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Double Rifles, Single Shots & Combinations >> Paradox and Bore Guns

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buckstix
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THOMAS BLAND & SONS - "EUOPLIA" - 12GA PARADOX GUN
      #335056 - 02/12/19 02:14 AM

THOMAS BLAND & SONS - "EUOPLIA" - 12GA PARADOX GUN

Hello All,

I brought this over from another Forum because I'm so excited about the purchase that I wanted to share it here also.

I've been looking for a Paradox Gun for about 4 years. Several have escaped me because they were too pricey.

I took a real gamble on this Paradox Gun because the auction listing had a very skimpy description.

This picture below was the only information that was listed about the gun.

.



.

I didn't want to ask too many questions before bidding, because in the past it has resulted in the Auction House updating the listing which made it more desirable to all the auction watchers, and caused the price to shoot-up beyond my budget. So, I bit my tongue and took a gamble. The RED background photos are from the auction listing. The other photos are mine.

Well, the gamble paid off in spades. I received a absolute MINT condition Paradox Gun, Factory Cased with matching bullet mold, loading tools, and cleaning accessories. Its hard to believe this gun is 127 years old.

Here's the specs:

28" Barrels - 13-7/8" LOP - 7 lbs 6 oz - Rebounding Hammers - 2-Leaf Express Sight marked "50" & "100"
Rib is marked "The "EUROPLIA" Ball & Shot Gun" - "T. Bland & Sons 430 West Strand London"
Barrels marked "A&T" (Adams & Tate - maker) - Birmingham Proofed
Matching Bullet Mold - Casts a Conical bullet - 790g RN & 730g HP
Misc. Tools, Powder/Shot Measures, Loading Tube/Rammer/Decapper, Capper, & Wad Punch

What's really amazing is the condition. All original finish in nearly 99% condition with full case-color remaining. Bores and chambers appear to be "un-fired". The only defect I could find was a small 1/16" chip off the tip of the toe of the horn butt-plate.

My only question is: the end of the cleaning rod handle has a leather washer pinned to its end. What is this for? ... and, does anyone know who Mr. Shields might have been?

As always, your comments are most welcome.





































--------------------
"You never pay too much for something, you only buy it too early."


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Huvius
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Reged: 04/11/07
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Re: THOMAS BLAND & SONS - "EUOPLIA" - 12GA PARADOX GUN [Re: buckstix]
      #335058 - 02/12/19 02:52 AM

Very cool Buck!
My only guess as to what the leather disc is about is that, when things get tight at the muzzle, one could whack on the handle of the rod with less worry of splintering it.
The original advertisement says fully rifled but the flats indicate it is choked.
Is it a rifle or a rifled choke gun?

--------------------
He who lives in the past is doomed to enjoy it.


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buckstix
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Re: THOMAS BLAND & SONS - "EUOPLIA" - 12GA PARADOX GUN [Re: Huvius]
      #335059 - 02/12/19 03:41 AM

Hello Huvius,

Thanks for the reply.

There is no choking to speak of. It is fully rifled. The “rifling” is of a form reminiscent of Charles Lancaster’s oval bore patent, with wide, shallow, “grooves”. They run full length, and, the rifling is barely visible as a pattern of light and shadow when the bores are held up to a light.
This is typically called "invisible rifling".

--------------------
"You never pay too much for something, you only buy it too early."


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Daryl_S
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Re: THOMAS BLAND & SONS - "EUOPLIA" - 12GA PARADOX GUN [Re: buckstix]
      #335060 - 02/12/19 04:30 AM

Very Cool indeed, buckstix. I am surprised there is the paradox mould with the rifle, instead of a round ball mould, but then the word ball could as easily mean the paradox styled "ball".

--------------------
Daryl


"a rifle without hammers, is like a Spaniel without ears" Edward VII


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buckstix
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Re: THOMAS BLAND & SONS - "EUOPLIA" - 12GA PARADOX GUN [Re: Daryl_S]
      #335061 - 02/12/19 05:52 AM

Quote:

Very Cool indeed, buckstix. I am surprised there is the paradox mould with the rifle, instead of a round ball mould, but then the word ball could as easily mean the paradox styled "ball".



