Spectacular small frame Lebeau-Courally SxS sidelock double rifle with three-barrel sets (.444 Marlin, 8×57 JRS & 20 gauge). To much of the world, the handcrafted masterpieces of Belgium’s Lebeau-Courally are only approximated by those born on the revered benches of Holland & Holland or Purdey. While a hint of politics, nationalistic pride or simple green-eyed jealousy might contribute to these feelings; there is no dispute that the quality of Lebeau-Courally creations are of the first order – especially those examples hailing from between the wars. Completed in 1929, serial number 41908 is a bar action sidelock extractor with gold-plated locks (internal). Initially crafted with a single set of barrels in 10.75x52R, these barrels are now sleeved (at the chamber) for the powerful .444 Marlin cartridge (240-grain bullets at approximately 2300 FPS with 2800 FP energy). Internally, the lands remain strong and the bores bright. These original barrels are 25.7 inches long. Their matted rib holds two drift-adjustable folding notched express leafs (marked 100M & 150M) that align with an inletted beaded front ramp. In this configuration, the rifle weighs just 7.4 pounds. The Brussels firm of Darville was charged with creating two additional sets of barrels, each serialed to the action and proofed in 1982/3 (given marks). The first is chambered in 8×57 JRS (160-grain bullets at approximately 2700 FPS with 2800 FP energy or 196-grain bullets at approximately 2400 FPS with 2500 FP energy). These barrels are 24.3 inches long have pristine bores. They sport a substantial raised quarter rib that incorporates a single drift-adjustable folding notched express leaf which aligns with a beaded blade on a raised front ramp, along with claw mounts (quick detaching) that secure a Schmidt and Bender 1.25-4×20 Safari scope with a heavy plex reticle and 30mm main tube. In scoped configuration, the rifle weighs 8.8 pounds. Sans scope, weight is 7.8 pounds. The second set of Darville barrels is one of the primary reasons this sidelock is so special, for they are 20 gauge. Their particulars are 26-inches in length, 2.75-inch chambers and chokes that gauge C/C. Bores are shockingly bright. In this configuration, weight is just 6 pounds! Unexpected features include a set trigger (the forward, needs proper adjustment), timed screws and a pistol grip appears to be of horn.ENGRAVING: Engraving is of the highest quality, a delicate bouquet and scroll that flows along the locks and expands to its fullest form on the underside of the action. It continues over the guard and down the extended tang, along the opening lever until it surrounds the thumb safety and is finally repeated on the heel and toe caps of the butt. Accents include gold “S”, plus engraved forend furniture and pins. CONDITION: By all appearances, the set has undergone a most careful and complete refurbish. Barrels a wear rich rust blue and remain in at least 97% finish condition. The action has been lightly polished and the revived color case stands at about 70%. Restocked with rich European walnut with a hand-rubbed oil finish and perfectly checkered at 26 lines-per-inch, wood presents at no less than 99%. DIMENSIONS: LOP is 14.3 inches. Drops are 1.6 and 2.8 inches, and cast (off) is approximately .4 inch. ACCOMPANIMENTS: Regulating targets for the 8×57 JRS barrels, proof certificates for each Darville barrel set, gunsmith notes regarding operation and adjustment of set trigger and five extra firing pins. CASE: Leather with brass corners (recent internal refurbish by Huey). Maker’s label. Includes snaps for each barrel set, silver oil bottle, porcelain patch and brush bottles, two-piece ebony shotgun cleaning rod with appropriate attachments, leather wallet with rifle brushes and ebony (or horn) decocking block.
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