A few weeks ago, I put up this post about James Woodward & Son’s first type over-under shotgun. Now that my life has slowed down a bit (sorry for being aways for so long), lets talk about how these first-type OUs evolved into the later model.
Woodward patented their OU in 1913. In all, they built around 300 of these guns before the company was bought by James Purdey & Sons in 1948.
Around 1922, James Woodward & Sons completed OU #6640, a lightweight 12 bore noted by them as having their “new type action and ejectors.” Woodward OUs with these new features are what I’m calling the “Type 2” guns.
A great example of a Type-2 gun is shown here, Woodward OU #6664 from 1923. From what I can see, Woodward two significant changes on these:
The design of the ejectorwork was modified and all the components were moved into the forend.
They altered the flats on the barrels and the corresponding areas in the action.
Why did Woodward made these upgrades? I would say they were done to improve the cocking, ejecting & reliability of these guns.
I love history, and I’m read all sort of books on the history and evolution of shotguns and upland hunting. For a crash course in the subject, check out this piece: History of Shotgunning and Shooting. It’s from The Field magazine and it does a great job of outlining the backstory on doubles and shooting. It reveals a few surprises, too – like the breechloader shown from around 1537. I didn’t know breechloaders were being made that long ago.
Mark Murray -Flutter is senior curator, firearms at the Royal Armouries and Edward Impey is the director-general and master.
The history of the shotgun and shooting, from the reign of Henry VIII to 1800. How bird shooting went from its infancy to the eve of the sport we know today…
“The early history of the shotgun and shooting, before the invention of the breech-loading shotgun as we know it, was a greatly different business. From around 1500 to the eve of the great technical and sporting developments that made the shotgun what it is today, the history of the shotgun encompasses some fascinating historical pieces….”