Henry no. 4444

Shooting Gazette - - Great guns -

As with per­son­alised num­ber plates, some cus­tomers for new guns will give their hind teeth for cer­tain gun num­bers and when or­der­ing a gun will of­ten ask for a par­tic­u­lar num­ber. I find with my num­bered books that even the strangest num­ber can be asked for, it ob­vi­ously means some­thing to a par­tic­u­lar in­di­vid­ual.

In the 19th cen­tury there didn’t seem to be this ego­ism and even no. 10,000 in the Holland & Holland records can just be an or­di­nary rook ri­fle. The same goes for the Henry ham­mer gun, il­lus­trated, no. 4444 – it was just an­other num­ber for Henry and the cus­tomer was prob­a­bly not even aware of it un­til he re­ceived the gun.

Alexan­der Henry no. 4444 was com­pleted around the same time as the lit­tle 20 bore. No. 4444 was com­pleted as a best gun on June 13, 1879, for robert e. cur­wen of Wester­lee House, St. An­drews in Fife. It is an iden­ti­cal de­sign to the 20 bore with its grace­ful rounded ac­tion bar, top lever and bar ac­tion locks.

One point of in­ter­est about this gun is that it is a very early ex­am­ple of a choke bored gun, with the left bar­rel be­ing choked.

The strik­ers are quite un­usual be­ing re­ferred to in the records as “grav­i­tat­ing pis­tons” mean­ing they were large mush­room-headed strik­ers.

In the Henry ledgers for this gun the ini­tials “S&S” are recorded. This means that the gun was built by W.&c. Scott & Son of birm­ing­ham and then sent in the white to ed­in­burgh to be fin­ished by Alexan­der Henry, a com­mon prac­tice.

The 12 bore top lever ham­mer gun by Alexan­der Henry no. 4444 of 1879 with rounded ac­tion bar.

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