mc, thanks for the comment. There are two substrings to this conversation:
-- Did a London gunmaker make A&D actions in and of themselves
-- Did a London gunmaker make guns based on A&D actions from Brum
I've addressed both arguments above.
And if you can't date a Reilly gun with an A&D action..then the whole argument is moot. Right?
And sir, (this really get tiresome) - please read the Reilly line. in 1881 per the UK census...Reilly employed more than twice the number of men than Greener and 5 times that of Purdey.
Or you could read these sections of the current history (It's all there on p. 54 of the Reilly line) (and youall thinking that auction houses endlessly repeating gun "history" is in any way unusual?):
------------history to be published -------------
1878-80: Situation of the Company
Reilly again exhibited at the 1878 Paris exposition and again won medals. By 1880 Reilly sold a third more - soon to be twice as many - serial numbered, hand made bespoke guns than both Holland and Holland and Purdey combined, this in addition to:
. . .-- a very active business in guns sold under license from well known gun makers including revolvers (Trantor, Baumont-Adams, Walker, Colt, etc), rook rifles, repeating rifles (Sharps, Winchester, etc.),
. . .-- as well as merchandising every type of gun accoutrement - reloaders, cartridges, shells, cases, etc.
. . .-- and sustaining a huge business in previously owned guns.
Reilly told the 1881 census taker that he employed some 300 people in his firm, an extraordinarialy high number for the times, an indication of the extent of his gun manufacturing and sales business. (WW Greener in the same census claimed to employ 140, less than half the number of Reilly; Purdey in 1871 said he employed 58, 1/5th the number of Reilly workers).
Reilly in the early 1880's
Reilly's business was booming and gun production topped 1000 a year. Reilly reportedly was making long guns for other London gun-makers. Note: there is a suspicion that with his large industrial spaces (by London terms) that he was doing this for many years - see the Reilly-Purdey kerfuffle from 1866. As an example,
. . .-- a James Beattie percussion gun made circa 1835 has been found with the locks labeled “Reilly,” a possible indication that Reilly made the gun in the white for Beattie, this in the very early years of Reilly making guns.
. . .-- In 1832 Reilly offer special deals for “country gun makers.”
. . .-- Wilkinson marketed at least on Green Bros Breech loader circa 1868; since Reilly was the sole manufacturer of the Green Bros patent, Reilly had to have made that gun for Wilkinson.
He also around this time allegedly (not confirmed) began importing cheap Belgian-made revolvers in parts which he assembled in his buildings, engraved and sold. (Reilly, like Trantor and others, possibly was involved with the Belgian manufacture and "assembly trade" much earlier...perhaps dating to as early as the 1850's).
He exhibited at the 1882 Calcutta fair (a British Empire only affair) and won a medal and was highly praised for his exhibit at the 1884/85 London International Expositions where he again won medals.
(Note there were three different international expositions in London in 1884-85; An exposition at Crystal Palace; the International Health Exposition of 1884; and the International Inventions Exposition of 1885. Reilly apparently won a gold medal at the Internation Health Exposition though why shotguns were exhibited there is unknown – he publicized the medals only as “London Exhibition 1884.” Reilly also won a silver medal at the International Inventions Exposition but did not publicize it; Reilly's exhibit at this exposition is described in Wyman.)
Reilly guns figured very well in live pigeon shooting contests throughout the 1880's. Reilly won the 1882 year-long Hurlingham manufacturers cup championship per the Holt's Shooting calendar and his pigeon guns from these early 1880 years were specifically built to match the Hurlingham weight limits.
Big game hunters in Africa used his guns and advertised the results including Henry Morton Stanley, the Welsh-American and perhaps the most famous of all African explorers, Dr. David Livingston, and noted Victorian era African hunter and author Frederick Selous. Sir Samuel Baker, the most famous Victorian hunter of all, of course, began using Reilly heavy rifles in the early 1850’s, had Reilly build explosive shells for him, and continued to use his Reilly connection to the end of his hunting life as previously mentioned.
Last edited by Argo44; 10/21/21 09:29 PM.