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Obviously I haven't completely understood the question...but from my database here are the known Reilly box-locks: the earliest 22482 is 1880. the oldest is the last extant Reilly with a serial number from 1912. 75 out of about 250 extant guns from 1881-1912 - 27%. The premise on these Reillys' is:
1) if Reily serial numbered them, he made them;
2) they all have London proofs on the barrels;
3) rifles will have pistol grips or half pistol grips - if a shotgun has that, it likely was repurposed from a rifle or was a big bore fowler.
There are exceptions and now because of this line I'm going back through the photos looking for workers' initials. I can post the descriptions and photos of these guns if it would help history.

Interesting side-light...1st existing Reilly Boxlock was an ejector - wonder if it was added later. Because it is my impression that until about 1885 there was no great demand for ejectors..at least according to the Rigby-Perks lawsuit 1893:

[Linked Image from jpgbox.com]

22482 - E.M. Reilly & Co., (address not mentioned), 12 bore SxS Shotgun. BLE. A&D use # 1156
23236 - E.M. Reilly & Co., Oxford Street, London & rue Scribe, Paris. 12 bore. Shotgun SxS. Top lever. BLE, W-R pattern. A&D patent use #1366.
23536 - E.M. Reilly & Co., 277, Oxford Street, London. Shotgun SxS 12 ga. BLE. Steel Barrels. (A&D Patent use #3814 )(1st use of renumbered addresses 277, 16)
25038 - E.M. Reilly & Co., New Oxford Sreet, London & rue Scribe, Paris. 12 Bore Shotgun SxS. Top lever, hammerless. Scott/Baker pat 761, use #200; Needham/Hinton sears (Pat 705) 1879 patent.
25171 - E.M. Reilly & Co., 315, Oxford St., London. 12 bore, top-lever Box Lock. #1 of pair (non-extant)
25172 - E.M. Reilly & Co., 315, Oxford St., London. 12 bore, top-lever Box Lock. #2 of pair
25513 - E.M. Reilly & Co., 16, New Oxford Street, London and rue Scribe, Paris. 10 bore SxS shotgun. Top lever, BLNE, Pistol grip; A&D use #4343
25516 - E.M. Reilly & Co., (no address). 12 bore. Shotgun SxS. top lever, box lock, side ejector.
25519 - E.M. Reilly & Co., 16, New Oxford Street, London & Paris. 12 bore SxS shotgun. Top lever, BLNE. 7 lbs 6 oz, .0018, .0024 chokes. A&D use #3976
25724 - E.M. Reilly & Co., (no address, sleeved). 12 ga SxS Shotgun. BLE; fine scroll work.
25741 - E.M. Reilly & Co., 522?*, Oxford Street, London W(sic)??. 28 ga. Shotgun (likely originally a rifle) SxS, BLNE. (barrels may have been changed)
26218 - E.M. Reilly & Co., (no address mentioned). 12ga. Shotgun SxS. BLNE. (originally a rifle)
26584 - E.M. Reilly & Co., 16, New Oxford Street, London & rue Scribe, Paris. 12 bore Shotgun SxS. BLNE. (A&D use #8072)
26718 - E.M. Reilly & Co., (address not mentioned). .380 cal. Rifle Black Powder. BLNE. 7 lbs 5 oz.
26730 - E.M. Reilly & Co., 16, New Oxford Street, London and rue Scribe, Paris. 12 bore. Top key BLNE.
26879 - E.M. Reilly & Co., (action, Stock, Forearm only). 12 bore SxS shotgun. BLNE
27478*- E.M. Reilly & Co., (rebarreled by midland). 12 bore SxS shotgun. A&D BLNE. (SN 7478 - *2 hypothetical).
