Pittsburgh Fire Arms Co. ???

Posted by: Terry Lubzinski

Pittsburgh Fire Arms Co. ??? - 03/10/08 12:43 AM

Gentlemen, just returned from a local gunshow with a serious waterfowl gun by the Pittsburgh Fire Arms Co. that is obviously built by Westley Richards. It is a heavy 10 BLE with 34" damascus barrels and weighs just under 11 lbs. Great wood, good bores, full choke,barrels need browning and the woodwork a little cleanup but
this brute is going to go back to work!! Don't know anything about
the Pittsburgh Fire Arms Co. Any source of info out there?? Terry
Posted by: Researcher

Re: Pittsburgh Fire Arms Co. ??? - 03/10/08 01:25 AM

I believe it was a brand name used on shotguns marketted by J.H. Johnson's Great Western Gun Works in Pittsburgh 110 years ago or so.
Posted by: Terry Lubzinski

Re: Pittsburgh Fire Arms Co. ??? - 03/10/08 01:36 AM

The British proof marks are pre-1887 and it appears to be chambered and bored for the 2 7/8" thin brass case. I'm guessing circa 1885.
Typical Westley toplever and sliding bolt into a dolls head.
Serial # 22x .
Posted by: Roy Hebbes

Re: Pittsburgh Fire Arms Co. ??? - 03/10/08 08:16 AM

Pittsburgh Firearms company,
68 5th Avenue,
Pittsburgh,Pa
Some references show the company was in business 1860-70,s.
One known example was an imported English, 10 G. hammer marked on the rib, "Anson & Deely", this indicates they were in business well after 1875.I would agree, the likely manufacturer of your gun was W.R.
Posted by: Daryl Hallquist

Re: Pittsburgh Fire Arms Co. ??? - 03/10/08 09:31 AM

The Pittsburgh Firearms Co. gun was made by Westley Richards and marketed as Pittsburgh Firearms Co. by J. Palmer O'Neil and Co. of Pittsburgh until late 1882. At that time O'Neil pictured the same gun in their ads, but it was marked Westley Richards. I suspect this had something to do with the sole U.S. rights for manufacturing the Anson and Deeley action being acquired by Harrington and Richardson.

Terry, are you sure the Pittsburgh 10 bore has ejectors ?
Posted by: reb87

Re: Pittsburgh Fire Arms Co. ??? - 03/10/08 12:43 PM

Terry, are you saying the sliding bolt moves from the butt to the muzzle? My Harrington Richardson dosent lock into the dolls head extension at all. I have two early Westley Richards droplocks and one of them(8XXX) has a sliding bolt top lever where the bolt slides back and forth, butt to muzzle, and can be functioned by moving the lever right or left. The other Westley Richards(T3XXX) droplock has a conventional rotary lever and bolt that locks into the dolls head. Ross
Posted by: Stallones

Re: Pittsburgh Fire Arms Co. ??? - 03/10/08 01:20 PM

Harrington and Richards also imported Westley Richards Shotguns and marketed them under their own name. I have had a couple and they are pure WR.
Posted by: Daryl Hallquist

Re: Pittsburgh Fire Arms Co. ??? - 03/10/08 01:44 PM

Stallones, There is a write up history on Harrington Richardson, in the Field and Stream of around 1908. In it they tell of workmen coming over from England to help set up the production of the Anson and Deeley gun in the U.S. on the second floor of the H and R factory. I think the agreement with Westley Richards was that Harrington Richardson had the "exclusive" rights to produce that gun in the U.S. They even sent "Mr. Anson" over here to help get things started. From all of the written information and looking at these guns, I think they were made in the U.S. I do agree that they look like they could have been of English make.
Posted by: PeteM

Re: Pittsburgh Fire Arms Co. ??? - 03/10/08 02:50 PM

Harrington Richardson went through massive growth in their operations at the turn of the century. They expanded their factory at least 3 times in about 5 years.
They had some very popular single barrel shotguns and revolvers. I know they were marketing the revolvers in Belgium and Italy about this time.

I did not know about the English connections. Always something to learn here.

Pete
Posted by: Terry Lubzinski

Re: Pittsburgh Fire Arms Co. ??? - 03/10/08 09:44 PM

Sorry for the delay in reply,a friend and I were in pursuit of the wily snow goose this morning as it was the last day of our Spring season.Six of them paid the price so it was a good finish to another season.
Daryl, it is an ejector and they appear to be working fine although
not overly powerful, must be an early patent.
reb, it does have the usual wide Westley toplever with a sliding bolt,butt to muzzle, that fits into a recess in the dolls head.
It certainly appears to be British built and proofed. I will try and take some pics later tonight and post.
BTW,I got the serial number wrong, it is # 299 and the water table is stamped Anson & Deeley Patent 7560
Terry
Posted by: Terry Lubzinski

