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Argo44 Offline OP
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This gun attracted attention because it was converted by Reilly:
https://www.invaluable.com/auction-...queryID=8f76d7cdeb804a556b5a01f1e4a69881
WILLIAM GOLDING A 10-BORE (THIN BRASS CASE) HAMMER GUN, NO. 855, CONVERTED FROM MUZZLE LOADING 31 3/4-inch damascus barrels with 3-inch chambers for thin brass cases, true cylinder borings, the rounded frame, non-rebounding back locks, noseless hammers and rotary underlever with border and scroll engraving, the locks with scenes of game and retaining some original hardening colour, the frame engraved ''Converted to the Improved Central Fire System for J.S.W.S. Erle.Drax. Esq by E.M. Reilly & Co. Breech Loader Manufacturers, Oxford Street, London'', 14 1/2-inch figured stock with engraved steel butt plate, 8lb. 3oz., black powder proof (1868 Rules) S58

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Gavin says it was converted to Central Fire (the term was popular from 1865-1868) from a Percussion gun. However, the fences look more like an original pin-fire and the inscription would seem to bear this out. The noseless hammers look like those Reilly used on his first gun with 2 rue Scribe on the rib (1868) and as advertised at the 1867 Paris Universelle.

Don't know who was William Golding.

Last edited by Argo44; 04/14/24 02:25 PM.

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William Golding was active at various addresses in London 1827 to 1859, thus spanning the percussion and pinfire periods.

It is quite possible that it was converted from a muzzle-loader to pinfire and not long after further converted to central fire - relatively simple compared to the conversion from muzzle loading .

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Argo44 Offline OP
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Guess it could be a central fire from the beginning after all. Reilly advertisement at for the 1867 Paris Universalle for a "central fire system." Note the narrow fences and noseless hammers:

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Here is Reilly muzzle loader SxS rifle SN 10354 (1857) modified into an U-L break action hammer gun around 1880 by John Fry. The fences are much broader and more modern.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Last edited by Argo44; 04/14/24 08:35 PM.

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Hammers look like Charles Lancaster’s CF - the firing pins set low and more inline.
Repurposing ML barrels certainly was done.
Nice looking Reilly.

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My two cents .If it was converted from muzzle loading then I would imagine only the barrels have been used .Converted from pinfire may be ,but the amount of work involved to convert a it from muzzle loader to this beech loader is huge .It would have been simpler to make from scratch

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Argo44 Offline OP
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Agree with Gunman. Here is the advertisement for 10354 posted above; only the barrels were retained. I disagree with the date of the conversion putting at 1880 rather late 1890's. The case trade label is pre 1881.

http://www.icollector.com/Cased-Eng...by-John-Fry-Derby-400-Kynoch-2_i19846957

Cased English SxS double rifle by Reilly of London and converted by John cf Derby, .400 Kynoch 2” caliber, 27” brown damascus barrels with matte rib fitted with triple folding rear sight and marked “Reilly 502 New Oxford Street London” and also“Converted BY John Fry Derby”; original barrels appear to have been silver soldered to a monoblock and a new receiver, underlever, hammers and stock provided during the conversion. The original gun likely was circa 1848 to 1858 with the conversion by Fry occurring sometime between 1895 and 1904 per a write-up provided by the consignor. Overall, the rifle appears to be in good condition as converted with a pleasing patina to metal surfaces; the bores are very good, the actionscrisp and the butt stock and forend overall good to very good; the casing is overall good with wood cleaning rod, cleaning brush and interior paper E. M. Reilly & Co. label; also accompanied with 40 Ballard Rifle and Cartridge, LLC .400 Kynoch 2” unprimed brass cartridge cases. (Antique). Est.: $1,500-$3,000.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Last edited by Argo44; 04/15/24 06:44 AM.

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I have always liked conversions, I restored this one some time ago. Lots of work as Gunman has said. A time when labor was cheap and good barrels were worth saving. I believe the stock and lock were repurposed on this rifle as well.



[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]


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The conversions are often interesting. Most conversions reused barrels, furniture, etc , depending on the donor. Here's a Greener conversion, or retro-conversion from pinfire to percussion/muzzleloader.

https://www.invaluable.com/auction-lot/W.-W.-GREENER-A-12-BORE-PINFIRE-HAMMER-GUN,-NO.-7-226-c-7164CB0923?utm_source=egemail&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=lot_abandonment

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I have a lang which was converted from pinfire to center fire. A couple years ago I came across a WRichards which was a muzzleloader converted to center fire and a pinfire which was converted to center fire by Manson a cleaver block added to the rear of the action that held the firing pins. Barrels had been shortened about 3/4” and rechambered. Must have worked because it pass proof twice. Good barrels were repurposed instead of being scrapped. And labor was cheap.

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Argo44 Offline OP
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Sorry to bring Reilly up again but it's what I have in my database. This gun and the 1867 Reilly ad at the Paris Universelle creates a problem. I have about 18 extant Reilly pin-fires in my database. About 8 I assumed were converted to centerfire from a pin-fire.

Here is what a classic Reilly pin-fire action should look like - narrow fences, no back splash guard.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Here is what I assumed a classic Center-fire action should look like. 14511 (1866) I always assumed was the first extant Reilly C-F. Back splash spark guard - remnant of muzzle loader style was the marker I thought.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Yet the Reilly advertisement shows an original C-F but built along the lines and style of a classic pin-fire. This made me question whether some of the Reilly's identified as original pin-fires but modified into C-F had in fact been made as a C-F. Note the noseless hammers on these photos.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

And then comes the two 4 bores. . .That of George L and SN 15964, which have the lines of the above Reilly's I was wondering about yet clearly are originally pin-fire modified to CF.
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Which leads to the conclusion
- you really need to see the barrels to know if a gun built with the narrow fences in pin-fire style was actually really originally a pin-fire. Clearly the gold washed Douglas Tate gun above has no pin-fire looking marks on the chambers.
- perhaps at the clue at least for Reilly's might be "noseless hammers" = built as a C-F?
. . .- Even here there is the above William Golding clearly modified to C-F by Really with noseless hammers and no visible pin-fire openings on the barrels.

Last edited by Argo44; 04/17/24 04:55 PM.

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