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Oldest Shotgun

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    Today, on a whim, rather than taking an over and under with me, my W. Frith (Chesterfield) hammergun got a roost shooting outing. It bears an 1871 patent. I feed it Eley Impax 7’s and fired 20 for 9 pigeons- not bad for a gun I take out only every 2 or 3 years!

    Anyone else using anything this old?

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    I think lots of lads on the SXS forum shoot old guns on a regular basis.

    I shoot an 1895 Ellis hammer gun.

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    As above SxS club. I have an early 1880`s boxlock that gets aired occasionally. In fact........ 🤔 

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    My Dickson round action is the oldest in my cabinet at 1889, Army and Navy hammer gun 1898, WR Pape box lock ejector 1914.  All get regular use.

     

    Blackpowder

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    My oldest is an 1810 Joseph Manton, originally flint, now percussion double 12 bore..  I have to own up to not shooting it (so far), but it was given to me by my godfather before he died, he used to shoot it regularly, (walked up grouse over a pointer) and is fully on my license and in excellent shooting condition ..... so one day .....

    Oldest one I do shoot from time to time is an 1871 Powell 12 bore hammer gun on Damascus.

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    4 minutes ago, Sereremo said:

    Please, show us your Joseph Manton...it’s not so easy to see here in Italy.

     

    JosephManton.JPG

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    Muzzle loading 4 bore converted from flint to percussion. Originally made about 1780.

    Also a muzzle loading percussion punt gun by Alfred Clayton built in 1826.

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    Thomas Horsley ,built as a pinfire 1866,converted to c/f later.Gets a few outings every year .

    Horsley pigeons 006.JPG

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    2 hours ago, JohnfromUK said:

     

    JosephManton.JPG

    What tales that gun could tell!!!

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    20 hours ago, matone said:

    What tales that gun could tell!!!

    It was in one family ownership from the 1840s (and possibly, though not confirmed before that) until it was given to me circa 2005.  Other than the conversion to percussion, it is still very original and has never been proofed shows no visible proof marks (it wasn't compulsory possibly until as late as 1868? and I understand many Manton guns were not proofed do not carry visible proof marks).  It has been thoroughly inspected and measured (bore and wall thickness) and found to be in excellent order, though I have (yet) to use it.

    Edited by JohnfromUK
    Corrected re proof marks using strikethrough

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    Since 1831 it has been an offence to sell or offer for sale an unproved gun in the UK  [  Notes on the proof of shotguns and other small arms ]Forth edition 1981

    Proir to that from 1670 the the Gunmakers Co of London was able to enforce proof on guns made in London and its surrounds .

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    1896 Riley, wonderful gun used it all season got my average down to 3 to 1 very happy. Now seriously selling some of my o/u.

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    It seems not uncommon for early guns to show "no visible proof marks". 

    The gun in question was examined in the 1960s by Maj. D.H.L. Back (co author of "The Mantons, Gunmakers" with W. Keith Neal) and is included in the comprehensive list of known guns in that book.  Looking down the list, a very substantial minority of Manton guns around that date carried no proof marks, and I quote (in italics) from the book "The lack of proof marks on a Joseph Manton weapon must not be taken as evidence that the arm is not genuine, and many of his finest weapons bear no visible marks of proof.  The most likely explanation is that his barrels were lightly marked after the official proof when still in an unfinished state, and the proof marks were removed by later polishing."  This is also the case for John Manton guns around that date.  In contrast, after about 1818 most guns do seem to carry either London or Birmingham proof marks.  I have duly corrected my post above to  show "do not carry visible proof marks" rather than 'were not proofed'.

    There must therefore be some 'exemption' for selling these arms because many Manton guns have been sold over the years.  My particular gun has not been sold (for certain) since about 1842, and may possibly have been in the same family from new (it's history before 1842 (ish) is unknown).

     

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    16 hours ago, Andy H said:

    Oldest auto  1907 browning A 5 my main gun.

    👍 Yum. 

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    Some where , i cant remember , I came across an old trick that was employed by some  gun makers that it was cheaper to proof a "pistol barrel" than that of a long arm . So a barrel would be submitted and proved , it would then have a longer barrel welded on . 

    Over the years there have been many attempts to get around proof   [ charges which I understand were expensive for the time ] , fake stamps . Marks have been altered , added to and removed .

    I also doubt that most people buying or selling guns in the past were to concerned , no record no permits and no compensation lawyers . 

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    On 05/02/2019 at 17:03, JohnfromUK said:

    It seems not uncommon for early guns to show "no visible proof marks". 

    The gun in question was examined in the 1960s by Maj. D.H.L. Back (co author of "The Mantons, Gunmakers" with W. Keith Neal) and is included in the comprehensive list of known guns in that book.  Looking down the list, a very substantial minority of Manton guns around that date carried no proof marks, and I quote (in italics) from the book "The lack of proof marks on a Joseph Manton weapon must not be taken as evidence that the arm is not genuine, and many of his finest weapons bear no visible marks of proof.  The most likely explanation is that his barrels were lightly marked after the official proof when still in an unfinished state, and the proof marks were removed by later polishing."  This is also the case for John Manton guns around that date.  In contrast, after about 1818 most guns do seem to carry either London or Birmingham proof marks.  I have duly corrected my post above to  show "do not carry visible proof marks" rather than 'were not proofed'.

    There must therefore be some 'exemption' for selling these arms because many Manton guns have been sold over the years.  My particular gun has not been sold (for certain) since about 1842, and may possibly have been in the same family from new (it's history before 1842 (ish) is unknown).

     

    Will it not be a case of them being sold as antiques ?collectables ,rather than working guns by many people ? I assume proof is irrelevant to collectors but don`t know what the legalities would be.

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    Just now, matone said:

    Will it not be a case of them being sold as antiques ?collectables ,rather than working guns by many people ? I assume proof is irrelevant to collectors but don`t know what the legalities would be.

    Not sure:  Mine is on my certificate as a 'user' - but could be held (I think) certificate free in the event there was no 'intention to use it'.  Since a significant number of guns from the period show no marks, I suspect there is a way of doing it.  As I have no intention of selling, it isn't an issue for me.

    The Manton book (2 substantial volumes) contains lists with descriptions for all known John Manton and Joseph Manton guns including whether thay have proof marks and for London or Birmingham, but there are no known original record books - the originals apparently having been destroyed (one story says they were shipped to Manton & Co in India where they were eaten by ants).

    Various later businesses have used the Manton name - including at least one current one http://www.josephmantonlondon.com/

     

     

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    Interesting ! The only Manton I`ve ever used was a 20b boxlock with the India address on it!

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    On 06/02/2019 at 19:28, JohnfromUK said:

    Not sure:  Mine is on my certificate as a 'user' - but could be held (I think) certificate free in the event there was no 'intention to use it'.  Since a significant number of guns from the period show no marks, I suspect there is a way of doing it.  As I have no intention of selling, it isn't an issue for me.

    The Manton book (2 substantial volumes) contains lists with descriptions for all known John Manton and Joseph Manton guns including whether thay have proof marks and for London or Birmingham, but there are no known original record books - the originals apparently having been destroyed (one story says they were shipped to Manton & Co in India where they were eaten by ants).

    Various later businesses have used the Manton name - including at least one current one http://www.josephmantonlondon.com/

     

     

    As an aside,there`s a Manton double 20b flint/percussion gun in Ryedale Auctioneers sporting sale next week!

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