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Argo44 Offline OP
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Greener perfected choke boring in 1874 and in June 1875 it was widely publicized by "The Field" trial. Shortly thereafter, UK changed its proof laws to require "Not For Ball" on barrels with chokes. Here is an example of where the stamp should be placed from Diggory's recent article:
[Linked Image from jpgbox.com]

A gentleman in UK recently contacted me through Diggory and forwarded photos of a gun I didn't have, 20740 - firmly dated per the chart to 1877. The problem is. - no NOT FOR BALL stamp. It is choked - probably using Greener's technique so the barrel was unlikely to have been proofed pre 1875 and then used in 1877.
[Linked Image from jpgbox.com]

I started researching this in my database of Reilly9's. I can find two dozen extant Reilly shotguns from summer 1875 forward - two advertisements mention a NOT FOR BALL stamp. But there is not one photo of the stamp until one gets up to 24534 (1882), one of Cyril Adams' 12 bore pigeon guns:
[Linked Image from jpgbox.com]

A lot of auction houses do not publish photos of the barrel flats...admittedly...but there are enough photos from this time period that some sort of stamping NOT FOR BALL should have been recorded. Is there any explanation for this.

Last edited by Argo44; 04/14/21 08:43 PM.

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Shot only. Not for slugs.


With a fine gun on his arm, a man becomes a sporting gentleman, both on the field and off.
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The gun was originally proofed as a 13 bore, .700”, and the most recent reproof puts it at .728. It may not have had any choke as a 13 bore, but, there was room for it to be jug choked in between that, and the bores finding themselves out to .728, around 100 years later. I’m no expert, but, it appears the gun has had two trips back to the proof house, with contemporary proof at 850 bar, and a previous reproof stamp applied earlier.

Just a guess, but, I’ve seen it before.

Best,
Ted

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Argo44 Offline OP
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Well the gun is choked Improved cylinder (actual 7 thou.) and three eighths (actual 13 thou.). It's possible that it could have been originally a cylinder 13 bore then rebored with chokes (and reproofed?). But that's a lot.

I'm more worried about the Reilly data-base though, because this is not a one-off incident. There are several Reilly's post 1875 without the NOT FOR BALL stamp.


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Did both London and Birmingham proof houses begin marking the not for ball mark the same year?

This is a bit out of my wheelhouse, I know enough to be dangerous.

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Ted

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I think Ted is spot on. The original 13/1 bore has been enlarged , leaving choke which it did not have before enlarging.

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Argo44 Offline OP
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Going through my data, I think the problem has been solved. We just assumed (at least I did) that once Greener showed how choke boring worked, and the results of "The Field" trial were published in June 1875 and the proof laws were changed, that everybody instantly started used choked shotguns. IGC assume that as well. Sort of the same assumption was made when the A&D box lock came out.

Not true evidently. Most of the Reillys made from 1875 - through 1880 (SN 19450 + or - to 23300 + or -) appeared to have been cylinder bores. There were a few with legitimate chokes. It wasn't really until 1881-82 that most Reilly's were sold with choke barrels and even then, there are still cylinder bores found. So I think that pretty well explains it. This means Ted likely was right about 20740 originally having had 13 gauge cylinder-bore barrels.

I'll post the Reilly barrel flats of the guns looked as examples:

19286 (Feb 1875) - E.M. Reilly & Co., (address not mentioned). 10 bore. Shotgun SxS. Side lever?, Rebounding hammer gun. H.Walker patent 455, 12 Feb 1872 (use #1098); no "not for ball" or "choke."
[Linked Image from jpgbox.com]

20249 (fall 1875) - E.M. Reilly & Co., Oxford St., London & rue Scribe Paris; Shotgun SxS, 12 bore, U-L hammer gun. no "not for ball" or "choke."
[Linked Image from jpgbox.com]

20255 lfall 1875) - E.M. Reilly & Co., (address not mentioned). 12 ga, Shotgun SxS; top lever, hammer gun. First top lever?
[Linked Image from jpgbox.com]

20466 (early 1876) - E.M, Reilly & Co., Oxford Street, London. 10 Bore. Shotgun SxS. Top-Lever hammer gun. Purdey pat 1104 use #3463; no "not for ball" or "choke."
[Linked Image from jpgbox.com]

20623 (spring 1877) - E.M. Reilly & Co., New Oxford St., London and Rue Scribe, Paris. 12 bore. Shotgun SxS. U-L, rebounding hammer gun. Purdey patent 1104 use #4928
[Linked Image from jpgbox.com]

22077 (summer 1879) - (no name in ad). 12ga. Shotgun SxS. Hammerless, U-L, Whitworth patent First hammerless gun? [Linked Image from jpgbox.com]

24534 (Nov 1882)- E.M. Reilly & Co., (address not mentioned). 12 bore SxS Shotgun pigeon gun; top lever, hammer gun. (Cyril Adams' pigeon gun)
[Linked Image from jpgbox.com]

Last edited by Argo44; 04/16/21 09:58 PM.

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DGJ Winter 2018 p.129 , in John Campbell II’s article on Needham there is a picture of an 1884 advertisement.

It offers Keepers Guns with Cylinder bores at £6.

With barrels choked “10/6d per barrel extra”.

It would appear that in the early days of choke some gunmakers did not consider that they should throw in choke boring as part of the basic price, and indeed some customers did not want to pay half a Guinea extra to increase their chances of missing a bird at 20 to 30 yards.

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Argo44 Offline OP
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Here are a couple of Reilly ads from 1880:

21/Jun/1880 "The Sportsman":
[Linked Image from jpgbox.com]

1880 "Bradshaw" travel book
[Linked Image from jpgbox.com]


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I believe the "NOT FOR BALL' was only stamped on the barrel flats; not the action flats.
A 2 barrel set could have one barrel cylinder and the other choked.

The 1875 Rules of Proof
https://books.google.com/books?id=LAsAAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA319&vq
"Not for Ball" shall be struck on the barrel...

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