August
Su M Tu W Th F Sa
1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31
Who's Online
2 registered (Gankai, Hawaiian Uplands), 6 Guests and 0 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
13858 Members
10 Forums
34612 Topics
485181 Posts

Max Online: 462 @ 08/05/16 09:13 PM
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 >
Topic Options
#365205 - 04/28/14 10:47 PM John Harper SLE--Birmingham
Quail Hunter 01 Offline
Sidelock

Registered: 03/26/13
Posts: 49
Loc: Missouri
I recently acquired a 12 gauge SLE, 2 1/2" gun (still in proof) with 28" barrels and a long LOP at the Southern S x S shoot this past weekend and wonder if anyone can tell me about the quality of this maker. Based on the address (3 Price Street, Birmingham) the gun was made somewhere from about 1941 to 1953, according to the information in the "Vintage British Shotguns" book by Terry Wieland.

Any information would be helpful.

Top
#365211 - 04/29/14 12:46 AM Re: John Harper SLE--Birmingham [Re: Quail Hunter 01]
trw999 Offline
Sidelock
**

Registered: 02/11/10
Posts: 580
Loc: Essex/Herts Borders, UK
John Harper was a quality gun maker. He made fine boxlocks for Beesley and Churchill. I will be able to post a fuller description later.

Tim

Top
#365216 - 04/29/14 05:02 AM Re: John Harper SLE--Birmingham [Re: Quail Hunter 01]
kemaltunali Offline
Sidelock

Registered: 01/30/14
Posts: 150
Loc: Nicosia,Cyprus
John Harper was manufacturer of fine guns located in Birmingham until mid century. You might wanna get Douglas Tate's " Birmingham gunmakers " you might be able to find the information you need in that book.

All the best,

Kem

Top
#365222 - 04/29/14 09:32 AM Re: John Harper SLE--Birmingham [Re: Quail Hunter 01]
Joe Wood Offline
Sidelock
**

Registered: 12/31/01
Posts: 3607
Loc: Texas
John Harper was a maker "in the trade" and few of his guns have his name on them though I have one. He was very well respected by all and was a Guardian of the Birmingham Proof House. Our Jack Rowe in Enid, Oklahoma knew him personally and speaks highly of him. You would find a phone call to Jack would be most interesting.
_________________________
If we feed our faith our fears will starve, if we feed our fears our faith will starve.

Top
#365235 - 04/29/14 11:53 AM Re: John Harper SLE--Birmingham [Re: Quail Hunter 01]
Quail Hunter 01 Offline
Sidelock

Registered: 03/26/13
Posts: 49
Loc: Missouri
Joe, sent you a private message. Is your John Harper a boxlock or a sidelock?

Top
#365255 - 04/29/14 03:11 PM Re: John Harper SLE--Birmingham [Re: Quail Hunter 01]
kemaltunali Offline
Sidelock

Registered: 01/30/14
Posts: 150
Loc: Nicosia,Cyprus
"I recently acquired a 12 gauge SLE" SLE = sidelock ejector

Top
#365416 - 04/30/14 08:03 PM Re: John Harper SLE--Birmingham [Re: Quail Hunter 01]
Franc Otte Offline
Sidelock
**

Registered: 12/31/01
Posts: 3549
Loc: NH
I have seen one lovely Harper BL..I bet that SLE is wickedPisser ; lol
Any Pics?
franc

Top
#365453 - 05/01/14 06:25 AM Re: John Harper SLE--Birmingham [Re: Quail Hunter 01]
trw999 Offline
Sidelock
**

Registered: 02/11/10
Posts: 580
Loc: Essex/Herts Borders, UK
Some more info on John Harper, mostly from IGC but also other sources:

John Harper
Address 1 124 1/2 Steelhouse Lane; Address 2 28 Whittall Street; Address 3 Tiger Works, 3 Price Street; Address4 Tiger Works, 3 Price Street, 2 & 4 Price Street, 28 Whittall Street; Address 5 63 Price Street all in Birmingham, trading as a gunmaker from 1902-1976.

Harper's built guns for the provincial and London trade. They built a few of their own-name guns too.

John Harper may have been the brother of Albert J Harper. He established his business in 1902 at 124 1/2 Steelhouse Lane. In 1912 the firm was recorded at 28 Whittall Street, and in about 1940 they had additional premises at 2 & 4 Price Street. In 1940 the firm moved to the Tiger Works, 3 Price Street. Between 1954 and 1976 the firm occupied 63 Price Street.

