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Available Guns

New Inventory - John Dickson & Son Hammer Gun, made in 1890 for Charles Gordon

12 gauge, back-action hammer, side-by-side shotgun

On first glance, this vintage hammer built in 1890 appears to be well out of period with its Jones Rotary underlever and non-rebounding locks. This can all be explained by the fact the gun was built for Charles Gordon. This gun is the No. 3 of a trio of guns delivered to him and one of the sixteen guns he took delivery of in 1890. 

Charles Gordon guns are a rare thing to come across and we are in the privileged position to now offer one of his guns for sale. This is one of the forty-one 12 bore breach-loading guns that Gordon ordered from John Dickson & Son between 1868 and 1906.

The gun is in good condition inside and out with full classic Sumner scroll engraving for the period. The gun utilises one of the large action types and so some material has been machined out of the bar during manufacture to help lighten it, but it still weights in just over 7lbs. The gun is fitted with a lightly figured replacement stock but still incorporates it extended steel heel plate. The barrels are fine damascus and benefit from 2 3/4in (70mm) chambers with the necessary reproof. To prepare the gun for sale, we have given it a full service, picked up all the engraving on the furniture and pins, oiled and polished the stock and fore-end, cleaned out the chequering and re-blacked the furniture.

Donald Dallas wrote in his book 'Magnificent Madness' - 'The Charles Gordon story is a fascinating mix of wealth and pathos, worthy of any fictional drama; a gentleman of substantial means, profligate in his purchase of hundreds of guns, yet very eccentric, eventually losing his estate, wealth and personal power, ending his days alone and humble, living in a small cottage on his once large estate. Between 1868 and 1906, Charles Gordon bought 231 brand new top quality guns, rifles and pistols from John Dickson & Son, around 30 from Joseph Harkom & Son, 8 from Alexander Henry and 15 from James Purdey & Sons. He spent over £10,000 on buying these guns, an enormous sum of money in the late 19th century. Apart from the sheer size of the collection, three things make his collection highly unusual. Firstly, he never fired any of his firearms. Secondly, around half were muzzle-loaders, completely obsolete in this period and thirdly, many were quirky such as pairs having different bore sizes, barrels being way over the normal length and so on. In addition, the majority of his collection were all housed in lavish cases filled with every conceivable accessory, (even dog whistles!) with many of the accessories duplicated in the double cases.'


  • Price: £4950
  • Action:  Back-Action Non-rebounding locks, Jones Rotary Underlever, Cross-tenon fore-end fastener.
  • Gauge: 12
  • Barrel Length: 30in
  • Rib: 1/4in 
  • Chambers:  2 3/4in (70mm)
  • Proof: Birmingham Nitro Re-Proof at 19mm (R) & 18.8mm (L) in 2002
  • Bores: .742 (R) & .746 (L) 
  • Walls: .020 (R) & .020 (L)
  • Chokes: IMP CYL (R) & CYL (L) 
  • Ejectors: No
  • Stock: Drop at comb 1 1/4in, Drop at Heel 1 3/4in, 14 1/2in to centre 
  • Cast OFF: 3/8in
  • Weight: 7lb 2oz
  • Location: Dunkeld, Scotland