"W. H. Tisdall & Sons. Birmingham. & Frederickton. N.B."
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Question: “Recently a high school friend from 1955-56 gave me his three long guns. He’s stopped hunting. I continue. One is a fine English/Canadian 12 gauge double hammer shotgun with forge-welded Damascus steel barrels made by “W. H. Tisdall & Sons. Birmingham. & Frederickton. N.B.”, which you can see is engraved along the midpoint between the barrels. I’ve searched websites for Tisdall shotguns & found a site that indicated this shotgun dates back to the 1860s. Would you have any information on this fine gun maker? Would you know if Tisdall was actually making these shotguns in New Brunswick? Any information you can give me would be appreciated.
… I took it to a local gunsmith, a Scottish gentleman who served in a special forces unit of the British Army. … He inspected this gun & told me it’s quite good & in shooting condition, provided I use nothing heavier than 1 1/8oz shot loads with not more than 3 drams of powder. In other words, trap shooting loads. He measured the choke of the barrels to find both chokes are the same, between modified and full, begin at the chamber, & taper consistently to the muzzle. Being forged, he explained, the smithy formed them over a tapered mandrel. The beautiful pattern of the smithy’s work is clear in the photo. It’s extremely intricate. What long labour to make such a fine shotgun! This gun is a piece of art. Thanks in advance for any information you might have.”
Follow up E-mail:
“I’ve since learned more about Damascus steel on Wikipedia
. Carbon trace elements form the visible brown swirls during the forging process, so the smithy’s blows bring out these intricate patterns which otherwise lay dormant awaiting the forge, hammer & anvil. Thanks for your interest.”