Re: Pittsburgh Fire Arms Co. ??? - 03/11/08 12:18 AM

Some pics [img][/img] [img][img]http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/medium/PittsburghFireArms10BLE-action_ [img][/img] [img][/img] [img][/img] [img][/img] [img][/img] flats.jpg[/img][/img]
Posted by: Lowell Glenthorne

Re: Pittsburgh Fire Arms Co. ??? - 03/11/08 07:22 AM

Westley was the king of export, and many show it!
Posted by: Daryl Hallquist

Re: Pittsburgh Fire Arms Co. ??? - 03/11/08 07:32 AM

Terry, I find this gun "with ejectors" to be interesting. Do you know what system it is ?
Posted by: PeteM

Re: Pittsburgh Fire Arms Co. ??? - 03/11/08 07:45 AM

The "Not for Ball" marked on the barrels was used from 1875 to 1887.

Are there any proof marks on the receiver?

Pete
Posted by: ellenbr

Re: Pittsburgh Fire Arms Co. ??? - 03/11/08 08:41 AM

Nice & interesting find with Westley Richard's bolted Doll's head extension(1862) and ejectors. The additional front frame screw gives the ejectors away. I would guess it to be the work of Deeley in his 1886 ejector.

Kind Regards,

Raimey
rse
Posted by: Bret Adams

Re: Pittsburgh Fire Arms Co. ??? - 03/11/08 08:43 AM

I have #438, a 30" 10ga. No Ejectors. Now if I can get pictures added.....
IMG]http://i270.photobucket.com/albums/jj113/hermit888/P3120014a.jpg[/IMG]

Posted by: Bret Adams

Re: Pittsburgh Fire Arms Co. ??? - 03/11/08 08:44 AM

I have #438, a 30" 10ga. No Ejectors. Now if I can get pictures added.....


Posted by: Daryl Hallquist

Re: Pittsburgh Fire Arms Co. ??? - 03/11/08 08:53 AM

Bret, your version is the one I have seen before, with the rounded cocking levers. I have never seen an ejector gun with the Pittsburgh markings before. I note the 1886 patent date suggested by Raimey. This seems to confuse the issue , some, since all of the ads I have seen seem to have the Pittsburg name ending ca. late 1882. More to learn.
Posted by: ellenbr

Re: Pittsburgh Fire Arms Co. ??? - 03/11/08 08:59 AM

Mr. Hallquist:

If you don't cotton to the 1886 date, then choose Perke's 1878, which was improved as "Southgate" and I think again by Mr. Henry Holland in 1893.

Kind Regards,

Raimey
rse
Posted by: Daryl Hallquist

Re: Pittsburgh Fire Arms Co. ??? - 03/11/08 09:20 AM

Raimey, I am not familiar with what the Perke's patent ejector should look like. Maybe Terry can look at his gun or take a photo of the mechanism. It would "fit" better into my understanding of Pittsburgh marked guns if the ejector was an early one like Perke's. I have not seen ejectors offered in Pittsburgh ads, but they were expensive guns and I'm sure Westley Richards was offering ejectors on their gun ca. 1882, and probably earlier, so ejectors could be had.
Posted by: ellenbr

Re: Pittsburgh Fire Arms Co. ??? - 03/11/08 09:45 AM

From Greener's 9th Ed., page 187, I can't say for sure that the Deeley ejector gun required the front screw and so it may very well have been Perkes which was "actuated by a lifting lever, pivoted near the hinge-pin, pressing upon the extractor leg as the gun opens." And from the pic, the screw could be the source of the pivot but I have seen the screw as a stabilizer for the kicker.

Kind Regards,

Raimey
rse
Posted by: Daryl Hallquist

Re: Pittsburgh Fire Arms Co. ??? - 03/11/08 10:22 AM

Bret, does your gun have an Anson and Deeley use number on the receiver ?

Raimey, I have looked at Pat. 1968 of 1878 and cannot relate this Perkes patent to Terry's gun. The drawing is just not clear enough to me to understand what I am seeing. Page 180 of the second Crudgington and Baker volume has a lengthy explanation of the patent. Terry's gun does not seem to have the "pins" in the standing breech described in the Perkes patent, but I'm sure modifications could be made. I guess that's how the evolution to Southgate came about.

