Watson Bros, 4 Pall Mall, London
28 bore Back action Hammergun
no. 4606
Year of production: 1885-87

Click on these images for more detail.


Click on these images for more detail.

Heritage Guns' Comment

This gorgeous little gun is a fine example of how good Watson Bros were at making the smallbore sporting hammerguns often purchased for children in the last quarter of the 19th Century. Somehow it has survived for some 125 years in the most fantastic original condition and is one of the most significant 'sleepers' that we have had the fortune to handle.
One interesting feature of this gun is the rare usage of a snap version of the famous Anson forend fastener. This uses the complete patent but omits the push rod, using ramps on the bolt and loop to effect a snap fastening.
We have had to do relatively little to this gun, in fact we were very impressed with its internal condition, but we have had it reproofed for 2 ¾" cartridges, had the ribs re-laid, put on a leather recoil pad, replaced a few pins and given it a thorough once-over.
We are really delighted to be able to offer this little gem and believe it will make the lucky owner a fantastic gun for woodcock or quail.
Presented in a canvas and leather trim guncase with reproduction trade label.



The action is of traditional design and features:
60-70% Original hardening colour;
Double triggers;
Back action, bar-locks;
Sprung strikers;
Rebounding, low level hammers;
Top lever opening, operating a 'Purdey Bolt' by way of a 'Scott Spindle';
Passive top rib extension
and Anson's patent snap-on forend.
Gun weight 4lb 8oz
Engraving styl
e Best Bold Bouquet and Scroll.
Trigger pulls measure approximately: Front trigger 3 1/2 lbs Rear trigger 4 lb
The original Damascus barrels are 24" in length, chambered for 2 3/4 " (70mm) cartridges and are of brazed 'dovetail' lump construction with soft soldered ribs.
Top rib
is of the smooth, concave, game type.
London reproof for 70mm nitro powder cartridges in 2014.

Approximate barrel measurements at date of publication:

Nominal Proof Size
Bore Diameter 9" from Breech
Minimum Wall Thickness
Choke Constriction
Right Barrel
14.0mm (0.551")
0.022+ (Full)
Left Barrel
14.0mm (0.551")
0.022+ (Full)

Straight hand grip Stock and Splinter Forend
are crafted from highly figured walnut. The snap-on forend features an engraved steel tip, the stock has well defined drop-points and is finished with a ¾" leather recoil pad. The stock is lightly cast-off for a right-handed shot.

Highly figured walnut

The approx 22 lines per inch chequering has been cut to normal bar-action sidelock pattern.
The stocks are finished with a traditional linseed oil based preparation as used on best guns by one of the top English makers. This finish uses no grain fillers to achieve its deep, smooth lustre, only many hours of alternate build and flatting off of the surface.

Approximate stock measurements at date of publication (No.1/No.2):

Pull to Heel
Pull to Bump
Pull to Centre
Pull to Toe
14 1/4"
14 1/2"
14 3/8"
14 3/4"
Drop at Comb
Drop at Face
Drop at Heel
1 3/8"
1 1/2"
1 3/4"
Cast at Comb
Cast at Heel
1/16" (approximate)
1/8" (approximate)

For the purposes of these measurements, 'Drop at Face' is the 'drop' measurement taken on a line perpendicular to the
line joining the trigger and centre of the butt at approximately 8" from the trigger (front trigger on a double trigger gun).

Patents Exhibited include:
Stanton's rebounding lock patent no. 367 of 1867;
'Purdey Bolt' patent no. 1104 of 1863;
'Scott Spindle' patent no. 2752 of 1865;
Anson's forend fastener patent no. 3791 of 1872.