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Originally Posted by SKB
[quote=bushveld
We know that Mr. Harrison established somewhat nonconformist workshop methods in the Cogswell & Harrison that were not desired by the London trade such as less expensive ways of making parts and also the shoe lump barrel method of production on his best quality SLE versus using chopper lump barrels. So that he might also make boxlocks guns in his shop versus buying them directly from Birmingham could be in his business strategy and tactics.

Len Bull told me that while working at H&H, if you screwed up you were promptly reminded that you were not employed by Cogswell and F*#@!ing Harrison. I still chuckle when thinking about that story. Not desired practices by the London trade indeed.[/quote]

Steve;

Your quote of Len Bull is a CLASSIC.

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Originally Posted by bushveld
If we look at the title of this post, the original question was not did London "market" boxlocks. Neither was it about ejectors. " Moving the goal posts" in this discussion about UK gun history is not helpful but harmful.

Originally Posted by LeFusil
I don’t think ANY of the Reilly “stuff” posted on this thread added anything of any real substance to the discussion.

I'd like to thank both bushveld and LeFusil for the statements I QUOTED above.

It needed to be said. Unfortunately, I doubt if it will sink into the head of the offending and obsessive/compulsive party.

Now, here's hoping this post does not get censored, and that it appears sometimes in, oh, the next several days.


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

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Len had lots of great quotes but most cannot be repeated in polite company.


http://www.bertramandco.com/

ACGG Professional metalsmith, firearms import services.
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The late Larry Shelton spent a decade plus, and many thousands of dollars, researching and then publishing
J.P. Clabrough: Birmingham Gunmaker. Larry wasn't playing to a big audience, as I suspect all living
Clabrough collectors could fit in the back seat of a Yugo. He wanted to learn, share and then preserve what
he had learned. I am proud that he asked me to assist him. His research is now housed in the Cody Museum
collection. For true 'students of the gun" Larry's work or Jim Cate's books on Sauer, Kopeko's Hunting and
Sporting Guns of the World series (in Russian) or Aaron Newcomer's extraordinary knowledge of the pinfire
era may not be of interest to most, but it is very interesting to many and advances our knowledge in important
ways. Much that has been written about British sporting arms is incorrect and endlessly repeated by writers
who choose not to do their own research. I have co-authored five books on firearms - the most significant of
which is Hemingway's Guns: The Sporting Arms of Ernest Hemingway. Our motto was "Don't be wrong!" Sounds
easy enough but it is extremely difficult. In spite of our best efforts - errors crept in. I know Argo 44 only
through what he publishes on this website. I am not a Reilly collector and have never owned one - yet I applaud
him for what he's doing - correcting the record and expanding our collective understanding of the British
gun trade.

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"A question was raised-----Did any London gun and rifle makers build any boxlock rifles and guns including the ones that they sold with their names and addresses engraved upon? All of us have an opinion."

Gentlemen, I've done my best to add to this line constructively.
-- Reilly was a London gunmaker.
-- In the Reilly history I've laid out all the evidence I could muster that Reilly made the guns he serial numbered.
-- Reilly made and sold boxlocks both shotguns and rifles in great quantity from 1880 on.
-- ergo, at least one London gunmaker made boxlocks. QED.

If one believes Reilly did not "make" these guns...i.e. he did not even make the stocks, finish actions bought in the white, etc., then there is not much more that can be done to fill in the blanks.

So, the subject of this line was addressed directly by my posts - it was not "changed" as alleged. The business of ejectors was just an add-on which I thought might be of interest.

Of course, Reilly can be "canceled." However, I'll again state this request from the introduction to the Reilly history:
"Footnotes are provided for each paragraph, indeed each sentence.... Challenges to this research should be as well documented, not just based on "urban legend."

Last edited by Argo44; 10/16/21 09:07 PM.

Baluch are not Brahui, Brahui are Baluch
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Argo44, Reilly didn’t make boxlocks. Sorry. Didn’t happen. They didn’t make ANY modern breech loading guns. NONE.

Stop ruining threads with your unsolicited Reilly stuff. Seriously.

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Originally Posted by SKB
Len had lots of great quotes but most cannot be repeated in polite company.

Steve;

I am sending you a PM about Len Bull.

Regards;
Stephen Howell

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I'm beginning to believe that the look alike greener boltwork guns were put together by company's specialising in that produce then anyone could add there name. company's in Wolverhampton and Birmingham could mass produce them either finished or barreled actions in the white.

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I only met Mr Bull a couple times, fun guy. You probably didn't want to ask Len what he did in Kenya :-)

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This request relates DIRECTLY to Mr. Bushveld's original question.

