12 gauge Paradox Gun-Is it Possible to even get supplies to shoot?

On a side note, I have a friend who was making exact reproduction paradox molds, copied from original ones, in 20,12 and 10 gauge. He keeps saying he wants to start making them again, but hasn’t done so yet. I’ve fixed his copy mill for him so it runs, just need to encourage him.
gumpy
 
I found this forum ‘googling’ for ‘paradox’. Let me start with a confession: I’m no big game hunter. There are no rhinos and lions anyway here in Burgundy, France (although lots of wild boar and deer roaming my back-garden, and even an increasing number of -highly protected- wolves are feasting on the sheep of farmers in the greater area …), and I’ve been no farther into Africa than the coast of Senegal; which probably make me an outcast in this forum.
If allowed, I'll share some info on Paradox in further contributions.

4 Paradox_IMG_1933_bw-vk.jpg
10-bore reloading tools_IMG_0922_verkleind.jpg
P1070404.JPG
P1070405.JPG
 
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Hello @Caldix I'm sure you are Welcome here, I'm trying to get to a country very close to Senegal for a bit of a Scouting hunt in the very near future if only they would stop fighting lol .

I just became the new owner of a A&N "Jungle Gun" in the last few weeks myself & have been looking at all info, bit different from my Tolley 12 Bore Magnum rifle in the 15Lb range, this has more recoil !

I also will be looking forward to your posts on Paradoxs , are those your Guns/Rifles ?
 
I found this forum ‘googling’ for ‘paradox’. Let me start with a confession: I’m no big game hunter. There are no rhinos and lions anyway here in Burgundy, France (although lots of wild boar and deer roaming my back-garden, and even an increasing number of -highly protected- wolves are feasting on the sheep of farmers in the greater area …), and I’ve been no farther into Africa than the coast of Senegal; which probably make me an outcast in this forum.
If allowed, I'll share some info on Paradox in further contributions.
View attachment 577997
 
It was not my intention to start a serial, but I was advised -thanks again Jerome!- to keep my first couple of posts short one: spam prevention.
Yet I have no doubt the same objective as the members of the Paradox board: preserving for future generations as many of the only 1463 made (plus some recently made) H&H Paradox. Quite a view of those that had remained in England were mutilated -among which Samuel Baker’s 12-bore- because of the 1920 British legislation, by boring out the rifled chokes (rather than the -new to me- even more drastic sawing of, as one board-member mentions). Being a collector/researcher/ author on 19th century British sporting guns and rifles, I’ll gladly share some info on the Paradox.

Some ten years ago, while researching for an article I was writing on 19th century smooth-bore ‘rifles’, I did some tests with a friend of mine with modern slugs for shotguns. My friend has brought his 1910 Holland & Holland 12-bore Royal Nitro Paradox for Magnum Charge (with blade-sights 50 – 100 and 150 yds). As he could not get hold of Paradox ammo, he wanted to try the gun with Brenneke slugs. Not a good idea though, a Brenneke slug having its own rifling, and highly NOT recommended by this London gunmaker.
It was the first time I got a Paradox in my hands, and it was love at first sight. Collector of British vintage shotguns, I now absolutely wanted to have a Paradox myself.
I started reading everything relating to the Paradox and other ‘gufles’ of the period, first of all of course BAKER, David J. & LAKE, Roger E. : PARADOX, The Story of Col. G.V. Fosbery, H&H, and the Paradox Rifled Shot and Ball Gun , Vol. 1 Baker & Lake USA 2010.
Some months later I got from a London auction house my own Paradox, a superb Royal 10-bore. According to Baker & Lake “The first of the heavy 10-bore hammerless”, but still BP. These heavy 10-bores - 8 drs of BP- were no longer intended to be a ball & shot gun, but purely a big-game rifle. H&H were so kind as to provide me with provenance on this gun/rifle. It was sold in 1893 to, what was typed in the certificate as “a Captain, Framers”.
(to be continued)
H&H Pdx 15218_8drs.jpg
Pdx15218_AndrewOrr__4.jpg
 
I found this forum ‘googling’ for ‘paradox’. Let me start with a confession: I’m no big game hunter. There are no rhinos and lions anyway here in Burgundy, France (although lots of wild boar and deer roaming my back-garden, and even an increasing number of -highly protected- wolves are feasting on the sheep of farmers in the greater area …), and I’ve been no farther into Africa than the coast of Senegal; which probably make me an outcast in this forum.
If allowed, I'll share some info on Paradox in further contributions.

