James Woodward & Sons, 64 St James's Street, London
12 bore Back Action Hammergun
no. 3306. No 1 of a pair.

Year of manufacture: 1875.

Click on these images for more detail.

Heritage Guns' Comment

Any gun by James Woodward is relatively rare and exclusive but hammerguns are particularly rare and this fine example of the Woodward and Emme patent is a real find. No doubt invented to get round the classic Purdey Bolt patent of 1863, this patent uses the rear lump bite of the Purdey Bolt combined with twin lateral projections on the front lump to, in effect, give a treble bite action. Also rather than use the long flat spring of the Purdey patent, it uses a shorter 'V' spring mounted in front of the trigger box.
The gun has been TIG sleeved as the original damascus barrels were way beyond saving and this coupled with the sensitive restoration makes it a very pretty, safe and highly 'shootable' gun for either game or clays.
Presented in a contemporary Oak & Leather case with some accessories and a reproduction Maker's label.


The action is of traditional design and features:
Double triggers;
Stanton rebounding, back action locks with high 'Hare's Ears' hammers;
Percussion fences;
Sidelever, operating a modified 'Purdey' type bolt;
Cross bolt/Wedge forend fastening.
Engraving style Very Best Foliate Scroll.
Rounded action bar with the under-bar engraved 'WOODWARD PATENT'.
Gun weight 6lb 10oz
Trigger pulls measure approximately: Front trigger 3 ¼ lbs Rear trigger 4 ¼ lbs
The TIG sleeved barrels are 28" in length, chambered for 2 ¾" (70mm) cartridges and are of brazed 'dovetail' lump construction with soft soldered ribs.
Top rib is of the smooth, concave game type.
Birmingham reproof for 70mm nitro powder cartridges in 2017.

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")
0.013" (IC)
Left Barrel
18.4mm (0.724")
0.021" (Mod)

The original Straight Hand Stock and Splinter Forend are crafted from highly figured walnut. The stock is cast off for a right-handed shot, features a white metal oval engraved with entwined letters (indistinct) and is finished with a 1 3/8" leather covered recoil pad. The forend has two inlet repairs to its edge and a finely engraved steel tip.
The 20 lines per inch chequering has been freshened 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.

Highly Figured Walnut

Approximate stock measurements at date of publication:

Pull to Heel
Pull to Bump
Pull to Centre
Pull to Toe
14 3/4"
14 3/4"
14 5/8"
14 7/8"
Drop at Comb
Drop at Face
Drop at Heel
1 5/8"
1 15/16"
2 7/8"
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:

Stanton's rebounding lock patent no. 367 of 1867,
Woodward & Emme bolting patent no. 267 of 1872.