View Full Version : English underleaver hammer gun

July 28, 2009, 01:47 PM
Hi all,

I picked this up recently and have had absolutely no luck in finding out anything about it except that it was reproofed in Birmingham in 1988.

It’s a 12g with a 2 1/2” chamber. 28” Damascus barrels with ¼ choke.
It has a crown with a letter V under it on each barrel, what looks like strike outs over another mark and a third which I can’t discern.

Engraving on the top of the barrels reads “ R Selby and co 20 St MARKS. B????? (Could be Birmingham) and finishes with “No 1. The underside of the forend also has No 1 stamped on it.

Anything you can tell me would be a great help.

Jim Watson
July 28, 2009, 04:13 PM
(Crown) V is the long time London view mark.
(Crown) BNP is post 1954 Birmingham Nitro Proof, so you have a nitro proofed Damascus barrelled gun. Oh, the horrors of it; who but mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the noonday sun, who but an Englishman would dare shoot a Damascus barrel?

Do you think a No 1 on the gun implies a No 2, that it was once part of a pair?

And isn't the hammer detailing just gorgeous?

But I cannot find any mention of a Selby gun maker.

There is a dedicated double gun board... which I do not know the URL for.

July 28, 2009, 08:14 PM
doublegunshop.com is that doubles gun board

July 29, 2009, 06:40 AM
FWIW, IMHO that's a stunning shotgun, and I'd be proud to own it.



July 29, 2009, 10:05 AM
Yes Jim, I had thought that No1 might indicate one of a pair and that would help explain the Number One on the forend so you didn’t put the wrong one on the wrong gun. But there is no other number on it so the FRD has used this as its serial number. (Something to talk about).

The date proof on the barrels (not shown) show it to be reproofed in Birmingham in 1988.

Thanks for the info. I didn’t know the V over the crown was a view mark.

Any idea what the other mark is (not the reroof crown and R)?
As for mad dogs and English men? What can I say? Simple fact is that we have never stopped shooting our old guns. Probably because, in comparison to the states, they have always been harder to come by and more expensive. They are handed down and it’s common to see game shoots where some shooters use 30g plus loads in 100 year old shotties. Personally, I stick to low pressure loads with limited shot.
Having said that, I also have a 47 year old Winchester and 52 year old Mossberg and they will shoot anything, and frequently do.

July 29, 2009, 10:13 AM
Thanks Petahw,

I am proud to own it and it makes me smile everytime I take it out of its case.

July 29, 2009, 09:11 PM
"R Selby and co 20 St MARKS. B"

I must have spent an hour or more on this today and here is what I found...

...close your eyes and what do you see?

Nothing. Oh well, tomorrow is another day and maybe my luck will return.

Nice gun, isn't it.


July 30, 2009, 11:06 PM
who but an Englishman would dare shoot a Damascus barrel?

I'm not English.....Well I am English decent but I'm not scared of Damascus. I quite often shoot a set of barrels that are somewhere around 169 years old.

August 11, 2009, 02:19 PM
Don´t know when and where you got this piece. However, it appears to have been auctioned by Holt's Auctioneers of Norfolk in 2008, and most recently by the Netherhampton Salerooms in Salisbury in May 2009. It may also have been advertised by Ladd's of Crediton.
Nothing on the maker, however. Perhaps these companies may have records which you can trace back.
By the way, according to the records, it is signed by P not R Selby.