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Joined: Jan 2002
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Sidelock
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Sidelock
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I inherited a gun that was designed in the era of lead shot. Francis Sell was a proponent of the 20 gauge 3” magnum for ducks and geese, adjusting his loads to suit the situation. He had a hand in marketing the wares that the Prandelli and Gasperini company produced to his specs, circa mid to late 1960s.

[Linked Image from jpgbox.com]

These are well made Italian boxlock non ejector guns, produced with 3” chambers and requisite Italian proof, long chokes, extended forcing cones, a bit of a back bore, and well polished tubes. My version is choked Mod and Imp Mod.
Let me be frank. The gun was free, and they are not expensive guns to this day, priced far less as used guns then a new gun built by guys who kneel and pray five time a day are at the moment. I think they are all double trigger and extractor, a plus to me. Nice cut scroll engraving, bone charcoal color case hardening, and well cut checkering. The rib is flat, fairly wide for a 20, and file cut.

Catalog page from the era the gun was produced, shown.


[Linked Image from jpgbox.com]


I don’t hunt ducks or geese. I killed my last duck, a mallard, with a Remington model 17 when I was about 18, using lead 6s ( I turned 60 yesterday, and lead was legal) and walked away from waterfowl shortly after that, when steel came along, and my pops was leaving a perfectly good Irish Setter show dog, that would hunt, at home to pursue geese in western Minnesota. If I was a waterfowler, then or now, I’d use a 12. To my thinking, the 20 gauge waterfowl gun was made obsolete when steel was legislated as mandatory. Even with some other, expensive, non toxic shot, I’d still use a 12 before a 20.

The 20 is pretty much unused, and as I hunt grouse and pheasants, the 3” part of the gun won’t be a huge factor. The gun weighs just over 6 1/2 pounds, and since I have been learning to shoot off my right shoulder, I have come to the conclusion that for hunting, I still prefer a straight stock and a splinter, versus the full pistol grip and beavertail the gun came with. I wouldn’t miss the chance to eliminate the white line spacers, but, the recoil pad could stay, as it is still pliable after all these years. Maybe replace it with a plate. Not sure on that just yet.

My thought would be new front wood, a splinter, elimination of the pistol grip, disabling the auto safety, refinish the wood to match and a rechecker of both pieces of wood. Yes, the white line spacers would go, lest I throw up a bit in my mouth every time I look at it.
I’d have the ‘Smith inspect, debur, clean and lube the innards. I know everyone gets all dewey eyed over oil finishes, but, I’m going to use it, and would specify poly of some sort. Chokes would be left as is. The barrels are 28”, good 20 gauge bird gun length.

Then I’d use it in the uplands. Not concerned about resale or originality, obviously. The previous owner never got around to shooting it. I’m thinking I want to correct that, and use it in his memory.

What say ye?

Gun on the scale. I’d expect about 6 1/4 lbs when the job was done.

[Linked Image from jpgbox.com]

Nice old gun picture. Of late, I’ve been practicing on a trap field with a M1 safety Browning A5. My clay guns are typically 12s, as well.


[Linked Image from jpgbox.com]




Best,
Ted

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Sidelock
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I would say, since you are transitioning from left-handed to right handed, to shoot it a bit.

You may find, that the extra beef in your left hand helps you adapt.

If after a few outings, you decide it needs to go, then whack away.

It’s really quite well-made, it looks good, other than that Beavertail.

1 member likes this: Ted Schefelbein
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Sidelock
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The beavertail is a bit enormous. I don’t hate them, when they are a bit more proportional to the gun, but, I do prefer a splinter.

Best,
Ted

Joined: Mar 2016
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Sidelock
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Sidelock

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I can't think of a single reason why you shouldn't make the gun suit your needs. A slender forend would be nice. I'd open the choke a bit in the right barrel, if I found patterns too tight.
I bought an AyA Model 106 in 16 gauge, and the first thing to go were the white line spacers.
Enjoy the journey with your "new" gun.

1 member likes this: Ted Schefelbein
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I use to read Sell's articles and always wanted a 30 inch one but never got around to buying one. Bobby

Last edited by bbman3; 06/14/21 09:33 AM.
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Sidelock
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Happy Birthday Ted. Welcome to the 60s.

1 member likes this: Ted Schefelbein
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Sidelock
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Go for it. It would be a wonderful pheasant gun with the modifications you describe. And you'd be putting a gun back into use which would otherwise continue to age in the vault, unused and unloved.

1 member likes this: Ted Schefelbein
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Sidelock
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Thanks, Lloyd. I bow to your seniority.


I will shoot the gun some more, for some reason I have plenty of 20 gauge target loads. The single thing that hasn’t changed in my shooting since the eye disaster and subsequent surgery, is, what feels best in hand.


Although I haven’t done it of late, pretty sure I managed with some fiber wad 20 gauge loads to get a Mod pattern to open right up to an IC pattern, or, at least close enough for the birds I hunt. I’d prefer to change my loads, over changing the guns chokes.


Best,
Ted

1 member likes this: Saskbooknut
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Sidelock
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It might be possible to make your bt forend into a splinter if it is fitted closely be enough underneath the barrels already. I have been told that one way to determine how closely it is fitted is to remove the forend, place some Play-Doh under the barrels, then carefully try to seat the forend until it latches. Then remove and see how thin it squeezed out.

If you could convert it at least the wood would match.


"With one foot in the grave ..........and one foot on the pedal, I was born a Rebel" T.P.
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Sidelock
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Sell it and buy something that fits the bill without going through all the expenses of the wanted/needed conversions. Seems like an expensive project to fill a niche that you more than likely already have covered by guns you probably currently own. Just a thought.

1 member likes this: gunut
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