Heritage Guns Update 10th May 2018

The Southern Side by Side Spring Classic is now two weeks in the past and jet lag and general travelling fatigue are fading rapidly. The show was blessed with fantastic weather and plentiful attendance although Friday, or even set up on Thursday, seemed busier than Saturday and Sunday: very odd. My good friend Bob Nay of MacNab Fine Firearms and I formed a single shared space from our three booths which made for a nice open layout, allowing people to move freely around our exhibits. The light was generally good inside the tent and we only suffered from problematic gusting winds on Sunday. As usual Bill and Mary Kempffer did an excellent job of organising tents, tables and facilities and I really can’t think of anything that could have been improved. The food available on site was excellent and very reasonably priced. Coffee and waffles for breakfast was just what I needed to get the day off to a flying start, the beef brisket was excellent and various other offerings deliciously tempting!

The weather here has been almost summer-like for the last few days but we have now seen the return of more seasonal spring ‘sun & showers’. The spring bulbs are now mainly over but the garden is now being overwhelmed by green growth, with the lawns in overdrive, small birds feeding their nestlings and searching the trees and shrubs for caterpillars and flying insects. The swallows and pied wagtails have arrived to take up last year’s nests in the cart lodge or rebuild as necessary and I am not looking forward to cleaning their ‘calling cards’ from my admittedly filthy Landrover Discovery.

Tilly is enjoying the warm weather but found the hot spell a little too much and took every opportunity to dive into the stream below our house to swim and cool off.

Anyway, to business:

Firstly new stock. I have uploaded the written details for all new guns and priced up gun information that had been pending. I have left quite a few of these guns in the USA with my colleague Bob Nay of MacNab Fine Firearms and these will be priced in US$’s and have a link on their page and stock list to Bob’s email.

New stock items include:

Beautifully restocked side lever hammergun by Stephen Grant. With new stock and forend and broad, pigeon style rib this 7lb 3oz hammergun is a fantastic target gun. Engraving is in great shape too.

At long last, the No 2 of the Holland & Holland pair that we have been working on for so long: No 12320 is a lovely example of the ‘1st Type’ Royal and joins its Pair, no 12319, in a fantastic double Oak & Leather Maker’s case.

Carrying the tightest bored Damascus barrels we have ever seen, this 12g hammergun by William Rochester Pape is one of the nicest examples of his work that we have had through the workshops in a long time. The dog & game vignettes on trigger guard and lockplates will make you smile and seriously ‘weight forward’ barrels will make you shoot well!

Lastly, this Rotary Underlever Stephen Grant hammergun is only the 40th number in his records after he set up on his own, having left Boss & Co. It has a grip safety, added after the gun was made, and locks converted to rebounding which was not invented for another 10 years, work most likely done in house.

I have also made improvements to several guns that have been listed previously. Among these is Henry Atkin (From Purdey’s) 12g SLE no 397 which has finally found a leather and brass case to live in! This gun is simply staggering quality and it is a mystery to me why no one has snapped it up yet.

Other guns held on consignment in the USA include:

A lovely 12g 1890’s Underlever SLE by James Woodward and Sons, the ‘Automatic’ model. Complete with its original 29” chopperlump barrels and replacement 15” stock, this gun has been reproofed for 2 ¾” ammunition and is a real joy to handle, cased in an oak lined case with some accessories.

An 1893 12g roundaction ejector by John Dickson & Son TIG sleeved 28” with beautiful, original French walnut stock. 2 ¾” reproofed.

An 1890’s  12g backaction SLE by J Blanch & Son. 28” x 2 ¾” TIG sleeved barrels, 15” replacement stock make this a gun for a serious shooter, not a closet queen!



 Cashmore 12g BLNE Pigeon Gun.

20g Bales Sidelock non-ejector, built on the Scott ‘Crystal Indicator’ action and rebarrelled by Westley Richards;

Beautiful 16g SLNE by Holland & Holland, cased;

An 1889 12g H&H Royal SLE;

12g Leech SLE, 28” x 2 ¾” rebarrelled by the makers;

T Murcott 12g 30” damascus hammergun.

Guns that have returned to the UK for a little R&R include:

12g 30” damascus barrelled roundaction ejector by J Dickson & Son, cased with some accessories;

16g SLE by Henry Clarke, 30” TIG sleeved;

Lovely 1884 12g J Purdey & Sons Self-opening SLE, cased on oak & leather;

Fascinating 12g 30” damascus early BLE by AJ Russell with grip safety!

I have been very successful in obtaining quite a lot of new stock over recent months and these will be appearing at exhibitions over the next 6-12 months as their restoration is completed. Included are:

A BiW Westley Richards 12g hammergun with 30” damascus barrels;

Antique H&H 12g Royal (1st Type), original 15” wood and replacement 28” steel barrels;

Woodward 12g toplever, SLE, original wood, 29” replacement steel barrels;

Boss 12g sidelever SLE, original highly figured wood, 28” laser sleeved barrels;

Pair of Woodward 12g SLE’s, original wood, 29” TIG sleeved barrels with Teague Interchangeable chokes and spare 28” barrels;

Another pair of Woodward 12g SLE’s, original 29” Whitworth chopperlump barrels and lovely wood;

Transitional H&H 12g Royal (1st to 2nd Type) with original 30” steel barrels and fine original wood;

E&G Higham 28g BLNE with 28” damascus barrels (non-antique);

Frederick Beesley 12g SLE, 28” replacement steel barrels, highly figured replacement wood;

Joseph Lang 16g hammergun, 30” TIG sleeved barrels, highly figured original semi-pistol stock;

Thumblever Purdey 12g Hammergun, 31” TIG sleeved barrels, lovely original wood, island locks;

William Powell 12g SLE WITH HAMMERS as original!

Purdey ‘B Grade’ 12g self-opening SLE, 30” TIG sleeved;

Stephen Grant 12g sidelever hammergun, 30” TIG sleeved, very highly figured original wood;

H&H 12g Scott & Baker patent SLNE, 30” damascus barrels, all original wood in great shape, Scott Premier style game scene engraving, fresh nitro reproof;

Boss toplever 12g hammergun, 30” TIG sleeved barrels, great wood;

Boss RUL 12g hammergun, 30” TIG sleeved barrels, also great wood.

Phew, that little lot is going to keep me busy! All the above (unless otherwise noted) are pre-1899 and can be shipped direct to most US postal addresses.

Well, enough for now, enjoy your spring and summer and I will try and keep you up to date with developments in my workshop between now and my next show in the USA, the Vintage Gunners Cup held in Maryland USA, September 21st to 23rd.