J Williamson, 3 Bridge Road, Stockton on Tees, Co Durham
12 bore Rotary Underlever Hammergun
No visible number
Year of production: pre-1887

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Heritage Guns' Comment

This gun is a lovely example of the famous Jones' Rotary Underlever that was so commonly used on all types of break action guns right up until the early 20th Century. This gun's unusual feature is the fabulous engraving that covers near all metal surfaces, reminiscent of such famous London gunmakers as FT Baker and Churchill.
Another interesting feature is the extraordinarily fine damascus barrels: I have only once before seen such a fine pattern and that was on a Stephen Grant pigeon hammergun. An interesting feature of the barrels is that they are engraved 'Erskine's Patent' by the lumps. Erskine's only gunmaking patent was for a slide and tilt mechanism which this is not and one can only guess at what the engraving refers to.
The locks, supplied by 'Joseph Brazier Ashes' and built on the Southgate patent, are of a lovely quality and the action back is stamped with an unidentified maker's mark: a crossed gun and rod with the initials RR in the angles.
All the above, coupled with excellent barrel and stock dimensions, makes her a very pretty and safe gun for either game or clays.



The action is of traditional design and features:
Double triggers;
Percussion fences;
Bar action rebounding locks;
Medium height, facetted hammers;
Rotary Underlever;
Finely sculpted action bar;
Deeley & Edge forend catch.
There is an antique repair to the forward end of the triggerguard where is screws into the action.
This has been closely inspected and found to be sound.

Engraving style Best Foliate Scroll
Gun weight 6lb 12oz
Trigger pulls measure approximately: Front trigger 3 lbs Rear trigger 3 ¾ lb
The very fine damascus barrels are 30" in length, chambered for 2 ¾" (70mm) cartridges and are of brazed 'dovetail' lump construction with soft soldered ribs.
Top rib is of smooth, concave game type.
Birmingham reproof for 70mm nitro powder cartridges in 2015.

Approximate barrel measurements at date of publication:

Nominal Proof Size
Bore Diameter 9" from Breech
Minimum Wall Thickness
Choke Constriction
Right Barrel
18.6mm (0.732")
0.026" Minimum
0.07" (IC)
Left Barrel
18.5mm (0.728")
0.024" Minimum
0.05" (Skeet)

The Straight-hand Grip Stock and Splinter Forend (thought to be originals) are crafted from highly figured walnut.
The stock
features a skeleton butt plate, secured with engraved screws, a vacant white metal oval and is cast-off for a right-handed shot.
The forend
features a horn tip.

Highly figured walnut

The 20 lines per inch chequering has been refreshed to its original design.
The stock is 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:

Pull to Heel
Pull to Bump
Pull to Centre
Pull to Toe
14 1/4"
14 3/8"
14 3/8"
Drop at Comb
Drop at Face
Drop at Heel
1 11/16"
1 7/8"
2 1/4"
Cast at Comb
Cast at Heel
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;
Jones rotary underlever patent no. 2040 of 1859;
Deeley & Edge forend fastener patent no. 1422 of 1873.