I have a thing for hammerguns, and nice ones like this get me all hot and bothered. While I couldn’t find any info about the maker’s name on it, it looks like Henry Benjamin knew what he was doing.
This gun was built back when demand for fine shotguns was strong. Makers tried to outdo one another to attract clients. Their workers built lots of guns (largely by hand), and all the experience gave the skills to take their craft to incredible levels.
Centerfire, breechloading hammerguns were popular from about 1867-1890. But once makers like Westley Richards, W& C Scott, and James Purdey & Sons introduced reliable, easy-to-use hammerless design, hammerguns were pushed out in the door.
HENRY BENJAMIN – STEPHEN GRANT SIDELEVER – SxS – EXCEPTIONAL CONDITION – 30″ BARRELS: 12 gauge hammer gun utilizing the Stephan Grant Sidelever locking system. Exceptional quality in all ways equal to Maker Stephan Grant or better. Original case colors and detailed tight English Scroll engraving. Barrels are 30″ fine damascus, proofed at “12” and retain their original bore diameter at .726 in each barrel. Excellent bores. Chambers measure 2 3/4″. Chokes appear to be light IC in both barrels with about 5/1000 constriction.
The mechanics of the gun are quite good also. Tight and on the face. No loose ribs. No cracks in the wood. Rebounding hammers. The forend latch is an elegant system patented by Scott (of WC Scott) in 1876. Breech face is clean with no corrosion. Wall thickness is good with a minimum of 32/1000. Weight is 6 LBS 14 1/8 OZ.
The stock has a desirable long trigger guard tang and contemporary stock dimensions. LOP is 14 9/16″. Drop at Comb of 1 1/2″, while drop at heel is 2 1/8″. Buttplate is the elegant skeleton style with engraving. Very nice figure to the wood. Price:$5,750