Joseph Harkom & Son, 32 Princes Street, Edinburgh
20 bore Bar Action Hammergun
No. 1583

Approximate date of manufacture: pre-1894 (from address)

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Heritage Guns' Comment

This gun is a fabulously finished and specified example of the small bore hammerguns often purchased for children or wives by indulgent patriarchs and represent a very rare opportunity to acquire such a fine small bore gun from this highly respected maker. Although provisionally dated to the 1875-1887 period by the original proof marks, because of their faintness, we can only definitively date the gun by the top rib address which was pre-1894.
The action is profusely covered with best fine foliate scroll, with some Celtic robe border and this coupled with our sensitive restoration makes it a very pretty and 'shootable' gun for either game or clays.


The action is of traditional hammergun design and features:
Double triggers;
Bar action, rebounding locks;
Finely chiselled percussion fences;
High 'Dolphin' hammers; Broad strikers;
Top lever opening, operating a 'Purdey Bolt' by way of a 'Scott Spindle';
Snap forend fastener based on a cross bolt design.
Gun weight 5lb 12oz
Engraving style Best foliate scroll with Celtic robe border.
Trigger pulls measure approximately: Front trigger 3 ¼ lbs, Rear trigger 4lbs.
The laser sleeved steel to damascus barrels are 28" in length, chambered for 2 3/4" (70mm) cartridges and are of dovetail construction with soft soldered ribs.
Top rib is of smooth, concave game type.
Birmingham reproof for 70mm nitro powder cartridges in 2018.

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")
0.005" (IC)
Left Barrel
15.7mm (0.618")
0.014" (Mod)

The Straight Hand Stock and Splinter Forend are crafted from highly figured walnut. The stock features a vacant white metal oval and ebonite chequered butt plate secured by engraved screws. There are two small inlet repairs to the lower horns to repair wear and it is lightly cast off for a right-handed shot. The forend has a finely engraved steel tip and catch escutcheons and has three small inlet repairs to its edge.

Highly Figured Walnut Stock & Forend

The 18 lines per inch chequering is freshened to a normal 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 1/2"
14 5/8"
14 5/8"
15 1/8"
Drop at Comb
Drop at Face
Drop at Heel
1 5/8"
1 3/4"
2 1/4"
Cast at Comb
Cast at Heel
1/16" approx.
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:
'Purdey Bolt' patent no. 1104 of 1863;
'Scott Spindle' patent no. 2752 of 1865;
Stanton's rebounding lock patent no 367 of 1867.