Issue 58 April 2024

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Side Safe A&D

The 1879 patent with a safety for each lock.

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Guns & Gunmakers|March 2022

Readers will be familiar with the Anson & Deeley boxlock. It is arguably the most successful double gun design yet devised.

It emerged from the Birmingham workshops of Westley Richards in 1875 and has been copied by just about every major maker of sporting guns in the decades since.

Westley Richards with patent intercepting safety bolt, operated by twin external levers.

Though most sportsmen will have seen, handled or shot an Anson & Deeley gun, few will have seen one with a side safety on either side of the action.

This feature was rarely made and a side-safe became more commonly associated with Greener.

The external on the Westley Richards above operate a horizontal round section rod with cut-out sections, which allow the hammers to fall when they allign. When turned, they block the fall of the hammers and stop the gun from firing. Opening the gun re-sets the safety and re-cocks the locks. The gun was made in 1876 and pre-dates the side-safety patent, so may well be a prototype.

Side safety buttons are more commonly associated with Greener, like the one on this early Facile Princeps model.

The example below, by T. Newton, has most of the features of a Westley Richards, noting the bolted top-lever, the single lump and the doll's head rib-extension. Unfortunately, I cannot recall the patent use number, which should be stamped on the flats, but it is early, probably 1876-1878 and bears a Westley Richards top-lever and bolted doll's head.

A very similar gun by Newton, almost certainly made by Westley Richards, on the same 1879 patent.

Published by Vintage Guns Ltd on (modified )

Guns & Gunmakers|March 2022

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