Tag Archives: greener

Restoring a Greener

This was once a very fine W W Greener 12 guage side by side, sidelock hammer gun, and could be once again.

The colour case hardening has worn – more likely polished away – from the very finely engraved round action and someone has sanded the stock down in an attempt at a “restoration” and taken the fine checkering with it. This is the stock today:

greener stock

WW Greener Stock 

The checkering is in a very bad way but the lines are still clearly visible so I will be following them when I re-cut it. Right now both the stock and the fore end are in my special solution which will both remove the current finish and extract any mineral oils that have made their way into the Walnut. The forestock is missing the horn insert but is in otherwise good condition.

A restoration of this magnitude is not to be undertaken lightly, the main points are:

a) A full restoration of the Stock
b) remake the Horn insert for the fore-stock
c) Black the barrels and other select parts
d) Colour Case Harden the Breech Block and Side Plates
e) Recut the hammers and case harden the faces
f) put it back together that it not only looks good, but actually shoots well too

Should be simple enough and it will be, given time. Restorations of this type take time more than anything else and this will take four to five months, One thing you cannot rush and that is the refinishing of a fine Walnut Stock, that takes up most of the time. I find that because the Stock dictates the pace at which you work, the rest of the gun can be worked on with no sense of urgency and this contributes enormously to the quality of the finished gun.

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:

greener-09 greener-08 greener-07 greener-06 greener-05 greener-04

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:

greener-10 greener-11 greener-13 greener-14