Hello Daryl_S,
Thanks for the reply.

Yes, the English referred to any bullet as "Ball". Apparently a 1-5/8 oz to 1-3/4 oz bullet is the proper weight for T.Bland Paradox guns. That's 710g to about 765g - the range for a paradox Conical bullet. Suggested mix is 15:1 (15 parts lead to 1 part tin) Velocity should be in the 1,000 fps to 1,100 fps range. I'm casting pure lead in this mold which casts 790g with the round nose and 730g with the hollow point. My first load will be with 730g hollow point. I intend to load a low pressure charge of Unique to start with.

--------------------
"You never pay too much for something, you only buy it too early."


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TH44
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Re: THOMAS BLAND & SONS - "EUOPLIA" - 12GA PARADOX GUN [Re: buckstix]
      #335063 - 02/12/19 09:52 AM

Excellent pick up Buckstix a seriously good rifle. I am sure you will have much pleasure owning and shooting it
The case and accessories a real bonus

The reason for the full length "invisible" rifling is probably that Fosberry's patent of 1885 was still extant (I assume it covered partial rifling) and that full length would not be covered by it

Good luck shooting it and please keep us informed

TH44


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Daryl_S
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Re: THOMAS BLAND & SONS - "EUOPLIA" - 12GA PARADOX GUN [Re: TH44]
      #335067 - 02/12/19 01:03 PM

Anxiously awaiting the shooting results, we are.

--------------------
Daryl


"a rifle without hammers, is like a Spaniel without ears" Edward VII


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Wayne59
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Re: THOMAS BLAND & SONS - "EUOPLIA" - 12GA PARADOX GUN [Re: Daryl_S]
      #335070 - 02/12/19 03:48 PM

Very nice gun. It was my understanding that paradox guns were only rifled the last couple of inches of the barrels not the entire length. Is that incorrect?

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93x64mm
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Re: THOMAS BLAND & SONS - "EUOPLIA" - 12GA PARADOX GUN [Re: TH44]
      #335071 - 02/12/19 04:42 PM

Quote:

Excellent pick up Buckstix a seriously good rifle. I am sure you will have much pleasure owning and shooting it
The case and accessories a real bonus.......
Good luck shooting it and please keep us informed

TH44



No one could have put it better!
Well done mate on such a grand purchase - very much looking forward to your results!


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Daryl_S
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Re: THOMAS BLAND & SONS - "EUOPLIA" - 12GA PARADOX GUN [Re: Wayne59]
      #335076 - 02/12/19 06:02 PM

I think that was the "paradox", Wayne - that they would fire shot as well as slugs ("conical balls").

--------------------
Daryl


"a rifle without hammers, is like a Spaniel without ears" Edward VII


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tinkerModerator
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Re: THOMAS BLAND & SONS - "EUOPLIA" - 12GA PARADOX GUN [Re: Daryl_S]
      #335080 - 02/12/19 10:53 PM

Nice!

I'll stay tuned for the field report.
:-)

--------------------
--Self-Appointed Colonel, DRSS--



"It IS a dangerous game, and so named for a reason, and you can't play from the keyboard. " --Some Old Texan...


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buckstix
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Re: THOMAS BLAND & SONS - "EUOPLIA" - 12GA PARADOX GUN [Re: tinker]
      #335081 - 03/12/19 01:38 AM

Quote:

Excellent pick up Buckstix a seriously good rifle. I am sure you will have much pleasure owning and shooting it
The case and accessories a real bonus

The reason for the full length "invisible" rifling is probably that Fosberry's patent of 1885 was still extant (I assume it covered partial rifling) and that full length would not be covered by it

Good luck shooting it and please keep us informed

TH44



Hello TH44,
Thanks for the reply.

You might be right about the patent.

Quote:

Anxiously awaiting the shooting results, we are.



Hello Daryl_S
Thanks for the reply.

I have brass coming and have already cast bullets.


Quote:

Very nice gun. It was my understanding that paradox guns were only rifled the last couple of inches of the barrels not the entire length. Is that incorrect?



