Heritage Guns Update 7th September 2019

Welcome to another Update from the workshop of Heritage Guns in Suffolk, England. I apologise for not having been in contact since April but life has been complicated with a reoccurrence of cancer within the family which has naturally split my time between a support role and time spent on the gun restoration business. Hopefully we are now moving forward without that particular sword of Damocles hanging over us and my time can be more focused.

The weather here has been very dry for the last few months: the stream below our house is reduced to a few muddy puddles separated by stretches of dry stony bed and I don’t think the stream that forms our boundary has had any flow since mid-spring! However, the garden has done pretty well with all Chrissy’s attention and we are enjoying a glut of tomatoes as I write.

Tilly the labrador is full of bounce and vigour as always. She has endured a gentle weight loss regime all summer which has amused her not at all but the shooting season is only just round the corner when normal rations will resume (about blooming time, she says!).

As those who follow me on the Heritage Guns Facebook page will know (https://www.facebook.com/Heritage-Guns-1456166597974211/), I have had a couple of wonderful experiences this summer stalking Roe bucks: Northumberland in early June and Wiltshire in late July. Both experiences were hugely enjoyable and educational: our smallest indigenous deer are so wonderful to watch and stalk and I learn something new every time I go out.

The Brexit mess continues unabated as I write and I really despair of our political classes: whichever side of the argument they are on, they really are behaving like spoilt children and should come together to find a sensible solution. The country as a whole, let alone the business community, just cannot be expected to continue in this state of limbo and a decision must be made about our countries future within or out of the EU.

Anyway, enough soap box!

We have less than 2 weeks to go before the Vintage Gunners Cup at Hausmann’s Hidden Hollow Sporting Clays in PA, USA and I have been working frantically to get all my new stock finished in time.

Bob Nay of MacNab Fine Firearms and I are really looking forward to this year’s VGC which is being held at a new venue to us both, not only because of the interest that has been generated for many of my lovely new stock guns, but also the chance this presents of meeting a whole different bunch of fellow double gun enthusiasts.

We will be sharing our group of four booths with J-P Daeschler who took over as CEO of John Dickson & Son and its other associated gunmaking names back in the spring. J-P will be there with information on the new guns that Dickson are making and also giving advice on their in-house restoration services for enthusiast’s guns. He will also be bringing a copy of the gun records and will be happy to research your gun while you wait!

So what lovely new eye-candy do I have for you this September?

Well, since the Southern S/S Classic in April we have completed the following:

A very pretty sidelever 12b hammergun retailed by Army & Navy. This gun has 30” damascus barrels with good MWT’s and a well figured 14 ½” original stock. 2 ½” nitro reproof.

Army & Navy 12b Sidelever Hammergun no 2688

Next is another hammergun, this time by that illustrious maker Boss & Co. This is a most unusual gun that uses bolting and forend catch mechanisms patented by established Birmingham gunmakers, rather than the ubiquitous Purdey Bolt and Scott Spindle. 30” TIG sleeved barrels and a fantastic, highly figured stock make this a truly wonderful gun that combines a quality name, an unusual (possibly unique) mechanism and beauty all in one package.

Boss & Co 12b Toplever Hammergun no. 3374


Then we have a trio of Woodwards: the first is the pair to a gun that I have in the USA already on consignment with MacNab Fine Firearms. It is an 1898 12b SLE with two sets of barrels, one a fixed choke 28” x 2 ¾” replacement pair by Chaplin, the other a 29” x 2 ¾” TIG sleeved set fitted with long series Teague choke tubes in four different choke sizes. The 15” replacement stock & forend is lovely figured walnut and the whole deal is cased in its leather double motor case, fitted for any of the barrels. This gun is available as an individual or as the complete pair at a reduced price.

J Woodward & Sons 12b SLE no. 5242

The other two Woodwards are a true pair from 1897. Cased in their original oak & leather case with accessories, they have their original 29” Whitworth steel barrels and highly figured wood. With over 50% original hardening colour they are real sleepers and would make someone a fantastic pair for game or flurry clays.

J Woodward & Sons 12b SLE no’s 5166/67


And then we come to guns already in the USA which will be on display at the Vintage Gunners Cup:

An 1892 Boss & Company 12b Sidelever SLE: lovely Sumner engraving and beautiful wood. Cased in Oak & Leather.

Boss & Co 12b SLE no 4217

As mentioned above, here is the other 1898 J Woodward toplever 12b SLE with two barrel sets, Teague chokes and Leather & Brass case blocked for both barrel sets.
J Woodward & Sons 12b SLE no 5241

This is the very interesting Holland & Holland No 2 Royal from 1892 that I have mentioned in previous Updates. Filling the gap between the 1st type Royal and the later No.2 Royal, it has features from both which makes it a very rare beast.

Holland & Holland 12b No 2 Royal no 14495 in its relined leather and brass case.

Holland & Holland 12b No 2 Royal no 14495

And this 1893 William Powell & Son SLE with non-functioning hammers is probably a completely unique gun, certainly by this highly respected gunmaker, and having the records confirm its original specification puts the icing on the cake.

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

Other guns on display will include:

Beautiful 16g SLNE by Holland & Holland, cased;
12b Bar-in-wood hammergun by William Powell & Son;
J Lang & Sons 12g SLE, cased:
1884 12g J Purdey & Sons Self-opening SLE, cased in oak & leather;
1st Type 12g H&H Royal SLE from 1891: 28” x 2 ¾” replacement steel barrels and 15” replacement stock;
12g hammergun by William Rochester Pape;
A lovely 12g 1890’s Underlever SLE by James Woodward and Sons, the ‘Automatic’ model, cased;
An 1889 12g H&H 1st Type Royal SLE, replacement wood and 28” x 2 ¾” steel barrels, beautiful gun;

I look forward to seeing you all at the Vintage Gunner’s Cup at Ernie Hausmann’s in PA 19th - 21st September.