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#209353 12/13/10 06:25 AM
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Hello all. Given the expert knowledge on here, I thought forum members may be interested to see some pictures of my first double-eight gauge, born of four years of searching, learning and hard saving! I am delighted and looking forward to using this actively on the marshes and foreshores on the UK as soon as I possibly can. Thanks to Dig for his help on this.

The pictures don't do it justice, but the eight is by Edward Paton of Perth (44 George St and "Maker to the Prince Consort"), is a bar action hammergun with non-rebounding hammers, Jones underlever, 32 inch Damascus barrels (original) and est. manufacture between 1875 and 1885 (I think the earlier of the dates given its hammers). The gun weighs 12lbs, so certainly not overly heavy but swingable to the shoulder, 3 1/4 chambers, London nitro-proofed and barrel thicknesses/measurements more than adequate. As perhaps expected of its age, it has only cylinder barrels, but using plastic wads carefully in my homeloads should allow me to emulate 1/4 to 1/2 choke.

The Paton has been well looked after with little wear, has a decent amount of original colour remaining throughout, and chambers/barrels are in excellent condition with no pitting/ring bulging. Locks are in good condition and the st-hand stock retains its original metal butt plate, still with some colour to it. Now to start using her as intended - likely with 2oz loads to begin with.

Any thoughts/owners of Patons out there by the way?










Last edited by CBL1; 12/13/10 07:29 AM.
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Edward Paton was born in 1819 in Dublin, Ireland. In 1843 he took over the business of Robert Ancell of 44 George Street, Perth, this business had been founded in 1833.

Edward married in about 1846, the name of his wife is unknown. They had a son in 1847, Edward L Paton (Edward II) (b.1847 in Malta, and a daughter, Emma (b.1849 in England and notably not in Scotland!). No other children have been traced. It seems likely that Edward (I)'s wife died soon after 1949.

Reportedly, in 1854 Edward (I) made Charles Frederick Walsh a partner in the business and the firm became Paton & Walsh. This has not been confirmed, but on 12 September 1856 Paton & Walsh patented a type of rifling for a winged or ribbed bullet. On 12 December 1856 they patented an apparatus for charging and capping the nipples of firearms, this consisted of a metal tube containing another metal tube with a needle actuated by a spring. It injected powder into the touch-hole after a miss-fire.

Reportedly, Walsh left the partnership in 1858 and the firm again traded as Edward Paton.

In the 1861 census Edward (I) was recorded at an unspecified address in Perth with Edward (II) and Emma. At the time he employed 7 men and 2 boys. The firm became known for their conversions of muzzle-loaders to breech-loaders.

In about 1865, if not before, in addition to the main shop at 44 George Street, Perth, Edward opened a branch at Highland Club Buildings, Inverness. How long this branch remained open is not known.

In about 1870, Edward (I) was appointed Gunmaker to His Royal Highness The Prince Consort.

By 1870 the firm had been re-named Edward Paton & Son; it seems that Edward (II), ran the Inverness business while Edward (I) moved to London to open a new shop at 108 Mount Street, Grosvenor Square. At this time the firm finished guns for Boss & Co. This London shop may later have been managed by W H Watts, formerly a gunmaker in Winchester, Hampshire, and later a gunmaker at 54a Marshall Street, London. In the 1871 census Edward (II) was recorded in Inverness, he described himself as a master gun maker employing 6 men and 3 boys.

In the 1881 census Edward (II)'s address was given as 13 Athole Street, Perth. By this time he was married to Mary (b.1855) and their children were, Edward L (Edward (III) (b.1873), Mary E (b.1875), Robert M (b.1876), George S (b.1878), and Harry A (b.1879). All were born in Perth. The same census records Edward (I) as a widower living at 10 Argyle Road, Ealing, London. He described himself as a gunmaker employing 7 men and 3 boys (presumably one of the men was employed in London and the remainder and the boys were a duplication of the employees in Scotland).

In 1882 in Inverness, the firm opened a branch at 37 Church Street (one report states 38 Church Street). In about 1886 the Church Street branch moved to High Street (no number stated), Inverness.

The London gunmaker, Stephen Grant, was recorded in about 1883 at 39 High Street, Inverness. This branch of the firm was reportedly managed in the late 1880s by Richard Henry Grant who, in 1889 would have been only 17 years old. The branch probably closed in about 1890. It would appear that either at the same time or shortly after the branch was established, Stephen Grant and James Woodward formed the Grant & Woodward shooting agency. In doing this Grant & Woodward would have been in direct competition with Edward Paton, this would not have pleased the Patons.

