Westley Richards’ brilliant Anson & Deeley design …

Westley Richards Anson-Deeley Cutaway, pic from The Explora
Westley Richards Anson-Deeley Cutaway, pic from The Explora

Many of you know Simon Clode,  the Chairman & Managing Director of Westley Richards, passed away last week. In tribute to him, I’m putting up a series of posts dedicated to his great company.

Today’s, we’re covering one of Westley Richard’s huge contributions to the world of double barrel shotguns: The Anson & Deeley action. Patented in 1875, the A & D action was simple, rugged and easy to build. It was also revolutionary and one of the first successful “hammerless” shotgun designs created.

A: Hammer, shown forward in “fired” postion

Key parts of an Anson & Deeley boxlock SxS shotgun, from Finegunmaking.com, Steven Dodd Hughes
Key parts of an Anson & Deeley boxlock SxS shotgun, from Finegunmaking.com, Steven Dodd Hughes

B: Mainspring, drives hammer

C: Cocking level, tips hammer into position when bbls drop

D: The spring with hold the trigger sear (E) in place.

E: Trigger sear, releases hammer when trigger is pulled

In the late 19th and into the 20th century, it was the basis for thousands of side-by-sides made throughout the UK and across Europe. After WW2, it even found its way to Japan, where it was used by companies like Miroku and the Sakaba (SKB) Arms.

Today, a handful of companies still make true Anson & Deeley boxlocks: Westley Richards (of course) a few British and European firms, and Connecticut Shotgun (see their oddly named “Christian Hunter“).

Auction alert: SxS Webley & Scott Model 700 12 gauge, 28″…

Lightweight, Mid 50s Webley & Scott Model 700, SxS 12 gauge ejector gun, 28" bbls
Lightweight, Mid 50s Webley & Scott Model 700, SxS 12 gauge ejector gun, 28″ bbls

Here’s the kind of auction I like to see: A great gun, well described, and No Reserve. When the hammer falls, this side-by-side’s new owner will get himself a nice double and an even better deal.

Webely & Scott introduced the M700s in the 1950s. These rugged, reliable SxSs were entry-level shotguns and the company made thousands of them. Each was built on Anson & Deeley-style actions–one of the most reliable shotgun designs ever created–and used just-as-proven Southgate-style ejectors.

This M700 is on Gunbroker.com now and the listing ends 6/19/2016 11:00 PM. It’s being offered at No Reserve, so you could end up getting a heck of deal.

Lightweight, Mid 50s Webley & Scott Model 700, SxS 12 gauge ejector gun, 28" bbls
Lightweight, Mid 50s Webley & Scott Model 700, SxS 12 gauge ejector gun, 28″ bbls

Lightweight, Mid 50s Webley & Scott Model 700, SxS 12 gauge ejector gun, 28″ bbls: Pre-war quality, lightweight Game gun with heavy (1 ¼ oz. proofs) and tight chokes. This is a great looking & unusual gun: A 28”, 6 lb. 6 oz. gun with heavy proofs. Barrels in proof: L. .728 R. .728 ChokesL L .039 (Extra full) R .028(Light Full). Classic features include highly figured oil finished wood with fine flat-top checkering, checkered butt, and really nice engraving. Action retains nearly all of its classic British case colors, barrels about 85% of original black with excellent wood & checkering. Has no import marks and appears to be a special order gun given the extra nice engraving and wood. Stock oval has fancy monogram dated 1955. 14 ½” LOP to checkered butt.

Lightweight, Mid 50s Webley & Scott Model 700, SxS 12 gauge ejector gun, 28" bbls
Lightweight, Mid 50s Webley & Scott Model 700, SxS 12 gauge ejector gun, 28″ bbls
Lightweight, Mid 50s Webley & Scott Model 700, SxS 12 gauge ejector gun, 28" bbls
Lightweight, Mid 50s Webley & Scott Model 700, SxS 12 gauge ejector gun, 28″ bbls
Lightweight, Mid 50s Webley & Scott Model 700, SxS 12 gauge ejector gun, 28" bbls
Lightweight, Mid 50s Webley & Scott Model 700, SxS 12 gauge ejector gun, 28″ bbls
Lightweight, Mid 50s Webley & Scott Model 700, SxS 12 gauge ejector gun, 28" bbls
Lightweight, Mid 50s Webley & Scott Model 700, SxS 12 gauge ejector gun, 28″ bbls
Lightweight, Mid 50s Webley & Scott Model 700, SxS 12 gauge ejector gun, 28" bbls
Lightweight, Mid 50s Webley & Scott Model 700, SxS 12 gauge ejector gun, 28″ bbls

