Gold Medal Concours d'Elegance of Fine Guns

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Gold Medal Concours d'Elegance of Fine Guns



The 10th Gold Medal Concours

-The 10th-
Gold Medal Concours d'Elegance of Fine Guns
Proudly Presented by the NRA

AND IN ASSOCIATION WITH
B. SEARCY & CO. • DAN WALTER CASES • TURNBULL RESTORATION • RUGER • JAMES D. JULIA

28 September 2005
10TH GOLD MEDAL CONCOURS RESULTS

The 10th GMC took place on Saturday, 24 September ‘05, in conjunction with The Vintage Cup, at Orvis Sandanona in Millbrook, New York. This Concours drew record attendance and participation, with more than 100 rare, fine and historic guns and rifles entered for display and judging. The selection was of a quality unusual even for the Gold Medal Concours: Instead of near-instant consensus on Best in Show, the judges nominated six entries for Best in Show—followed by considerable discussion. The eventual winner had to beat out guns made by, among others, Boss, Purdey and Lefever.

The centerpiece of the Concours was a group of some two dozen guns from Bill McPhail’s unique collection of 19th Century ‘best’ doubles built in the United States by little-known makers such as Joseph Tonks of Boston, Charles Sneider (Baltimore), T.R. Hasdell (Chicago) and Patrick Mullin (New York).

Lefevers and German guns were unusually well represented, thanks to those collector organizations. The L.C. Smith Collectors Association participated as well, and the Concours welcomed a new group—the Swiss Gun Collectors Association, which sponsored an award for the best Alpine-style gun or rifle.

The 10th Concours also saw the debut of an important new award named in memory of Franz Jaeger, an early 20th Century German gunmaker who earned a number of patents for sporting arms, two of which are in use today. The award is not limited to German guns, but it is sponsored by the German Gun Collectors Association and was suggested by Dietrich Apel, Franz Jaeger's grandson.

Once again the winners of the top three GMC awards—the NRA Cup, the Boothroyd People’s Choice Award and the Norman Blank Best in Show Award—will be invited to be displayed at the National Firearms Museum in Fairfax, Virginia. The museum has also honored James Stockham, who won last year’s Grand Collection Award, by displaying some of his pinfire guns that were featured at last year’s Vintage Cup GMC.

Concours co-founder Roger Sanger said, “We’re proud to be able to bring such significant guns to national attention. The Concours was created especially to be a venue for private collections that otherwise rarely see the light of day.”

The by-invitation Concours breakfast, hosted on the following morning by the NRA Foundation, was well attended, as usual. The speakers were NRAF Executive Director Steve Andersen, auctioneer James D. Julia’s fine-gun expert J.R. LaRue, and Concours co-founder Silvio Calabi.

High-quality photographs of the winning guns (and many others) are available from the GMC and will be posted on GoldMedalConcours.com. Once again, Steve Helsley and Dan Mayer, the GMC photo crew, worked many hours to make this happen.

With appreciation and thanks to the judges (David Moore, Lewis Drake, Chris Batha, Jack Dudley, Roger Lake, Jock Lamont, Ray Roy, Roger Sanger, Silvio Calabi) and to the Concours sponsors (the NRA, B. Searcy & Co., Dan Walter Cases, Doug Turnbull Restoration, Ruger, James D. Julia), following are the Special Award and class winners at GMC X:

THE NORMAN R. BLANK BEST IN SHOW AWARD—named in honor of the late California gun collector Norman Blank and determined by the judges:
F.lli Rizzini 20-bore R1E side-by-side game gun No. 2224 (2003)
Owner: Bob Pettus
A flawless example of Italian artistry and craftsmanship applied in the English gunmaking idiom; engraved by Muffolini.

THE BOOTHROYD ‘PEOPLE’S CHOICE’ AWARD—named in honor of the late British gun writer Geoffrey Boothroyd and determined by popular ballot:
Chas. Boswell .410-bore ‘Merlin’ O/U gun No. 19002 (2004)
Owner: Garfield Beckstead

A perfectly proportioned (and functional) smallbore pinless sidelock ejector with full game scene engraving; made in Italy and the UK.

THE NRA CUP—awarded to “the gun or rifle of greatest historical significance to the development of sporting firearms”:
Purdey 40-bore percussion double Express Rifle No. 4703 (1852)
Owner: Malcolm MacGregor

In the mid-19th Century James Purdey the Younger applied the term ‘Express Train’ to his new lightweight rifles to equate them to the powerful, high-speed trains that were then beginning to traverse the United Kingdom. The label caught on, was shortened to ‘Express’ and later incorporated into a number of now famous big-game cartridges. Purdey’s muzzle-loading Express rifles were the forerunners of modern sporting arms, with their light bullets traveling at high velocities with great accuracy.

THE FRANZ JAEGER AWARD—for excellence in firearms design and engineering; an award for gunmaking technology unrecognized in its day or overcome by new technology:
Oberhammer 8x57mm/16ga. O/U combination bolt-action rifle.
Owner: David Shelton

The lower, shotgun barrel is contained in the full-length forend, which pivots around the fixed upper rifle barrel to expose the shotgun breech. The rear trigger fires the gun barrel via a linkage that bypasses the box magazine of the bolt-action rifle.

