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What does “Not For Ball” mean on my William Powell shotgun?

It is also marked ?Anson and Deeley Patent?. The silver oval on the butt has a former owner?s initials ?CDY 17 L? engraved on it.

Is it possible to date the gun and perhaps find out who owned it previously?

Bill Harriman
The ?Not For Ball? marking on your gun is an early form of denoting a choked barrel and was in use from 1875 to 1887.

William Powell & Son is still trading and a call to the firm may produce more detail from their records (tel 0844 573 0291).

The Anson and Deeley marking refers to a licensing arrangement for use of its boxlock action design, patented in 1875.

You would be able to discover who CDY 17 L was by looking in the Army List between 1875 and 1887.

His regiment was the 17th Lancers.

The National Army Museum in London may be able to assist with further details once you have found a name.