View attachment 577997View attachment 578015View attachment 578016View attachment 578017
Welcome To AH @Caldix from Bruxelles!
I would love hearing more about your experience and knowledge with Paradox/Shot&Ball/Jungle guns. They make no sense in today's world of shotguns, slugs and rifles, but attract my desires anyway.

Looking forward to hearing more!

V.
 
Baker and Lake having announced in their book a Volume 2, I got in touch with Mr David Baker, who referred me to his co-author Mr Roger Lake, who was to write this 2nd volume. It was Roger Lake who informed me that the first owner was not ‘Framers’ but Captain J. C. Francis, Senior Instructor op de School of Musketery, Deolali, India. Via Google I found Francis’ hunting diary, ‘Three Month's Leave in Somali Land ; being the Diaries of the late Captain J.C. Francis, published after his death’. He also sent me a photo of the double page in H&H’s ‘Number Book’ with this Paradox and the next 10-bore in serial-number.
apt. Francis got his Paradox delivered on the 7th of January 1894 in his camp in Adeleh, Somalia. He starts casting bullets and charging cartridges the next day. During his three months leave Francis shot with his 10-bore two rhinos and four lions/lionesses. He died of cholera, shortly after returning to India.

Not long after having acquired my 10-bore, my friend sold me his Royal 12-bore Nitro Magnum, with nine grooves instead of the original seven.

By Francis’ diary I got interested in big game hunting in the 19th century, and I started collecting all the books on this subject I could get my hands on, over a thousand now, mostly digital, plus another thousand on all that relates to gunmakers and prior to 1900 firearms. It also started an interest in DB big-bore sporting rifles and from there in Express rifles and combination gun/rifles (‘Cape Guns’).

At the request of Roger Lake I wrote a chapter on Capt. Francis and his 10-bore for his 2nd Volume on owners of Paradox guns. Digitally searching my library, I also found him over 90 authors or names mentioned by these authors of sportsmen having used a Paradox. Unfortunately I lost contact with Roger Lake, and I have my doubts that we’ll ever see that 2nd volume …

(to be continued)

A-H Pdx10&12-bore broken actions L-view IMG_0436_us.jpg
A-H Pdx 10&12-bore tableflats_IMG_0520_us.jpg
 
I'm enjoying these writings @Caldix ! Please continue.
 
I
From what I have been told, in the UK this was mainly down to a licensing issue.
To hold a shotgun certificate is fairly simple but to hold a rifle licence is much more complicated.
Due to the final few inches of the Paradox barrels being rifled - it came, and still does under the rifle licence (Section 1).
So as mad as it sounds, when there was a lot less interest and value in these guns, people used to hacksaw the final few inches off the end so they could hold them on the easier to obtain shotgun license.
Criminal imho.
From what I have been told, in the UK this was mainly down to a licensing issue.
To hold a shotgun certificate is fairly simple but to hold a rifle licence is much more complicated.
Due to the final few inches of the Paradox barrels being rifled - it came, and still does under the rifle licence (Section 1).
So as mad as it sounds, when there was a lot less interest and value in these guns, people used to hacksaw the final few inches off the end so they could hold them on the easier to obtain shotgun license.
Criminal imho.
I am certain that is true. The same reason why there are so many beautiful rook rifles bored out to 410

I imagine you would have a real battle to get permission to buy a Paradox in the UK now.
 
Continued and close

Some years later, a best H&H 10-bore was mentioned in the catalogue of this same auction house. As this gun was next in serial number to my other 10-bore, yet completely different, I had to have it, after all, I already had the double page in the Number Book … (well, if that’s not a good excuse, what is ?)
Although a ‘best gun’, it’s not a ‘Royal’, this designation being reserved to toplever side-locks.

As for shooting, I do not intend to use my Paradox guns for hunting. Yet, as with all my ‘oldies’, I want to try them out. As Graeme Wright explains so well in chapter 14 of his book Shooting the British Double Rifle. A Modern Guide for Load Development and Use. 3rd edn Kenmore East, Australia, a Paradox is rather particular in its ammo. For those who want to seriously shoot with Paradox guns and the like, this book, and in particular chapter 14 should be mandatory lecture (NB: as from 2nd edition). Graeme, based on his own tests and those of friends, suggests bullets of bore size or .0005 - .001” (0,0127 – 0,0254 mm) under (for the 12-bore). After measuring the bores of my 10 and 12-bores with a three-point digital micro-meter, I had bore-size bullet moulds made by CastBulletEngineering in Australia based on the drawings in Graeme Wright’s book. H&H advised 15 to 1 parts of lead and tin for the bullets, that “MUST be passed through the regulator before being used”. Bullets in Paradox guns not meeting any serious friction till the end of the barrel, I don’t know if the ‘bumping up’ effect makes the bullets swell in the smooth bore part of the barrel.

