Adams & Co. .500 Nitro Express Back-Action Double Rifle, 1881-1894 Antique

SOLD FOR: $5221

LSB#: 210823DD02

Make: Adams & Co.

Model: Double Rifle

Serial Number: 12279

Year of Manufacture: 1881-1894

Caliber: .500 Nitro Express

Action Type: Back-Action External Hammer Under-Lever Double Rifle with Extractor and Hammer Safeties

Markings: The top of the left barrel is marked “ADAMS & Co“, the right “32 FINSBURY PAVEMENT, LONDON”. Each barrel flat is marked “12279”, “40” and with British proof marks. The forend iron is marked “12279”. Each side of the water table is marked “12279” and with British proofs. The guard is marked “12279”. Each lockplate is marked “ADAMS & Co”. The bottom of the barrel rib is marked “6535”. The receiver, lockplates, lever and guard have decorative engraving.

Barrel Length: 28″

Sights / Optics: The front sight is a beaded blade in-line dovetailed and screw-set to the front of the barrel’s solid rib. The rear sight assembly has a fixed “V”-notch marked “100” and two taller folding “V”-notched leaves marked “200” and “300”. Each has a vertical platinum line beneath the notch. The top of the rib is finely serrated for glare reduction.

Weight: 9 lb., 10.1 oz.

Stock Configuration & Condition: The stocks are two-piece checkered walnut with wedge-secured splinter forend, capped pistol grip, straight comb, checkered butt with steel heel and toe caps, inlaid steel nosecap, initial plate and sling swivel in the belly (the other swivel is mounted to the barrel rib in front of the forend). The stocks have some scattered nicks and scratches. The checkering is generally well defined with a few spots of compressed checkers. The LOP measures 15″ and 14 1/8″ from the fronts of the triggers to the back of the butt. The cast is about neutral. The heel and toe caps are worn to white with infrequent discoloration from oxidation. Overall, the stocks are in Fine-Excellent condition as Antique.

Type of Finish: Blue & Case Color

Finish Originality: Original

Bore Condition: The bores are mostly bright with sharp rifling. There is infrequent minor erosion in the bores.

Overall Condition: This rifle retains about 90% of its metal finish. The barrels have generally strong finish with light wear at the sling swivel and a few scattered nicks and scratches. There is some minor wear on each side over the forend. The receiver has some areas with muted case color and minor oxidation. The remainder of the receive, the hammers and the lockplates have generally strong case color. The action shows light operational wear. The screw heads range from sharp to lightly tool marked with strong slots. The markings are generally clear and crisp, the maker’s marks on the tops of the barrels appear to have been applied before final polish and finish, but are legible. Overall, this rifle is in Excellent condition as Antique.

Mechanics: The action functions properly. The barrels lock up with no play. The triggers are light and crisp. We have not fired this rifle. As with all previously owned firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.

Box, Paperwork & Accessories: None.

Our Assessment: Most frequently chambered for potent cartridges and giving the user an extremely fast and reliable follow-up shot, double rifles have long been considered the quintessential gun for safaris and dangerous game. For centuries now, the best double rifles have come from England. This example is an Adams & Co. rifle chambered for .500 Nitro Express. Adams did have some manufacturing of their own, but their primary business was wholesaling, and they purchased and sold guns from most of the Birmingham and London gunmakers. This rifle has external hammers as well as safeties, not particularly common on double rifles. The fit and finish is great, the action is tight, the gun is in just outstanding shape for a gun which is at least 126 years old. Whether you’re looking to go on Safari or just appreciate a finely made double rifle, this is a great one to add to any collection. Please see our photos and good luck!

Adams & Co. .500 Nitro Express Back-Action Double Rifle, 1881-1894 Antique
Adams & Co. .500 Nitro Express Back-Action Double Rifle, 1881-1894 Antique