Autumn in Canada

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Stephen Nash 218
Posts: 35
Joined: Tue May 29, 2018 5:48 pm

Autumn in Canada

Post by Stephen Nash 218 »

Yesterday was a good day and Sir Thales Pease's 1864 Charles Lancaster breech-loader finally had a successful outing on the property, taking a Ruffed grouse.

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John 39
Posts: 278
Joined: Mon May 22, 2017 5:30 pm

Re: Autumn in Canada

Post by John 39 »

Hi Stephen,

Lovely gun, the second I have seen. Loading indicators as usual. The only difference seems to sliding external safeties behind each hammer.Is there any safety arrangement on yours? I presume your barrels slide forward before swinging down?

Stephen Nash 218
Posts: 35
Joined: Tue May 29, 2018 5:48 pm

Re: Autumn in Canada

Post by Stephen Nash 218 »

John 39 wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 5:37 pm
Hi Stephen,

Lovely gun, the second I have seen. Loading indicators as usual. The only difference seems to sliding external safeties behind each hammer.Is there any safety arrangement on yours? I presume your barrels slide forward before swinging down?
Actually, what appears as loading indicators are actually screws that hold the firing pin bushings. A peculiar and visually jarring arrangement to be sure, but completely original. I have a near-identical Charles Lancaster in 14-bore with the same arrangement, built in 1858. I had originally thought the 14-bore was built as a base fire and later converted to center fire, but after finding this 12-bore with the same bushed pins, and having seen the firing pin arrangement on illustrated base fire guns, I can only conclude they were both built for the early center fire cartridges. The Lancaster order book only identifies them as breech-loaders, without specifying which cartridge they were built for.

Neither gun has a safety arrangement. The 12-bore has the original non-rebounding locks, while the 14-bore has rebounding locks re-fitted by Lancaster. Both guns have the slide-and-drop action, where the action face is not at the normal 90 degree angle to the flats. Instead it is at an acute angle, making for a very strong closure once the barrels have slid back into place.

As to the action design, there is much history behind it. Albert Henry Marie Renette of Paris obtained two French patents in 1820 for exterior-primed (capping breechloader) guns with slide-and-drop actions, some seven years before Casimir Lefaucheux patented his hinge-action capping breechloading gun, which led the way to his pinfire invention in 1834. In 1853 Renette's son-in-law and partner, Louis Julien Gastinne, obtained French patent No. 9058 for this breech action on a hammer gun, intended to use the new internally-primed centerfire cartridges. The prolific patent agent Auguste Edouard Loradoux Bellford patented the design in Great Britain, receiving patent No. 2778 of 1853. This is the patent that was later assigned to Lancaster and first used for his base-fire cartridge, and the story behind ‘Charles Lancaster’s Patent’ marked on his guns – though the patent was never taken out in his name.

Allen Peterson 44
Posts: 56
Joined: Tue Jun 13, 2017 11:00 pm

Re: Autumn in Canada

Post by Allen Peterson 44 »

Beautiful thanks for sharing.

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