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A high-grade Beretta sidelock over-and-under. Stocked with exhibition-grade wood with intricate checkering, and exquisite engraving inlaid with gold. It is the epitome of today’s finest shotguns. Click here for John Taylor’s book Fine Shotguns.
Several Holland & Holland over-and-unders that show the typical understated elegance of London Best shotguns.
A collection of historic stocks, bullet-casting molds, and other tools displayed in Holland & Holland’s New York gun room.
Three pump-action shotguns that were produced in higher grades. From top: The venerable Winchester Model 1897, the Winchester Model 12 and the bottom-ejecting Browning, the third variation of the pump made on an early John Browning design.
The development of the double shotgun. From top: The muzzle-loading percussion double, an exposed hammer breechloader, a sidelock and a boxlock. The sidelock and boxlock placed the hammers inside the action.
A group of great American-made shotguns. From top: A. H. Fox, an 1895 hammer Parker, Winchester Model 21, Ithaca NID made by Classic Doubles, and a Winchester Model 12 pump.
Another view of four America-made classic doubles. From top: A. H. Fox, an 1895 hammer Parker, Winchester Model 21, Ithaca NID made by Classic Doubles.
The A. H. Fox was made in grades A through F. The E grade, like Parker, indicated ejectors. The plain Sterlingworth was ungraded and in direct competition with Parker’s Trojan.
An Ideal-grade L. C. Smith. In this case it’s a Long Range model made to compete with the A. H. Fox Super-Fox.
An example of the ground-breaking Browning Automatic-5 that, in 1903, was the first semiautomatic shotgun released to the sporting public.
The Remington 3200 that followed the lines of the discontinued Remington Model 32. A much heavier gun than the 32, the 3200 was made for about 10 years, until its production also ceased.
An exquisitely engraved, inlaid and case-hardened shotgun from the British gun maker Charles Boswell.
During the Golden Age of shotgun making, many variation existed such as this Greener Side Safety. Also note the crossbolt locking mechanism.
A typical German-made shotgun with extensive engraving.
A Beretta sidelock over-and-under with magnificent engraving and gold inlays that is stocked with the highest-grade wood; a glorious modern shotgun.
A single-row checkering tool is used in tight corners such as on this forend.
A example of small-gauge tubes–in this case 20 gauge–being inserted into old and potentially unsafe Damascus barrels to make this 1875-vintage hammer Parker a joy to shoot.
Two contrasting finishes on these side-by-sides: the top steel is left in the white and the bottom is case-hardened.
A transitional hammer to hammerless action. The external hammer performs no function in firing the gun other than showing the user the gun is cocked.
Author John Taylor, a frequent Outdoor Life contributor and one of the world’s top authorities on shotguns, has come out with a new book titled, appropriately, Fine Shotguns, published by Skyhorse Publishing, Inc. Here are some of the drool-worthy guns Taylor highlights.