Thomas Johnson, Market Place, Swaffham, Norfolk
16 bore Bar in Wood Hammergun
No. 3444 No. 3 of a Trio.
Date of manufacture: Pre - 1874

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Heritage Guns' Comment

Thomas Johnson learnt his trade with William Parson who had been in business as a gunmaker since 1835. In 1868, on William's death, Thomas took over his patron's business and it continued under his name until the 1950's.
This lovely old gun was presumably relegated to the back of the gun cabinet by thin original barrels and the very good condition of the wood and action bear witness to the lack of work it did thereafter. Due to poor condition of the barrels, TIG sleeving was the obvious course of action and we are delighted with how well the gun has come out.
Featuring the 'modern' top lever and Purdey's Bolt, it also carries a grip safety so it can be said that this gun bridges the eras of the earlier muzzle loading and the new-fangled breach loaders.
With its strong barrels, lovely condition and excellent dimensions, this gun would make a fine target or game gun for the discerning shooter.


The action is of traditional design and features:
Grip safety;
Finely chiselled percussion fences;
Double triggers;
Bar action, Stanton patent, rebounding locks by Brazier;
Low level 'Dolphin' hammers;
Top lever operating a 'Purdey Bolt' by way of a 'Scott Spindle'
and Scott's forend catch.
Gun weight 6lb 12oz
Engraving style Best foliate scroll. Barrels, grip safety and forend iron all engraved '3'.
Trigger pulls measure approximately: Front trigger 3 ¾ lbs Rear trigger 3 ¾ lbs.
The TIG sleeved steel to damascus barrels are 30" 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 proof 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
17.0mm (0.669")
0.010" (IC)
Left Barrel
17.0mm (0.669")
0.020" (Mod)

The original Straight Hand Stock and Splinter Forend are both crafted from highly figured walnut. The stock features a gold oval engraved with a crown and two heraldic devices, is finished with a 1" leather covered recoil pad and is lightly cast off for a right-handed shot.
The forend wood carries a neat, engraved steel forend tip and has several inlet repairs to its edge and tip.

Highly Figured walnut

The 18 lines per inch chequering has been freshened 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 7/8"
15 3/8"
Drop at Comb
Drop at Face
Drop at Heel
1 1/2"
1 5/8"
2 1/8"
Cast-off at Comb
Cast-off at Heel
1/8" (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:
'Purdey Bolt' patent no. 1104 of 1863,
'Scott Spindle' patent no. 2752 of 1865,
Stanton's rebounding lock patent no. 367 of 1867,
Scott's forend catch patent no 3756 of 1873.