Posted by: Bret Adams

Re: Pittsburgh Fire Arms Co. ??? - 03/11/08 12:17 PM

Daryl, yes mine has a use number of 3588 if my eyes are telling the truth. I had this gun figured for the mid 1880's a few years ago, but I forget what evidence I had.
Posted by: Daryl Hallquist

Re: Pittsburgh Fire Arms Co. ??? - 03/11/08 01:22 PM

Bret, now I am more confused. Your gun's serial no is higher than Terry's 438 to 299, but your use number of the A&D patent is lower Yours is 3588 vs. Terry's 7560. ?????
Posted by: Bret Adams

Re: Pittsburgh Fire Arms Co. ??? - 03/11/08 01:37 PM

I found a magnifying glass, and looked again. I am still not sure, but that 1st number could be an 8. That would make more sense, providing they were in the sequence, of the Pgh Arms numbers.
Posted by: Daryl Hallquist

Re: Pittsburgh Fire Arms Co. ??? - 03/11/08 01:42 PM

Bret, Yes, that would make sense.
Posted by: Michael Petrov

Re: Pittsburgh Fire Arms Co. ??? - 03/11/08 01:50 PM

Regarding these WR guns I have a E. Thomas Jr. Chicago 10 gauge, Extractor, two barrel set, one by WR and one by Thomas. No. 366 is on the tang, water table and barrels. The A&D No. is 7698. The Thomas barrels are unmarked.
Posted by: Terry Lubzinski

Re: Pittsburgh Fire Arms Co. ??? - 03/11/08 01:52 PM

I have to admit that my knowledge of the various ejector systems is pretty fuzzy.If it is helpful I could take the forend wood off and take some pics or any other shots that would be useful?
Posted by: ellenbr

Re: Pittsburgh Fire Arms Co. ??? - 03/11/08 02:26 PM

Terry:

Possbily if you could remove the inspection plate and snap a photo on the mechanics, we might arrive at a consensus.

Kind Regards,

Raimey
rse
Posted by: Terry Lubzinski

Re: Pittsburgh Fire Arms Co. ??? - 03/11/08 09:17 PM

A few more pics of the ejector system etc.
[img][/img] [img][/img] [img][/img] [img][/img] [img][/img]
Posted by: ellenbr

Re: Pittsburgh Fire Arms Co. ??? - 03/11/08 09:23 PM

Nice effort Terry. Without a doubt, it is the "simple over-centre" Holland ejector/Southgate/Perkes, so I would say it is an early Perkes. To whom does that stamp on the bottom of the forend iron belong?

Kind Regards,

Raimey
rse
Posted by: Terry Lubzinski

Re: Pittsburgh Fire Arms Co. ??? - 03/11/08 10:49 PM

Raimey, I saw that stamp and wondered about the owner??? haven't seen that one before. Maybe it will ring a bell with someone. Will
try and get a closeup pic before I re-assemble. Tried the ejectors with a couple nickle plated snap-caps and it hurled them about 3 feet side by side.
Took the pic of the trademark/stamp and will attach. Boy, we just go from one mystery to another.
[img][/img]
Posted by: ellenbr

Re: Pittsburgh Fire Arms Co. ??? - 03/11/08 11:12 PM

I flipped to the ejector section of Dig's book on page 98 and Donald Dallas of H&H says that Frederick Beesley had an 1889 ejector patent. Also, the Holland/Southgate ejector reference should be Perkes/Beesley. About how long would you say your cocking-dogs are? I think H&H's cocking-dogs are quite long and the screw location for it and the Southgate seems to be toward the middle of the frame. Anyone have a sketch of Beesley's 1889 ejector? Here's a neat link to some ejector info: http://www.jblanchdatabase.co.uk/technical.htm

Kind Regards,

Raimey
rse
Posted by: Terry Lubzinski

Re: Pittsburgh Fire Arms Co. ??? - 03/12/08 03:01 PM

The plot thickens. I stripped the gun for cleaning and look what I found under the trigger plate. Do we know who R.Ellis is ???
[img][/img]
Posted by: ellenbr

Re: Pittsburgh Fire Arms Co. ??? - 03/12/08 03:12 PM

Terry:

I believe I do. This is just like anything else I've attempted to research in that one word, one sentence turns into volumes of works.

Richard Ellis & Sons(Birmingham gunmaker) at 13 St Mary's Row in 1897-1898 and was also in London, but this doesn't correlate w/ the guns date, or does it?

Nice find and detective work. Your gun may very well be worthy of an article or the like.

Kind Regards,

Raimey
rse
Posted by: Ithaca16

Re: Pittsburgh Fire Arms Co. ??? - 03/12/08 04:02 PM

Hi I have one in 16ga.with about 60% original case color,with excellent barrels and wood. Original buttplate.Serial number 308.
Posted by: Daryl Hallquist

Re: Pittsburgh Fire Arms Co. ??? - 03/13/08 08:58 AM

Terry, after all of the fine help above, it does look like the ejector system is an evolved Perke's patent. You have a very interesting gun.

As to the Richard Ellis marks, Ellis was the one who made those Winchester marked hammer guns, too. I have seen other guns with the Ellis mark on the barrels and sides that were the Anson and Deeley from Westley. Whether or not W R started the gun, or Ellis did, I am not sure, but with the WR mark on the barrels , it would seem to have been in the hands of W R . It is also thought that , at least the lower grade Westley Richards droplocks were products of others [Webley and Scott].