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THOMAS BLAND & SONS - "EUOPLIA" - 12GA PARADOX GUN

Hello All,

I brought this over from another Forum because I'm so excited about the purchase that I wanted to share it here also.

I've been looking for a Paradox Gun for about 4 years. Several have escaped me because they were too pricey.

I took a real gamble on this Paradox Gun because the auction listing had a very skimpy description.

This picture below was the only information that was listed about the gun.

.



.

I didn't want to ask too many questions before bidding, because in the past it has resulted in the Auction House updating the listing which made it more desirable to all the auction watchers, and caused the price to shoot-up beyond my budget. So, I bit my tongue and took a gamble. The RED background photos are from the auction listing. The other photos are mine.

Well, the gamble paid off in spades. I received a absolute MINT condition Paradox Gun, Factory Cased with matching bullet mold, loading tools, and cleaning accessories. Its hard to believe this gun is 127 years old.

Here's the specs:

28" Barrels - 13-7/8" LOP - 7 lbs 6 oz - Rebounding Hammers - 2-Leaf Express Sight marked "50" & "100"
Rib is marked "The "EUROPLIA" Ball & Shot Gun" - "T. Bland & Sons 430 West Strand London"
Barrels marked "A&T" (Adams & Tate - maker) - Birmingham Proofed
Matching Bullet Mold - Casts a Conical bullet - 790g RN & 730g HP
Misc. Tools, Powder/Shot Measures, Loading Tube/Rammer/Decapper, Capper, & Wad Punch

What's really amazing is the condition. All original finish in nearly 99% condition with full case-color remaining. Bores and chambers appear to be "un-fired". The only defect I could find was a small 1/16" chip off the tip of the toe of the horn butt-plate.

My only question is: the end of the cleaning rod handle has a leather washer pinned to its end. What is this for? ... and, does anyone know who Mr. Shields might have been?

As always, your comments are most welcome.



















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continued .........

.




















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I was there too, hoping to get a deal on the Lang. You got a great one right there! Congrats!

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Congratulations. Beautiful condition and wonderful accessories.

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Originally Posted By: setterspell
I was there too, hoping to get a deal on the Lang. You got a great one right there! Congrats!

Hello setterspell,
Thanks for the reply.

Were you physically at the auction. Did you see this Paradox gun? Did you get the Lang?

Originally Posted By: CJF
Congratulations. Beautiful condition and wonderful accessories.

Hello CJF
Thanks for the reply.

I start loading today.

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Yes, I was there. I live 5 miles from the Auction site.
No, I didnt get the Lang. I hoped to sneak it out cheap but it went about right IMO.
Again, Congrats, "you done good" as we say 'round here.

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Originally Posted By: setterspell
Yes, I was there. I live 5 miles from the Auction site.
No, I didnt get the Lang. I hoped to sneak it out cheap but it went about right IMO.
Again, Congrats, "you done good" as we say 'round here.

Hello setterspell,
Thanks for the reply.

Because of the short description, I was pretty skeptical when I bid on this. But I ended up so happy that I actually called the Auction House and thanks them for the fine item, and especially for their fast processing and shipping. The auction ended on Thursday November 21st, and it was delivered on Friday November 29th - only 8 days later.

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Hello all,

Well, I've loaded some ammo for the range test tomorrow. I used the existing loading tools.

I saw an interesting crimping method that Eley used for their ball loadings, so I made a tool to replicate that crimping method. It worked great.

I opted to use a low pressure smokeless load so as not fowl up the rifle with black powder.

Tomorrow I should have some shooting test results.









UPDATE:

Here are the first range results. Not too impressive yet. But not a concern beause velocity for these should be 1000 fps to 1050 fps and and I'm at 855 fps. Increasing velocity should bring the shots together.


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Buckstix wouldn't want to make another brass case crimper like that and sell it to me would you? lol

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I'm envious Buckstix. You sure have a lot of nice stuff.

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That is a really nice Thomas Bland Paradox.


A true sign of mental illness is any gun owner who would vote for an Anti-Gunner like Joe Biden.

