E Roberts. Maker. 5 Steelhouse Lane, Birmingham
16 bore Back action Hammergun
no. 1706

Year of production: pre-1896

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Heritage Guns' Comment

This gun represents a fine condition example of the elegant smallbore sporting hammerguns that were the vogue in the last quarter of the 19th Century. There is some original colour hardening still visible on the locks and this coupled with the sensitive restoration makes it a very pretty and highly 'shootable' gun for either game or clays. This gun's light weight might make it particularly suitable for upland hunting where weight may be a significant factor. Furthermore, the relatively high comb measurements may make it very suitable for those with high cheek bones or for lady shots.


The action is of traditional design and features:
Double triggers; Back action locks; Rebounding, low level hammers; Sprung strikers;
Top lever opening; 'Purdey Bolt' ; Greener patent top extension and lever work;
Snap-on forend to the Hackett patent.
Gun weight 5lb 9 ½ oz Engraving style Fine scroll with Game scenes on the lock plates.
Trigger pulls measure approximately: Front trigger 3 ½ lbs Rear trigger 3 ½ lb
The fine Damascus barrels are 28" in length, chambered for 2 ¾" (70mm) cartridges and are of brazed 'dovetail' lump construction with soft soldered ribs. The internal barrel surfaces are clean and free of rust or pitting. Top rib is slightly raised and concave with a smooth finish.
Birmingham reproof for 70mm nitro powder cartridges in 2009.

Approximate barrel measurements at date of publication:

Nominal Proof Size
Bore Diameter 9" from Breech
Minimum Wall Thickness
Choke Constriction
Right Barrel
16.8mm (0.661")
0.005" (Skeet)
Left Barrel
17.0mm (0.669")
0.022" (Mod)

Straight Hand Stock and Splinter Forend are crafted from well-figured walnut and features a vacant, white metal oval and a ¼" horn butt plate retained with engraved screws. The snap-on forend carries an engraved metal tip. The stock has an almost neutral cast, very slightly cast-off for a right-handed shot.

Well-figured walnut

The 22 (approx) lines per inch chequering
has been cut to a normal back lock design.
The stock is finished with a traditional linseed oil based preparation. This finish uses no grain fillers to achieve its deep, smooth lustre but up to 30 coats of hand rubbed oil.

Approximate stock measurements at date of publication:

Pull to Heel
Pull to Bump
Pull to Centre
Pull to Toe
14 1/4"
14 7/16"
14 5/16"
14 3/4"
Drop at Comb
Drop at Face
Drop at Heel
1 5/16"
1 1/2"
1 7/8 "
Cast at Comb
Cast at Heel
1/16" approx. Cast-on
1/16" approx. Cast-off

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,
Greener's lever work and cross bolt top extension patent no.
3090 of 1874,
Hackett's forend fastener patent no. 964 of 1878.