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Perhaps the safest approach is to say "marked" or "signed."

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https://i.imgur.com/n2nse4r.jpg

[img]https://i.imgur.com/41T5VK5.jpg[/[img]https://i.imgur.com/tUgCQQ4.jpg[/img]

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]


Steve,

I have a couple of other candidates for your list of pinfire makers.

My wife’s Uncle has a pin fire gun marked “S. Leech and Son” on the lock plates and “G.T. Bartram, Braintree “ on the top rib.

The action and Barrels bear a single set of 13 bore 1855 to 1868 Birmingham proof marks.

I had always assumed it was built as a pinfire by Leech (Leach/ Leetch - they seem to have been undecided on the spelling for a while) of Chelmsford but re-barrelled by Bartram.

Thinking about it , given the very short number of years that pinfires were in demand, it occurs to me that it may have been converted from a Leech muzzle loader by Bartram.

It has a one piece iron butt plate, as you would expect on a muzzle loader, and the pinfire barrels show signs of much use, but not a lot of cleaning.

Leech were certainly building guns in the muzzle loading era, and it seems Bartram were in business earlier than Nigel Brown’s book suggests.

I will try to post some more images,

Keep Well

Parabola

Last edited by Parabola; 08/21/21 12:37 PM. Reason: More images
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Thanks for posting, Parabola.

According to the IGC Database, the Leech family gunmaking business in Chelmsford possibly dates as far back as the 1770s. In 1839 the business name was changed to James H Leech; in 1858 James’s son, William, was a journeyman gunmaker under his father, and after 1862 he became a partner in the business and it was re-named Leech & Son. The Jones-type double-bite mechanism was widely copied after 1864. So, your gun fits in nicely with the pinfire timeline, and I don’t see signs of it being a converted muzzle-loader. George Thomas Thorpe Bartram came later, and while in the gun business he was also a china merchant. He may not have made guns himself, but rather bought guns from ‘the trade.’ It could be that Bartram bought the gun from Leech & Son for re-sale, though re-barrelling is also a possibility. Either way, you have an interesting gun in quite decent condition, with names that have not so far appeared in this ever-lengthening thread.

Always a pleasure to see surviving pinfires!

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This is not a "game gun" but might be of interest:

J.C. Reilly pin-fire pistol at Rock Island - and they almost got the date right it would have been made between summer 1856 (about the time Reilly made his first pin-fire) and September 1857 (when J.C. retired). This pistol is very interesting for one reason - I didn't know that J.C. ever marketed a center-break gun.. He surely never made one. 49 bore = .45 caliber. London proofs. Where is the "Joseph Charles" - there is only "Reilly, 502 New Oxford Street, London" on the barrel.

https://www.rockislandauction.com/detail/1038/4156/engraved-pinfire-pistol-by-reilly-of-london
[Linked Image from jpgbox.com]

Pinfire Pistol by Joseph Charles Reilly of London
Manufacturer: English
Model: Pinfire
Type: Pistol
Gauge: 45
Barrel: 8 1/2 inch octagon
Finish: blue/casehardened
Grip:
Stock: ebony
Item Views: 15
Serial Number:
Class: Antique
Rating:

OE - GOOD - some minor replacement parts; metal smoothly rusted or lightly pitted in places, cleaned; principal lettering, numerals and design on metal legible; lightly scratched, bruised or minor cracks repaired; in good working order.
Description:

Manufactured c. 1848-58. Engraved "REILLY, 502 NEW OXFORD STREET, LONDON." on top of barrel.

Last edited by Argo44; 09/04/21 05:12 AM.

Baluch are not Brahui, Brahui are Baluch
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Any British-marked pinfire from 1856-57 is interesting, as those were early days for the system. That is a fine target/gallery pistol.

The study of pinfire pistols and revolvers is a field in itself, on which I've spent little time and energy. Most research to date seems to have focused on them, rather than on sporting guns.