After I had acquired my first 10-bore, I was offered by the maker of a brand-new Paradox 10-bore (it bears the H&H name, but was made by another gunmaker …) a set of repro 10-bore loading tools of which he had had made an extra set. This new 10-bore was to shoot plastic shells, of which he sent me dozen (empty). Unfortunately, the bullet mould is quite a bit undersized, as was the sizing die. By a Dutch firm I had made several sizing dies via the spark erosion process that I use in the repro sizing-press.

According to Graeme Wright, the present BP is of a lesser quality than the British BP at the end of the BP era, with Swiss now the best alternative. If so, Swiss it is at any case a lot less ‘dirty’ than modern French BP.

I have great fun in shooting running wild boar (card-board on rails) with my 1910 12-bore Paradox and other DB-rifles, from Purdey 16-bore front-loader with 1½ dr BP, 40-bore 2-groove, 34-bore pinfire, 43-bore Express, up to some 12-bores of other makers with 4 drs of BP, not to mention a couple of ‘cape-guns/rifles’. And although I have shot clays with both the 10-bore Paradox (with 13 lb quite a swing-through …) with the recommended relatively light load of 4 drs BP (Swiss no. 3) and 1½ oz of no. 8 shot, I still must try out ball. In spite of Graeme Wright’s instructions, I did not succeed in turning-over the plastic shells with an electric drill. Instead, I made my own turn-over tool, based on the patent drawing for one of the first turn-over tools (the wooden bloc in one of the pics; there is room for a 12 and a 16-bore). When burning BP, a tight fixation of the bullet is not necessary.

The -plastic- 10-bore cartridges are ready, but having shoulder problems after a skiing accident, I’m not looking forward to the recoil of the recommended 8 drs BP load.

Already having one of the last 12-bores made (1910), I couldn’t resist buying a very early (1886/1887) First Model Royal 12-bore when this was auctioned in Austria some months ago. This one is still based on the action of a 12-bore shotgun, with Damascus barrels.
This early 12-bore at only just over 7 lb feels and handles as a shotgun, and in fact, the early Paradox were based on shotgun actions. The charge was only 3 (!) drs of BP. The 1910 has a much stronger action and is with 8.43 lb slightly heavier. The charge was 30 gn of ‘Revolver Cordite’ (no BP equivalent given).
Unfortunately, I have no provenance for this gun … yet. In the past I had a very good contact at H&H, but of late, this firm doesn’t even answer requests for provenance. So disappointing! Yet I’ll try again for this ‘gufle’ (and once more for a DB .577 …)
I have attached a pic of the action bodies of the 1886/1887 and the 1910 version.

Some quotes on Paradox from my 3 GB document with notes of all gun-books read:
In fairness to other inventors and gunmakers, it should be noted that there was nothing new in the idea of partially rifling a barrel. There are guns by Joe Manton that exhibit this feature dating from the beginning of the 19th century, and (…) idea probably much older than that.” [BAKER, David J. : Heyday of the Shotgun ; The art of the gunmaker at the turn of the last century, Swanhill Press, Shrewbury UK, 2000]

Some Paradox-copier gunmakers after expiration of the patent: Andrews (no name known to me), Moore & Grey (‘Anomaly’), Bland (‘Euoplia’), Bonehill (no name known to me), Tolley (‘Ubique’), Cogswell & Harrison (‘Cosmos’), Lang (‘Afrinda’), Army & Navy (‘Jungle’), Jeffery (‘Shikary’), Westley Richards (Explora, Fauneta)
Lancaster came with his oval-bore alternative ‘Contender’, and Greener (1889 patent) tried barrels with the first part rifled and the muzzle part smooth, which was no success.
Even Winchester had their ‘me too’: “A few model ’87 shotguns were made using ratchet rifling only near the muzzle of the barrel. Recoil was so severe that the idea was discarded.” [MADIS, George : The Winchester Book, Dallas, Texas, 1961]