27665 - E.M. Reilly & Co., 277, Oxford Street, London; 12 ga Shotgun Single barrel. Top lever BLNE. "Not for Ball"
28502 - E.M. Reilly & Co., (address not mentioned). 12 bore, Shotgun SxS. BLNE.
28650 - E.M. Reilly & Co., 277, Oxford Street, London. 12 ga Shotgun SxS. Top lever, BLE. AD pat; Ejector Anson pat of 1884.
30152 - E.M. Reilly & Co., (address not mentioned). 12 bore SxS Shotgun. BLNE.
30247 - E.M. Reilly & Co., 16, New Oxford Street., London. 12 ga. Shotgun SxS. BLE.
30257 - E.M. Reilly & Co., no address. 12ga. Shotgun SxS. Boxlock.
30260 - E.M. Reilly & Co., 16, New Oxford Street, London. 12 bore Shotgun SxS. Steel barrels boxlock.
303xx - E.M. Reilly & Co., 277, Oxford Street, London. 12 ga. Shotgun SxS. Steel barrels. BLE, Built on W-R action. Not for Ball.
303xx?- E.M. Reilly & Co., 277, Oxford Street, London. 12 ga, Shotgun SxS. BLE. Top lever.
30342 - E.M. Reilly & ? (London address obscured), rue..Paris? (on 2nd barrel). 12 ga. Shotgun SxS. Boxlock hammerless live pigeon gun.
30255 - E.M. Reilly & Co., 277, Oxford Street, London; 28 ga Shotgun SxS. Top lever, BLE. 27” sleeved brls, semi-pistol grip (orig. rifle?)
30363 - E.M. Reilly & Co., 277, Oxford Street, London. 12 ga. Shotgun SxS. BLE. Top lever, Steel barrels. Built on W-R action. A&D ejector pat #428; Anson & Deely pat use #6250. #1 of pair.
303xx - E.M. Reilly & Co., 277, Oxford Street, London. 12 ga. Shotgun SxS. BLE, Top lever, Steel barrels. Built on W-R action. A&D ejector pat #427; Anson & Deely pat use #6265. #2 of pair (Norway)
30375 - E.M. Reilly & Co., (no address - sleeved). 12ga. Shotgun SxS. BLE. Top Lever. Anson & Deeley #1 of pair
30376 - E.M. Reilly & Co., (no address - sleeved). 12ga. Shotgun SxS. BLE. Top Lever. Anson & Deeley #2 of pair
30446 - E.M. Reilly & Co., 277, Oxford street, London. 12 bore, Shotgun SxS. BLE, doll's head W-R type top-lever; 30" Damascus. AD Patent use #7156
30456 - E.M. Reilly & Co., (address not mentioned). 12 ga. Shotgun SxS. Top lever Box lock.
30768 - E.M. Reilly & Co., 16, New Oxford Street, London. 12 ga. Shotgun SxS. BLE. A&D patent use #8245. (A&D Patent expired sep 1889).
30791 - E.M. Reilly & Co., 16, New Oxford Street, London. .380 BPE. Rifle SxS. Box lock. A&D boxlock pat use #????.
30846 - E.M. Reilly & Co., (address not mentioned. 450 BPE. Rifle SxS. BLE. Steel barrels.
32530 - E.M. Reilly & Co., (address not mentioned). .500 Rifle SxS. BLE.
32543 - E.M. Reilly & Co., (28” reproofed steel barrels, no address). 12 bore, BLE, treble grip action. #1 of pair
32581 - E.M. Reilly & Co., (address not mentioned). 16 bore Shotgun SxS; T-L, BLE.
32661 - E.M. Reilly & Co., (address not mentioned). 12 ga, shotgun SxS, BLE, self-opener.
32665 - E.M. Reilly & Co., (address not mentioned). 12 ga. Shotgun SxS. BLE.
32667 - E.M. Reilly & Co., New Oxford Street, London. 12 ga. Shotgun SxS. BLE.
32971 - E.M. Reilly & Co., 16, New Oxford Street, London. 12 ga. Shotgun SxS. Boxlock.
32974 - E.M. Reilly & Co., 16, New Oxford Street, London. 12 ga. Shotgun SxS. Boxlock. Ball and Shot.
33239 - E.M. Reilly & Co., (address not mentioned); 12 bore, shotgun SxS, BLE. Doll's head.
