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Posted By: Parabola Sykes’ Patent shot belt - 05/02/21 01:31 PM
I have Victorian Sykes’ Patent shot belt, the type that is variously described as a “”snake type” or “Irish style” ( although I had understood that St. Patrick had banished all snakes from Ireland).

It still has the scoop present, but sadly the external housing for the shutter slide and return spring has been knocked off and those bits are missing. The leather body is intact and replacing the shoulder sling would not be a problem.

I would like to put it back into working order, but I am puzzled as to how the lifting of the shutter was actuated.

My question is, was the shutter lifted by rotating the scoop, which has a slanted end, through 360 degrees to force the shutter upwards?

Or did the slide have external protrusions to lift it with your fingers.

Have any of you a complete one? How does it operate?

If so a photo of the shutter and spring housing would be greatly appreciated.

Keep Well,

Posted By: Stanton Hillis Re: Sykes’ Patent shot belt - 05/02/21 08:32 PM
Does this picture help any?
Posted By: Parabola Re: Sykes’ Patent shot belt - 05/03/21 10:38 AM
Dear Stanton,

The photograph is very helpful and I much appreciate your sending it to me.

It seems clear that the shutter is lifted manually by the ring attached to the shutter.

Again, Many thanks!

Posted By: Stanton Hillis Re: Sykes’ Patent shot belt - 05/03/21 10:45 AM
Most welcome, Adrian. Good luck with the restoration.
Posted By: Parabola Re: Sykes’ Patent shot belt - 08/01/21 02:38 PM


I have just signed up to imgur so if the above photo does not show 4 shot flasks blame them not me.

Thank you to everyone who helped with photos to help me with my question about how a Sykes patent shot flask operates.

I now know the answer as I stuck in a “cheeky bid”, £2 over bottom estimate at the last Holts sale and it won!

The one on the left is a modern repro , the middle 2 are Sykes patent, and the right hand one is unnamed and the odd one out.

The Sykes (and copy) have a shot measure with a slanted leading edge like a coal scoop.

When pushed into the flask, it slides under the bottom of the shutter forcing it upwards against the spring so that the shutter raises allowing shot to fill the measure.

When the thumb catch is depressed and the measure withdrawn the shutter descends to retain the rest of the shot in the flask.

The 2 genuine Sykes flasks are Adjustable 1 1/2, 1 3/4 and 2 oz.

That is achieved by an inner sleeve withdrawn by the button under the thumb catch, the inner sleeve is rotated slightly to disengage a stud from the 1 1/2 setting (much like an adjustable powder flask) withdrawn and reset to the quantity desired.

The odd one on the right is marked 1 1/2 and has no retaining shutter.

The measure has a squared off end with a slight scallop on one side.

Presumably the measure is withdrawn with the flask held upright, and the the lip of the flask held against the scallop to carefully decant enough shot .
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