Here’s a tough shotgun to find. It’s an 8 gauge waterfowler by an American “maker” named Patrick Mullin, and it’s on a Henry-Jones Patent action. It was probably built in 1870s.
In its day, this big-bore shotgun was far too expensive to be used by a commercial hunter as a “market gun”. Instead, a wealthy sportsman would have specially ordered it and used it in marshes, shorelines and flyways to pass shoot waterfowl at long ranges (80+ yards) and knock down big birds like geese and swans.
Patrick Mullin made guns in New York City from around 1850-1870. He was born in Donegal, Ireland, in 1814 and trained in Dublin and London before moving to the U.S.
But while we know who Mullin was, the mysterious part of his legacy is just how much of his guns he actually built. On this 8 gauge, I’m calling Mullin the “maker” because he didn’t make that much of it. Even though his name is on the locks and barrels, all of those, plus the action and leverwork, came from the UK. Mullin may have stocked the gun and finished it off. But that’s it.
Amoskeag Auctions two-day November sale starts tomorrow, 11/22, 2014 @ 9am. There are a number of nice looking guns in this auction – from a slew of rare American-made bolt rifles to the double barrel shotguns listed below. That P. Mullin and the William Schaefer and super rare American side-by-sides, and from I’ve heard, the Schaefer is superb.
Lot 245: New York Underlever 12g Double Hammergun By Patrick Mullin: Serial #1, 12 ga., 28″ barrels with bright very good bores which show some scattered light pitting, a spot or two which might be slightly more moderate. The barrels show lovely plum and gray contrasting damascus pattern their full-length, appearing to have been very nicely, very professionally re-struck. The concave rib is marked “P. Mullin New York” and the breeches show very light geometric engraving. The frame is primarily a dark plum brown and speckled case-hardened patina with some generous colors atop the short tang. There are graceful chiseled “cap deflecting” contours behind each fence and the hammers retain their cap deflecting ridges at their leading edges. The lockplates are unembellished and show some silvery speckled and gray case-hardening with the right lock more of a pewter, the left more of a blue-gray with colors in the areas of the hammers. The straight grip English walnut buttstock rates very good plus showing nice grain figure but with some added finish, also retaining a few sparse minor dings and dents from the years. It is checkered slightly coarsely in a wrap-over pattern and there is an un-engraved shield-shaped silver monogram plate atop the wrist. The forend is in a similar state of condition and is near overall checkered and features a nice horn tip insert. Likely a very late shotgun, nearly all of Mullin’s forearms are retained by wedge and tenons while this example is a lever-release. Twelve gauge guns by Mullin are actually very rare as he was known for making large-bore fowling pieces. Most of his guns are 10 and 8 bore, with some 4 bore guns known. The barrels fit ever-so-slightly loose with the lever at the end of its travel and the locks are crisp and mechanically functional and are non-rebounding. A very nice example overall from this prolific New York maker of big bore single and double barrel fowling pieces. Estimate $1500-$2500
Lot 249: Wonderful 12g William Schaefer Boston Top Lever Double Hammergun: Serial #2, 12 ga., 28″ barrels with .004″ constriction in each tube and with excellent bores. This shotgun is marked on each lock “W.R. SCHAEFER” and the top rib is engraved “W.R. SCHAEFER BOSTON MASS.”. This shotgun shows fabulous workmanship and remains in fabulous original condition. The barrel flats and watertable both show a single “2” and the barrels and action show no proofs of any kind; the barrel shows the initials “W.K.S. just ahead of flats. The shotgun features beautifully executed raised ridges on the fences around the firing pins. The only engraving is a small wedge on the rib at breech and a nice border around the breeches. The forend tip is of iron and beautifully formed as are the perfectly fit toe and heel buttplate. The barrels retain about 90 – 95% evenly thinning original damascus pattern. The action, locks and hammers show about 90% original color case-hardened finish faded to a pewter gray on the belly but showing nice contrast on the locks. The top lever is finished in blue, the triggerguard in color case hardening which is faded to gray. The checkered straight grip buttstock and forend are of beautifully figured walnut and rate excellent with 90% plus original finish remaining and with sharp checkering. The stock features dropper points and a beautiful iron toe and heel buttplate with smooth center and a gold monogram plate on top of wrist which is engraved with fancy monogram. The forend is checkered in a fancy pattern and is wedge fastened with the head of the wedge fitting flush into a recess in the escutcheon. All screws remain properly indexed. This is a very fine Boston double with lovely little details which showcase the pride that this highly talented maker took in his work. Estimate $2000-$3000.
