J Blanch & Son, 29 Gracechurch Street, London
12 bore Back action Hammergun
no. 5591

Date of manufacture: circa 1892

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Heritage Guns' Comment

This lovely hammergun, made by one of London's most respected gunmakers, is in quite amazing condition for its age. Not only are the internals in fine condition but also the engraving is crisp and clear.
Until the late 1890's Blanch used the sidelever as their preferred opening method on nearly all their 'in-house' guns, the more ubiquitous toplever being relegated to their 'bought-in' guns, often of lesser quality. Some rotary underlevers and occasional thumblever will be seen but the sidelever is the norm.
Blanch's engraving at this time can be divided into three distinct styles: 'Creeping Vine', an open pattern with around 75% coverage; geometric foliate scroll panels and 100% bold foliate scroll and this gun most unusually uses them all.
This is a most attractive gun with its bold engraving style and, given its fine barrel dimensions and stylish sidelever, it would make an excellent gun for game or clays.



The action is of traditional design and features:
Double triggers;
'Percussion' fences; Low level hammers;
Rebounding back action locks; Broad strikers;
Double bite 'Purdey Bolt' operated by a sidelever;
Modified Hollis forend lever catch.
Gun weight 6lb 5oz
Engraving style
Bold Foliate Scroll, Creeping Vine, Geometric Foliate Scroll Panels
Forend lever engraved 'J BLANCH & SON'S IMPROVED SNAP BOLT'
Trigger pulls measure approximately: Front trigger 3 ½ lbs Rear trigger 4 lbs
The sleeved Damascus to steel barrels are 28" in length, chambered for 2 3/4" (70mm) cartridges and are of brazed 'dovetail' lump construction with soft soldered ribs.
Top rib
is of the 'swamped' type.
Birmingham reproof for 70mm nitro powder cartridges in 1978.

Approximate barrel measurements at date of publication:

Nominal Proof Size
Bore Diameter 9" from Breech
Minimum Wall Thickness
Choke Constriction
Right Barrel
0.05" (Skeet)
Left Barrel
0.016" (Mod)

Straight Hand Stock and Splinter Forend are crafted from boldly figured walnut. We believe that the stock and forend wood is the original. The stock is lightly cast-off for a right-handed shot, features a white metal oval engraved 'KC' and a 1" Silvers type rubber recoil pad.

Boldly Figured Walnut Stock & Forend

The 20 lines per inch chequering is to the normal sidelock pattern.
The stock is finished with a traditional linseed oil based preparation as used on best guns by one of the top English makers. This finish uses no grain fillers to achieve its deep, smooth lustre, only many hours of alternate build and flatting off of the surface.

Approximate stock measurements at date of publication:

Pull to Heel
Pull to Bump
Pull to Centre
Pull to Toe
15 1/8"
15 1/4"
15 1/4"
15 7/8"
Drop at Comb
Drop at Face
Drop at Heel
1 1/2"
1 3/4"
2 1/4"
Cast at Comb
Cast at Heel
1/16" approx.
1/4" approx.

For the purposes of these measurements, 'Drop at Face' is the 'drop' measurement taken on a line perpendicular to the
line joining the trigger and centre of the butt at approximately 8" from the trigger (front trigger on a double trigger gun).

Patents Exhibited include:
'Purdey Bolt' patent no. 1104 of 1863;
Stanton's rebounding lock patent no. 367 of 1867;
Hollis's forend catch patent no 953 of 1873.