Chas Osborne back lock SXS.

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45 Cal.
MLF Supporter
Dec 21, 2020
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I noticed a local auction coming up in a few weeks has a Chas Osborne 12ga muzzleloader back lock SXS. I know nearly nothing about these shotguns and was wondering if it's worth my effort to have a look at it. The only thing I have to go on is the photo posted buy the auctioneers. The gun appears to be in pretty good shape externally but doesn't say anything about the bore.

Lorne Johnson

45 Cal.
MLF Supporter
Dec 9, 2005
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I pulled the following from a thread on doublegunshop. You can probably find the same on google.

The firm of Charles Osborne (b.1799) was established in 1838 as a gunmaker and factor at 1 Litchfield Street, Birmingham.
He moved in 1854 to 12 & 13 Whittall Street and traded as C Osborne & Co.

In 1858 he was appointed a Guardian of the Birmingham Proof House.

In 1871 he died at the age of 72. Unfortunately, up to this date very little of the history of this comparatively large firm was recorded (see "Other Info" below), and records after 1871 are not much better, but it is known that they supplied both London and provincial makers e.g. Holland & Holland with single barrel shotguns, and other gunmakers with with all types of shotguns and rifles.

The business appears to have traded also as a partnership (although it was only recorded as such in 1884). The partners were Charles Osborne (Jnr), Charles Francis Ellis and E W Wilkinson. The partners seem to have traded in their individual capacities at the same time. Charles Francis Ellis was recorded at 12-13 Whittall Street from 1873 to 1875, and Charles Osborne Ellis was recorded there from 1877 to 1882. Charles Osborn Ellis was probably Charles Francis's son - the Osborne and Ellis families were obviously inter-related.

A shop was opened at 3 Broad Street Buildings, Broad Street, London, it was recorded from 1881 but probably opened in 1879 when the company were appointed agents for Remington Arms Co, a position they held until 1911.

In 1884 (when the partnership was recorded) Charles Osborne (Jnr), Charles Osborn Ellis and E W Wilkinson were granted patent No. 8402 for a drop-down barrel action.

In 1885 the London shop moved to 7 Whitehall Place and further shops were opened in Edinburgh at 47 George Street and Glasgow at Blythswood Square.

In 1887 the firm obtained patent No. 7222 for another drop-down barrel action, and in 1888 patent No. 11970 referred to punt guns and sliding block actions.

By 1889 the firm's Birmingham factory also occupied 14 Whittall Street; in that year Ellis and Wilkinson (trading as Charles Osborne & Co were granted patent No. 11879 for a self-cocking sliding-block action for punt guns.

In 1892 the London office moved to 2 Great Scotland Yard.

In 1895 the firm took additional premises at 16-17 Sand Street, Birmingham.

In 1896 they became a limited company.

In 1898 a patent was taken out with W Jerman for another punt gun with a sliding lock action.

In 1908 the London office moved to 10 York Buildings, Adelphi.

In 1909 Osborne and Ryland patented a modified Anson & Deeley action.

The Glasgow and Edinburgh shops probably closed prior to the First World War if not in the 1890s.

In 1926 the Sand Street factory was closed, quite obviously the company was in difficulties. In 1928 the London shop closed, and in 1929 it would appear that the company was bought by Skimin & Wood because it moved to 10,12 & 14 Vesey Street which were Skimin & Wood's premises. No guns were produced under the company's name after 1928 but it is thought the company survived in name until 1957.

The firm were prolific manufacturers of guns, rifles and pistols for the South African and Indian markets; their range of large bore big game rifles, particularly double rifles, was one of the widest available.

The records of the firm appear to have been lost but Internet Gun Club have details of some serial numbers and dates."