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Region: Antiques

HERE ***** W.W. GREENER 20 BORE F25 GRADE SXS BOXLOCK HAMMERLESS SPORTING GUN * CASED SN 50815. Circa 1902. 26 inch fluid steel barrels with matted concave rib. Case hardened Facile Princeps boxlock, reinforced action 20-30% with fine foliate scroll and border engraving. Non automatic side safety. Greener crossbolt. Extractors. Finely checkered half pistolgrip stock of figured walnut. Vacant silver oval. Later black recoil pad. Finely checkered splinter fore end with horn tip. Case marked E.R. WOOD on lid. Makers lable reads W.W. GREENER GUN, RIFLE, AND AMMUNITION MAKER, WINNER AT ALL THE GREAT LONDON GUN TRIALS. PRIZE WORKS ST. MARY'S SQUARE BIRMINGHAM AND 68 HAYMARKET LONDON S.W.

Condition: Fine, as partially redone. Barrels show 70-80% bluing with wear losses at breech end. Bright bores. Action shows 70-80% muted case colors with stonger colors on sides. Some screws show marring. Top tang is proud of wood. Refinished stock shows light handling marks.

Bores: 0.625/0.625 inches. Chokes: 0.026/0.027 inches, Full. Chambers: 2 3/4 inches. Proof: Birmingham, Nitro, 20, 20, 7/8 oz. Max, 20c. Minimum wall thickness: 0.029 inches. Stock dimensions: Pull: 13 1/2 inches. Drop at comb: 1 5/8 inches. Drop at heel: 3 inches. Cast: none. Weight: 5 lbs 5 oz.

According to a letter recently and kindly received from Mr. Graham N. Greener: "W W Greener gun no. 50815 was started on 15th May 1902 and finished on 14th October of the same year. It was one of a batch of seven different shotguns ordered by an agent in Boston so the person who ordered this particular gun is not recorded and we do not have any records of the Boston agent. The gun is a "Facile Princeps" model, Grade "F" 20 bore hammerless, non-ejector, sporting shotgun with 26 inch barrels. The stock dimensions when made were 2-7/7 by 1-1/2 by 14 inches, half pistol hand.

The gun was an expensive model which cost 16 guineas when sold originally. In old English money 16 guineas is sixteen pounds and sixteen shillings, there were twenty shillings to the pound.

Kind Regards, GRAHAM N. GREENER"

William Wellington Greener was the second of four sons born to William Greener, Gunmaker (1806-1869). In 1864 W.W. Greener started to manufacture an under-lever, pin-fire, half-cocking breechloader. By 1890 he claimed that his factory which fronted on St. Mary's Row and had spread along Loveday Street to Bath Street was the largest in Britain and by 1923 the firm of W.W. Greener, Ltd. was to claim that the factory was the largest sporting gun factory in the world. W.W. Greener died at the age of 87 in 1923 and the business continued with his sons, Harry & Charles E.

Sometime prior to WW1, E.C. Greener, was invited by the Metropolitan Police to shoot an elephant outside Charing Cross Station. The elephant belonged to a traveling circus & had become restive & uncontrolable & was duly shot. The head & trunk was presented to Mr. Greener who adopted it as a trade mark, and was shown on guns, letterheads, etc. Upon the death of Charles Greener in 1951 the business was under the direction of H. Leyton Greener until it was sold to Webley & Scott, Ltd. The company was re-acquired and re-established by Graham N. Greener and Ken Richardson and once more is in full production.



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