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Army - Navy 470 any opinions on this gun

This is a discussion on Army - Navy 470 any opinions on this gun within the Double Rifles forums, part of the HUNTING EQUIPMENT, FIREARMS & AMMUNITION category; Hi Guys, I've been looking at doubles for a while now and looking towards some of the nice old English ...

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    Hunt101 is offline AH Member
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    Default Army - Navy 470 any opinions on this gun

    Hi Guys, I've been looking at doubles for a while now and looking towards some of the nice old English guns. Ultimately I'd like to find one that I can put to work, and be a nice investment piece as well. I like the looks of the gun listed below and would like to hear what some of the more experienced double guys have to say about it. From a shooting standpoint this rifle is about right in dimensions, but wouldn't know for sure until an inspection took place.
    So assuming fit is correct for my build, where do you see the current value at on a piece like this?
    I can't find any comparable guns for sale to know if this is in the ballpark price wise or not.

    Also there anything particular to be inquiring about with Army-Navy guns?

    Anyone ever had dealings with this seller, or possibly owned this gun?

    Army-Navy .470 NE - Army Navy Rifles

    Thanks in Advance

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    Red Leg's Avatar
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    To the quality question, guns sold by the Army and Navy Cooperative were made by the leading gunmakers in the UK. They were purchased, marked, and sold by the cooperative at a discount to military officers. Something like the modern PX system. Scott, in particular, had a significant part of its business supporting both the trade and A&N. With respect to a particular rifle, unless you are already an expert on doubles and their potential issues, I would strongly urge you to have such a person inspect any such investment for you.

    That said Roger Bain knows double rifles and, in my experience at least, only deals in guns of very high condition. I have purchased two rifles from Roger over the years and I trust him without reservation. I would suggest you call him and talk to him about it. If it is as good and high condition as it looks, that is a reasonable price. I would note, that if nostalgia is not a major issue, you can get a brand new K-Gun for quite a bit less. This, however, would be a classic old British weapon that probably accompanied its original owner to the Raj or British East Africa early last century.
    "We sleep peaceably in our beds because rough men stand ready in the
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    Hunt101 is offline AH Member
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    Thank you, that is exactly the kind of information I'm looking for. I know a new modern gun could be bought cheaper, but it certainly doesn't have that nostalgia you spoke of. Would you have any concern taking a vintage gun and treating it just like a modern off the shelf weapon? A quality shooter is the most important thing, followed by nostalgia, followed by investment. I guess in the back of my mind I have questioned if the steel would be as good in a vintage gun as a modern gun, possibly requiring an older gun to be shot less.

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    Definantly have it checked out by an independant third party. It could save you thousands in re-sale and maintenance.

    You can have identical firearms (even off the shelf doubles) built by different craftsman with entirely different reputations, which can affect quality and re-sale for those 'in the know'. This still happens today. Not all doubles are created equal.

    I apologise if this breaks etique, but you could also post this on Nitro Express Forum for an opinion. However nothing beats an unbiased inspection by a reputable third party.
    Time spent in Reconnaisance is never wasted.

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    Heym 88 is offline GOLD SUPPORTER
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    Everything Iv'e read about these guns are that they are made very well by some of the Major Rifle makers such as H&H and Westly Richards to name a few. It sure is a gorgeous rifle. Good luck!

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    Red Leg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hunt101 View Post
    Thank you, that is exactly the kind of information I'm looking for. I know a new modern gun could be bought cheaper, but it certainly doesn't have that nostalgia you spoke of. Would you have any concern taking a vintage gun and treating it just like a modern off the shelf weapon? A quality shooter is the most important thing, followed by nostalgia, followed by investment. I guess in the back of my mind I have questioned if the steel would be as good in a vintage gun as a modern gun, possibly requiring an older gun to be shot less.
    If it is in good shape - no concerns at all. I hunt and shoot clays regularly with SxS's which date to the 1880's - several have the fine Damascus barrels of that golden age (not the cheap stub garbage that found its way onto many Belgian imports of the same period.) My 9.3x74 double was built in Germany in 1911 and my William Evans Paradox gun was built in shortly before the first world war (I have shot francolin and rolled warthogs with it at the same waterhole on the same day). My favorite pigeon guns are a 1930's era Merkel and a similar period German guild gun, both of which were designed for and still digest a steady ration of 1 1/4 ounce pigeon loads (this is the competitive pigeon shooting done in a ring). It all depends upon the specific condition of the specific gun. Buy it from someone you trust or with the advice of someone you trust.
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    night to visit violence on those who would do us harm" Winston Churchill

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    The build information is available from The University of Glasgow IIRC. There will be a code in the ledger for the maker. In this case we already know it was W&S so that part is easy. They will know the build date and who first had it.

