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Posted By: RichardBrewster History of early grip safety - 07/11/21 01:36 PM
Manton percussion and possibly flintlock guns have surfaced with a grip safety allowing the gun to stay on safety at full cock until the shooter's hand grips the wrist releasing the safety. I have read somewhere that this was not Joe or John Manton's patent but was a safety that they occasionally used. Does anyone know who patented this early grip safety? Thanks.
Posted By: Joe Wood Re: History of early grip safety - 07/12/21 02:42 AM
Rich, I have no idea who came up with the grip safety but here is mine. I believe the gun was likely made by Alexander Wilson who worked for Joe Manton but left to go into business for himself. Obviously it is a late flint gun, likely from the 1820’s. The safety is sort of neat but the “flaw” is that when the gun is carried normally—the right hand around the wrist and left on the forend I find myself inadvertently squeezing the grip safety, rendering it useless. But it’s a nice touch and since mine is a self priming flinter it sure adds a bit of safety while loading even though the gun is supposed to be on half cock.


[Linked Image from jpgbox.com]
Posted By: ellenbr Re: History of early grip safety - 07/12/21 12:10 PM
I realize the following is much later but it contains the >>Manton<< central theme:

[Linked Image from jpgbox.com]

[Linked Image from jpgbox.com]

So the Belgians adopted Manton's novel addition.

[[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]


https://www.doublegunshop.com/forum...;Words=clinch&Search=true#Post597076

Serbus,

Raimey
rse
Posted By: eightbore Re: History of early grip safety - 07/12/21 12:46 PM
The grip safety is an interesting appendage, but in use it's just plain silly for reasons given by Joe Wood.
Posted By: RichardBrewster Re: History of early grip safety - 07/12/21 12:59 PM
Thanks for the information. Although silly to carry a gun with this kind of grip safety in the field for the reason given by Joe Wood, the mechanism could have been useful in a duck blind. You could lean the gun against the wall of the blind at full cock waiting for the ducks to decoy. Picking it up to swing and in the process gripping the wrist and releasing the safety would be natural in that setting. I say this because I have seen this grip safety on an 8 1/2 lb. John Manton duck gun (a flintlock conversion) with shackles for a strap to carry the gun likely back and forth to a blind.
Posted By: campero Re: History of early grip safety - 07/12/21 01:10 PM
Thanks for this post: very interesting!
Posted By: Lorne Re: History of early grip safety - 07/12/21 05:59 PM
I've seen this feature on a coupe of percussion guns that Kirby Hoyt had for sale, and on a gun I tried to bid on at Amoskeag auctions. It's certainly interesting. Never actually seen one live though.
Posted By: SKB Re: History of early grip safety - 07/12/21 06:06 PM
Here is a scan of some pictures of a Charles Lancaster .500 ML conversion I sold a few years ago with a grip safety. It was a wonderful gun. I had better pics but cannot find them right now.
Steve

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
Posted By: eightbore Re: History of early grip safety - 07/13/21 01:33 PM
There was a Parker with a grip safety floating around a few years ago. I don't remember seeing a PGCA letter on that gun. My opinion is that it was a retrofit.
Posted By: Montana Re: History of early grip safety - 07/13/21 07:18 PM
I own and have held other Stephen Grant shotguns from the 1890 to 1910 era with grip safeties in hammer and hammerless configurations.
Posted By: Chantry Re: History of early grip safety - 07/13/21 09:09 PM
At the link is a Thomas Jackson SxS Shotgun 12ga with a grip safety. It looks much like the one I have (and may be the one I have), unfortunately between the barrels being off face and the barrels pitted, it is probably unshootable.

https://www.icollector.com/Engraved...rel-Under-Lever-Hammer-Shotgun_i17960400
Posted By: ellenbr Re: History of early grip safety - 07/13/21 09:33 PM
Good catch Chantry:

[Linked Image from jpgbox.com]


[Linked Image from jpgbox.com]

Serbus,

Raimey
rse
Posted By: Argo44 Re: History of early grip safety - 07/14/21 01:30 AM
Check out this line:
https://www.doublegunshop.com/forum...at&Number=596985&nt=6&page=5
Posted By: ellenbr Re: History of early grip safety - 07/14/21 12:00 PM
This one???

