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Quiz - ID the Rifle

Posted: Fri Dec 23, 2016 11:44 am
by mundaire
WhatsApp Image 2016-12-22 at 7.49.24 PM.jpeg


The first person to correctly ID the Rifle in the centre gets a prize! :)

Cheers!
Abhijeet

Re: Quiz - ID the Rifle

Posted: Fri Dec 23, 2016 12:25 pm
by anubhav_rulez
Hi Sir,
Is this ball flask airgun...grand mother of modern PCPs ?

Re: Quiz - ID the Rifle

Posted: Fri Dec 23, 2016 12:42 pm
by mundaire
Yes, it is an airgun. But you have to tell which one :)

Re: Quiz - ID the Rifle

Posted: Fri Dec 23, 2016 1:10 pm
by anubhav_rulez
Seems like weatherhead walter and co. & Sir will be satisfied by half of the prize by guessing whats the rifle is :-)

Re: Quiz - ID the Rifle

Posted: Fri Dec 23, 2016 1:33 pm
by Grumpy
Very much like a Mortimer ball tank reservoir air rifle.

Re: Quiz - ID the Rifle

Posted: Fri Dec 23, 2016 3:01 pm
by marksman_dd
Its WEALTHYS MAN'S BOXED AIR GUN

Re: Quiz - ID the Rifle

Posted: Fri Dec 23, 2016 3:58 pm
by Big Daddy
mundaire wrote:Yes, it is an airgun. But you have to tell which one :)


Weatherhead Walters & Co... Ball Reservoir Air Rifle

BD

Re: Quiz - ID the Rifle

Posted: Fri Dec 23, 2016 4:22 pm
by Grumpy
The Mortimer and Weatherhead, Walters & Co ball tank reservoir air rifles were similar except that the only example of the latter that I`ve seen has a wooden fore-end whereas the Mortimers had no fore-end. I`ve seen other examples however that are very similar to the W,W & Co but with different names on them so possibly retailers, not makers. Mortimers were gunmakers but whether they built the air rifles that bear their name, I have no idea. Likewise, I`ve seen a butt reservoir air rifle by Durs Egg that is pretty obviously an Austrian Girandoni design ( as used on the Lewis & Clark Expedition ) but whether it was imported or copied I have no idea.
I`ll be interested to see who this rifle purports to be made by :)

Re: Quiz - ID the Rifle

Posted: Fri Dec 23, 2016 6:47 pm
by nitroex700
Looks like a globe reservoir air rifle from Britain... which manufacturer, no idea! :)

Re: Quiz - ID the Rifle

Posted: Fri Dec 23, 2016 9:34 pm
by TC
It's a .50 caliber made by Samuel Evans in Cambridge, England sometime around 1930s. These are extremely rare and early specimens /experimental models by Evans didn't even have enough markings for identification. The example here probably has partly round and partly octagonal barrel, a trademark of Evans.

Cheers
TC

PS I have photos of a finely preserved piece. Will upload if I get the prize :)

Re: Quiz - ID the Rifle

Posted: Sat Dec 24, 2016 1:05 pm
by Grumpy
Samuel Evans of Cambridge is another who made - or retailed - ball reservoir air rifles however he produced or - more likely - only retailed rifles both in the style of the Weatherhead, Walters & Co type rifles AND of the Mortimer type. Samuel Evans, Cambridge ceased trading c.1839 after being in existence for only a few years. The 1830s were actually a late date for ball reservoir air rifles.

Re: Quiz - ID the Rifle

Posted: Sat Dec 24, 2016 1:57 pm
by TC
Grumpy wrote:Samuel Evans of Cambridge is another who made - or retailed - ball reservoir air rifles however he produced or - more likely - only retailed rifles both in the style of the Weatherhead, Walters & Co type rifles AND of the Mortimer type. Samuel Evans, Cambridge ceased trading c.1839 after being in existence for only a few years. The 1830s were actually a late date for ball reservoir air rifles.


Grumpy
Samuel Evans wasn't in business for a long time and went out of business in 1939 and ball reservoirs were made by many companies even in the late 1700 : Yes, everything you say is right. In fact, air rifles reached the top of their careers even before cartridge firearms made their debut. And they died because they were very expensive. (The Lewis and Clark, however, still gets all my votes :) )

But I am pretty sure the one in our post has Samuel Evans associated with it. If he didn't make it, he certainly sold it. I studied guns made by Weatherhead Walters, Edward Bate, Hanson etc that use ball reservoirs. None of them had horizontal triggers. In fact this particular specimen is marked under "unknown maker" by quite a few galleries while others say its a Samuel Evans.

(Well, now I won't be surprised if it turns out that some genius in Persia made it. After all they had a fetish for odd-looking triggers :lol: )

I rest my case. Over to you.

Regards and Merry Christmas

TC

Re: Quiz - ID the Rifle

Posted: Sat Dec 24, 2016 9:26 pm
by Grumpy
`Horizontal` triggers, whilst not common on English air rifles, weren`t unknown and date back to the 1740s. Staudenmayer ( of London - there was also a German air rifle manufacturer with a similar name ) made air rifles with `horizontal` triggers ( or a variation where the rear of the trigger is curved down however the function is the same ) in the 1790s and 1800s.
I really don`t know what the situation is with the manufacturers of early English air rifles as, although there are many apparent makers - and several more that carry no makers details - many of the designs are similar ..... remarkably so in fact. I believe there were very few actual makers and most of the names are, in fact, of retailers. A similar situation in fact as developed later in the 19th Century with Birmingham made trade guns carrying retailers - and other gunmakers - names.
Samuel Evans labelled ball reservoir air rifles didn`t all have the horizontal triggers by the way.
What is particularly interesting about the Samuel Evans air rifles is their very late date and his very short period of activity - about 10 years only. Combine this with the fact that his air rifles are of earlier design - they are definitely NOT original designs - and my suspicion is that Samuel Evans might have bought up surplus stocks of available air rifle designs - perhaps as parts and/or non-functioning - and assembled/rebuilt them at Cambridge. I`m not aware of any high power air rifles being built in England after Samuel Evans ceased trading in 1839.
Ah yes ..... weapons made in the Muslim world particularly - from Turkey right through to Afghanistan - could be extraordinarily eccentric in design.
TC, the subject of early air rifles is very interesting as you obviously know. What people nowadays usually don`t realise is that the air rifles were very expensive and premium products. They were as powerful - if not more so - than the muzzle loading flintlocks that they were contemporary with and usually more accurate. Their problems were never really solved - ie, air leakage from leather washers, seals, etc - and their unreliability combined with their high cost is what proved their downfall .... combined, of course, with the availability of percussion rifles which were well established by the time Evans eased trading in 1839.

Re: Quiz - ID the Rifle

Posted: Sun Dec 25, 2016 12:37 pm
by Katana
Girandoni?

Re: Quiz - ID the Rifle

Posted: Mon Dec 26, 2016 12:40 pm
by sa_ali
this is tone of wealth of information, i never had any clue on these early airgun. Thank you all for sharing the information