Auction alert: Excellent and Unique 12 gauge J&W Tolley English Hammergun …

NO RESERVE, Excellent and Unique 12 gauge J&W Tolley English Hammergun
NO RESERVE, Excellent and Unique 12 gauge J&W Tolley English Hammergun

I’ve seen lots of hammer guns. LOTS. But this Tolley is totally new to me. It’s on Gunbroker.com now and it’s being sold at No Reserve. The listing ends tomorrow, 12/16/2018, @ 11:00 PM EST.

NO RESERVE, Excellent and Unique 12 gauge J&W Tolley English Hammergun
NO RESERVE, Excellent and Unique 12 gauge J&W Tolley English Hammergun

J & W Tolley, Gunmakers, was established around 1859 in Birmingham, England. They opened a shop in London in 1883, and in 1955, the final guns carrying the J & W Tolley name were made.

The double you see here was made early in the company’s history — around 1870 — and it has a couple unique features: the shape of its action and the way the barrels lock onto that action. Take a closer look at the pics to see what I mean.

NO RESERVE, Excellent and Unique 12 gauge J&W Tolley English Hammergun
NO RESERVE, Excellent and Unique 12 gauge J&W Tolley English Hammergun

BTW: Something else worth mentioning is how great this auction listing is. Not only are there a lot of pics, but the seller gives you a lot of info about the gun, including an outline of the gun’s flaws. A listing like this make me feel a lot better about bidding on this gun. I wish more sellers would follow this example.

NO RESERVE, Excellent and Unique 12 gauge J&W Tolley English Hammergun
NO RESERVE, Excellent and Unique 12 gauge J&W Tolley English Hammergun

NO RESERVE, Excellent and Unique 12 gauge J&W Tolley English Hammergun: 1870s era, game-scene & scroll engraved Hammer gun. Established ca. 1859, Tolley gained their excellent reputation building top-shelf big bore shotguns and rifles. 8 lbs. dead-on and built like a tank with heavy duty top lever, back action locks, stout hammers & oversized “Mushroom-cap” firing pins. Has a unique, hidden fastener system that has to be one of the earliest examples of a hidden bite as Purdey’s, (known for 3rd bites) didn’t offer theirs until the late 1880s. Another unique feature is the cut-away “I-Beam” frame which was likely an attempt to shave off weight or to stiffen it up. Never the less, it gives the gun a distinctive look. To top it off, there’s an odd protrusion at the underside of the muzzles – most likely to prevent damage. The Ivory bead is also unusual on a gun from this period. This is a real piece of British gun innovation – we’ve never seen anything like it from any maker. The Game-scene & scroll engraving is top-rate and also unusual for a heavy-duty gun from this era. With sculpted percussion fences, detailed hammer filing, fine Damascus steel barrels, this gun is as distinctive as it is classy.

NO RESERVE, Excellent and Unique 12 gauge J&W Tolley English Hammergun
NO RESERVE, Excellent and Unique 12 gauge J&W Tolley English Hammergun

EXTERNAL CONDITION: Looks like the gun was stored on a wall as one side is clean and shows quite a bit of original finish whereas the exposed side has what appears to be a light coat of cabin soot. NOTE: An expert cleaning of the duller side would likely reveal some very nice condition. The barrels have nearly all of their original Chocolate brown and fine Damascus pattern – Barrel lettering and proof marks are clear and sharp. The action and balance of metal show no evidence of polishing or buffing – everything is crisp and sharp and mechanically excellent! Barrels are an UN-CUT 28 3/16” (see pic of muzzles). Bores are very shiny with just a few light blemishes scattered throughout and we’d rate them a solid 9.5 / 10. Chambers are 2 ¾” with bores measuring R: .0736 & L:.731 min walls @ .733 / Choked: R: .011 / R: .007. The Horn capped ½ grip stock with “Gentleman’s” dimensions measures 14 ¼” x 2 ¼ x 3 ¼” drop at heel. Don’t snicker at these dimensions – the gun shoulders quite well and the boys back in the day were well known for their high percentages using these measurements. 8 lbs. dead on.

NO RESERVE, Excellent and Unique 12 gauge J&W Tolley English Hammergun
NO RESERVE, Excellent and Unique 12 gauge J&W Tolley English Hammergun

FLAWS: There’s a small nick on the top outside of the L bbl. a few inches from the muzzles at the 12:00 position that’s barely visible from the inside. There’s also a 1/8” long sliver of wood missing alongside the top-tang (easy fix) and somebody made a small & careful attempt to remove some of the soot from the right side of the stock, but only a small patch – but that’s it. Take a close look at the wood-metal & metal-metal fit and the nearly spotless breech-face showing very little evidence of firing – this gun is tight and crisp! Lock-up is solid, gun is on the face and barrels ring true – no loose ribs! All-in-all, here’s a unique example that’s built like a tank from a well respected Birmingham maker in excellent condition. Sure, it’s had the screws turned a few times, and the bores touched-up, but the overall excellent, lightly used condition and unique design make this an unusual and rare find!

NO RESERVE, Excellent and Unique 12 gauge J&W Tolley English Hammergun
NO RESERVE, Excellent and Unique 12 gauge J&W Tolley English Hammergun
NO RESERVE, Excellent and Unique 12 gauge J&W Tolley English Hammergun
NO RESERVE, Excellent and Unique 12 gauge J&W Tolley English Hammergun
NO RESERVE, Excellent and Unique 12 gauge J&W Tolley English Hammergun
NO RESERVE, Excellent and Unique 12 gauge J&W Tolley English Hammergun
NO RESERVE, Excellent and Unique 12 gauge J&W Tolley English Hammergun
NO RESERVE, Excellent and Unique 12 gauge J&W Tolley English Hammergun
NO RESERVE, Excellent and Unique 12 gauge J&W Tolley English Hammergun
NO RESERVE, Excellent and Unique 12 gauge J&W Tolley English Hammergun
NO RESERVE, Excellent and Unique 12 gauge J&W Tolley English Hammergun
NO RESERVE, Excellent and Unique 12 gauge J&W Tolley English Hammergun
NO RESERVE, Excellent and Unique 12 gauge J&W Tolley English Hammergun
NO RESERVE, Excellent and Unique 12 gauge J&W Tolley English Hammergun
NO RESERVE, Excellent and Unique 12 gauge J&W Tolley English Hammergun
NO RESERVE, Excellent and Unique 12 gauge J&W Tolley English Hammergun

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