Tag Archives: Facile Princeps

W W Greener of Birmingham Air Rifle

This first short paragraph from the Greener website: http://www.wwgreener.com/

“William Greener was the first member of the family to make guns. At the age of 14 he was apprenticed to John Gardner a gunmaker in Newcastle Upon Tyne. in Northumberland. When qualified he went to London and worked for Joe Manton, one of the best gunmakers in the early 1800’s. William returned to Newcastle in 1829 and set up on his own as a gunmaker making percussion muzzle loading sporting shotguns and rifles, and harpoon guns for the Dundee whalers. However, it was difficult to obtain the best materials in that city so in 1844 he moved to Birmingham where our gunmaking has remained ever since.”

Yes, the Greener company still exists, far smaller than the heyday of gun manufacture for the two World Wars but still manufacturing some of the finest sporting guns in the world. But back at the turn of the 20th Century Greener took out a Patent on the “Two Horned Sear” the first of these having been seen on an air rifle made by the Lane Brothers. Further Patents followed in 1934 and the most interesting of these was the classic forward and drop motion of the barrel invented by the Glasgow Gunmaker James Dougal.

The pictures show the spiral oil groove ground into the pivot pin and this has played a major part in conserving the rifle in very fine condition internally. Pity the external of the rifle wasn’t kept oiled. Mr Colin Malloy worked his usual magic and the reblueing is magnificent. Sadly, the stock was “restored” by an amateur (NOT the owner may I add) and I have now restored a stock and the rifle looks superb in the flesh.

The breech seal is also very interesting and infinately variable, beautifully engineered and simplicity itself to adjust. First then, the “before” pictures:

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Very desirable today and much sought after by collectors these are quite rare but I have had a couple in this month so it was nice to be able to compare them against one another, The locking screw for instance which passes through the trigger guard to hold the breech to the breech block was different for both guns and not interchangeable. There were other subtle and not so subtle differences yet both guns were from the 1930’s

Anyhow, without further ado. here is the finished article:

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