>>The Purdey/Wyatt Patent No.4218 of 1818 blocked both the hammer and trigger. The 'Manton style,' to which
I previously referred, blocked the triggers. J.H. Walsh, author of The Sportsman's Gun and Rifle (1882)
credited Manton with the design - but there is no patent that supports his attribution. Additionally, Neal and
Back's definitive books on the Mantons make no such claim.

There were a number of designs available. The Purdey/Wyatt and the 'Manton style' used a long bar below the
trigger guard tang. The difference of their operation might not be apparent to a casual observer. Powell
used another design as well, that I can't link to a patent. It had a 1 1/4" by 1/4" rectangular piece that
substituted for the longer bar of other designs.

I have documented these safeties being installed on Powell guns as late as 1909. If you are familiar with the design
of the grip safety on a M1911 Colt - you'll note that it blocks the trigger in a manner similar to the "Manton style."

Not to be outdone, the Rossons (P.J. & C.S.) were granted Patent No.4883 in 1913 for a grip safety.<<

Serbus,

Raimey
rse
Posted By: ellenbr Re: History of early grip safety - 07/14/21 12:06 PM
[Linked Image from jpgbox.com]

>>Powell used another design as well, that I can't link to a patent. It had a 1 1/4" by 1/4" rectangular piece that
substituted for the longer bar of other designs.<<


Serbus,

Raimey
rse
Posted By: ellenbr Re: History of early grip safety - 07/14/21 12:09 PM
So the lever versions are either >>Purdey / Watt<< or >>Manton<< variants depending if the grip lever blocks both the hammer and trigger or just the trigger?

>>The Purdey/Wyatt Patent No.4218 of 1818 blocked both the hammer and trigger. The 'Manton style,' to which
I previously referred, blocked the triggers. J.H. Walsh, author of The Sportsman's Gun and Rifle (1882)
credited Manton with the design - but there is no patent that supports his attribution.<<

Serbus,

Raimey
rse
Posted By: ellenbr Re: History of early grip safety - 07/14/21 12:16 PM
You know, I just missed Steve Helsely's most pertinent addition. I had gotten caught up in the language of French. But like most other gun related info here in this >>Gun Think-Tank<<, the info is here, one just has to ferret it out.


Serbus,

Raimey
rse
Posted By: Drew Hause Re: History of early grip safety - 07/14/21 12:47 PM
[Linked Image from photos.smugmug.com]
[Linked Image from photos.smugmug.com]
[Linked Image from photos.smugmug.com]
Posted By: Joe Wood Re: History of early grip safety - 07/16/21 06:32 PM
Richard, here's the best guess I have on the grip safety: It seems to have been in use for a number of years in the flintlock era but without having been patented. John Walsh, author of " The Modern Sportsman's Gun and Rifle", 1882, states that Joe Manton patented the system shortly before his death in 1835. So, we will never know who actually created it. One of those mysteries that makes researching interesting....

Raimey posted earlier the Manton patent drawings for the system.
Posted By: Daryl Hallquist Re: History of early grip safety - 07/16/21 08:16 PM
The Whitney grip safety cocked the main springs, ----just another look at a "possible problem"
Posted By: RichardBrewster Re: History of early grip safety - 07/17/21 01:07 PM
Joe, Thanks for the information. Very interesting that Joe Manton patented someone else's invention!
Posted By: RichardBrewster Re: History of early grip safety - 07/17/21 01:27 PM
Joe, I have a flintlock era John Manton, later converted to percussion, with the grip safety. I have no way of knowing whether it was installed on the gun when it was made (1809) or when it was later converted to percussion by John Manton & Son. For the reasons mentioned in my earlier post the grip safety would have worked well in a duck blind. I think that my John Manton (8.4 lbs. with strap swivels) likely was used as a duck gun.
Posted By: ellenbr Re: History of early grip safety - 07/18/21 06:07 PM
Later German(Belgian too) version(1910):

