G Thorpe Bartrum, 33 Bank Place, Braintree, Essex
12 bore Gibbs & Pitt Patent Sidelock Non-Ejector

no. 1001
Date of manufacture: 1885-87

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Heritage Guns' Comment

George Thomas Thorpe Bartrum was first seen in business under his own name in Ipswich, Suffolk around 1878 but by 1883 he was at Bank Place in Braintree, Essex which, with its proximity to London and the military barracks at Colchester, was probably a more profitable location. This gun is built on the highly successful Gibbs and Pitt design of lever cocking action, one of the first hammerless designs to be welcomed by the shooting public in the gradual changeover from hammerguns. Use of this action by Thorpe Bartrum reflects the high esteem the Gibbs & Pitt action design was held in by the buying public at the time. It was well designed, solidly built and retailed by nearly all gunmakers of the period. The action cocks on the movement of the toplever and then this is aided by the dropping of the barrels as the front barrel lump cams the Purdey bold rearwards, which in turn works upon the tumblers to bring them to full cock. This makes it quite impossible to reload the gun without recocking the locks and resetting the safety, a useful safety feature. Furthermore the tumblers have an additional bent, like a modern Browning OU, which can prevent the tumblers falling unintentionally. Unusually for a gun of this age, the barrel wall thicknesses have survived the attentions of the gunsmith's lapping machine and although the barrels may have been shortened, this has been done in the correct manner and the muzzles properly brought together and ribs re-laid. The original English damascus barrels have been re-proofed for 2 3/4" nitro cartridges and this all adds up to a beautiful gun that is a joy to shoot and should give many years of service on game or clays with normal maintenance.



The action is of Gibbs & Pitt design and features:
Much original hardening colour;
Bar-action 'Leg of Mutton' locks;
Gold lined cocking indicators;
Disc-set strikers;
Top lever operating a Purdey Bolt by way of a Scott Spindle;
Passive 'Doll's Head' top extension;
Double triggers bolted by an automatic top tang safety slide
and a snap lever forend catch.
Gun weight 6lb 15oz
Engraving style: Foliate scroll. Lock plates signed in scrolling banner. Silver inlaid 'SAFE'. Top rib engraved 'PATRONISED BY ROYALTY'.
Trigger pulls measure approximately: Front trigger 3 ¾ lbs Rear trigger 4 ½ lbs
The damascus barrels are 28" in length, chambered for 2 3/4" (70mm) cartridges and are of brazed dovetail lump construction with soft soldered ribs. Bores are clean and bright.
Top rib is of the smooth, concave game type.
Birmingham reproof for 70mm nitro powder cartridges in 2015.

Approximate barrel measurements at date of publication:

Nominal Proof Size
Bore Diameter 9" from Breech
Minimum Wall Thickness
Choke Constriction
Right Barrel
Left Barrel

The replacement half pistol grip stock and original splinter forend are crafted from well figured walnut. The stock is lightly cast-off for a right-handed shot, features a vacant white metal oval and a 1" leather covered recoil pad. There is some evidence of a shake or maybe small repaired crack in the RH upper horn. Internally, we have significantly strengthened the inletting around the top horns with bedding and reinforce matt.

Well Figured walnut

The 20 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 7/8"
15 1/4"
Drop at Comb
Drop at Face
Drop at Heel
1 5/16"
1 3/4"
2 3/8"
Cast-off at Comb
Cast-off at Heel
3/16" (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:
Gibbs & Pitt cocking patent no. 284 of 1873;
'Purdey Bolt' patent no. 1104 of 1863;
'Scott Spindle' patent no. 2752 of 1865;
Redman & Whitehouse forend fastener patent no. 984 of 1885.