Early 577-500 No.2 Macnaughton Double Rifle - INFO HELP

Registered members may use this forum to discuss rifle subjects
Post Reply
User avatar
BUCK STIX 276
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2018 10:07 am

Early 577-500 No.2 Macnaughton Double Rifle - INFO HELP

Post by BUCK STIX 276 » Thu Oct 18, 2018 10:20 am

Hello all,

Can anyone help with information about a James Macnaughton Double Rifles?

I acquired this one and I'm trying to find some History. I've never owned a Macnaughton. Its serial numbr 986 chambered in 577-500 No. 2 bpe caliber.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Below is the auction description. As you can see it was listed as a 450bpe, however, when it arrived I was surprised to find it wasn't a 450bpe. My 450bpe cartridges dropped deep into the chambers. Same thing happened when I tried 500bpe cartridges in the chambers. It was something much bigger. A chamber cast discovered it was actually a 577-500 No.2 bpe. Not sure if that makes this a better value, or a wash.

I'm hoping that some detail History can be found. I love History.

Image

Image

Image

Image

I was told that John Dickson had the Macnaughton records so I stayed up until 3:45am this morning (9:45am at the John Dickson office in Scotland) I just got off the phone from speaking with them. Unfortunately they told me that the majority of the Macnaughton Records were lost in a fire long ago. They said they only had one Field Record Volume with limited information. Upon their searching that Volume while I waited on the phone, they informed me that it did not contain my serial number.

Unfortunately that's the end of the line for finding any additional History about this rifle from them.

If there are any Macnaughton experts out there, please chime in.
".. you never pay too much for something, you only buy it too early .. "

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

Re: Early 577-500 No.2 Macnaughton Double Rifle - INFO HELP

Post by John 39 » Fri Oct 19, 2018 11:06 am

A lovely early MacNaughton rifle, what address is shown on the rib? You will have read the history, have you learned anything from his patent history, does the rifle have any of his patents?

User avatar
BUCK STIX 276
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2018 10:07 am

Re: Early 577-500 No.2 Macnaughton Double Rifle - INFO HELP

Post by BUCK STIX 276 » Fri Oct 19, 2018 11:47 am

John 39 wrote:
Fri Oct 19, 2018 11:06 am
A lovely early MacNaughton rifle, what address is shown on the rib? You will have read the history, have you learned anything from his patent history, does the rifle have any of his patents?
Hello John 39,

Thanks for the reply.

The address is 26 Hanover Street

Image

I didn,t really see anything from the patents that would help. I'm guessing it was made in the early 1870's based on the low serial number and the non-re-bounding hammers.

What I'd like to know is the meaning of the "stars" stamped on the barrels at the top of the chambers.

Image
".. you never pay too much for something, you only buy it too early .. "

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

Re: Early 577-500 No.2 Macnaughton Double Rifle - INFO HELP

Post by John 39 » Fri Oct 19, 2018 5:18 pm

Those are stamped in a very unmissble position !

I don't think they are barrel makers marks or finishers marks, these would be under the barrels. They may be stars but it crosses my mind they could be sunbursts. I've searched the Archived forum because I remember writing about these some years ago. They were used by some English makers such as Cogswell & Harrison and Baker. The bit I remembered was talking about an Egg gun:

"The origin of your gold sunburst is shrouded in mystery, or is it a star!? A sunburst has often signified fertility and abundance (of food), and the star may have originated from the Star of Bethlehem - guiding the hunter's bullet. The star, later possibly derived from the Rosenkreuz (rose and cross) was a 15th century German symbol of religious freedom and land ownership (Egg was German/Swiss - he may also have been a Huguenot, I'm not sure). The 8 pointed star was adopted by many Pennsylvania gunmakers, most of whom moved from the German Swiss border area because of religious persecution, and it was adopted by the Dutch Huguenots as well. Many German / Swiss / Dutch Huguenots emigrated to England, and a large number of them moved on to the USA especially to Pennsylvania and then on to Kentucky, quite a number of them moved from Holland to the Cape of Good Hope - South Africa.

It was easier to engrave a six or four pointed star, and the motif became somewhat stylised, so they weren't always 8 pointed. The Dutch in the Cape marked all their guns with a star (usually on the barrel at the breech or the muzzle, sometimes on the trigger guard) which gave rise to the term "Sterloop". Your date of 1800 is probably about right for England, but up to about 1860 it was difficult to sell a gun to people of Dutch origin in South Africa if it wasn't a Sterloop. Most English exporters, and exporters from other countries, had to engrave their guns with a star if they wanted to sell them anywhere in South Africa other than the province of Natal, which was mainly British.

If these marks are sunbursts I wonder if Julius Coster, a German, who worked for Alex Henry before going into partnership with Hunter, had anything to do with the conversion. There was more interaction and co-operation between gun makers than most people realize.

User avatar
BUCK STIX 276
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2018 10:07 am

Re: Early 577-500 No.2 Macnaughton Double Rifle - INFO HELP

Post by BUCK STIX 276 » Fri Oct 19, 2018 6:35 pm

Hello John 39

Thanks for the reply.

I've shown the location of the stars relative to the breech. They are located almost exactly at the center of each chamber. In addition, they have been stamped "after" the last re-blackening / refinishing of the barrels based on the raised edges of the stamps.
Image
Image
.
.

I know the Military Inspectors used a "star" or "asterisk" on Martini-Henry barrels to indicte bore/barrel condition, but I've never seen such an inspection stamp on a commercial rifle. Perhaps this is more recent practice that was done on export guns prior to shipping.

Image
".. you never pay too much for something, you only buy it too early .. "

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest