J V Needham

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John 39
Posts: 314
Joined: Mon May 22, 2017 5:30 pm

J V Needham

Post by John 39 »

Good day.
I am hoping you might be able to provide me with some information about a double barrel shotgun I inherited from my great grandfather Mr Jooste.
He was a farmer in South Africa and used the shotgun regularly for pest control.
On the barrel of the gun is engraved JV Needham Damascus Works, Loveday Street, Birmingham.
On the side of the gun is also engraved JV Needham but is difficult to read.
Behind the trigger guard is engraved 7157.
When the barrels are opened, the receiver is also engraved with the number 7157.
The shotgun has not been fired in 20 years due to uncertainty with regard to modern ammunition but I was told by my mother that my great grandfather and grandfather used it regularly on jackals and crows.
Any information on how old the shotgun is and how it ended up in South Africa will be much appreciated.
Kind regards.

John 39
Posts: 314
Joined: Mon May 22, 2017 5:30 pm

Re: J V Needham

Post by John 39 »

Hi Daniel,

Your gun dates to between 1887 and 1900. It might have been taken out by an Englishman who sold it to your Great Grandfather, or may be your Great Grandfather shot him and stole it (just joking! My wife is South African and I lived in Durban for 11 years). It is possible that it was exported to a South African gun maker perhaps in Jo'burg or Pretoria (so maybe your Great Grandfather bought it legally!). The full history of the firm (and it was a good one) is in our historical Database, but you have to pay to access it.

If the gun dates to after about 1890 it may have been proved for Nitro Powder. Check under the barrels for a Nitro Mark. If you can send me a close-up photo I may be able to tell you, alternatively go to any gun dealer (send photo to gunclub@btconnect.com) If you can't find an NP or other Nitro mark it would have been proved for Black Powder so it would be dangerous to use modern Nitro cartridges. You might be able to buy Black Powder cartridges but make sure the barrels do not have rust pits in them, you might lose a hand or your face!

John

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