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#436565 - 02/21/16 09:38 PM Re: E.M. Reilly; History; Chronology; Serial Numbers [Re: Argo44]
Argo44 Offline
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Registered: 02/21/16
Posts: 1634
Loc: McLean, Virginia
Might as well share one more bit of info. There is a site which is searching for missing guns which were made as pairs. They have all sorts of makers...Churchill, Holland and Holland (really a who's who of English gun makers). They posted these serial number for Reilly's (I believe Riley is a misspelling - they look like E.M Reilly SN's). So at least these guns likely had a mate.

http://www.matchedpairs.com/seeking_list.php

Reilly
27785, 27786, 27787, 33859, 231559 (probably 31559), 33915, 535521 (probably 35521), (1st three guns look like triples)

Riley
1832, 24956, 25723, 27854, 30364, 30486, 32941, 33240, 33265, 33889, 35134, 35156, 35350, 35572, 35631,


Edited by Argo44 (03/26/16 09:55 PM)
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#436579 - 02/22/16 05:29 AM Re: E.M. Reilly; History; Chronology; Serial Numbers [Re: Argo44]
trw999 Offline
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Registered: 02/11/10
Posts: 580
Loc: Essex/Herts Borders, UK
Well done on the research Argo44. I too am a veteran, British Army.

I often toddle off to the British Library to look up old shooting journals such The Field, Arms & Explosives, The Sporting Goods Review. Let me know if you'd like me to look up any particular issue.

Tim

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#436583 - 02/22/16 07:21 AM Re: E.M. Reilly; History; Chronology; Serial Numbers [Re: Argo44]
Stan Offline
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Registered: 01/03/02
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Loc: somwers in Jawja
Welcome to the board, Argo. It is not often that a new poster comes along with as much information to offer as you have. Well done. No one is an expert on all makes of guns, but you are to be well into the learning curve with the Reillys.

Thank you for your career of service to our country, and for the information posted here. Let us know of your first blood with the Reilly. Greg (gjw) starts a "hunting pictures thread" here each fall..........a good place to put them.

All my best, SRH
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#436613 - 02/22/16 12:14 PM Re: E.M. Reilly; History; Chronology; Serial Numbers [Re: Argo44]
lagopus Offline
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Registered: 06/22/08
Posts: 2479
Loc: Derbyshire, England
Looks like you have spent some time on research; excellent work. Ever thought of putting it all in to book form? Reilly guns were sometimes forged as I acquired one once. I knew what was and was given it. Totally un-restorable and nothing like the work turned out by Reilly himself although it might have fooled a blind man. I de-activated it as a wall-piece for someone. May have a photo somewhere on file.

Still slightly in shock about the pump action at a game shoot. Welcome to the board. Lagopus.....

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#436635 - 02/22/16 02:39 PM Re: E.M. Reilly; History; Chronology; Serial Numbers [Re: Argo44]
Toby Barclay Offline
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Registered: 05/15/04
Posts: 702
Loc: Suffolk, UK
Argo44, I sold 35079 a few years back but checked my listing and the address was 277 Oxford Street.
However the proof marks showed the gun was probably PROOFED pre-1896 so maybe made for stock and then finished and numbered accordingly.
Also have in my rack 18536, a 20b backaction hammergun. Jones Rotary Underlever, 30" Damascus barrels, horrid replacement wood, cross bolt forend, nice bold foliate engraving. Barrels out of proof and slotted. 6094 stamped on short rib. Top rib engraving illegible.
Congratulations for having put this information together.

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#436646 - 02/22/16 03:46 PM Re: E.M. Reilly; History; Chronology; Serial Numbers [Re: Argo44]
Argo44 Offline
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Registered: 02/21/16
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Loc: McLean, Virginia
==================================================================================================
35079 (1900)



Thanks Toby - I've fixed 35079 on the list. It's interesting that the barrels were proofed pre-1896; Per the serial number you'd think it should have been numbered/finished about 1901-02 or so, depending on how many guns Reilly was selling (per a later post below, it looks as if he were selling about 130 per year from 1898-1903). If Reilly stockpiled barrels and actions, maybe that was how they were able to respond to orders with alacrity.

I also wonder if Reilly started falling on hard times about this time. EM had died and he was highly respected apparently and quite a marketing genius. There are a number of SN's in the 35000's per above which were matched pair double-guns, which would seem to indicate not everything was going right (did Reilly's sons start pillaging its stocks to create "matched pairs?).

Sales of numbered guns had declined from an average of 650/year to 130/yr. And I can't find any number above 35631 (listed as a matched pair above)(was this a sale? two for the price of one?).

Well, the industry was changing; it must have been hard to compete with the factories. Damascus barrels were oh so 19th century. (and there was a smear campaign being waged against them which continues to this day). A way of life was ending.

I also added 18536 to the list.


Edited by Argo44 (09/11/18 09:00 PM)
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#436653 - 02/22/16 04:36 PM Re: E.M. Reilly; History; Chronology; Serial Numbers [Re: Argo44]
GaryD007 Offline
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Registered: 07/18/11
Posts: 151
Loc: Ohio
Argo thanks a lot for your information, excellent work! My 8 Bore Reilly double rifle looks almost exactly the same as the large Manton 8 Bore double rifles. Did Reilly buy his guns unfinished then finish them or were they bought from a sourch like W C Scott? I have read that some people thought Reilly was not a "gunmaker" but just a retailer.

