MacNaughton Round Action

Rare Edinburgh gun included in our May sale

MacNaughton round action shotgun

MacNaughtons elegant beauty graces our May 2021 Auction.

View 27th May 2021 sale catalogue. 

The transition from hammer guns to hammerless guns of the late 19th and early 20th century throws out some incredibly interesting and unique examples of the gunmakers craft. In a sea of generic side by sides we see today these gems shine out and the brightest amongst them is that of James MacNaughton’s ‘Edinburgh’ gun.

MacNaughton round action shotgun

MacNaughton’s round action is one of a group of contemporary designs such as the Gibbs and Pitt, the Lang, and the Dickson round action. John Dickon, another of Edinburgh’s finest gunsmiths and bitter rival to James MacNaughton, produced a round action design so close to MacNaugton’s that legal action ensued. The feature that gives MacNaughton’s round action shotgun its elegance is the ‘bar in wood’ element. Here the action body is surrounded by a shroud of wood a design feature that harks back the muzzle loading ancestors. The action is unusual in that it is built around the trigger plates which keeps the weight of the gun to the rear allowing for a fast handling feeling when moving the barrels.

MacNaughton round action shotgun

The example included in our May 27th 2021 auction has the long sweeping top lever common of the MacNaughton guns. The hole cut into the top of the lever is a reference to earlier models which had a viewing window set into the top of the action allowing the shooter to know the state of the action. When the viewing window design fell from the maker’s favour, the cut-out was retained as a decorative feature. The action has a left to right swinging automatic safety catch and the whole of the metalwork is covered in fine engraving and the name ‘MacNaughton Edinburgh’ The water table inside the action is stamped ‘The Edinburgh No.11 MacNaughton’s patent’

MacNaughton round action shotgun

MacNaughton round action guns see significant results at auction and are regularly selling in the £5,000 – 7,000 range. The example in our sale has seen a long working life resulting in the barrels being sleeved and several repairs to the stock. The action has some wear especially around the trigger guard and serial number 755. All this keeps the estimate more reasonable and the gun is thought to sell in the area of £1,000 – 1,500.

If you are interested in this gun or any others included in our 27th May auction and would like to know more please get in touch with Chris Large on 01270 623878 or email

We are now collecting items for our 9th September 2021 firearms, shotguns, airguns and militaria auction. If you have any items you would be interested in consigning to this sale please get in touch or alternatively fill out the valuation form from this link.

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