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Old Boggy

Woodward No.3638

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    Some may recall my earlier long and drawn out post of the acquisition and refurbishment of a Woodward 'The Automatic' push forward underlever side by side 12 gauge shotgun, one of a pair made in 1878. Please bear with me while I continue the story, but I promise to keep it shorter this time.

    The gun remained in the cabinet with a few short forays into the countryside mainly after pigeons, as my game shooting these days is pretty limited. Last year I had decided to reduce the number of my guns and put up for sale my 16g Charles Hellis BLNE. The gentleman who came to view and bought the Hellis, who we shall refer to as 'T', was clearly very interested in and quite knowledgeable of English guns, so I showed him the Woodward. He immediately fell in love with the gun and I explained that it was not for sale but would give him first refusal should I decide at a later date to part with it. We kept in contact with him letting me know how he was getting on with the Hellis. It transpired that both he and more particularly his young daughter had been using the gun on their shoot in Lincolnshire with great effect and were most pleased with it. It was satisfying to know that it was cherished and being put to good use.

    Several months passed and I then decided that the Woodward deserved a better home and one that would give it more use in the field than I could offer, so got in contact with T to see if he was still interested, before advertising it for sale. As he had shown such a keen interest in the gun with a view to putting it to good use, I felt that I had found the right buyer. At this point, no mention had been made of a price, although I had been made an offer from someone in the USA which gave me some idea of its potential value once converted from dollars to pounds sterling. This was without advertising the gun, so can only assume that they somehow happened to read my original post. However, regardless of price, I was adamant that it was not going 'across the pond' but wished it to remain here and owned by someone who would love to own and use it. So long as I roughly covered the cost of the refurbishment I would be happy. A price was agreed with T which I was more than happy with and so was he, and the deal was eventually done. He promised to keep in touch with updates of the gun's use in the field once the game season commenced, which indeed he did. 

    About six months later he phoned excitedly to say that he had stumbled across the No.2 gun. Now the chance of this happening without much research, which I had already carried out with no success whatsoever, was one in a million. It transpired that he had been talking to the owner of a gunshop fairly near to his home and mentioned his new purchase. The gunshop owner said "I've got one of those in bits somewhere in my gunroom". T obviously asked to see the gun which was a bucket of bits, just action, original 29 inch Damascus barrels and forend iron, with no woodwork whatsoever, all standing in a bucket in the corner. When T looked at the action he was absolutely astounded to see the serial number 3639 clearly on each component. He just had to have it, so struck a deal with the owner. The barrels were clearly out of proof and sadly relining of Damascus barrels no longer carried out. He has decided to have a new stock and forend made and the barrels sleeved. The cost of this, particularly the woodwork, must be an 'arm and leg' job which I doubt would be recoverable on resale, but to T, the reuniting of the No.2 gun with its partner and to put them both back into use seems far more important than money. I totally applaud his sentiments but cannot say that I could afford what he is proposing. Such is his committment to return the pair to almost their original condition, he is also commissioning a double gun case from Purdeys complete with original Woodward trade label. I say 'almost' original, as he has decided , that as the No.1 gun had 28 inch sleeved barrels, the No.2 gun will have likewise. I am now convinced that the gun has gone to the right new owner, who assures me that it is his intention for the pair to remain in his family to be passed down accordingly.

    He has also suggested that once the No.2 gun is complete, I should accompany him on a drive or two with the guns, double gunning against September partridges on his shoot. Now my experience of driven shooting is pretty limited and of double gunning, non existent, so if it happens, I will certainly need some expert advice, particularly on the latter. He has promised to send me some photos of the 'rebuilding' of the No.2 gun and with his permission, I will post these at a later date.

    So, if interested, watch this space .......

    Thanks for reading.

    OB

    Edited by Old Boggy

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    I enjoyed reading that post and i love the fellas commitment to getting the pair together again. I hope you take this Gentleman up on his kind offer and thoroughly enjoy your day.

    Post some photos of the gun and the pair if you do get the chance.

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    Great story OB. 

    I hope you do get to shoot one or both of the guns and that you shoot a few partridges.

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    Many thanks for your kind comments. I was absolutely amazed (and of course pleased) that the No.2 gun had been discovered and it had to be fate that the new owner of my gun was the one who had by chance come across it. Had it not been him, then the No.2 gun, I'm sure, would have remained a bucket of bits.

    Hopefully, regardless of whether I get to use either gun, I will be able sometime in the future to post up some photos of both guns lying resplendent in their new double case.

    OB

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    44 minutes ago, Esca said:

    Can someone please point me in the direction of the original post. thanks

    It is currently on page 28 of Guns and Equipment dated 22nd May 2017 and kindly posted on my behalf by Demonwolf444. Unfortunately unless you can 'unlock' the photobucket photos, you will not be able to view James's (Demonwolf444) wonderful workmanship in refurbishing the stock and remaking a forend. If interested, I can email said photos given an email address.

    OB

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    Cheers OB I will be sitting down later with a cup of tea and enjoying a good read.

