Alexander Henry, Edinburgh & London
12 bore Bar-action Hammergun
no. 4122
Date of manufacture: circa 1886

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Heritage Guns' Comment

This hammergun represents a fine example of the sporting hammerguns that were sold in substantial numbers in the last quarter of the 19th century. The Stanton rebounding locks are of very high quality and the Damascus barrels have a lovely figure. One very interesting feature of this gun can be found on the front barrel lump: a castellated pin with its associated locking pin. Underneath this is what appears to be some kind of plunger but we have been unable to find any relevant patent description. It has been suggested that this was a mechanism for adjusting bolting or jointing but it appears to have been deactivated, probably by more modern re-jointing work.
Two other features that I have seen on many guns by the highly respected maker are the chequered front trigger and recessed chokes and although these may be later improvements, it is possible that they are original.
The gun is very original in most respects with a beautifully figured piece of wood and this coupled with the sensitive restoration makes it a very pretty, safe and highly 'shootable' gun for either game or clays.


The action is of traditional bar-action design and features:
Top lever opening, operating a 'Purdey' type bolt by way of a 'Scott' spindle with passive 'Dolls Head' top extension;
Double triggers (front chequered);
Stanton rebounding bar-action locks with high level hammers;
Percussion fences with Broad strikers
and Deeley forend catch.
Engraving style Best Foliate Scroll. Lock plates signed in a scrolling banner.
Gun weight
Trigger pulls measure approximately: Front trigger 3 ¼ lbs Rear trigger 4 lbs
The re-browned, bold Damascus barrels are 29 3/4" 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 smooth, concave, game type and was recently re-laid.
London reproof for 70mm nitro powder cartridges in 2013.

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")
0.011" (IC)
Left Barrel
18.7mm (0.736")

0.013" (IC)

The Straight Hand Stock and Splinter Forend
are crafted from well figured walnut and the stock is lightly cast off for a right-handed shot, features finely engraved heel & toe plates and a vacant white metal oval. The forend features an engraved steel tip.

Well Figured walnut

The 20 lines per inch chequering has been freshened to a normal bar-action sidelock pattern.
The forend is fully chequered and carries a horn tip.
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 3/4"
14 1/2"
15 1/8"
Drop at Comb
Drop at Face
Drop at Heel
1 1/2"
1 3/4"
2 1/4"
Cast-on at Comb
Cast-on at Heel
1/16 approx
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:
'Purdey Bolt' patent no. 1104 of 1863;
'Scott Spindle' patent no. 2752 of 1865;
Stanton's rebounding lock patent no. 367 of 1867;
Deeley's forend fastener patent no. 1422 of 1873.