Doug Tate wrote he had seen a catalogue for John Harper, Tiger Works, Whittall Street showing a handwritten inscription, May 8th 1976, John Harper, indicating he was still in business then and as has been mentioned, was Birmingham Gun Barrel Proof House Guardian in 1980. Doug writes: 'Typical for a maker who specialized in building guns for others, the catalogue is filled with guns covering the spectrum of qualities and all but one of them have vacant banners or cartouches in which the eventual provincial retailer could engrave his own name. The exception is Model 110, a single-barrel "Anson & Deeley pattern trap gun" with "Beaver-tail fore-end" and "Made for 2 3/4 and 3 inch cases." Because of its design and specifications, this particular gun may have been intended for the American market and is consequently engraved with the maker's name on both the barrel and the action.'

A story recounted in Don Master's book on Churchill alleges that just before WWI Robert Churchill was about to depart to Monte Carlo for the live pigeon shooting championships, when he fell in the snow and damaged the end of his 28" barrels. There being no suitable other gun for him he is supposed to have asked John Harper to cut his barrels down to 25". Masters' says these seems most unlikely as Harper's were in Birmingham, so why use them when Churchill had his own barrel makers in London. Apparently Robert Churchill knew of this rumour and he always denied it; he continued to use John Harper and later his son Norman Harper up until around 1955.

Harper’s probably made the E J Churchill "Utility" and "Prodigy" models and supplied barrelled actions to them; they supplied John Robertson of Boss & Co, some of their own later guns were made by A A Brown & Sons. L Jones engraved some guns for the firm. They also supplied most of the F Beesley boxlocks from 1918 to 1939. Harper’s also supplied John Wilkes with some guns, as well as WR Pape.

The Bristol-based George Gibbs gun and rifle manufacturing company was bought, in 1918, by the then manager H Stevens, a Dr Cates and John Harper. In 1927 the company filed for bankruptcy, though creditors were paid off and business resumed. It is not known if John Harper was still involved with the business at this time. In 1964 the Gibbs business was acquired by Bath gunmaker and author Ian M Crudgington and John Harper’s son, Norman. Gibbs continues to trade, now owned by Mark Crudginton. Again, it is not known when the Harper connection was lost.

From records built up by me the serial numbers of Harper named guns run in the 14, 15, 16 & 17 hundred series, indicating a production of around 400 guns. These include single barrel hammer guns, SLEs, BLEs and BLNEs in gauges 12, 16, 20 and .410.

Tim


Edited by trw999 (05/02/14 04:38 AM)

Top
#365485 - 05/01/14 07:51 PM Re: John Harper SLE--Birmingham [Re: Quail Hunter 01]
Rocketman Offline
Sidelock
***

Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 5890
QH01, it is generally a mistake to try to ascribe "quality" to a maker's name. With the exception of Boss (maybe) all makers made and/or sold a wide range of original quality grade guns, best work to farmer grade. Gunmakers needed to sell whatever their clients would/could afford and/or wanted. All gunmakers could get out a best work gun either with in-house workers, with out-workers, or by outright purchase from a trade firm.

DDA

Top
#456500 - 09/17/16 06:46 AM Re: John Harper SLE--Birmingham [Re: Quail Hunter 01]
K-Mc Offline
Boxlock

Registered: 07/29/16
Posts: 3
Loc: Alabama
I recently purchased a 16ga BLE John Harper (Birmingham) proofed 1oz with 2 3/4" chamber s/n 16xx. Any additional gun information or the appropriare ammunition to use?


Edited by K-Mc (09/17/16 08:27 AM)

Top
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 >



doublegunshop.com home | Welcome | Sponsors & Advertisers | DoubleGun Rack | Doublegun Book Rack

Order or request info | Other Useful Information

Updated every minute of everyday!


Copyright (c) 1993 - 2019 doublegunshop.com. All rights reserved. doublegunshop.com - Bloomfield, NY 14469. USA These materials are provided by doublegunshop.com as a service to its customers and may be used for informational purposes only. doublegunshop.com assumes no responsibility for errors or omissions in these materials. THESE MATERIALS ARE PROVIDED "AS IS" WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EITHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANT-ABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, OR NON-INFRINGEMENT. doublegunshop.com further does not warrant the accuracy or completeness of the information, text, graphics, links or other items contained within these materials. doublegunshop.com shall not be liable for any special, indirect, incidental, or consequential damages, including without limitation, lost revenues or lost profits, which may result from the use of these materials. doublegunshop.com may make changes to these materials, or to the products described therein, at any time without notice. doublegunshop.com makes no commitment to update the information contained herein. This is a public un-moderated forum participate at your own risk.

Note: The posting of Copyrighted material on this forum is prohibited without prior written consent of the Copyright holder. For specifics on Copyright Law and restrictions refer to: http://www.copyright.gov/laws/ - doublegunshop.com will not monitor nor will they be held liable for copyright violations presented on the BBS which is an open and un-moderated public forum.