Update 16th October 2016
Welcome to a special Update regarding a private preview of my new stock to be held in Charlotte NC on Saturday 29th October.
With the receipt of my new US visa in the last few days, I can finally travel over to display the new stock guns that have been occupying my workshop time since April.
With the help of Bob Nay of MacNab Fine Firearms, I have managed to secure a lovely venue at Sir Edmond Halley’s Pub in Charlotte for the afternoon of Saturday 29th October, 12:00 Noon to approximately 4:00 PM.
Sir Ed’s will kindly be providing hors d' oeuvres and your first drink is on me! There will also be a raffle for some Heritage Guns items, draw to be held on Sunday.
It will take place in the function rooms at the back of the pub.
Location: Sir Edmond Halley's Pub
4151 Park Road A
Charlotte, NC 28209
We generally tell people that it is located on the "back side of the Park Road Shopping Centre in Charlotte" but if you have any difficulty in finding the address you can contact Bob Nay on firstname.lastname@example.org or 704-796-6364.
The new stock guns have all been listed on my web site Stock Page but with only very brief descriptions so far. The usual detailed information pages will hopefully be uploaded before I fly out but if you have specific questions in the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact me.
The guns are as follows:
Henry Atkin (From Purdey’s) 12g SL no 274
Some may recall this gun from some time back. In the meantime, we have TIG sleeved it to the original barrel length and have had Teague Interchangeable Chokes fitted.
This gun is probably the earliest hammerless gun in the highest condition we have ever handled and has to be seen to appreciate the remarkable crispness of engraving and much remaining colour. Aesthetically it gives many nods to its hammergun forebears including a half cock bent!
William Cashmore 12g BL Pigeon Gun no 4739
This gun appeared unexpectedly in a rather dilapidated gun case and on closer inspection turned out to be a most interesting example of a special order ‘Pigeon Gun’. Complete with file cut rib and standard 2 ¾” chambers, it hid its speciality under a ‘Plain Jane’ cloak and it was only when the wood had been cleaned up and the barrels measured that the truth became apparent. It wears the most startling wood and a very unusual short rib, possibly to increase weight without affecting balance.
John Dickson & Son 12g Round Action Ejector no 4373
One does not have to look very hard to appreciate the loveliness of this gun. Complete with damascus barrels and a brand new stock, both of excellent dimensions, this is a very desirable gun. What is amazing is it is actually a composition of two quite separate guns: the barrels and forend of no 4654 and the action of no 4373. These were brought together sometime in the past but the project was not really finished. We have spent 18 months making someone’s dream a reality and are most pleased with the results.
Holland & Holland 16g ‘Climax’ SL no 7455
Bought at auction with thin and badly pitted barrels, TIG sleeving was the only option to bring this lovely gun back into service. What is unusual is the quality and condition of the action and wood: quite considerable amounts of original hardening colour are apparent is protected areas and the 15” original one piece stock is a classic bit of old French walnut.
Thomas Johnson 16g Bar in Wood Hammergun no 3444
This is another lovely old gun, relegated to the back of the gun cabinet by thin original barrels. Again, TIG sleeving was the obvious course of action and we are delighted with how well the gun has come out.
Featuring the ‘modern’ top lever and Purdey’s Bolt, it also carries a grip safety so it can be said that this gun bridges the earlier muzzle loading era and the new-fangled breach loaders.
James Lang 12g Back Action SLE no 913
James was only in business under his own name for a period of about 10 years but in that time was responsible for producing an impressive catalogue of beautifully finished guns. Many, like this example, were bought in from the trade in London and Birmingham and he appeared to have strong loyalties to certain trade gunmakers.
J Purdey & Sons 12g Bar in Wood Hammergun no 11892
Restocked professionally some decades ago, this lovely old Purdey wears its 130 odd years with great aplomb! With top lever, Purdey bolt and ‘hidden 3rd bite’ it has all the best features of its type and no cracks in the bar wood, a common problem with this design style.
J&W Tolley 16g Bar Action Hammergun no 6404
When we took this gun in for restoration, the hammers had been radically shortened, probably with a hack saw. With careful laser welding we managed to restore them to their original size and shape, engraved and properly case hardened to match the rest of the lock patina. The barrels feature the original recess choke borings as indicated by the use of ‘CHOKE’, instead of ‘NOT FOR BALL’, after the bore/muzzle measurements.
Wilkinson & Son .410 RUL Hammergun no 7107
Normally we steer clear of double rifles converted to 410 shotguns but this little beauty was such a picture, we had to make an exception. We were won over by her full coverage of engraving, low weight (5lb 5oz - she must have kicked like mule when in her rifle guise!) and excellent stock measurements. Nitro proofed for 3” shells, this would make a serious tool for game or clays.
And lastly, James Woodward & Sons 12g Thumblever Bar Action SLE no 4641
We have been very privileged to handle several Woodward SLE’s in recent years and without exception have been blown away by their quality. They appear to hold good condition much better than many of their contemporaries and this one is a particularly fine example. Sporting a thumblever, as does the Atkin # 274 listed above, it is obviously harks back to a previous era but none the worse for it. Barrels were beyond saving so TIG sleeving was prescribed and Teague Interchangeable chokes fitted. This is a most lovely gun and would be the pride of any game or clay shooters collection.
