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Seller: M.W. Reynolds, Inc.
Company: M.W. Reynolds, Inc.
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Lang & Hussey Imperial Sidelock Ejector Rare 28 Bore c.1894 *** Bing Crosby ***
Lang & Hussey Imperial Sidelock Ejector, circa 1894 very early and rare 28 bore sidelock, original fluid steel 28" nitro proved chopperlump barrels and proved 5/8 oz. with a concave game rib engraved "Lang & Hussey Ltd. 102 New Bond Street London" and choked .038 ridculously extra full and .045 ridiculously extra extra full, another set of fluid steel 28" barrels added later but pre-1950 and also London nitro proved but proved with rare extra long 2 7/8" chambers and for a 7/8 oz. load with a wide flat and high pigeon rib with tubes engraved "Lang & Hussey" and "London" and choked .007 Lt. Mod. and .012 Mod., very dark and moderately figured stock with 14 5/8" LOP over a red Silvers pad, 1 11/16" DAC, 2 1/2" DAH, 1/4" cast off, splinter forend, straight grip, double triggers, drop points, 5 lbs even (game rib) and 5 lbs. 8 oz. (pigeon rib), bar action 7-pin sidelock with fine rose bouquet and English scroll engraving with "Lang & Hussey Ltd." on both sides and "Imperial Ejector" on bottom of action, ejectors, non-automatic safety with "Safe" in gold, cocking indicators, vacant stock oval. Condition: about 70% case colors remaining, some thinning of barrel blue, a professionally repaired crack from right side of trigger guard extension into checkering that looks sound, some wood repair behind the stock oval on the bottom edge, pigeon rib barrels bores .553 on both and .027 and .029 min. wall thickness, game rib barrels out of proof with bores .565 and .568 and min. wall thickness of .015 and .017, game rib barrels also have chambers lengthened to 2 7/8" to match other barrels but not reproved.
The misgivings of Hussey have been well recorded and written about but also no one disputes that he was a fine gunmaker. Imperial guns were always Hussey's best guns no matter which iteration of his many gun name businesses. Hussey left Holland in 1894, the year this gun was made to set up shop with one of the Lang sons as their father had passed. Their new venture of Lang & Hussey officially began in January of 1895 but it was noted some guns were made prior to the official start. Trouble always seemed to follow Hussey though always of his own doing and records show that only five months after their venture officially began he was asked to leave after it was found he was selling both company and customer's guns at and misappropriating funds into his own pocket. Hussey was quite the character and a big pigeon shooter. Given the gambling known to surround pigeon shoots, it's not hard to figure Hussey had perpetual gambling debts to pay which may have led to his poor character portraits. After reviewing records, it seems about 50 guns were made while Hussey was with Lang and this is one of those guns. Given how rare 28 bores were at that time, this may have been the only one made. I've certainly never come across a 28 bore.
Additionally, when this gun was previously purchased from a dealer no longer in business, it was said this gun belonged to noted Actor, Singer, and Sportsman, Bing Crosby. At the time there was a document from England made out to Bing's widow's name for repairs made to the gun. Unfortunately, that document is no longer with the gun. It is well documented that Bing was an avid 28 bore user and also that if you hunted with Bing, he insisted that you also use a 28 bore. We have confirmed that Bing's guns were sold at a May 1982 of all of Bing's personal items at Butterfield and Butterfield in San Francisco. We are trying to obtain a copy of that catalogue to document this gun but at this time we have been unable to complete that. Rest assured that if/when we do, the price of the gun will increase. On it's own a rare early Hussey Imperial in a rare and desirable bore size and a rare heavy proof and long chambers.