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Cogswell & Harrison - Avant Tout Age


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Hi Chaps,

 

Picked one of these up recently and have been struggling to find an age from the information on the serial numbers available online. I understand C & G didn't have much of a logical numbering systerm.

 

Does anyone have a book that could confirm the age for me?

 

Serial Number is: 25903

 

Thanks,

 

 

Studley

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Thats certainly a lot older than I anticipated. Its a hammerless boxlock and i'm certain its a made in Birmingham, finshed London version of a 'London Gun'.

 

Where are you in Bucks Bruno? I've recently moved to WInslow so trying to get round to the clay grounds before the season starts. Do you know of any worthwhile shoots that are on this weekend in Bucks?

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Give me the proper explanation of "an avant toute"..........................please

 

"Avant tout" was a trade name devised by C&H and literally means "above all" or "before all others".

Most of the Avant tout guns that I`ve seen have a sunken top rib.

 

Not quite sure where Brno22rf got his information regarding a hammer ejector ! If it was a hammer ejector (which it clearly isn`t) it would be worth good money if in good condition.

 

Agree that the serial number indicates a date of 1897-98

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Hi Chaps,

 

Picked one of these up recently and have been struggling to find an age from the information on the serial numbers available online. I understand C & G didn't have much of a logical numbering systerm.

 

Does anyone have a book that could confirm the age for me?

 

Serial Number is: 25903

 

Thanks,

 

 

Studley

If you google Cogswell & Harrison, there is a link on their website where you fill in the details of your gun i.e. serial number, and they will let you know of its provenance. They used to charge a nominal fee for a printed/posted version, so not sure about current cost of this service.

 

Hope that this helps

 

OB

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I think Cogswell and Harrison were one of the few London makers, other than the very top ones, that could reasonably claim to be genuine London makers - as in they had a factory in London and did most of the work in house, I think I read (probably in one of Diggory Hadoake's books) that they only bought in the barrel tubes - possibly from Belgium.

 

If I remember correctly 'Avant Tout' describes the Cogswell variation of the standard Anson & Deeley boxlock that utilises a barrel-mounted coil spring ejector mechanism. There seems to have been loads of variations and Cogswell had lots of different named models, some of which were Avant Tout type and some not.

 

I particularly like the 'Extra Quality Victor' models with the engraved sideplates. Very nice.

 

If the OP gets a chance a pic or two would be appreciated - always nice to see an old English gun in use.

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Hi Chaps,

 

Picked one of these up recently and have been struggling to find an age from the information on the serial numbers available online. I understand C & G didn't have much of a logical numbering systerm.

 

Does anyone have a book that could confirm the age for me?

 

Serial Number is: 25903

 

Thanks,

 

 

Studley

Be interested to see some pics

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Your gun was built in the latter half of 1897 and retailed for 22 gns it also came in three models the standard model with double triggers , the live pigeon model , and the single trigger model I have enclosed some images from C&H catalogue of 1900.hope this is off some help

Feltwad.

The Avant Tout sxs

100_1440_zps6d9smcrf.jpg

The Victor sxs

100_1438_zpsmakjpp0n.jpg

 

Cogswell &Harrison Cartridges

100_1443_zpsa4qq28hk.jpg

Edited by Feltwad
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  • 3 years later...

Hi,

just picked up on this thread, just purchased a 20 bore avant tout. From what I know the term "avant tout" refers to their models with an easy-opening system. When I was in my teens and twenties (quite a while ago!) there where quite a few of these about and they had an undeserved reputation for unreliability. They were misunderstood by a lot of jobbing country gunsmiths apparently, it's more difficult to understand their workings than an ordinary boxlock so there was quite a few botched repairs which reflected badly on what is an excellent mass-produced, genuine London-made gun. They are still under-appreciated, if you get one that's been cared for they are great value for money!

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  • 1 year later...

I have a Cogswell and Harrison serial number 27119. It is a 16 ga box lock with side plates. Has an original hard case for one gun, but the gun is marked number two. The gun is nicely engraved.

An owners name on the case is Thornycroft.  Can anyone tell me when it was made, or any history?

Thanks, Terry

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13 hours ago, terry taylor said:

I have a Cogswell and Harrison serial number 27119. It is a 16 ga box lock with side plates. Has an original hard case for one gun, but the gun is marked number two. The gun is nicely engraved.

An owners name on the case is Thornycroft.  Can anyone tell me when it was made, or any history?

Thanks, Terry

Welcome to pigeon watch Terry.

According to Nigel Brown’s book serial No.27119 was made between 1900 & 1901.

It lists gun No. 26177 as 1900 and 27445 as 1901.

Hope this helps.

Any chance of posting some photos of your gun ?

Thanks,

OB

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Cogswell's built guns in there own factory based on Edgar Harrisons design , a variation on the Anson and Deeley pattern . They were designed for large production utilising a lot of machine work . They came in different grades , some side plated , in both ejector and non ejector .In later years they did a lot of modifying in am attempt to make a largely machine made gun these to be honest like the Greener Empire guns were never really successful and IMHO are best avoided .

Early models made for black powder had lighter weight actins which did get a reputation for cracking when later used with nitro powders , so the actions were strengthened .These were marked as " steel" as opposed to "iron " .

Cogswell and Harrison produced a lot of guns as well as having sidelock guns "made out " ,they made several models all based on the basic action and in later years they had guns made in Birmingham by Webley .

There were never a "best" maker and their box lock has suffered from age more than other guns of the period so have gained a some what suspect reputation . That aside there are still some very good examples to be had .

Proof marks will give some indication of date 

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Gunman I have a 1957 built Konor sideplated Cogswell and Harrison 3 inch magnum would this gun have been built in London at their own factory or at Birmingham by Webley and does it have any inherent weaknesses when compared to similar guns by for example Bland Tolley or Greener

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2 hours ago, Gunman said:

If its a 3" magnum it wont be a Webley .So I assume it would be some of the last they made themselves . Without seeing it I can not say otherwise .

 

Thanks much obliged, do the 3” magnums have the same reputation for weakness as the earlier avant tout models

D42BFF95-5D77-457B-BE47-05E98E334CBC.jpeg

D8E307AB-8D5D-477A-8FE8-EFB05C7BEC57.jpeg

FF957087-6DDC-4910-8FFA-6CE1747281DA.jpeg

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Defiantly one of their late models with a longer body so should be OK .

One of the biggest problems with the older guns was lack of maintenance  .They were a gun that needed to be kept tight on face with a firm bite . When the bite wore the continued use meant it was more likely to blow off face thus causing potential weakness at the base of the breech face ,where it joined the flats ,and could lead to cracking .

Other problems were the ejectors , wear on the leading edges of the trippers / plungers and the critical length of the main spring which pushed the trippers to engage , so it was not possible to replace the main spring with another that was nearly right , as you could with so many other boxlocks .

By the by , Cogswell guns [ like those of Boss ] were not assisted openers as sometimes advertised . It was simply that the extractors were sprung so  when the gun was opened unfired the extractors pushed against the face pushing the barrels down so appeared to assist . When the gun was fired the extractors were held back until tripped so had no effect on the opening . 

Edited by Gunman
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Thanks for the information Gunman. I haven’t noticed any assisted opening after firing a couple of shots ,I just manipulate the gun as I do my other side by sides, so that would tie in with what you say.

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