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Available Guns

New Inventory - John MacPherson of Inverness, made in 1930

12 Gauge, A & D Non-Ejector, side-by-side shotgun

Specification

We are very pleased to offer this pretty vintage boxlock gun by the Scottish gunmaker, John MacPherson of Inverness. 

The heavy frame action retains some original colour hardening and overall the gun is in very good condition. The barrels are fitted with a wide engine turned rib, and the figured stock is finished off with 1 1/4in black Kick-Eze pad.

The gun has just had a full service, strip and clean and the furniture re-blacked. The gun benefits from tight chokes and 2 3/4in (70mm) chambers with the necessary re-proof, the bores are superb inside, and the lock-up to the action is firm and tight. The gun is completed with a nice Brady style case and reproduction MacPherson label.

Like many other Scottish boxlocks, this gun was made in the trade by Bentley & Playfair in Birmingham.

  • Price: £950
  • Action: Anson & Deeley, top lever with Scott spindle and Purdey bolt, hidden third bite extension, slide safety and Anson push-rod fore-end.
  • Gauge: 12
  • Barrel Length : 30in
  • Chambers: 2 3/4in (70mm)
  • Rib: 3/8in -> 1/4in Machine Turned
  • Proof: Birmingham Nitro Re-Proof at 18.5mm and 18.6mm in 1999
  • Bores:  18.5mm (R) & 18.6mm (L)
  • Walls: .030 (R) & .028 (L)
  • Chokes :  3/4 (R) & FULL (L)
  • Ejectors: No 
  • Stock dimensions: Drop at comb 1 7/16in, Drop at heel 2 1/16in, 14 1/4in to centre 
  • Cast Off: 3/8in
  • Weight: 7lb 2oz
  • Location: Dunkeld

John Macpherson of Inverness

Gun and fishing tackle makers in Inverness was big business in the late 19th Century - the sporting suppliers of John Graham & Co, D. Gray & Co, Hugh Snowie & Son and Donald Watson were all competition for the firm of John MacPherson. 

The business of John MacPherson was actually established by Duncan MacPherson as a fishing tackle maker at 5 Drummond Street in 1887. John was born and raised in Newtonmore, and at the age of 18, he moved to Inverness to take over his uncles shop. In 1900 he moved the sporting shop to 24 Church street where they were trading as gun and fishing tackle makers, taxidermists and furriers. 

John Macpherson married Jessie Ann Grant (whose father ran a dyeing and printing business in Petty Street, Inverness) in 1905 in Inverness and they went on to have six children in total; two boys and four girls. After leaving school, his sons. James (Hamish) and Allan Grant served apprenticeships in London and Birmingham to become gunsmiths and fishing tackle makers. Their London apprenticeship was carried out at Gamages Department Store in Holborn, and included all-round training in how to manage a shop/store. The brothers returned to their father’s business in Inverness after their training, the business becoming John MacPherson & Sons, Hamish and Allan later becoming partners in the company.  A sporting branch was opened in Kingussie in the 1920's, run by Robert MacPherson, and the business in Inverness moved in 1922 to 8 Inglis street and then next door to 6 Inglis street in 1926, finally expanding to take up both 6 & 8 Inglis street from 1955.

John died on the 24th January 1948 at his home, the grand property of 'Raliadh' just outside Inverness city centre. John's youngest daughter was Johan Grant MacPherson (known as Joey) and on the death of her father, ailing health of her mother, and the increasing attention required by her sister Nancy, Joey returned to Inverness in the early 1950s, and joined her brothers, Hamish and Allan in the running of the family business until it closed in 1976 when they both retired. 

Joey had attended Inverness Royal Academy before following the example of her eldest sister, Rhoda, to study domestic science at Atholl Crescent College, Edinburgh. On graduation she took up as a Domestic Science teacher near Oxford. On the outbreak of war, she joined the NAAFI and was posted to the Highlands and Islands, where she was involved with the organisation of catering for most of the military establishments north of the Highland Line. Although having little experience of shooting, fishing and sports equipment she became firmly involved in the running of all aspects of the Sporting Stores. She developed a particular love of trout fishing and her annual visits to Rodel in Harris became the highlight of her year. On the closure of the family business she lived with her brother Hamish in Crown Circus, Inverness until his death in 1994. Retirement allowed spreading their time between their sister Isabel in Tain, their brother Allan in Inverness, and in their father’s native village of Newtonmore, both keen followers of the progress of the Newtonmore shinty team. Joey passed away in 2016 at the grand age of 102 years old.

John played shinty as a young man, and remained a key supporter of shinty throughout his life. Although the business started as a fishing tackle maker it soon expanded into a sporting emporium, supplying a range of equipment for Highland pursuits, including shinty. At the height of the business, John employed 3 caman (shinty stick) makers in the shop to meet the demand and became the first commercial manufacturer of camans and balls. He made a name for himself in producing light, well-constructed hickory camans. Hamish MacPherson was quoted as saying “My father played for Inverness in 1910.  He was a good player, not very big, but was a wee devil on the field, they used to say.”