Super rare: a 16g SxS by Pittsburgh Firearms…

Pittsburgh Firearms 16 ga. Anson and Deeley boxlock SxS Shotgun
Pittsburgh Firearms 16 ga. Anson and Deeley boxlock SxS Shotgun

It’s a week of firsts. Thursday, there was this 16g Miroku. Today it’s another rare 16, this one by the Pittsburgh Firearms Company.

From I dug up online, it looks like the Pittsburgh Firearms Co. was from around 1860 to the mid 1880s. Sometime towards the end of their life, they imported Westley Richards’ Anson & Deeley patent boxlock shotguns. It also appears they imported Anson & Deeley patent guns made in Birmingham by a company (or companies) licensed by Westley.

Pittsburgh Firearms 16 ga. Anson and Deeley boxlock SxS Shotgun
Pittsburgh Firearms 16 ga. Anson and Deeley boxlock SxS Shotgun

This one was definitely made in Birmingham, and it carries the “not for ball” proofmarks in use from 1875-1887. It also has the big, round cocking arms that are typical of the early Anson & Deeley actions. I’m almost certain the bbls are damascus, and it looks like they’ve been hotblued.

I don’t know how many of these boxlocks Pittsburgh Firearms made all together, but I bet the number is very low. I’ve only heard about 4-5 of them.

Pittsburgh Firearms 16 ga. Anson and Deeley boxlock SxS Shotgun
Pittsburgh Firearms 16 ga. Anson and Deeley boxlock SxS Shotgun

Pittsburgh Firearms 16 ga. Anson and Deeley boxlock: This is a very old side by side made by Pittsburgh Firearms. It is a 16 gauge shotgun and has 29 inch barrels and double triggers. The gun says not for ball on the gun meaning it was made around the year 1885. It has beautiful engraving .The serial number is very low-305. Weighs 6.2 lbs. locks up tight with the Anson and Deeley box lock action, shiny bores. Comb-2in Heel-3in.

Pittsburgh Firearms 16 ga. Anson and Deeley boxlock SxS Shotgun
Pittsburgh Firearms 16 ga. Anson and Deeley boxlock SxS Shotgun
Pittsburgh Firearms 16 ga. Anson and Deeley boxlock SxS Shotgun
Pittsburgh Firearms 16 ga. Anson and Deeley boxlock SxS Shotgun
Pittsburgh Firearms 16 ga. Anson and Deeley boxlock SxS Shotgun
Pittsburgh Firearms 16 ga. Anson and Deeley boxlock SxS Shotgun

This week’s good guns: Powered by Gunsinternational.com…

Pre-war Westley Richards 12 ga. pair, 28' barrels
Pre-war Westley Richards 12 ga. pair, 28′ barrels

Pre-war Westley Richards 12 ga. pair, 28′ barrels: 2-3/4″ chambers.  Numbered 1 and 2 in gold; #1 choked modified/modified (.017/.017), #2 choked improved cylinder and open modified (.010/.013).  Single selective triggers, automatic ejectors.  These are “Best Quality” Westley guns as described in their catalog.  The scalloped back actions feature hinged floorplates and the Westley patent detachable locks, dolls head extension with sliding third bite.  Guns are fully engraved with fine English scroll surrounding “Westley Richards” in a banner.  Trigger guards engraved with a pointing dog.  Guns retain 95% case color and 96% blue.  Splinter forends, nicely figured straight grip stocks measure about 1-1/2′ comb, 2-1/8″ heel, LOP 14″ over a 3/4″ leather pad. Weight is just shy of  6 lbs, 12 oz.  Complete with fitted full leather trunk case with brass corners. Price: $23,500

Beautiful and rare 16ga Bittner Side lock, built in 1915, as shown in the Double Gun Journal
Beautiful and rare 16ga Bittner Side lock, built in 1915, as shown in the Double Gun Journal

