View Full Version : Anson Deeley question.

April 28, 2008, 04:58 PM
I have researched this a bit and am wondering if this sounds correct. I have posted here before in regards to a Charles Harvan SXS and have tried and tried to find info on this gun with very little success. I have finally found that it may have been made by Anson Deeley. Does anyone know if Anson Deeley made guns for others to resale under their name(Charles Harvan)? I found a gunsmith with some parts for Anson Deeley that are replacements direct from spain that fit a Charles Harvan shotguns. Does the part interchangability mean its an Anson?? I am so set on finding more info on this gun because I am seeing them more and more often being sold for a higher price. Guess I gotta get a ticket to spain.:D Thanks in advance, Mike

Jim Watson
April 28, 2008, 05:57 PM
Anson and Deeley patented the first really successful boxlock hammerless double barrel shotgun action in 1875. They worked at Westley Richards in Birmingham, England. Actually, Mr Anson was the shop foreman and Mr Deely was the managing director and majority shareholder. So they were definitely not making guns for sale under other names. After their patent expired - and probably even before - everybody and his brother around the world made and continues to make guns on the Anson and Deeley design.
Minor variations abound.
The name does not assure either parts interchangeability or quality workmanship. There is no connection between Charles Harvan or any other Spanish gun and Messrs. A&D except the basic layout of the action.

April 28, 2008, 06:59 PM
Thanks, At least that clears up that possibility. The parts for the Anson Deeley do fit the Harvan. I have verified this with another that used them.
Im buying my plane ticket. LOL Dont know where else to look up history of this thing. It seems there are alot around but noone knows where they came from or if their made with quality parts. They had one on Cowans that sold for $747.50 and they estimated between $600.00 & $1000.00.

James K
April 28, 2008, 09:25 PM
Spanish shotguns were made by literally dozens of small shops, and were sold under hundreds of names, usually those of importers in other countries. With maybe one or two exceptions, those guns were made on a cottage industry basis.

A factory of sorts would forge, say, hammers. Then Pedro would pick up a basket of hammers, take them to his cottage, and file them to match a gauge. Then he would take them back to the factory and trade them for money and more rough forgings. At the factory, a fitter would hand fit and harden each hammer. Eventually, Pedro, and Jose, and Manuel and their cousins would produce a shotgun, which might be of reasonable quality, but which was cheap because Pedro and the others didn't get paid very much.

But when the gun was imported into the U.S. and sold, if that hammer broke, the gunsmith wrote the factory or importer and received the rough forging, not the finished hammer. So it was up to the American gunsmith, who was getting paid a lot more than poor Pedro, to file and grind the hammer until it fitted. The customer was usually unhappy about paying more for the repair than he did for the gun in the first place.

IMHO, forget Spanish doubles unless they are made by AyA or maybe one or at the most two other makers. And definitely forget those marked only with an importer's name.

Also, again, Anson & Deeley made shotguns with a patented type of action; that action has been much favored by Spanish makers. But saying a gun has an Anson & Deeley action so it is as well made is like saying a car has the engine head painted red, so it is just like a Ferrari.


April 29, 2008, 07:39 AM
LOL, Thanks. I like the way you describe the process. I dont have a place in my heart for Spanish guns either but I already own this one because it caught my eye with the great wood and engraving(Think I paid $75.00 for it.) And it seems like its made well with the fit and finish. Is there any way to test the parts to see if their good hard metal. I dont want to do the file test and dont know anyone with a Brinell or Rc. tester. I guess im gonna stock up on some parts from the guy that has them. What typically breaks down in a hammerless double barrel? And is it a good idea for me to case harden any of the parts? I am pretty good at it and have all the compounds to do it correctly.

J F Cooper
April 29, 2008, 09:02 AM
The gunsmith with the "Anson & Deely" parts is trying to unload something on you.. Ten to one says they won't fit..JFC

April 29, 2008, 09:03 AM
Most side-by sides are fairly robust, but if something is likely to go, it'll be either an internal spring (more likely if it's a leaf spring), or possibly a cocking arm. Also, this shotgun will be a copy of an Anson & Deeley design, so if genuine Anson & Deeley parts fit it, it will simply be a coincidence.

