Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Rifle Appraisal

 I have been asked by many friends and many viewers of this site to appraise their double rifles for insurance purposes. Two samples of my appraisals appear below. One problem that is encountered when obtaining an appraisal for a double is sending the rifle to the appraiser. This can cost up to $100 postage each way and then there is the fee--some charge $200 per rifle. Since I only specialize in double rifles (and have done so for nearly 20 years) by researching them, hunting, load development and shooting, and writing about them, I can give a knowledgeable history and appraisal of them. It is not necessary for your to send your rifle to me. Here is what to do:

First, ask your insurance company if they will accept an appraisal by photos. Many do and I have done appraisals for them. If the company has any questions direct them to this site and they can email or call me. If they agree, then I will need detailed, repeat detailed, threepeat detailed, photos to include the following: with your digital camera on macro, close up pics of the right, left, top, bottom of your rifle. Close up to show all the detail. Pics that show every readable letter and number to include, but not limited to, the serial number, maker's name and address, load data, proof marks--every letter and number. Detail the sights, opening system, forend release, recoil pad, and, if possible, a photo down a clean bore. Also, include the barrel length, weight, any and all specifications you have and any history including details of former owners. The original owner is a premium.

Within a few days I will email or post you my history and appraisal. The fee for this service is $100. I will keep a copy of the appraisal and the photos should I be contacted in case of a loss and claim. All information will be kept confidential--I will not share who owns what with any other.

Please also note my appraisals have a lifetime rewrite guarantee. If you need a change of value or if you find your double was owned by the King of England I will do an update for no charge.

May 24, 2009
Dear ----------:

Thank you for the pleasure of shooting and evaluating your Webley and Scott double rifle, caliber .450 no2, serial number 124xx.

As you may know Webley and Scott stands among England’s finest gun and rifle makers. Wile being best known for their shotguns the firm made many high-quality double and single shot rifles as well as handguns. William Scott founded the company and, as partners were brought into the business and other firms were acquired, several name changes are noted in the records (W&C Scott, Webley and Scott, P. Webley and Sons etc.). The barrel address on your rifle is, “78 Shaftesbury Avenue.” That address was closed in 1921 and the Webley and Scott name was instituted in 1906 so your rifle was manufactured between those years.

The features on your rifle are as follows: 26-inch barrels with a full-length swamped rib, three leaf rear sight, ivory bead front sight with a protective hood and sling attachment, automatic ejectors (a strong plus), “safe” inlaid in gold, two triggers, and the patented Webley action. The stock is of walnut with a cheekpiece, a Silver’s anti-recoil heelplate, and sling attachment. The forend is a semi-beavertail type with a lever release. The safety is non-automatic. (Most rifles of this type had an automatic safety. Your rifle may have had the transfer bar removed as many big-game hunters did not like the automatic feature. This is a simple repair for a qualified gunsmith if you wish to return the safety to the automatic feature.)

The serial numbers match on the rifle and on the barrels and the rifle has the correct proof marks for the caliber.

Each double rifle is unique in itself so there is no set value as each rifle has so many variables to determine an exact value. In today’s market any double rifle is highly sought after and they do not remain long on dealer’s inventory. My estimation of the value of your rifle is between $18,500 and 22,000.

If you wish for a copy of the original factory ledger page for your rifle, contact Mr. Richard Gallyon at 01953-850215

Again, my thanks for letting me evaluate your rifle. If I can be of further service, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Cal Pappas   “The best in double rifles and African hunting”

August 11, 2008


It is indeed a pleasure to evaluate Rodda double rifle number 92xx from the photos you sent and even more so when seeing the rifle in person.

As you may know, R.B. Rodda was a London retailer of firearms and other outdoor gear to India. Rodda purchased finished rifles and resold them at their retail outlets as well as applying their own finish to rifles and shotguns purchased in the 'white'. Rodda was one of the five major retailers in India, the others being Lyon & Lyon, P. Orr and Sons, Walter Locke, and Manton.

Your rifle, caliber .475 3 1/4" nitro express, is a standard rifle sold to big game hunters in India. From the plain finish of your rifle I would guess it went to a military man or modest income who was a big game sportsman during his leave time. The border engraving is quite well done, in standard English style, but not a complete coverage as done on the highly finished arms.

The barrel length of 26 inches is quite standard for the caliber. The three leaf rear sight is set on a quarter rib and the front sight is a bead on ramp. The box lock action sports the standard top lever release and double triggers. The walnut stock is 15 inches to the center of the recoil pad. It is a non-ejector rifle.

As you know, I'm sure, condition is what determines the value of any firearm. The condition of your Rodda is excellent. The blue/blacking is somewhat faded on the action and is quite strong on the barrels. This is common as the steel composition is different between the two parts with barrels holding the original blue/black much longer. The stock finish is original and the checkering sharp. Obviously, this rifle has not been used much considering its age to the early 1900s. (The Rodda records are unavailable for inspection so an exact date of production is impossible to know). Most important is the bore condition and your rifle has excellent plus bores.

Each double rifle is unique do to its individuality--they are not mass production firearms. My estimate of your rifle's worth, if sold on the market today at auction or private sale, would be between $18-22,000 USD.

Again, thank you for the opportunity to inspect and evaluate your .475 Rodda.

Cal Pappas