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Charles Lancaster Hammer

October 16, 2010
By

A friend asked if I knew there was a local auction on this week. I had no idea but I’m glad he called me. On Thursday evening I popped over to see what guns they had. An intereting Garden (short lived London maker in mid 19th Century) and a Lancaster. The Lancaster uses an unusual (to me anyway) action which is called a “Slide and Drop” action. It appears to have been a very clever mechanism and when closed incredibly strong but conversely when open a bit , well, sloppy really. I bid for both the Garden and the Lancaster. The Garden was first and went beyond what I was prepared to pay but I did win the Lancaster and got it for a super price in my book. It has plenty of thickness in the barrels. It appears that the gun has been rebarreled by the maker probably in the early 20th Century because they are steel barrels….(Well I think they are and until I get time to rub a bit of the flat away to see if they are blacked damascus barrels I can’t tell). Here are a few pictures. I’m going to strip it down over the next week or two and restore it. I intend to shoot it this season if I can. The gun dates to around 1868.

11 Responses to Charles Lancaster Hammer

  1. Doug on October 16, 2010 at 6:00 pm

    Very nice Tony……….the recessed breech face is really unusual….from looking close at the barrel blacking and some very slight old pin size pits, I would say that they are damascus underneath…………….we shall see…….!

    Good purchase………..enjoy….

    Cheers,
    Doug
    Utah

  2. Tony on October 16, 2010 at 6:15 pm

    Cheers Doug, will see if I get time tomorrow to check the barrels for twist!

  3. Chris Buckingham on October 17, 2010 at 8:52 am

    Tony,
    You are begining to make me wish I had not left England,with all these gems you are turning up!!! This is a very nice gun,and,another Lancaster!Lovely engraving ,and as you say,an interesting action. One thing I notice from your photos,is that the strikers look like they have exessive clearance around them,if that is so,I also see that it has bushed strikers,so there is a lathe job for you to do.Once again a very good buy,let us know what the barrels are made from?
    Regards,
    Chris,
    France.

  4. Chris Buckingham on October 17, 2010 at 9:07 am

    Tony,
    On taking a more “in depth” look at your photos,I see that the standing breech face in photo 12 is more deeply reccessed at the top than at the bottom,ie,it must be at other than 90 Degs to the barrel face,if I then look at photo 10,it is evident that the barrels do not have a 90 Deg face,as they too have less reccess at the bottom than at the top! Is this part of the lock up mechanism?
    Does this also mean that the barrels move off face when they open?
    This is a very interesting action,and is why,of course,we are interested in these old guns!
    Regards,
    Chris,
    France.

  5. Tony on October 17, 2010 at 7:40 pm

    Hi Chris. It’s the action. :) .
    Basically; with the action you push the under-lever to the right anti-clockwise…this unlocks the mechanism and pushes the barrels forward. You can then break the breech as normal. It is odd but that’s why you ask the questions you have. When you close it the final pull clockwise, bringing the lever back to underneath the trigger guard, it pulls the barrles tight against the face…and it is VERY tight. Clever stuff.

    T

  6. tony nichlls on March 12, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    Hi tony i ham thicking of buy in a simler gun looks same condision could you please advice me on price asking 1000 is that fair price thanks tony

  7. Tony on March 12, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    Hi Tony, all down to a host of stuff. Condition, age, barrel wear, you name it. My is corrently at auction the forthcoming Holts Auction and is estimated to get between 2-2.5K minimum…

    Cheers
    t

  8. mike on May 3, 2011 at 10:56 am

    Tony, great site. What are the two small turnscrews along the fences? I don’t imagine a hammer gun would have cocking indicators and don’t see how they relate to the action. Then again, it’s not as if I’ve seen many guns of that action type. Lovely old piece you have there.

    Best,
    Mike
    USA

  9. mike on May 3, 2011 at 11:06 am

    I meant screws, or if you prefer, pins. It’s really early here…

  10. Tony on May 3, 2011 at 11:27 am

    Hi Mike,
    Not sure what they are. It seems they are not mechnically involved in anything..air release screws? Don’t know very strange isn’t it. It is a nice gun. For sale at the right price too. :)
    Cheers
    T

  11. Mike on May 4, 2011 at 1:43 am

    well, there’s that whole importation thing and then the unfavorable dollar/pound exchange, otherwise tempting.

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