WILLIAM POWELL & SON
A RARE 12-BORE 1876 PATENT PUSH-FORWARD UNDERLEVER SNAP-ACTION SIDELOCK NON-EJECTOR, serial no. 7118,
30in. black powder only barrels, the rib engraved 'WILLIAM POWELL & SON. 13 CARRS LANE. BIRMINGHAM.', 2 1/2in. chambers, bored approx. true cyl. choke in both, right wall at 18, no safety, Thomas Woodward 1876 patent action, patent no. 651 of 17 February 1876, lockplates engraved 'WILLIAM. A. ADAMS SAFETY LOCKS. JULY 1884' (refreshed), border engraving, brushed bright finish, 15in. well figured stock including 7/8in. wooden extension, replacement fore-end wood, cross-pin release catch, horn finial, weight 5lb. 11oz.
Provenance: The makers have kindly confirmed that this gun was purchased by a W.A. Adams on 2nd September 1880.
Interestingly, W.A. Adams registered his own patent for a push forward underlever action in 1879, Patent No. 1128 of 20th March 1879) - and subsequently, together with S.A. Grant, registered a spiral spring design in 1883 (patent no. 2101 of 25th April 1883). The Powell day book entry for gun 7118 poses some interesting questions as to Adam's motivation for buying the gun, suggesting perhaps it was as a test bed for his own designs. No patent for safety devices is evident as having been registered in 1884 (as declared on the lockplates), suggesting this may be a working prototype piece. He did register a safety bolt design, No. 18,135 together with J. Robertson on 28th September 1895 and a second, also with Robertson (trading as Boss & Co.) on 23rd January 1897, patent no. 1847.
The day book entry reads:
W.A. ADAMS Esq.
1 Central fire hammerless HL with two pairs of steel barrels 30in. 12 gauge, 1 pair full choke No.3 system, & 1 pair modified 10 dec No.1 system; "Acme" action without indicators on safety bolt; no forepart to lock plates, no springs to strikers, recoil spring trigger right hand, old bolt, ebonite heelplate, hardened work polished afterwards; threaded engraving, old 1 black coloured browned, choke barrels lettered 'C' above name'
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S2 - Sold as a Section 2 Firearm under the 1968 Firearms Act