1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
Who's Online Now
9 members (Karl Graebner, Mark II, HalfaDouble, Marc Ret, DropLockBob, 1 invisible), 550 guests, and 2 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Statistics
Most Online695
Nov 17th, 2023
Thread Like Summary
azgreg, BrentD, Prof, craigd, DAM16SXS, DoubleTake, Drew Hause, Edm1, eeb, FallCreekFan, FelixD, Gunflint Charlie, Jimmy W, John Roberts, Karl Graebner, keith, mc, Robt. Harris, Stanton Hillis, susjwp, Ted Schefelbein
Total Likes: 38
Original Post (Thread Starter)
by Drew Hause
Drew Hause
The thread regarding the current doublegun collector's market got me thinking about where we came from.
As Mark observed there was little SxS interest (of course with exceptions like the M21 and British "Best") 50 years ago.
So what happened?

The first issue of the
Gray's Sporting Journal was 1975
Sporting Classics 1981
Shooting Sportsman was Winter 1987
Double Gun Journal was Winter 1989
I couldn't find when this Forum started but I believe shortly thereafter.

Double gun collector's groups: (please correct me if the dates are wrong)
PGCA 1993
Dr Bob's Lefever site about 1993?
LCSCA 2003
16gauge Society 2004
Fox 2006
Damascus Knowledge and Pete Mikalajunas' site were both in 2008, which I hope stimulated interest in damascus barrel SxSs, and possibly the value thereof
Daryl's Baker sites 2011

There are lots of gauge and SxS specific Facebook groups now

Parker Reproductions by Winchester were introduced late 1983

Bill Brophy's L.C. Smith book was released in 1977
Lefever: Guns of Lasting Fame 1986
Walt Snyder's Ithaca book 1991
McIntosh Fox book 1994
Semmer's Remington Double Shotguns 1996
The Parker Story 1997
Houchins' Smith book 2006

So the interest was generated, and through the ups and downs of the U.S. economy SxSs were purchased (at increasing prices) and used in increasing numbers.
I do believe, now that many of us are in our 60s & 70s, having "stuff" is less important than having (less) really nice stuff that we enjoy using, and collections are indeed being cleared out - sometimes by our survivors who have no interest (and sadly were left with little directions regarding value) in the guns. Many of us do have more disposable income after retirement and getting kids educated.

As said by several, the good stuff retains value, still sells, and IMHO will continue to do so. Well used 12g utility grade U.S. doubles are a hard sell, but decent condition small gauges are still sought.

The other dynamic however is that many of our doubles are now 120 years old, need repair or refurbishing, and the double gun expert smiths are fewer in number. I think that will be a major issue as time goes on.
Liked Replies
by Lloyd3
In my grandfather's house there was a hand-made, black-cherry gun cabinet. Over the course of his respectably-long lifetime, he filled it with fine guns (mostly doubles). That gun cabinet sits in my humble gunroom now and I've pretty-much done the same thing. My earliest doubles were fairly rudimentary (Field Grade Smiths & Lefever Nitro Specials) but they confirmed for me that those were the guns that I wanted to use going forward, mind-you... that took a little time. I had a dalliance (or two) in my youth with other technologies (pumps & autos of course) but I'm fully-settled now. My current doubles are a little better than where I started from, but not obscenely-so. Good guns (or even fine guns) have never been inexpensive and I've always been forced to balance the other portions of my life with my hobbies (probably learned this from my paternal grandfather as well). Some are finer than the others but... they all fit me and they all get used afield, and with gusto!

