Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 750: MacNaughten James - SxS Extra 20 Ga BBL Engraved

Auction Date: May 5, 2017

Finely Engraved James MacNaughton Round Action Double Rifle with Extra 20 Gauge Shotgun Barrels and Case

Estimated Price: $30,000 - $50,000

Finely Engraved James MacNaughton Round Action Double Rifle with Extra 20 Gauge Shotgun Barrels and Case

Manufacturer: MacNaughten James
Model: SxS
Type: Rifle
Gauge: 303 British
Barrel: 24 inch solid rib
Finish: blue/casehardened
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 2063
Item Interest: Average
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 246
Class: Curio & Relic Long Gun

Manufactured circa 1899, this is a very fine example of a James MacNaugthon round action 303 British caliber double rifle/double barrel 20 gauge combination. The action, break lever, trigger guard and forearm hardware have fine English scroll engraving. The top of the fences have a banner with "MACNAUGHTON" on the left and "EDINBURGH" on the right side. The water table is marked with the serial number, a "crown/GP" and "crown/V" on each side, "MACNAUGHTON" on the left side and "PATENT" on the right. The rifle barrels are 24 inches in length with a smooth solid rib marked "JAMES MACNAUGHTON, 26 HANOVER STREET EDINBURGH & PERTH". Front and folding white dot front sights and five leaf (four folding), express type rear sight. The four folding leafs are engraved with floral scroll designs and marked "200", "300", "400" and "500". The rib from the rear back to the breech is matted. The breech end is equipped with a 2.5x Alaskan scope on Daniel Fraser patent scope mounts. The flats are marked with the correct British proofmarks, "NITRO PROVED", "PATENT 1", "303" and the serial number. There is a sling eye mounted on the underside. The forearm is fully checkered walnut with a contrasting horn forend and engraved casehardened hardware. The shotgun barrels were added to the rifle by the original maker in 2011, are 25 inches in length, 20 gauge with 2 3/4 inch chambers, choked improved cylinder/improved cylinder and extractor. There is a single bead sight on a smooth concave solid rib which is marked the same as the rifle barrels. The bore diameter is .615/.615 and the wall thickness is .032/.032. They are also numbered to the gun and have the identical forearm as the rifle barrels. Both sets of barrels and the break lever are blue and the remaining metal surfaces are casehardened. Double triggers, tang mounted safety and mounted with a multi-point checkered walnut round knob pistol grip stock with a checkered bare butt, lightly engraved heel and toe plate, sling swivel eye and a gold initial oval with a family coat of arms over a banner inscribed with the motto "VINCERE VEL MORI", (Conquer or Die). Consignors notes state that this rifle/shotgun was made for a Captain MacNeal, however, writer was unable to substantiate the claim. An internet search shows that a number of Irish and Scottish families use the same motto and I was unable to find the crest. The drop at the comb is 1 1/2 inches, drop at the heel 2 1/2 inches and the length of pull is 14 5/8 inches. The weight with shotgun barrels is 5Ibs. 12 oz. and with the rifle barrels 8 Ibs. 2 oz. The rifle/shotgun comes with a hard leather takedown case with brass corner protectors, leather straps and handle, and red lining with a James MacNaughton label affixed to the inside of the lid. In the case are a nickel oiler, a wad cutter, two two piece cleaning rods, a bore mop, a leather sling and a round container with screw on lid containing an extra blade front sight.

Rating Definition:

Very fine. Both sets of barrels retain 99% period refurbished blue finish with only light handling/storage marks. The break lever shows 95% original blue finish with some mild thinning from normal usage. 40% of the case colors remain with vivid colors in the protected areas a smooth gray patina on the balance. The wood shows only light handling/storage marks and crisp checkering. The markings and engraving are crisp and clear. Both barrel sets have bright bores. Mechanically excellent. The case is good with some scuffs, scrapes and stains on the exterior and some stains, tears and minor contact wear on the lining. The bottom of the oiler is splitting out and the lid on the container is cracked, otherwise the remaining accessories are very good.

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