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T Bladen & Son Double Hammer and Trigger English shotgun

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Old 09-25-2010, 09:15 PM   #1
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Default T Bladen & Son Double Hammer and Trigger English shotgun

I was given an old Double Barrel, Double Hammer & Trigger British shotgun made by "T BLADEN & SON". It has no numbers, but on the strap between the barrels it says "LONDON FINE DAMASCUS"..
I am seeking any information on this old Shotgun.
It is in good shape despite the overall rust on the barrel, but I don't want to re-finish it without some idea of its age & value as it would change the original finish..
Any info would be greatly appreciated, Thanks..
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Old 09-26-2010, 08:11 PM   #2
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Being marked LONDON FINE DAMASCUS does not mean made in England. Some guns were marked as such as advertising hype. Remove the forearm, and on the water table you should find proofs, choke marks, etc ad infinitum.

Re: Shooting- damascus was made for black powder. SOME better quality guns may be shot with low pressure loads IF the barrels have not got corrosion spots- THAT needs a competent smith that is equipped for some testing. If it was a Parker, a Purdey, a Holland & Holland- maybe. Me- I would not. I'm a big chicken. Plan to be the oldest damn chicken in the coop, too.

Re: Cleanup- Go find a product called KROIL. Wet surfaces, drape with cotton or burplap wetted with Kroil, let set overnight. Rub with hand power and clean cloth, changing spots as needed- the rust you are taking off IS abrasive itself. No sandpaper, no dremels. For BAD rust, get a Chore Boy COPPER pot scrubber, wet with oil, go lightly.
What we have here is... failure- to communicate.
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Old 09-30-2010, 09:47 PM   #3
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Default T Bladen & Son Double Hammer and Trigger English shotgun=REPLY

To C3Shooter;
Hey thanks for the cleanup info, It'll make my work a little easier..
The marks under the forarm guard look like a "C" followed by what looks like Wheat Stalks and then the letter "B" followed by small crossed swords.. The marks on the receiver housing under the firing pins look like (all together as one magk) a Crown, Verticle stripped shield with crossed (either) hammer/sword or two swords..
See Attached Photo's..
Again, Thanks for your info
dsci1786.jpg   dsc00003.jpg   dsci1793.jpg   dsci1809.jpg  
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Old 12-25-2010, 12:33 AM   #4
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Default Thos Bladen and Sons

I have a shotgun identical to yours that I have been trying to identify. It definitely says Bladen, not Bland. Except for your posting, I have not found any other reference to this manufacturer. This was my Grandfathers shotgun, purchased in the Louisville, KY or southern Indiana. Did you ever learn any more about the manufacturer?
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Old 12-25-2010, 01:18 AM   #5
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It has Birmingham proof marks on it. T. Bladen & Son is most likely the name of the hardware store that sold it. Probably made in the late 1880's-1900 or therabouts
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Old 12-25-2010, 01:29 AM   #6
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the maker is a gun co. in birmingham england T bladen and son. made in the late 1800's early 1900's as a low end export hunting arm for the american consumer. you will have to consult a proofmark books to determine what the 13b 14m choke mark means.

one other thing they didnt have model names back then most companies in england didnt even list years the weapon was invented. they just sold as your shotgun would be called maybe "bladen double" most english companies only made one or two models and that was it. it wasnt like colt and winchester in the states cranking out numerous different types.
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Old 12-26-2010, 04:56 AM   #7
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Dfeiock, From the Info I received from Mr W.S. (Bill) Curtis, Assistant Curator, Museum of the National Rifle Association, his info is as follows;
Very straight forward. This is a Birmingham gun made in one of the large factories established there who manufactured for the Trade and for Export. The gun carries the proof marks laid down under the Proof Acts for the Birmingham Proof House under the Rules in force between 1875 and 1887. These marks have been overstruck by other numbers at a later date for reasons I cannot explain and by other persons probably in the Americas who may have been associated with the local gun trade. I suggest that the name on the lock plates is most likely that of an American retail gun shop. It was common practice for retailers in the US and Canada to place orders through agents to importers who passed the orders to factories in Birmingham or Liege in Belgium. The factories would put any name they were asked for on the orders.

This gun was and maybe still is a sound working gun, almost certainly with damascus barrels, probably safe to use with black powder cartridges, but it must be emphasised that it is by no means a 'Best' or even medium grade gun by the standards of its day. Even if in immaculate or nearly new condition it would still be only of relatively low value. These were the workhorse, meat on the table guns for settlers and colonists and were priced accordingly. Fine pieces if they are retained with their provenance as items of family history but of very low commercial value.

Glad to have been of assistance,


Bill Curtis

W. S. Curtis, A.C.I.I.,
Vice President (Hon.), Crimean War Research Society,
HBSA (Hon. Life),
Assistant Curator, Museum of the National Rifle Association,
Whitworth Rifle Research Project,
There is something I ought to add to my explanation in order to give you more understanding of the marks. During the period when these marks were used, choke boring was coming into widespread use and the authorities had been having some problems defining it. In 1875 the Rules changed and they first started to define the choke by putting two gauge sizes in the marks, e.g. 12B 13M which meant a 12 gauge tube at the Breech end with a 13 gauge Muzzle and the added words CHOKE. They also made tighter chokes marked 12B 14M and these used the words NOT FOR BALL for obvious reasons. The Rules changed in 1887 and again in 1896, 1904, 1925, 1954, 1989 and lastly 2005. It has to be remembered that in the USA there are no legal proof laws but all guns made in the UK must be proofed by law even if only intended for export. Similar laws apply to most of the countries of Europe. In Britain, the first such law came in during the 1640s. All American made guns imported into Britain have to be subjected to Proof at London or Birmingham and stamped accordingly before they can be sold or transferred to anyone other than a Registered Firearms Dealer
Docsmokey has now sent me clear photos of this gun which is a typical top lever double hammer gun of Birmingham make carrying the proofmarks of the Birmingham Proof House under the Rules for 1875 to 1887. It has all the indications of a typical low end sound export gun for the American market. The locks are marked with the name of what I suspect are the retailers in America although they may well have been applied by the factory at the time of making in response to the order placed by the shipping agent on behalf of the New York importing agent.
I hope that this info that he sent to me also helps you & others with this gun!!
Clean it & hang it above the fireplace to look at!!

Last edited by DOCSMOKEY; 12-26-2010 at 04:59 AM.
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