Purdey, although having taken out a provisional patent # 2952 in 1871* for a sort of rifled choke, never bothered with Paradox-like guns. If a sportsman wanted to have both, rifle and smooth, he could order a set of rifle-barrels for his gun (or vice versa).
(* “The object was to obtain a higher velocity of a bullet with less fouling and less stripping. In the invention, a rifle barrel was smooth bore for about ¾ of it-s length. In the last six inches or so a rifled tube was inserted.” [DALLAS, Donald : PURDEY Gun & Rifle Makers ; The definitive history (Quiller Press Shrewsbury, 2009]
A-H_2x Pdx 10-bore_IMG_1359_vk.jpg
A-H_Pdx8686+1910 broken_MG_1940_bw-us.jpg

The end
 
Continued and close

Some years later, a best H&H 10-bore was mentioned in the catalogue of this same auction house. As this gun was next in serial number to my other 10-bore, yet completely different, I had to have it, after all, I already had the double page in the Number Book … (well, if that’s not a good excuse, what is ?)
Although a ‘best gun’, it’s not a ‘Royal’, this designation being reserved to toplever side-locks.

As for shooting, I do not intend to use my Paradox guns for hunting. Yet, as with all my ‘oldies’, I want to try them out. As Graeme Wright explains so well in chapter 14 of his book Shooting the British Double Rifle. A Modern Guide for Load Development and Use. 3rd edn Kenmore East, Australia, a Paradox is rather particular in its ammo. For those who want to seriously shoot with Paradox guns and the like, this book, and in particular chapter 14 should be mandatory lecture (NB: as from 2nd edition). Graeme, based on his own tests and those of friends, suggests bullets of bore size or .0005 - .001” (0,0127 – 0,0254 mm) under (for the 12-bore). After measuring the bores of my 10 and 12-bores with a three-point digital micro-meter, I had bore-size bullet moulds made by CastBulletEngineering in Australia based on the drawings in Graeme Wright’s book. H&H advised 15 to 1 parts of lead and tin for the bullets, that “MUST be passed through the regulator before being used”. Bullets in Paradox guns not meeting any serious friction till the end of the barrel, I don’t know if the ‘bumping up’ effect makes the bullets swell in the smooth bore part of the barrel.

After I had acquired my first 10-bore, I was offered by the maker of a brand-new Paradox 10-bore (it bears the H&H name, but was made by another gunmaker …) a set of repro 10-bore loading tools of which he had had made an extra set. This new 10-bore was to shoot plastic shells, of which he sent me dozen (empty). Unfortunately, the bullet mould is quite a bit undersized, as was the sizing die. By a Dutch firm I had made several sizing dies via the spark erosion process that I use in the repro sizing-press.

According to Graeme Wright, the present BP is of a lesser quality than the British BP at the end of the BP era, with Swiss now the best alternative. If so, Swiss it is at any case a lot less ‘dirty’ than modern French BP.

I have great fun in shooting running wild boar (card-board on rails) with my 1910 12-bore Paradox and other DB-rifles, from Purdey 16-bore front-loader with 1½ dr BP, 40-bore 2-groove, 34-bore pinfire, 43-bore Express, up to some 12-bores of other makers with 4 drs of BP, not to mention a couple of ‘cape-guns/rifles’. And although I have shot clays with both the 10-bore Paradox (with 13 lb quite a swing-through …) with the recommended relatively light load of 4 drs BP (Swiss no. 3) and 1½ oz of no. 8 shot, I still must try out ball. In spite of Graeme Wright’s instructions, I did not succeed in turning-over the plastic shells with an electric drill. Instead, I made my own turn-over tool, based on the patent drawing for one of the first turn-over tools (the wooden bloc in one of the pics; there is room for a 12 and a 16-bore). When burning BP, a tight fixation of the bullet is not necessary.

The -plastic- 10-bore cartridges are ready, but having shoulder problems after a skiing accident, I’m not looking forward to the recoil of the recommended 8 drs BP load.

Already having one of the last 12-bores made (1910), I couldn’t resist buying a very early (1886/1887) First Model Royal 12-bore when this was auctioned in Austria some months ago. This one is still based on the action of a 12-bore shotgun, with Damascus barrels.
This early 12-bore at only just over 7 lb feels and handles as a shotgun, and in fact, the early Paradox were based on shotgun actions. The charge was only 3 (!) drs of BP. The 1910 has a much stronger action and is with 8.43 lb slightly heavier. The charge was 30 gn of ‘Revolver Cordite’ (no BP equivalent given).
Unfortunately, I have no provenance for this gun … yet. In the past I had a very good contact at H&H, but of late, this firm doesn’t even answer requests for provenance. So disappointing! Yet I’ll try again for this ‘gufle’ (and once more for a DB .577 …)
I have attached a pic of the action bodies of the 1886/1887 and the 1910 version.

