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Joined: Mar 2005
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As always, Great stuff Mal!!! smile
What did he say about his Purdey? "A Good friend" Must have saved his life a few times.
But he really liked that John Dickson and praised it throughout the book.

Yep, building and USING dangerous game guns since the 1830s, I'd say the English know a little something about building guns!!


Thanks Mal!!




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Yes, As I recall "a good and old friend, I used it on the plains of Hindustan when I was a young Subaltern there." Unsworth illustrates it in its case with most of its original accessories.

Unsworth also relates that it was put to auction by a member of the Gordon-Cumming family; but "could not be the rifle used in Africa, as it was much too early". I guess he didn't read Roulin's introductory chapter where the above info is found. I have closely read the entire 2 vols. "Five years of A Hunters Life" looking for more clues about my rifle but found nothing definitive. The case does look as if it has seen a LOT of careful use like sliding around in a waggon for 5 years. The rifle has most of its original finish [barrels rebrowned long ago], as is correct for a used but cared for peice. It is neat in that it has grip safety and external intercepting safety sears. The case contains spare mainsprings and 2 bullet molds, one for a short conical bullet. There is also a large bone container for nipples.

I think the Dickson 2-groove went through Julia's auction a few years ago; after he had the barrels replaced upon his return, and before he went on his lecture tours relating his African experiance. As I recall, the patchbox was engraved with waggons etc. My guess is it was rebuilt and re-engraved, as the rifle was in fine condition, but showed that it had some heavy use before refurbishing.

Best, Mal

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Mal, I have looked through the early records and no mention of Roualeyn Gordon Cumming so you are right in thinking he may have bought it second-hand. Look out for an extract about his Dickson rifle in the new Dickson book though.

As for which rifle it could be, this is difficult as not calibres are recorded and some shotguns had additional rifle barrels fitted and the calibre of the rifle barrels is not recorded!

The rifles that passed through Julias in the last few years were No.1087, a double 8 bore and No.1089, a 60 Cal double.

There was a lot of press coverage in Edinburgh during the 1850's on the trials of Dicksons two-groove rifles and how well they worked and how accurate they were. Dickson built a small number of long-range experimental rifles which were sighted for 1000 yards and was one of the first companies to introduce a telescopic sight to benefit the range of the rifle in 1850 (rifle No.1406). Dickson's were building this type of rifle from the mid-1830s, some 20 years before Purdey coined the term 'Express'!

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Come on Fletch there's got to be someway or somehow we can track down this Dickson. smile

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A friend of mine had a double barreled Dickson .54 two groove rifle, and shooting round balls it was by far the most accurate and well regulated double muzzleloader I have ever seen.

It put most cartridge doubles to shame. But, that's what one would expect from a Dickson.

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Although my Purdey percussion express rifles shoot winged conical well, they REALLY shoot patched round ball; and with half the bother. Something about the 1 turn in 60 inch twist, I think.

Best,
Mal

Last edited by Mal Mac Gregor; 12/31/12 06:13 PM.
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Just wondered if you had gotten my info JP. Thanks.

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Hello Fletchpair, Mike Rowe

The welding is done, worked out quite well, after studying the engraving on the rest of the gun carefully I believe that I came close to replicating what was there before, I just need to antique the cut and blend the finish
Next will be a nice leather pad to lengthen the pull a bit…… the owner seems to be quite happy so far

CJ









The taste of poor quality lingers long after the cheap price is forgotten.........
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Just a follow up for all that have asked - the Dickson book is at the publishers (Quiller) now and will be available next Autumn. There will be only a 1000 copies, available through the Dickson shop in Edinburgh or direct from Donald Dallas himself.


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And how can we get them through Mr Dallas?

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