Email from John Re. Joseph Harkom .300 rook rifle

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John 39
Posts: 233
Joined: Mon May 22, 2017 5:30 pm

Email from John Re. Joseph Harkom .300 rook rifle

Post by John 39 » Thu Jul 13, 2017 9:50 am

Hello
My name is John from the North-west highlands of Scotland.
I'm trying to find out some information on my Grandfather's rifle .

It's a Joseph Harkom & Son .300 Rook rifle Serial No. 49618 .

I found your email on the internet and wonder if you can be of any help ?

John 39
Posts: 233
Joined: Mon May 22, 2017 5:30 pm

Re: Email from John: Harkom .300 took rifle

Post by John 39 » Thu Jul 13, 2017 9:54 am

Hello John,

Joseph Harkom operated from 1837 to 1923. His highest serial number was 2584.

Number 49618 is a very high number, it would be the Birmingham manufacturer’s number rather than Harkoms. Although everybody sold rook rifles very few actually made them. I think the manufacturer was almost certainly W & C Scott, their numbers reached 49000 in 1892. Philip Webley & Sons numbers were not in the right range and were higher.

There is information on these manufacturers and their rook rifles in our database. Enter the maker's name or "rook rifle" in the text box.

John 39
Posts: 233
Joined: Mon May 22, 2017 5:30 pm

Re: Email from John: Harkom .300 took rifle

Post by John 39 » Thu Jul 13, 2017 9:55 am

Many thanks for your quick reply ... wow ... that's interesting stuff !!
Joseph Harkom & son is engraved on the Barrel , other than that no other marks ., if 49000 was in 1892 then I assume the gun must have been made in the mid to late 1890's.
I've a John Dickson Side by side which belonged my other Grandfather No. 4244 ( It lives in a Rigby case) and a Herstal Side by side No. 24055 which was supposedly presented to my wife's Uncle's father by the Duke of Windsor , he worked as a bodyguard for him .

Could you be of any help with them ?

John 39
Posts: 233
Joined: Mon May 22, 2017 5:30 pm

Re: Email from John: Harkom .300 took rifle

Post by John 39 » Thu Jul 13, 2017 9:58 am

Hi John,

The rook rifle was almost definitely made in 1892 and not as late as 1893. The serial numbers seem to have covered all guns, single and double, shotguns and rifles.

I’m not sure if one can still get rook rifle ammunition, Peter Dyson could tell you and probably has a bullet mould. You might find ammunition, a few rounds at a time, at www.holtandcompany.co.uk . One or two of our members might be able to advise on a powder load if you want to reload.

Your Dickson dates to early 1889, March or April.

I can’t tell you anything about the Herstal gun, there were many makers in Herstal and even if I knew the name I probably couldn’t tell you anything. FN Browning? I guess the Duke of Windsor didn’t want or like a German gun! It would be interesting to know what date the gun was given to your other grandfather. If it was owned by the Duke of Windsor you could be talking about quite a valuable gun.

John

John 39
Posts: 233
Joined: Mon May 22, 2017 5:30 pm

Re: Email from John Re. Joseph Harkom .300 rook rifle

Post by John 39 » Thu Jul 13, 2017 10:59 am

Many thanks John ... very interesting .
I still have about 30 rounds for the .300 .

Roy Shadbolt 110
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Oct 16, 2017 8:03 pm

Re: Email from John Re. Joseph Harkom .300 rook rifle

Post by Roy Shadbolt 110 » Mon Oct 16, 2017 9:17 pm

Hi John,

Firstly, congratulations on still having your grandfathers rifle in the family, really wonderful indeed.

I'm certainly no expert John but further to the comments already posted. It was quite normally for retailers to have their name added to a firearm made for them by a larger company. This was somewhat standard during the Victorian/Edwardian period and always potentially confusing, does add a great deal of interest to this area of study too.

I own rifles that have the original manufactures markings along with 'their' serial number but also contain the retailers name and 'their' own serial number.

All very interesting indeed.

Cheerio,

Roy


My website: www.wilkinsonfscollection.com

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