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#597144 05/20/21 05:28 PM
Joined: Feb 2013
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I recently took possession of a WW Greener Imperial 12 bore shotgun, serial number 51722. In correspondence with Graham Greener it is determined this gun was started 5/6/1903, and finished for delivery on 10/27/1903. A Hammerless 12 bore with 30 inch Whitworth steel barrels, a non-ejector with standard straight hand stock: 2-1/2 by 14 inches, other dimensions not recorded. Type of action is a Facile Princeps. Engravers were Stokes, Horricks, and Hipkiss.

A client made me a deal I couldn't pass up, maybe he knew an Imperial is a bucketlist shotgun for me and in most circumstances one I'd currently not be in the position to afford. He took possession of it from his late brother-in-law, whom in a business/collateral trade took hold of it.

For those familiar with Graham Greeners book, you might notice the serial number proximity to 51712 and 51713, two Imperial models made for the 1904 St Louis World Fair, opened by president Theodore Roosevelt. Those two guns are considered to be two of the finest guns WW Greener produced, aside from the modern offerings from Graham. Mine wuld have been started around the same time as those two, albeit finished much sooner due to the other guns having more time consuming medium relief engraving. I cant place my gun at the 1904 Fair, but the gun did spend a long time in Memphis, TN prior to coming to me. Nevertheless...

Unfortunately the gun suffered a devastating fall at some point which broke the original stock at the wrist. At the same time the trigger guard tang snapped, and the rear trigger broke. Instead of welding the trigger guard tang back together, someone just cut it short. The rear trigger...they welded it. The new stock is of an American walnut, and not up to the standard of a Greener Imperial. The barrels are no longer 30", having lost 2" along the way as well as any choke. While there is no pitting in the bores and they are of correct bore dia, the minimum wall thicknesses are .018" and .019". The muzzles are out of round, there are many dents and a very slight bulge which wasnt repaired well. On the outside of the barrels in the dented areas are file marks. The barrels are off-face.

This gun needs a game plan, and a person to set it right. I know a guy.

I plan to make and fit a new trigger guard and have it engraved to match the original. Ill restock it with a piece of Turkish walnut to my dimensions. I'll have to see if the rear trigger can be cleaned up to appear as-new, or make a new one. The barrels will be put back on face. I am on the fence about sleeving the barrels back to 30", or repair the originals. My qualms with the originals are the thin wall which will only get thinner with repairs and polishing to a high level, no choke, and unoriginal 28" length. ugh...Witworth steel and the stampings...

This project will be a personal one, clients projects come first so this one will be a long term project for me.

Pictures:
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

One might notice the imperfection at the tip of the trigger plate, a good candidate for laser welding and dressing.
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Original forend wood:
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

horribly repaired trigger guard and rear trigger:
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]


A.M. Little Bespoke Gunmakers LLC.
Mineola, TX
Michael08TDK@yahoo.com
682-554-0044
gunmaker #597145 05/20/21 05:31 PM
Joined: Feb 2013
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Likes: 9
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[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Barrel proof marks and stampings:
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]


A.M. Little Bespoke Gunmakers LLC.
Mineola, TX
Michael08TDK@yahoo.com
682-554-0044
gunmaker #597146 05/20/21 05:33 PM
Joined: Jun 2008
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Likes: 14
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Awesome, looking forward to more reports

Mike


[Linked Image from jpgbox.com]
USAF RET 1971-95
gunmaker #597147 05/20/21 05:33 PM
Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 414
Likes: 9
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If you look in the upper left cormer of the left barrel breach face you'll notice a small pin/screw. This is to hold a cap in the crossbolt hole, as the crossbolt does not protrude when the lever is opened.
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]


A.M. Little Bespoke Gunmakers LLC.
Mineola, TX
Michael08TDK@yahoo.com
682-554-0044
gunmaker #597148 05/20/21 05:38 PM
Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 414
Likes: 9
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This gun also have gold plated internals and greeners patent intercepting sears. They are engaged by a leg on the front of the trigger blade which due to being in front of the trigger hinge act to draw the int. sear down to clear the tumblers.
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

lastly, a quick look at the right tumbler shows metal discoloration and a braze/silver solder repair of the dogtooth area.
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]



So as discussed and photographed this gun has a few serious repairs and many smaller ones that will need addressed to bring it back to condition.


A.M. Little Bespoke Gunmakers LLC.
Mineola, TX
Michael08TDK@yahoo.com
682-554-0044
gunmaker #597152 05/20/21 06:26 PM
Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 688
Likes: 7
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Aaron a greener is my weakness! Thank you so much for sharing it! Keith Sirmans

gunmaker #597153 05/20/21 06:45 PM
Joined: Feb 2013
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You and I both. This will be my third WWG; the first one and my first ever SxS a 1895 Facile Princeps 12bore w/self acting ejectors and 30” Damascus barrels, an Empire 12 bore ejector gun with top safety, and now this 1903 Imperial.

I’m need some sub gauge WWG guns, and some W. Greener muzzloaders in my collection as well. One at a time.


A.M. Little Bespoke Gunmakers LLC.
Mineola, TX
Michael08TDK@yahoo.com
682-554-0044
gunmaker #597155 05/20/21 08:37 PM
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 681
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That gun couldn't be in better hands. It will really be something when done. I love Greeners too.

gunmaker #597182 05/21/21 01:15 PM
Joined: Apr 2016
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What indignities that fine gun has endured. It deserves a careful restoration--good luck!


Owen
gunmaker #597183 05/21/21 01:31 PM
Joined: Dec 2001
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I have a new set of long and heavy, unfit Greener 12 bore barrels if you find you must go that route.


http://www.bertramandco.com/

ACGG Professional metalsmith, firearms import services.
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