Here is a handsome and unique Pape hammergun I am selling for Douglas Tate (author of Birmingham Gunmakers and British Gun Engraving, and editor-at-large for Shooting Sportsman). Douglas, like William Rochester Pape, hails from Newcastle upon Tyne. It was his research into Pape’s guns that ultimately led Douglas to realize that in order to do justice to the story of Pape, he would have to expand his scope to encompass the history of the Birmingham gun trade, which in turn led to the writing of Birmingham Gunmakers.
This particular hammergun was featured in a wonderful piece Douglas wrote for Shooting Sportsman (May/June 2009), titled: W. R. PAPE The Father of Choke Boring & a Shameless Self-Promoter
This is what Douglas wrote me about the gun:
“Number 2037 was sold to Mr. Rutherford, innkeeper of South Shields, on July 18th 1872. The gun
is of interest to patent collectors because it features all the most famous W. R. Pape patents. The first from 1866 (UK # 1501, May 29th 1866 & US # 70463 Nov 5th 1867) is for the push forward under lever sometimes referred to as Pape’s tap-lock, which features a double bite snap action that bolts and unbolts the drop down barrels. This patent also contains the earliest known description of a method of choke boring shotguns ANYWHERE. It allowed Pape to claim he’d invented choke boring.
The next is provisional UK patent #594 for Mar 2nd 1867 which is for the dolls head cartridge extractor plus a system for mechanically retracting firing pins consisting of a catch on the inside of the hammers which engages the strikers and withdraws them when the hammers are pulled back. The tap-lock, the dolls head extractor and the mechanically retracting strikers are the elements that define Pape hammer guns of this era together with nose-less hammers featuring rabbit ear spurs.
It was made by Arthur E. B. Wilkinson who eventually amalgamated with Charles Osborne, who supplied Pape with some of his double rifles. Wilkinson was a maker who built guns for the provincial trade from addresses in the Birmingham Gun Quarter; Whittall St. and Bath street are a couple of places he worked.”
This gun has 28 1/2″ black powder proved Damascus barrels with 2 1/2″ chambers, choked .002/.006. The locks are non-rebounding. The fore-end has a keyed release. There is a small insert repair to the right horn. The stock measures 13 1/2″ over heel-and-toe plates. The weight is 6 lbs 4 oz.