12 br Joseph Bourne + Son

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by jenn, Dec 22, 2011.

  1. jenn

    jenn AH Member

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    IMGP3104.jpg IMGP3105.jpg
    Can anybody tell me more about this shotgun.The gun is very batterd and rusted.In this form I don't think it will shoot.
    Is it worth restoring it or must I leave it like it is.
    It looks that the foregrip is not original. Any help will be appreciated.
     
  2. James.Grage

    James.Grage GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Jenn

    From your pictures the gun does not look that rusted.

    I would recommend taking the gun apart and making all the parts are there and in working order.

    There are barrel soaks where you plug or cover the barrel end and fill the barrel up to remove any fouling. Let it sit over night or if you think it is very dirty clean and do a repeat. Clean very good and look for pitting.

    Stock look to be in good condition and if you would or could have the pieces bedded in fiberglass to the gun. this will keep it for splitting or breaking.

    The screws if they are damages try and find a screw shop that can offer of make replacements.

    Now if you reload start low and work you r loads up. Use a sled and a pull cord to fire the gun.



    Now value i can not find anything on this gun. The company became Joseph Bourne & Son in 1850. Making rifles and shotguns. This appears to be a single shot shotgun.

    a very nice double shotgun with great engraving and wood sold for $3,000 a few months ago
    [h=2]Joseph Bourne + Son is out of England and parts can be found.[/h]
     
  3. jenn

    jenn AH Member

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    Thanks ;)
     
  4. Red Leg

    Red Leg GOLD SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    Jenn you have Birmingham made English single from the last quarter of the 19th century. Bourne was a fairly well known house which built a lot of working class guns - many of which found there way out to the Empire. For instance, a lot of these sorts of guns turn up in Australia. If it were in really good shape, it would fetch anywhere from $600 - $1200 in this country. However, as you note, this one is pretty rough. "Restoring" it would cost a small fortune. That replacement forend is pretty crude. Having someone restore the stock and build a matching forend would push a couple of grand alone (in this country at least). And the action would have been case colored. Having that redone by an expert like Doug Turnbull would also be an eye-watering expense. But the barrel is everything. Without holding it in my hands, I would suspect it has a steel monbloc and damascus barrel (which would have to be polished and rebrowned by an expert - another $400-$600). Though damascus can be quite strong, if the barrel exhibits any pitting at all, I would never attempt to shoot it. Also, bear in mind that these old guns were proofed for 2.5 inch shells and black powder pressures. A 2.75 inch shell, nitro pressure, and a badly pitted barrel is a recipe for creating a bomb. This gun would have stood in the corner behind the kitchen door of a Dutch farm at the turn last century. It would have potted the occasional guinnea fowl, and turned away the rare intruder. It may even have ridden across a saddle in a Boer Commando until its owner could acquire a mauser. That is the value of this old gun. I wouldn't restore it, and I surely wouldn't shoot it. I would hang it where people could see it and where it could tell its own story. That is its true value.
     
  5. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    I would have to agree with Red leg. It would cost a arm and a leg to restore.
     
  6. Red Leg

    Red Leg GOLD SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    And no, parts cannot be found. Even though Bourne may have turned out several dozen of these a year to the same pattern, none were built on an assembly line. Each was fitted by hand. No parts can be interchanged between guns without professional fitting and none exist in any inventory anywhere in the world. A very select group of very gifted gunmakers have the skills to build replacement springs, pins, etc for these older English and continental makers.
     
  7. James.Grage

    James.Grage GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Red Legs - Merry christmas

    The internet search that i used indicated that parts were available...i found this on my 4 search for information as i kept changing my wording...

    Parts for a hand made gun weather it is rifle or shotgun should be fitted and the owner should have been aware of this. So i did not cover it thank you for doing so.

    The parts listed in my search indicated that parts were available and after you have received them they should be fitted by a good to very good gunsmith. not your run of the mill want-ta-be gunsmith.

    I am sure that you have many hand made rifles, shotguns and pistols and were aware of the parts not being interchangeable as was myself and again thank you for point it out.

    Now other than my statement about parts being available, i did not find where i said anything about the parts being swap them out and go shoot.

    The original information did not provide enough information to do a better search.

     
  8. Red Leg

    Red Leg GOLD SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    That is rather extraordinary research ineed James. Even assuming your internet skills are far superior to your grammar, I assure you parts ARE NOT available for that gun - fitted or otherwise. You have had no correspondence with the company because they went out of business in the early fifties. Even should you have been able to contact them then, you would have found they had not built a single of that design for the better part of half a century. You have found no list of parts for this gun because it has no model number that you could reference in any catalog - on line or otherwise. No one has a barrel for it, a stock for it, or any other part sitting on a shelf anywhere. You have had no correspondence with anyone familiar with English guns are they would have told you the same thing I have. And yes. I am extremely familiar with both English SxS guns and rifles. And yes, I own a number of both with which I hunt and shoot competitively in this country and abroad.

    This particular gun, utilizing a Jones underlever, was built somewhere between 1875 and 1900. No spare parts were created when it was made and none are available now. If it had to have been repaired back then, it would have been returned to Birmingham and the defective part made at the time to repair it from stock material. For instance, forged spring steel would have been cut, bent, filed and tempered to the exact needed dimensions for that specific action; firing pins would have been cut, filed, and hardened to the exact length and hardness for that particular action. Every spring, pin, and screw were created and fitted by an actioner - an actioner, in this case, who likely provided actions to the trade - in this particular case, one of his clients would have been Bourne. At Bourne's workshop the action would have been finished, fitted to the barrel, and stocked - all by hand. This particular weapon could be put right by Keith Kearcher, JJ Perodeau, and perhaps five or six others in this country who are capable of making the parts just like they were made a century ago. And it would cost a small fortune to do so.

    Jenn, I would reiterate, this gun should not ever be shot with modern ammunition, and even if you put several thousand dollars into its restoration, you still wouldn't have a very valuable gun. As I stated before, I would keep it and the history it wears exactly as it is.
     

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