Another old, used gun


Active Member
This has come back to me after a summer at Briley to have thin walled choke tubes installed and a trip to have the stock bent.

Those familiar with double guns will know the model Ithaca Flues. Its name originates from the designer, Emil Flues, who was a contract gunsmith to Ithaca and designed the Ithaca Flues. Based on the little we know about Emil, he was employed with Ithaca starting in 1890. The Flues model was a mass production piece, and at the time was the number one selling gun in America. When production ceased 237,000 units were sold. This gun is not an Ithaca Flues.

During his tenure at Ithaca Emil, being a fine gunsmith, sought creative fulfillment by producing a few exquisite guns for family. After Ithaca he set up shop in Buffalo, NY, where he focused on very high quality guns and was regularly courted by royalty from around the world. This gun is one of Emil's creations.

In the 25 or so years that I have had an infatuation with double guns I have seen fewer than half a dozen of his guns for sale. This is a 12 gauge, 30" barrels, weighs 6.5 pounds and is serial #523 (we don't know where his numbering started). The Circassian walnut stock shows much darker in person than in studio images. It is as delightful and as lively as any gun, in any gauge, from any maker. With a hidden third fastener the action is robust and the side clips just increases its sex appeal. And what can you say about ebony inlays, except that it is pure class. The barrel regulation is spot on, and based on the fact that the chokes were at .045" and the screws are totally unmolested says to me that it was probably never shot. It was likely produced in the early 1920's, although no production records exist.

In tracking down the history of this, and that is half of the fun for me, I have contacted a number of Flues' relatives. Each says that they heard about Emil, but knew nothing more. One inherited one of his guns that he created while at Ithaca.

Next to John Browning Emil may have been the most influential gunsmith in American history, yet he died broke and in obscurity. I'll be stoked to hunt this unique piece of American history this fall. Someday I am going to get a job and buy me a new gun. Something with a shiny black stock instead of this old knotty wood.



Idiot Savant
Marty, what a wonderful piece of history and art all in one. I've aways liked the look of a scalloped boxlock, my Zoli-Rizzini was like that.

If you're bored, the 25th to the 30th I'm having a cast and blast at the property. Bring that Flues along and chase some grouse...


Active Member
Nice peice I have its much later copy in my gun safe but yours is much nicer. They are nice shooting guns.
Patrick - you have an Emil Flues gun??? I would love to see images! What is the serial #??? Doublegun Journal will be running a story on Emil, and his guns, in the future.

Very little is known about Emil or the whereabouts of his few guns. Feel free to PM me.


Not to be confused with Freestone
Cool seeing old historical firearms... wouldn't it be cool if you could have a video of all the action they saw in their time.
An absolute MASTERPIECE! Thank you for sharing the story along with the pics. Unfortunately there is a decreasing number of quality gun makers in the world that can produce an exquisite piece of functional art. They just feel like they belong in your hand behind your dog in the field. Lucky man!

Upton O

Blind hog fisherman
The only thing better than a beautiful, old classic sxs is someone who owns it knows what it really is. Great gun, excellent post.

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