One particular rifle that proves my point is this interesting Holland & Holland hammerless ejector double rifle in .577 black powder. Completed in 1895 and made for C.C. Branch Esquire, the rifle remains in excellent original condition. Built with a sidelock, Jones under lever action with full elaborate scroll coverage and clam shell engraved fences. Full pistol grip stock measuring 14 ¾” to the centre of the Silvers recoil pad with a strap over comb, cheek piece, plain gold oval and splinter forend with lever release. 26” barrels with mint bores and crisp rifling, rear express sight and ramp foresight with folding moon sight. The rifle weighs 11lbs 5oz and is an impressive thing to handle. It’s easy to admire the workmanship of this piece and one can only image the adventures that Mr. Branch had planned when he collected this rifle back in 1895.
Extract From Holland & Holland’s Ledger
The image above shows the development of the Holland action from the back action with external hammers circa 1887, to the rifle in question, through to the hammerless Royal from 1938 with a modern tang top lever. Spurred on by Beesley’s hammerless action which was bought by Purdey’s in 1879, Henry Holland began working on a hammerless action of his own. A collaboration between Henry Holland and John Robertson led to patent No. 23 on 1st January 1883, a hammerless action which became Holland’s most famous and best gun, the Royal.
David Hodo on May 7, 2018 at 11:32 pm
I would like to add to one of your statements, "One can only imagine the adventures Mr. Branch had planned when he collected his rifle back in 1895".
I would go as far as to say that most of us in modern times cannot imagine those planned adventures. I will be going on my second trip on July 1, and even though I am confident I will love every minute that I am on the ground in Africa hunting, what Mr. Branch most likely accomplished is far above anything my feeble mind can envision!!!
Peter Buckley. on May 8, 2018 at 11:16 am
Quite outstanding isn’t it! My favourite part is the ‘ Jones under lever’ the engraving on it is beautiful repeated again around the hinge pin.
Forgive my ignorance in 1895 was this rifle using cartridges of paper or brass, I suspect with the cartridge case extractor by Hawksley next to the rifle in 577 that the cases were paper loaded with a charge of ‘6 Drams’ or is it just a prop, I’m sure you will correct me? (Is the 577 extractor as rare as the rifle?).
Shame we couldn’t see the moon sight.
Chris Buckingham on May 11, 2018 at 6:03 am
A really excellent rifle, is this regulated for the 650Grn bullet, I am sure this would give great pleasure to anyone visiting Africa even today, and to have mint bores is an extra bonus.
Neill on May 12, 2018 at 2:48 pm
Beautiful! No other word for it. I have to say though, that faced with something big and angry, I can see myself fumbling for a non-existent top lever to reload!