By John Knibbs
Sunday, 22 January 2012
Q) I recently bought a double hammerless non-ejector shotgun at auction for £250. It is listed as a BSA Special Sporting gun in 12-bore and suitable for 23⁄4in cartridges. The number is 41746. Is it worth the price I paid and can I use modern cartridges in it? J. TREVELLION By email
A) Your gun left the BSA factory in Small Heath, Birmingham, on 5 September, 1928. When this model was first launched, in January 1920, it was advertised at six guineas (£6.30 in today’s money), but by February of that year the price was raised to 11 guineas (£11.55) due to post-World War I wage awards and inflation.
The model was sold as the BSA Proprietary shotgun and was an instant success. Being the first fully machine-made sporting shotgun on the market, the demand for it was so great that production was raised to more than 300 guns a week shortly after its launch.
I would assume that your gun was checked by a gunsmith before the auction, so it should be in good working order and safe to use. It is extremely well made and, if cared for and serviced, will be well worth the price you paid for it.
It would be advisable to have the chambers checked and lengthened, if necessary, as the gun would have originally had short cones that were suitable for the paper-cased roll-turnover cartridges of the period.
Subscribe today to Shooting Times magazine - The UK's leading weekly shooting title!
Shooting Times are giving away a fantastic Compact 150 automatic trap plus mini barrow from Bowman