Unless we completely go off the rails in this country (& as much as things drive me crazy when I actually look) I don't think that will happen. It may not be pretty, but I'm still confident that this will all get sorted-out eventually. I'm also not too-concerned about where my guns will end up after I'm done with them as they are for my pleasure alone. Much like Gough Thomas, when I need a break in the woods I usually find myself contemplating the weapon in my hands and then feeling immensely grateful for its presence there. I count them among life's many blessings in this country of ours. "A thing of joy and beauty forever" really isn't far off of the mark.
7 members like this
by Edm1
New guy here… growing up my Dad had a SxS nitro special in 16gauge. When my brother and I got older he got other guns and was mainly a deer hunter. But that nitro special was the first shotgun I ever shot and claimed a place in my heart. When he died last year, it came to me. Since then I picked up a Flues and a pristine 20 gauge Nitro special. I’ve read lots, on here and books. I’m not able to spend the kind of money some can..2 kids in college…but I do have a little squirreled away and now I’m bit by the bug. I want a nicer one. Last year we took the Boy Scout troop on a vintage SxS clay shoot. I know my flues isn’t much “field grade” but it is my favorite to shoot. Going to take them again this weekend. Thank you all for the forum and info.
6 members like this
by Jolly Bill
Jolly Bill
My first exposure to a side by side shotgun was when I was in 8th grade. Would have been October 1949. School bus dropped me off at home and in a field behind the house were 2 guys hunting. They had dropped a pheasant but couldn't find it.

My dog Spot, an English Springer Spaniel mix, and I offered to help and soon found the bird. One of the guys carrying a side by side asked what I was doing Saturday. Wanna go hunting with us? I did but I didn't own a shotgun.

That man, Bill Brown, took Spot and me hunting several times. He hunted with a side by side shotgun that I thought was cool. I got my first double, a 12 gauge Ithaca Nitro Special for $20.00 2 years later and that started it.

One of my Fox's, an early A 12 gauge, I got in September 1968 and still have it. That will be 55 years next month.

A wonderful ride for sure.
3 members like this
by FallCreekFan
You guys knew that the direction of this thread would flush out a photo of my "new" Nitro courtesy of the late Richard Brewster and his love of the NS. I suspect that Richard could have owned and shot just about any double that he wanted (and he may have) but he appreciated the solidness and character of the Nitro Special enough to have a custom stock made for his 16ga. Just before his death I was privileged to acquire that stock and then along with a new matching forend I had them fitted to my low mileage Nitro. Happy hunter here.

[Linked Image from]
3 members like this
by LGF
I bought my first shotgun in Nairobi in 1979. I had just started field research on spotted hyenas and the primitive dart guns in those days hit animals very hard, sending them galloping for the nearest heavy cover, where they would eventually pass out. When I went in to find and collar them, I kept encountering all sorts of other interesting things - elephants, lions, leopards, buffalo, cobras. There is draconian gun control in Kenya, and the Firearms Licensing Officer wasn't about to let an American longhair buy a rifle, but he did grant me a shotgun license and I bought a Brno ZP49, which I still have. A game warden friend gave me some Remington slugs, illegal in Kenya, which he had confiscated from poachers. After years of schmoozing the Licensing Officer, and a haircut, I finally got a rifle permit, and a .470 replaced the Brno for field work. By that time I was working on lions, much of it on foot, and the rifle is a lot more reassuring than a shotgun.

Questions about the Brno led me to this forum in the 1990's and I got hooked, leading to a modest accumulation of British guns, mostly Damascus hammer fowlers in 12 10, and 8.
3 members like this
by mark
I don't know how much the popularity of SxSs has changed but I do know they are lower profile now than a few years ago. I picked up a Shooting Sportsman
man from 2005 awhile back and it was loaded with full page color adds from all the Spanish Makers, Merkel, Verney-Carron and Double gun dealers around the country. Stories were about SxS restoration and repairs. Much of the hunting was done with SxSs. Now its mostly Italian O/Us and unaffordable hunts. On TV There were shows about hunting with SxSs and repairs and restoration of SxSs. Now hunting TV is canned Deer and Hog hunts. They must be easier to film than Chuckers or Grouse with a pointing dog.