    3 hours ago, Old Boggy said:

    It is currently on page 28 of Guns and Equipment dated 22nd May 2017 and kindly posted on my behalf by Demonwolf444. Unfortunately unless you can 'unlock' the photobucket photos, you will not be able to view James's (Demonwolf444) wonderful workmanship in refurbishing the stock and remaking a forend. If interested, I can email said photos given an email address.

    OB

    Cheers OB I am looking forward to sitting down later with a cup of tea and a good read

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    On ‎19‎/‎04‎/‎2018 at 08:01, Old Boggy said:

    Some may recall my earlier long and drawn out post of the acquisition and refurbishment of a Woodward 'The Automatic' push forward underlever side by side 12 gauge shotgun, one of a pair made in 1878. Please bear with me while I continue the story, but I promise to keep it shorter this time.

    The gun remained in the cabinet with a few short forays into the countryside mainly after pigeons, as my game shooting these days is pretty limited. Last year I had decided to reduce the number of my guns and put up for sale my 16g Charles Hellis BLNE. The gentleman who came to view and bought the Hellis, who we shall refer to as 'T', was clearly very interested in and quite knowledgeable of English guns, so I showed him the Woodward. He immediately fell in love with the gun and I explained that it was not for sale but would give him first refusal should I decide at a later date to part with it. We kept in contact with him letting me know how he was getting on with the Hellis. It transpired that both he and more particularly his young daughter had been using the gun on their shoot in Lincolnshire with great effect and were most pleased with it. It was satisfying to know that it was cherished and being put to good use.

    Several months passed and I then decided that the Woodward deserved a better home and one that would give it more use in the field than I could offer, so got in contact with T to see if he was still interested, before advertising it for sale. As he had shown such a keen interest in the gun with a view to putting it to good use, I felt that I had found the right buyer. At this point, no mention had been made of a price, although I had been made an offer from someone in the USA which gave me some idea of its potential value once converted from dollars to pounds sterling. This was without advertising the gun, so can only assume that they somehow happened to read my original post. However, regardless of price, I was adamant that it was not going 'across the pond' but wished it to remain here and owned by someone who would love to own and use it. So long as I roughly covered the cost of the refurbishment I would be happy. A price was agreed with T which I was more than happy with and so was he, and the deal was eventually done. He promised to keep in touch with updates of the gun's use in the field once the game season commenced, which indeed he did. 

    About six months later he phoned excitedly to say that he had stumbled across the No.2 gun. Now the chance of this happening without much research, which I had already carried out with no success whatsoever, was one in a million. It transpired that he had been talking to the owner of a gunshop fairly near to his home and mentioned his new purchase. The gunshop owner said "I've got one of those in bits somewhere in my gunroom". T obviously asked to see the gun which was a bucket of bits, just action, original 29 inch Damascus barrels and forend iron, with no woodwork whatsoever, all standing in a bucket in the corner. When T looked at the action he was absolutely astounded to see the serial number 3639 clearly on each component. He just had to have it, so struck a deal with the owner. The barrels were clearly out of proof and sadly relining of Damascus barrels no longer carried out. He has decided to have a new stock and forend made and the barrels sleeved. The cost of this, particularly the woodwork, must be an 'arm and leg' job which I doubt would be recoverable on resale, but to T, the reuniting of the No.2 gun with its partner and to put them both back into use seems far more important than money. I totally applaud his sentiments but cannot say that I could afford what he is proposing. Such is his committment to return the pair to almost their original condition, he is also commissioning a double gun case from Purdeys complete with original Woodward trade label. I say 'almost' original, as he has decided , that as the No.1 gun had 28 inch sleeved barrels, the No.2 gun will have likewise. I am now convinced that the gun has gone to the right new owner, who assures me that it is his intention for the pair to remain in his family to be passed down accordingly.

    He has also suggested that once the No.2 gun is complete, I should accompany him on a drive or two with the guns, double gunning against September partridges on his shoot. Now my experience of driven shooting is pretty limited and of double gunning, non existent, so if it happens, I will certainly need some expert advice, particularly on the latter. He has promised to send me some photos of the 'rebuilding' of the No.2 gun and with his permission, I will post these at a later date.

    So, if interested, watch this space .......

    Thanks for reading.

    OB

    Love stories like this - can't wait for the updates

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Edited by Bungle The Bear

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    What a result! restoring a gun from a box of parts is a real challenge, i cant wait to see the finished work. Glad you found a home where the gun will be cherished it was a joy to work on.

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    19 hours ago, demonwolf444 said:

    What a result! restoring a gun from a box of parts is a real challenge, i cant wait to see the finished work. Glad you found a home where the gun will be cherished it was a joy to work on.

    But it was thanks to you James, that the No.1 gun was restored so stunningly and  sympathetically. I only hope that the No.2 gun receives similar treatment. I did mention your name but I think that it's new owner already had someone in mind to carry out the rebuild. It will certainly be a challenge to find a piece of walnut coming anywhere near the beauty of the No.1 gun.

    Hope that you are keeping busy,

    OB

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