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#573659 06/11/20 08:39 PM
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I'm not the greatest at deciphering proofmarks. Would be interested in what kind of a date range can be narrowed down for this gun. It is a J & W Tolley single barrel game gun. Beside what is inscribed on the rib (Birmingham) there is no mention anywhere of an address.







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Look at BL-5 and BL-8

In three different forms.
1896-1904 also used Max, Shot and Grs (Grains).
1904-1925 omitted Max, Shot and Grs (Grains).
1925-1954 just the load followed by oz (ounce).
1954-1989

and chamber 2 5/8"

http://www.shotguns.se/html/uk.html

So 1924 at the start BUT should also have a crossed sword date proof, is one there??


Last edited by skeettx; 06/11/20 09:43 PM.


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Mike, the pics show all the markings. Only other thing is the rest of the serial number.


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Originally Posted By: canvasback
Mike, the pics show all the markings. Only other thing is the rest of the serial number.

From the third volume of Nigel Brown’s British Gunmakers, the length of the serial number might add information. J & W Tolley used a four digit serial number into the beginning of the 20th century. Holloway & Naughton succeded to the business after 1911, and after the business was acquired by Skimin & Wood in 1929, a five-digit number was used, a continuation of the S&W numbering system, until 1964.

Canvasback, if yours has the four-digit number, it appears to fall within the 1875-87 range, and presumably the nitro proofing came later.

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Steve, I have the first two volumes but not the third.

It’s a five digit serial number. So that should mean it’s post the Skimin &Wood acquisition in 1929.

Last edited by canvasback; 06/11/20 11:11 PM.

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Steve, does the book indicate if the five digit numbers were part of the same sequence used for all of Skimin and Wood guns?


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Looking at the book again (Vol 3), the five-digit numbers started in 1918 with the move to Holloway & Naughton (no. 36576). A series ends in 1925 at no. 41891, then, after 1929 under Skimin & Wood the numbers start again at 84090. It would appear that yours falls somewhere between 1925 and 1929, when still under Holloway & Naughton. If you PM me your email address I can send you the scanned pages.

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Hi Steve, thanks so much.

My serial number is 4636X so I think you are correct about the time frame. And everything else fits. Not that it's definitive but I bought the gun and another in an estate sale of 11 shotguns and double rifles and most of the guns in the sale appeared to me to be from the 1920's. The other one I bought dates to 1925.


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1925 to 1954 Rules of Proof. Odd to see one with markings for 2 5/8th. inch chambers. No Proof date code puts it between 1941 and 1950. The plot thickens! Lagopus…..

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Yep,very strange!

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