James Woodward was one of the giants of British gunmaking. In 1872, he founded his firm–James Woodward & Sons. In 1948, after having built some of the finest doubles to ever come out of the UK, the company was sold to James Purdey & Sons. In the 76 years in between, Woodward built around 5000 guns. Even though the gun you see here is engraved Lang & Hussey, I’m almost certain it was made partly-or totally-by Mr. Woodward’s firm.
Why? Because it’s just too similar to one of Woodward’s most famous guns: the “Automatic”. It even has Woodward’s signature arcaded fences and T safety. And like all top-quality, hammerless Woodwards, it was made with Whitworth fluid-steel barrels.
The Woodward “Automatic” action was based on a design patented by J. Woodward and T. Southgate in 1876, and it cocks “automatically” when you open the gun by pushing forward on the lever wrapping over the triggerguard.
BTW: To learn more about James Woodward & Sons, check out James Woodward and the Vertical Double
LANG & HUSSEY UNDER-LEVER SIDELOCK NON-EJECTOR: Here is rare Lang & Hussey 12 gauge under-lever sidelock non-ejector, built in 1898. The receiver features beautiful border and acanthus scroll engraving, arcaded fences, side-clips, and gold-inlaid cocking indicators. The number “4” is inlaid in gold on rib and tang. The gun locks up tight, and has a doll’s head extension. The 30″ barrels have 2 1/2″ chambers and shiny bores, choked .040/.040. The rib is engraved: LANG & HUSSEY Ld. 102 NEW BOND STREET. LONDON. MADE OF SIR JOSEPH WHITWORTH’S FLUID PRESSED STEEL. The stock is very pretty French walnut, and has various dings and indentations, but is solid with no cracks. It measures 1 1/2″ x 2 1/8″ x 14 1/4″ over a vintage solid red pad. There is slight cast off. The gun weighs 7 lbs 3 oz. Price: $2,600