Double Rifle by J.D.Dougall
A double rifle by J.D.Dougall of Glasgow. In excellent condition cased with accessories. Approximately 24 bore double rifle with perfect bores. The flask with the rifle is a Parker Hale. For further information please contact me.
From 1840 the firm described themselves as gunmakers, fishing & fowling tackle makers. From 1841 the business traded as James D Dougall and it seems their only premises were at 52 Argyll Arcade.
An advertisement at this time stated that the firm had been established in 1760 and offered “an extensive assortment of Fowling pieces” and “in the workshop department every care is taken in the manufacturing of guns, the best material only being used and superior workmen only employed”; “Guns restocked and bored to shoot close and strong”.
From 1850 the firm occupied 23 Gordon Street and traded as gun maker and fishing tackle manufacturer. An advertisement at this date stated “Fowling pieces. Rifles etc. made to order to any style or pattern. and their shooting warranted, being bored and tested on an unerring principle.”
The development of the double rifle has always followed the development of the double-barrelled shotgun, the two are generally very similar but the stresses of firing a solid projectile are far greater than shot. The first double-barrelled muskets were created in the 1830s when deer stalking became popular in Scotland. Previously single barrelled weapons had been used but, recognising the need for a rapid second shot to dispatch a wounded animal, double-barrelled muskets were built along the same format as double-barrelled shotguns already in common use.
These first double-barrelled weapons were black powder, smoothbore muzzleloaders built with either flintlock or percussion cap ignition systems. Whilst true rifling dates from the mid 16th century, the invention of the express rifle by James Purdey “the Younger” in 1856 allowed for far greater muzzle velocities to be achieved through a rifled longarm, significantly improving the trajectory and as such greatly improving the range of these rifles. These express rifles had two deep opposing grooves which were wide and deep enough to prevent the lead bullets from stripping the rifling if fired at high velocities, a significant problem previously.