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The guns are beautiful or at least they would be without the added embellishments. Like most things it all boils down to personal taste.
The great thing with Bespoke guns is that they are bespoke…
So should you wish to have a gun made by L’Atelier Verney-Carron (www.l.atelier.verney-carron.fr – http://www.verney-carron.us) it would be done AS YOU WISH it to be done.
If you prefer no embellishments, there will be no embellishments, just a gun made according to your morphology, with your choices of caliber, length of barrels, shape of stock, shape of receiver, etc…
Ian Crudgington.s demise is a great shock to the Gun makers-lovers-Hunters who loves to own British Guns for their sports all over !! Great loss. His great soul Rest in peace.
I’ve shot several different Rio loads over the past five years and they’ve never failed.
My upland preference is an offering they’ve branded as a “Texas Game Load” a 2.75″ shell with an #8 or #7.5, 1.25 oz. loads, boosted to the muzzle at a very respectable 1250 fps.
But no matter what Rio load I’ve used, the results afield have all been – outstanding!
I live in North Texas and Rio has opened up a plant I think in Kilgore or some place in East Texas.Are they ever going to have tours it is brand new state of Art factory?
Mr. Loe — The new Rio Ammo plant is in Marshall, TX; you’ll have to ask them if they plan to offer tours. You can find much more information at http://www.rioammo.com/
How satisfactorily do Rio Target shells hold up to reloading? I assume their primers are 0.001″ oversized when compared to American made shells. Is that correct? Finally, is their base wad paper, or a more durable material?
Ron — Not sure of the specific answers, but I have found that the experts at Ballistic Products like Rio components a lot: http://www.ballisticproducts.com/All-Rio-Hulls/products/632/.
RIO is about all I shoot. However, sometimes they are hard to find on the shelf, but becoming more common. Most of the time I order them online. Also, they offer a 1 oz load in 28 gauge.
I have found it to be a great load…
Looks like Ed Carroll with a fine Parker 12 bore- VH or VHE perhaps- a later Remington era gun, with the beaver-tailed forearm, maybe a VHE skeet gun with SST as well? Nice!! Joseph Plummer
What brand of shotgun is he holding?
John — Which photo are you asking about?
just picked up a mixed case of Rio Bismuth for waterfowl and use in vintage guns where non-tox is mandatory…
Nice Parker shotgun shown, with the deceased Sharp-tail Grouse. My guess is- a later Ilion mfg. 12 bore “Old Reliable” possibly in a Skeet gun configuration-just a guess.
Maybe watershed stands for something akin to a “watershed moment”
Above Merkel’s 40 E is a MAGNIFICIENT SHOT GUN in every respects. It is under the Anson & Deeleys- -Greener cross bolt. Any for the Individual Sportsmen and Great Best for Sportive HUNTERS TOGETHER. AWESOME.!! Getting all great made of a Shot gun ? Good luck. Thanks to ‘” SHOOTING SPORTSMEN” Nagabhushan Varadaraj. yore sportive hunter Mysuru.Karnataka.India.
Why not start the young female shooter with a more reasonably priced Remington Youth Model stock (for the 20 ga. 870 or 1100) boosting the LOP to 13.5″ with a really good recoil pad, an open choke, and some really light shotshell loads (like the Rio 2.5 dram X 7/8 oz w/ #8 or #9 shot)? Allow them to mount and pattern that combination on paper for 5-10 rounds, make the necessary fit changes, and start shooting slow-moving straightaway clays.
It’s a more reasonably priced option than that off the shelf $1,400, 20 ga. Benelli semi-auto – and more likely to quickly produce more clean hits from the start. And success breeds success!
BTW – it’s a proven fact that the female has better hand-eye coordination than her male counterpart.