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    I'm totally blown away by what I read on this forum.
    I've been around a while had had a few guns BUT the expertise and knowledge of folks like you Red Leg and AKmike and Heym 88 is astounding. In a field so esoteric as DRs, to posses so much knowledge is tantamount to having a Phd in the subject. I've got a lot to learn and time is growing short!
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    Vintage Army - Navy made a good to great double rifle.

    I rented a Army - Navy in 450NE and I shot it well. The stock was a little high, just like I have my trap guns set up. There was About a 1/8" gap between the front sight and rear sight. The cape buffalo did not know the difference.

    Many quality stock makers will make a matching stock to fit you. So do not let that hinder you on purchasing this fine double rifle.

    All my trap guns came with stocks and I still had them restocked for a better fit.
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    Quote Originally Posted by James.Grage View Post
    Vintage Army - Navy made a good to great double rifle.

    I rented a Army - Navy in 450NE and I shot it well. The stock was a little high, just like I have my trap guns set up. There was About a 1/8" gap between the front sight and rear sight. The cape buffalo did not know the difference.

    Many quality stock makers will make a matching stock to fit you. So do not let that hinder you on purchasing this fine double rifle.

    All my trap guns came with stocks and I still had them restocked for a better fit.
    The point AKMike and I were making is that A&N did not "make" any rifles at all. They marketted rifles, shotguns, and pistols which they ordered from "the trade" - almost all of which were Birmingham products rather than London made weapons which tended to be bespoke. Roger's gun clearly uses a W&S action, so one can fairly confidently assume W&S sourced the rifle. Though a smaller maker could have also had a A&N contract and simply used that action for the basis of his rifle. This component process was common among the Birmingham makers, where as the big London houses such as Purdey and Holland did much more under one roof. All can be outstanding guns.

    The one you linked is a classic working rifle with little embelishment and the industrial grade long A&D boxlock action reserved for the big nitro express cals. It would have been purchased by a serious sportsman - probably a junior field grade officer (major or LTC) - who still had to watch his pennies. Should you buy it and do the record search (you can do it on line or pay to have the research done) you could end up with a name and a date which would allow for some fun research about the first owner.
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    A&N were hardly the only ones to put their marks on rifles either.
    Rigby rifles were usually sourced out from I Hollis or Leonard for instance. I have an A Hollis that is made by Leonard, equal quality to the Rigbys.

    This the same as was done stateside by Sears and Roebuck and many others.

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    The price seems steep for a W&S Screw Grip, for that price I would expect an oak and leather case with accessories. But it does appear to be in very good shape and I may be a bit out of touch.
    The other option is a bespoke VC which will cost you a bit less and be made just for you the way you want it..
    Which way to go? I have a 1905 Gibbs in 450 NE with the same W&S barreled action as the Army Navy it has 28" barrels and shoots like a dream. Every now and then I think wouldn't it be nice to own a VC in a 500 or 577 and use my Gibbs for trade bait, but no matter how nifty I think the VCs are they cannot and will not replace the class of an older English double..
    Guess I'll just have to have two...

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    That's a dandy, my guess at least partially refinished. None the less that Webly Long Bar action is awesome. I've been watching double rifles in the american market for about 15 years, had a couple but of modern european design, but when you pick up and shoulder a english double like the one you're looking at, you will never be able to settle for anything less. If you have the loot, Id go for it. Mike Schwandt at Schwandt Classic Arms in WI sold one somewhat similar not long ago for 25k I think. If you want a third party evaluation, you might want to talk to him...he seems very sharp on english guns, especially double rifles.

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