Thursday, May 30, 2019

.577-500 no2 bpe by Gye and Moncrieff

Gye and Moncrieff .577-500 no 2 double rifle with extra and original 12-bore shotgun barrels. In a two-tier oak and leather case with many original accessories. One of the most complete sets I’ve ever owned-or seen for that matter. Bores on both sets of barrels are mint. Made in 1878. Amazing history of the original owner and his family: Joseph Campbell Shorb was a doctor from Maryland and a Civil War surgeon. He was from a politically connected family and married the daughter of a Senator. In 1863 his commission was up and he moved to California with his brother James Debarth Shorb. James married the daughter of a famous California explorer. He bought thousands of acres of land and developed the biggest winery in the world, pressing 250 tons of grapes per day and he also owned the railroad to bring the wine to market! He remarried after his wife died and his daughter married a gent named George Patton. Their son was to be the famous WWII general.

Joseph Campbell worked as a respected doctor and medical lecturer. Unfortunately he was in an unhappy marriage and this, coupled with a sleep disorder made sleeping a near impossibility. He used morphine to induce sleep but developed a resistance to the drug. Then he used chloroform. One night in 1889 he fell asleep with the chloroform cloth still on his face and died. The newspapers first reported his death as a suicide but later it was ruled as accidental. His obituary is on the internet. A street in Alhambra is named for him.

About 1877-78 Joseph ordered this rifle and shotgun combination from a fairly new London maker, Gye and Moncrieff. That he didn’t order from one of the more established makers, such as Holland or Purdey, is unknown. The case retains traces of the original shipping labels. Engraving is Purdey style and very fine. Dr. Shorb’s name is on a plaque on the stock and on the case lid.

Case includes, sling, case straps, primers, several oil and grease tins, mould and hollow point pin, shot shell trimmer, powder and shot measures, prime and de-prime tools, swage dies for the rifle, rods and tips (rifle rod missing one section), leather sleeves for each set of barrels, striker key, and more. Bores on both barrel sets are perfect and shiny.

The rifle barrels are 26” and as heavy as present day nitro barrels. The barrels could easily be reamed out to the .577-500 magnum 3 1/8 if so desired. Shotgun barrels are 32” and choked cylinder.

I will include a copy of my article on G&M and Dr. Shorb and his family and two boxes of brass as well as my reloading data. This rifle/shotgun is an antique so no paperwork. Price to your door is $17,500 OBO and payments over time are fine. You won’t find a nicer and more complete set than this.

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