[Linked Image from jpgbox.com]

[Linked Image from jpgbox.com]

[Linked Image from jpgbox.com]

[Linked Image from jpgbox.com]

Serbus,

Raimey
rse
Posted By: Joe Wood Re: History of early grip safety - 07/19/21 03:18 AM
Originally Posted by RichardBrewster
Joe, I have a flintlock era John Manton, later converted to percussion, with the grip safety. I have no way of knowing whether it was installed on the gun when it was made (1809) or when it was later converted to percussion by John Manton & Son. For the reasons mentioned in my earlier post the grip safety would have worked well in a duck blind. I think that my John Manton (8.4 lbs. with strap swivels) likely was used as a duck gun.

Richard, thinking about it, the grip safety was a pretty good idea. In the time these flinters were made there was only walk up hunting and on a wild flush there isn’t much time to cock the hammers before the birds or hares are out of range, especially with the “ammunition” available. Carrying the gun at full cock and then merely raising it to the shoulder would put a lot of extra game in the bag. So despite the obvious dangers of a grip safety I can understand why they used them. Been there, done it. Today when I have a dog on point I go in for the flush with both hammers full cocked and there isn’t any safety other than me. I do tell my hunting partner “Fire in the hole” when I pull them back.
Posted By: RichardBrewster Re: History of early grip safety - 07/19/21 05:51 PM
Joe, I like 'fire in the hole'. My Manton was made for a Philadelphia U.S. buyer c. 1809. I feel confident it was a duck gun, given the weight, the carry strap fittings and the very plentiful waterfowl populations in those days on the Schuylkill River, the Delaware and nearby New Jersey marshes. I think the grip safety was also a great idea for waterfowl hunting where the birds come to you instead of the other way around! It also would have worked well on a river in a float boat where the gunner sat in the bow with the butt resting on the floor of the boat.
Posted By: RichardBrewster Re: History of early grip safety - 07/19/21 06:44 PM
The grip safety would also have come in handy on a rail shooting boat where the gunner sits in the bow with the butt of his gun resting on the deck of the boat and his left hand on the barrels. The hunter's buddy or hired hand poles the rail boat through the flooded marsh. When the rail flush, there isn't much time for a gun that is not on full cock! I have done this in the wild rice marshes in South Jersey not far from Philadelphia. I would not be surprised if rail boats have been poled through those marshes ever since the flinters and later percussion guns were in use.
Posted By: Joe Wood Re: History of early grip safety - 07/20/21 03:15 AM
Richard, mine is a perfect upland gun. It is a true 16 gauge with 30” barrels. Weighs a tad less than 7 pounds and has great stock dimensions. Balances right about where the pin would be if it were a breech loader. MOI is about as good as could be hoped for. To top it off it has killer English walnut. Springs are as strong as day they were made. I often use it to illustrate that the game gun had reached its final form by 1820 and the basics have never changed since. They are always amazed.
Posted By: RichardBrewster Re: History of early grip safety - 07/20/21 12:50 PM
What a wonderful gun!
Posted By: ellenbr Re: History of early grip safety - 08/01/21 02:23 AM
https://www.gunbroker.com/item/904211776

This is a great little St. Étienne offering.


Serbus,

Raimey
rse
Posted By: ellenbr Re: History of early grip safety - 08/01/21 11:04 AM
[Linked Image from jpgbox.com]

[Linked Image from jpgbox.com]

[Linked Image from jpgbox.com]


Henri Mangeot Arquebusier à Bruxelles de S.M. le Roi des Pays - Bas


http://littlegun.be/arme%20belge/artisans%20identifies%20ma/a%20mangeot%20gb.htm


Serbus,

Raimey
rse
Posted By: RichardBrewster Re: History of early grip safety - 08/01/21 02:47 PM
Lovely gun. Thanks for posting. 14 1/2" LOP is nice for a gun of the period. I can't see anything at all to complain about except my lack of funds to buy it immediately!
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