Massive 4-bore side lock shotgun, ca.1870 - Price $12,500

ŠAll Photos copyright Lewis Drake and Associates
Massive 4-bore side lock shotgun, ca.1870.  Weight 13 ¼ Lbs.  Fine tapered, 45 ½”long, hand-forged twist steel barrel is octagonal at the breech, then 16 sided, gradually fading to round out to the muzzle and retains traces of the original brown finish. The barrel is chambered for the 4-bore cartridge and one of the accompanying photos shows a round chambered in the breech with a modern 12ga. shell alongside for comparison. The bore shows some light pitting at the breech end. The Jones screw-grip action remains tight, the non-rebounding hammer side lock is crisp and mechanically perfect, and the extractor functions well. The attachment of the barrel to the action is a bit unusual in that the large pin through the forward end of the action must be driven out to remove the barrel making for an extremely solid and tight joint. Similar attachments are occasionally found on breech-loading European guns but rarely on English firearms. By the way, there are no proof marks of any kind on this gun. The only identifying mark is the cryptic name, “MNSEROP”, deeply stamped with individual letter dies at the top of the breech block and I suspect the gun was made in this country by an immigrant gunsmith, perhaps of German or Austrian decent. The stock is well worn but shows no evidence of abuse. There is some documentation accompanying the gun that states it was purchased, presumably in this country, by young Danish immigrant, Erik Olsen, just before he went May 21st., 1874, to homestead in Cedar Bluffs, Nebraska, and was used by him in harvesting waterfowl in that area throughout his entire life. At any rate, a very interesting bit of our country’s heritage. These massive 4-bore guns were never made in large numbers and are quite rare and desirable today.