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Originally Posted By: Mike Harrell
Buckstix wouldn't want to make another brass case crimper like that and sell it to me would you? lol

Hello Mike Harrell,
Thanks for the reply.

I would be making more of my crimping devices if I could find some of the MEC brass crimp starters. Unfortunately they are long discontinued by MEC. Now they are made of plastic. I've seen some of the brass inserts for sale on eBay, but they go for $25 - $35 each. If I ever find a source, I'll make some and offer them for sale.




Here are pictures of the bullets from the mold.



Originally Posted By: Hammergun
I'm envious Buckstix. You sure have a lot of nice stuff.

Hello Hammergun,
Thanks for the reply

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This is a nice story. Good for you.


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Originally Posted By: Mike Harrell
Buckstix wouldn't want to make another brass case crimper like that and sell it to me would you? lol


By the way - For those of you that asked about me making them a PARADOX SHELL CRIMPER .... I bought a crimping star at the Gun Show and made another PARADOX CRIMPER.

$150 delivered - PM me.




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I have a very similar gun, just a little less engraving and get 2.5 inch group of two shots using Brenneke slug loads.

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Originally Posted By: bavarianbrit
I have a very similar gun, just a little less engraving and get 2.5 inch group of two shots using Brenneke slug loads.

Hello bavarianbrit
Thanks for the reply

Here's the results from the last testing. I tested 5 different wad / card / bullet combinations. Groups measured 2-1/4" to 7" at 50 yards. Here's the best combination tested. Apparently this gun prefers a little harder bullet of 15:1 alloy, (BHN 11) and the heavier 790g Round Nose as compared to the 730g Hollow Point.

I'll be testing this load formula again with both HP and RN bullets to make sure the results are repeatable.


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Very similar to what my three shooters grouped out at. They are an amazing tribute to handmade engineering btw mine cost me $450 around 1997.

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Specifications for H&H Paradox ammunition call for 15:1 alloy.

Wouldn't you like to give this gun a go with real black powder? I think you will be quite pleased if you construct a "factory equivalent" black powder load.

My 10b H&H Paradox really sings with its intended load of 8 drams. Mine's a 10b, mind you, so don't go pouring 8 drams in a 12b! I would have to go to the books for the original H&H 12b load.

That's a very nice gun. You have done well!

Curl

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H&H had two different 12 bore loads, the original at 1050 fps and the magnum load at 1250 fps.


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Originally Posted by bavarianbrit
Very similar to what my three shooters grouped out at. They are an amazing tribute to handmade engineering btw mine cost me $450 around 1997.
Hello bavarianbrit
Thanks od the reply.

That's a very good price you got on your paradox.

Originally Posted by CptCurl
Specifications for H&H Paradox ammunition call for 15:1 alloy.

Wouldn't you like to give this gun a go with real black powder? I think you will be quite pleased if you construct a "factory equivalent" black powder load.

My 10b H&H Paradox really sings with its intended load of 8 drams. Mine's a 10b, mind you, so don't go pouring 8 drams in a 12b! I would have to go to the books for the original H&H 12b load.

That's a very nice gun. You have done well!

Curl
Hello CptCurl
Thanks for the reply.

I don't think an 8 dram load would be suitable in my Paradox since it barely weighs 7-1/4 pounds. I'll keep looking for info on what Thomas Bland would have considered an appropriate load for this. Also, I don't like using black powder because there's too much of a chance of missing a trace during clean-up - and finding a rust spot in the future.

Originally Posted by SKB
H&H had two different 12 bore loads, the original at 1050 fps and the magnum load at 1250 fps.
Hello SKB
Thanks for the reply.

I know the H&H factory loads, but in most cases the H&H guns were heavier. I'll keep experimenting with this one using smokeless powder. But even with only 900fps, my gun seems to group well and the 790g bullet will take care of anything here in Wisconsin.