Lot 281: Parker 28g Vh Grade Boxlock Double Shotgun: Serial #128240, 28 ga. on No. 0 frame, 24″ barrels choked cylinder and improved modified with bright excellent bores. This is a rare little Parker, one of only 38 original V grade guns with 24″ barrels. The barrels retain about 90% evenly thinning original blue finish. The action is mostly a silver gray patina with bright color under top lever. The walnut stocks appear to factory Remington replacements, the buttstock is excellent and fits beautifully, the forend is not quite as nice. The forend checkering pattern is a little different than factory and the buttstock has a “REMINGTON” marked gripcap. The stock has a 14 7/8″ length of pull over a Redhead pad with outward rake at the toe and drops of 1 3/4″ and 2 3/4″. This is a rare little smallbore Parker that should be fun to hunt. Estimate $6000-$8000.
Lot 390: Rare 12g Hoffman Arms Company Double Ejectorgun: Serial #98598, 12 ga., 29″ fluid steel barrels both choked a light full with bright excellent bores. The barrels retain about 80% original blue, the loss is some even light fading and toning with the some wear along the lower right edge of the right tube where it looks as though there was some light surface oxidation which was removed with steel wool. The right barrel is engraved “Made by Hoffman Arms Co No. 482” with the left tube engraved “Ardmore Okla 12 ga.”, there is light engraving at the breeches and on the rib extension; there is no wall thickness noted below .035″, closer to .040″ over most surfaces. The barrels exhibit British nitro proofs for 1 1/8 ounce loads and are equipped with dual beads. The frame shows very nice vivid color case-hardening, toning only on the edges of the fences and the rounded portions of the belly. The gun features nice loose flowing scroll with foliate decoration on the belly of the frame. The right and left flats show pheasant and hunting dog motifs, the fences with foliate decoration, nicely matted along the top of the frame. Additionally the top lever shows some nice scroll and geometric decoration with a very nice scroll on the bow of the guard. The straight grip English walnut stock rates very good plus to excellent with minor dings and handling marks from the years. The checkering is nice with mullered borders and there are dropper points at the rear of the stock cheeks. The splinter style forend is in a similar state of condition with its hardware still exhibiting very nice color case-hardening. The length of pull to the Hawkins recoil pad is 13 1/2″ with drops of 1 1/2″ and 2″; the lower left and right leading edges of the stock show repaired chips, the left side appears to have the original chip re-affixed, the right side has had a piece very nicely spliced in. Lockup is tight with the top lever still slightly right of center and the gun seems to operate properly, the ejectors fitted very tightly to one another, occasionally one dragging the other up with it slightly upon ejection, it does not kick the shell out of the unfired barrel however; if the two are fired simultaneously they kick the shells robustly. Really a very lovely example overall in a very fine state of condition, Hoffman shotguns very rarely encountered. Estimate $3000-$5000.
Lot 575: 20g Beretta Asel Model Over Under Shotgun: Serial #27653, 20 Ga, 27 1/2″ ventilated rib barrels choked modified over improved with bright excellent bores. The metal surfaces retain 95-97% original blue finish on the barrels, lever, triggerguard and lower tang with some light loss at the carry point; the coin finished scalloped frame rates very good to near excellent displaying moderate engraving around the edges with some faint tarnishing present in a few areas. The checkered straight grip walnut buttstock and forend rate good to near very good with several dings and handling marks present as well as some added finish; a Pachmayr White Line rubber recoil pad has been outfitted with the length of pull measuring out to 14 1/2″. A fine Beretta ASEL over under shotgun that would perform well afield. Estimate $1500-$2500.
Lot 699: 20g Webley And Scott Boxlock Model 700 Double Ejector Shotgun: Serial #140187, 20 Ga, 28″ barrels with a matted rib choked improved modified and full. The barrels retain 98% original blued finish. The frame retains 95% of its case-hardened finish with the exception of light slivering along the lower edges. The checkered straight grip walnut buttstock has a grooved butt for a length of pull of 14 9/16″ and drops 1 3/4″ and 2 1/4″. The walnut finish on the stock and forend rates excellent with the exception of a small ding on the forend checkering. The gun features double triggers, ejectors, and an automatic safety. This gun is in excellent overall condition. Estimate $2000-$3000.
Let’s celebrate one of America’s finest gunmakers: Patrick Mullin. Don’t feel bad, most people have never heard of him. Patrick Mullin’s double barrel shotguns were some of the finest ever made on this side of the Atlantic. This 8 gauge, 11lb 5oz., percussion shotgun with 33″ barrels is an excellent example of his work. It glows with excellence and proves that a best-quality gun doesn’t need engraving.
Patrick Mullin made guns in New York City from around 1850-1870. He was born in Donegal, Ireland, in 1814 and trained in Dublin and London before emigrating to the US. His guns retailed for $400-$1000 — more than Purdeys made at the same time.
On Mullin’s death in 1895, the New York Times published his obituary and stated “He turned out guns of his own handiwork that were unsurpassed in excellence.” This 8 gauge shows that they were right. Pics courtesy Dismal River Armory.