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Rare Square Back Trigger Guard Colt Navy

This is a very good example of a very early square back trigger guard Colt Navy revolver manufactured in 36 calibre.

In Patrick Swayze's excellent Tome titled "51 Colt Navies published in 1967 he states

The design of the square back trigger guard was probably made with the question of appearance alone in mind, for it certainly does not does not seem to have any useful or practical value. In fact, it would seem that such a design would be highly impractical because of the chances of the pointed rear of the trigger guard proper becoming fouled in the holster, or pocket, from which it was being drawn. The square back design is attributed to Colonel Talcot of the Ordnance Department of the U.S. Army, who seemed to have a fondness of the symmetry and beauty of the design. Since Colonel Talcot had much to do with the purchase of handguns for U. S. Army - a potential purchase of some size - Sam Colt was certainly one to cater to the whims of those who could help him sell his handguns; so the square back trigger guard it was! The story is that when Colonel Talcot was convicted by a court(s) martial, Colt immediately discontinued his production of the square back design and changed to the small rounded trigger guard.

This particular revolver has an excellent bore, and is mechanically sound with all matching serial numbers on the arbour, rammer, butt, frame and cylinder. The wedge has a different number but is contemporary and with a number close to the revolver.
The action is tight and although the finish is faded away there is some silver plating extant in protected areas. The revolver has a strong mainspring and cocks and locks perfectly, the latch spring on the rammer is particularly tight. There is evidence of the cylinder safety stops and they have not been totally worn away as is often seen. My view is this was a working gun that was well looked after by the state of the bore and I would say that it could have been issued to some official body.
There is an inspectors stamp "G" below the frame serial number stamp.
The 7.5" barrel is roll stamped with the early address
"-Address Saml Colt -New-York City-"
The I of the city is extant and this indicates an early revolver as this eventually wore out and examples stamped C TY are not unusual.
The brass square back trigger guard indicates it is one of less than 1000 manufactured and given survival rates is a difficult Colt to find for any collection.
Expect to pay at least 50% more for an example with any original finish left.
A desirable revolver.

Code: 50547

3900.00 GBP

Shortlist item
Extraordinary Jones Percussion Shotgun circa 1830

This is an extraordinary beautiful and rare gun.
This percussion sporting shotgun was manufactured by Jones a maker to HRH Prince Albert. The shotgun has an overall length of 47”, the barrel length is 29.5” “ and the gun weighs 7 pounds. The bore is approximately 16 gauge and it features London proofs.
The gun is in museum quality condition and features Gardner locks. The Gardner patent was designed to protect the shooter from fragmenting percussion caps and also to prevent the caps from falling off when carrying the gun loaded in the field which was a common occurrence. The design is straight forward. The percussion cap is placed on the nipple after the hammer is cocked and then a spring loaded “top hat” is lowered over the cap to completely cover it. The hammers of the gun have flat faces and when they drop they hit the “top hat” covering the percussion cap and transferring enough energy to ignite the cap. Gardner was a gunsmith based in Newcastle upon Tyne.
This beautiful shotgun features gold inlays on the Knox and a gold “London” square escutcheon adjacent to the inlays. The finely chequered wrist features a vacant silver escutcheon and the fore end features a silver pineapple finial. The barrels have a breath-taking Damascus finish as can be seen. The stock features a cheek pad, not unusual for an early shotgun, and the wrist has good chequering.
Quite why Jones decided to fit Gardner locks to this gun is a mystery as he was a great innovator himself, holding several patents for “waterproof” locks and a clever dual ignition system, an example of which I sold last year. The application of the Gardner patent was short lived with rapid improvements being made to the quality of percussion caps by several makers.
This gun was previously misdescribed by an auction house as being a converted flintlock, probably because of the external spring of the Gardner mechanism. It is not a conversion and is in a condition as close as it could be to the original manufacture.
This shotgun is quite stunning and would take pride of place in any percussion arms collection.

Code: 50545

4950.00 GBP

Shortlist item
Matched pair of pocket pistols by H Nock circa 1790.

This is a very good pair of matched flintlock turnoff pistols made by Henry Nock of London.
A good example of Nock's general trade work the pistol locks are engraved "H Nock" on one side and "London" on the other and exhibit London proof marks.

Nock was a prolific inventor and is best known for his formidable multi-barrelled volley guns which were purchased by the Royal Navy and in recent years brought back to public notice by the TV series Sharpe in which Sergeant Harper carries a Nock Volley Gun. There is an interesting and erudite article on Nock and his volley guns in the Gun Report magazine of October 1967.

