It’s been 150 years since an English side-by-side has been built with barrels machined from a single billet of steel. In 1870 Sir Joseph Whitworth secured a patent for “double barrels for fowling-pieces, made out of one piece of metal.” Now English gunmaker Longthorne, famous for over/unders with innovative barrel technology “manufactured from one piece of steel with no soldered joints,” has developed a side-by-side using a similar process.
Three models are available, all sidelocks: the Renaissance, featuring pinless locks with gold inlays of birds and flowers; the Nouvea (pictured), with visible pins and a more modest engraving pattern of birds and flowering scroll; and the Hesketh Deluxe, more basic still but fully engraved in a larger scroll. All are 12-bores with 3" chambers and 30" steel-proofed barrels. All feature fixed chokes, with multi-chokes available for an additional fee. Stocks are fitted to the client’s measurements, with a choice of straight-hand, semi-pistol, pistol or Prince of Wales grips. Left-handed shooters can be accommodated as well. And all models come with a travel case plus carrying slip.
When we learned about Longthorne’s unique barrels, we initially assumed that Managing Director and Designer James Stewart had been inspired by Whitworth. But Marketing Director Elaine Stewart straightened us out: “[James] was not influenced by anyone,” she said. “We were not aware until after we launched the gun that Whitworth had experimented with and patented a method of making barrels from a solid billet.”
Longthorne guns now are being imported by Pacific Sporting Arms, in Azusa, California, and Walled Lake, Michigan. For more information and current prices, visit pacificsportingarms.com or longthorneguns.com.