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Antique Shotgun Cocking Mechanism

About Us

Image courtesy of College Hill Armoury

The London Armoury Company was established in 1856 with the sole intention of producing military arms for British War Department, as well as export markets. The board of directors and shareholders in the company read like a “Who’s Who” of the 19th century English gun trade, and included (among others) Archibald Hamilton, Robert Adams, Richard Ashton, James Kerr, John Deane and William Harding.

The London Armoury Company (LAC) produced arms have the distinction of the being the only machine-made, fully interchangeable parts Enfields to be imported during the American Civil War.

The guns are instantly recognizable by the brass lock escutcheons, which have rounded wings instead of the normally encountered square wings, the use of Baddeley Patent barrel bands in the lower and middle positions, and the use of screws with domed heads, instead of heads filed down to the contours of the gun. The Baddeley Patent barrel bands were an improvement over the standard Palmer clamping bands used on the typical Type III P-1853, and used a smaller, recessed tension screw and a more rounded profile of the band, to reduce the chances of the bands and screws catching on uniforms and equipment. These improved bands were adopted by the British military for the Type IV P-1853 and became standard during the mid-1860’s.


Image courtesy of Christine Matthews

Only those arms produced at the London Armoury Company and at the Royal Small Arms Factory (RSAF) at Enfield Lock (the British National Armory) were manufactured with Baddeley bands during the American Civil War. The high quality, interchangeable part guns from LAC were very desirable for both US and CS purchasers and both sides attempted to arrange to buy as many of these first class muskets as possible. However, the British government also preferred the London Armoury guns to those of other contractors, and considered only the LAC arms to be of the same quality as those produced at the RSAF. As a result, the majority of P-1853’s produced by the London Armoury Company through mid-1862 (when the British contract expired), were delivered to the British War Department. Southern purchasing agent Caleb Huse certainly felt he had an inside track with the London Armoury Company, as the managing director was none other than Archibald Hamilton who was also the principle in the firm Sinclair, Hamilton & Company; a primary supplier of arms and equipment to the Confederacy.

Today the London Armoury Company provide a range high quality firearms from Shotguns to Air Guns, as well as all the necessary accessories needed such as Scopes, and Carrying Luggage. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to Contact Us