Of all the iconic British designs for hammerless double barrel shotguns, the Dickson Round Action is certainly the most unique.
And according to a lot of people, it’s also the most beautiful. Take a look at this one which just came up at Lyon & Turnbull auctioneers in Edinburgh, Scotland to see if you agree.
James MacNaughton filed a patent for a the world’s first trigger plate, round action hammerless breech loading SxS shotgun in July, 1879. Six months later (January of 1880), John Dickson filed a patent for what would become his company’s legendary Dickson Round Action.
Both designs were innovative and brilliant. By moving the lockwork onto the triggerplate and behind the breechface, MacNaughton and Dickson freed themselves to build trim, sleek actions which were still extremely strong.
On this Dickson, the full-coverage scroll engraving and the Acanthus-leave carvings on the fences are very unique, and part of what makes this side-by-side so beautiful.
Last week I put up this post about a rare Dickson Round Action double rifle. It went off at auction on Saturday, 10/6, and the hammer price blew away the pre-sale estimate. The Dickson hammered down at $23,700 vs. a pre-sale estimate of $6-8,000.
I was told that Dickson made fewer than 20 round action double rifles. That kind of scarcity, plus this examples good looking condition, are certainly the reason behind it’s high price. Here’s the info on the gun from the auctioneer:
John Dickson & Son side by side top lever double-barrel Express rifle, .500 cal., London and black powder proof barrels with ejectors, a highly scroll engraved receiver, trigger guard, lever and tang, a gold-filled safe indicator, a right-handed English walnut stock with a cheek rest, a pistol grip with checkering to the wrist and fore end and a brass escutcheon on the butt stock, serial #4655, 28″ barrels.