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#436671 - 02/22/16 07:56 PM Re: E.M. Reilly; History; Chronology; Serial Numbers [Re: Argo44]
Argo44 Offline
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Registered: 02/21/16
Posts: 1634
Loc: McLean, Virginia
==================================================================================================
30295. (1888)


Gary, re your 8 bore (30295), there are a lot of rifled guns posted in the list of serial numbers (17343, 18766, 18954, 20808, 21305 ...27847, 28861, 30791..etc.). I've included links...most of those have photos. Click on them and compare. Check out especially 26733, an 8 bore restoration project I believe. (I just checked the link...it's just a question with no photos.check some of the other big guns..). Also I think I included a couple of guns that were in a New Zealand auction...without serial numbers. One had a 12 ga shotgun barrel coupled with a Rifle barrel.

A lot of ink has been spilled on whether Reilly's made their own guns. After playing around with this for a while...and I am not an expert....using logic, I think they did. They did not put serial numbers on guns they were only marketing though they would put their names. And there is a unity to what they produced. they may have ordered components and assembled them - certainly that Martini with the Reilly Serial Number 17xxx used Enfield parts but they were put together by Reilly. (There are makers today redoing 1911 .45's and using their own names).

And somewhere I saw a picture of his building at 502 Oxford Street. I can't find it at the moment but it was a substantial 4 story building, far larger than you'd need to just conduct a business. (the picture is an engraving off an early label and I'm wrong...I don't think you could set up lathes and woodworking equipment in that building) . JC and EM always identified themselves as "gun makers" (or "gun manufacturers") and in one census claimed to have 300 employees. That building could have housed a couple of hundred I'd think.

Unless someone with access to the Royal Museum and libraries (trw999 ???) can do some more digging that's about the extent of what I can say. It's just a feeling but the guns that came out of his building had a certain flavor (I looked at 100's of photos over the past couple of months) (and if you want to have fun and really be energized...click on those links) and whether he founded and welded the damascus barrels himself is sort of like asking if Jeep really did build the carburetors for their vehicles in Toledo, Ohio; and in fact I'm wondering if substantial firms like Holland and Holland had their own foundries - logic and economics says they couldn't and didn't - or if they ordered barrels then put them together. (I'm getting way out of my depth here and will defer to people who know).

One more thought, Reilly stocks were always interesting and he used a lot of French wood apparently...this was commented on regularly long before others started use interestingly veined woods.. My gun is an example.


Edited by Argo44 (09/11/18 09:01 PM)
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#436695 - 02/23/16 07:03 AM Re: E.M. Reilly; History; Chronology; Serial Numbers [Re: Argo44]
GaryD007 Offline
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Registered: 07/18/11
Posts: 151
Loc: Ohio
Argo, I looked at the proof marks on my 8 Bore double rifle and they are London marks. Reilly could have made his own guns at that time, but my rifle looks almost identical to the Holland 8 Bores and Manton 8 Bores. A lot of the Holland rifles of that period (before 1893 when Holland built their factory) were made by W & C Scott. Holland or Reilly might have bought partially finished guns and finished them in their London facilities. Roberts (an out source stocker) also did a lot of stocking for Hollands and the trade. By the way, I am selling the 10 Bore Reilly double rifle to a good friend. The quality of that rifle is equal to any Purdey or Holland that I have owned. Thanks again Argo, and for your military service!

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#436808 - 02/23/16 11:00 PM Re: E.M. Reilly; History; Chronology; Serial Numbers [Re: Argo44]
Argo44 Offline
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Registered: 02/21/16
Posts: 1634
Loc: McLean, Virginia
I've updated a few things.

-- An advertisement in Bell's Life in London and Sporting Chronicle London, England
13 Jun 1841: JOSEPH CHARLES REILLY, GUN-MAKER. 316, High Holborn, London, respectfully informs gentlemen that his stock will be found to comprise the best assortment in London, double and single fowling pieces ; double and single rifles, double guns, with one barrel

-- Found advertisements for Reilly air guns dated 1845.

-- Advertisements for Reilly's from 1858 (proving he used the 502 Oxford St. Address) to1868 (with gold medals from the 1867 Parish exhibition - proving he opened 2 Scribe in at least early 1868)
http://www.gracesguide.co.uk/E._M._Reilly_and_Co

-- a law suit relating to 277 Oxford Street in 1889 which seems to indicate Edward was still vital and in charge,

-- and some beautiful guns made by Joseph... including some muzzle loading pistols which show early-on the Reilly feel..and may even have serial numbers relating to the long guns.

Click on #3329 I just added made by Joseph Reilly - that is a quintessential Reilly gun in a very early state...look at the wood in the stocks, the outline and engraving. Look at those barrels...they could be the same as mine in my 1898 gun!!. " An apple doesn't fall far from its tree." This has to be a "date marker" gun..it is just (in 2000 newspeak) "so so Reilly".
https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/22403/lot/5482/

Also on this 1830's double gun by Joseph Reilly I've added above - no SN.. - now that is a double gun in a state that would rival any of the big 5!! Same comment on the barrels.
https://www.barnebys.com/auctions/lot/32...charles-reilly/

I'm not interested in the hand guns but here are two made by Joseph Reilly that may be apt - the early hand guns may have followed the Reilly numbering system - check out the workmanship and engraving,

1292
http://www.garthvincent.com/antique/1597/a+miniature+pocket+pistol/
A Miniature 120-Bore Box-Lock Percussion Pocket Pistol By Reilly of London, Circa 1850. (comment: that date is surely wrong by 25 years at least)

xxxx
http://www.aaawt.com/html/firearms/f296.html
This .50 caliber pistol with a 10-inch octagonal barrel measures 15-inches in overall length.

Also Wikipedia has interesting comments on pin-fire breech loaders. They give credit to Hodges for introducing the French system to a Franco-phobic England after 1851 and mentioned Reilly but we've shown that Reilly was exhibiting breechloaders at the 1851 fair.


Edited by Argo44 (02/24/16 12:30 AM)
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