THE GRAND COLLECTION AWARD
Bill McPhail, for his superb and historically significant high-grade American double guns (www.goldmedalconcours.com/gmc10collection.)

SPECIAL DISPLAY AWARD
‘New York’s Finest,’ Jerry Bowe’s Dan Lefever Optimus No. 46044 (1903), presented with associated books, art prints, duck decoys, cartridge boxes and other ephemera of the period.

THE Shooting Sportsman MAGAZINE AWARD—for “a contemporary custom-fitted game gun of less than $18,000 value that best typifies the ideal for upland hunting”
FAMARS Excalibur 20-gauge droplock ejector O/U No. F0543 (2005)
Owner: Wayne Metzger

THE VINTAGER AWARD—for “the vintage side-by-side that best exemplifies the standards and traditions of The Order of Edwardian Gunners”
Pair of Boss 12-bore underlever ejector hammer guns Nos. 680/681 (1803)
Owner: Felix Trommer

Converted from muzzle-loading and said to be the oldest Boss breechloaders still in use.

THE Upland Almanac AWARD—“the ideal light-gauge upland gun”
Parker BH-grade 28-gauge double-trigger gun No. 216743 (1925)
Owners: Ken Waite Jr., Ken Waite III

THE Double Gun Journal AWARD—for the best double rifle at the GMC
Griffin & Howe boxlock ejector .30-40 Krag rifle No. 5298 (1930)
Owner: Stephen Farfaro

THE GERMAN GUN COLLECTORS ASSOCIATION AWARD—for the Best German Gun at the GMC
Sempert & Krieghoff hammer Drilling No. 13921 (1930)
Owner: Kirby Hoyt

A possibly unique lightweight push-forward-underlever Drilling: 28x28ga. over .25-35 Winchester; the left striker cams over to the rifle barrel, as there is no hidden central lock.

THE WILLIAM LARKIN MOORE AWARD—for the most outstanding Italian gun
F.lli Rizzini 20-bore R1E side-by-side game gun No. 2224 (2003)
Owner: Bob Pettus

THE GUNNERMAN BOOKS SIDELEVER AWARD—for the best sidelever gun
Henry Egg 12-bore sidelever hammer gun No. 3767 (1869)
Owner: Dan Gomez

THE L.C. SMITH COLLECTORS ASSOCIATION AWARD
L.C. Smith Crown-grade .410 two-barrel set No. 138075 (1936)
Owner: Len Applegate

THE LEFEVER COLLECTORS ASSOCIATION AWARD
Lefever Optimus 10-gauge No. 10247 (1887)
Owner: Howard Loewensteiner

Known as ‘the Charles Neighbors gun’

THE SWISS GUN COLLECTORS ASSOCIATION AWARD—for “the firearm that best exemplifies the style and spirit of gunmaking in the Alpine Region of Europe (Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Italy, France)”
Pramesberger single-shot 6.5x57mm hammer stalking rifle (new)
Owner: George J. Reeb


10TH GOLD MEDAL CONCOURS CLASS WINNERS

CONTEMPORARY OVER/UNDER SHOTGUN
Gold   
Purdey 16-bore best sidelock ejector No. 29963 (2003)
Owner: Dewing’s Fly Shop

Silver   
Chas. Boswell .410-bore ‘Merlin’ sidelock ejector No. 19002 (2004)
Garfield Beckstead

Bronze   
Dixon 12-bore side-opener No. 7587 (1962)
Owner: Steve Davis

CUSTOM-BUILT GUN OR RIFLE
Gold   
United Gunworks ‘Superlative’ Ithaca Classic Doubles 20-ga. No. 471095 (2005)
Owner: Charles Speck

Silver   
Turnbull Winchester Model 1886 .50 Express rifle No. 152584A (1911/2005)
Owner: Joe Gershenov

Bronze    
Custom Mauser .35 Remington take-down rifle (2003-’05)
Owner (and customizer): Malcolm MacGregor

VINTAGE AMERICAN SIDE BY SIDE
Gold
Ithaca Grade 7 12-gauge two-barrel set No. 313767 (1916)
Owner: Howard Loewensteiner

Silver
Lefever EE-grade 12-gauge gun No. 45565 (1904)
Owner: Paul Chase

Bronze   
Lefever .45-70 over 16x16ga. Drilling No. 6661 (1882)
Owner: Howard Loewensteiner

VINTAGE HAMMER GUN
Gold   
Purdey 12-bore round-body pigeon gun No. 19689 (1910)
Owner: Malcolm MacGregor

Silver  
Churchill Imperial underlever 12-bore gun No. 1855 (1900)
Owner: Carl Calandra

Bronze   
Daly by Lindner Diamond-grade 10-gauge gun No. 2511
Owner: Charles Woolley

Photographs of these winning guns and many others will be posted on GoldMedalConcours.com, along with comprehensive information on the Concours and brief bios of the judges.

For more information, contact Silvio Calabi (207-594-9544 or scalabi@downeast.com) or Roger Sanger (831-646-0315 or rksanger@redshift.com).



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