Holland & Holland, 98 New Bond Street, London
20 bore 'Royal' Bar Action, Sidelock Ejector
No. 11971

Date of manufacture: 1891

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Heritage Guns' Comment

Holland & Holland records show that this gun was finished in 1891 for 'Mr Hodgson' and it is a very rare smallbore example of Holland & Holland's 'flag ship' gun. Over recent years the gun has been modified and refurbished greatly. Probably made as a non-ejector, the entire forend has been replaced with one featuring Southgate ejectors and an Anson latch, the barrels have been soft-solder sleeved and the stock replaced. Although this reduces the gun's originality, it has made it an excellent tool for hunting quail and upland birds.
With its excellent weight, interceptor sears, long stock and barrel dimensions, this gun would make a fine target or game gun for the discerning shooter.


The action is of combined Holland & Robertson design and features:
Bar action, 'Dip Edge' locks with bolstered tumbler pivots;
Double triggers bolted by an automatic top tang safety slide;
Breech face 'Gas Checks';
'Patent Block Safety' interceptor sears;
Top lever operating a 'Purdey Bolt' by way of a 'Scott Spindle';
Top rib extension providing a 3rd bite;
Southgate ejectors
and Anson's push rod forend catch.
Note: There is an old weld repair to the rear trigger blade and the triggerguard appears to be a replacement.
Gun weight 6lb 6oz
Engraving style Best Fine Bouquet & Scroll. "THE ROYAL' PATENT SAFETY HAMMERLESS' on underside of action; Top lever engraved 'HOLLAND & HOLLAND PATENT No.23'. Fences chiselled with bold acanthus leaves. Gold inlaid SAFE.
Trigger pulls measure approximately: Front trigger 3 ½ lbs Rear trigger 4 ½ lbs
The soft solder sleeved steel barrels are 26" 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.
Birmingham reproof for 70mm nitro powder cartridges in 2016.

Approximate barrel measurements at date of publication:

Nominal Proof Size
Bore Diameter 9" from Breech
Minimum Wall Thickness
Choke Constriction
Right Barrel
15.6mm (0.614")
0.004" (Skeet)
Left Barrel
15.7mm (0.618")
0.010" (IC)

The replacement Straight Hand Stock and Splinter Forend are crafted from well figured walnut. The stock is cast off for a right-handed shot and is finished with a chequered butt.
The entire forend is a recent replacement, complete with Anson catch and Southgate ejectors.

Well Figured Walnut Stock & Forend

The 20 lines per inch chequering has been cut to a 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
14 3/8"
14 1/2"
14 1/2"
14 7/8"
Drop at Comb
Drop at Face
Drop at Heel
1 7/16"
1 5/8"
Cast at Comb
Cast at Heel
1/8" (approximate)
1/4" (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:
Scott's gas check patent no. 617 of 1882,
Needham & Hinton interceptor sears patent no. 706 of 1879,
Southgate's ejector patent no. 12314 of 1889,
'Purdey Bolt' patent no. 1104 of 1863,
'Scott Spindle' patent no. 2752 of 1865,
Scott's top extension patent no. 1902 of 1875,
Anson's forend fastener patent no. 3791 of 1872.