Frank Hipgrave,
St Neots, Huntingdonshire.

20 bore Bar Action Hammergun no. 1021
Year of production: 1875-80



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Heritage Guns' Comment

Undoubtedly this gun is the work of the Birmingham gun trade where a well organised workforce cooperated to manufacture guns for nearly every gunmaker in Britain to retail. As well as well-known gunmakers, their client lists included many smaller enterprises who bought in guns, often fully finished, to be put on a rack and sold as their own product. Frank Hipgrave was just such a retailer. Born 1852 in Pirton, Hertfordshire, he had premises in St Neots where his only son, Frank (2), was born in 1878. What his main trade was then is unrecorded but he may have been a tobacconist as by 1881 he had moved to London and was registered at 127 Strand, Westminster as a Cigar Dealer. There is an interesting parallel with the illustrious Harris Holland who also owned a tobacconist before he became a gun dealer and the founding member of the famous gunmaker Holland & Holland. This gun is a nice example of the elegant, small bore, sporting hammerguns that were commonly purchased for young people and ladies in the last quarter of the 19th Century. These guns have often had a very hard life and it is rare that the original Damascus barrels have survived over 140 years of use and abuse. The fact that these have done so, still retained their original nitro re-proof from 1962 and very acceptable minimum wall thicknesses is a miracle and this, coupled with our sensitive restoration, makes it a rare and pretty gun for either game or clays.
          Presented in a Brady leather bound, canvas case with some accessories.



On Consignment in USA with MacNab Fine Firearms

The action is of traditional design and features:
Double triggers;
Stanton patent rebounding, bar action locks with low-level hammers;
Sprung strikers; Pinfire style percussion fences;
Top lever opening, operating a 'Purdey Bolt' by way of Hall’s patent leverwork;
Long top strap;
Deeley & Edge forend catch.
Engraving style Foliate Scroll                
Gun weight
5lb 11oz
Trigger pulls measure approx.: Front trigger 3 lbs Rear trigger 4 lb
The bold damascus barrels are 28 3/8” in length, chambered for 2 " (65mm) cartridges
and are of brazed 'dovetail' lump construction with soft soldered ribs.
There is a little vestigial pitting in both barrels.
Top rib
is of smooth, concave game type.
Birmingham reproof for 2 ” (65mm) nitro powder cartridges in 1962.

Approximate barrel measurements at date of publication:

Nominal Proof Size
Bore Diameter 9" from Breech
Minimum Wall Thickness
Choke Constriction
Right Barrel
0.003" (Sk)
Left Barrel

The Straight-hand Grip Stock and Splinter Forend are crafted from well figured walnut, features a ” leather covered recoil pad and a vacant white metal oval. The stock is lightly cast-off for a right handed shooter. The forend features a horn tip and has an inlet repair within the chequering opposite the rear forend iron screw.
Highly Figured Walnut

The 20 lines per inch chequering has been cleaned out and refreshed.
The stock is finished with a traditional linseed oil based preparation. 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"
Drop at Comb
Drop at Face
Drop at Heel
1 1/2"
1 3/4"
2 1/8"
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;
'Purdey Bolt' patent no. 1104 of 1863;
Hall’s leverwork patent no. 2396 of 1871;
Deeley & Edge forend patent no 1422 of 1873.