J & W Tolley, 1 Conduit Street, Regent Street, London.
16 bore Bar-action Hammergun
No. 6404
Year of manufacture: 1875-87

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Heritage Guns' Comment

James and William Tolley started in business under their own names around 1859 and became one of the major Birmingham gun manufacturers, producing all qualities of gun for the domestic and export trade. It must be said that they primarily catered to the lower end of the price spectrum but they were certainly capable of producing high quality guns when there was a market. This 16b hammergun most definitely falls into the latter category.
Unfortunately, when we took this gun in for restoration, the hammers had been radically shortened, probably with a hack saw. With careful laser welding we managed to restore them to their original size and shape, engraved and properly case hardened to match the rest of the lock patina. The barrels feature the original recess choke borings as indicated by the use of 'CHOKE', instead of 'NOT FOR BALL', after the bore/muzzle measurements.
With the engraving still crisp on the locks and action, a nicely figured original stock and damascus barrels, this gun would make a very attractive gun for clays or game.


The action is of traditional design and features:
Double triggers;
Stanton's patent, bar-action, rebounding locks;
Medium level, 'Hare's Ears' hammers;
Sprung strikers; Percussion fences;
Top lever operating a 'Purdey Bolt' by way of a 'Scott Spindle;
Passive 'Dolls Head' top extension;
Deeley's forend fastener.
Engraving style: Nicely executed, fine foliate scroll. Barrel short rib stamped 'J&W.T'.
Gun weight 6lb
Trigger pulls measure approximately: Front trigger 3 ½ lbs Rear trigger 4 ¼ lbs
The damascus barrels are 30" in length, chambered for 2 ¾ " (70mm) cartridges and are of brazed 'dovetail' lump construction with soft soldered ribs. The gun features original recess chokes, as indicated by the word 'CHOKE' in the pre-1887 proof marks instead of 'NOT FOR BALL'.
Top rib is of the smooth, concave, game type.
There are a few small surface marks in the otherwise bright, clean bores.
Birmingham reproof for 70mm nitro powder cartridges in 2016.

Approximate barrel measurements at date of publication:

Nominal Proof Size
Bore Diameter 9" from Breech
Minimum Wall Thickness
Choke Constriction
Right Barrel
16.7mm (0.657")
0.012" (Original Recess Choke)
Left Barrel
16.9mm (0.665")
0.015" (Original Recess Choke)

Straight Hand Stock and original Splinter Forend are crafted from highly figured walnut. The stock is cast-off for a right-handed shot, features well defined drop points and is finished with a ¾" traditional leather covered recoil pad.
The forend
features a finely engraved steel tip.

Highly Figured walnut

The 26 lines per inch chequering has been refreshed to its original borderless 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 at date of publication:

Pull to Heel
Pull to Bump
Pull to Centre
Pull to Toe
14 1/2"
14 9/16"
14 5/8"
15 1/8"
Drop at Comb
Drop at Face
Drop at Heel
1 5/8"
1 7/8"
2 3/8"
Cast-off at Comb
Cast-off at Heel
1/16" (approximate)
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:
'Purdey Bolt' patent no. 1104 of 1863;
Stanton's rebounding lock patent no. 367 of 1867;
'Scott Spindle' patent no. 2752 of 1865;
Deeley's forend fastener patent no 1422 of 1873.