Why? James MacNaughton’s 28g ‘Edinburgh’ gun …

J. MacNaughton Double Barrel 28 Gauge Shotgun with Case from Rock Island Auctions Dec, 2014, sale
J. MacNaughton Double Barrel 28 Gauge Shotgun with Case from Rock Island Auctions Dec, 2014, sale

“Why …?” is a question I ask a lot when looking at  guns. Why did Parker use a doll’s head? Why did Greener think a side safety was a great idea?

Another “Why?” I’ve asked many times is “Why did MacNaughton build a 28g Round Action shotguns?”

MACNAUGHTON “THE EDINBURGH” 28 BORE ROUND ACTION LIGHT GAME GUN. SN 1620. FROM JAMES JULIA'S FALL 2013 SALE
MACNAUGHTON “THE EDINBURGH” 28 BORE ROUND ACTION LIGHT GAME GUN. SN 1620. FROM JAMES JULIA’S FALL 2013 SALE

These guns pop up every now and then, and every time I see one, I scratch my head and wonder what the thinking was behind them. The one’s I’ve seen were made in the 1890s, had 24″-24 1/2″ barrels, and weighed around 5lbs. They also had adult-size stocks dimensions (which kills the whole “made for kids” idea).

MACNAUGHTON “THE EDINBURGH” 28 BORE ROUND ACTION LIGHT GAME GUN. SN 1620. FROM JAMES JULIA'S FALL 2013 SALE
MACNAUGHTON “THE EDINBURGH” 28 BORE ROUND ACTION LIGHT GAME GUN. SN 1620. FROM JAMES JULIA’S FALL 2013 SALE

People have told me these guns were made for walked-up woodcock shooting in the UK. I’ve also heard these SxS were made for naturalists gathering birds for avian collections. Both sounded like plausible explanations to me.

To learn more about MacNaughtons and their mysterious 28-gauge side-by-sides, check out this post from the John Dickson & Son site:

28g James MacNaughton 'Edinburgh' shotgun, now for sale on the John Dickson site
28g James MacNaughton ‘Edinburgh’ shotgun, now for sale on the John Dickson site

James MacNaughton was the real inventor of the ‘Round-Action’ but there are many unanswered questions on how MacNaughton became the most successful 28 bore retailer in Edinburgh in the form of his flagship ‘Edinburgh’ gun.”

We present this beautiful early ejector ‘Edinburgh’ gun for sale to help us tell the story…. 

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