Over 24,000 pds sterling? For a machine-made shotgun? No wonder the industry is sinking like a stone…
I think the Beretta 486 by Marc Newson is an aesthetic flop. It’s not really organic
in its design — it doesn’t work together as as a whole. Given Beretta’s multi-century
history of producing fine arms, I am surprised that they went along with this one.
Considering the fine doubles that have been produced over the last two hundred
years, this one does not come close to rivaling any of them. I don’t believe this
is all due to bias I have accumulated through the years of looking at fine firearms.
It’s much like Eddie Murphy said in one of his stand-up routines, to paraphrase,
“Isn’t it funny how we all say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but yet we
all damn-sure know what ugly is !”
Hearing loss is real, but not just any set of muffs works. What would be most helpful is a real explanation of how some work and some do not work when it comes to shutting down the noise of firearms while being open to conversation.
Really sad to hear of Ugartechea closing down. I went there and met the old man owner, who was just a wonderful guy. They had the biggest of all the factories there in Eibar. I believe they made a lot of parts for the industry for the smaller shops.
I settled on having Grulla make me three bespoken guns, but bought a 28 ga. Ugartechea Model 30 from Lion Country for my son when he was about 13. It was certainly a quality gun.
Vic Venters is one of many good reasons to read and re-read SS magazine. One of the best gun writers extant, IMO.
We agree wholeheartedly, Francis.
Is there anyway I could get photo credit for the photo I submitted? Grouse and Gun photo
Rossano — We apologize that the images were not coming in with the contributors’ names correctly. Let me know your user name at [email protected].
I don’t have a user name as of now…….but if you can put my name Rossano Russo in for photo credit that would be great!
Any of the above equipment available at Wal Mart? Evidently the author is used to spending lots more ca$h at Christmas than I can afford. How about a list for the non-wealthy?
That is why I let my subscription lapse after being a reader since vol1 issue1. This magazine is no longer geared to the average Joe. “Silk lined shooting gloves or gloves for gentle Scottish mists” – you’ve got to be kidding!
Congratulations Jordan and thanks for sharing those photos with us from your season! We’d like to send you a Shooting Sportsman hat just for the amazing commitment to a bird hunting goal — and for the photos. Drop me a line @ [email protected] and we’ll connect.
THE BEST OF THE BEST FOR THE ‘SPORTIVE ” SHOOTING SPORTSMAN” AROUND THE UNIVERSE FOR THE BEST WING SHOOTINGS & UNIQUE SPORTS GUNS. !! SUPERB MAGAZINE.!! BEST WISHES. : Nagabhushan Varadaraj. Yore Sportsman. Mysore.Karnataka.India.
It would be more interesting to learn what these guys shot early in their careers. I bet most put thousands of rounds through Miroku/Brwoning Citori guns. I can remember pictures of a young Digweed and a younger Faulds with Miroku guns.
[…] need to talk to Larry Shelton. http://clabrough.com/index.php?p=1_3_Contact https://shootingsportsman.com/j-p-clabrough/ __________________ What we have here is… failure- to […]
Excellent film. Well done.
Damned shame, for sure…
Abraham, your dog looks a lot like our Bebe who is the last on the right in the boat photo and first on the left in the car photo. Bebe has Wicksalls Chloe as a great grandma. Her father, Bart, left dog in boat, came from Stewart’s Grouse Hunter (Wicksalls Chloe his mother) and Stewart’s Skydancer.
Is Sally Downer still breeding the Wicksall line?
Lovely Ryman, a special day for you, I’m sure.
Beautiful picture, with a beautiful story.
Nice shooting, with a beautiful gun.
As good as it gets.
Pre-finished is not bespoke in ANY WAY – the accountants want the brand to sell more overpriced metal so the snake-oil pitch makes its’ way into the respected media – if the price point was 50% less, fair enough, but you just know that’s not the case . . .