Some quotes on Paradox from my 3 GB document with notes of all gun-books read:
In fairness to other inventors and gunmakers, it should be noted that there was nothing new in the idea of partially rifling a barrel. There are guns by Joe Manton that exhibit this feature dating from the beginning of the 19th century, and (…) idea probably much older than that.” [BAKER, David J. : Heyday of the Shotgun ; The art of the gunmaker at the turn of the last century, Swanhill Press, Shrewbury UK, 2000]

Some Paradox-copier gunmakers after expiration of the patent: Andrews (no name known to me), Moore & Grey (‘Anomaly’), Bland (‘Euoplia’), Bonehill (no name known to me), Tolley (‘Ubique’), Cogswell & Harrison (‘Cosmos’), Lang (‘Afrinda’), Army & Navy (‘Jungle’), Jeffery (‘Shikary’), Westley Richards (Explora, Fauneta)
Lancaster came with his oval-bore alternative ‘Contender’, and Greener (1889 patent) tried barrels with the first part rifled and the muzzle part smooth, which was no success.
Even Winchester had their ‘me too’: “A few model ’87 shotguns were made using ratchet rifling only near the muzzle of the barrel. Recoil was so severe that the idea was discarded.” [MADIS, George : The Winchester Book, Dallas, Texas, 1961]

Purdey, although having taken out a provisional patent # 2952 in 1871* for a sort of rifled choke, never bothered with Paradox-like guns. If a sportsman wanted to have both, rifle and smooth, he could order a set of rifle-barrels for his gun (or vice versa).
(* “The object was to obtain a higher velocity of a bullet with less fouling and less stripping. In the invention, a rifle barrel was smooth bore for about ¾ of it-s length. In the last six inches or so a rifled tube was inserted.” [DALLAS, Donald : PURDEY Gun & Rifle Makers ; The definitive history (Quiller Press Shrewsbury, 2009]
View attachment 578425View attachment 578427
The end
VERY good information! I've just started to look into Paradox guns. Quite fascinating to me.
 
There were at least 3 Holland Paradox guns just at the Las Vegas Antique Arms show and a Colindian . It’s a buyers market if anyone were looking for one.
 
On a side note, I have a friend who was making exact reproduction paradox molds, copied from original ones, in 20,12 and 10 gauge. He keeps saying he wants to start making them again, but hasn’t done so yet. I’ve fixed his copy mill for him so it runs, just need to encourage him.
gumpy
Any chance this is moving forward? And he doesn’t by chance make the other tools does he? I’m starting the slow journey of acquiring a paradox but the tools are a big concern for me, I’d have to shoot the thing!
 
He’s a gunsmith by trade, he’ll make whatever you pay him for, when he gets to it, and that is part of the problem, he’s currently employed Monday to Friday by APRS/ Nightforce as their lead smith over here, he often doesn’t feel like working all weekend as well, I can but ask him.
gumpy
 
I understand, I’d sure appreciate it at your total convenience of course. I’ll be at this awhile, the saving is going to be the longest part of the process I think! So I’m just making the process more bearable by getting the little ducks in a row.
That’s the catch-22 with good gunsmiths. It’s hard to wait for years for a project, but it’s been harder when they get tired of people waiting impatiently and stop taking orders so they can catch up. Then it’s “can I just get my foot in the door?” .
Sounds like they are keeping him plenty busy, which is good for him!
 
If you're so fortunate to get yourself a Paradox or the like, you can have a bullet mould made by https://accuratemolds.com/ . (design in Graeme Wright). My advice would be to very accurately measure the bore (3-point digital), and have a mould made exactly bore size. (The replica alu-brass mold in my earlier posts, made for a modern 10-bore Paradox was too small. (I'm still hoping to find a precision turner with a lathe large enough to accommodate the mould)). Then have a sizing die made 0,0005- 0,001" under, as Graeme Wright suggests. My moulds/molds from AccurateMolds normally arrive within one month. As for the sizing die, I had good results with spark erosion, which can be made very accurate. So no need to bother an already very busy gun smith. Plastic shells can be used. Good luck !
 
This is some info that came with my H&H Paradox built in 1900 but refurbished.

20240522_210434.jpg
 

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Bill J H wrote on gearguywb's profile.
Do you still have this rifle? I'm in the KC area on business and I'm very interested.
Safari Dave wrote on CoElkHunter's profile.
I didn't get drawn for Wyoming this year.




Are you planning to hunt Unit 4 this fall?



(Thinking about coming out)
another great review


 
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