380. Historic and Unique Colt Burgess Prototype Double-Barreled Lever Action Carbine

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serial #770, 44-40 WCF/20 ga., 24'' barrels with bright very fine bores, each showing remnants of some very sparsely scattered very light oxidation or perhaps the sparsely scattered pinprick pit here or there. This is an historic and very well-documented arm, shipped from Colt Firearms directly to andrew Burgess in September 1883. Burgess, ever the inventor, had an inkling that a repeating combination gun would be a marketable and salable item for the prolific sportsman. As combination guns were popular in Europe ''back in the day'', as they still are today and indeed here in the United States as well, Burgess thought there to be value in a repeating combination arm. Two Colt Burgess carbines were set aside for Burgess's latest and greatest idea. The left and right receivers of each were respectively planed flat. One of the arms had its receiver internals milled out and completely redesigned from the ground up to feed shotshells, and a smoothbore barrel was fitted. The standard 44 caliber barrel was then soldered to this shotgun barrel at the same time the two actions were joined together, and a top rib fitted just as we see on Continental buchsflinte arms. This was no small task, and then necessitated complete redesigning of some type of forearm and some type of buttstock to accommodate the newly designed arm. Burgess constructed an extra wide buttstock actually incorporating the two existing tangs into its design, tapering to their rears, to mirror the image of a conventional Burgess buttstock so as not to be bulky or cumbersome; indeed the arm shouldering and hanging as naturally as a normal Burgess carbine. The forearm as well was constructed of a single piece of walnut and is extra-wide, yet still graceful, filling the hand but not overly-bulky. A simple rear barrel band was constructed of iron, fastened to itself by three neat rivets. Ever the pragmatist, Burgess modified the levers and triggers so when one was afield, it would be a simple matter to tell merely by feel which action and barrel you were actuating. The 44 caliber action has its standard lever, but the trigger has been modified and sits further rearward within the finger bow, much like the second trigger of a double barrel shotgun, still allowing access to the left-side shotgun trigger if one is a right-handed shooter. The shotgun action has had the rear portion of the finger lever removed and has had a very neat 1 3/8'' loop affixed to its underside, allowing the operator to quickly grasp it without interference from the rifled action, and work the shotgun action rapidly if that was the barrel being brought into play. The arm was indeed known in collector circles and was auctioned as part of the Gerald Fox collection in 1973 by Sotheby Parke Bernet of Los Angeles. It then it disappeared for about ten or so years, the arm coming to light in 1984 in Conyers Georgia, the individual owner at that time actually hunting with the arm afield. The metal surfaces are an overall soft plum brown patina which is pleasing and mostly smooth, the barrels showing some scattered spots of light oxidation, the shotgun tube with some very light pitting about halfway down its length. Both receivers retain some tool marks from the inventors fitting and joining process, but both arms seem to function properly mechanically as Burgess designed them. The buttstock rates very good showing an old repaired crack along its left edge to the rear of the tang, and the expected dings and handling marks that would come with a hunted arm from the years. Clearly it was a ''used'' gun after Burgess abandoned the concept of a repeating combination arm, and doubtless put food on the table for some family, perhaps Burgesses themselves. The checkered hard rubber ''Ballard'' marked buttplate rates very good showing an old repair to a crack and the forend rates very good as well, miraculously showing only one crack at left front near the magazine tube, also with the dings and handling marks that come from use afield. There is a simple carbine style ladder rear sight in place and a scant iron blade front sight soldered between the two barrels. While the rifled arm loads conventionally, it would appear as though the shotgun barrel is designed to load through the top of the action, very much like the Winchester lever action 1887 shotguns. Actual function has not been ascertained on the two arms by feeding of cartridges, the shotgun magazine tube appears to have no spring or follower, but as-mentioned the actions work properly. The gun is pictured and mentioned in Lever Action Magazine Rifles ? 1976 Maxwell, on page 320, and discussed under ''Miscellaneous Rare orders'', the book lists the gun as being delivered to Burgess and notes: ''The only firearm of all those derived from his patents that is actually on record as being delivered to him''. It is surmised the gun was done by andrew Burgess when in Owego New York. The book goes on to mention that the present owner of the rifle was unknown, the images in the book were obtained from the auction house. In Jack Behn's book 45-70 Rifles, there is a picture of a Burgess experimental 16 ga. / 45-70 Govt rifle, its whereabouts are currently unknown. This is an extremely rare and likely once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the advanced Colt, Burgess or firearms curiosa collector to own the only known Burgess lever action repeating combination gun, and as-mentioned, the only arm ever listed by serial number as being shipped directly to the inventor himself. The arm is a singular, unique rarity in Colt collecting and an important piece of firearms curiosa and Americana in its own right. [Former Gerald Fox collection] (38747-1) {ANTIQUE} (30,000/50,000) Sold For 20700.00

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