Heritage Guns Update 6th November 2020

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

Here in the UK we are just embarking on another period of strict lockdown to try and get the CV19 infection rates under control before the mad, Christmas season arrives. For my wife Chrissy and myself, this is not 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!

Last weekend we got to celebrate Chrissy’s significant birthday with a few days in north Norfolk with good friends at the Gunton Arms (Google it, it is a remarkable place) which was just in the nick of time with the lockdown starting only 3 days later! This culminated with the surprise present of a flight in one of the very few two seater Spitfires still flying. The grin on her face when she landed said it all! From ground level the most spectacular bit was her flyby just before landing: a low level pass down the length of Duxford’s runway at considerable speed culminating in a barrel-roll into the setting sun!

Work carries on anyway with some lovely offerings coming along nicely: SLE’s by Purdey, Boss and H&H and hammerguns by Hipgrave (who?!), Reilly and Boswell. There is also a pair of toplever Purdey hammerguns lurking in the wings, a lightweight 16 hammergun by Thomas Turner and a RUL hammergun by Boss threatening to reappear from the Proof House but I’m not holding my breath!

Returning to the present, I have just sent a yummy selection of guns over to Bob Nay of Macnab Fine Firearms for him to find new homes for.

Some barely touched the ground before being forwarded to their new custodians:

A sweet 16b Holland & Holland 1st Type Royal complete with the most spectacular original wood and 2 ¾” x 29 1/2” nitro damascus barrels.

H&H 16b Royal SLE no 12035 in its Oak & Leather case



And a 16b boxlock by that great Scottish gunmaker Alexander Henry. This also has its original 2 ½” x 30” nitro damascus barrels and lovely wood.

Alexander Henry 16b BLNE no 6757


And lastly a lovely ‘12/20’ by my favourite gunmaker, J Blanch & Son 12b SLE no 6782




Still looking for new owners are the following treats:

In 12b, I 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

In case you missed my Update back in June, 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 on 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 two lovely SLE’s by J Woodward & Sons, the first a ‘modern’ toplever SLE but with all the usual Woodward styling, replacement 29” steel barrels and original stock, the other an ‘Automatic’ underlever SLE with original 29” barrels and replacement stock, presented in a contemporary oak lined case.

1896 James Woodward & Sons 12b SLE no 4989


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, ordered by the customer to be fitted to his new gun back in 1893!

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


And last but certainly not least in a very svelte 16b SL by Holland & Holland, cased in a nice old but relined leather case.

1883 Holland & Holland 16b SLNE no 8787, cased

As always Bob Nay of MacNab Fine Firearms holds some of my antique stock for immediate delivery (pre-1899 so no need for an FFL – they can be shipped direct to your home).
These include:

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.

I wish you all the very best of health during the unprecedented challenges that lie ahead and would implore you to consider the risks to yourself and others when considering plans to travel away from your home base.

Keep safe.

Very best regards,

Toby Barclay

Heritage Guns

Historic Guns For The Modern Sportsman

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