And: This is a serious request for comments and not just "I'm right and you're an idiot" stuff. I'm posting the below excerpt from the current Reilly history. I have documented every step of this history to this point....nothing is based on what "Someone told me." But at this point to further research the topic some serious questions need to be answered.

Reilly was the "Walmart" of the 1800's...good stuff..cheap price...get it today. If anyone in London would have produced a boxlock, it would have been him. So, if you have one of those Reilly boxlocks, are there initials on the action or barrel? Is there any other evidence that Brum made them?

I'm assuming for the moment based on a lot of good people communicating that Brum likely did make those Reilly actions ...And it's a business decision Reilly would have taken...i.e., "Make your 650 a year pigeon guns for the aristocracy but sell the Brum stuff off the rack."

But a counter argument can be made as well - basically historically Reilly only serial numbered guns he made - he did not serial number assembled guns...as extensively documented in the history..

If you are going to comment about this...
-- first please talk about boxlocks...
-- If you talk about Reilly...please read the complete history and post comments- preferably highlighted - on that line. Thanks.
-- If you're going to insult me, get in line.

- - - - - - - - - current history for publication - - - - - - - - - - - - -

1880: Reilly and the Anson & Deeley Boxlock'

In early1880 Reilly adopted the boxlock (Anson & Deeley 1875 Patent) and began building them in significant numbers, apparently in marked contrast to other London gun makers.

. . .-- 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 had decided to "sell off the rack." The A&D boxlock would certainly have simplified the manufacturing process. Reilly could have tried to produce these himself at least early on..he had the ego and the manufacturing space. Building a boxlock, indeed almost any action from that time period, is not difficult for a competent gunmaker.

. . .-- Equally possible, is that Reilly began to avail himself of Birmingham produced actions. Buying boxlock actions from Birmingham and finishing them in London, as just about the entire trade did at the time, would be a logical business step. Birmingham was fully geared up to producing boxlocks by 1880. However, Birmingham box-lock actions usually have workers' initials on them someplace. None have yet to be found on a Reilly box-lock but this type of information is not usually published by auction houses.

. . .-- SN 22482 (1880): The first surviving Reilly box-lock is SN 22482 (1880), a 12 gauge top lever shot gun, A&D Patent use number 1156. Almost 30% of the surviving Reilly’s from 1881 to 1912, both rifles and shotguns, are boxlocks.

1882: Selling Off The Rack

In late 1881 per advertisements it appears that Reilly made a business decision to stock ready-made guns and sell them off-the-rack as well as selling his usual bespoke made-to-order guns. This might account for the soaring number of guns serial numbered per year, which grew from about 650 numbered in 1880 to some 1050 in 1882. It might also account for certain discrepancies in serial numbered guns from this time forward such as 303xx which would have been numbered in late 1888-early 1889 but still has "Not For Ball" on its barrels (a stamping discontinued in 1887).

If this were the case, Reilly possibly serial numbered his bespoke guns when ordered (usual London practice) and his off-the-rack guns when sold. (When knowledgable gun historians and makers were queried about this phenomena - guns with pre-1887 proof marks apparently made after that date - they shrugged and said essentially that no-one can logically explain the process at the time - some gun makers ignored or stretched the law; some used barrels already proofed..etc.)

The decision to vastly expand production and sell ready-made guns may mark the origin of a trend towards marketing Birmingham-made guns finished in London to satisfy demand, supplementing Reilly’s own production which seemed to max out at about 650 a year per the below chart. Scott "Triplex" actions found on several 1880's Reilly's may be an example (along with the above mentioned pivot to making Anson & Deeley boxlocks).
. . .-- (This said, Scott usually managed to put a Scott number on his guns and actions - none have been found on Reilly's and the Reilly Scott Triplex actions have on their barrels "Improved Patent" for some reason or another. Thus it is also entirely possible that Reilly built them under license. As usual all Reilly serial number guns continued to proofed in London).

1882: Reilly and Steel Barrels'

In addition in January 1882 he advertised for the first time guns equipped with Whitworth compressed fluid steel barrels (originally a 1865 patent extended in 1879 for 5 years).

. . .-- SN 24365: The first extant Reilly with a confirmed Whitworth barrel is SN 24365, a 12 gauge SxS pigeon gun with 31” barrels - top lever, side lock, low hammers, flat file cut rib. It is dated per the chart to 1882.
. . .-- SN 19953: (There is a Reilly .500 SxS BPE rifle from 1876 SN 19953, which appears to have steel barrels; however they may be blued Damascus, the gun description being minimal.)

Last edited by Argo44; 10/19/21 12:32 AM.

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