Other guns that will be on display at the Charlotte event are:
Of the 4 post-1898 shotguns that finally made it over to the USA in June, only one remains unsold: the lovely little Cogswell & Harrison 20g BLE. I must admit that I find this a bit mystifying as it is an excellent little shooter without pretension. Maybe there is a glut of nicely balance, 20g x 2 ¾” chambered hunting guns out there and I am just not aware of them all!
Lovely, early Royal gun with bar action locks. This gun has had an eventful life and now sports a well figured replacement stock and completely new forend equipped with Southgate ejectors.
Henry Clarke & Son 16g Backaction SLE with 30” TIG sleeved barrels. 4th in our ‘Accipiter’ series. Originally built as a 12g, this has been my very own ‘go-to’ gun for game and clays in 2015 while I explored the proposition of having my late father’s Blanch SLE rebarrelled as a 16b. I have to say I have been won over by the delightful, steady handling of this gun and my clay scores and game shooting averages have been a revelation. There is no doubt now that I will get the work done on the Blanch to mimic the Clarke.
We know is that this was made for a 'Lord Cremorne’ as a sidelock ejector circa 1883 although the form of ejector featured was not invented until some years later and is probably a later improvement. The gun has been restocked and given new forend wood to a very high standard. The locks exhibit the interceptor sear most commonly used by John Robertson of Boss & Co fame and are of fabulous quality so it is reasonable to assume that the gun was at least actioned in John Robertson's Soho workshops. What sets this gun aside from many Best shotguns of the era is the truly lovely engraving: not too fine to be almost invisible, not too bold to be ostentatious.
We know is that this was made for a 'Walter Peake' in 1883 and that it was rebarrelled by Henry Atkin Ltd between 1960 and 1971 when they were at the Bury Street address. The gun has also been restocked to a very high standard and it has been suggested that this might have been gone at the same time as the rebarrelling. We are fairly certain that the gun was not made originally as an ejector and was converted to the very reliable 'Southgate' system, probably around the turn of the C19th. The locks exhibit the interceptor sear most commonly used by John Robertson of Boss & Co fame and are of fabulous quality.
Holland & Holland 16g SLNE no 8787 3rd in our ‘Accipiter’ series.
When it came to us this gun was a 12b, converted to ejector on the Baker patent around 1900, with sadly thin and pitted barrels and with its slim elegant action it cried out for TIG sleeving to 16b. Having completed the sleeving is became clear that the ejector conversion, which no doubt had worked well when new, required considerable work to make it truly reliable so it was removed. The parts are available to the purchaser and we have no doubt that given time and patience, it could be made serviceable again.
interesting about these guns is that they are often described as 'back action'
(mainspring behind tumbler) but in fact are 'bar action' (mainspring in front
of tumbler) but with a back action style lock plate.
Made right at the beginning of the nitro proof era, these beautiful Damascus barrels display original 2 ½" nitro proof marks which is quite unusual as at this time Damascus barrel where nearly always proofed for black powder. Since then the chambers have been lengthened to 2 ¾" and the gun was reproofed in 2015.
In recent times the stock & forend wood have been professionally replaced with a lovely piece of well figured walnut with very good dimensions. Another big plus is that the gun was built with Southgate ejectors which is a huge relief for anyone who has had to deal with a malfunctioning Perkes patent mechanism more commonly found on Lancasters.
This gun is a fine and rare example of an historic design which looks so normal today but in its time was truly ground breaking. It was the first commercially successful hammerless shotgun and many of the features that we see in modern double-barrelled guns are present here. Theophilus Murcott was well known in his day for innovation and the quality of his work and his gun's success was helped by copious advertising in the sporting periodicals of the period and much editorial copy.
patent self-opening action as manufactured by Purdey needs no introduction. It
has become a by-word for very best quality gun design and gunmaking throughout
the world and has remained in production from its conception in 1880 to the
The gun we have here was made within the first 4 years of the patent as a non-ejector and is in startlingly good condition for its age which says a lot about the workmanship that went into it. At some point it has been elegantly converted to ejector: using Purdey's normal method of tripping, a rod keyed to the tumblers and sliding in a channel within the action bar.
This gun is built on the highly successful Gibbs and Pitt design of lever cocking action, one of the first hammerless designs to be welcomed by the shooting public in the gradual changeover from hammerguns. Use of this action by Roper reflects the high esteem the Gibbs & Pitt action design was held in by the buying public at the time. It was well designed, solidly built and retailed by nearly all gunmakers of the period. 2 ¾” nitro proof and choked Full/Full as original! A real game getter!
This otherwise 'normal' A&D boxlock action is profusely covered with fine border, scroll and foliate detail and this coupled with the grip safety, interceptor sears, excellent barrel measurements and sensitive restoration makes it a pretty and interesting gun for either game or clays.
Details of all the guns can be found on our stock pages with links to the person usually holding the gun on consignment.
Most of the guns mentioned above are nitro proofed for a minimum of 2 3/4" cartridges and all are pre-1897 unless otherwise described.
Lastly a reminder that we now have a Facebook page at
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!
Links to our show venues can be found on our Home page.