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Darne Sliding Breech Double side by side, Model V-19, 12 ga. 28", 2 3/4", Cased, Excellent Plus
Darne Sliding Breech, Model V-19 Takedown, 12 ga. 28” 2 ¾” Cased, Excellent Plus
SOLD ** Darne, V-19 Takedown, 12 ga., 28”, 2 ¾”, IM & M, cased. This stunning high quality sliding breech shotgun was made in the French gunmaking pantheon of St. Etienne, France, where only the highest quality French guns are made. Darnes were ordered by Royalty, both French and other international heads of state: kings, sheiks, and maharajahs.
This is a best gun, the top of the line model, equal in quality to the V20, V21, V22 and VHS – four higher grades of deep relief engraving (the latter offering custom dimensions), more likened to Purdey’s extra finish choices.
Mechanical features include double triggers, easy opening large key action (since 1990), automatic ejectors, obturator discs (where discs in the face of the breech surrounds the barrel chambers when locked up), manual safety (desired for live pigeon shooting) and Takedown Button (see photo with yellow arrow). Simply press in the button and move the barrels back on the action and they come free.
The receiver components are finished with Darne’s patented French gray and the masterful engraving pattern of the V-19, which is a full coverage rose and scroll pattern. The barrels are separated with a solid matted concave rib, a very fine pattern to break up reflection. The rib terminates with a single bead. Both the rib and the barrels are engraved at the chambers. Chokes: Left barrel, Improved Modified; Right, Modified.
To avoid shrinkage over time and maintain its wood to metal fit, the one-piece stock is selected from one-hundred year old XX Circassian walnut, cut from the trees’ roots to display the most colorful grain pattern including burls and knots. It is designed with straight grip and splinter forearm with an inlaid Macassar ebony forearm tip and fitted with Darne’s proprietary butt plate. Hand chequering is 24 lpi and lavishly executed similar to a London point pattern style with double borders. On the stock, the checkering is very difficult to execute keeping it symmetrical and coming together at two points, both over the wrist and under the toe-line. On the forearm, the checkering is point pattern again, double bordered and makes a pleasing diamond shape on the underside with a tedious border at the ebony inlay that can only be done by a master checkerer.
From the underside of the stock, notice the exquisite inlaying of the action metal forward of the trigger guard housing the barrels release button and particularly its fancy scalloped shape, wood to metal fit. Also note the extended trigger guard lower tang that is inlayed with perfection into the wood ending with a very fine detailed point. These and the inlayed ebony tip demonstrate French master craftsmanship of hand work at its best.
For metal finish, the barrels and the sling swivels are deep rust blue while all other parts are French Gray, an acid etched or phosphate finish, which is a non-reflective matte finish and provides protection from rust. The stock finish is French polish oil finish which is hand-rubbed coats that seals the wood pores and is an attractive finish that enhances the wood color and figure.
Measuements are 15 1/8” (front trigger) 14 ¼” (from rear trigger) x 1 5/8” x 2 1/2” with a ¼” cast off for right handed shooters. These dimensions are perfect for live pigeon shooting. Weight is an amazing 6.4 lbs without any aluminum.
Condition shows that this beautiful shotgun has hardly been used, no handling marks can be described, bores are new, blue is 99%, wood 99%, checkering 100%, and the French gray has no scratches, only a little temporary WD-40 stain. Bores are as-new, cased in hard canvas and leather case with maker’s label.
The French, who were the first to develop cartridge shotguns, were notoriously ahead of the English but took off in a different direction with the sliding breech action which was a closely guarded secret by the French nobility for years. The fact that a country as small as France had at one time as many as eight different makers producing these sliding breech shotguns in all gauges is a testament to their domestic popularity.
For the few who have handled a Darne best gun, its operating mechanism has the reputation of being the smoothest of any gun ever built. The sliding breech is fitted so close, the line of the action separation for the sliding top breech over the lower watertable is nearly indistinguishable.
It is cased in the maker’s case.
According to the Blue Book, the MSRP for a new V19 is currently $9,750. This has been priced to sell at $7,950.00
Buyer pays reasonable shipping. The seller is the author of The Rifleman’s Rifle (Winchester pre-64 Model70) and will provide buyer with a Letter of Provenance that this gun is from the author’s personal collection. For feedback, check eBay under rcrwin70roger. For questions or to coordinate payment, call Roger at (808) 989-1863.