The article doesn’t claim that these guns are bespoke…just that they have the same craftsman working on them as with the bespoke guns… ‘These guns are identical in almost every way to Purdey’s bespoke guns—made by the same skilled craftsmen, incorporating the same fine materials, infused with the same traditions and 200-plus-year history of London’s premier gunmaker. The only difference is that the gunmaking team chooses the wood, the barrel length and the engraving pattern (typically fine rose & scroll or large scroll).’
Of course shoot them that is what they were made for. If and when the barrels need to be re-blacked or the stock needs refinished fine craftsman are just around the corner.
Beautiful gun. Would love to own and shoot it but feel it is out of my price range.
This is very sad. I hope that this is merely a pause of activity, that the business will be reactivated with new personnel. Guns and rifles with character are handmade.
This is a great program to give acknowledgement to travelling wingshooters that travel the globe in search of the hidden gems international wingshooting is producing. Africa is host to a magnitude of upland and flighted game birds as well as numerous waterfowl species. Karoo Wingshooting is commending SCI for this huge step to introduce bird hunters to previously unknown game birds all around the world! #WingshootAfrica
https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/825b1b2b2d48a4a38fd3ae010eda6fa96f80cedbac9b16c1d38478a6add56c84.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/530ec7c4fdc74ba7f06669a48fc74f08581be10ad4472c6949d059cf2545f154.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c74e2b655463fddf704af03edbf773af509d76bc7b37cb6545edcb0aa28d59a2.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/658d3daba13442bb83602a4276a9c088a22fe02df362b36256f966d38a8a79b9.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/813c7965eb7a329bbe3970de1b4d0da92c807c75aecb8fde4870d66b8384292a.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ae0b596758ba0880b2efe1d2822483a58278e6df234fb1e92f7cb7b3692fefec.jpg
I have a Grant from the same era.
They all seem to have gorgeous wood.
Fox 20 gauge doubles were such great bird guns. My late father in law introduced me to them. We killed a lot of Texas quail with them in our years of hunting together.
“Uh, isn’t Twin Falls EAST of Boise?”, said the man looking at his map.
You make an excellent point, say the editors holding their maps. We appreciate the correction.
Hi my Name Is Chris Rice I Have a Doubel Barrel KNOCKABOUT R2912 Francotti I am Looking For The Arm That Cocks The Hammers Back When You open The Breach my E mail Is [email protected] Hope To hear from you with good news
We do 30 inch circle thing at about 35 yds max..I used remington,federal,winchester 12 ga shells…I hunt phez with 12 ga …I use IC choke ..To my surprised worst pattern was with Remington shells which i used for years ..BEST was federal shells..So using federal no.6 shot for phez with IC choke …
I purchased the Stevens 555 October 2017. The initial fit and finish looked pretty good. The trigger felt OK right out of the box, but its a shotgun, not a target rifle, so I was good with OK. The first issue came when I was cleaning it. I pulled the chokes to swab the barrels, but it was when I recieved a cut from sticking my finger in the muzzle end of the choke. Turns out, there was a nasty burr all the way around the inside of the opening. I looked like the put it on a flat grinder and didn’t do any finish work. I checked and all 5 were like this. I called Savage, and the person on the end of the line could care less about talking the issue through, she just wanted to send me replacement parts.
Opening day of pheasant season in Kansas was a bit cool and misty. It didn’t rain, but was a thick foggy soup that would coat your glasses, but not enough to bead up and run off the bill of your cap. The field was flush with tight sitting pheasant and we had a good time. Weather like this is usually not a problem for my firearms, because between each field I wipe down wood and metal. It was after the second field, still in the AM, I noticed the grain was starting to raise on the wood stock. I am a woodworker (milling, turning, furniture, etc), so I know quite a bit about wood finish and protection. The wood on the Stevens feels like what you would expect my Remington 870 to feel like after 30 years of dove/pheasent/quail/duck/goose/turkey seasons. That night I put it under the light and was able to see what little craftsmanship was exerted in finishing the wood. However, the shotgun did perform as intended, but I kept thinking about how disappointed I was. It’s like getting that first big scratch in your car, but this didn’t even walk 2 miles yet.
