When the Ancient Romans first had the Giraffe described to them they decided that it incorporated features of the Camel and the Leopard and named it the “Cameleopard”.
This evening I present an almost as unusual cross, that probably did not involve the use of a stepladder.
I have mentioned this gun, number 30227 before in Argo44’s Reilly history thread as I was awaiting it from Southams. It was catalogued as “Westley Richards type top lever opening”. I was anticipating that it would be an early Anson and Deeley.
What arrived was intriguingly very different.
The action is the first model of Greener’s Facile Princeps, circa 1881 with a cocking hook attached to the front lump in place of the later sliding stud.
The lever and bolt work is Greener, instead of a Scott spindle.
But instead of the triple locking cross bolt to be expected on a Facile Princeps there is a top extension resembling but not identical to the Westley Richards. It lacks the eccentric double camming arrangement of a true Westley Richards and the sliding top bolt has a relatively short travel.
The original proof marks were mostly expunged when it was sleeved (and it has been restocked) but it is clear that it originally bore London marks. I have taken the stock off and cannot find any hidden makers marks.
On the action flat there is a marking:- G. M. PAT
That may have been partly erased, does it mean anything to any of you?
Argo44 dates this in the 1880’s by serial number. As Westley Richards spent the first part of of the decade suing Greener alleging that the Facile Princeps was in breach of their Anson and Deeley patent I cannot imagine that they built it.
Greener seems more likely and could have had it proofed in London.
Unless it was a one-off prototype it would have required some tooling up so there may well be more around.
Has anyone else encountered this combination of features, whether on a Reilly or some other brand?
Happy New Year to All,