Stephen Grant, 67A St James's Street, London
12 bore Back Action Hammergun
No. 3908

Date of manufacture: 1875

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Heritage Guns' Comment

This is a superb example of a sidelever hammergun from this highly respected gunmaker, a style and design that became synonymous with Stephen Grant. It was built as no. 1 of a pair for a ‘John Hargreaves Esq Junr’ but appears to have been renumbered as a no. 3 at some later date and we have no information as to what gun became no. 1. However, it is in really lovely condition with only slight loss of definition in the engraving under the bar.
The bolting is of Edwin Hodges’ design, patented in 1871, and provides three bites for the Purdey-like bolt to engage with: one in the rear lump and a further projection on either side forming the other two. It is thought to have been simply an attempt to evade the Purdey Bolt patent but it does provide a very firm and safe lock-up. It is also fitted, apparently as original, with the commonly seen ‘grip safety’ of the period. The vintage restock was carried out beautifully by a highly skilled stocker and the delicately figured walnut has enough figure to be attractive but is also straight grained enough to be very strong and stable. The most delightful aspect of this gun are its damascus barrels which have survived the effects of black powder and corrosive primers to be in remarkably good shape today. And they have a little choke, introduced over the years, which make the gun that more useable with modern ammunition. The 30" barrels have been reproofed for 2 ” nitro cartridges and this all adds up to a strong gun that is a joy to shoot and should give many years of service on game or clays with normal maintenance.  
Presented in a relined leather and brass case with some accessories, including powder and shot measures, and a reproduction label.


The Action is of traditional back action sidelock design and features:
Finely chiselled percussion fences;
High level ‘Hare’s Ears’ hammers;
Best Foliate Scroll engraving;
Sidelever operating a 3 bite bolt;
Double triggers;
Stanton rebounding back action locks;
Grip safety; Long top strap;
Cross bolt or wedge forend fastener.      
Gun Weight 7lb  
Engraving Style Best foliate scroll. No. ‘3’ is engraved on top rib and grip safety but forend iron and internally the gun is marked ‘1’. All major parts numbered correctly.
Action bar engraved ‘STEPHEN GRANT’S PATENT’.
Top of action engraved ‘PATENT’ in an oval.
Action flats stamped ‘GRANT & HODGES PATENT’ and the use number 469.
Breech face stamped with E C Hodges’ trade mark.
Trigger Pulls measure approximately: Front trigger 3 lbs Rear trigger 4 lbs
The Rebrowned Damascus Steel Barrels are 30" in length, chambered for 2 3/4" (70mm) cartridges and are of brazed dovetail construction with soft soldered ribs.
Top Rib is of the smooth, concave game type.
London Reproof for 70mm nitro powder cartridges in 2003.

Approximate barrel measurements at date of publication:

Nominal Proof Size
Bore Diameter 9" from Breech
Minimum Wall Thickness
Choke Constriction
Right Barrel
18.6mm (0.732")
0.006" (Skeet)
Left Barrel
18.6mm (0.732")
0.008" (IC)
Replacement Straight Hand Stock and Original Splinter Forend are crafted from delicately figured walnut. The stock is lightly cast off for a right-handed shot and features a vacant white metal oval and a 1 ” horn extension.
The forend has a finely engraved steel tip and two inlet repairs to its edge.

Delicately Figured Stock

The approximately 22 lines per inch chequering is freshened to normal backaction 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
14 5/8"
14 3/4"
14 7/8"
15 1/2"
Drop at Comb
Drop at Face
Drop at Heel
1 9/16"
1 3/4"
2 3/16"
Cast at Comb
Cast at Heel
1/8" 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:
Stanton's rebounding lock patent no. 367 of 1867;
Hodges’ bolting patent no. 251 of 1871.