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

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casper50
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Reged: 18/10/07
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Loc: Alaska
I need a clarification of British gunspeak.
      #367912 - 23/07/22 04:48 AM

What does the following mean? "originally made for Purdeys as manufacturers mule"? I won this 10 bore rifle at Holt's yesterday. The Mule part wasn't in the description when I bid on it. Just wondering if it was used to test loads or something?

UNSIGNED IN THE WHITE 10-BORE (2 7/8IN.) FALLING BLOCK RIFLE, serial no. 10010, 27in. very heavy nitro proofed (in 2013) barrel, fixed rifled choke with knurled cap, 2 7/8in. chamber, fitted with a Schmidt & Bender 6x42 telescopic sight, serial no. 236386 on a picatinny rail, plain action, believed to be built by G. Whittome, 15in. figured pistolgrip stock including ventilated rubber recoil pad, no fore-end, weight 19lb. 9oz., in a slip, originally made for Purdeys as manufacturers mule



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Marrakai
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Reged: 09/01/03
Posts: 3208
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Re: I need a clarification of British gunspeak. [Re: casper50]
      #367915 - 23/07/22 09:06 AM

That could be a John Shirley action by the looks, Whittome used them for his Mammoth series falling-block rifles.

Not unreasonable to call a load development and testing rifle a "mule", since a mule carries heavy loads!

Never actually heard the term used in that context before, though.

--------------------
Marrakai
When the bull drops, the bullshit stops!
--------------------------------
www.marrakai-adventure.com.au


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rigbymauser
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Re: I need a clarification of British gunspeak. [Re: Marrakai]
      #367928 - 23/07/22 10:50 PM

G=Giles

Giles was an almost 7feet tall english gunbuff who did in making these heavy bigbore cartridges.
There is an artical in a Gun DIgest from the 1990s about him an one of his guns(2-bore singleshot).
I don`t think Giles lives anymore.


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casper50
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Re: I need a clarification of British gunspeak. [Re: rigbymauser]
      #367931 - 24/07/22 01:30 AM

RM where did you get a G?

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Huvius
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Reged: 04/11/07
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Re: I need a clarification of British gunspeak. [Re: casper50]
      #367932 - 24/07/22 03:42 AM

If a Purdey test gun, I wonder if it has a connection to Ahmed's 10bore rifled choke double he had Purdey make.
Perhaps the falling block was built up to pressure test and develop modern ammunition in preparation for the double build.
They almost have the same serial number too!
I doubt Purdey has made another 10b rifled choke gun in the modern era.

http://forums.nitroexpress.com/showflat.php?Cat=0&Number=355475&an=0&page=0#Post355475

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


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rigbymauser
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Re: I need a clarification of British gunspeak. [Re: casper50]
      #367933 - 24/07/22 05:52 AM

Quote:

RM where did you get a G?




" believed to be built by G. Whittome,"


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casper50
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Re: I need a clarification of British gunspeak. [Re: rigbymauser]
      #367936 - 24/07/22 10:29 AM

Ok RM thank you for that info.

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casper50
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Re: I need a clarification of British gunspeak. [Re: casper50]
      #367937 - 24/07/22 10:50 AM

Marrakai I would think so as well but all the photos of a Shirley action that I've seen have a pin in the side. This one does not seem to have a pin in it.

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Hunter4752001
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Re: I need a clarification of British gunspeak. [Re: casper50]
      #367938 - 24/07/22 12:05 PM

I've never heard the term "manufacturers mule" used in respect to firearms (or anythingelse). However wikipedia list a similar term as one from the automotive industry

"A development mule (test mule, or simply mule) in the automotive industry is a testbed vehicle equipped with prototype components requiring evaluation. They are often camouflaged to deceive competitors and thwart a curious automotive press."

Probably what the auction blurb was alluding to.


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Omnivorous_Bob
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Re: I need a clarification of British gunspeak. [Re: rigbymauser]
      #368040 - 30/07/22 04:04 PM

Quote:

G=Giles

Giles was an almost 7feet tall english gunbuff who did in making these heavy bigbore cartridges.
There is an artical in a Gun DIgest from the 1990s about him an one of his guns(2-bore singleshot).
I don`t think Giles lives anymore.