It was a good time to build a SxS business. You could sell anything sound with 2 barrels. When the popularity in print and TV faded the entry-level (boxlock extractor 12ga) market faded.

The popularity of SxS shoots is strong. The mid-west lost a few but not from lack of popularity. New well run shoots are doing well.
2 members like this
by Ted Schefelbein
Ted Schefelbein
Originally Posted by Edm1
New guy here… growing up my Dad had a SxS nitro special in 16gauge. When my brother and I got older he got other guns and was mainly a deer hunter. But that nitro special was the first shotgun I ever shot and claimed a place in my heart. When he died last year, it came to me. Since then I picked up a Flues and a pristine 20 gauge Nitro special. I’ve read lots, on here and books. I’m not able to spend the kind of money some can..2 kids in college…but I do have a little squirreled away and now I’m bit by the bug. I want a nicer one. Last year we took the Boy Scout troop on a vintage SxS clay shoot. I know my flues isn’t much “field grade” but it is my favorite to shoot. Going to take them again this weekend. Thank you all for the forum and info.

Don’t sell your Nitro short. I keep mine parked in between the good guns, in the safe:

[Linked Image from]

The 16s and 20s come to the shoulder much like a more expensive gun. Many of them have been used very hard, and soldier on to this day. A guy could do much worse for his first double than his Father’s 16 gauge Nitro.

2 members like this
by keith
Originally Posted by Drew Hause
The thread regarding the current doublegun collector's market got me thinking about where we came from.
As Mark observed there was little SxS interest (of course with exceptions like the M21 and British "Best") 50 years ago.

This statement from the Preacher has things pretty much Bass Ackwards in my opinion. Interest in the different genres of firearms is a relative and somewhat variable thing that can certainly be affected by outside influences. For instance, interest and demand for high capacity pistols and semi-auto rifles always spikes whenever the anti-gun Democrats are in power and begin their never ending assault on our 2nd Amendment.

And it is silly to say there was little interest in SxS guns 50 years ago. As many here have noted, quite a few shooters were brought up using these guns, and they were never totally out of style. Others like myself were brought up using other types of guns, and were influenced rightly or wrongly by what our relatives and peers said about doubles. My Dad and uncles weren't keen on doubles because they felt repeaters were superior, and that they were generally lighter due to only having one barrel versus two. On the surface, that thought may make sense to those who don't actually have hands on experience. I had a curiosity and an interest in double shotguns that grew over time, but never bought one until a few years after I graduated from college and was making better money. Part of the reason for my delayed entry into SxS guns was the majority of the doubles I admired in local gun shops were simply not as affordable as the repeaters.

Now, if there was little to no demand for these doubles back then, market forces would dictate that they would have been less expensive. However, the demand was always there relative to the supply. And the supply was limited because production of better quality American doubles was all but gone by the end of WWII, mostly due to higher labor costs. However, there was still interest enough for Winchester to keep cranking out the Model 21, and Marlin certainly tried to bring back L.C. Smiths. Others have dipped their toes into this small but persistent demand, but most have failed due to low profit margins. If Remington or Ithaca could have built a good looking and quality double that sold for near the same price as a Model 870 or Model 37 pump, they would have sold very well, no question. So for the majority of working middle class shooters, new guns were limited to lower quality Spanish imports, Savage 311's or the butt ugly Fox Model B. There has not been a time in my entire life when Parkers were cheap because nobody wanted them and nobody used them. Same for other better quality vintage doubles. It was that same lingering demand and interest that convinced manufacturers to take advantage of lower labor costs and begin importing doubles from Japan, like the Winchester Model 23, Browning BSS, or Ithaca SKB's. Most of the lesser quality guns like Crescents, Worthingtons, and cheap Belgian imports did not stand the test of time. They were unappreciated for good reasons. I did note when I first started collecting Syracuse Lefever guns, they seemed somewhat undervalued given their build quality, attractiveness, and low production numbers. But that situation has certainly changed.