I got home with a cooler full of birds and sitting on the table was a package from Savage. Those were my chokes! Keep in mind, the shotgun was purchased with 5 chokes, two in the barrels and 3 in a case. In the package was 3 chokes. I opend the package and the replacement chokes were WORSE THAN WHAT I HAD PURCHASED! The picture (attached) is a view from the bore end to the muzzle, which clearly shows a burr all the way around the inside circumference of the tube.
I am NOT pleased. I understand this is a Turkish build, but so are most fine dbl shotguns. However, my beater/truck gun Baikal (Russian) shotgun has faired for more than fields of knee high cut corn stock or waist high milo, but the finish/feel of the wood is still in great shape and the thin walled choke tubes certainly were finished.
Now I face a dilemma: Do I call Savage/Stevens and have them do something about the finish work or do I utilize my time and talents to refinish the stock? I have already seen their “fix” for shoddy machining/metal finishing on the choke tubes. Is it a case of fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me?
i have a 12g hammer double barrel Clabrough & Johnstone as as wall hanger missing firing pins , can you help me with a bit of history on it, nicely engraved only number i can find on oi is 1589 , thanks for any help you can supply . Cheers Peter.
I was kind of (naively) hoping for a price range around $4,600. Unfortunately, $46,500. is more in line with a new automobile purchase for someone with my budget.
I bet this is Patagonia, Arizona… Gambels quail with a couple of scalies in the mix give it away!
I had always dreamed of having a Dickson round action or a Stephen Grant to shoot quail over my Irish Setters. I have a beautiful A G& L rebuilt 29” with stunning wood made to my measurements, at 6lb 8oz it is a delight. The only fly in the ointment is that it has the Grant patent coil spring ejectors, as designed by his son, I had a slide break soon after purchase. Thankfully Carl Russell of AG&L made a new set mailed them back to me here in Australia and the real bonus is that we have a gunsmith here ( Kevin Sharpe ) who was able to fix it without the drama of returning it to Britain.
My gun had a similar problem.
I guess it’s one of the small burdens of owning a vintage gun.
Looking at that license plate, if they are wild birds you have done some traveling brother, all west. Cheerio, Aussie Bob.
While Churchill made a significant contribution to the shotgunning world, his XXV 25″ guns never really took off across the pond, and depressed prices for these high quality Churchill guns still reflect that today. Much the same as the current 26″ tube fetish of some guns today; they are all certainly quick starters; however they unfortunately stop moving at the slightest brain fart…perhaps more suited to snap shooting Ruffies, and short stout folks, as Churchill was. The dynamic balancing of fine doubles, somewhat achieved with longer tubes, is a significant portion of the expense of handmade (now hand finished) British iron. I personally enjoy 30″ barrels with an all important balance point from 1/2′ to 1″ forward of the pin.
I would say Churchill’s greatest contribution was his well respected literature on shooting. His strong emphasis on foot work improved my game significantly. His style of dragging a foot back and rotating on the other foot’s ball to position yourself facing the target; vs stepping into the target, keeps you in balance at all times, and is easier in tall grass and irregular ground. “Good shooting begins with the feet”
I absolutely LOVE Setters. I have had many and each was a privilege to associate with and to take care of. Notice I did not say “own”.
Hunted Gambel’s and Mearn’s quail last month in Arizona with Dennis Kavanaugh. We headquartered in Willcox two days for Gambel’s then made a short drive over to Patagonia to chase Mearn’s. Beautifu,l big country and tons of fun!
Beautiful video with really poor mix of voice and background music – waaaaay too much music. Couldn’t get much of the voice. Fix it.
We understand your criticism, but it is a video we shared and did not create. Therefore we cannot “fix it.”
