both sporting and military.
AYA No.3 boxlock non ejector
An AYA No.3 12 bore boxlock non ejector. Aguirre y Aranzabal is one of the best known, and highly regarded Spanish gunmakers. The Aranzabal brothers learnt the craft of gun making from a German immigrant settled Spain. In 1915 they returned to their home the Basque region of northern Spain and set up AYA. In the 1950s two english brothers, Peter and Andrew King discovered the AYA workshops for themselves and were very impressed with the quality of the workmanship, and the willingness to re create english style guns with great attention to detail. The AYA boxlocks are closely based on the Westley Richards models with an Anson Dealy boxlock and Purdey double underbolt. The No.3 is a non ejector version of the No.4. It has 28" Chopper lump barrels with 70mm chambers and 1/4 and 3/4 choke. The barrels are in very good condition, inside and out. The action has all is original case hardening. The wood is in fine shape with sharp crisp chequering. The gun has seen very little work and is in very good order. The stock has a 14 1/2" reach. The only sign of wear is a slight rubbing of the blue on the side of the trigger guard. This gun was made in the early 1970s.
Browning Double Auto Twelvette
Much of the detail for this model may be read from the standard model above. This is the lightweight "Twelvette" Model - a 12 bore with the weight and handling of a 16 bore. Also from the early years of production - 1954 to 1957. The Twelvette has an alloy receiver and weighs 6lb 14 oz. It has 1/4 choke and a 28" long 1/4 choked barrel and a 14 1/4" reach including a rubber recoil pad.
B Halliday and Son, London .410 Folding Shotgun
A folding .410" single barrel gun. Marked on the action as "British Made" and with Birmingam proof marks the barrel is engraved with "B Halliday and Co Ltd. London ". The Ward type action has a hammerless design and a sliding side safety catch. The 26" barrel has 2 1/2" chambers and is nitro proofed. The stock has a 14" reach. The bore has some pitting but is perfectly useable and far from some of the moon crater examples that appear from time to time. Halliday and Co are an interesting company with some local history for those of us in Wiltshire; they traded from Queen Victoria Street in London from 1921 to 1925 and the moved to Cannon Street until 1965. The company was then bought by the Wiltshire branch of the Greenfield family who still trade in Salisbury. Another branch of the Greenfields set up shop in Canterbury, and they are also still in gun trade.
Cogswell and Harrison Avant Tout 12 bore BLE
A Cogswell and Harrison Avant Tout boxlock ejector. Manufactured in the later part of 1892 by one of the older names in English gun making - the company claims to go back to 1770. The 30" barrels are nitro proofed and have 2 1/2" chambers. The chokes are cylinder and 1/4. The well figured stock has a 14" reach. The stock has been pinned on the left side, above the trigger guard. A crack is visible on close inspection, but the repair appears to be an old one, and one which has been well done. The stock is now in a sound and solid condition. The Harrison Patent ejectors function properly and reliably. The bores are in good condition. The engraving is in good condition and not pitted or discoloured.
Beretta DT10 Trident Sporter 12 bore o/u
Not our usual style at Stonehenge Arms, but a lovely example of it's type. A Beretta DT10 Sporter. It has seen little use and is in very good condition. The 30" barrels have fitted with teague chokes and it comes with 6 chokes. The well figured stock has a 14 1/2" reach including a 1" rubber pad. The gun has ejectors and a gold washed single trigger. The stock is in very good condition as is the metalwork with the barrel bluing being in first rate condition. The gun is in it's Beretta Plastic case.
Webley and Scott .410 Bolt Action
A single barrel .410 from Webley and Scott. These great little guns tend to work hard and are not often found as straight as this one. The woodwork is very tidy indeed. The reach is 13 1/4" and the barrel is full choked and 25 1/2" long. The barrel as the nitro proof markings for 2 1/2" chambers and is engraved with "Webley and Scott, Birmingham".
H A Turner of Marlborough Boxlock Ejector
A boxlock ejector from H A Turner of Marlborough. H A Turner, being Henry Arthur Turner was a successor to Thomas Turner of High St, Marlborough, presumably being is son. and was at 142 High street until 1913. The business is then recorded as being owner by Mrs H A Turner at the same address until 1920. The 30" barrels were originally black powder proof but have been reproofed for nitro and have 2 1/2" chambers. They are choked at open and 1/2. The stock is well figured and has a 14 1/4" reach. The ejectors work properly and the fore end is attached by a Deeley and Edge lever fastener. the locks are engraved with " H A Turner", and the top rib with "H A Turner Marlborough".