The various double shotgun books listed and the collector organizations did not whet my interest, or that of most other double gun enthusiasts. On the contrary, the interest was there first, and that is what motivated guys to buy these books or to seek out more information on doubles. And really, many of these books have very low publication numbers, so their overall influence on shooter interest was small. The first Lefever book was only 2000 copies and the second was 2500 copies. Charles Semmer's Remington Doubles book was 3600 copies. I don't know the total publication number of Walter Snyder's "Ithaca Gun Company: From the Beginning", but it must be low because copies are both scarce and expensive. It is not purely about Ithaca doubles either. I have many other books about doubles in my collection, and every one was purchased after I had been bitten by the SxS bug. None of them was a New York Times Best Seller that sold a million copies.

Same thing goes for the various internet sites and forums. Nobody comes here saying, "I was wandering aimlessly on the internet and stumbled upon this forum." Virtually all come here because they have inherited Grandpa's old Parker, L.C. Smith, etc., or because they developed a prior interest in double guns, and either finally bought one, or wish to buy one. So now they want to know all about it. Many of them want more doubles. I expect that will continue. Say Hi to the new guy Edm1, who made his first post here yesterday. His story is pretty familiar to us.

Where are we now? That's kind of a silly question too. People keep saying we are "Aging out", or are a "Dying breed". The same could be said of the guys who used flintlocks, percussion guns, lever action rifles, etc. But interest in them remains, and new guys keep getting involved with these outdated and semi-obsolete guns. Gun ownership in the U.S. is at an all-time high. Ammunition is costly, but people buy it as fast as they make it. The same is likely to be the case with our doubles. We will all get old and die, and someone will inherit or buy them. They are not going to a landfill like a collection of worthless 8-track tapes. The biggest threat to double guns and their value is the same things that have caused so many shooters in Great Britain to sell them. Lead shot bans help to make the vintage guns obsolete and unaffordable for many to shoot. Anti-gun and anti-hunting sentiment threatens ownership of all firearms. Right now, the Democrats are pushing to eliminate archery programs from our schools. To them all shooting sports are bad. And right here, we still have guys who keep voting for the anti-gun Democrats who want to eventually eliminate all guns, including doubles. Unfortunately, even our retired CIA Intelligence Analyst hasn't figured that out yet.

That's where we are now.
2 members like this
by Researcher
Peter Johnson's Parker book came out in 1961 and I got a copy for Christmas that year. Larry Baer's Parker books were published in 1974 & 1976 and the combined version in 1980. The Parker Gun Collectors Association was founded in 1993, the brainchild of Forrest Marshall & Ron Kirby. The first issue of Parker Pages was Jan/Feb 1994.

In my family American doubles were the favored shotguns. My grandfather shot a Parker, my father shot Remington doubles and a Parker, and my Uncle Larry shot a Fox-Sterlingworth that his father-in-law, my grandfather's best buddy, bought new in 1930.
1 member likes this
by Researcher
Zutz called the Super-Fox a "mill run waterfowling piece" and lost many Fox collectors!!
1 member likes this
by susjwp
I first purchased a SxS when I was 14, a 16 FW LC, which I still own, back in 1963 (a month the assignation of JFK). There was an old hardware store in town, now long gone, that sold, as many stores did back then, guns and ammo. I picked up a HnR SxS from the same store a few years later. The previous owner had traded it for an auto because it had Damascus barrels. Still have that as well. Both went into the closet, traveled with me as around the country as an adjunct teaching in various universities till the late ‘90s when I secured a tenured position. (Now retired.) Joined the LC collectors, picked up then a GH Parker, joined the Parker Collectors, the Vintagers, and began attending the various SxS events (and lured into English SLEs, Lancaster, Grants, HnH, Purdey). Great fun and continue to meet a great group of fellow SxS enthusiasts. I hope a younger generation will get the “bug” as we all have and continue this tradition, as we are not getting any younger.

