Flintlock Coach Gun by W.Jones

Created on June 1st 2015

An Impressive Example of a 12 bore Flintlock Coaching Gun by W.Jones with a Spring Bayonet

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This striking weapon was the main line of defense employed by the coachmen and companies of the early 19th Century.  A blast from the twin muzzles at close range would see off most aggressive highwaymen keen to relieve the passengers of their valuables. Then, if still not perturbed, they would have to get past the vicious 14″ bayonet.  The gun weighs 8lb 13 ounces.  Ignition is provided by twin flintlocks and the sprung bayonet is released by a catch mounted on the twin barrel tang.  Once the spring is released the bayonet flicks into position and is locked in less than half a second – for its time, it is pretty impressive.  Once extended the weapon amounts to 45″

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The gun is 31.3/4″ in overall length with bayonet stowed.  The side-by-side damascus barrels are 16″ long and joined by a single plain rib on which the bayonet mechanism is mounted on top of the muzzle. The stock is of  select  Walnut with a checkered wrist and brass fittings.  The stock is mostly undamaged and shows only one repair where the barrel pin exits the side of the fore-end.  This appears to be a professional period repair and has aged with the rest of the stock. The stock is superbly fitted around the locks and other components.

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The twin locks are stepped at the rear with a single line of boarder engraving around them.  There are other features on their flat faces, like a well exectued sunburst which surrounds the main fixing screw.  The name of the maker “W. JONES”  is inscribed into the lock between the frizzens and the cocking pieces.  The frizzen springs are fitted with rollers which help them snap closed to protect the priming charge against the elements.  There are leaf patterns on the flat faces of the cocks.  The locks spark well.  They are released by twin triggers within the brass trigger guard.  The locks are expertly fitted into the surrounding stock.  Also nicely fitted is the decorated main barrel tang.  A toothed pattern edges the tang and the back end of the smooth-bored barrels. The locks are of the two position type.  All components seem original.Coaching Gun 006
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On the topside of the bayonet is the usual “TM” mark. (Trade Mark) used within the blade making trade.  The brass curled trigger guard is nicely engraved with a simple stand of arms and a sun-burst motif.  The stand of arms is repeated upon the tang of the brass butt-plate.  At the forward end of the trigger guard is a fine Pine-apple cut and engraved in brass.  The detail is good, as it is on the forward escutcheon that the rod enters into and which caps the fore-end.

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The finish on all parts is consummate with the age of the weapon.  Nothing has been over cleaned and the stock has a rich patina to it.  There are dings and dents in the stock but this would be expected.  The steel has mostly lost its brown on the barrels, but through the plum brown that remains, it is possible to see the pattern of the damascus that makes up the steel barrels.  The locks and their external mechanisms have silvered evenly and fine layer of dirt has built up in all the inaccessible areas.  Nothing on this gun stands out as overly clean, and the repair to the for-end remains flush and retains the same finish as the remainder of the stock.  In short this fine antique has not been interfered with and seems like an honest piece.

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There was a William Jones recorded as a Birmingham gun maker at the correct time for the production of this piece. However, further investigation will have to be left to the new prospective keeper  - whom so ever that may be ?  This Flintlock would certainly grace any collection, if only it were my own !

£ 6750.  now reduced to  £ 5800.

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