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.
Manton and Co. .500" 3 1/4" Black Powder Express Double Hammer Rifle
A classic double hammer rifle from the days of empire and exploration. The .500" Black Powder Express round was a highly regarded round and one used for a grate variety of quarry. Greener, in hid "The Gun and it's Development" wrote of the .500 Express that is was considered the most effective all round weapon for hunting in India with great smashing power, good penetration and not too cumbrous to cover moving game. The typical bullet would be 340 grains and this would be propelled by 130 grains of black powder. Greener adds the rifle has an effective range of 300 yards and a point blank range of 130 yards. Rifles of this calibre were used on soft skinned dangerous game and also on all manner of deer species. This example is by Manto and Co; famous as suppliers of firearms and equipment to the officers and servants of the crown across the empire. The bores are very presentable and the outside of the 27" barrels generally presentable but with some light pitting on the underside. The locks are rebounding. There is some pitting on the surfaces of the lock plates and the action - this is of the type often associated with being stored wrapped in a cloth which has become damp. The foliate engraving and the name "Manton and Co." are still clearly visible. The action shuts up tightly with it's Jones rotary grip. Brass cases for this calibre are available and their impressive size makes an impressive display.
Huge Rampart/Wall gun modified to a Punt Gun, and converted to Percussion.
This gun has a 72 1/2" barrel of approximately 6 Bore. It would have likely started life as a wall or rampart gun, and dates from somewhere in the mid 1700s. The barrel has London proof marks. At an unknown time the stock has been cut down to make a punt gun style grip and the lock was converted from Flintlock to a Percussion system with a snail type drum. The gun is currently in it's wildfowling livery of matt grey but with the various plates strengthening, or repairing the stock cleaned up to look smart. The gun has a modern tripod which serves well for display purposes, which accepts the hinged peg clamped to the barrel. A very impressive bit of history that includes both military and wildfowling elements. It does need a decent size wall to hang on!
Double Flintlock 28 bore
A double flintlock 28 bore sporting gun. The hexagonal to round barrels are 30" long and have decent bores. externally the barrels are well finished and free from pitting and dents. The stock has a 14 1/4" reach. The walnut has some signs of old worm but is solid and sound. The fore stock has two old repairs to splits on the edge joining the barrel, but again these are sound and appear strong. The locks hold properly on full and half cock and the flints spark well against the frizzen. The lock is engraved with "Du Chafars" or "Du Chefars". I cannot find any reference to his name, but the name, and the style of the gun strongly suggest french manufacture from the early 19th Century. The furniture is brass and the well fitting ram road is probably a replacement.
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.
12 Bore Percussion Sporting Gun
A 12 bore single barrel percussion gun. The 31" barrel has a tidy bore and a very attractive browned damascus twist. The breech end of the barrel has a flattened top and sides and the top leads to an engraved sunburst some 6" from the breech. The barrel has Birmingham proof marks. The lock has foliate engraving but no makers name. The stock is in good condition and has clean deep chequering and is free from splits or losses. There is a horn fore end tip and the original loading rod, complete with its brass threaded removable tip and covered worm.
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.