London proof marks on a .410 Hammergun

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Barry Gregory 440
Posts: 30
Joined: Tue Nov 05, 2019 3:24 pm

London proof marks on a .410 Hammergun

Post by Barry Gregory 440 »

Very recently a clay shooting friend of mine has bought a single barrel, .410 Hammergun by Cogswell & Harrison. From its serial number, it dates from 1883 and is in good working order. It’s hammer is not rebounding and consequently it has a half-cock and full-cock positions.

At that date it would almost certainly have been proofed in London for black powder. It was reproofed in Birmingham for nitro sometime after 1925 possibly between 1941 and 1950 as there is no Private Viewing Mark as part of the reproofing marks.

I am trying to decipher the original London proof marks which are shown on the attached enhanced and annotated photograph. I am fairly sure that the left hand mark is the London Provisional GP mark under a lion rampant.

However, I am finding the right hand mark(s), circled, difficult to interpret. There appears to be more than one mark.

Can anybody help??
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John 39
Posts: 368
Joined: Mon May 22, 2017 5:30 pm

Re: London proof marks on a .410 Hammergun

Post by John 39 »

Your wife is going to be pleased with that black stain on her carpet. Try Swarfega, I use it on shirts, trousers everything. Dab it on, leave it for an hour or two, wash normally, deny everything.

All Cogswell guns were all proved in London.

This mark is either the lion rampant over GP mark or the Lion rampant over VP mark. The GP mark is the provisional barrel proof mark. I don't think this is it.

I think it is the VP mark, which is the Alternative Barrel Proof Mark. This is either Provisional Proof or Special Definitive Proof for barrels proved only once i.e. not in View state. It was used on single barrel shotguns and some shot and rifled guns.

Not at all sure what your ringed item is. It looks like 18.J.S which means nothing to me. A .410 could vary from .405 inches to .415 inches. It isn't the barrel makers mark because C & H machine made their own barrels and no individual barrel maker was ever named.
Barry Gregory 440
Posts: 30
Joined: Tue Nov 05, 2019 3:24 pm

Re: London proof marks on a .410 Hammergun

Post by Barry Gregory 440 »

John,

Thanks for your reply to my post about the C & H .410 Hammer Gun.

Since neither the carpet or the photograph are mine, I’ll pass or your cleaning suggestions to my clay shooting friend (or his wife). I think the carpet is probably on his garage floor where he cleans his guns.

Thanks also for the comments about the London proofing marks. The photograph was taken by him using an iPhone and is clearly not totally sharp. However, I will be taking some new photographs with a full frame camera and macro lens next time we meet at our clay shooting ground.

That should give much clearer detail about all the London marks.

Thanks again
Barry Gregory 440
Posts: 30
Joined: Tue Nov 05, 2019 3:24 pm

Re: London proof marks on a .410 Hammergun

Post by Barry Gregory 440 »

Just for information- the set of London Proof Marks that relate to 1883 are as shown on the well published chart as annotated on the screenshot attached below.
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