I often think of Birmingham and London as the centers of the UK’s double-barrel shotgun trade. Of course, both cities did make significant contributions to the history of gunmaking, but Edinburgh also played a important role.
James MacNaughton opened a shop in Edinburgh in 1864 and in 1879 he patented his triggerplate-action ‘Edinburgh Patent Hammerless Ejector’ — the world’s first “round action” design. You can read a bit more about him on this blog post from Castle Gunmakers: James MacNaughton’s “Edinburgh” Gun – the best ever?
MacNAUGHTON 303 NITRO ROUND ACTION TRIGGERPLATE DOUBLE RIFLE: DISTINCTIVE, ELEGANT & RARE, #2430, James MacNaughton & Sons, 36 Hanover Street, Edinburgh: A Distinctive, Elegant & Rare Hammerless Round Action Trigger Plate Double Rifle in .303 British Nitro Made in 1905 with 26″ Ejector barrels, The safety is a turning lever on the top strap, 1/4 rib with 1 standing & 1 folding rear sights, The 1/4 rib and front ramp in the pure MacNaughton round action style with split barrels from the rib to the front sight, Nitro Proved, Double triggers, No cheekpiece, Ideal for the right or left hand, No sling eyes, 14 5/8″ LOP over the original checkered butt, The proper and correct 303 weight of 8 lbs. 1 oz., 90% coverage of very nice period scroll and border engraving, Nice wood that remains stout with a lifetime of use left in both the butt and forend.
I feel this gun is totally original with the barrel blue still at 95%, it still has 40% original case colors and it remains super solid in every respect. Then to top all that off, the bores are excellent plus and look like new, if they were a 10 when it was new they now remain at a 9. A very solid double rifle that has a bunch of its mechanical life left in it. It has a spare set of 20 Bore 28″ ejector barrels that were fit to this gun by B.S.A. without any alteration to the original gun. They appear to have been fitted after 1925 based on the proof marks. The whole is cased in the original canvas trunk after the 20 Bore barrels were added and fits the two barrels. It has a very neat original MacNaughton trade label with the 36 Hanover address and not the former 26 Hanover address. It was possibly made for Mr. K. R. McAdams from Fredericton, New Brunswick as the trade label is marked accordingly.
This is special stuff from one of the most famous Edinburgh Gunmakers of the 19th century. James MacNaughton was the patentee of the first round action similar to Dickson’s own later design. His round action trigger plate lockwork was patent #2848 of 1879 which included a falling block as well as this SxS. This patent is certainly the forerunner of all the round actions that are still made to this day. The MacNaughton ejector system is patent 37759 of 1890. This classic MacNaughton system also carried a U. S. patent #264,723 of 1882. The firm became James MacNaughton & Sons at 36 Hanover in 1905, the address of this gun and remained there until 1940. Price: $31,000.00