You're right Gil. This was mentioned once before when we discussed the pin-fire SN 10054
(see above p.53). I believe this is the oldest datable extant UK made pin-fire - late summer 1856.
Re the comments in the article by Mark Crudgington: "Mark advised caution about dating guns with limited information, commenting; 'Modern , especially American ideas , of how the gun trade of the 18th and 19th C worked always appear to me to be based on a modern model that is irrelevant within an historical perspective."
Mark told me he knew of two Lang's which allegedly had original 1854 receipts but he has never actually documented this story - and he later said the earliest datable Lang SN is 1858. (Per Lang's own pamphlet he claimed he began to make center-break pin-fires in early 1854)
. . - In the Diggory article Mark expressed skepticism about my dating methods for Reilly SN'd guns.
. . - I have had conversations with him on several subjects from this time period and he is quite opinionated on lots of things; However, to my knowledge he has never actually read through the details of the methods I used to write the history, date Reilly guns, etc. He has been wrong on some of the topics we went over. (The British class system it seems still sits heavily on the Island from some of his comments - I discussed this with David Trevallion - this is a sociological observation, not a value judgement).
. . - Donald Dallas' view of this research is the opposite to that of Mark's - see p. 53
(This is not an attack on Mark, the son of a legendary researcher and gunsmith Ian Crudgington and a noted gunsmith in his own right and the holder of an alleged excellent collection. It's just that those credentials and his opinions may not be accurate for true history).
Diggory put a bid in on that gun maybe because of our discussion about it; but, possibly because of the Reilly History it went for as I recall £ 2,750. And yes I did take a dig at Diggory about that phrase (though of course it is sort of accurate).
edit: And I continue to believe until other evidence is posted - not just hear-say - that this rifle is the earliest extant UK made center-break pin-fire...based on the Reilly research above. (And that dating chart is NOT whimsey).