A “wonderful ride” indeed.

Cheers to all.
1 member likes this
by Chantry
While I had owned a Stoeger double I used for cowboy shooting, I didn't really start down the SxS path until I bought an I. Hollis 10 gauge hammer double at some very low prices at an Amoskeag auction. Even with the I. Hollis not remotely a "best" gun, I still found the workmanship far, far beyond the Stoeger. Since then I've bought more SxS, both hammer & side lock, from dedicated gun auction houses, as well as many of the less expensive books about the British SxS's. I doubt I have the budget many of you have, but I've managed to acquire some decent British SxS's, a FN 1930 and a Darne clone in the world's ugliest stock.

I don't hunt, so the SxS's mostly get used for skeet or occasionally sporting clays. I've been shooting a hammered British SxS (J. Burrows) regularly for skeet for years now and this has encouraged several of the skeet shooters to either buy a SxS or dig one out from the back of the safe. They all seem to enjoy shooting their SxS more than their O/U's and I even managed get one to go the Rock Mountain SxS sporting clays match.

Skeet and sporting clays allows me an opportunity to enjoy shooting these wonderful old guns, an enjoyment I doubt I would feel shooting an O/U or semi-auto
1 member likes this
by L. Brown
L. Brown
I was influenced by Evans' "Upland Shooting Life" while living in Morocco (of all places . . . but where the upland hunting was pretty darned good. I acquired a Brittany from a Moroccan hunting partner at about the same time, and that pretty much sealed the deal.) The book came to me via the old Outdoor Life Book Club. Bought my first sxs (Ithaca SKB 150 12ga) at the Navy Rod & Gun Club in Rota, Spain 1972. My other choice was a Winchester 101. I credit Evans with influencing me to go horizontal rather than vertical. But that might not have happened if the Beretta OU I ordered previously from the Gun Club at Torrejon Air Force Base hadn't arrived with a cracked forend.

Other Flatwater veterans may chime in, but I believe the first shoot was 2004. The first UP SxS Classic was a few years prior to that. Expect someone here will remember. The only one I missed was the very first one.

My first classic sxs was a fairly basic between the wars 16ga Sauer. Bought it for myself as a graduation present when I completed my M.A, summer 1974. Had the short chambers lengthened, which I wouldn't do today. And I'd hate to count how many Iowa ringnecks died from lead poisoning administered via high brass 1 1/8 oz loads of 6's. The only failure that gun experienced was when the link between the top lever and the Greener crossbolt broke. Those Sauers are pretty tough guns!

McIntosh's "The Best Shotguns Ever Made in America: Seven Vintage Doubles to Shoot and to Treasure" (1981) certainly stoked an interest in classic American sxs. Before it was published as a book, I believe it appeared as a series of articles in "The Missouri Conservationist" magazine".