Westley Richards Boxlock Ejector
A Boxlock ejector by Westely Richards. This gun is in excellent order. The bluing on the barrels is very good, and the barrels are marked " Westley Richards & Co", "Birmingham", "Special Quality" and "916 Grade". The locks have much of the original colour cased hardening still present. The gun was made in 1927/28 and was reproofed in 1989 after the chambers had been lengthened to take 2 3/4" cartridges. The barrels are 32" and the stock has a 14 3/4" reach including a well matched 1" extension. The stock is dent and scratch free and the chequering is in very fine order. Westley Richards is one of the most famous names in the Birmingham gun trade. William Westley Richards started the business in 1812, and by 1840 his son Westley was running the business. William was much loved by his work force, but Westley was perhaps feared and respected rather than loved. After the death of his wife, Emma, in a hunting accident he devoted his life to his work and applied himself to developing technical innovations, new production techniques and was a pioneer of mass production. The company made bulk sales during the Franco Prussion War, and both Boers and Tommy's were armed by Westley Richards during the Boer Wars. The company contracted rather during the 1920s depression, but made a good deal of business with the wealthy Indian aristocrats who were embracing the various forms of hunting and shooting their wealth and position gave them. A very solid and straight gun ready for service.
Belgian .410 Boxlock Side by Side
A tidy .410 side by side non ejector boxlock. There is no makers name, but the barrels have Belgian nitro proof marks for the 65mm ( 2 1/2") cartridges. The actions shuts tightly and securely, and the stock has a nice bit of grain. On the down side both barrels have pitting. The barrel size and wall thickness is fine, but please do not be disappointed if you look up the barrels and see some pits. A delightful gun to shoot. The barrels are 28", and the reach is 141/2. The chequering is remarkably sharp. Push rod fore end faster and top leaver opening.
E.M. Reilly London Box Lock Ejector
Number 2 of a pair this boxlock ejector has 30" barrels, 2 1/2" chambers and is nitro proofed.The bores are free from pitting and are choked at 1/2 and 3/4. the reach is 15 1/8". Although there is little engraving or embellishment on this gun, it is a gun of good quality. The game rib is engraved with " E.M. Reilly & Co" and the address of 295 Oxford Street in London. This was the address used from 1904 to 1911. There is a vacant escutcheon on the underside of the straight hand stock. The serial number is 35423 if anyone out there has or know of the matching gun to make a pair.
Marlin Goose Gun 12 bore Magnum
A bolt action Marlin Model 55 Goose Gun. For those who like them big; a full choked 36" barrel, 56 3/4" long and 3" Magnum chamber. The removable box magazine has been secured in place and the gun restricted to a total of three shots (including one in the chamber), and is proofed as such to ensure compliance as a restricted shotgun for inclusion on a shotgun certificate. The Goose Gun was made from 1962 to 1988 and is something of a classic. The gun is in good shape - many of these have had hard lives and although very tough guns, have suffered cosmetically. This one has some light handling marks and would respond well to a polish of the stock but is perfectly presentable. Something a bit different and as tough as they come.
Bonehill Damascus Barrelled 12 bore Boxlock
A boxlock non ejector from Bonehill. This handsome gun has 30" Damascus barrels with 2 1/2" chambers and which have been nitro re proofed. The barrels are choked at improved cylinder and full. The reach is 14 1/4". The well figured stock is in good order and the chequering is clean and clear. The barrels are a very attractive brown and the bores are good, but just fall short of perfect with very light marks. The gun weighs 6lb 6oz. The action is a bolstered treble grip and the gun also has removable striker discs. The fore end has a horn tip and is secured by a Deeley and Edge lever. Christopher George Bonehill was born in 1831 and served an apprenticeship in the Birmingham gun trade. He set up on his own in 1851. The business was carried on by his son and is continued until 1962. Most of the old records of serial numbers and sales were later burned when a neighbour helped clear the empty premises. From records and sales researched by Nigel Brown this gun was made between 1896 and 1904. A perfect gun for a chap who appreciates the beauty of Damascus steel on an English Game Gun, does not need ejectors and probably doesn't own a baseball cap either!