Bland London


#1

I just acquired a Percussion Brass Shotshell.
shell is 3 inch long
Headstamp is
BLAND- top
London - bottom
rim 1.530
head 1.334
1/4 inch from rim 1.340
7/16 inch from rim 1.369
9/16 inch from rim 1.371
1 inch from rim 1.364
1 inch from c/m 1.355
c/m 1.349
Case taper out from rim for 9/16 of a inch and them taper back in towards c/m.
I assume this is for a punt gun. I can find nothing about this 3 gauge percussion brass shotshell/punt gun shell.
Bob R.


#2

I know that thomas Bland manufactured punt guns in the following gauges
1 1/4, 1 1/2, 1 5/8, 1 3/4, 1 7/8, 2
JP


#3

Thomas Bland was a big london gunmaker located just off St Martins lane in London. I visited their shop many times. They were big on shotguns but you will also find rifles bearing their name. They were also a big retailer of pistols before the handgun ban
The company went out of business about twenty (ish ) years ago but the name was bought and is now owned by a seperate company which you will find if you google it.

Blands ( to use the English vernacular with an “s” on the end) were never a top flight company in the style of Holland & Holland or Purdey but they were a respected name and you see a lot of guns bearing their name on auction websites like Holts.
I don’t know much about their involvement with punt guns except to say I know they did them but commercial punt gunning died a death by the 50s -60s because of falling bird stocks and while you still find punt guns in use today they are oddities wheeled out by collectors to frighten the tourists with a loud bang on high days and holidays in the Estuary areas around the Thames and in the Norfolk marshlands. Village fairs and the like.

the case you have is a bit short for a punt gun but there were other guns, used for the same purpose (firing into massed flocks) from land based positions usually mounted on a fence post or a spike in the ground but they are a lot rarer. Same principle, just a different way of achieving the same end. Commercial duck harvesting with no intent on being sporting.

I would say your case is quite rare. Interesting too.


#4

Except the tube diameter going up and down (could you post a picture ?) the dimensions of the rim and base diameters are close to the ones foe a 1 1/4 inch shell

JP


#5


#6


#7

With construction like that, apparently a 2-piece case & the total length being much too short for a ‘normal’ punt gun I’d say you have a somewhat of a salute cannon shell. Also the body is not even close to what a firm of Blands standing would let out the door, so perhaps someone took a nice old Percussion Punt Gun Shell, cut it off & turned that body on to it?
The very under size head makes one wonder what sort of a chamber it went into & how that area was supported when it was fired? Cobbled together salute shell is my best guess.


#8

Pete - You may be correct. I do not think that its a 2 piece case though. Appears to be a one piece case to me. I can take more pictures if you want more looks at it.
The first 1/2 inch on the inside of shell from the rim is solid metal (brass material) with no seam visable on the outside or inside by sight or touch.
Shell does not appear to be cut off. Case mouth is uniform and smooth.
Any more thoughts?
Thanks,
Bob R.


#9

Hi Bob
on a second & third look I was seeing an optical illusion regarding a joint at the head & rim underside. So thought it was 2-piece.
Interesting piece! Out of a horse stall ?


#10

!!! your shell is a big desaster !
what a shame !!

if I understand well the only dimension we are sure is the rim diameter.
And perhaps the length (3 inches) if you are really sure it has not been cut

jp


#11

[quote=“PetedeCoux”]With construction like that, apparently a 2-piece case & the total length being much too short for a ‘normal’ punt gun I’d say you have a somewhat of a salute cannon shell. Also the body is not even close to what a firm of Blands standing would let out the door, so perhaps someone took a nice old Percussion Punt Gun Shell, cut it off & turned that body on to it?
The very under size head makes one wonder what sort of a chamber it went into & how that area was supported when it was fired? Cobbled together salute shell is my best guess.[/quote]
I certainly agree with the points you make. The case is too short to be a shot firing case. By the time you loaded a charge of black powder and a bit of wadding no room would be left for the shot.
The case is bulged by fireforming down to the place where the brass thickens internally preventing any further bulging from taking place.

Let me put forward a theory for discussion, its purely speculation but it might be valid. Many punt gun cartridges utilised a home made paper tube which could be replaced endlessly as they wore out after a few firings. The base of the cartridge was usually of a two piece threaded construction. The end of the paper tube was then crimped over and the two halves of the base screwed togeather to lock the paper tube in place.

My theory is this, how about if this one was intended to have the tube glued to the base? An inferior design admittedly but they did exist. It had merits too because valuable space inside the cartridge wasn’t taken up with the threaded portion and the locking collar leaving more space for the powder and shot. It also probably meant they were cheaper to make and sell

That would explain the rough external finish as being keying for the glue to adhere to. The rolled paper tube was simply slipped over the base with some glue to hold it in place.
At some time in the past, on firing, the paper tube separated from the base and blew off. Exiting the barrel with wadding and shot still in it.

That would leave the inner brass part of the base unsupported in the chamber and the pressure caused it to bulge. (simple obturation.) The extent of the bulging representing the thickness of the missing paper tube

That would render the base unusable for further service as a cartridge but the owner, reluctant to just discard it, kept it because it was expensive and he thought someday he would figure out a way of reducing it back to its original dimensions but never did.

Would that fit the evidence?


#12

Hi,

yes, but the paper tube was glued or screwed on the base which had a very short length (less than 1 inch).
(and not 3 inches like here)

In my oipinion this shell (punt gun shell with a longer case) was cut and chambered into a gun (or something like that) having a bigger caliber
And the crude threading was made to increase the tube diameter

jp