Richard Lestage is right on the mark. Great video but I also could not understand much of what was said. It should not be a big deal to remix this and turn down the music soundtrack. Whoever produced this, should be willing to do it for free. As it is, much of it’s impact is lost!
Make sure you don’t disturb wintering wildlife in their most vulnerable times.
Interesting project. I like the idea of my access for hunting etc. Here in Alberta Canada we have a similar program run by tbe Alberta Conservation Association, an NGO, which purchases land for public access. We don’t have the large blocks of land here but there is quite a bit of excellent quality habitat either owned or being converted back to habitat. The ACA has a number of other mandates above land acquisitions though.
The XF4 is very nice looking sporter for sure.
It was noted that the Berettas lock up without passive side lugs. Are those, for want of a better term, side clips on the barrels that mate with the frame acting as passive lugs?
If not what are they designed to do?
Where can I learn to be an shooting instructor?
I live in Keystone Heights FL.
Info: Male, 55 years old, retired from Railroad
Dale G. Foster
You’re in luck: Don Currie, chief instructor for the National Sporting Clays Assoc. and one of the coaches interviewed for this article, is based in Florida. Try contacting him through his website: http://doncurrie.com/contact-us/.
Nice pieces of work. Skills of the past blended into functional works of the gunmakers art.
Hi Harold: Bruce here in Canada. Glad to know you are still in the game, beautiful guns would sure impress the guys at Robinson Ranch.
I used to do the same. Light mod in both barrels. found that I prefer the patterns of my Muller 03 chokes (mod/improved mod). I have a friend who is a good shot and uses mod in both barrels. By the way this is for sporting clays. I have not found any consistent difference in scores when using mod/improvedmod, IC, or skeet chokes when shooting skeet. It is very rare that i change chokes but I had to once in sporting .. had to use full to ensure hits on rabbit target that was thrown so only the thinnest profile was visible…I watched as those rabbits happily ran through the cloud of dust made my those using IC chokes. Well..btw I dont take issue with the article … just wanted to added my 1/2 cent to the bandwidth traffic
What specific exercises with the Marsden Ball are helpful for shooting?
A couple of YouTube videos about general exercises can be found by Googling “Marsden ball exercises.” If you want specific drills that Don Currie uses, try contacting him through his website: http://doncurrie.com/.
I have been to the valentine area with my quarter horse. Was a lot of fun and no walking. Good Brittanys on point as I road up and slipped off the horse to shoot. Oh yea, hobbled the horse!! Harold in Bowling Green KY.
Really enjoyed the article. Brought back many memories. I horse back hunted most of the time with my friend Dr. David. He is gone now, cancer, and I sure do miss our trips to KS. Harold.
First off I’m a Beretta guy and have been for over 25 years. I recently bought a Turkish made Yildiz 20ga side by side. The Turkish walnut is beautifully marbles and finished. The engraving isn’t quite up to my Berettas but quite handsome. I quail hunted with it last week in South Georgia and found it to be a joy! Lighter than my other Italian 20ga guns, pointed exceptionally well and had zero malfunctions. This is my first SxS. Needless to say, I’m truly impressed! The Brits like these guns as I’ve seen them as sponsors for their uber traditional bird hunts.
One of the top photos of the year. Well done!
Rio’s 12ga 3/4oz loads are awesome for practice and starting new shooters. I was surprised they are not mentioned. I use 7/8oz for more than practice …
Clever has 12 ga., 24 gram international loads that are very low recoil (T1 Super Target). Claimed velocity is 1310 fps but that is by the European method which likely means about 1200 fps by U.S. SAAMI methods.
What about the drams of powder in a shell? I would think that it has something to do with recoil.
Great wood to metal fitting. Clean lines ,
Pleasant and modest engraving.
The wood is nice appearance & comfortable.
A single trigger will give excellent service,
The shooter can consentrate on target
No worry associated with double triggers .
When walk-up or flushing upland game
Weekend shooters get con on Two triggers.
