John Manton & Son, Dover Street, London.
12 bore Black Powder Hammer Gun (converted from muzzle loader)
no. 12083

Year of manufacture: 1851, conversion pre-1896

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Heritage Guns Comment

This gun is a well executed example of the conversion of a high quality muzzle loading gun to centrefire breech loader, a service offered by most gunmakers during the transition period of 1850 to 1870. The original material was a best quality gun by this famous gunmaking firm, established by the elder brother of the even more famous Joseph Manton who was our gunmaker's apprentice. Components from the original gun are the barrels, ribs and butt plate; most probably the stock and locks and possibly the triggerguard. Great care has been taken to duplicate the engraving of bold scroll and game scene on the action and, although the conversion is arguably not of 'Best' quality, it has been sympathetically undertaken by someone who knew their trade. The barrel conversion has been done with 'Table Lumps', where the barrels are floated onto a sculpted concave table/lump monoblock that wraps round the lower third of the tubes, and the ram rod tubes have been replaced by neat damascus inserts into the bottom rib. At some time the stock has suffered some damage at the hand but a professional repair has been carried out including an inlet bracing piece under the trigger guard tang and the repair is virtually invisible once the gun is assembled.

We would draw your attention to the fact that this gun features Non Rebounding Locks and it should be used only by those experienced in this type of lock and under controlled circumstances.



The Action is a Conversion of Muzzle loader to Breech Loader and features:
Double triggers,
Greener's top lever operating a 'Purdey' type bolt,
Bar-action locks,
Non-rebounding hammers,
'Suger-tongs' forend catch.

Gun Weight 7lb 5oz
Engraving Style Bold foliate and Game Scene.
Trigger Pulls have been adjusted for 'feel' rather that to any particular pull weight but for the record they measure approximately: Front trigger 5lbs Rear trigger 5lbs

The original Twist Laminated Steel Barrels are 28 3/4" in length, chambered for 2 1/2 " (65mm) cartridges and are of brazed 'table' lump construction with soft soldered ribs. Top rib is of the smooth, concave, game type. The bores display a very small amount of vestigial pitting.
London re-proof for 2 3/4" (70mm) nitro cartridges in 2006.

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")
0.022" Minimum
0.008" (1/4)
Left Barrel
18.6mm (0.732")
0.025" Minimum
0.008" (1/4)

Straight Hand Stock and Splinter Forend are crafted from highly figured walnut. The stock is slightly cast on for a left-handed shot and is finished with a 1/2" wood extension and its original engraved butt plate. The forend has snap-on fastener and a horn tip.

Highly figured walnut stock.

The 16 lines per inch chequering to the 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 (including pad) at date of publication:

Pull to Heel
Pull to Bump
Pull to Centre
Pull to Toe
14 1/4"
14 1/2"
14 7/16"
Drop at Comb
Drop at Face
Drop at Heel
1 7/8"
2 1/2"
Cast-on at Comb
Cast-on 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:

'Purdey Bolt' patent no. 1104 of 1863,
Greener's patent no. 3090 of 1874.