Sr. opened shop in Birmingham, England with partner
Joseph Simmons in 1802. This is one of the lower quality
guns that William Powell, Jr. produced for export during
the last quarter of the 1800s. It is a plain working gun
sold by hardware stores to farmers and homeowners for
hunting and crop protection.
The 30" long barrels
are 13 gauge now. (12 gauge wads will fit fine) I have honed
the bores lightly to give them a smooth finish. There
are still some dark spots of light pitting but nothing
deep. I also installed new nipples. The ribs are sound
with no areas coming unsoldered or rusted through. The
barrel tubes are good with no dents, dings or rust
spots. The breech/tang lockup is tight. The breech plugs
are hardened which is not surprising as Powell Sr. was
an influence in getting the Birmingham Proof House
established in 1813. Barrel proofing was put into law by
1637 in London but Birmingham didn't become a major
manufacturing center until the late 18th century and
barrel makers had to go to London to have barrels
proofed so another proofing house was needed. The top
rib is marked "STUB TWIST" which is a term used in
damascus barrels that were made from small pieces of
iron and steel, welded into bars, layered and welded
together into ¼"
square rods that are twisted then welded together into
1" wide bars. Those are then spirally wrapped around a
mandrel and edge welded to make the rough tubes. Good
thing labor was cheap back then. Sorry I got a little
windy with the description but some people ask.
wood shows a few minor handling dents natural to
it's age. The checkering is in great condition. The wood is very sound with only
one minor sliver lost at the top of the forend on the
right side. A light coat of finish or a good paste wax
would bring out the nice walnut stock better. The nosecap
is a new replacement. The
locks work fine. I repaired the nose of the left sear as
it was worn. The left mainspring is an old forged
replacement and works well. The ramrod
is original with new tips installed.
Light and well balanced.
Would make a good shooter. I didn't spend a lot of time
restoring this gun, just the harder items. The new owner
can do the pretty stuff.
For more info on
the 6 generations of Powell family gunmakers
Weight is 6 lbs.
Pull is 14¼".