Update 6th January 2016


Welcome to my January 2016 Update.


A very Happy New Year to you all!


I hope you all had an extraordinary Christmas holiday and New Year celebrations.


Unfortunately I developed flu on Christmas Eve and have had to indulge in much warming liquor and rich food to ease my way through the celebrations and into the New Year. All totally medicinal, I assure you! However, through the induced haze, it looked like everybody was having fun so no harm done.


The weather here in Blighty has been very weird; the first proper frost in East Anglia occurred on New Year’s Day, about two months late. We have had loads of rain, acres of associated mud, and plants that should be dormant until the spring are producing shoots and even flowers! The poor northwest and -east of the UK has been deluged by the worst floods in recorded history, it just goes on and on.


Our dogs have been pretty unaffected by it all; they need no encouragement to gravitate to the warmest and driest place: usually a few inches in front of the log burner. Their Christmas presents from Chrissy were LED illuminated collars which they wore with dignity for much of the holiday period. With the flashing feature selected, I worried that it might bring on an epileptic fit but they seemed totally unconcerned by their lighthouse appearance.


Moss & Tilly on a rare, frosty morning walk. Heritage Guns ‘HQ’ in the background.


Moss the Delinquent Labrador has been suffering with a stubborn infection of his ‘water works’, possibly a side effect of a tumour or benign growth, and it does not bode well for him seeing out 2016 but I’m not giving up on him just yet. Tilly has been enjoying her first season of ‘picking up’ on the local estate; she doesn’t achieve a great deal but loves the noise, excitement and intriguing smells. STOP PRESS: She retrieved her first partridge and hen pheasant on 2nd Jan so perhaps she is not going to be a complete waste of dog food!



Sue, the lead picker-up with her springer Ted and German longhaired pointer Rosa,
and myself with Moss & Tilly between drives at Great Bradley Estate.


Notwithstanding the effects of flu, I have been in the workshop every day over the holiday trying to get ready for the Beinfeld Las Vegas show 22nd to 24th January and am delighted with the fantastic guns that are coming together for that event.


For those not aware, the Riviera hotel has finally closed for redevelopment and the Beinfeld show has transferred to the Westgate (formally the LV Hilton, about 400 yards due west) where there is going to be a bit of a space issue for 2016, improving in 2017. I don’t think this is going to impinge in any way on visitors to the show, the exhibitors might be a bit grumpy though!


As to the Heritage Guns stand, we will apparently be located at booth C7: turn left on entering the Sporting Arms hall and take the 3rd isle on the right. Or at least that is the theory!


Please note that full details and prices for some of the guns below will be available shortly. I am cataloguing them over the next ten days and will let you know as they are uploaded.


At our booth you will be able to see the following:


One of this year’s show-stoppers, a beautiful James Woodward & Sons ‘Automatic’ snap-underlever, 12g SLE. Cased is its original Oak & Leather with many accessories. This gun sports its original 29” Whitworth steel chopperlump barrels and fabulous walnut stock and forend.


James Woodward & Sons 12b SLE no 4376 (barrels in blacking process)


Another notable gun is a 20g Holland & Holland sidelever, backaction hammergun with original 30” x 2 ½” Damascus barrels and highly figured walnut. Considerable traces of original colour hardening in protected areas. (No photo available just yet)


Next on the list is a 29” x 2 ¾” Damascus barrelled 20g by William Powell and Son. This time their classic patent lift-up toplever, original highly figured walnut bar-in-wood (no cracks!) and stunning engraving.


William Powell & Son 20b BiW Hammergun no 5806


While on the subject of small bores, we will have a delightful Damascus barrelled 28g toplever Watson Bros hammergun with contemporary canvas case. The engraving and original hardening colour are quite remarkable on this little beauty.


Watson Bros 28b Hammergun no 4606


For 16g aficionados, we have a lovely 30” x 2 ¾” Damascus barrelled Murcott ‘Mousetrap’. The old French walnut on this gun carries a beautiful smoky figure from its 140 odd years and the barrels’ Damascus pattern has been lovingly rebrowned.


T Murcott ‘Mousetrap’ 16g SLNE no 2446


And so on to some more 12g’s.


