Heritage Guns Update 26th February 2021

Hallo again and I hope you are all well and keeping safe.

Not having written since November last year, I hope I will be forgiven for belatedly wishing you all a much better year than the last!

In England we are in the midst of a pretty severe, national lockdown as the National Health Service struggles with the lethal effect of Covid 19 and vaccinations are rolled out. It has to said that the hospitalised numbers are tumbling of late and highly cautious plans are being announced to bring us out into the daylight and back to work but it is going to be a long gradual process with no doubt many bumps in the road.

My last trip to the USA to exhibit my stock was to the Beinfeld Antique Arms Show in Las Vegas, February ’20 and I really don’t know when it will be safe or even legal to travel across the Pond again. Currently UK and EU citizens are banned from entering the USA and the UK lockdown bans international travel so attending the Southern S/S Classic in April is off the cards. Thankfully my colleague Bob Nay of MacNab Fine Firearms is planning to exhibit there and will have all my stateside stock on display.

As I have said in previous missives, for my wife Chrissy and myself, this has not been too awful as we have to live a bio-secure existence anyway due to her stage 4 cancer but it is hard not to be able to escape occasionally for a little SD-compliant socialising with good friends to break up the monotony!

Our special weekend away back in November is now a distant memory but we are daring to look at trips away for May onwards, strictly within the UK but ‘away’ none the less! I have not been able to go deer stalking since November 2019, having had to cancelled trips away in May & November ‘20 and the latest only this month, so I am particularly keen to get out to the woods and moors with a rifle over my shoulder and a breeze in my face.

Regardless, work has carried on anyway with some lovely offerings just completed: three sidelocks by the biggest names in London and hammerguns by E M Reilly and Frank Hipgrave, links below. Currently these five guns are all still in the UK but we plan to ship them over to the USA either during the coming summer or perhaps to exhibit at the Vintage Gunners Cup this September if international travel is back on the agenda.

Still to arrive back in my workshop are a pair of toplever Purdey hammerguns, a lightweight 16b hammergun by Thomas Turner and a RUL hammergun by Boss which are all currently at the Proof House. I await their return with bated breath!

I also have two 1st Type H&H Royals in the workshop, one Damascus, one steel; two lovely Damascus hammerguns by Boswell and Grant and a very pretty scallop-back BLE by Blanch. All these have 30” barrels.

Returning to my new listings, I have just uploaded full photos and details to my web site on the following guns:

1893 Boss & Company 12b SLE no 4246

A really gorgeous, classic Boss from the beginning of the Robertson era, 28” x 2 ¾” x IC/M with 14 7/8” LOP.

Boss no. 4246 in its Oak & Leather case.


James Purdey & Sons 12b Self-opening SLE no 15960

With lots of original colour, a classic Beesley patent gun, 30” x 2 ¾” with 4 x interchangeable Teague thin-wall chokes and 14 ¾” highly figured stock.

Purdey no. 15960 in its Oak & Leather case.


1891 Holland & Holland 12b Royal SLE no 12860

Lots of original colour, chopperlump Whitworth steel barrels and a very smart ‘Rifle Green’ relined case. 30” x 2 ½” x Cyl/IC and a 15 3/8” replacement highly figured stock.

H&H no. 12860 in its Leather and Brass case.


1896 E M Reilly & Co 12b Baraction hammergun no 34585

Renewed colour hardening, replacement 30” x 2 ¾” x IC/M steel barrels and replacement, highly figured 14 3/16” stock. Maker’s trunk-style leather case.


And last but not least,
pre-1881 Baraction 20b Hammergun by Frank Hipgrave of Huntingdonshire.

Damascus 28” x 2 ½” x IC/Cyl barrels and 14 ½” well figured stock. Leather bound, canvas Brady case.


Exported to the USA back in February ‘20 is a very rare hammergun that may have passed under your radar: a baraction, 12b sidelever hammergun with Whitworth Steel barrels by my most favourite gunmaker, J Blanch & Son, no 5517. As you may know, Blanch made very few baraction guns until after the turn of the C19th and this one is absolutely beautifully finished with the most wonder engraving.


As you may remember, back in October ‘20, I exported a lovely bunch of guns to Bob Nay of MacNab Fine Firearms and a few are still looking for new custodians. Do remember that all these guns are ready for immediate delivery (pre-1899 so no need for an FFL – they can be shipped direct to your home).

In 12b, we have both hammer and hammerless.

Firstly a sidelever hammergun by Stephen Grant. This has 30” TIG sleeved barrels and a vintage replacement stock with fabulous figure. This gun has attracted much interest and I don’t expect it to be on my lists for long.

Stephen Grant 12b 1877 Sidelever Hammergun no 4247.


Stephen Grant 12b Sidelever Hammergun no 4247 in its Oak-lined case.



Next is a very pretty J Blanch & Son 12b BA SLE with its original 2 ½” x 28” damascus barrels and well figured stock.

J Blanch & Son 1896 Backaction SLE no 5601


There is also a rather unusual Purdey hammergun, built in 1869 as one of a pair for Lord A St.Maur, it was originally fitted with 31 1/16" (!) barrels and features a bolstered action and 'island' back action locks. There is also the grip safety commonly found on hammerguns of this time.
Now don't get the idea that this is a light game gun! On the contrary, it is a serious target or high bird gun and suitable for 'standard' steel: TIG sleeved 2 3/4" nitro, chokes 1/4 & 1/2 (IC/Mod), MWT's in low 40's, weight 7lb 8oz, balance point 1 1/2" in front of hinge. Delicious, original French walnut stock and forend, LOP 14 7/8" including a 3/4" leather covered recoil pad.

James Purdey 12b hammergun no 7953 in its Oak & Leather case.


Then we have another Blanch 12b, this time a very pretty BLE from around 1900, complete with interceptor sears.

J Blanch & Son 12b BLE no 6135


Moving on we have a lovely SLE by J Woodward & Sons, an ‘Automatic’ underlever SLE with original 29” barrels and replacement stock, presented in a contemporary oak lined case.

1890 James Woodward & Sons 12b SLE ‘The Automatic’ no 4394



Returning to the USA after a little TLC in our workshops is the following extraordinary Powell SLE with non-functioning hammers, specified by the customer to be fitted to his new gun back in 1893!

Unique 1893 William Powell & Son 12b SLE with non-functioning hammers no 9622


Then we have a very svelte 16b SL by Holland & Holland, cased in a nice, relined leather case.

1883 Holland & Holland 16b SLNE no 8787, cased

An extremely rare, un-messed-with pair of 1897 James Woodward & Sons 12b SLE’s complete with original barrels and stocks and many accessories.

True pair of 1897 James Woodward & Sons 12b SLE’s no’s 5166/67

A very nice baraction hammergun by WR Pape with 30” damascus barrels.

12g 1887 hammergun by William Rochester Pape;

Well, that is about it for now.

Keep safe.

Very best regards,

Toby Barclay

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Historic Guns For The Modern Sportsman

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