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Interesting history of Wilkes at Craig whitsey gunmaker.com

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Thanks for that Mark, very interesting indeed.


http://www.bertramandco.com/

ACGG Professional metalsmith, firearms import services.
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Mark;

Also thank you for directing us to this extraordinarily detailed history of the Wilkes family of gunmakers; the history itself is a real imperial jewel of the gun trade and should be preserved. The connection between the two gun trade centers of London and Birmingham is described in a manner that without this writing would be lost. The amount of guns and rifles that were produced by Wilkes during it's height is staggering.

Here is the link to it:

https://craigwhitseygunmakers.co.uk/html/john_wilkes.html

Vintage gunmakers photos available: https://craigwhitseygunmakers.co.uk/html/classic_photos.html

Stephen Howell

Last edited by bushveld; 09/26/21 09:57 AM.
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I had a book with the Wilkes history but I can't find it since I moved.they have a very interesting history

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What’s really fantastic is one can actually learn about the craftsman that worked at Wilkes…like stockmakers, jobbers, actioners, finishers, even apprentices, etc. Tradesman that actually put tools to metal and wood to make guns. They had names that you can put a face & history to.

Unlike the 300+ employees at EM Reilly’s.
Who was Reilly’s version of Ebenezer Hands & Dickie Bolter???? (Two of the best names in the gun industry ever btw :-)

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Albert onions great name in greener history.the story of Wilkes is a great history of gunmaking and survival at one point in the 1850 or 60s the older brother cleaned out the accounts and mortgaged everthing and went to America the younger brother tried to find him I don't think he ever did.wilkes guns are a thing of beauty.

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Originally Posted by LeFusil
What’s really fantastic is one can actually learn about the craftsman that worked at Wilkes…like stockmakers, jobbers, actioners, finishers, even apprentices, etc. Tradesman that actually put tools to metal and wood to make guns. They had names that you can put a face & history to.

Unlike the 300+ employees at EM Reilly’s.
Who was Reilly’s version of Ebenezer Hands & Dickie Bolter???? (Two of the best names in the gun industry ever btw :-)

LeFusil;

Your comment about Ebenezer Hand puts to my mind back in 2008 when I went down stairs at William Evans in St. James to see what treasures they had hidden in the gunroom (they had a matched pair of Stephen Grant sidelever damascus barreled guns in storage for the owner), but in my observation of guns they had for sale was a gun that was stocked by Ebenezer Hand--it has Ebenezer trade mark little acorn like "bump" on the butt stock.

Stephen

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Originally Posted by bushveld
Originally Posted by LeFusil
What’s really fantastic is one can actually learn about the craftsman that worked at Wilkes…like stockmakers, jobbers, actioners, finishers, even apprentices, etc. Tradesman that actually put tools to metal and wood to make guns. They had names that you can put a face & history to.

Unlike the 300+ employees at EM Reilly’s.
Who was Reilly’s version of Ebenezer Hands & Dickie Bolter???? (Two of the best names in the gun industry ever btw :-)

LeFusil;

Your comment about Ebenezer Hand puts to my mind back in 2008 when I went down stairs at William Evans in St. James to see what treasures they had hidden in the gunroom (they had a matched pair of Stephen Grant sidelever damascus barreled guns in storage for the owner), but in my observation of guns they had for sale was a gun that was stocked by Ebenezer Hand--it has Ebenezer trade mark little acorn like "bump" on the butt stock.

Stephen

Right on the nose of the stock. I know exactly what you’re talking about. Pretty much guarantees the gun was stocked by Mr. Hands. I can’t think of anyone else that trademark bump can be associated to. Cool stuff. Love the old characters in this double gun industry. So full of personality, history, and stories. It’s one of my primary interest when it comes to old doubles….the fellas that made them.

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Toby,
You are of course correct about who did what in Birmingham and London. My
objective in posing the question was to address a broader issue, Frequently
on this site members launch into passionate debates without first defining
the issue. That said, who 'made this gun?

In 1888, Lancaster sent a set of oval bore .450 barrels to Powell to be fit to
a "lifter' action. Powell supplied all of the other metal pieces as well at a
total cost of £12/10. It was then returned to Lancaster too be completed.
Who made it?
Steve

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Originally Posted by Steve Helsley
Toby,
You are of course correct about who did what in Birmingham and London. My
objective in posing the question was to address a broader issue, Frequently
on this site members launch into passionate debates without first defining
the issue. That said, who 'made this gun?

In 1888, Lancaster sent a set of oval bore .450 barrels to Powell to be fit to
a "lifter' action. Powell supplied all of the other metal pieces as well at a
total cost of £12/10. It was then returned to Lancaster too be completed.
Who made it?
Steve

Barrels, arguably being the most important part of any gun, and the fitting, finishing, stocking & regulating being what really separates fine guns for all the others….I’d say Lancasters made it into an actual working gun.😀
When it left Powell’s, it was just a barreled action.

That is much different from completed Birmingham guns showing up to a London shop, fully functional and ready to be placed in racks to be sold, or fully functional guns that were ordered by London shops/makers that arrived from Birmingham to London in the white to be finished and proofed in London.

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