I will soon add a few more game gun examples to this thread, having secured a second Thomas Horsley, and a Charles Osborne. I just need to find the opportunity to take some pictures.

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I haven't posted in a while, but a few more guns have turned up. Here is a plain pinfire, but there is always something to be learned from one.

When thinking of the great names in Birmingham gunmaking, Charles Henry Osborne might not make the first cut. Born in Birmingham in 1819, he apprenticed under his father, James Osborn, and by 1838 was in business as a gunmaker and factor (selling guns made by others). However, in 1858 Osborne was appointed a Guardian of the Birmingham Proof House, so he was a significant member of the gunmaking community. Osborne was also listed as a beer-house keeper and retail brewer, so he was a versatile fellow.

In 1855, Charles Henry Osborne moved his gunmaking business from 1 Lichfield Street to 12 & 13 Whittall Street. The business and family became intertwined with the Ellis family of Birmingham gunmakers, though the records are unclear. Charles Francis Ellis, the son of a metal dealer, was listed in the 1861 census as a “Commercial Traveller To Gun Maker.” The gunmaker in question may have been Charles Henry Osborne. Ellis’s brother Alexander was a ‘factor’s apprentice, ’ and one of Ellis’s sons was named Charles Osborne Ellis. By 1871 Charles Henry Osborne had retired, and Charles Francis Ellis continued the business. In 1877 Charles Osborne Ellis ran the firm, and he would go on to obtain several gun-related patents.

The firm both bought from the trade and produced for the trade; probably quite a few London makers bought guns from Charles Osborne, placing their names and addresses on the locks and ribs. A few Osborne-marked pinfire game guns have survived, so the firm made them, but I don’t know how many were made or when they started doing so.

Today's gun is a very standard example, a 12-bore made some time after 1862. It carries no serial number, suggesting this was a gun bought from the trade. The top rib is signed “Chas Osborne London” as is usual with his guns, though Osborne did not have a London address. He may well have had an agent in London, but none has been identified so far. The 29 ¾” damascus barrels have Birmingham provisional and definitive proofs and bore size (13), and a barrel maker’s mark “J.G,” which I haven’t been able to identify. The gun has an unmarked double-bite screw grip action, and the action bar lacks a radius. The rounded hammers are plain, the back action locks are signed “Chas Osborne” within decorative scrolls, and the rest of the gun has simple line and border engraving only. A few details are not found on the cheapest guns, such as the raised clips on the trigger guard bow.

Overall it is the type of standard pinfire game gun produced in Birmingham workshops in the mid to late 1860s, or possibly later. As the breech-loader gained acceptance, it was no longer the plaything of the privileged, and guns were made in a range of prices. Lower-cost guns might have been carried afield to the colonies, possibly explaining this one turning up in Canada. The Osborne firm went on to specialize in big-game guns destined for Africa and Asia, so their eyes were always on distant markets.

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[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

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I have not written much lately, but this thread still seems to attract readers – though not much discussion of late. Here is a new post on a best-quality game gun from Thomas Horsley, with a story attached – you can glean a lot from a stock escutcheon! As to the sparsity of photos, the gun was incorrectly ‘restored’, with hot-blued barrels and furniture. I will cover this gun in greater detail once I’m able to address the incorrect finishing.

Henry Walker's Horsley

What are you to do if you are a Gentleman who is a distant sixth in line to the family title? A life in the military is a good prospect, and Papa can afford to buy a good commission. This appears to have been the case for Henry Stephen Walker, son of Sir James Walker of Sand Hutton, Ryedale District, North Yorkshire. Sir James held various posts as High Sheriff of Yorkshire, Deputy Lieutenant, and Justice of the Peace, and would later become 1st Baronet of Sand Hutton (the Baronetcy would be passed on to his first son, James). Henry would have to make his way in the world, albeit with a helping start.

