Worried about steel cartridges? Our auctions expert Diggory Hadoke of VintageGuns.co.uk selects a Holland & Holland 12-bore Royal model with two sets of barrels: the originals and newer barrels that can shoot steel. It’s in Gavin Gardiner’s upcoming auction.
Holland & Holland built the self-opening sidelock ejector no 31756 in 1927 with 26½in chopper-lump barrels, 2½in chambers about improved cylinder, and 3/8 choke borings. Another maker made the new 28in barrels of the best London quality and fitted them in 1983. They also have 2½in chambers, about ¼ and ½ choke borings.
The gun has a self-opening mechanism. The frame, hand detachable locks and gold numbered top lever have acanthus scroll engraving, retaining traces of original hardening colour.
The maker’s name is signed within an arched panel, gold-lined cocking indicators, rolled edge trigger guard, and 14¾-inch highly figured stock with ribbed ebonite heel plate. Weight is 6lb 5oz, nitro proof, the original barrels with wall thickness below the recommended minimum. It comes in its maker’s lightweight leather case.
The maker confirms that the gun is the number 2 gun of a pair.
The auction is on 6 September 2021. Estimate is £10,000-£15,000. Buy one of these new, it will cost you six figures and you will have to wait, says Diggory.