Apologies for the thread hijack, but Giles Whittome is/was(?) an amazing craftsman and a first rate gentleman.

I purchased my Bland 4-bore in 04 from the estate of Ray Meyer, a noted big bore enthusiast and African hunter. For several years I puzzled over the "GHW" on the leather case, and scoured old books trying to discover who this might have been. One night on a business trip I was reading a DGJ article and the author described buying this same rifle in the Wilkes shop in London in 1962 and making a 44" damascus shot barrel to fit it. It was written by Giles. I googled his email address and sent an inquiry. Ten minutes later he replied with endless details on the rifle.

After that we corresponded briefly and he mailed photo copies of some articles he wrote on it over the years. His letter were all written with a fountain pen and could have passed for calligraphy. He was extremely generous with his time and knowledge.

I've only handled one rifle made by him but assume this one if first rate in every respect.

Bob

--------------------
"If we're not supposed to eat animals, how come they're made out of meat?"


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casper50
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Re: I need a clarification of British gunspeak. [Re: Omnivorous_Bob]
      #368059 - 31/07/22 02:20 AM

Thanks for the info Bob.

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eagle27
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Re: I need a clarification of British gunspeak. [Re: casper50]
      #368111 - 03/08/22 05:48 PM

The term 'mule' is also used to describe someone carrying, unwittingly or knowingly, drugs across boarders.

The mule is frequently used as a pack animal and is regarded as a rather 'dumb' creature hence a person carrying drugs or a testbed auto or firearm are, I suppose, likened to this dumb pack animal.

I haven't heard of a mule firearm but the term probably suits in this case.


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casper50
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Re: I need a clarification of British gunspeak. [Re: eagle27]
      #368117 - 04/08/22 01:33 AM

Why would that be Eagle?

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Huvius
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Re: I need a clarification of British gunspeak. [Re: casper50]
      #368121 - 04/08/22 10:46 AM

Quote:

Why would that be Eagle?




I'll answer that - see my post above.

I believe this falling block was built as a test rifle in preparation for the double build.
A "test mule" so to speak.

I'd bet that this is exactly the case.

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


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eagle27
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Re: I need a clarification of British gunspeak. [Re: casper50]
      #368124 - 04/08/22 11:37 AM

Quote:

Why would that be Eagle?




Huvius answered your question. I don't mean to denigrate your purchase I am sure it can be a fine rifle, I was only posting other examples of the use of the description 'mule' and the context in which it is used, likely the very same context applicable to the British gunspeak 'manufacturers mule' in regards firearms.


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3DogMike
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Reged: 29/01/15
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Re: I need a clarification of British gunspeak. [Re: eagle27]
      #368132 - 05/08/22 04:26 AM

Part of the definition in the Oxford Dictionary: "Mule….used as a beast of burden"
Supposing the auction house (if it was their choice of description) meant MULE as an "everyday working animal/device" rather than a rifle meant for serious sale & use.
- Mike

--------------------
"Will Rogers never met a fighter pilot"
- Anon


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cooch
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Re: I need a clarification of British gunspeak. [Re: 3DogMike]
      #368171 - 08/08/22 12:29 AM

Speculation only, on my part, but another characteristic of a Mule is that it is a hybrid that cannot reproduce.

If this is a one-off piece, made for a well-known manufacturer but not by them, then it seems possible that it was built as a trial-of-concept gun, which was not subsequently copied as production model.

--------------------
"The only logical response to an animal that lives obsessed with avoiding capture is to chase it." - Jose Ortega y Gassett


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3DogMike
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Re: I need a clarification of British gunspeak. [Re: cooch]
      #368261 - 11/08/22 11:02 AM

Quote:

Speculation only, on my part, but another characteristic of a Mule is that it is a hybrid that cannot reproduce.

If this is a one-off piece, made for a well-known manufacturer but not by them, then it seems possible that it was built as a trial-of-concept gun, which was not subsequently copied as production model.



Good thought - seems plausible as well.
- Mike

--------------------
"Will Rogers never met a fighter pilot"
- Anon


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