Beautiful and rare 16ga Bittner Side lock, built in 1915, as shown in the Double Gun Journal: Very Rare Bittner side lock, built in 1915 and sold by Stavanoha in Vienna. The gun features beautiful wood and fine rose scroll engraving, 29.5″ long barrels, a LOP of 14.25″, DAC of 1.5″ and DAH of 2.75″. Solid silvers pad and the nicely engraved long trigger guard tang as should be found on a straight gripped gun. This remarkable gun not only survived two world wars but was also featured in the Double Gun Journal a few years ago. This little sweetheart weighs only 6.6lbs too. Price: $7,800

 

Rigby Hammer Double 12 GA SxS
Rigby Hammer Double 12 GA SxS

Rigby Hammer Double 12 GA SxS:  Caliber: 12 GA, Chambers: 2 3/4 inch, Metal Condition: Very good. Shows a little age, Wood Condition: Very good with minor handling marks. Bore Condition: Bright and shiny. Barrels: 30 inch Damascus steel with a solid rib. Triggers: Double. Stock: Checkered walnut straight stock. Engraved receiver, tangs, hammers and side plates. Stock Dimensions:LOP 14 1/2 inches. Fore End: Checkered walnut Splinter. Butt Pad: Smooth steel plate. Weight: 6 lbs. 12 oz. Chokes: Fixed Mod. and Cyl. Extras:With Case. Price: $6,499.99

W.R. Pape 12b Hammer Gun
W.R. Pape 12b Hammer Gun

W.R. Pape 12b Hammer Gun:  Pape hammer gun in excellent original condition utilizing Papes patent 1504 of 1866 for lock up. 29″ damascus barrels choked R -IC, L-IM, and with recent British nitro proof and 2 3/4″ chambers. Bores are near perfect. Min wall Thickness R=.030 6″ from muzzle, L=.026 9″ from Muzzle. It was made in 1887. Profuse and crisp engraving all over along with Papes fancy checkering patterns make for a beautiful and unique gun It weighs 6lbs 2oz. Back action locks with rebounding hammers. LOP is 14 3/8 to heel and toe plates and a uniquely checked butt in between. There is a sligtht cast for right hand shooters. This gun is a collectors dream, made by the “Purdey” of the north. The only negative is that one of the hammer screws is missing – it has been replaced but it shoud be remade and engraved by a professional. The original was lost while shooting skeet several years ago. Price: $5500

Uriguen 12b sidelock SxS shotgun with 7 pin H&H style locks
Uriguen 12b sidelock SxS shotgun with 7 pin H&H style locks

Uriguen 12b sidelock SxS shotgun with 7 pin H&H style locks: Like new condition Uriguen high end Spanish double with removeable H&H style 7 pin locks with gold washed parts. 100% very crisp engraving coverage with more at breech end of barrels. Barrels are 32″ choked R=IC, L=IM and beautifully blacked. My original intent when I got this gun was to have the barrels shortened to 30″ and removeable chokes installed but I never got to it. Nicely grained stock wood with crisp fine checkering. It weighs 7 lbs. 4oz. LOP=14 5/8 to a Silvers style pad. Dac= 1 1/4, Dah= 1 3/4. There is also a slight cast for a right handed shooter. Non ejector. I will split shipping your dealer in contiguous 48. More Pix to interested buyers. Price: $2500

Auction alert: a nice looking 12g Westley Richards Droplock shotgun…

12 gauge Westley Richards & Co. Ltd Double Barrel Droplock Shotgun
12 gauge Westley Richards & Co. Ltd Double Barrel Droplock Shotgun

Quinn & Farmer Auctions in Charlottesville, VA has this nice looking double barrel shotgun coming up tomorrow at their a 2/8 sale. I know there’s a lot of vital information missing from the listing, but if you live within driving distance, you may be able to make it over today to see the gun for yourself.

Here are the details on it. This info comes from the actioneer. And BTW, according to the pics the auctioneer provided, at least one of the sets of bbls was made in or after 1954.

12 gauge Westley Richards & Co. Ltd Double Barrel Droplock Shotgun: 90-95% original condition, true droplock. Two-barrel set, 28″ & 30″, marked 2 3/4″. Gun made between 1901-1908. Strong traces of case hardening on frame, checkered stock grip. Serial number 16967. Gold oval inlay on underside of stock with intials, “RD.” Top of frame marked with numeral “1” in gold. The shotgun is accompanied by its original leather case with name plate “ROBERT W. DANIEL/BRANDON,” with the name Brandon referring to Brandon Plantation.  Serial # 16967.

