12G Side by Side ‘Cripple Stopper’ / SPECIALIST Wildfowling Gun. Fully named and detailed FREDERICK HADFIELD, 32, WHITTALL STREET, BIRMINGHAM to the rib.
With 32” (813mm) barrels, a weight of 7 Lbs 10 ½ oz (3.47 Kg) and 3″ (75mm) Magnum chambers. This is definitely an unusual and EXTREMELY RARE gun. Especially when the address puts manufacture somewhere between 1908 and 1934. As such there is a distinct possibility this could well be over 100 years old.
CERTAINLY produced as a PURE WILD FOWLING piece they became affectionately known as ‘Cripple Stoppers’. Especially when used with a Punt on rivers, lakes, estuaries and inshore etc.
It IS in excellent condition too. At 14” the barrel walls are still in excess of 45 thou. I can’t find anywhere on the barrels below 40 with no pitting and only light marks to the original blueing. They finish with a flat topped File Cut tapering rib and fixed chokes at approx. ¾ and Full.
The action is triple locking with double bottom bite and top cross bolt. It is plain finished with little more than the makers name set inside a scrolling banner to each side.
The Rounded Prince of Wales gripped stock is almost straight with minimal cast. This will easily work from either shoulder. Pull length is currently 13 5/8” (346mm) including the well-executed inch (25mm) extension. It is quite well patterned with a good strong straight grain but with some excellent contrast. This is quite an attractive gun all round and should certainly be of high interest to a collector. There is also an unused flush oval escutcheon. Everything finishes up at an overall length of 47 ¾” (1213mm).
A 3” Hammer gun from the same maker sold 10 years ago for almost £1000. The barrel walls were nowhere even close to these.