The B&E film is very impressive in taking us through the process of making
A modern bespoke gun combining both man and machine doing what they
Are best at doing. Now if I can just sell my Purdey self-opener, I may get in line..
[…] this article initially appeared on ShootingSportsman.com It was written by our good friend, E.Donnall Thomas (MD). The feature image (above) is from the […]
Those guns look Great.
What kind of vise is that?
That’s the Pro-Shot Gun Grabber (http://www.proshotproducts.com/Gun-Grabber-PistolRifleShotgun-Vise_p_904.html).
Lost dogs are a greater concern with some breeds than others. I have never had any trouble with Brits or my Shorthair or Labs owned aver the years.
I did hunt for several years with a guy whose mother bought him an English Pointer. He had always been a Lab man, but sent the pointer for training and invested rather heavily in him. But the pointer had his own lifestyle, which included preferring to hunt out of sight and way in front. On one occasion he was found by a neighboring farmer, and was himself ‘retrieved” the next day. But the craziest thing he did was to fall down an abandoned well. Since the well was relatively shallow and dry, we were able to find him and hoist him out by rapelling down on a rope.
Needless to say, after that episode, I found reasons why I had conflicts for future hunts, and my friend (I think?) breathed a sigh of relief when that dog’s hunting days were over.
“You certainly can buy a gun as efficient as this for much less money”
Some examples, please.
Clever Mirage 20 ga Lite loads are 3/4 oz of 8s at 1200 fps. Hard to find but worth it. I bought a bunch last summer to baby my torn rotator cuff and they are great on doves.
note that a few yrs ago I bought several flats of 12ga 3/4oz ammunition made by Rio.They are awesome. If I could get my hands on 10’s of flats I would.
The third of July 2017 was one of the most terrifying nights I have had in a long time. The neighborhood sounded like a war zone from fireworks and all of our dogs were nervous and anxious when I got home around 9:00. I let them out to go and everyone came back except Callie, the 14 month old Welsh Springer Spaniel. I called, searched, whistled and drove all over the town looking for her until 2:00. I laid a dog bed down outside and slept on the deck until 4:30 when I finally went inside. I was up at 5:30 and headed back out to look some more when she showed up by the door. She was none the worse for the experience but I was. I was so mad at her but couldn’t yell at her, I ended up picking her up and holding her for over an hour.
This story is upsetting… Although I applaud the author for being honest and upfront I assume for the purposes of others learning from his mistakes. So many things went wrong here.
* Don’t take a derby out in the big woods if you don’t have a handle on him yet.
* Get some obedience on both your dogs. Here means here and whoa means whoa!
* Run your dogs with a tracking collar if you don’t have the skill to train your dogs
It is great to see Dave adn Rob beginning this enterprise. With their background in the London Best firearms as well as their people skills, this can’t belp but be a successful venture. Looking forward to joining their driven shoot in Scotland this Fall and using the husband and wife pair of H&H Sporters acquired through their agency.Good times ahead.
My biggest fear taking my young Griffon on our first grouse hunting trip to the U.P. of Michigan was that he might get lost. Wolves up there can be a nightmare. I had my phone number on his tag and even went to the trouble of printing lost dog flyers with his picture and my contact info. on them and keeping them in my Jeep. Turns out he hunted like a seasoned pro and came back to me every time with a voice or whistle command. He hunts fairly close, (within 100 yards), and I no longer worry about this issue any longer. Eight years later we’ve hunted Maine, Minnesota, South Dakota, Kansas and Illinois with no problems. Can’t imagine the grief other hunters go through when their hunting partner gets lost.
It has been several years since I went to Heartland and the Staff was Excellent. It was the there that began me wanting to learn more about sub gauges and led me to aquire a 20ga then a 28ga.
I wish I could of experienced there Waterfowl Hunting as well, but my hunt was primarily a Quail hunt.
To all the Staff and Owners Well Done.