Here’s a fascinating old shotgun in incredible original condition. It’s a Charles Lancaster SxS hammergun, and I’m guessing it’s from the early 1870s.
Charles Lancaster started out in the London gun trade in 1811 as a barrel maker. Soon he was known as the best in the business, and his barrels were being used by the top gunmakers of the day, including Manton and Purdey. In 1826, Charles Lancaster launched his own gunmaking business at 151 New Bond Street, London. After his death in 1847, his business was taken over by his sons: Charles William and Alfred (who left to start his own firm in 1860). Charles William Lancaster run his father’s business until his death in 1878. Henry Alfred Alexander Thorn, one of Charles William Lancaster former apprentices, purchased the business in 1879 and renamed it Charles Lancaster and Co.
Charles William Lancaster came up with a number of unique designs, including the Pillar Breech Rifle (1848), Oval Bore Rifling (1850) and the Gas Check Bullet (1851). In 1853, he came up with the Base-fire cartridge – the first true centerfire cartridge ever developed.
On the original base-fires shotguns, the barrels slide forward from the action and then dropped down when the gun opened. This guns isn’t a base fire, but it incorporates the low hammers and in-line firing pins that were two of the signatures of Lancaster’s base-fire design.
CHARLES LANCASTER BEST SIDELEVER HAMMER GUN 16 GAUGE: 28″ DAMASCUS BARRELS GREAT BORES CYLINDER AND MODIFIED 2 1/2″ CHAMBERS DOUBLE TRIGGER EJECTOR SPLINTER FOREARM EXCELLENT ORIGINAL CONDITION IN MAKERS CASE 5LBS 15 OZ X 2 9/16″ X 1 9/16″ X 14 7/16″. Price: $13,500