SOLD FOR: $2530
Make: Joseph Manton
Model: Double Gun
Serial Number: 8963
Year of Manufacture: Ca. 1830s
Caliber: 16 Gauge (.630″)
Action Type: Side-by-Side Back-Action Muzzle-Loading Percussion Double Shotgun
Barrel Length: 30″
Sights / Optics: There is a bead at the front of the rib.
Weight: 5 lb., 10.2 oz.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The stock is a one-piece walnut with steel nosecap, straight checkered wrist, straight comb, steel buttplate and decorative steel finials at the nose and guard. There is a silver thumb-plate in the top of the wrist. The stock has scattered nicks, scuffs and scratches. There are a few small losses and short cracks around the edges of the lockplates. The checkering is well defined. Drop at comb measures approximately 1 1/4?, drop at heel 1 3/4?. The LOP measures 14 1/4″ and 13 1/4″ from the fronts of the triggers to the back of the buttplate. The plate shows even surface erosion throughout. Overall, the stocks are in about Very Good condition as Antique.
Type of Finish: Browned Damascus & Case Color
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bores are mostly bright. There is some scattered minor erosion and infrequent minor pitting in the bores. In this writer’s opinion, the bores rate 7 out of 10.
Most antique firearms have bores that will show erosion. This is not only due to age but to the use of black powder. When fired, black powder reacts corrosively. NRA Antique Firearm Conditions Standards are quite lenient for bores. In some cases, the NRA standards disregarded the bore’s condition for collectors’ firearms.
Overall Condition: This shotgun retains approximately 70% of its metal finish. The barrels retain generally strong browned finish with some scattered light scuffs and scratches. The lockplates and guard have mostly worn to white with scattered light surface erosion, mostly scrubbed out. The breech-lug has a little color remaining. The screw heads range from sharp to tool marked with strong slots. The markings are clear. Overall, this shotgun is in Very Good condition as Antique (see Mechanics).
Mechanics: The left hammer can be dropped from the half-cock position by pulling the trigger and the left sideplate has a little bit of play to the stock which can be felt when operating the lock. Otherwise, the action functions correctly. The nipples are intact and unobstructed. We have not fired this shotgun. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: This rifle comes in a wooden carry case which is english-fit for the barrel and stock assemblies as well as for the variety of accessories which are included. Accessories include a Sykes adjustable powder flask, patch worm, patch-cutter, an assortment of cap tins and two keys (we could not get the keys to lock the case, but they look neat!).
Our Assessment: Joseph Manton was a British gunsmith who innovated sport shooting, improved weapon quality and paved the way for the modern artillery shell. Manton was a sport shooter in his own right and a friend of Colonel Peter Hawker. From 1781 onwards, he produced about 100 weapons annually, including dueling pistols and shotguns. In the early 19th Century, he invented the tube or pill lock, an improvement over Alexander Forsyth’s scent-bottle lock, but although readily adopted at the time, it was quickly overshadowed by the invention of the percussion cap. Manton’s weapons remain some of the most highly sought-after designs of the flintlock age and can fetch more at auction than Holland & Holland’s shotguns. His workforce included James Purdey (who went on to found Purdey’s), Thomas Boss, William Greener, and Charles Lancaster.
This is a 16 bore percussion double shotgun made by Manton around the 1830s. The gun is in great shape for its age, retaining good bores and strong mechanics. With its included carry case and accessories, this will make a great addition to a fine European arms collection. After inspection by a qualified gunsmith, it may even still be suitable for more trips out in the field. Please see our photos and good luck!
Please forgive any typos, I was educated in California. -Bud