April 29, 2008, 11:02 AM
JF and SDC, I know another that has a Charles Harvan that has ordered parts and the Anson Deeley are the replacement parts for this gun. Dont know how but their the same. I guess Harvan or whoever made them made pretty close copies for the parts to interchange with minor fitting. This is why im so interested in finding the history of this gun. I have seen a few on Cowens and other gun places for sale and their bringing pretty good money for what I paid for mine($75.00).Their averaging around $700.00 +- a little. They have gone as high as $1100.00 but i think thats crazy seeing how noone knows the Charles Harvan gun and also the spanish gun syndrome that haunts them all. Dont get me wrong, It has some of the best burled walnut I have seen on a firearm and the engraving,fit and finish are good. Someone put alot of time into these and im still researching it and will let everyone know if I ever find out anything.

James K
April 29, 2008, 01:12 PM
I guess I am confused. Anson & Deeley, AFAIK, has been out of business for many years, so they aren't making any guns or any parts. But the 1875 shotgun design they originated is simple and sturdy and has been copied by many makers in many countries. So simply saying "Anson Deeley parts" is like saying "bolt action rifle parts". If parts sold that way work in a specific gun, fine, but I can assure you that a lot of coincidence or luck is involved.

If I were buying spare parts for a Spanish box lock shotgun, I would have spares of both hammers, both sears, both hammer springs and both sear springs, plus the top latch spring and foreend latch parts. The cost of spares might well be more than the gun is worth, but that is not the issue.


April 29, 2008, 01:27 PM
Jim, Thanks. The parts came from Spain direct that the guy bought when he was there years ago he has very few in stock and im gonna grab what I can if within reason. I will try to find the Anson model this one duplicated from.

J F Cooper
April 29, 2008, 02:14 PM
The other board told you who made your gun, and those guys know their stuff. There were very few guns built by Anson and I don't think there were any built by Anson & Deely. They were made by Westley Richards in England and Harrington Richardson in the U S.. You will be better off searching for parts from the maker of your gun.. JFC

April 29, 2008, 07:14 PM
JFC, I know who made but I dont know who made for or where this gun comes from under the name Charles Harvan. Thats why im scratching my head wondering why Anson Deeley parts fit this with minor fitting. Im getting anything from Harvan was English gun guy but noone can confirm Where the Charles Harvan name came into the picture. This can make a big difference of what it is worth. He has to be someone because I keep seeing his guns coming up on the internet and auction sites with the price going up every time. Nobody knows if their good or junk, But thats what I need to find out. The A.B. is Jose Cruz but was he a good gun maker or a typical cottage shop. Their had to be a handfull of good gun makers in those cottages and hopefully Jose was one that made for Charles Harvan.:confused:

Jim Watson
April 29, 2008, 08:28 PM
Any European gun for the past many years will have ample proof marks to show the country of origin. What are on yours? There are a lot of English distributors selling Spanish made guns because real British guns are so expensive. This is likely the basis for the Charles Harvan brand name.

If you got a working double barrelled shotgun for $75, you have either had it a long time or got a steal. $700-$1000 is not a lot of money for a moderately good double these days. $7000 wouldn't be out of line for a real major make English gun of the type.

April 29, 2008, 10:27 PM
I paid that 2 years ago to the original owner that bought it new in the early 60's. He let me have it cheap because I supply him with rabbit and deer meat because hes 88 years old and cant hunt anymore. I got 7 guns from him and all were $125.00 and under. The cheapest was a Savage 340c in 30-30($50.00) and its been used 13 times from what he said, And he dont lie. He has a story for each time he hunted with it and I cherish every one. I will post proof marks in the AM. I think they were spanish but I will post. I got a digital camera finally and will try to add pictures also if I can figure out. Its a cool gun with great wood.