Thomas Bland & Sons cape gun in .303 British and 20 gauge. A scalloped boxlock ejector, serial 15677 has 26-inch barrels with an integral raised and matted rib ending with a dovetail-mounted bead up front and doll’s head extension at the action. A sling loop on an elongated oval base is positioned on the underside of the rib as well. The rear sight is something special, as it incorporates three folding express leafs as well as a folding ladder. All four leafs have silver-filled sighting lines, but some of the silver has gone missing over time. The first leaf is marked “100 / 200”, the second “300 / 50 yds. round ball” and the third “400”. The ladder is marked “303” and “Shot From Cordite”, with distance markings from 500 to 1,000 yards. The action itself has side clips, bushed strikers, twin triggers and an automatic safety. The stock features a steel butt plate with widow’s peak and trap door. MARKINGS: “Thomas Bland & Sons. 450. West Strand. London” and “Winners of the 1885 American Rifle Trials” appear separately on the rib. The toe line oval bears the initials “WPI”. Modest engraving outline accents grace the lines of the receiver, opening lever, guard and tangs. DIMENSIONS: Weight is 8.8 pounds. Length-of-pull is 14.3 inches, drops are 1.5 and 2.5 inches, and cast off is approximately .5-inch. CONDITION: Barrels are tight on face. As refurbished, barrel (rust) blue is about 97%, with soft but viable markings. Colors on the action, guard, tangs and butt plate are bright, about 90 percent. Overall metal condition is strong, with only modest evidence of roughness surviving the polish. Brand markings are viable. Serial number on the lower tang is soft. Opening lever closes dead center. Ejectors, safety and triggers operate properly in dry cycling. Wood appears to be original, with refreshed checkering and quality finish showing at no less than 90 percent. RIFLE BARREL CONDITION: The bore exhibits enough softening to the rifling and roughness in the grooves to suggest it is nearing the end of its useful life. It does, however, appear viable, and condition may improve on the heels of a through cleaning. SHOTGUN BARREL DIMENSIONS / CONDITION: Absent choke with the chamber lengthened to 3-inches, the bore remains bright with a trace of light and uniform roughness. The price is firm and layaway is available. $4,000 plus shipping.
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