Rifleman Q&A: Hollis & Sons Side-By-Side Shotgun

hollis.jpg

Hollis & Sons Side-By-Side

Q:
 My father found a shotgun near a horse trough on a ranch in Southern California when he was 13 years old. It’s a double-barrel 12-ga. shotgun with external hammers and fancy engraving. The left side of the receiver is stamped “I HOLLIS & SONS.”

It has the number 51XXX stamped on the inside of the fore-end, on the underside of the right barrel and inside the receiver. On the stock’s underside, a small brass plate contains unrecognizable markings. The number 40XX is stamped on the right side of the stock. Can you help identify this shotgun?
 

A: The shotgun found by your father was made by Isaac Hollis & Sons in Birmingham, England, sometime before 1904. The proofmarks were in use from 1813 until 1904 when they were changed. They indicate blackpowder proof and that the barrels were choked.

Because of the top lever, I would suspect this gun was made sometime after 1870. As to precisely when it was made, it is impossible to determine as Hollis’ workbooks have not survived. I’m not sure of the significance of the numbers stamped on the buttstock, but they were not from Wells Fargo, whose guns are well-documented.

It could have been a guard gun, but do not ascribe any particular value to this gun. Hollis made guns primarily for the South African market along with inexpensive guns imported by Sears, Roebuck & Co., among others. This is a nice wall hanger that recalls a different age in America.

Latest

GForce LVR410
GForce LVR410

Review: GForce LVR410

With a long and storied history in the United States, lever-action carbines continue to be favorites among modern American shooting sports enthusiasts. This evaluation takes a closer look at the 24"-barreled LVR410, which is being imported by GForce Arms, Inc. of Reno, Nev.

Editor’s Choice: “In Country | My Memories Of Vietnam And After”

I met author Forrest R. Lindsey at a gun show where he graciously provided a signed copy of this remarkable account of his experiences as a young man enlisting in the Marine Corps a year after high school in 1965.

The Armed Citizen® Feb. 26, 2024

Read today's "The Armed Citizen" entry for real stories of law-abiding citizens, past and present, who used their firearms to save lives.

.30-’06 Springfield: History & Performance

The .30-’06 Springfield has reached beyond the century mark, but its popularity shows no sign of decline. It fundamentally changed how shooters and hunters look at and use rifles, and it remains one of America’s most popular big-game cartridges.

Preview: WCG Tactical Nylon AR-10/.308/M1A 20-Round Magazine Pouch

Built from highly durable 1000 denier synthetic polymer, the Tactical Nylon AR-10/.308/M1A 20-Round Magazine Pouch from Wilde Custom Gear is compatible with many of the 20-round detachable box magazines used across the broad spectrum of .308 Win.-chambered battle rifles.

Guns Of The 1936 Arab Revolt

The area of the former British Mandate of Palestine has been a scene of conflict for more than a century. One of the largest conflicts began in 1936 while under British imperial administration.

Interests



Get the best of American Rifleman delivered to your inbox.