Saturday, December 20, 2014

Holland Royal Ejector in .500 Nitro Express

They don't come any better than this! A Royal ejector Holland in .500 nitro express. A mate down under emailed me these photos today of his new toy.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Two sold out titles

Many of you have asked about other books I've written and are no longer available. The book on James Watts, inventor of the .450 Watts cartridge, was my first project in the mid-1990s. Jim was a great man who came to Alaska in 1936 to Valdez and walked the 400 miles to Fairbanks. He was in the AK earthquake of 1964--right on the coast picking up his wife from work when the quake hit and the tidal wave came in. He went on an 8-month safari in Zimbabwe, flew to the northern Yukon and walked out for a summer vacation, and was shot by his superintendent when he was a school teacher. Jack Lott gets the credit for his .458 Lott, but Watts did it 22 years prior. All Lott did was take the Watts case and shave .005 off of it to get his name on a big game cartridge. And, being the well known writer he was, got the credit. Jim also developed the .450 Watts Short that was renamed the .458 Winchester magnum (yes, I saw the correspondence), the .450 Alaskan from the .348 WCF case, and more. I am proud he was my friend. I had 1200 copies printed and sold the last one a week ago at a local gun show.

Safari 2000 was my next project in the late 1990s. It dealt with how to set up a safari in southern African and went into great detail on animals in each country, airlines, PHs, costs, firearms, etc. I have 500 copies printed and it sold out within a couple of years--good in the days before my introduction to the internet. (I did both books on an Apple 2!)

Then, after a few dozen magazine articles, I wrote the three double rifle books pictured in a post below.
Thanks for looking and your comments.

Jeffery 8-bore ball and shot gun

For your enjoyment is a new addition to my gun safe. This boxlock 8-bore has 32-inch barrels, weighs 15 pounds, non auto safety, rib extension, 14 1/2" pull, lever for end release, bead front sight and two folding leaf rear sights marked for 50 and 100 yards. Bores have invisible rifling and can only be seen in the shadows when light is shown down the bore. A four digit serial number that shows this run was made in early 1896 and has the proper black powder proofs. She came with two bullet moulds and 18 brass cases made for this gun. Playing with her will be great fun this winter and spring!





December 19, 2014 Update: 8-bore Jeffery ball and shot gun

Here is the latest addition to the gun safe: a Jeffery 8-bore ball and shot gun dating from 1896. 32-inch barrels, weight of 15 pounds, rib extension third fastener, and invisible rifling to shoot both a single projectile or a payload of shot to a good patter. See more pics on the double rifles page. Shown below with a Jeffery 12-bore fowler (also with 32-inch barrels) to compare size. Note the different style of fences.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

A Pair of Verney-Carron Doubles

A mate from Zambia, Zaheed Omar,  owns these two fine Verney-Carron doubles. The case colored frame (top photo) is a .450-400 3-inch and below that is a magnificent and mighty .600 nitro express. I hope to hunt with Zaheed in the near future.



Sunday, December 7, 2014

Cal's new toy: Holland and Holland Royal in .500 bpe

Here are some pics of my new toy. A Holland and Holland Royal back action Royal side lock in caliber .500 3 1/4" black powder express. 26" barrels and made in 1889. It is a transition between the Royal we know today and the first Royals with the stepped side plates (such as the Rigby). The coolest part of the rifle it was owned by Boyd Alexander, a hunter, naturalist, and explorer who wrote a two volume set of his adventures titles, From the Niger to the Nile. He was killed by natives in 1910. The rifle is original except the scope and mounts were added in the 1920s (approximately). Features are an extended top strap, sights for 150, 200, 250 yards, cheek piece, recoil pad, sling swivels, and an ivory bead night sight. Weight is a bit over 8 pounds--a very trim and petite side lock.


Holland .500 bpe Royal--Cal's new toy.

Here are some pics of my new toy. A Holland and Holland Royal back action side lock in caliber .500 3 1/4" black powder express. 26" barrels and made in 1889. It is a transition between the Royal we know today and the first Royals with the stepped side plates (such as the Rigby). The coolest part of the rifle it was owned by Boyd Alexander, a hunter, naturalist, and explorer who wrote a two volume set of his adventures, titled, From the Niger to the Nile. He was killed by natives in 1910. The rifle is original except the scope and mounts were added in the 1920s (approximately). Features are an extended top strap, sights for 150, 200, 250 yards, cheek piece, recoil pad, sling swivels, and an ivory bead night sight. Weight is a bit over 8 pounds--a very trim and petite side lock.


Saturday, December 6, 2014

December 6 update--new double rifle, photos soon

Gents:
A new double was added to my collection today: a Holland and Holland Royal in .500 3 1/4" black powder express. It is an early Royal begin a transition between the stepped side plates of the first model Royal and the style known today. This is a back action side lock one time called the no2 Royal. The great thing about this fine rifle is it was owned by Boyd Alexander, a hunter, naturalist, and explorer who wrote two books, From the Niger to the Nile, and was speared to death by natives in 1910. I will take some photos tomorrow and post here.
Also, the Double Rifle Primer is selling well and reviews are all positive. I hope you will order one soon and, for those of you who have a copy, thanks for your comments.
Cheers, all.
Cal

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Hal Johnson

1159.jpgHal Johnson took these trophies in Mozambique. I was unable to transfer Hal's excellent sable. Look to the double rifle trophies page for more of Hal's safari.

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
calpappas.com   “The best in double rifles and African hunting”

August 11, 2008

Dear-------------:

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
calpappas.com