Theophilus Murcott, 68 Haymarket, London
12 bore Back Action Hammergun
no. 7032

Year of manufacture: 1861-1878

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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.
Murcott was most famous for inventing the first commercially successful hammerless action, the famous 'Murcott Mousetrap', which considering its novelty at the time, sold in considerable numbers and is still seen occasionally to this very day.
Murcott guns are well known for their fundamental good quality and this hammergun is a good example. The Stanton rebounding locks are of high quality and the Damascus barrels have a lovely figure. The gun has been professionally restocked in more recent times with a 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 design and features:
Double triggers;
Stanton rebounding back action locks with high 'Hare's Ears' hammers;
Percussion fences; Long top strap;
Top lever opening, operating a 'Purdey' type bolt by way of a 'Scott' spindle;
Cross bolt/Wedge forend fastening.
This gun can be opened when the right lock is cocked.
Engraving style Border & Foliate Scroll. Toplever engraved 'PATENT' and action flats stamped for the 'Purdey Bolt' patent.
Gun weight 6lb 14oz
Trigger pulls measure approximately: Front trigger 3 ½ lbs Rear trigger 4lbs
The re-browned fine Damascus barrels are 30" in length, chambered for 2 ¾" (70mm) cartridges and are of brazed 'dovetail' lump construction with soft soldered ribs.
Top rib
is of the smooth, concave, game type.
The RH bore exhibits a very small area of vestigial pitting.
London reproof for 70mm nitro powder cartridges in 1990.

Approximate barrel measurements at date of publication:

Nominal Proof Size
Bore Diameter 9" from Breech
Minimum Wall Thickness
Choke Constriction
Right Barrel
0.007" (IC)
Left Barrel
0.009" (IC)

The replacement Straight Hand Stock and original Splinter Forend are crafted from figured walnut and the stock is cast-off for a right-handed shot, features a vacant white metal oval and an iron butt plate secured with engraved screws. The forend has two small inlets to its edge and an engraved steel tip.

Figured walnut

The 18 approx lines per inch chequering has been freshened to the original 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 3/8"
14 9/16"
14 9/16"
Drop at Comb
Drop at Face
Drop at Heel
1 9/16"
1 15/16"
2 11/16"
Cast at Comb
Cast at Heel
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:
Stanton's rebounding lock patent no. 367 of 1867,
'Purdey Bolt' patent no. 1104 of 1863,
'Scott Spindle' patent no. 2752 of 1865.