W.W. Greener made some of my favorite shotguns — especially the doubles they made on their Facile Princeps boxlock. The Facile Princeps was patented in 1880, four years after Westley Richard’s famous Anson & Deeley patent boxlock. The designs are similar, so much that they sparked a lawsuit — a lawsuit which Greener won.
The Greeners you see here are both F25s – the lower end of the medium-grade Facile Princeps offered by the company. As you can see, the design of the this model changed a bit over time. That being said, they were always very well made doubles.
W. W. Greener F25 in 28 gauge SxS Shotgun: A rare gun with auto ejectors, 27″ barrels choked full & mod. LOP is 14 1/4″, English stock with well figured straight grip. 4-3/4 lbs. with checkered butt. Nice engraving with case. An unusual collector grade Greener. Price: $19,995
W.W. Greener F25 Facile Princeps 28 Ga. Double Gun: Serial #67177, 28 Bore, 27″ barrels with excellent, bright bores. This is a beautiful little gun built on Greener’s Facile Princeps non-ejecting boxlock action and exhibits almost no evidence of any past use. The ribbed barrels retain virtually all of the original blue with just a few hints of silvering at the muzzles and the frame, which is engraved with tasteful decorative flourishes and the “W.W. GREENER” ribands, retains a commensurate amount of the original vibrant color case-hardening (almost all of which remains on the breech faces attesting to the lack of use). Even the extractor still retains most of the original lustrous nitre bluing as does the Greener sliding safety on the left side of the wrist.
There is a small amount of silvering on the underside of the frame where it meets the forend and an unobtrusive and barely noticeable import mark on the water table. The checkered walnut forend and nicely figured semi-pistol grip buttstock have only some very minor handling marks and surface blemishes scattered about the original oil finish. The stock is proportioned for a lady or young adolescent and has a 13 1/2″ LOP with drops of 1 1/2″ and 2 3/8″ (small but not so small that the gun is unusable to longer armed individuals). About the only flaw worth mentioning is a slight proudness of the forend tip widow’s peak which would be very easy to rectify by a competent gunsmith. The gun is housed in its original Greener labeled, maroon baize-lined leather traveling case and comes complete with the original hang tag, Britannia metal oiler, a partial tube of Greener gun grease, various cleaning tools, and several gun rags.
The case exterior is quite scuffed and the included original leather security straps are flaked and broken but the case itself is still robust and fully serviceable. This is an absolutely gorgeous little 28 bore British double in almost flawless original condition, complete with the original case and accessories, and would make a stellar gun either for woodcock in the fall or simply just to look at in the gunroom. FFL or C&R. Price: $15,995