William Cashmore, 130 Steelhouse Lane, Birmingham
12b Boxlock Pigeon Gun
no. 4739

Date of manufacture: Pre 1893.

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Heritage Guns' Comment

William Cashmore started his Birmingham business as a gun and rifle maker in 1847 and thrived during the heyday of the British gun trade, only closing its doors in 1960. His was a business that made full use of the British Empire to spread his good name to the remotest outposts during the late 1800's and early 1900's. His guns were particularly well known for winning many prestigious trap competitions and he advertised this fact in his catalogues and on trade labels.
Gun no 4739 appeared unexpectedly in a rather dilapidated gun case and on closer inspection turned out to be a most interesting example of a special order 'Pigeon Gun'. Complete with file cut rib and standard 2 ¾" chambers, it hid its quality under a 'Plain Jane' cloak and it was only when the wood had been cleaned up and the barrels measured that the truth became apparent. It wears the most startling wood and a very unusual short rib, possibly to increase weight without affecting balance. The action looks like a classic Westley Richards top extension bolting but in fact is the design of action filer, Samuel Mills and the action is stamped with his name internally.
With its Whitworth steel barrels and great dimensions, one could do little better if looking for a good, solid but uncomplicated gun for competitive clays or game.


The Action is of Anson & Deeley's boxlock design and features:
Toplever operating a double bite, Purdey Bolt and a sliding third bite, Doll's Head rib extension; Interceptor sears; Extended trigger plate;
Double triggers bolted by an automatic top tang safety slide
and a Deeley forend catch.
Gun weight 7lb 1oz
Engraving style
Plain action. Gold inlaid 'SAFE' at safety slide. Silver inlaid 'W CASHMORE' on toplever. LH barrel engraved '1st PRIZE ADELAIDE 1887 MELBOURNE 1888' and 'WHITWORTH FLUID PRESSED STEEL'. Short rib engraved '2 3/4 in case'.
Trigger pulls measure approximately: Front trigger 3 ¼ lbs Rear trigger 4 ¼ lbs
The Sir Joseph Whitworth Fluid Pressed Steel barrels are 30 ¼ " 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 file-cut, pigeon style.
There are a few light surface marks in the otherwise clean and bright bore.
London reproof for 2 ¾" nitro powder cartridges in 1964.

Approximate barrel measurements at date of publication:

Nominal Proof Size
Bore Diameter 9" from Breech
Minimum Wall Thickness
Choke Constriction
Right Barrel
(Light Mod)
Left Barrel
(Tight IC)

The half pistol grip stock and splinter forend are crafted from highly figured walnut. The stock is lightly cast-off for a right-handed Gun. It features a vacant, white metal escutcheon, well-defined drop points, chequered panels and is finished with a 1" Silvers recoil pad. The forend has a horn tip. There is a small natural shake at the hand of the stock

Highly Figured walnut

The 24 approx. lines per inch chequering is cut to a normal boxlock stock pattern although the forend is a somewhat more unusual semi-borderless 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
14 3/4"
14 3/4"
14 13/16"
15 1/2"
Drop at Comb
Drop at Face
Drop at Heel
1 11/16"
1 7/8"
2 5/16"
Cast-off at Comb
Cast-off at Heel
1/8" (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:
Samuel Mills bolting patent no. 1089 of 1878,
Anson & Deeley's boxlock patent no. 1756 of 1875,
'Purdey Bolt' patent no. 1104 of 1863,
Anson & Deeley's safety catch no. 907 of 1879,
Anson's interceptor sear patent no. 4089 of 1882,
Deeley's forend fastener patent no. 1422 of 1873.