12 bore shotguns.

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12 bore shotguns.

Richard Ashley
I will as soon as, try to include pictures. However, the humble shotgun and its place in the Aux-Units. Given that this island was diffy in any sort of small arms to fend off the Germans, the government realised that it could all be down to the shotgun. These guns would have resided behind most cottage doors ready to repell foxes in henhouses or rabbit and pigeon scoffing all the crops. The shotgun was therefore just another tool like a shovel or plough. I recently managed to get a deactivated double side by side hammer gun retailed by Fredrk. Williams. London & Birmingham, certainly Home Guard but would have been just as useful for ur fellows. Shortened 20 " tubes which not only made it far easier to handle and hide but  positively removed any chokes to the muzzle had it still had its original barrel length of perhaps 28 or 30". However, the trigger guard has been reprofiled into a circular form and the front trigger cut off about half its length and rounded at the end as well as being straightened to face the rear. The back trigger was also straightened so as to just trip the lock when pulled. Why ? Many experienced shooters who constantly use double guns with two triggers, under stress fire the right tube with the front trigger but forget to remove their finger from the front and slide it in behind the front and in front of the back trigger to fire the left tube. They tug away at the front trigger until they reasise whats gone wrong. The big bow of the guard plus amputated front trigger allows the trigger finger to slide off the front and instantly move backwards to pull the rear trigger to discharge the left tube.  Joseph Manton, one of the finest gunmakers used this trigger system on his double flintlock shotguns around 1820. Apart from the trigger job, the half cock position on the hammers have been removed. Therefore on this gun, its either hammers forward or back on full cock therefore removing another danger in trying to pull a trigger when the sear is jammed into the half cock notch.
   Eley were ordered very early on in the war to manufacture solid lead ball for 12 bores. These were totally capable of being fired down a tube with full choke but doing so worried folk then as it still does now. Along with ball, SG and 00 Buck loads were issued having about 6 balls of approx. .35" diameter. Added to these cartridges , users quickly came up with modifications to "improve" their bird shot rounds. In that period, the end wad was retained by the front of the case being rolled over. Nowadays manufacturers crimp the end therefore looking like cheese segments in those round boxes. The end roll could easily be straightened out with the thumb nail and using a sharp instrument, jab into the end wad and lift it off. This exposed the small diameter shot. A lit candle tilted over the shot allowed hot wax to run between the shot and after quite a while, the cavity would be filled. Allow a few minutes to solidify and when fired, acted like solid ball but after impact, would spread out into waxed shot. Some users actually  poured out the shot and replaced it with a length of candle. The modern Hatton round works exactly the same way and is used for rapid door entry being held close to a door where the hinges might be. The "candle" would blow the door into splinters without penetrating into a lethal charge at the other side. As an added bonus, someone thus shot if the firer was lost could light the wick to see where he was. This bonus is not written anywhere else but here. CART, another first. A mod that severely strains the barrel was to cut a groove around the case about a third up from the cap. When fired, the front two thirds as a whole would leave the muzzle with devastating results at both ends.
   This gun compliments superbly my "military" WW Greener "police" martini action 12 bore. These guns are very strong in construction, battering down a door with the butt would seldom damage the arm. In police mode, these guns are full stocked plus a bit in that the forend with a steel cap projected further than the muzzle end of the barrel therefore protecting it from damage. However, for "military" use, Greener manufactured a varient having a top hanguard as per Lee Enfields, notched backsight and a nosecap attachment having a forsight on top and a bayonet bar below to take a modified large muzzle ring 1888 bayonet as per Lee Metford and Lee Enfield. These bayonets seem to have been individually matched because fitting and removal is easy but, there is no free play when fitted. An impressive assembly. I believe that these "military"guns were manufactured during 1941 and have no connection with the standard police guns made for the Egyption Government who purchased 30,000 E.G. Martini guns from WW.Greener or indeed, the large numbers of "police" guns which were still to be found in service armouries when I started wearing leather apron. These military guns have sling swivels to outer band and butt and carry the "broad arrow" government inspectors marks.
     Yes, I haven't been able to include photo's because 'm not clever enough to do it but they are on my camera chip seemingly, salt and vinega sprinkled down the slot might not have improved things. I have to wait for a handy eight year old grandson to do it for me.
            Please keep the Forum going, someone out there must know about the military contract Greeners ? Do please write !
                           Richard.

   
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Re: 12 bore shotguns.

CART Web Monitor
Administrator
Thanks very much for this Richard.

I will see if Peter would like to do a shotgun page for the site incorporating your info above.
Kind Regards,

CART Team