Code: 50500

1650.00 GBP

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Iconic EV11 SMLE BSA rifle dated 1908

This is a very good pre-war Enfield Mk 111 complete with volley sights and magazine cut-off. BSA manufactured in 1908 this is the quintessential SMLE issued before the reality and rigours of WW1 revealed that the idea of Volley sights to fire at Cavalry at a distance and magazine cut-offs to save ammunition were really memories of the past and not relevant in the 20th Century.
The owner tells me it was re-barrelled and reproofed by Fultons in the 1970's and has seen little service since. This is both a shooters rifle and a wonderful historical artefact.
There are several cartouches and numbers on the butt. Overall a very tidy rifle and all changes admitted.

I can deliver to your RFD for £25 and I will be exhibiting at the Northern Shooting Show at Harrogate and Bisley in May.

Section 1 will require a FAC

Code: 50544

1050.00 GBP

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Good Stevens "Favorite" Boys Rifle

Another really good example of a Stevens Favourite or Boys rifle in obsolete 25 Stevens Calibre. wood and metalwork and difficult to better this pleasing looking little rifle. I will include an inert 25 Stevens calibre round for display purposes.This is a take down rifle and disassembles in seconds. There is a lot of original finish on this rifle.

Stevens Arms was founded by Joshua Stevens with help from backers W.B. Fay and James Taylor in Chicopee Falls, MA, in 1864 as J. Stevens & Co. Their earliest product was a tip-up action single shot pistol.
Business was slow into 1870, when Stevens occupied a converted grist mill and had just sixty employees. The 1873 Panic had a further negative impact on sales. By 1876 the company had recovered to the extent that it was then manufacturing twice the number of shotguns as it had been prior to that year. In 1883 they purchased the Massachusetts Arms Company which Joshua Stevens had helped found in 1850.In 1886, the company was reorganized and incorporated as J. Stevens Arms & Tool Co. The business was able to grow steadily with tool manufacturing and sales now accounting for the bulk of the business output.
Stevens and Taylor were bought out in 1896 by I.H. Page, who was one of the new partners and the bookkeeper. Page led the company to significant growth, such that by 1902 Stevens had 900 employees and was considered one of the top sporting firearms manufacturers in the world. In 1901, Stevens entered into a partnership with J. Frank Duryea to produce the Stevens-Duryea automobile manufactured at a separate facility also in Chicopee Falls, MA. In 1915, Stevens led the U.S. arms business in target and small game guns.
On May 28, 1915 Stevens was purchased by New England Westinghouse, a division of Westinghouse Electric. New England Westinghouse was created specifically to fulfil a contract to produce 1.8 million Mosin-Nagant rifles for Czar Nicholas II of Russia for use in World War I. They needed a firearms manufacturing facility in order to accomplish this and chose Stevens. After the purchase they sold off the tool making division, halted production of Stevens-Duryea automobiles, and, on July 1, 1916, renamed the firearms division the J. Stevens Arms Company. When the Czar was deposed by the communists in 1917, New England Westinghouse was never paid and they fell into financial distress.They managed to sell most of the rifles to the U.S. Government and keep the Stevens firearms facility operational and did return to limited production of civilian firearms between 1917-1920 while looking for a buyer for Stevens.
Stevens was purchased by the Savage Arms Company on April 1, 1920 with Stevens operating as a subsidiary of Savage but in a semi-independent status until 1942.This merger made Savage the largest producer of arms in the United States at the time.8 After World War II they were renamed as Stevens Arms and sometimes identified as "Savage-Stevens" after 1948. In 1960 Savage closed the Stevens Arms facilities in Chicopee Falls and moved Stevens production to various Savage manufacturing sites. In 1991 the Stevens name was discontinued but was resurrected in 1999 as the brand name for Savage's budget line of rifles and shotguns.

Code: 50540

675.00 GBP

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Good 1886 Winchester underlever rifle.

This is another great design by John Moses Browning.
The Winchester Model 1886 was a lever-action repeating rifle designed by John Browning to handle some of the more powerful cartridges of the period. Originally chambered in .45-70, .45-90 WCF and .40-82 WCF, it was later offered in a half dozen other large cartridges, including the .50-110 Winchester.
The Model 1886 continued the trend towards chambering heavier rounds, and had an all-new and considerably stronger locking-block action than the toggle-link Model 1876. It was designed by John Moses Browning, who had a long and profitable relationship with Winchester from the 1880s to the early 1900s. William Mason also contributed, making some improvements to Browning's original design. In many respects the Model 1886 was a true American express rifle, as it could be chambered in the more powerful black powder cartridges of the day, proving capable of handling not only the .45-70 but also .45-90 and the huge .50-110 Express "buffalo" cartridges. The action was strong enough that a nickel-steel barrel was the only necessary modification needed to work with smokeless powder cartridges, and in 1903 the rifle was chambered for the smokeless high-velocity .33 WCF cartridge.
This particular rifle was manufactured in 45-90 calibre and has a factory standard 26" octagonal barrel. We know from the serial number we know it was manufactured in 1887 which ostensibly was the first full year of manufacture. The finish of the rifle has faded over 131 years but the mechanical action is fine and it has a good bore with no major problems. This is a typical “Cowboy” gun and would be used for both hunting game and for protection. This is a handsome looking rifle.
Section 1 License required price includes shipping to your RFD