Hello Wayne59
Thanks for the reply.

Different manufactures of paradox rifles had different methods of rifling. Some only the last 2 or 3 inches at the muzzle, some full length with shallow cut rifling, and some like this one with "invisible" rifling like that of Charles Lancaster's oval bore paradox guns.


Quote:

Nice!
I'll stay tuned for the field report.
:-)



Hello tinker,
Thanks for the reply.

I'll keep you posted.

--------------------
"You never pay too much for something, you only buy it too early."


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Heelerau
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Re: THOMAS BLAND & SONS - "EUOPLIA" - 12GA PARADOX GUN [Re: buckstix]
      #335090 - 03/12/19 11:16 AM

I am thinking that conical mould is for an explosive bullet. Lovely piece. Good allrounder as they were originally designed for. Look forward to the range report. Would have thought it would have had a ball mould as well.

--------------------
Keep your horse well shod and your powder dry !


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buckstix
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Re: THOMAS BLAND & SONS - "EUOPLIA" - 12GA PARADOX GUN [Re: Heelerau]
      #335106 - 03/12/19 07:45 PM

Quote:

I am thinking that conical mould is for an explosive bullet. Lovely piece. Good allrounder as they were originally designed for. Look forward to the range report. Would have thought it would have had a ball mould as well.



Hello Heelerau,
Thanks for the reply,

The mold is designed to cast a conical bullet. The 2 nose pins allow for a round nose, and a hollow point. The deep hollow point is designed to give rapid expansion on thin skinned game.

--------------------
"You never pay too much for something, you only buy it too early."


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Heelerau
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Re: THOMAS BLAND & SONS - "EUOPLIA" - 12GA PARADOX GUN [Re: buckstix]
      #335110 - 03/12/19 10:11 PM

You could experiment with explosive bullets, pm me if you like. I forgot to note the second plug that made a solid bullet. I reckon you will have a ball with this rifle, turkey with one barrel and black bear with the other !!

--------------------
Keep your horse well shod and your powder dry !


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buckstix
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Re: THOMAS BLAND & SONS - "EUOPLIA" - 12GA PARADOX GUN [Re: Heelerau]
      #335138 - 04/12/19 02:51 PM

Hello all,

Well, I've loaded some ammo for the range test tomorrow. I used the existing loading tools.

I saw an interesting crimping method that Eley used for their ball loadings, so I made a tool to replicate that crimping method. It worked great.

I opted to use a low pressure smokeless load so as not fowl up the rifle with black powder.

Tomorrow I should have some shooting test results.









--------------------
"You never pay too much for something, you only buy it too early."


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93x64mm
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Re: THOMAS BLAND & SONS - "EUOPLIA" - 12GA PARADOX GUN [Re: buckstix]
      #335145 - 04/12/19 09:28 PM

Wow they look pretty nifty there Buckstix! - how did you make that little gizmo???

Please enclose your 'recipe' as it is an invaluable source of information to us 'novices' when it comes to bore guns - sadly lacking in that field of knowledge for me!
As an after thought - what was the original BP load/wads etc for these?


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buckstix
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Reged: 07/11/12
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Re: THOMAS BLAND & SONS - "EUOPLIA" - 12GA PARADOX GUN [Re: 93x64mm]
      #335151 - 05/12/19 12:01 AM

Quote:

Wow they look pretty nifty there Buckstix! - how did you make that little gizmo???

Please enclose your 'recipe' as it is an invaluable source of information to us 'novices' when it comes to bore guns - sadly lacking in that field of knowledge for me!
As an after thought - what was the original BP load/wads etc for these?



Hello 93x66mm,
Thanks for the reply.

The "gizmo" as you call it, was made from a brass 6-point "crimp-starter" insert from an old MEC 12ga shot-shell reloader. You could swap inserts to change from 6-point to 8-point crimps. Today they are made of plastic, but in the old days they were hardened brass. I had one laying around and got creative. Although they are no longer available, I see a few for sale on eBay for around $25.

