Sold For: $3,010.00
Make: George Gibbs of Bristol
Model: Metford Patent Sporting Rifle
Serial Number: 11740
Year of Manufacture: The rifle has proof marks putting the DOM between 1855 and 1868.
Caliber: .45 Caliber Hollow Base Expanding Projectile
Action Type: Single Shot, Muzzle Loaded Percussion Rifle
Markings: The top of the barrel reads “METFORD’S PANTENT” and the serial number, along with “GEORGE GIBBS 29 CORN STREET BRISTOL”, the underside of the barrel is also marked with the serial number, 3 Birmingham proof marks and a faded inspection mark. The lock plate is marked “GEORGE GIBBS”. The front of the muzzle protector is marked “1176 / GEORGE GIBBS / BRISTOL”.
Barrel Length: 32 5/8”
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a ‘doughnut’ ring in a circular protective base, adjustable for windage, set to the barrel, just behind a small metal bead that secures the socket twist-on muzzle cap. The rear sight is a tang mounted folding ladder aperture base with a removable aperture disc that has an OD of 1.169”, the ladder is adjustable for elevation.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The half length stock has a black nose cap and does not have provisions for a ram rod. The stock has absolutely beautiful grain and fit to the metal components (there are a few areas of rounding before the metal, the stock looks to have been professionally refinished at some point in time and still looks great), sporting a checkered pistol grip and sling swivel installed on the butt of the grip. The stock has scattered scrape and gouge marks, mostly going unnoticed since the overall fit and finish is so nice, the grain also does a good job of hiding some of these marks. There is a nicely repaired crack on the right, forward of the lock plate. The LOP measures 13 ½” from the front of the trigger to the back of the metal butt plate. The stock appears to have a thin varnish finish with some handing wear through areas of it from normal use. The stock rates in about Very Good Plus to Fine overall condition.
Type of Finish: We found an area of bluing under the barrel, the exterior surfaces look to have been cleaned at some point. The left of the barrel wedge is silver plated. There are some areas on the lock plate that give evidence of case coloring. The other items do not have any finish left to determine what the original type was, please see our pictures.
Finish Originality: The finish is original.
Bore Condition: The bore is semi-bright and the rifling shows some wear, but is still pronounced. There are spots of light to mild pin prick erosion in the bore.
Overall Condition: The rifle’s surfaces look to have been cleaned at some point, the barrel has deep dark pitting along with scattered light to moderate depth pin prick erosion. The lock, plate and other metal items have mild patina and scuff marks, the rifle still looks beautiful, the metal to metal fit is superb. The screw heads are lightly tooled at worst, all are serviceable. The markings are clear but for those on the underside of the barrel. Overall, this rifle rates in about Very Good Plus condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The hammer has a strong spring and cocks back into half and full cock with positive locking. The trigger pull is light and crisp. We have not fired this rifle. As with all previously owned firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: Included is a socket twist-on Gibbs marked muzzle protector cap that has defined rifling still found on the inside; the exterior has dark patina and mild pin prick erosion, rating in about Very Good condition.
Our Assessment: From http://www.bluebookofgunvalues.com/Gun_Values/Gun_Manufacturer.aspx?id=GIBBS_GEORGE “Current trademark established 2007, and located in Wiltshire, U.K. Previous gunmaker circa 1830-1929, located in Bristol, U.K. George Gibbs began manufacturing guns in Bristol circa 1830. He built a new factory in 1873, and became famous for big game rifles popular during the Victorian and Edwardian eras. The .505 Gibbs cartridge became widely known. In 1874, the maker patented the Gibbs & Pitt gun – sometimes dubbed the first commercially successful hammerless shotgun – a triggerplate design that cocked via its underlever (later a toplever-cocking variant was also produced). In 1906, Gibbs moved to 35 Savile Row. The firm’s founder, George C. Gibbs, died in 1918, and company ownership passed out of family hands and into a partnership.” This match rifle was made between 1855 and 1868, still sporting highly defined Metford rifling and an absolutely beautiful stock. The rifle is set up with an adjustable front and rear target sight configuration. The action still functions correctly and a muzzle cap is included, making this a great find for British gun collectors. Please see our pictures and good luck.