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12-bore Vickers Boxlock - 1930s
1 April 2021, 17:36,
#1
12-bore Vickers Boxlock - 1930s
I thought you might be interested in where some of your old sporting guns turn up.
This Vicker's 12-bore boxlock with 2-1/2" chambers was probably a gun club loaner for recreational use by visiting RAF personnel. The auction listing follows:

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This is an old Vickers 12ga SxS we imported from the UK. The gun is well used but in good shape. The action functions and locks up just fine. Bores show some wear but are shiny. Barrels ring just fine but clearly have been reblued. Chambers are 2.5", chokes are pictured. Wood is worn but solid with a small repair on the stock. Forend is just a wee bit loose, not bad. The LOP is 14.25". Receiver/trigger guard shows wear and some old pitting as you can see. Original tag gun was imported with states that this is a WWII RAF issue gun. I see no British military markings and I do not know how you would know if it is or is not. Pics show details.
MAKE: Vickers
MODEL: SxS
ACTION: SxS
CALIBER: 12ga
FINISH: BLUE
NEW/USED: Used
BORE CONDITION: Good
BARREL LENGTH: 28"
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I've bid on it and hope to get it cheap. If anyone can clarify what WW2 era practice would have been regarding sporting guns being kept as gun club loaders for recreational use by base personnel it would be nice to verify.


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73 de KE4SKY
In
"Almost Heaven" West Virginia
USA
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1 April 2021, 17:57,
#2
RE: 12-bore Vickers Boxlock - 1930s
Many thanks Charles !
To take a look back in times past, its easy to see future direction you need to be.
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1 April 2021, 19:26,
#3
RE: 12-bore Vickers Boxlock - 1930s
I got lucky and did win the auction. A bargain at $500.

73 de KE4SKY
In
"Almost Heaven" West Virginia
USA
Reply
1 April 2021, 19:33,
#4
RE: 12-bore Vickers Boxlock - 1930s
CH congratulations. Could the weapon have been used for bird control on an airfield ?.

We prep....Just in case
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1 April 2021, 20:04,
#5
RE: 12-bore Vickers Boxlock - 1930s
Probably not for "bird control" on an American base.

This firearm comes from a time when there was a strong tradition of sport shooting in the American, and the British military. On an American base there were certain facilities that would be built before the air fields were completed, the Officers Club, the golf course, and the Skeet Club.

Air bases almost always had extensive shooting facilities that were used for both training and recreation. They valued skeet shooting as gunnery practice for bomber crews and fighter pilots. When not in use for training the ranges were open for sporting activities and at the base in my home area it was open two days a week to the public. (just try that today!)

At most of these ranges they would have loaner guns for use due to the transient nature of the clientele, most of whom could not transport their personal firearms abroad.

One of my bosses that had been the Commander of of an air base once told me that they always built those facilities first because they were always under budgeted. They knew they could always get "emergency funds" to complete the runways but not to complete the recreational/training facilities.

There was a strong tradition among the staffs of these facilities to keep records of the number of shots fired through certain of the firearms. There were instances of firearms with round counts in the millions and the needed repairs of each. It was excellent reliability information.

I have read of Remington Nylon 66 rifles and Ruger Mk1 .22RF pistols with counts of over a million rounds and a couple of Mossburg pump 12ga shotguns that were allowed to go up to 5,000 rounds between cleanings, just to see if they could take it.

Congrats on the "win" CH. Only at an auction is the person that offers to pay the most considered the winner!
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1 April 2021, 22:57,
#6
RE: 12-bore Vickers Boxlock - 1930s
Well done Charles ! ......enjoy it mate !
To take a look back in times past, its easy to see future direction you need to be.
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1 April 2021, 23:14,
#7
RE: 12-bore Vickers Boxlock - 1930s
When I was an Naval aviation cadet in 1970 at NAS Pensacola, FL they still had one of the old WW2 ball turret trainers set up on jeep chassis which could be driven around a skeet or trap field. There were combination field having both game setups with fully automated traps and remote controls. A pair of semi-automatic Remington Model 11 shotguns were placed in the turret instead of machineguns, and pneumatic tube cartridge feeders were connected to each gun so that you could fire 25 rounds from each gun without having to stop and reload. The right gun was choked improved cylinder and the left gun full choke. The spade grip was modified so that the "trigger" could be toggled right to fire the right barrel, or toggled left to fire the left barrel, or pushed straight in, which fired both barrels at once.

Initial instruction was firing at flying away targets from the 16-yard line at trap. As gunners became more advanced they would progress to a standard round of skeet firing at both crossing and approaching targets from positions around the clock, the very best fellows even managing to break doubles at stations 1, 7, and 8.

I never was very good hitting clays from the ball turret, but did break several 25-straights using a normal sporting gun, after having fired 100 cartridges a week in practice for several months, being coached by the Master Chief. Our tax dollars at work.

73 de KE4SKY
In
"Almost Heaven" West Virginia
USA
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5 April 2021, 10:57,
#8
RE: 12-bore Vickers Boxlock - 1930s
The old side by side, the favourite of every farmer I know.
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7 April 2021, 23:58,
#9
RE: 12-bore Vickers Boxlock - 1930s
Not so much over here.

Most farm pest here are taken at longer ranges and the firearm of choice in most farm trucks is an AR so they can reach out 200-400 meters and take more than one target at a time. Coyotes often travel in packs.

The view out my back door is 300 meters to the trees and out the front is 200 to the top of the rise. A shotgun just makes noise at those ranges.

Often there is a shotgun near the house or barn for close in work, but it will most likely be a pump action from Remington or Mossberg, occasionally an autoloader.

Price is one reason. There are very few "cheap doubles" over here. You can buy three pump guns for the price of one good double so they are often relegated to "special use" at the trap and skeet ranges. Those games are set up with two shots as the standard, so they fit well. Pest control often calls for larger magazine capacity.

And doubles do go out of order, I have repaired many of them that were seized up on bent hammer pins and cocking levers and even slight rust will stop them. Repairing that requires the knowledge and tools of a gunsmith.

If I drop my Mossberg in the creek I just drain the water out and spray it with carb cleaner, then WD40. Taking it apart is a two minute job without tools.
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