Game­keeper re­pair

Shooting Gazette - - A dog’s life -

When I worked at John Dick­son & Son in Ed­in­burgh un­til re­cently, a po­lice­man walked into the shop one day with a large brown pa­per bag. “Thought you might like this,” he stated. When I emp­tied the bag, out popped a very nice Dick­son ham­mer gun dat­ing from the 1880s with a beau­ti­ful-fig­ured stock. He in­formed us that the gun had been found in a skip and upon re­al­is­ing its qual­ity he thought we might like it to put on dis­play.

The only prob­lem was that the stock was com­pletely shat­tered at the wrist. It was to­tally ir­repara­ble and be­cause it wasn’t a clean break, lumps of wood were miss­ing and there was no way it could ever be joined back to­gether.

I pon­dered what to do with it and even­tu­ally de­cided to do a game­keeper re­pair I’d seen on old guns in my child­hood that seemed to keep them go­ing. I took a roll of copper wire and tightly and neatly wound it round the en­tire wrist. I then cov­ered the wire in soot to age it and the end re­sult looked like a makeshift 19th-cen­tury re­pair.

The gun cer­tainly elicited much com­ment from cus­tomers and even more com­ment from the man­ager when he took it out to show a customer one day and got his hands cov­ered in soot! A game­keeper at Eg­gle­stone Hall near Barnard Cas­tle c.1880.

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