Many of Britain’s established gunmakers owe their reputations to outsourced hardware. E.J. Churchill, which famously provided Edward VIII with a pair of best London-made sidelock ejectors, has traditionally offered a range of guns for those without a princely purse. The most recent addition is the Crown.
Churchill’s has offered other Crown models in the past, but the new version is a sideplated side-by-side with a triggerplate action. It is available in 12, 16, 20 and 28 gauge as well as .410. (All of the gauges are on scaled actions, but the .410 is built on a 28-gauge frame.) The barrels, which are all steel-shot proofed, come with fixed or multi chokes and in lengths from 25 to 32 inches. Just one style of engraving is available—large foliate scroll over a stippled background—but escutcheons and grip caps can be customized. The new Crown is expected to debut at £7,995 (about $9,175).
Each Crown is tailored to the client’s needs, with single or double triggers, straight-hand or pistol-grip stocks, and splinter or beavertail forends available. Fans of high-grade wood can be accommodated, and, according to Rob Austin of Churchill’s gunroom: “All stocks are made to measure with a two-hour fitting included and a one-hour hand-over lesson, to ensure you are comfortable with your new shotgun and don’t lag behind next time you take on a drive or competition.” The Crown debuted in the UK in July at The Game Fair. A North American launch is planned at the Dallas Safari Club Convention, in January, along with another new model that at press time was still under wraps.