We will have two 12g hammerguns for you, a Boss RUL baraction with 30” x 2 ¾” TIG sleeved barrels. Fantastic original wood and lovely engraving as you would expect.


Boss & Co 12g RUL Hammergun no 2717


Next a new and very exciting stock item:

A seemingly ‘ordinary’ RUL backaction hammergun, from the little known gunmaker Maloch of Stirling but beneath the crisp bold foliate engraving, considerable remaining CCH, lovely wood and beautiful Damascus there lies a VERY rare Stanton patent rebounding mechanism. Designed solely to facilitate rebounding conversions on backaction guns, it uses a fabulous mainspring and uniquely shaped tumbler, as pictured below. It also has ‘Loaded Indicators’ mounted in the fences, yellow metal pins that protrude when a cartridge is loaded. We have never seen another example of these unique mechanisms and combined with the fabulous condition of this gun, it is a must for any serious collector of British hammerguns.


The lock internals from Maloch RUL 12g Hammergun, no 12244.

Left cocked, right fired.


A. Maloch of Stirling RUL 12g Hammergun no 12244


And to finish up with we have a further six 12g sidelocks:


Firstly we have two guns by Henry Atkin, both from the period shortly after he left Purdey to set up on his own. Both built in the Boss/Grant style, probably by John Robertson of Boss fame, no. 397 is a classic toplever, SLE with Robertson style interceptor sears and the most beautiful fluted fences, best foliate engraving and 28” x 2 ¾” TIG sleeved barrels. In contrast, no. 573 is actually stamped JR on the back of the action so was at least actioned by the great man. The latter gun features a sidelever and the most unusual interceptor sears: operating like an H&H but actually blocking the main sears as well as the tumblers. No one I have met has seen anything like it and they may well be unique.
The barrels on this gun are 30” x 2 ¾” TIG sleeved.


Henry Atkin (From Purdey’s) 12g SLE no 573 (Barrels in blacking process)

No photo of no 397 available just yet.


Then we have an absolutely fabulous Charles Lancaster 12g SLE made in 1896 with beautiful Damascus barrels, this gun has been restocked and has new forend wood. The engraving is as fresh as it came out of their workshops and there are many areas of original CCH in protected places. Fortunately this gun was made with Southgate style ejectors and the internals are as bright and clean as the outside so this should be a real trouble free shooter and of the very best quality.


Charles Lancaster Assisted Opening 12g SLE no 7776


No inventory would be complete without a Purdey and this 1884 gun is a real treat. TIG sleeved with 28” x 2 ¾” barrels, oak & leather case, original stock and crisp engraving, it shows the tremendous skill of the Purdey craftsmen that produced a shotgun that has no doubt seen considerable use but is ready to give several more generations of service. It was built as a non-ejector but converted probably in the first few years of the new century and the quality of the conversion is quite remarkable.


James Purdey & Sons 12g SLE no 11368


The next gun by FT Baker is a real sleeper, apparently part of a deceased estate in Germany, it came into the UK via an auction house and we managed to acquire it for stock. I really couldn’t believe the incredible condition of this gun. It appears to be all original and we have done little but clean and service it. Accompanied by its contemporary leg of mutton case, this gun has to be seen to be believed.


FT Baker Needham Patent 12g SLE no 6778


Last but certainly not least is a really delightful Gibbs & Pitt patent SLNE retailer by R Roper & Son of Sheffield. The amazing thing about this gun is that it still retains the original Full/Full chokes and really good wall thicknesses in its 30” Damascus barrels. With its sidelever opening and loads of original CCH it is a real gem of a gun and ready and waiting for a chance to be used on wildfowl or long pheasants with soft shot.


R Roper, Son & Co Gibbs & Pitt patent 12g SLNE no 30540



Full details can be found via links on the Stock Page.


Most of the guns mentioned above are nitro proofed for a minimum of 2 3/4" cartridges and all are pre-1897.


Lastly a reminder that we now have a Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Heritage-Guns/1456166597974211. Facebook is not everybody’s cup of tea but we will post photos and news there that are not relevant to our main web site pages.


Enjoy your guns and shooting wherever you are!

Toby Barclay


Links to our show venues can be found on our Home page.