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Concepts of Best Gunmaking
Defining an Emigma


Mike Proctor
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Excellent article. He is probably the most articulate gun writer today and very persuasive

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What? No link?

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Originally Posted by Lloyd3
What? No link?
https://www.vintageguns.co.uk/magazine

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This may ruffle some feathers. Good read.

"This is also where high-grade pre-WW1 American side-by-sides fall down. Though they were often highly embellished externally, with beautiful chequer panels and gold-inlay, internally they were at the level of a mid-grade Birmingham boxlock, at best."

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Originally Posted by Dan S.W.
This may ruffle some feathers.

Knowing Dig, it was not written with that intention. It was intended as information only, and may well be true. The question to be considered however is, is that not good enough? When any well cared for examples of either, or both, can be shown to have functioned perfectly for 100 + years, why is better needed? It isn't. But, it may be desired, and that should be a different line of reasoning, IMO.


May God bless America and those who defend her.
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Enjoyed the articles but was hoping he would go further in depth into load development on that Nitro Paradox frown

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This thing of a gun having soul as described in the article is interesting. I would call it lively balance and handling rather than soul.

Back in the 70s or 80s a writer in the British magazine Shooting Times detailed how he searched intently for such a gun and how he passed over several top English names to settle on a machine made Bernardelli Elio 16 gauge as the best balanced and best handling gun. For him the Elio was obviously best.

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Still at it
https://www.doublegunshop.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=134538

March 2009 Sporting Shooter, "Born In The USA"
The typical collector in the US looks for a factory original, mint condition example of a gun by the likes of Le Fever (sic), Parker or LC Smith. The fewer made, the more collectable, the more original condition, the more it will cost. Quality hardly comes into it. A basic grade Birmingham trade boxlock surpasses all these in terms of mechanical integrity, design and manufacture. If you want to upset an American show him a high-grade Parker, then show him a Purdey, and watch him blather on about nostalgia and patriotism and grandpa's homestead.

Helpful price comparisons are here
https://docs.google.com/document/u/1/pub?id=1OTND2bQH0vhlbCf7c2sN8H1vzmT7xagUSXhewGB03SE

Prices of the lowest grade American made doubles in the 1897 Sears Roebuck & Co. Catalogue:
Parker GH - $51.20
Smith No. 0 - $31.75
Ithaca No. 1 - $26
Remington 1894 A - $33
Baker B - $31.75
Fine guns listed included the Daly 150AE at $129, 250AE at $190, Greener No. 3AE at $187.50, and Facile Priceps at $93.75.

The 1906 William Read & Sons Catalogue (courtesy of Daryl Hallquist):
“Highest Quality” Westley Richards with single trigger - $595
W.W. Greener G70 “Imperial” - $500
W&C Scott “Premier” - $375
W&C Scott “Imperial Premier” - price on application
Purdey - 89 pounds 5 shillings sterling - about $446
Joseph Lang & Son “Highest Quality” sidelock ejector - 65 guineas
Parker Bros. AAHE - net price of $318.75
Lefever Optimus - $280
Remington Special - $750 = about $25,000 today
Hunter Arms' list prices
L.C. Smith Monogram AE - $365
L.C. Smith A-2 - $390
L.C. Smith A-3 - $740

Blather on

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Diggory is a fine man. He is intelligent, energetic, running several shows simultaneously, evaluating guns for prospective buyers, selling and restoring guns, writing the journal as well as actively shooting his guns. He is knowledgeable. David Trevallion believes he never worked on the benches but also that he has a comprehensive academic knowledge of British guns. Vintagegunjournal.com is probably now the best place to read about SxS's with the demise of DGJ (and he had a couple of very complimentary articles about that DGJ at the time).

He has been extremely helpful to me, publishing the original Reilly history in two parts in August/September 2019 and later the "dating Reilly" chart as well as regularly forwarding queries he receives on Reilly's based on the Vintagegunjournal.com article. He introduced me virtually to Mark Crudgington to research and discuss more questions which later influenced the subsequent Reilly history in the 1850's. His two articles on the life and death of Cyril Adams were well done.

Nevertheless, there remains at times a British condescension towards America. This is inbred apparently. Last February he published a pretty insulting review of a Texas gun show, commenting on everything from the wares to politics to the masks people weren't wearing. I sent him a note saying the article was inappropriate and since I can't find it, it may have been deleted.

This said. It is what it is. Everyone has their prejudices. These are unfortunately wide-spread amongst the British upper-classes (and amongst the Parisian French). It does not diminish the excellence of what he is doing. Just be aware that there will be occasional zingers like this. Don't take them personally. It is an opinion. Gene Williams

Last edited by Argo44; 11/10/22 10:23 AM.

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