Blast from the Past: Cogswell and Harrison Konor
This custom-ordered British shotgun still sees action during Wisconsin's bird season
Founded in London in 1770 by Benjamin Cogswell, Cogswell and Harrison is now London’s oldest surviving gunmaker, at 248 years old. The company still makes bespoke high-end doubles today while importing more modestly priced shotguns and rifles from Italy.
The Konor, today’s gun, was made in the 50s and 60s as part of C&H’s “avant tout” line of affordable guns, which, back then, were still made in-house. It sold for about $600 when it was made, which would be about $4,000 today, which might seem like a lot until you look at the price of a bespoke gun.
Dennis’ C&H Konor
This is my favorite shotgun for flushing birds, an English Cogswell & Harrison Konor 12 gauge, with double triggers and ejectors. With 26-inch open-choked barrels, it is a 6.5 pound delight. It was special ordered by a Mr. Hobden and crafted to his specifications. He took delivery at the maker’s London showroom on Picadilly Street in December, 1958, according to the factory letter that accompanies the shotgun. The history of the shotgun after it left the showroom is unknown to me until I purchased it in 2012 from a Texas gun dealer. Mr. Hobden must have been about my size and stature since the shotgun fits me perfectly, and at a fraction of the cost of a new custom double. I can hardly wait for the Wisconsin fall bird season to begin once again! The shotgun is featured on page 85 of the book, “Cogswell & Harrison: Two centuries of Gunmaking,” by Cooley and Newton.
How great to be able to look your own gun up in the Cogswell and Harrison book! Keep the old gun pictures coming to firstname.lastname@example.org.