James Woodward & Sons,
64 St James's Street, London
12 bore Bar Action Sidelock Ejector
no. 4988 (No 1 of a Pair)
Year of manufacture: 1896

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Heritage Guns' Comment

A highly experienced gunsmith to the English guntrade told me once that he rated James Woodward's shotguns over all other 'Makers. This gun exhibits Best design and finish in every respect. It is very likely that this gun was actioned in John Robertson's workshop (of Boss & Co fame) as it uses his favoured style of internal action layout and interceptor sears.
This gun was built using the 'Thomas Perkes' ejector box: a direct competitor to Westley Richard's Deeley system. In fact the two mechanisms were so similar, the two companies fought a court action over it which Richards lost. Perkes may have won the battle but he lost the war: the court costs bankrupted him.
In the recent past, the stock and forend wood have been professionally replaced with some lovely timber.
The engraving is really in first class condition and this combined with sensible barrel dimensions and spectacular wood, makes it a very pretty, safe and highly 'shootable' gun for either game or clays. Presented in a relined contemporary Oak & Leather case with some accessories and a reproduction Maker's trade label.



The action is of traditional design and features:
Double triggers bolted by an automatic, top tang safety slide of classic Woodward style;
9 Pin bar action sidelocks with bolstered tumbler pivots and gold lined cocking indicators;
Disc-set strikers with vented retaining pins;
'Robertson' style interceptor sears;
'Rogers' style cocking levers;
Toplever opening, operating a 'Purdey Bolt' by way of a Scott Spindle;
'Perkes' ejector box, tripped by slides operated by Purdey style tumbler bosses;
'Anson' forend catch;
Side clips and arcaded fences.
Engraving style Very Best Foliate Scroll. Gold inlaid SAFE at slide and '1' on top rib and toplever.
Very probably engraved by Kell or Sumner.
Gun weight 6lb 11oz
Trigger pulls measure approximately: Front trigger 3 ¼ lbs, Rear trigger 4 lbs
The TIG sleeved, chopperlump Whitworth Fluid Pressed Steel barrels are 28" in length, chambered for 2 ¾" (70mm) cartridges and are of brazed chopperlump construction
with soft soldered ribs.
Top rib is of the smooth, concave game type.
London reproof for 70mm nitro powder cartridges in 1997.

Approximate barrel measurements at date of publication:

Nominal Proof Size
Bore Diameter 9" from Breech
Minimum Wall Thickness
Choke Constriction
Right Barrel
18.4mm (0.724")
Left Barrel
18.4mm (0.724")

The replacement Straight Hand Stock and Splinter Forend are crafted from highly figured walnut and the stock is cast-off for a right-handed shot, features well defined drop points, a white metal oval engraved 'TPW' and is finished with a chequered butt.
The forend
has a finely engraved steel tip.

Highly Figured walnut

The approx. 24 lines per inch chequering has been refreshed to its traditional 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
15 1/4"
15 3/8"
15 1/4"
15 5/8"
Drop at Comb
Drop at Face
Drop at Heel
1 3/8"
1 5/8"
2 3/8"
Cast-off at Comb
Cast-off at Heel
1/16" (approximate)
1/4" (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:
Roger's cocking levers patent no 397 of 1882;
'Purdey Bolt' patent no. 1104 of 1863;
'Scott Spindle' patent no. 2752 of 1865;
Perkes ejector patent no 12176 of 1887;
Anson's forend fastener patent no. 3791 of 1872.