Code: 50533

3600.00 GBP

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Good Hall's Military Breech loading Rifle

This is a good representative example of a Hall breech loading model 1841 rifle. The rifle functions flawlessly and has a good American Walnut stock and has a decent bore with no external issues of pitting. The rifle has the expected handling wear of a rifle 175 years old but is an attractive looking example of a scarce rifle seldom seen in the UK.
John Harris Hall (1781-1841) proved a potent inventor and forward-thinking gunsmith during his time. Aside from his contributions to mass production, Hall also designed and developed the M1819 Hall Rifle that bears his name (along with inventor Dr. William Thornton). Though a single-shot long gun at heart, the primary quality of this rifle was its patented breech-loading system which now allowed the operator to load/reload his weapon at the action as opposed to the muzzle. The shooter no longer was required to stand his weapon on its butt and engage in a time-consuming reloading process which also presented him as a target for the enemy. The M1819 Hall Rifle became the first breech-loading rifle in the world to be adopted in notable quantities by a national army that had the benefit of interchangeable parts and could truly be regarded as “mass produced”.
The first Hall rifle was a flintlock and Hall began limited production of his rifle until the US Army placed an order for 200 of the type to be delivered sometime in 1815. However, lacking the required manufacturing facilities to meet the government deadline, Hall turned down this commission. To address the issue, Hall began dissecting his rifle manufacturing process which could, at best, output approximately 50 units per year. This rethinking brought about a complete revision of the process which ultimately sped up production through use of interchangeable parts along an assembly line-type arrangement. With the streamlining initiative in place, Hall then approached Army authorities to revitalize the commission. Impressed, the US Army then placed a new order for 1,000 Hall Rifles in 1819 which earned them the designation of "Model of 1819" - otherwise "Model 1819". The guns were produced out of the Harpers Ferry Arsenal utilizing Hall's methodology.
At one point, the US Army sought to test the Hall breech-loading rifles against contemporary smoothbore muzzle loaders (with a target at 100 yards) and found them to be more accurate and with a higher rate-of-fire, giving US infantrymen a considerable tactical advantage for the period.
The Hall rifle features multiple groove shallow scratch rifling which was a considerable improvement on the conventional smooth bore muskets of the time.
The breech of the rifle is opened by the secondary trigger spur in front of the firing trigger and this flips open the chamber block to allow either powder or a paper cartridge and ball to be introduced.
The machining tolerances were very good considering the equipment available at the time but eventually wear would allow gas escape which was a later criticism of the rifle.
By the time of the American Civil War (1861-1865), the percussion cap principle was rapidly replacing the centuries-old flintlock action. The actions were somewhat similar in that old flintlock firearms could be converted to newer percussion cap forms through a bit of engineering. Percussion caps were less susceptible to weather and humidity and consequently more efficient and reliable.
The Model 1819 Hall Rifle saw a similar conversion as other guns in the lead-in to the Civil War, becoming the Model 1841 Hall Rifle. Paper cartridges, holding the propellant, and a .69 Ball were now in use. However, the life cycle of the rifle was quickly drawing to a close after several decades of consistent service. Many infantry also still preferred muzzle-loading weapons due to availability and familiarity. Hall Rifles did, however, still see use in the conflict before given up for good - all manner of guns and artillery were pressed into service by both the North and South - either produced in American factories or acquired form Europe. In all, 23,500 Model 1819 Hall Rifles were produced.
This is an interesting rifle and an important design in the development of the modern military rifle.

Code: 50516

2950.00 GBP

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Winchester Model 1897 Shotguns.

I seldom feature licensed guns on this website but Winchester 1897 shotguns are interesting and collectible and are an exception to this rule.

All of these Winchester 1897’s are recently proofed but in their original magazine capacity which will require a Section 1 authority or Firearms Certificate to possess but I can arrange to have any of them professionally restricted and a proof house limitation certificate issued to allow them to be held on a standard shotgun certificate.

Code: 50478


Marlin XXX tip up revolver circa 1875.

Decent little Marlin XXX Standard tip up revolver in very scarce 30 RF calibre. This calibre proved very unpopular as it was said it could not perforate a wet overcoat!
This brass framed revolver is mechanically sound and an interesting item for Marlin collectors or collectors of pocket pistols.

Code: 50505

600.00 GBP

Shortlist item
Smith and Wesson Model 1.1/2 revolver civil war era

Civil War era Smith & Wesson model 1.1/2 in 32 rimfire.
Mechanically sound and solid example, some external pitting as can be seen but a decent example for the money.

Code: 50504


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