Antique and Obsolete Calibre
The antique guns, pistols and rifles offered in the Antiques section are covered by Section 58 (2) of the Firearms Act and may be owned without a Firearms Licence or Shotgun Certificate as long as there is no attempt or intention to use them. If they are to be used, even occasionally, they must be held on the appropriate licence.
The deactivated firearms may be purchased and held without a licence.
Rare Revolving Percussion Rifle with Take Down Stock
A rare and interesting percussion revolving rifle. The 31" barrel is of fine damascus twist and is in excellent external condition - presumably re browned, but to a high standard. The bore is approximately 60 bore, and takes a patched ball of .40". The rifling is in good condition, but not perfect. There are two folding leaf sights. The action is an over hammer of the pepperbox type and is self cocking, rotating the cylinder concurrently. The barrel is retained by a single Colt type wedge. The six shot cylinder is blued and the nipples are in good order. The barrel and the cylinder have clear Birmingham proof marks. The action side plates have small foliate engraving but no makers name. The stock is removable by a simple twist. The stock has an attractive grain and is in good order. The pistol grip is chequered and this looks to be the original chequering. Revolving rifles of a similar type are rare but have been produced by Lang, and some marked with "Langs Patent". This rifle is an accurate shooter, but the over hammer action means there is little between the exploding caps and the shooters face, so glasses are a must if it were to be used. A rare and high quality rifle which warrants further research.
Torador Matchlock Musket
A Matchlock Torador Musket. These were common across the Indian sub continent for hundreds of years. Introduced to the area by Portuguese in the late 15th Century, they were quickly copied by local craftsmen, and due to their simplicity they stayed popular until the end of the 19th Century. This example is from the first half of the 19th Century. Approx 32 bore, 47" sighted barrel has a flared muzzle with decoration. The barrel is retained by 4 bands and the original iron loading rod is present. The teak stock is of the tiller style and is in sound condition. The "gate" trigger operated correctly. In much better shape than most and complete with the match holder and sling loops.
Maufacture D Armes Model 1866-74 M80 Gras Artillery Carbine
French national pride took a big hit in the Franco Prussian War and the nation was determined not to be humiliated again. To this end the breach loading Cassepot Rifle, with it's self consuming linen round was converted into a modern centrefire bolt action rifle - The Model 1874 deigned by Captain Basile Gras. The design saw much service in the French empire, particularly in North Africa as well as in second line units in the First World War. This single shot bolt action rifle fired an 11 x 59mm round and came into service around the same time as the British Martini Henry. Both rifles had very similar rounds and ballistic performance. Some Gras rifles were built from scratch but the Model 1866-74 designation on this carbine length example shows it was a conversion from the earlier Chassepot. The M80 markings show it has the groves cut in the receiver to permit gas to escape in the event of a ruptured primer. Carbine length weapons were issued to the cavalry, but those with a bayonet lug would have been artillery or Gendarmerie issue - the cavalry still preferring the sabre. This example is an artillery issue with the 20.05" barrel. The carbine is in presentable order. There are some small repairs to the fore end where the wood had been replaced. This has been carried out to a good standard but a bit of work could match the colour more closely. The barrel has a decent bore with it's 4 groove rifling still reasonably sharp. It comes with an 1881 St Etienne engraved bayonet. This has a 20 1/2" "T" section blade, an iron hooked quillon, and wood handle with brass fitments.
16 bore Pinfire Single Barrel Shotgun
A single barrel pinfire shotgun. This gun is in a straight and honest condition and has not been mucked abut with. It has much of it's original finish on the barrel and action. There are Leige proof marks. The side thumb lever catch to open the action works as it should, as does the hammer, holding at full and half cock. An original gun from the early days of breech loading.
8 Bore Flintlock Fowling Piece
An 8 Bore single barrel flintlock fowling piece. The octagonal to round barrel has a hooked breech and is 35 3/4" in length. The lock is of the Brown Bess type and has rubbed or obscured markings suggesting the lock and furniture all came from a Brown Bess. The half stock is chequered at the wrist. The lock spring and frizzen are strong and the cock holds properly at half and full cock. There is a wooden ram rod.
A percussion blunderbuss - a likely conversion from a shotgun. The 13" barrel has been swaged out from 12 bore to a final muzzle opening of 1.1" . The muzzle is ringed with a brass sleeve which is decorated with engraving. The barrel is retained by a wedge with white metal escutcheons and has Birmingham proof marks. The lock is engraved with a foliate design and has the name "Bentley" faintly visible. This would appear to be a later addition and may be the person who converted it from a shotgun, or the retailer of the gun. The lock has a strong spring and actions correctly. The stock is free for splits or significant damage and is generally in good condition with decently clean chequering and a good colour. The ram road is present, but is a likely replacement, but possibly of some vintage. A percussion blunderbuss may have been used anytime from the first half of the 19th century through to the start of the 20th. The simplicity of design, reliability with percussion ignition and the low cost kept them as favourable weapons for self defence and for protection of goods in transit. The devastating effectiveness of a 12 bore blunderbuss needs no explanation.
Huge 6 Bore Rampart Gun
Rampart, or Wall Guns were a bridge between infantry weapons and artillery. Their typical used would be providing defensive fire from a fortified position at a greater range than normal infantry weapons were capable of. The long barrels would give good accuracy with a heavy slug. In offensive actions it could be mounted on a large wheeled trolley. This example is thought to be continental and has an impressive 6 bore barrel which is over 72" - that is over 6 feet long! The damascus twist barrel is very heavy and has tremendously thick walls, measuring .375" at the muzzle. The bore is remarkably tidy for an old military weapon, but using a normal bore light is ambitious! The second picture shows a conventional 12 bore game gun by way of comparison. This really is a two man weapon and such is it's size that I would not post it out. It does fit in a large car with the seats down, and I may be able to deliver it myself. It would look very impressive if you have a wall big enough on which to hang it.