I cut it off, and to keep everything in-lined, I soldered in into a brass sleeve that is a snug slip fit over the brass case. I then opened up the center to allow clearance for the bullet's nose. I made a another tool that matches the shape of the bullet's nose, that presses the bullet down into the case as the crimp is being formed. It weighs about a quarter pound so all it takes is a couple of thumps with the palm of your hand to do the crimp. The pictures below tell the story.

As far as my loading recipe goes, I'm using UNIQUE powder with Winchester brass cases. ?? grains of powder, covered with a tight fitting 1/8" thick card cut with the punch that came with the rifle, followed by five (5) 1/2" thick 12ga. fiber wads, with another 1/8" thick card under the bullet. Bullet was lightly finger lubed. I'm not going to publish powder weight until I have a chance to test it later today. Also, I'll first test the loads in a "cheap" modern 12ga double barrel shotgun to be on the safe side. When I dive into uncharted waters like this, (something I find myself doing quite often) I always try to be conservative. I don't want to harm this treasure.

. . .

. . . . . .


--------------------
"You never pay too much for something, you only buy it too early."


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tinkerModerator
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Re: THOMAS BLAND & SONS - "EUOPLIA" - 12GA PARADOX GUN [Re: buckstix]
      #335157 - 05/12/19 04:23 AM

I've had good success with 8-point and 12-point sockets for this type of crimp on brass cases

--------------------
--Self-Appointed Colonel, DRSS--



"It IS a dangerous game, and so named for a reason, and you can't play from the keyboard. " --Some Old Texan...


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Daryl_S
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Re: THOMAS BLAND & SONS - "EUOPLIA" - 12GA PARADOX GUN [Re: tinker]
      #335158 - 05/12/19 05:24 AM

Excellent innovations, buckstix, on the loading and crimping. You will have to keep the brass well annealed. With that much movement, maybe after each firing.

--------------------
Daryl


"a rifle without hammers, is like a Spaniel without ears" Edward VII


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Heelerau
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Re: THOMAS BLAND & SONS - "EUOPLIA" - 12GA PARADOX GUN [Re: Daryl_S]
      #335172 - 05/12/19 08:45 AM

I agree with Daryl, the need to anneal the brass each time. Look forward to your range results. Clever use of the old brass crimp starter, well done.

--------------------
Keep your horse well shod and your powder dry !


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buckstix
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Re: THOMAS BLAND & SONS - "EUOPLIA" - 12GA PARADOX GUN [Re: Heelerau]
      #335173 - 05/12/19 09:46 AM

Quote:

I've had good success with 8-point and 12-point sockets for this type of crimp on brass cases



Hello tinker,
Thanks for the reply.

Quote:

Excellent innovations, buckstix, on the loading and crimping. You will have to keep the brass well annealed. With that much movement, maybe after each firing.



Hello Daryl_S
Thanks for the reply.

I bought an induction annealed last year for doing my 700NE cases. That should work fine for these also.

Quote:

I agree with Daryl, the need to anneal the brass each time. Look forward to your range results. Clever use of the old brass crimp starter, well done.



Hello Heelerau,
Thanks for the reply.

Here are the first range results. Not too impressive yet. But not a concern beause velocity for these should be 1000 fps to 1050 fps and and I'm at 855 fps. Increasing velocity should bring the shots together.



--------------------
"You never pay too much for something, you only buy it too early."


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tinkerModerator
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Re: THOMAS BLAND & SONS - "EUOPLIA" - 12GA PARADOX GUN [Re: buckstix]
      #335174 - 06/12/19 10:40 AM

It's good to get it breathing.

I'll be looking for the next update!

--------------------
--Self-Appointed Colonel, DRSS--



"It IS a dangerous game, and so named for a reason, and you can't play from the keyboard. " --Some Old Texan...


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Daryl_S
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Reged: 10/08/05
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Re: THOMAS BLAND & SONS - "EUOPLIA" - 12GA PARADOX GUN [Re: tinker]
      #335180 - 06/12/19 11:54 AM

Yes - that looks great, so far. Hopefully the elevation difference won't change much.
Individual barrels are grouping very nicely.
Well done buckstix.

--------------------
Daryl


"a rifle without hammers, is like a Spaniel without ears" Edward VII


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