Heritage Guns Update 11th March, 2023

I must apologise for not sending out an Update since last April but as most of you will be aware, this last year has been hugely challenging with the passing of my wife in early April ’22. I would like to take this opportunity to extend my very humble thanks for the huge amount of help and support I have received during this difficult time.

At time of writing, I still don’t have a visa to visit the USA: it has only been 2 years since I started my application for renewal of my visa which expired in October 2021, no hurry then!! Before Christmas the US Consulate requested my passport for ‘visa processing’, fantastic I thought, but Homeland Security have since sat on it for 8 weeks and counting! I am sure it will appear eventually but maybe not in time for Deep River Sporting Clays’ Southern Side by Side Championship. Fingers crossed they will return my travel documents to me soon.

The weather here has been very mixed: last week we had a strong high pressure located over the British Isles and it was very calm and dry although not unseasonable warm nor sunny. This week we have snow and high winds and sub-zero temperatures!  However temperatures are forecast to be in the low teens (degrees C) by the weekend.

I was very fortunate to get away during the previous week to Cumbria for some R&R with my partner and our pack of ill-behaved dogs. We stayed on the Graythwaite Estate near Windermere and I had a few days out stalking (hunting for our American friends) Red hinds and Roe does. The terrain varies from dense conifer woodland to lovely old growth oak and beach forest to open moor with some quite extreme gradients thrown in. It was hugely challenging but very rewarding, regardless of whether it resulted at the end in a shot or a bobbing white tail disappearing into the trees! Tilly, my matriarch labrador, tagged along in case of any bad trigger technique on my behalf and as usual had a ball! Fortunately her tracking skills were not required and the new Fox copper bullet handloaded ammunition I am using delivered great accuracy and instant kills combined with minimal carcass damage. I am definitely the weak link in this stalking combo but even I seemed to be performing well!


Left: Two Red calves taken on a clear fell on high ground. Right: Roe doe taken in the old growth oak woods. Tilly awaits her reward! Rifle is a Shultz & Larsen Victory in 7x57 in a hand fitted Boyd stock with Barton Gunworks moderator shooting 130gr Fox copper ammunition. Scope is a Zeiss Conquest DL.

Back in November, I rehomed a pair of labradors, mother and daughter from a farming couple whose growing family had made them two dogs too many. Having been kennelled all their lives, the transition to house dogs has been fraught with difficulties as they knew no boundaries and the damage and disturbance was quite a challenge for us all. I fear the youngster, having never been properly socialised will have to go to a new home where she can receive the fully focused attention and training she needs and deserves but the mother has settled in well and I think will be a great credit to my little picking-up team.




Anyway, to guns…

In a few weeks’ time I will be exporting a mixed consignment of antique (pre-1899) shotguns to Bob Nay of MacNab Fine Firearms, some of my stock and some for J-P Daeschler of John Dickson & Son, to be exhibited for sale at the Southern S/S Classic at the end of April. If my visa comes through in time, I will fly out to exhibit them myself but if not, Bob will display them for me.

So far I have two new stock guns looking for a good home:

Firstly, a J Blanch & Son sidelock non-ejector with 28” nitro proof damascus barrels, beautiful wood, really spectacular engraving and lots of original hardening colour: built on the Scott & Baker patent no 761, this gun is an absolute beauty!

Pre-1887 J Blanch & Son 12b SLNE no 5494

And in its relined case:

Next is a little gem of a 28b hammergun by the Hampshire gunmaker Edwin Chamberlain. This gun is sleeved and nitro proofed for 2 ¾” cartridges and has quite spectacular wood although the action is border engraved! Obviously the original owner placed the quality of his wood far above fancy engraving!

Circa-1890 Edwin Chamberlain 28b Hammergun no 41159

And in its relined case:


There will be more guns to add to this list including a Holland & Holland 1st Type Royal with two barrel sets: 28” steel & 30” damascus; a lovely ‘Highest Quality’ 20b boxlock by JD Dougall & Sons and maybe even a couple of 20b Holland & Holland sidelocks if time allows.

Guns from my previous exports yet to find new custodians are:

Firstly, a spectacular, true pair of James Purdey hammerguns in their original, relined case. To find a complete pair of hammerguns is very rare indeed and we restored these in parallel to maintain the true pair ethos and keep them almost exactly the same in all respects.

1871 Pair of James Purdey 12b Hammerguns no. 8521 & 8522


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

1891 Holland & Holland 12b Royal SLE no 12860



1891 H&H no. 12860 in its Leather and Brass case.


And last but not least,

pre-1881 Baraction 20b Hammergun by Frank Hipgrave of Huntingdonshire.

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

pre-1881 20b Hammergun by Frank Hipgrave in its Brady canvas & leather case




Meanwhile, Bob Nay of Macnab Fine Firearms already had several items of mine in Virginia, USA:


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

Pre-1896 J Blanch & Son 12b Backaction SLE no 5601

Pre-1896 J Blanch & Son 12b Backaction SLE no 5601 in its leather case


Then we have another Blanch 12b, this time a BLE from around 1900, complete with interceptor sears and replacement steel barrels by the Maker.

1900 J Blanch & Son 12b BLE no 6135


Recently returned to the USA after a little TLC in our workshops is this extraordinary, unique Powell SLE with non-functioning hammers, specified by the customer as a new gun back in 1893!

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


And lastly, an extremely rare, un-messed-with 1897 James Woodward & Sons 12b SLE complete with original barrels and stock and many accessories. Sadly we have had to split this wonderful pair of guns and just the No.1 gun remains, complete with its double case.

1897 James Woodward & Sons 12b SLE’s no’s 5166 (only No.1 gun remains for sale)

Well, that is about it for now.

Keep safe and enjoy the spring!

Very best regards,

Toby Barclay

Heritage Guns

Historic Guns For The Modern Sportsman

BASC Trademember             GTA Logo 60          Facebook Logo