Original British Victorian Jacob's Double Barrel Rifled Carbine by Swinburn & Son Later Smoothbored - dated 1853

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is a fascinating double barreled shotgun, originally made as a very rare Jacob's Double Barrel Rifled Cavalry Carbine. This somewhat outlandish rifle/carbine was designed by the larger-than-life British General John Jacob of the Indian Army. He had intended it to be a highly accurate and useful weapon, however it unfortunately fell short of expectations. It was first introduced in 1854 intended for South Africa.

However, supplies were requested by the Malabar Police near Madras India during the same year. In South Africa these were issued to the 12th Lancers who were subsequently posted to Madras. The East India Company then contracted with Swinburn & Sons to supply the SCINDE IRREGULAR HORSE with their own Contract of the John Jacob design Double Barrel Carbines. This example still has the SCINDE IRREGULAR HORSE marking on the butt plate tang.

Unfortunately, the Pattern 1853 Enfield Rifled musket, supplied at the same time, led to this Rifled Carbine being converted to a double barreled shotgun. This was due to the paper cartridges that were supplied with the P-1853 muzzle loaders, which triggered the 1857 Indian Mutiny or Sepoy Rebellion.

The rumor had circulated that the paper cartridges, originally specified to use bee's wax, were instead covered in both Cow's Fat and Pig's Fat, each of which were animals considered both sacred or untouchable to Hindu's and Muslims respectfully. After the Rebellion had been quelled in 1858/9 it was decreed that SEPOY (Native) troops should not again be trusted with rifled weapons, so throughout India all such weapons were thereafter SMOOTH BORED. This order remained in effect until World War One.

The original British markings on the barrel were removed when it was smoothbored, and also the original sights were replaced with a much simpler notched sight. The heavy walled rifled barrels were bored out to .73 inches, making this a 12 bore double barreled shotgun. The bayonet stand was removed, as well as the very interesting ramrod, replaced with a simple captured ramrod that could be used on either barrel.

The locks were cleaned, however they still show the original markings on both, which are somewhat faint:


The wood is complete, though it definitely does show wear and the effects of the modifications it has undergone. The original barrel band was removed, and an improvised wedge used in it its place, but the fore stock does not seem to be attached firmly to the barrel at present. The locks both function correctly, though the half cock position is barely above the cap nipple, so the tumblers definitely need adjustment.

A great chance to pick up a nice example of a very rare gun, smoothbored and used as a shotgun after the Indian Mutiny, ready to display!


Year of Manufacture: 1853
Caliber: .Approximately 12 bore - 0.729 inches
Ammunition Type: Lead Shot & Powder with Percussion Cap
Barrel Length: 21 inches 
Overall Length: 36 1/2 inches

Action: Back Action Percussion Locks
Feed System: Muzzle-Loaded

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