33241 - E.M. Reilly & Co., London. (sleeved no address). 12 ga. Shotgun SxS. Steel barrels. BLE, Built on W-R action. #1 of pair. (non-extant)
33242 - E.M. Reilly & Co., London. (address unknown). 12 ga. Shotgun SxS. BLE, Steel brls. Built on W-R action. #2 of pair.
33244 - E.M. Reilly & Co,, (stock/forearm only). 12 bore SxS Shotgun. BLE.
33256 - E.M. Reilly & Co., (address not mentioned). 16 bore SxS Shotgun. BLNE.
33358 - E.M. Reilly & Co., 277, Oxford Street, London. 12 bore Shotgun SxS, BLE (steel sleeved barrels)
33428 - E.M. Reilly & Co., (address not mentioned). 10 bore, .550x3.5 SxS BPE rifle. BLNE. Pistol grip stock w/cheekpiece. Anson forend.
33640 - E.M. Reilly & Co., (action, stock, forearm only) 12 bore SxS shotgun. BLE
33713 - E.M. Reilly & Co., 277, Oxford Street, London. 12 ga SxS. Shotgun. BLNE. Steel barrels.
33881 - E.M. Reilly & Co., 277, Oxford Street, London. 12 ga. Shotgun SxS. Top lever, BLE, Steel brls.(2 brl set).
33889 - E.M. Reilly & Co., (address not mentioned). 12 ga. Shotgun SxS. Top lever, side lock, BLE, Steel brls. #1 of pair. (non-extant).
33890 - E.M. Reilly & Co., (address not mentioned). 12 ga. Shotgun SxS. Top lever, side lock, BLE, Steel brls. #2 of pair.
32941 - E.M. Reilly & Co., (sleeved barrels). 12 bore Shotgun SxS. BLE.
34250 - E.M. Reilly & Co., (address not mentioned) 12 bore SxS Shotgun BLNE.
34334 - E.M. Reilly & Co., (Stock, action, fore-arm). 12 ga, Shotgun SxS. Top lever, BLE.
34478 - E.M. Reilly & Co., (address not mentioned). 12 ga. Shotgun SxS. Boxlock.
34515 - E.M. Reilly & Co., 16, New Oxford Street, London. .500 BPE, SxS rifle. BLNE. Steel barrels
34680 - E.M. Reilly & Co., (address not mentioned). 12 bore. Shotgun SxS. BLE.
34865 - E.M. Reilly & Co., 277, Oxford Street, London. 12 bore. Shotgun SxS. BLE.
35058 - E.M. Reilly & Co., 277, Oxford Street, London. 12 bore SxS shotgun. BLE
35097 - E.M. Reilly & Co., (stock and action only). 28 ga, Shotgun SxS. BLE.
35186 - E.M. Reilly & Co., 277, Oxford Street, London. 12 bore. Shotgun SxS. BLE. Steel barrels. Post 1898 trade label. London 1896-1904 proof marks
35367 - E.M. Reilly & Co., (address not mentioned). 12 ga. Shotgun SxS. BLE. Steel Barrels.
35394 - E.M. Reilly & Co., (address not mentioned). 12 ga. Shotgun SxS. BLE. Steel Barrels.
35398 - E.M. Reilly & Co., 295, Oxford Street, London; 12 bore SxS shotgun BLE, treble grip. (First SN with 295 Oxford.)
35407 - E.M. Reilly & Co., (28” sleeved barrels). 12 bore SxS Shotgun. Top Lever, BLE
35422 - E.M. Reilly & Co., (Action/stock/forearm only). 12 bore SxS shotgun., BLE (#1 of pair to the below gun).
35423 - E.M. Reilly & Co., 295, Oxford Street, London. 12 ga. Shotgun SxS. BLE. #2 of pair.
35458 - E.M. Reilly & Co., (address not mentioned). 12 bore. Shotgun SxS. Boxlock.
35472 - E.M. Reilly & Co., (sleeved, no address). 12 ga. Shotgun SxS. Boxlock.
35554 - E.M. Reilly & Co., 295, Oxford Street, London. .500/.465 SxS Nitro Express rifle, BLE.
35678 - E.M. Reilly & Co., (address not mentioned). 12 bore Shotgun SxS. Boxlock. (Last extant Reilly)