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I had a William Evans paradox built for the Westley load at 1550 fps and that was in a 8&1/4 lb gun......recoil was brutal. I had it out at the range one day and three of us shot my paradox gun and a friends Army & Navy .577 3" double, everyone agreed the .577 was more manageable in the recoil department. I am not so sure that the early black powder H&H paradox guns were heavier than your gun. I do agree that 900 fps should handle Whitetail just fine.
Steve


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Originally Posted By: SKB
I had a William Evans paradox built for the Westley load at 1550 fps and that was in a 8&1/4 lb gun......recoil was brutal. I had it out at the range one day and three of us shot my paradox gun and a friends Army & Navy .577 3" double, everyone agreed the .577 was more manageable in the recoil department. I am not so sure that the early black powder H&H paradox guns were heavier than your gun. I do agree that 900 fps should handle Whitetail just fine.
Steve

Hello SKB
Thanks for the reply

I compared a black powder load, with a smokeless load, and found the smokeless load to be much more agreeable.

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The bore rifles and paradox guns are very cool. I would like to own one again someday, it has been several years since one was in my safe.
Steve


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Originally Posted By: SKB
The bore rifles and paradox guns are very cool. I would like to own one again someday, it has been several years since one was in my safe.
Steve

Hello SKB
Thanks for the reply

I'll bet all your other guns in the safe are lonely without a paradox near by.

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It was a William Evans Super Magnum gun built for the Maharajah of Kohto. Best quality ble, extended top tang over the comb, most likely never fired after it was built until I owned it. That was one COOL gun. I ended up trading it off to purchase my H&H Royal shotgun which I dearly love.



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Originally Posted By: SKB
It was a William Evans Super Magnum gun built for the Maharajah of Kohto. Best quality ble, extended top tang over the comb, most likely never fired after it was built until I owned it. That was one COOL gun. I ended up trading it off to purchase my H&H Royal shotgun which I dearly love.

Hello SKB,
Thanks for the reply.

I also use a "rare" "vintage" "classic" shotgun for turkey hunting here in Wisconsin.










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Buckstix,
I like your Turkey gun quite a bit. Great bird too!

I have an interest in obtaining a single barrel percussion pigeon gun in a large bore as a turkey gun.

Steve


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Originally Posted By: SKB
Buckstix,
I like your Turkey gun quite a bit. Great bird too!

I have an interest in obtaining a single barrel percussion pigeon gun in a large bore as a turkey gun.

Steve

Hello SKB
Thanks for the reply

I love hunting with that antique Turkey gun. Its one of my favorites. And I've found ... you can be just as unsuccessful with a fine antique, as with a modern gun. wink

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That T. Bland is a helluva firearm. How i'd love to look at it.

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Originally Posted By: HighWall
That T. Bland is a helluva firearm. How i'd love to look at it.

Hello HighWall,
Thanks for the reply.

Any time you get to Wisconsin ... look me up.

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Hello All,

Here's an update .... I've been making my Paradox Crimping tool for a lot of Forum Members. Last week I was contacted by a former customer that bought 2 of my crimping tools. He asked me if I could make him a Custom 12ga Paradox "Roll-Crimper" for paper cases. I had made one before for plastic cases, but never for paper ones. I said I'd give it a try. Its different from A conventional roll crimper because it has to accommodate bullet or ball or slug, sticking out of the case.

Well, here it is .... its number "2" Paradox Roll Crimp Tool. It has an adjustable center stem to position the bullet down into the case while rolling the crimp. its adjustable for different bullet nose shapes. I'm sure I'll be making more of these in the future by request.

[Linked Image from buckstix.com]

I also finished Crimping Tool number 53 for 12 gauge. I evolved into making this style after tool number 10, and have stayed with it ever since. There are slight variation from one to the other because each tool is custom made. I only have enough components left for 2 more tools, so if anyone is interested in having me build them a tool, please reply asap.

[Linked Image from buckstix.com]

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Hello All,

here's an update ....

I've been busy making paradox crimping tools for my fellow shooters. Here's an update ..

tool number 58 for 12 gauge

[Linked Image from buckstix.com]

tool number 59 for 12 gauge

[Linked Image from buckstix.com]

tool number 60 for 10 gauge

[Linked Image from buckstix.com]

tool number 61 for 12 gauge

[Linked Image from buckstix.com]

and number 3 roll crimper for 12 gauge paper hulls

[Linked Image from buckstix.com]

Thanks to all that had me make them a tool ... I am glad to make more if shooters need them. Send me a PM

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