Holland & Holland,
98 New Bond Street, London
20 bore Back Action Hammergun
No. 4618

Year of manufacture: pre-1887

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Heritage Guns' Comment

This gun is a gorgeous and very rare, small bore example of the sporting hammergun from this illustrious gunmaker. Retaining its original wood and barrels, it is in remarkably fine condition for its age and we were delighted when we acquired it as a stock item. The engraving is as fine an example of Best foliate scroll as you will find anywhere, many traces of original hardening colour remain in protected areas, the wood has lots of figure and the damascus exhibits a lovely pattern of brown and silver. Given the sidelever, the gun can be opened when the right lock is cocked.
All this coupled with our light touch restoration makes it a very pretty, safe and highly collectable gun.


The action is of normal back action design and features:
Considerable traces of hardening colour;
Percussion fences and long top strap;
Double triggers;
Stanton, back action locks;
Rebounding, high 'Dolphin' hammers with broad strikers;
Side lever opening, operating a 'Purdey Bolt';
Rare Scott push-in, snap, forend catch;
Engraved steel forend tip.
There is a slight 'flat' to the rounded bottom of the action, yet we do not know how this came about nor if it in fact original.
Gun weight 5lb 9oz
Engraving style Best foliate scroll with floral detail.
Finely chiselled percussion fences, engraved with stylised acanthus leaves.
Trigger pulls measure approximately: Front trigger 4lbs Rear trigger 4 lbs
The re-browned Damascus barrels are 30" in length, chambered for 2 ½ " (65mm) cartridges and are of brazed 'dovetail' lump construction with soft soldered ribs.
Top rib
is of the smooth, concave, game type.
Birmingham reproof for 65mm 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
15.9mm (0.626")
0.027" (IM)
Left Barrel
15.9mm (0.626")
0.020" (IM)

The Straight Hand Stock and Splinter Forend are crafted from highly figured walnut. The stock is cast-off for a right-handed Shot, features a white metal oval engraved 'GRC' and an engraved iron butt plate. There is a small inlet repair to left top horn above the lock plate and an antique pinned repair to forend tip wood.
The forend features a finely engraved steel tip.

Highly Figured Walnut

The approximately 20 lines per inch chequering has been
freshened to a normal bordered sidelock design.
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 1/8"
14 1/2"
14 3/8"
14 7/8"
Drop at Comb
Drop at Face
Drop at Heel
1 9/16"
1 3/4"
2 1/8"
Cast at Comb
Cast at Heel
3/16" 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;
'Purdey Bolt' patent no. 1104 of 1863;
Scott's forend fastener patent no. 3756 of 1873.