F. T. Baker (Frederick Thomas Baker) 12 Ga. Gauge SxS Side by Side, Exposed Hammers & Side Open, Antique
Make: F. T. Baker (Frederick Thomas Baker)
Model: Sided Opening, Hammered, Side by Side
Serial Number: 6224 (On Barrels Only)
Year of Manufacture: 1882 – 1898 (Based on 21 Cockspur St. address)
Gauge: 12 Gauge, 2 ¾” Shells
Action Type: Right Side Lever Opening, Side by Side (SxS) with Exterior Hammers, Double Triggers and Extractor
Markings: The top of the barrel rib is marked “Frederick . T. Baker . Gun Manufacturer . 21 . Cockspur St. Pall Mall . London. – Barrels Made Of Vickers Steel”. The underside of the barrel rib, ahead of the forearm, is marked “For 2 ¾ Inch Cartridge. The underside of each barrel is marked ”6224”. The left barrel flat is marked with a London Proof, a Crown over “V” (view mark), a Crown over “CP” (London final proof), “12B”, “3.N” and “NOT FOR BALL”. The right barrel flat has all the same markings and also “JW”. The forearm is unmarked except for full coverage engraving. Each side of the water table has a Crown over “V” view mark and the breach face is marked “F.T.BAKER” although it is difficult to read. Each side plate is marked “FredC T. Baker”. There is full coverage engraving on the shotgun receiver and hammers, with only the triggers and lower tang/trigger guard excepted. The underside of the receiver has a circular “FTB” trade mark.
Barrel Length: 30”
Choke: The left barrel is about Improved Cylinder and the right barrel is about Modified.
Sights / Optics: This shotgun is mounted with small steel bead front sight.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The stocks are checkered walnut. The forearm is almost entirely checkered. It shows some flattening and wear, with handling and compression marks scattered throughout. The forearm shows no chips or cracks. The buttstock is straight wristed in the English style. An about 1/8” chip is missing from the right front side of the comb and the toe shows an about 1” repair where a piece broke off and was put back in place. The checkering on the wrist has survived in much better shape than the forearm. There are handling and compression marks scattered throughout, with one scratch clearly visible on the right hand side near the buttplate. The LOP measures 14 3/8” from the front of the forward trigger to the back of the of the horn buttplate. The LOP measures 13 ½” from the front of the rear trigger to the back of the of the horn buttplate. The buttplate has some fine scratches from use and about half a dozen worm holes from age. The stocks rate in about Very Good overall condition as antique.
Type of Finish: The barrels were blue and the receiver in-the-white.
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bores are semi-bright. There is scattered erosion throughout both bores.
Overall Condition: This shotgun retains about 25% of its metal finish. The balance of the finish on the barrels shows brown patina and scattered pinprick erosion. The engraved portion of the receiver shows a gray patina and the unengraved triggers, trigger guard and lower tang show a brown patina, with much lighter pinprick erosion than the barrels. The screw heads all show signs of use, but remain sharp. The checkering on the hammers and the side lever are unmarred and retain their ‘grip’. The markings are largely clear except for the breach face. Overall, this shotgun rates in about Very Good condition as an antique.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly, however it appears that the left firing pin spring is either broken or absent. The right side firing pin is not retained by a nut as is the left firing pin. Further, the threads that would secure the firing pin nut have apparently fractured away. We have not fired this shotgun.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: None
Our Assessment: This 12 gauge side by side is marked for 2 ¾” shells, black powder only we suspect. It was made by Frederic T. Baker of London in the 1890s and has tasteful engraving on the forearm’s metalwork and the receiver. The buttplate is smooth horn. The barrels open by means of a side lever and there is a single extractor which works upon opening. It appears that the left firing pin spring is either broken or absent. The right side firing pin is not retained by a nut as is the left firing pin. Further, the threads that would secure the firing pin nut have apparently fractured away. The shotgun has a century’s worth of use marking the wood, but easily remains in Very Good overall condition for an antique.