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Available Guns

SOLD - James MacNaughton and Sons 'Skeleton' 20

20 Gauge, triggerplate action, side-by-side shotgun
  • James MacNaughton established his business in 1864 at 33 George Street, Edinburgh after having served an apprenticeship with John Dickson. On 5th July 1867 he patented a sliding drop-down breech action with three interlocking lumps which he called the "Lock Fast Breechloader". In 1869, he moved to 26 Hanover Street South. MacNaughton made Field patent falling block rifles, but on 17 April 1872, together with A. R. Duncan, their patent No. 1137 covered their own falling block action.
  • On 12th July 1879 MacNaughton patented a lever cocking falling-block action and his famous trigger-plate action which was the first 'Round-Action' gun. Unfortunately, the falling block action infringed Alexander Henry's patent and he was forced to discontinue manufacture, but his trigger-plate action “The Edinburgh", the locks cocked by a long pierced top lever for increased leverage, became famous. The first of it's kind was shown at the Great Edinburgh Exhibition of 1886, where it won a gold medal for its design.
  • In 1887 the falling block patent was varied to remove the falling block mechanism and change the cocking from top lever to barrel drop-down.
  • MacNaughton would introduce a variant, the bar-in-wood or 'Skeleton' action. With a reduction in the metal surface of the action instead being covered with extending the stock over the action which showcases the beautiful wood, making for a very graceful and sleek looking action for which the gun has now become very sought after by enthusiasts and collectors.
  • In 1905 James MacNaughton died and the firm moved to 36 Hanover Street. At the same time, the name of the firm was changed to James MacNaughton & Sons. The Edinburgh and Perth business’s being run by his sons who had served their apprenticeships with their father.
  • In 1947 the company was acquired by John Dickson and Son, who still continue to build the Skeleton MacNaughton to this day.


A handmade elegant 20 bore “bar in wood” with gorgeous fiddleback stock shown off by the shape of the action and further enhanced by the smooth hand, diamond grip.  The exquisite engraving features grapes and vines with deep, relief cut fences and a case colour hardened brushed finish to maximise the impact. Comes beautifully presented in an oak & leather case complete with canvas cover and a full complement of accessories.