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Thread: Info on an old hammer gun

  1. #1

    Info on an old hammer gun

    I have this old hammer gun (well it's my dad's really) but looking to get it restored for his 50th birthday next year. I know nothing about the gun other than it has "T. Wild 17 & 18 whithall street Birmingham" engraved along it although it's a bit faint. It also has "1912" engraved on it but can't find it at the moment. I was told it was one of a pair as well.
    Was hoping someone would know something about the gun? Also recommend a good gunsmith?


    thanks
    stacey
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails image.jpg   image.jpg   image.jpg  

  2. #2
    Its a Thomas wild, the boxlock's fetch
    Contact this Company they may have all the info you need even to whom it was sold to way back,


    Since 1723, Rowland Watson has been a major name in the gunmaking industry. Now, with the incorporation of Thomas Wild, and most recently Elliot & Son Gunsmiths,
    Watson, Wild & Elliot Gunmakers

    Palmer Farm
    High Street
    Swanwick
    Alfreton
    Derbyshire
    DE55 1AA

    Telephone: 01773 607309
    Out of hours: 07970 288315


    Hope they are able to help you out.

  3. #3
    Stacey. Before you spend any money on this gun, get the internal barrel measurements and barrel wall thickness checked to establish whether it is in proof.
    Once you have that information, you will be more able to judge what to spend on it.
    It has back action locks, which is a strong type but is often (but not always) more associated with lower grade guns.
    If you are able to post some clear pictures of the proof marks, there are one or two 'anoraks' (me included) who may be able to give you some info.
    If the gun was one of a pair then the number 1 or 2 would usually be engraved near the top lever.

  4. #4
    Thanks for your help, I've emailed the company so hopefully will get a reply in a few days.
    There is something engraved by the top lever, it looks like a very faint "2" also where the serial numbers are there are two proof marks B(think the second letter is V) with a crown over the letters.

    Stacey

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Stacey View Post
    Thanks for your help, I've emailed the company so hopefully will get a reply in a few days.
    There is something engraved by the top lever, it looks like a very faint "2" also where the serial numbers are there are two proof marks B(think the second letter is V) with a crown over the letters.

    Stacey
    Stacey
    The BV mark is the View mark of the Birmingham proof house. A vintage hammer gun may be proofed for black-powder only but thousands of them have been gallantly digesting nitro cartridges for decades. The proof marks to photograph are those on the flats of the action and more importantly the flats of the barrels. Many old blackpowder guns were re-proofed for nitro cartridges, but many more were not.

  6. #6
    Don't know much about your gun but the proof marks you describe are black powder proof.

  7. #7
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    I can remember going into Wild's in Birmingham some twenty years ago. As to "in" or "out" of proof this only applies if you wish to sell it. But it is nevertheless a good idea to check that AND BARREL WALL THICKNESS in any case as commonsense before spending money on it.

    Having said that there is many a perfectly safe gun that is not "in" proof as this does not measure anything other that the true bore of the gun in relation to what is was measured at when it was at Proof. And as such can be "out" of proof by just a couple of thousandths of an inch. No real risk to safety but illegal to sell.
    Last edited by enfieldspares; 24-10-2014 at 15:12.

  8. #8
    Here are a few more pics of the gun

    StaceyClick image for larger version. 

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  9. #9
    If you struggle if info ring Bill at Elderkins in Lincolnshire he is one of the leading people in the gun trade on English guns. Also very nice chap as well, He should be able to help you.
    Regards Sean

  10. #10
    The proof marks are from the Birmingham proof house and are the 1925 rules of proof. This means that the gun was first proofed between 1925 and 1954 when the marks changed again. If you look on your first photograph, in the bottom left hand of the photo, you will see a small proof mark that looks like a diagonal cross. That is the year date for when it was proofed and most likely very close to the date of manufacture.
    The proof marks are original and it has not been reproofed.
    The gun is nitro proofed for two and a half inch cartridges with a maximum shot load of one and one eighth ounces. In old cartridge terms it could fire that Eley Maximum which was one and three sixteenth ounces as they were designed for this proofing standard.
    If you look closely at the year mark and send me the letters/numbers I should be able to tell you in which year it was proofed.
    A pessimist is an optimist with experience.

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