Choosing a regiment would have been difficult, but Henry and Sir James chose the 13th Hussars, purchasing in November 1863 the rank of Cornet. Cornet was the lowest grade of commissioned officer in a British cavalry troop, the modern equivalent being a second lieutenant. As the 13th Light Dragoons, the regiment performed well in the Peninsular War and later at the Battle of Waterloo. In the Crimean War, the regiment was part of the light brigade under the command of Major General the Earl of Cardigan, first at the Battle of Alma. Then the regiment was the first line of cavalry on the right flank during the Charge of the Light Brigade at the Battle of Balaclava. Not entirely done with that, the regiment also took part in the Battle of Inkerman and the Siege of Sevastopol. In 1861 the regiment was renamed the 13th Hussars. After the Crimean War, Henry joined, and the regiment moved around Ireland, Scotland and England. In 1866 the regiment happened to be stationed in York, about 5 kilometres from the Sand Hutton estate.

This point is where the story becomes relevant to this thread, when in 1866, Henry purchased a best-quality 12-bore bar-in-wood pinfire game gun from Thomas Horsley, number 1507, from Horsley's shop at 10 Coney Street. The gun is signed "Thomas Horsley Maker York, Patent 2410" on the top rib, the 30 1/16" damascus barrels have London proofs, and the action bar has an unnumbered "Horsley's Patent No." cartouche. The non-rebounding bar locks are marked "Thos Horsley Patent," and the pull-top-lever snap-action is Thomas Horsley's patent No. 2410 of October 1863. There is fine foliate scroll engraving throughout, a well-figured walnut stock, and the silver stock escutcheon is marked "HSW XIII Husr" in Old English script. Take note of the very thin breech face.

Whether Henry had a chance to use his new gun on Yorkshire pheasants is unknown, as the regiment was ordered to embark for Canada to defend the country from a Fenian uprising, sailing from Liverpool on three steamships on the 11th and 12th of September 1866. Two troops were posted to Montreal, and the rest went to Toronto. The 13th Hussars' time in Canada was mainly spent establishing a cavalry school to instruct Canadian Mounted Volunteers. Moving up in rank, Henry purchased his Lieutenantcy on the 12th of October, 1867.

The regiment departed for England in June 1869, arriving in Liverpool on the 13th of July. However, before returning, Henry visited the studio of the famed Montreal photographer William Notman to have some portraits made, shown below. Back in England, Henry retired from the army and sold his Lieutenantcy in June 1870. He returned to Canada, settling down in the town of Cobourg along the shores of Lake Ontario, about halfway between Toronto and Kingston. He married Emma Mason in 1870 and raised two sons and a daughter. Whether Henry's prized Horsley returned to the UK and then back to Canada, or remained in Canada the whole time, is unknown.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
© McCord Museum
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
© McCord Museum

How great it is to be able to put a face and history together with an interesting gun.

Last edited by Steve Nash; 10/04/21 05:11 PM.
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Great gun, good story..and always interesting to put both into historical context. Thanks Steve


Baluch are not Brahui, Brahui are Baluch
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Excellent as always Steve. The gun shows signs of quite a lot of good honest usage. If in Canada; were pin-fire cartridges loaded by any Canadian or American companies do you know? Or would it have to have been imported? Thanks. Lagopus.....

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As a general rule, pinfire shotshells were manufactured and sold to sporting goods stores as new-primed empties.

People would then buy loaded ones from their local store loaded with what they needed based on what they were shooting. Or some people would even load them themselves.

I talk about a few of these that were loaded by American companies here: https://aaronnewcomer.com/american-companies-who-loaded-pinfire-cartridges/

Also, a few of the ads shown in my article about James Erskine and his loading machine are from stores that advertise that they load cartridges to order via his machines: https://aaronnewcomer.com/the-pinfire-patents-by-james-erskine/

Last edited by AaronN; 10/05/21 06:55 AM.

Clock Guns, Pauly Guns, Pinfire Guns and Pinfire Cartridges
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