W Richards, 27 Old Hall Street, Liverpool
16 bore Bar-action Hammergun
No. 6540

Approximate date of manufacture: 1870-1877

Click on these images for more detail.

Heritage Guns' Comment

This gun is a superbly finished and engraved example of the small gauge sporting hammerguns that were in vogue at the turn of the 19th Century. The guns has been TIG 'Invisible' sleeved to 30", from its original 28", which has improved its handling characteristics, there is a little original colour hardening still visible on the locks and action and this coupled with the sensitive restoration and fabulous wood makes it a very pretty and highly 'shootable' gun for either game or clays.


The action is of John Thomas's design and features:
Stanton rebounding bar-action locks;
Broad strikers; Percussion fences;
Single bite bolting by a rotating vertical bolt within the action body;
Double triggers; Deeley forend fastener.
Gun weight 6lb 7oz Engraving style Best deep cut, fine scroll with Game scenes.
Trigger pulls measure approximately: Front trigger 4lb Rear trigger 4 1/2lb
The TIG sleeved Damascus to steel barrels are 30 1/8" 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.
London proof for 70mm nitro powder cartridges in 2008.

Approximate barrel measurements at date of publication:

Nominal Proof Size
Bore Diameter 9" from Breech
Minimum Wall Thickness
Choke Constriction
Right Barrel
16.9mm (0.665")
0.029" Minimum


Left Barrel
16.9mm (0.665")
0.036" Minimum


Half pistol Stock and Splinter Forend are crafted from highly figured walnut with engraved heel and toe plates and grip cap, well defined drop points and a blank oval. The stock is slightly cast off for a right-handed shot.

Highly figured walnut

The 20 lines per inch chequering is to 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. There is one repaired settling crack behind the RH lock and a inset within the chequering of the forend.

Approximate stock measurements at date of publication:

Pull to Heel
Pull to Bump
Pull to Centre
Pull to Toe
14 1/4"
14 1/2"
14 3/8"
14 7/8"
Drop at Comb
Drop at Face
Drop at Heel
1 1/2"
1 3/4"
2 1/4"
Cast at Comb
Cast at Heel
Negligible (approximate)
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:
Stanton's rebounding lock patent no. 367 of 1867;
John Thomas's action patent no. 324 of 1870;
Deeley's forend fastener patent no. 1422 of 1873.