Double-barrelled shotgun

A double-barrelled shotgun from the 1845 British Northwest Passage Expedition led by Sir John Franklin. The gun has a walnut stock, the grip is chequered and the butt plate is made of steel. Broad steel trigger guards with pineapple-type finial. Two triggers - one long and sweeping, the other short and stubby. The locks are twin percussion locks with steel hammers and steel lockplates. The steel barrels are secured to the stocks by flat brass pins set in brass plates.

The shotgun was one of two (AAA2612) found by Lieutenant William R. Hobson's sledge team on 24 May 1859 at a place where a ship's boat was discovered on the coast of Erebus Bay, King William Island, as part of the search expedition led by Captain F. L. McClintock. Hobson described finding the guns: 'Right aft stood two double barrel guns, one on each side [of the boat]; both had one barrel discharged, the other loaded and capped. They stood on their buts[sic], resting against the upper rail.' [Stenton, 'Arctic' v.69, No. 4, p. 517]. McClintock recorded them in his list: 'Two double-barrelled guns, one barrel in each is loaded. Found standing up against the side in the after part of the boat' [McClintock, 'Voyage of the Fox' (1860), p.366].

The shotgun was displayed at the Royal Naval Museum, Greenwich, Case 3, No. 17. Two guns from the boat found on King William Island'. The item is also shown in - 'Stereoscopic slides of the relics of Sir John Franklin's Expedition' photographed by Lieutenant Cheyne RN, at the United Services Museum, Whitehall, No. 1.

Object Details

ID: AAA2531
Collection: Weapons
Type: Shotgun
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Unknown
Events: Arctic Exploration: Franklin's Last Expedition, 1845-1848; Arctic Exploration: Franklin Search Expedition, McClintock, 1857-1859
Date made: circa 1840; circa 1840-1849
Exhibition: North-West Passage
People: McClintock, Francis Leopold; Franklin, John
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London.
Measurements: Overall: 110 x 1170 x 50 mm

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