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Rare 24 bore Hammer Gun - Bland & Sons

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Rare 24 bore Hammer Gun - Bland & Sons

Postby Fourdy » Mon Nov 01, 2021 7:30 pm

Hi All,

I'm looking for a bit of information and an opinion from the people in the know as this isn't really my area of expertise, in fact I know nothing about guns and this enquiry is on behalf of my dad.

We have this gun in the family and would like to know a little bit more about it... Its a 24 bore Bland & Sons hammer gun with damascus 30" barrels, converted from black powder. We had a hard time finding cartridges but found an Italian supplier who sold us german cartridges.

I've searched for any reference to a 24 bore T. Bland & Sons gun and cannot find mention. We'd like to know the approximate age and if its likely a "special order" gun due to the uncommon bore. I did email Woodcock Hill in the states a few years back but cant find their response in my emails, although I remember they basically said they cannot find reference to the serial number so cant help.

Any information would be appreciated.

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Re: Rare 24 bore Hammer Gun - Bland & Sons

Postby flintlok » Mon Nov 01, 2021 9:15 pm

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Re: Rare 24 bore Hammer Gun - Bland & Sons

Postby Fourdy » Mon Nov 01, 2021 10:30 pm

Many thanks for posting the link. I had already read through that thread and found it useful.



I'm hoping for some type of conformation or opinion that this gun is somewhat rare and potentially has value ...
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Re: Rare 24 bore Hammer Gun - Bland & Sons

Postby Sidebyside » Wed Nov 03, 2021 9:10 am

This gun will be of some value , it does look in good condition , Holts auctioneers do valuations and they do their valuations around the Country , might be worth checking their website ..... by the way welcome to the forum .......John
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Re: Rare 24 bore Hammer Gun - Bland & Sons

Postby Fourdy » Wed Nov 03, 2021 6:29 pm

Thanks for the information and for pointing me in the direction of Holts. I'll get in touch with them and see if they can provide a valuation.

Thanks again...
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Re: Rare 24 bore Hammer Gun - Bland & Sons

Postby Fourdy » Sun Nov 07, 2021 1:25 pm

I've been in touch with Holts auctioneers and found out some useful information. In the interest of keeping this thread updated and to help others in the future, below is the email exchange between my self and Holts;

HOLTS

Thank you for your email and the accompanying images of your 24-bore hammergun.

You are correct in that 24-bore hammerguns are rarely seen (having been a popular calibre for muzzle loading guns, it seems to die away at the beginning of centre fire and re-emerges as an option in later hammerless form – mostly in France and Belgium). I wonder if the gun was made by one of the Birmingham trade makers and supplied to Bland (a common enough occurrence) and the serial number you cite is actually that of the maker – Thomas Bland gun serial numbers only reached the 19,000 range by the late 1960’s – and this gun is likely to date to somewhere in the 1870’s/1880’s (an image of the proof marks on the barrels would help to narrow this down) and I would expect the serial number to be somewhere in the 7000 to 13,000 range.

If there is an address on the rib, that may also help narrow down the date as after the company became Thomas Bland & Sons in 1872, they had a few address changes.

In terms of value, as a 24-bore (and assuming no material changes have been made to the barrels or chambering) it can qualify as an antique and be held as exempt from licensing (on the condition no ammunition is held) under Section 58 (2) of the 1968 Firearms Act – so his does open up the potential market to non-licence holders. I would anticipate a likely auction estimate in the region of £800-1200 and wouldn’t be surprised to see it make top end, perhaps a little more on the day.




ME

Many thanks for the information confirming my suspicions around the rarity.

I attached some more pictures so that you may better understand the gun and possibly identify the gun maker who made it on behalf of Bland & Sons.

Coincidently, I contacted Woodcock Hill in the states a few years ago and they couldn't identify the serial number, which confirms your thoughts around a 3rd party being the manufacturer.

I note on the barrel J.R & Co, perhaps they made the gun?




HOTLS

Difficult to say – it’s a fairly traditional design with no distinctive features that I can link to a particular maker. The original black powder marks place the gun between 1887 and 1896 and there was a barrel making company called John Rose & Co. who were based in Halesowen between 1887 and 1897 – but were also based in Whittall Street (at the heart of the Gunmaking Quarter in Birmingam) between 1890 and 1894…..but that is only a supposition – and the way the Gunmaking Quarter worked was that guns were often assembled of parts made by individual companies – lockmakers, action makers, stockmakers etc….

With regard to the London nitro reproof, I note the chamber length is marked as 70mm (2 3/4in.) which I have not encountered as a length for 24-bore cartridges, only ever in 2 1/2in. (65mm). Though the bore dimensions read correctly for a 24-bore, it does make me wonder if the chambers are actually 28-bore (again, not unusual to see the internal bore dimensions wider than the standard for a particular chambering…). If it is a 28-bore, the gun would probably make a little more at auction being a readily available cartridge and there is a lot of appeal to a 30in. barrelled 28-bore…
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Re: Rare 24 bore Hammer Gun - Bland & Sons

Postby Sidebyside » Mon Nov 08, 2021 8:20 am

Very interesting , I am pleased Holts were able to give you some valuable information , I thought the gun would be of some value ....... John
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