Last edited by Argo44; 10/11/21 10:15 PM.

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The question was asked, Did London Gun Makers make boxlocks? Reilly definitely did per above. Here's an excerpt from 1882 book "Our Gunmakers" indicating Reilly was prioritizing building A&D Patent guns. Does this help?

[Linked Image from jpgbox.com]

Last edited by Argo44; 10/01/21 09:16 PM.

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From Air Rifles, to Cane Guns, to Pistols, to Shotguns and Rifles, both boxlock and sidelock... were there any type of guns that Reilly didn't build? It is hard to think of another gunmaker anywhere that was so prolific and catered to so many different types of gun buyers.

It still seems rather odd that there has not been one photograph of gunmakers at work within the Reilly factory. Nor has there been any census data recording any London residents who were employed as actioners, filers, barrel makers, blackers, stock makers, etc. at the Reilly Factory. We seem to have ample evidence of actual gun-making employees at other gunmaking firms and factories. But all we get about Reilly is advertisements and anecdotal evidence.

I suppose they could have just been too busy building all these different guns, and printing advertisements, to take any photographs or participate in any census. Or maybe I just missed it????


A true sign of mental illness is any gun owner who would vote for an Anti-Gunner like Joe Biden.

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Wymen's Commercial Encyclopedia 1887 - I've added some commentary to the Reilly history based on this eye-opening discussion:

"In early 1880 Reilly adopted the boxlock (Anson & Deeley 1875 Patent) and began building then in significant numbers, apparently in marked contrast to other London gun makers.*112w The boxlock looks to have been frowned on by London gunmakers for some reason, possibly as being "plebeian." Yet Reilly publicly embraced it. It fitted his anti-establishment style and his model for selling to the guys actually on the ground carrying their own guns. It may be that Reilly, always a gambler on technological innovation, decided that its simplicity and durability were the future of shotgunning, a conclusion reinforced by early 1880’s writings. However, at the same time Reilly was dramatically expanding serial numbered production from 650 to over 1000 a year and the A&D boxlock would certainly have simplified the manufacturing process." Either that or Reilly began to avail himself of Birmingham produced boxlock actions and finished them in London which would also be logical.

The reference is a description of the Reilly Exhibit at the 1885 International Inventions Exhibition in London.

[Linked Image from jpgbox.com]

I think I've contributed a bit to this historical question. Opinions anyone? Is this helpful at all or am I totally off-base, missing the point?

Last edited by Argo44; 10/04/21 10:19 PM.

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Interesting for sure, but in Britain, Anson & Deeley's patent No. 1756 was on 11th May 1875, so I wonder what >>perfection<< as added in 1877? Not sure when the 1st APUN was issued?

Serbus,

Raimey
rse

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I noticed that too. Reilly clearly was not a great historian. smile


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Without looking, could the 1877 patent be the forend latch ?

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I'm not sure greener made the Anson and deeley them self or brought it in

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A&D boxlock patent should have expired on 11 May 1889. However, I've found two later Reilly's in my database with A&D Patent use numbers. 32974 dated to 1893 and 33242 also 1893:

32974 - E.M. Reilly & Co., 16, New Oxford Street, London. 12 ga. Shotgun SxS. Boxlock. Ball and Shot. A&D #122x.
[Linked Image from jpgbox.com]
33242 - E.M. Reilly & Co., London. (address unknown). 12 ga. Shotgun SxS. BLE, Steel brls. Built on W-R action. #2 of pair. A&D #1399
[Linked Image from jpgbox.com]

Parliament extended the Whitworth fluid steel patent for 5 years. Did they do the same for the boxlock patent?
Or were those actions just hanging around for 5 years; Did EM roll the dice once again on a technological innovation that was indeed revolutionary but which this time was rejected by the shooting classes in London?

Also per above, I have gone through all my stock of Reilly photos looking for workmens' initials which would presumably identify them having been made in Birmingham. There's just precious few auction house photos with this type of detail, though, and I haven't found any. Now I'm not going to go out on a limb and claim Reilly was making all those box lock actions beginning in 1880. Indeed, he suddenly expanded production from about 650 serial numbered guns a year - a level pretty constant for 12 years - to over 1000 in 1881 - so it's entirely possible, even probable that at that time he began to import actions from Birmingham. It's just that without more photos, I can't prove or disprove this.

Last edited by Argo44; 10/04/21 11:08 PM.

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Gene,

You have left out from this list (you had it in an earlier one) 30227 which is a Reilly A&D non ejector with Westley Richards “type top lever opening”.

I bought it sight unseen at Southams over a year ago but with lockdown intervening have not yet collected it.

It has been sleeved, which no doubt explains why it cost me less than a couple of boxes of 25 bismuth cartridges .

Whilst the sleeving will have lost any marking near the loop and on most of the tubes, hopefully when I get it it will still have the original proof marks on the action bar and possibly on the barrel flats.

I will strip it down to see if there are any hidden makers marks on the back of the action and let you know if the original proof marks are London or Birmingham.

Keep Well

Parabola

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