In 1884 in London, Edward Paton's shooting agency and gun making business moved to 99 Mount Street. In 1885 they moved to 88 St James's Street.

In 1890 David Crockart of Perth bought Edward Paton's business at 44 George Street, Inverness. The Inverness branch appears to have closed at this time.

In the 1891 census Edward (I) was recorded as an estate agent (not retired estate agent) aged 72, he was living in lodgings. There appears to be no census or other record of Edward (II) or his wife, Mary, in Scotland or elsewhere.

It would seem that Edward (I) retired or died in the 1890s or early in the 1900s, possibly in 1902 because in that year the business moved to 35a St James's Place, and an additional office was recorded at 5 St James's Place. It seems that Robert Michael Paton took over the business. In 1902 Stephen Woodward retired, at some time he had taken over from Charles Woodward.

In 1929 the firm moved to 37 Bury Street.

In December 1943 the firm was sold by Robert Michael Paton for £250 to Stephen Grant & Joseph Lang Ltd, they amalgamated it with their own Grant & Woodward shooting agency which was re-named Paton Grant & Woodward.

In 1959 Strutt & Parker, Lofts & Warner (estate agents) bought the business.

Pete

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Awesome. I love that vintage finish.

What are you going to do for ammo? Can you find it over there? Or are you just handloading?

Thanks for sharing.

I want an 8g, BTW.

OWD


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An excellent specimen that will be a joy to use. My old 8 now only gets used for inland flighting in Scotland where I can still use lead loads. I have some nitro loading recipes from Douglas Macdougall's books on eight bores; copies are now rare and fetch a good price, and from old Shooting Times articles that I saved. Powders used are mainly Blue Dot and Vectan AO. Black powder is still fun to use and, I think, gives better results. Lagopus.....

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A wonderful gun in very high condition. The straight grip stock is a really nice touch. What do eight gauge shooters over there use for empty shells?

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Many thanks for the lovely comments gents which I appreciate. As regards ongoing, I am going to take a number of approachs;

- to get started, I have got two boxes of cartridges made up for my by Alan Myers, a noted specialist here. These are plastic clear Winchester cases which I will retain for future homeloading. One box of lead (black powder and for use inland and not on wildfowl)and one of non-tox suitable for Damascus barrels.
- I am going to get some brass cases made up specifically for the Paton to allow home loading longer term (once I have taught myself). I am an ardent traditionalist and like the option of bespoke brass, and at £12 per case, they are expensive but not crazy.
- I will longer term re-load plastic cases as well.

Ultimately, I don't anticipate using the Paton heavily as I don't have a lot of chances to get out during the season, but equally I purchased it to use it! It would have been silly for me to have got a solely goose-gun as I generally shoot duck mostly, so this gives me the best of both worlds. The day I use it to get my first pinkfoot will be a proud moment, no matter how long it takes me smile

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My first pinkfoot was with a Parker 10 bore, but I remember it equally well. I've had them and greylag both with an 8 gauge too.

I've shot with Alan and used those loads, they're good cartridges though as I remember he wasn't shy about what he asked for them.

Congratulation, that does seem a good choice for a combination duck and goose gun what with the lighter weight.

I briefly owned a Tolley double eight with straight stock and Jones underlever, should have kept that one. Only Jones underlever gun I ever fired actually.


Destry


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Beautiful gun! I really like it. I shot my 8ga Lefever on sporting clays. It was very pleasant to shoot. I did need to spend more time learning to swing it. It was the most fun I've had in years shooting. On a downside, a L.C. Smith 8 beat me badly at the Norheast SxS this year.

Load some lite loads and have fun. Be sure to load extra as you'll have many people wanting to shoot it. I took 100 shells for the 50 bird shoot and always came back empty.
Chris

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Love it, really nice. Stock (as always appears to be the case) is quite short and probably hacked off to pass down or was used by yet another short arse aristocrat. Splending gun and to have that much colour left is a rare bonus! Keep hold of it smile

T

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Thanks once more gents. The stock is just over 14 3/8th LOP which is spot on for me and actually for such an old gun not too bad in my inexperienced view. It doesn't look cut down as the butt plate remains original and doesn't bear any evidence of change (or fitting adjustments for example) - so I am going to go on the assumption the original owner was a smallish strong man to carry 12 lbs around regularly, no doubt without any gunslip!

I intend to keep hold of it - but equally use it as its maker intended, albeit with care. Order for brass cases/bismith etc all going in shortly and then once the season has ended here in the UK, I will start to learn to homeload.

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