By the late 50's, choices in new American sxs were limited to the Savage/Stevens doubles. I'd been hunting with a Stevens single shot .410 handed down to me by my older brother. I wanted one of those Savage/Stevens guns. The only other American-made sxs at that time was the Winchester 21, but it was only available from the custom shop. Additional interest in modern sxs was stoked as Americans came around to accepting that shotguns made in Japan were not cheap junk. Once American makers put their names on those guns (Ithaca on the SKB, Browning on the BSS, and Winchester on the Model 23) that gave those who wanted to buy "American" a choice of solid modern products as well as the vintage guns, which hadn't attracted much interest for a long time.
1 member likes this
by Owenjj3
I grew up in a small town with ample bird hunting and shotgun/rifle shooting opportunities, but had no interest through high school into graduate school. In about 2006 I inherited my grandfather’s 16ga 870 (60’s vintage) and I stored it in my closet. Then my future FIL introduced me to grouse hunting and I found a use for the 870. He would send me scrambling through the thickest brush and rhododendron thickets while he ideally positioned himself on ridge lines and logging roads where he knew birds would take refuge from my disturbances. Now I understand it was a test of character and perseverance. I actually asked for his daughter’s hand while cleaning a brace of grouse together. Once I short shucked that 870 and missed a bird that presented an easy shot. A few weeks later I had a 16ga Merkel 47E in hand to finish the season. Soon I discovered lightweight British guns (and many of the books referenced above) and the rest is history.
1 member likes this
by FallCreekFan
And as to how I got here, it begins in the 50's with a kid staring up at two antique SxS's hanging over the jalouise windows on opposite ends of our breezeway (I suppose that would be called a family room these days.) One gun was the percussion double that family tradition said had come west with our forefather after the civil war (I've already told its story here under the title "11ga W. Morse & Co. SxS") and the other was a 10ga Baker hammer gun. When William Henry Baker sold out to Lyman Cornelius Smith in Syracuse in 1880 and moved south to start what would eventually become Ithaca, L.C. continued building the Baker doubles (until 1883). This is one of those last year Baker/Smith's. I couldn't know then that it, along with my Dad's love of his 16ga Ithaca 37, would kindle a life long interest in the guns of Fall Creek and particularly the Ithaca doubles. I can say, though, that it's been, and still is, fascinating.
1 member likes this
by Ted Schefelbein
Ted Schefelbein
I imported French shotguns and rifles for two decades, 1990s and 2000s. In my business records is a manilla folder for each gun, date ordered, date delivered, who ordered it, receiving FFL, etc. A truly sobering thing to me is how many of the guys who ordered a gun through me are no longer with us.

There are a few who are frail enough to have no need of a hunting implement.

If I had to guess, I’d say right around age 65 is when the majority of them quit buying licenses. My Dad bought licenses for years after he quit hunting, I don’t honestly know if it was high hopes, or, just the feeling he could help support hunting and fishing sports in Minnesota. Knowing Dad, it was likely a bit of both.

We were Loon Club members, when there was a Loon Club:

[Linked Image from]

Wish he would have lived long enough to hunt with his grandson and daughter-in-law:

[Linked Image from]

My former hunting, shooting and fishing buddies, to a one, have aged out. I’ve met a few new guys, but, they tend to be widely dispersed across the country, and a trip with them requires logistics beyond grabbing the dog and a gun and killing 4-6 hours in the woods.

The former guys don’t care about double guns. Most of them, never did.

1 member likes this home | Welcome | Sponsors & Advertisers | DoubleGun Rack | Doublegun Book Rack

Order or request info | Other Useful Information

Updated every minute of everyday!

Copyright (c) 1993 - 2022 All rights reserved. - Bloomfield, NY 14469. USA These materials are provided by as a service to its customers and may be used for informational purposes only. assumes no responsibility for errors or omissions in these materials. THESE MATERIALS ARE PROVIDED "AS IS" WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EITHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANT-ABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, OR NON-INFRINGEMENT. further does not warrant the accuracy or completeness of the information, text, graphics, links or other items contained within these materials. shall not be liable for any special, indirect, incidental, or consequential damages, including without limitation, lost revenues or lost profits, which may result from the use of these materials. may make changes to these materials, or to the products described therein, at any time without notice. makes no commitment to update the information contained herein. This is a public un-moderated forum participate at your own risk.

Note: The posting of Copyrighted material on this forum is prohibited without prior written consent of the Copyright holder. For specifics on Copyright Law and restrictions refer to: - will not monitor nor will they be held liable for copyright violations presented on the BBS which is an open and un-moderated public forum.

Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5
(Release build 20201027)
Responsive Width:

PHP: 7.0.33-0+deb9u11+hw1 Page Time: 5.927s Queries: 25 (5.916s) Memory: 0.8121 MB (Peak: 1.4340 MB) Data Comp: Off Server Time: 2023-12-10 22:55:07 UTC
Valid HTML 5 and Valid CSS