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Old October 19, 2015, 11:50 AM   #1
winchester1917
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Greener 10ga SXS

OK, for any of you environmentalists who got excited by the title: Sorry to disappoint, but by "greener", I don't mean a "more eco-friendly" shotgun. Lower emissions, made out of recycled soup cans, etc... Although we should explore the idea, maybe we could win over some of the liberals...

What I have is an old W.W. Greener 10ga shotgun that I am trying to research. I've asked gunshops, looked online, and checked the blue books... I can't come to a solid conclusion on it. Can anyone point me in a good direction to find out if it's one of the rare highly-sought-after pieces, or just a nice piece of decor. I'll link a couple pictures.

Thanks for any help...







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Old October 19, 2015, 12:01 PM   #2
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Damascus barrels need a thorough going over by someone who KNOWS those things (not some Glock parts changer). From the buggered screw on the left side, someone has been inside the action. What proof marks does it have?
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Old October 19, 2015, 01:11 PM   #3
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The best place to ask is on the Harley Nolden Memorial Institute for Firearms Research forum.
Greener's are English shotguns seen in nearly every Western movie and novel. Apparently still being made(not with Damascus barrels, of course.)
http://www.wwgreener.com/
Your's is in great condition, but it'd take an expert to determine value. Lotta copies.
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Old October 19, 2015, 01:23 PM   #4
winchester1917
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Ah. I didn't think to post in that forum.
Will a moderator please move the thread over there?

I had one guy look at it who seemed to know all about it. He said it looked legit and valuable but wouldn't give me any real info because he wanted to buy it. He just kept saying "What do you want for it?"
I told him I won't sell it til I get some solid info on it. I haven't heard back from him...
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Old October 20, 2015, 12:39 AM   #5
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That gun is "legit" in that it certainly was made by Greener; it is not some piece of Belgian "junque" with a fake name. But it also is not a top quality gun. All the English makers produced guns ranging from heavily engraved and gold inlaid pieces literally fit for a king to plain guns meant to be used on a day to day basis by game keepers and less affluent sportsmen.

That gun would probably have cost (around 1910) about £13 or £14, about $3000 in today's dollars, not cheap, but well made and sturdy. (A top grade gun would have run around £75, over $16,000, or more.) It is probably chambered for 2 1/2 inch shells

Now I am going to get into troulble with the English gun folks. I strongly recommend not firing that Damascus barrel gun, even with black powder. There are those who will condemn me to the deepest reaches of Hades for even implying that an English gun can blow up, and others who will assure that they fire their Damascus barrel guns all day with 3 1/2 inch Super Magnum loads and have no trouble.

I do not agree, even if the gun was originally proved with smokeless powder (NP proof mark). Many things can happen to a built up barrel over the years, none of them good. Of course, you can find someone who will offer to proof test it for you. But will he pay you the value of the gun if it lets go?

So, expecting the crowd with pitchforks and torches, I will say again that I recommend not firing the gun.

Value? With the understanding that this is a wild guess, I would say around $2500-3000, about what it cost when it was new, but I will gladly defer to anyone who has a better WAG.

Jim
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Old October 20, 2015, 01:52 AM   #6
Bill DeShivs
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I agree that the gun should not be fired. Ever.

You could have the barrels sleeved to 20 ga. if you wanted to spend the money.
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Old October 20, 2015, 06:27 AM   #7
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Do we know for sure that those barrels are, in fact, Damascus, and not a phony (excuse me, artificially decorated) pattern to look like it? At one time, Damascus was somewhat of a status symbol, and many manufacturers were able to apply Damascus looking patterns on their barrels, even though they were not twist steel.
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Old October 20, 2015, 08:17 AM   #8
winchester1917
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I have no intention of firing it. And, now that it's been brought into question, I'm not 100% certain it is Damascus. I hadn't doubted it until now; I wasn't aware that there were barrels meant to look like it that weren't truly Damascus steel. How does one tell? Pattern shows up inside the bore??
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Old October 20, 2015, 11:46 AM   #9
Jim Watson
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I doubt Mr Greener would have stooped to "sham Dam" finish on his barrels.
This looks like a very colorful example of the real thing, top quality in its day.

You could have the barrels sleeved but that would cost a bunch - $1500 at Briley's - and would lose the nice pattern.
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Old October 20, 2015, 12:36 PM   #10
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If you take the barrels out and post a picture of the underside, there should be a bunch of proof marks that would tell us a lot about its history.
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Old October 20, 2015, 02:23 PM   #11
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Ok. I will try to get that done. The gun is currently out of state at my dad's. A guy there was interested in it for a bit.
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Old October 21, 2015, 10:05 AM   #12
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Those barrels are real Damascus, and when they were made were probably the best that could be had. Greener did not cut corners; the differences between the top of the line and the utility grade were far more a matter of decoration than of inherent quality or durability.

And of course, all guns made in England were (and are) subject to stringent proof testing by the government.

But a problem with Damascus, and one that is inherent in the nature of the process, is that there are weak spots in the tiny gaps in the welds. Over the years, corrosive fouling has been driven into those gaps and has gradually eaten at the metal of the barrel. Whether that has weakened the barrel(s) enough to be dangerous cannot be known without a new proof test, which is really only proof that the barrel didn't blow on THAT shot.

But proof testing is not a non-destructive process; if the barrel fails, it is scrap and the gun is effectively destroyed, something those who talk blithely about "re-proving" don't like to mention.

Jim
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Old October 21, 2015, 08:02 PM   #13
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Damascus steel is made by forge-welding strips of steel over a mandrel. Each line that you see (and many more you DON'T see) is a weld. There are so many places that corrosion could start, that I won't shoot a damascus gun.
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Old October 22, 2015, 06:58 PM   #14
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I have sectioned some old Damascus barrels (not, admittedly, of Greener quality) and inside they looked like orange lace, even though the outside looked fine and looking down the bore they appeared to be OK. One of those barrels I punched a hole through with pointed punch, by hand. Yet, they had been in use before they were traded in.

I once warned a good customer about his old "London twist" shotgun and was informed that the gun had been used by his daddy, his granddaddy, etc., and was as strong as any gun on our rack. He fired it once too often with 2 3/4 Magnum shells and the thin part of the barrel at the foreend went away, taking parts of three fingers along with it. I have never forgotten his face when he told me, "I should have listened to you."

Jim
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Old October 23, 2015, 09:53 AM   #15
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I THINK Greener stopped using the cross pin lock when they stopped offering Damascus barrels around the start of World War I.

That's a nice gun in nice shape, but agree that it should not be shot.
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Old October 23, 2015, 09:58 AM   #16
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"From the buggered screw on the left side, someone has been inside the action. "

That's not an action screw, is it? Looks to be the barrel pivot screw.
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Old October 23, 2015, 03:44 PM   #17
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The 1939 Stoegers shows all Greeners except the bottom of the line Empire model and the lightweight Jubilee model with the characteristic Greener Crossbolt action.

You could have either the Greener Side Safety or a top tang safety.

No doubt that catalogue was laid out before England entered the War.
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Old October 24, 2015, 02:16 PM   #18
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Thanks for all the input. Again, I don't intend to shoot it. Just trying to determine its value. One guy said he'd give $100 for it. My dad was about to let it go, but I said, "let me do some research on it..."
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Old October 25, 2015, 07:38 AM   #19
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Huh. I didn't think Greener kept the crossbolt that long.

Glad that you intercepted your father before he got taken!
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