John Blanch and Son, 29 Gracechurch Street, London
12 bore Back action, Sidelock Ejector
no. 5702
Approximate date of manufacture: 1887-1896, probably around 1890.

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Heritage Guns' Comment

Around the turn of the millenium, my father's Blanch BA SLE was pronounced suitable only for retirement due to a poor historical repair to the LH barrel after my father had taken a bad fall whilst out shooting. This precipitated a search for a similar gun to replace his which in turn led to my acquiring a small collection of Blanch shotguns and in due course to my becoming the proprietor of Heritage Guns.
Blanch gun no 5702 was one of the first guns by this London gunmaker that I acquired and after various gunsmithing and restoration work it became my 'go-to' gun for all my shooting, clays and game alike. However over the years it has found itself replaced by various more 'shiny' models and has fallen into disuse, so I now am offering it for sale so it can start a whole new adventure with a fresh, enthusiastic owner!
Having studied the history and guns of J Blanch and Son for some twenty years, I feel I can speak with some authority on the subject. It is my belief that by the 1890's Blanch had ceased to do much gunmaking in house, concentrating on buying in from the trade the very best products available, some completely finished and ready for the rack but the top of their range bought in 'in the white' from the likes of W&C Scott, John Robinson and Thomas Perkes and having them finished within the London guntrade. This allowed them to have a 'house style' often quite different from the fashions of the time which allows their guns to stand out from the crowd.
With its bold foliate engraving, strong stock and TIG sleeved barrels, this gun is a 'shooter' in the best possible way and should give many years of sterling service with normal maintenance.


The action is of W & C Scott & Co design and features:
Double triggers bolted by an automatic top tang safety slide;
Back action, 8 pin locks with Robertson style interceptor sears and gold lined cocking indicators;
Top lever opening, operating a 'Purdey Bolt' by way of a 'Scott Spindle';
Top rib extension with 3rd bite;

Breech face 'Gas Checks';
Tumbler and sear ejectors to 'Deeley'/'Perkes' design tripped by cocking rods running
from the action knuckle to the breasts of the tumblers;
Blanch 'Improved Snap Bolt' forend catch
Gun weight 6lb 5oz
Engraving style Creeping vine border with bold foliate panels. Gold inlaid SAFE.
Trigger pulls measure approximately: Front trigger 3 ¼ lbs Rear trigger 4 lbs
The TIG sleeved barrels are 28" in length, chambered for 2 ¾" (70mm) cartridges and are of brazed 'dovetail' lump construction with soft soldered ribs.
Top rib is of the smooth, concave, game type.
London reproof for 70mm nitro powder cartridges in 2002.

Approximate barrel measurements at date of publication:

Nominal Proof Size
Bore Diameter 9"
from Breech
Minimum Wall Thickness
Choke Constriction

Right Barrel

18.7mm (0.726")
0.012" (IC)

Left Barrel

18.7mm (0.726")
0.018" (M)

The replacement Straight Hand Stock and original Splinter Forend are crafted from figured, straight grain walnut. The stock features a vacant white metal oval and is cast-off for a right-handed shot. There is a small 'shake' in the butt end of the stock and it is finished with a cross-cut butt. The forend has some inlet repairs to its edges and over the ejector box.

Figured Walnut

The 22 lines per inch chequering is refreshed to the normal J Blanch design of fully chequered forend with a narrow unadorned border and a stock pattern that closely follows the outline of the lock plate.
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 1/8"
15 1/2"
Drop at Comb
Drop at Face
Drop at Heel
1 1/2"
1 11/16"
2 1/8"
Cast-off at Comb
Cast-off at Heel
1/8" (approximate)
3/16" (approximate)

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:
Perkes' cocking rod patent no. 1968 of 1878;
Deeley ejectors patent no. 14526 of 1884;
Perkes' ejector patent no. 10679 of 1886;
Scott's gas check patent no. 617 of 1882;
'Purdey Bolt' patent no. 1104 of 1863;
'Scott Spindle' patent no. 2752 of 1865;
Scott's top extension patent no. 1902 of 1875;
Hollis's forend catch patent no 953 of 1873.