James Woodward & Sons, 64 St James's Street, London SW
12 bore Bar Action Sidelock Ejector
'The Automatic'
no. 5242
(No. 2 of a Pair)
Date of Manufacture: 1898

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Heritage Guns' Comment

I have had the huge privilege to work on several of these Woodward ‘Automatic’ sidelock ejectors and have always been impressed by the shear, uncompromising quality of the gunmaking. Gun no 5242 displays some styling features of earlier guns such as the bolstered tumbler pivots, classic Woodward engraving style and unique safety slide but has moved into the ‘modern’ era with wood ‘stocked to the fences’ and no breech side-clips. A very unusual feature is the ‘rebounding’ tumblers which ensure that the disc-set firing pins do not hang up. New stock and forend have been fitted by a highly experienced professional, probably within the last 50 years, and they did a beautiful job, removing only the bare minimum of material from behind lockplates and action to maintain maximum strength.
The original ‘Special Gun Barrel Steel’ barrels had become painfully thin by 1972 which explains the additional steel barrels by Chaplin of Winchester. Engraving remained wonderfully crisp on locks, action and barrels and the main focus of our restoration has been to TIG sleeve the original 29” barrels, replace pins and have interchangeable long-series Teague chokes fitted. It should be noted that the 28” barrels are quite thin and should be rejointed to the action before use.
Presented in a leather double motor case, blocked for either sets of barrels and fitted with reproduction case label, spare Teague chokes, Teague choke key and some accessories. This gun’s fabulous condition coupled with our light-touch restoration makes it a very useable, safe and highly collectable gun for either game or clays.
Note: The pair to this gun (no. 5241) is identical in every way and they are currently offered for sale as a true pair or as individual guns.


Excellent value at only 10790

 

The action is of traditional sidelock design and features:
Two barrel sets: 28” fixed choke & 29” Teague choked;
Toplever opening, operating a double bite ‘Purdey Bolt’ via a ‘Scott Spindle’;
Double triggers bolted by an automatic, top tang, Woodward-style safety slide;
Bar action, 9 pin sidelocks with bolstered tumbler pivots;
Robertson style interceptor sears;
Gold lined cocking indicators;
Rebounding tumblers;
Vented disc-set strikers;
‘Perkes’ ejector box;
‘Anson’ forend catch;
Arcaded fences.
Engraving style Very best foliate scroll. Very probably engraved by Sumner. Breech face stamped ‘THE AUTOMATIC’ TRADE MARK’. Gold inlaid ‘SAFE’. Top rib, toplever and forend tip gold inlaid ‘1’. Action flats stamped ‘JAMES WOODWARD & SONS’. Top rib engraved ‘MADE OF SPECIAL GUN BARREL STEEL’
Gun weight
6lb 13oz (29”)   /   6lb 10oz (28”)    
Trigger pulls
measure approximately: Front trigger 3 lbs, Rear trigger 4 lbs.
The TIG sleeved steel barrels are 29" in length with 4 x Teague chokes, the additional steel barrels by BE Chaplin are 28" in length and have fixed chokes. Both sets of barrels are chambered for 2 ” (70mm) cartridges and are of dovetail lump construction with soft soldered ribs.
Top rib
s are of the smooth, concave game type.
Birmingham reproof for 2 ” nitro powder cartridges in 2019 (29”) & 2018 (28”)

Approximate barrel measurements at date of publication:

 
Nominal Proof Size
Bore Diameter 9"
from Breech
Minimum Wall Thickness
Choke Constriction

28" Brls Right/Left

Both18.6mm(0.732")
Both 0.736"
0.019"/0.018"
0.020”/0.030” (Mod/IM)

29" Brls Right/Left

18.5mm (0.728")
18.4mm (0.724")
0.729"/0.727"
0.031"/0.032"
Teague Sk/IC/Mod/IM

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

Highly Figured Walnut

The approx. 22 lines per inch chequering has been refreshed to its original pattern.
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"
15 1/4"
15 3/16"
15 1/2"
Drop at Comb
Drop at Face
Drop at Heel
1 5/8"
1 11/16"
2 1/4"
Cast-off at Comb
Cast-off at Heel
1/8" (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:
 
'Purdey Bolt' patent no. 1104 of 1863;
 'Scott Spindle' patent no. 2752 of 1865;

Perkes ejector patent no. 12176 of 1887;
Anson forend fastener patent no. 3791 of 1872.