J. RIGBY & CO.
A VERY RARE 12-BORE BOXLOCK EJECTOR 'BALL & SHOT' GUN, serial no. 17492,
28in. nitro barrels with short file-cut sight rib engraved in gothic script 'J. RIGBY & CO. 43 SACKVILLE STREET LONDON W. LATE ST JAMES'S STREET.' and with two folding leaf sights marked for 50 and 100 yards and with white metal sight lines, the sunken rib engraved '"BALL & SHOT GUN"', the rib with slight ramp at muzzle with bead fore-sight, the barrel flats with Rigby trade mark and 'S&B' mark, incorporating T.W. Webley patent rifling, patent no. 15984 of 3rd November 1888, the inside of the barrels with very shallow straight groove rifling with a slight twist at the final approx. 5in. from the muzzles, 2 1/2in. chambers, treble-grip action with removable striker discs and intercepting sears, slim toplever engraved 'PATENT', automatic safety with brass 'SAFE' plaque, border and partial bold scroll engraving, the sides of the action engraved in gothic script 'J. RIGBY & CO.', retaining slight traces of original colour-hardening and finish, 14 5/8in. semi-pistolgrip stock with sling swivels and steel buttplate, weight 7lb. 8oz.
Provenance: The makers have kindly confirmed that the gun was sold on the 7th April 1909 to Capt. Hon. GH Douglas Pennant (he purchased a scoped .350 best double rifle, no. 17495 on the same day).
The records state the gun to be a 'Class C Hless Double Ejector Top lever A&D Ball and Shot gun, action no. 11574 from W&S Ltd., 12-bore, 28in. barrels, 14 5/8in. stock, sighting: 2 lvs 50 & 100 yds'.
Captain George Henry Douglas-Pennant, born 26th August 1876 was killed in action at the age of 38 on March 11th 1915 at the battle of Neuve Chapelle whilst serving with the 1st Battalion, King's Company, Grenadier Guards.
He was the son of George Sholto Gordon, 2nd Baron Penrhyn and Gertrude Lady Penrhyn of Penrhyn Castle, Bangor Carnarvonshire. He served in the South African War (and mentioned in dispatches) as ADC to Lt. Gen. Sir Leslie Rundle between 1903-1907.
His younger brother, Lieutenant Charles Douglas-Pennant of the 1st Battalion The Coldstream Guards was killed the previous year at Gheluvelt (the first battle of Ypres) on the 29th October 1914.
Other Notes: It is thought that very few ball and shot guns were sold by Rigby's and for a short period only (between approx.1900 and 1910) perhaps less than 20 in total - with some being semi-smooth bore rifled and some with the more traditional 'paradox'-type rifled chokes.
In the Small Arms Patent Specifications, T.W. Webley's design of rifling is listed as: "The rifling is straight for the greater part of the barrel but becomes helical near the muzzle. The lands are cylindrical throughout, but the grooves are made shallower near the muzzle'
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