Update 4th September 2016


Welcome to my September 2016 Update.


Safely back from our Isle of Mull odyssey, Chrissy, Tilly the Pocket Rocket and I had a lovely time stalking, fishing and eating glorious fresh seafood, venison and organic beef and pork from Pennyghael Estate, not to mention local ale and the odd wee dram of malt whisky to wash it all down.

We had some lovely hikes including ‘doing’ Ben More from the beach to the summit accompanied by some rather scary cross winds and two youngsters who scampered up the steep bits while their elders gasped for air in their wake! The views from the summit, stretching from Iona, Ulva and the Trishnish peninsula to the Scottish mainland in the west, were quite breathtaking.

Stalking was somewhat frustrated by bracken beds that were ‘going over’ early and announced one’s presence to all and sundry as you attempted a ‘silent’ stalk into your chosen beast. However, I did get two young stags for the Estate larder and a 10-12 year old 8 point which will go off to the game dealer: a healthy set of jaw muscles will required to deal with that one!


8p Red Stag shot above Killunaig Farm House, Pennyghael Estate, Isle of Mull


I invested in a new rifle before the trip, a Shultz & Larsen Victory in 7 x 57 topped with a Zeiss Conquest DL and the moderator by Barton Gunworks and have been very pleased with the result. Although a bit longer than I am used to, the silky smooth bolt, clear optics and lightweight mod kept the rifle balanced and very user friendly. The barrel’s rifling is ‘cut’ and then hand lapped which results in a recommendation from the Maker that it only needs cleaning every 300 rounds! Now there’s confidence for you, presumably born of many decades of target barrel manufacture.


As some of you may be aware, I was diagnosed with Lyme’s Disease just before leaving for Mull and have been on some vile antibiotics ever since. I have just commencing a second four week course of meds as the infection has turned out to be ‘historic’ and will not be shifted easily. I must admit my symptoms are fairly unspectacular and some suffer far worse. I sometimes wonder if the side effects of the meds are rather worse than my symptoms but I am told they can get much worse so I am continuing as instructed.


There is still no sign of the much anticipated US visa so I definitely will not be attending the Vintage Gunners Cup in Maryland later this month. A real shame.
However, I am tentatively planning a trip over to North Carolina to collect a few stock items that need some TLC and deliver fresh stock to my hard working agents, MacNab Fine Firearms and New London Arms. Subject to the visa being issued, mid-October seems the favourite time for this jaunt.


With my return to the workshop, I am starting the final finishing jobs on the new stock guns.
I have just finished relining an oak & leather case for the lovely Woodward hammergun no 3417. I am very pleased with the dark green baize I have used, quite unusual to find this colour used on a Best London gun but we discovered traces of something similar under a poor reline job and decided to give it a try.
This gun remains something of an enigma. It uses a possibly unique bolting mechanism that no one I have approached has ever seen before. Unprotected by a patent as far as we can see, it was presumably an attempt to circumvent the Purdey Bolt patent which was still in force at the time but only for another few years. 
If anybody can shed any light on this, I would be most grateful.


James Woodward & Sons Hgun no 3417, Cased in Oak & Leather


Other guns that I hope to have finished in time for this Fall include:


James Purdey & Sons 12g BiW Hammergun 28” x 2 ¾” TIG Sleeved

James Woodward & Sons 12g Thumblever SLE 29” x 2 ¾” TIG Sleeved with set of 5 Teague Interchangeable chokes

Holland & Holland 16g Climax SLNE 30” x 2 ¾” TIG Sleeved

J&W Tolley 16g Hammergun 30” x 2 ¾” Damascus

Wilkinson & Son .410 RUL Hammergun 27” x 3” Steel, converted rifle

Henry Atkin (From Purdey’s) 12g Thumblever SLNE 30” x 2 ¾” TIG Sleeved with set of 5 Teague Interchangeable chokes

John Dickson & Son 12g RAE 30” x 2 ¾” Damascus

William Cashmore 12g Pigeon Gun BLNE 30” x 2 ¾” Whitworth Steel

Thomas Johnson 16g BiW Hammergun 30” x 2 ¾” TIG Sleeved

And finally

James Lang 12g SLE 28” x 2 ¾” Sleeved



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!


 Cogswell & Harrison 20g BLE



Latest Additions to the Stock List


Holland & Holland 20g SLE with TIG sleeved 26” barrels no 11971 On consignment with Macnab Fine Firearms
Lovely, early Royal gun with baraction 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. On consignment with Macnab Fine Firearms

Originally built as a 12g, this has been my very own ‘go-to’ gun for game and clays over the last 12 months 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.




Other guns on consignment in the USA are:

Henry Atkin 12g SLE #397 On consignment with Macnab Fine Firearms

Henry Atkin 12g SLE #434 Cased On consignment with New London Arms

Holland & Holland 16g SLNE #8787 On consignment with New London Arms

Holland & Holland 12g SLE #14908 On consignment with New London Arms

Charles Lancaster 12g SLE #7776 On consignment with Macnab Fine Firearms

T Murcott 16g Mousetrap SLNE #2446 On consignment with New London Arms

James Purdey & Sons 12g SLE #11368 Cased On consignment with New London Arms

R Roper 12g SLNE #30540 On consignment with New London Arms

AJ Russell 12g BLE On consignment with Macnab Fine Firearms


Details of all the guns can be found on our stock pages with links to the person 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 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.