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Joined: Nov 2009
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eddiel4 Offline OP
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I have a very interesting story to tell you all.

About 25 years ago my dear friend Bob Hieb bought a cased William Ford boxlock in very nice original condition. While the gun was exceptionally clean and had the original 2 1/2" 12 gauge chambers, it gave me pause as the barrels were about 23 3/4". I told him I thought they had been cut but he disagreed with me as the tubes touched at the muzzle and the chokes were cyl. and .016 (quite long constriction length too). To which I answered they probably started as 25" and some damage had caused them to be shortened thus possibly leaving the tubes in contact and choke in the one barrel.

In time I somehow came into contact with the gentleman who had acquired Ford's ledgers. I am nor sure but think his name was something like Sir Malcom Guthrie. He told me where the Ford books were kept in Birmingham but I just can't remember now whether it was the Gunmaker themself or a gunshop (It was either Ford or Bailons and the two became one later in the mid 90's).

Since I traveled to England on both business and pleasure often, I made it a point to visit there a couple years later and they were very kind showing me the records. This Ford shotgun, serial No. 1373, was there and in the comments section it described it as either a boat gun or croc gun (I don't remember which after all these years) with that barrel length. They explained the short barrels facilitated dispatching the Croc over the side of the boat when after such in either Africa or Asia.

Upon returning I ate "Crow" telling Bob is was right all the time.

This gun actually balances very well (5 pounds 14 ounces) and the barrel length really helped in the Michigan Grouse thickets. And Ford would balance the forend length of their guns proportionately so it looks like a 26" length... very nice!

Bob passed away two years ago and his wife made his close friends promise to stay out of any descriptions of his guns when she sent them to auction.

We did as promised but I made it a point to try and pick-up a couple that I both loved and reminded me of Bob. I was successful!

Now I'm working on acquiring a copy of that page in the book and then will have it framed as a momento of the past (only wish I had thought to do it back then).

I like to think of it as "remaining in the family"...

If someone would be so kind as to post pictures I'd email them as I've personally being unsuccessful in past tries.

Ed











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eddie14,
This is very interesting, 23 3/4" is within a small tolerance of 60cm, which is my favorite length of drilling barrels. It would be interesting to see if the original owner was from the Continent and used to metric length barrels.
Mike

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eddiel4 Offline OP
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Thanks, I hadn't considered the length having ties to the continent. All I know right now is the name on the case being M. Cathcart which sounds a little English to me. However when I'm successful with finding the records I'll be sure to check if this name was the original buyer.

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Eddie,
Send ‘em to me, I’ll get them up. Keep it to 3-5 good, clear pictures.

tedjs@usfamily.net

Best,
Ted

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Pics:









Nice gun.



Best,
Ted

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Sidelock
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George Casswell had a Purdey with 24” tubes at one time. Don’t quote me on the exact length, but, it was around that. It had been built that way for an American grouse hunter. I believe George used it to hunt with, but, it was for sale.
He may still have it.

Best,
Ted

Joined: Dec 2001
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SKB Offline
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Nice looking gun. I tend to gravitate towards longer barrels but I own a 25" gun with a Churchill rib and shoot it just fine.


http://www.bertramandco.com/

ACGG Professional metalsmith, firearms import services.
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Sir Malcom Guthrie formerly of Bailons tel 01562 73071. Good luck

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Greetings from Nebraska Mr. Lundberg.


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