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british pinfire sporting guns
I saw the discussion about pinfire guns a few weeks ago and wondered if British gunmakers eagerly embraced the pinfire concept ?
Most gunmakers  made pinfire shotguns and rifles  but they were not as popular as in Belguim ,France and other countries.The pinfire was built in many different patents which were carried on into the centre fire era and came in different bore sizes from the 8 bore to the 410 ,they were still built in Belguim up till the 1950,s I have enclosed images of different patents.

Jones Under Lever

[Image: P1010021-2.jpg]

Different size cartridges  8 bore to 410

[Image: P1010029.jpg]

Jeffreys  Side Open

[Image: P1010010.jpg]

Needhams side lever

[Image: P1010006-2.jpg]

Belguim Patent Under Lever

[Image: P1010024.jpg]

Sliding barrel 410 which is also an ejector

[Image: P1010028.jpg]

Thank you,  I have never seen a Jeffreys side open before,  most pinfires I find have the Henry Jones under lever.  At the beginning of breech-loading, the British had a lot of unusual actions and some of the makers makers must have liked them.   The reason i inquired was because I read somewhere that W. Greener did not like the new breech-loader,  however i would like to know if he ever made one ?
William Greener, 1806-69, did patent a a percussion revolver and breechloading cartridges but by the time the pinfire was arriving in the UK his son, William Wellington Greener, 1834-1921, was effectively in charge and had no hang-ups about breechloaders.  The old man is said to have frequently stated "If it opens at the breech, then it is weak at the breech - stands to reason."

Years ago, I had a mint J. V. Needham double 12 which cost me £7, a lot of money in the 1950s.  I made cartridges for it by adapting used 12 bore paper cases.  This involved stripping out the primer pocket and the base wads, peening down the rim and inserting a new base wad of two layers of thick card, the top one cut to form the sideways cap chamber.  A small drill hole and a brass wire nail finished the job. Fortunately I have the special combination tool that removes and replaces pinfire caps.  The only trouble I had, apart from the tedium, was that I just could not get the gun to pattern worth a damn.  I sold it in the end; wish I had not as the condition was superb.  These days, where do you get used paper cases?
W. S. (Bill) Curtis
Years ago there were some on the market, but must have been old stock as the paper split on first shot,  I was told there are people making brass shells today for the pinfire.  I have also heard of a W. Greener pinfire with the Rifle Hill address and he would still have been in business in the pinfire period.  I have seen W. W. Greener pinfires, he is the one with the elephant symbol.  There are some other unusual sumbols, who could i get to understand them ?
Post some photos of the marks then we can tell.
W. S. (Bill) Curtis
Bill,  I am sorry, I'm not able, even if i had a digital camera,  I would be incompetent sending the images,  Is there another way of getting them to you ?   I bought some books of makers marks, symbols and stamps, but did not get very far with the british guns.  i found a few of the belgian, german and french marks, but i collect british guns.  another big mystery is some of the makers.  i have quite a few pinfire guns I can not find the makers,  A couple are F.Blood and C. Mills,  I have boothroyd's directory, Bailey and Nie's English Gunmakers and Blanch's list.  There are some Mills, but no C. Mills.  another question, most books have  information about all the british actions, like Feltwad's  Jones, Needham and Jefferies, but who first used the thumb side lever like grant is known for today ?
Quote:Most gunmakers  made pinfire shotguns and rifles

Wow Feltwad, you're worse than me  :o

I've only got two, Charles Osborne with the Jones double lock and Westeley Richards with a novel top lever and crab knuckle joint.

[Image: pinfire.jpg]
Have several Belguim and French patents also an Erskine slide and tilt.
thank you Robin for sending images of your guns, sorry i can not do that, but i have a question, why did Westley Richards start his business using his middle name ?   Feltwad, you have some rare british pinfires i have never seen before, did you get them a long time ago ?  also the little single shot with the octagonal barrel, is that a continental gun ?  i don't see any sights, but was it a rifle ?  did the british make pinfire rook rifles ?  any speculation on the origin of the grant style thumb side lever action,  did that come after the pinfire period,  i have not seen any pictures of a pinfire with that action.

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