12 gauge Westley Richards & Co. Ltd Double Barrel Droplock Shotgun
12 gauge Westley Richards & Co. Ltd Double Barrel Droplock Shotgun
12 gauge Westley Richards & Co. Ltd Double Barrel Droplock Shotgun
12 gauge Westley Richards & Co. Ltd Double Barrel Droplock Shotgun
12 gauge Westley Richards & Co. Ltd Double Barrel Droplock Shotgun
12 gauge Westley Richards & Co. Ltd Double Barrel Droplock Shotgun
12 gauge Westley Richards & Co. Ltd Double Barrel Droplock Shotgun
12 gauge Westley Richards & Co. Ltd Double Barrel Droplock Shotgun
12 gauge Westley Richards & Co. Ltd Double Barrel Droplock Shotgun
12 gauge Westley Richards & Co. Ltd Double Barrel Droplock Shotgun
12 gauge Westley Richards & Co. Ltd Double Barrel Droplock Shotgun
12 gauge Westley Richards & Co. Ltd Double Barrel Droplock Shotgun
12 gauge Westley Richards & Co. Ltd Double Barrel Droplock Shotgun
12 gauge Westley Richards & Co. Ltd Double Barrel Droplock Shotgun
12 gauge Westley Richards & Co. Ltd Double Barrel Droplock Shotgun
12 gauge Westley Richards & Co. Ltd Double Barrel Droplock Shotgun

What’s this 20 gauge Westley Richard’s little secret?

20 gauge Westley Richards Droplock Shotgun
20 gauge Westley Richards Droplock Shotgun

Droplock Westley Richards shotguns are nice doubles, and they’re very collectible, especially in the smaller gauges. Most of the time, a 20 gauge will cost you at least $15,000 if it has any kind of condition.

20 gauge Westley Richards Droplock Shotgun
20 gauge Westley Richards Droplock Shotgun

So when I saw this little 20 gauge Westley Richards double barrel droplock shotgun on Gunbroker.com, I thought WOW – a deal! But after I took a longer look at the pics, I figured out why it’s priced so low.

Take a look at all the images. Then let me know if you can figure out what’s up with it:

20 gauge Westley Richards Droplock with a single trigger, straight-gripped stock, and 15″ LOP.

20 gauge Westley Richards Droplock Shotgun
20 gauge Westley Richards Droplock Shotgun
20 gauge Westley Richards Droplock Shotgun
20 gauge Westley Richards Droplock Shotgun
20 gauge Westley Richards Droplock Shotgun
20 gauge Westley Richards Droplock Shotgun
20 gauge Westley Richards Droplock Shotgun
20 gauge Westley Richards Droplock Shotgun
20 gauge Westley Richards Droplock Shotgun
20 gauge Westley Richards Droplock Shotgun

The world’s first self opener??

The 1860s were a decade of upheaval and innovation.

Tolley Self Opener
Tolley Self Opener

As the Civil War raged (1861-65) and the first transcontinental railroad crossed the US (1869), the percussion era in firearms ended. In about a decade, muzzle loading shotguns were replaced by breechloaders and paper cartridges.

These breechloaders started out as hammer guns. But by 1871,successful hammerless models by Murcott and Needham were on the scene. In 1875, Westley Richards introduced their Anson & Deeley barrel-cocking, hammerless, double barrel shotgun and revolutionized sporting guns.

During this period, thousands of firearms patents were granted in Europe, the UK, and the United States. Great Britain’s Henry Tolley filed for a handful of them. Henry was most likely the younger brother of the men behind J. & W. Tolley Gunmakers (Birmingham about 1858 to 1955) and the shotgun here incorporates one of his innovative ideas: a self-opening, Anson& Deeley boxlock shotgun.

Until I saw this gun, I thought Purdey’s Beesley-patent sidelocks were the world’s first self-opening doubles. But Purdey introduced their Beesley-patent hammerless sidelocks in 1884; this Henry Tolley was made before that, probably around 1880.

From the outside, it looks like a standard  boxlock. But when you turn the toplever, you can feel the plungers/springs on the flats of the action pop the gun open. And these plungers function this way whether or not the gun has been fired, making the gun a true self opener. Take a look and let me know what you think. Please let me know if you own, or have seen, another boxlock like this. I love to take one apart and see how it really works.

Tolley Self Opener
Tolley Self Opener
Tolley Self Opener
Tolley Self Opener
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