Need help to identifying an early break barrel.

Forums Springers, Pumpers, C02, & Replicas Springers, Pumpers, C02, & Replicas – Discussion Need help to identifying an early break barrel.

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    JMcC
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    Hey all, 

    I have been researching and search for a long time trying to identify an early model break barrel that I have. It resembles an early WW Greener London or BSA but has no distinguishing marks like them. The BSA was a underlever pump while the Greener was a break barrel. Question did BSA ever make a break barrel before or after their underlever or could this be a Japanese version or other German version like Diana? Also the buttstock has a different checkering then common BSA's of that time period. The pump tube and slide lever both have serial number 499 engraved on them. 

    Thanks in advance for any and all help. 

    JMcC 

    • This topic was modified 6 days ago by JMcC.
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    KWK
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    Definitely not a BSA Breakdown pattern. German.  Probably out of the Oscar Will factory. Resembles a "Marco" very closely 1920-39. These guns often carried the name of the importers. 

    See p 153 Hiller's third edition

    This is a Breakdown pattern of mine from around 1936. A youth size gun. Not quite as well engineered as the underlevers. Smaller diameter cylinder. Millita style.

    MILLITA, not militia!

    Your gun is a millita style.

     

    • This reply was modified 6 days ago by KWK.
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    JMcC
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    Thanks KWK,

    You say the gun pictured is a youth model MILLITA. Do you know how long it is? The one I have is 41in long and weights about 7lbs.

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    KWK
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     I said it's a millita style BSA Breakddown pattern. I don't think yours is a youth model. A Breakdown pattern .177 is 5lb 7oz. 41.5 inches. A Light pattern front button .177 is 39 1/2" and 6lb 4oz. A Standard front button .22 is 451/2 7lb 10oz. Side buttons and duck bills weigh about the same. So do flat tops.

    You have to know how to speak prewar BSA language. I've been collecting them over 25 or 30 years. 

    I capitalized millita to emphasize for dyslexic airgunners who constantly call them militia style.  Interestingly there actually was a Millita brand air rifle. I think it was marketed by George Lincoln Jeffries in UK. Inventor of the BSA prewar underlevers in 1905. Confusing? I know.

    Scroll about half way down this page to see several unidentified guns similar to what you have. From the "Vintageairgunsgallery". You could spend a whole day there!

    https://forum.vintageairgunsgallery.com/unknown-unmarked-airguns/unmarked-airguns/#post-340

    You will probably never know who the actual maker of your gun was. Sorry. But you might at least have some idea. 😃

     

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    JMcC
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    Yes I have spent many a hours over at Vintage Airguns reading and researching the topic and these periodic guns. So I am familiar with the term MILLITIA. I've seen it used many times throughout the documents and publications I have read. Used to distinguish the Military patterned trainer air rifles used by the UK to introduce troops to marksmanship and also the UK's campaign to train their civilian population if ever their service would be needed.

    I do appreciate your help and "no" the info you provided wasn't confusing at all and echoes the history I've read about these rifles. I've found the history to be extremely interesting. 

    I still hope to identify a possible manufacturer. Because my rifle has the side Cam Lock that was a patented design by WW Greener 1930 to 1939. I believe it to be a safe guess this was made by a secondary company that built this rifle many years later based off of his design. That's what made me think a possible Diana version. 

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    KWK
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    Lol!😆😂 It's Millita! 😄 Not militia or millitia.  See what I mean?😉 

    The Millita brand rifles were available about 1906-45 in UK. Manufactured in Germany by Friedrich Langenham. FLZ  That's where the term apparently originates. Any barrel cocking quarter stock air rifle is generically called a millita. I don't think it has anything to do with military other than some air rifles were used during training of soldiers. 

    Some of the German bolt action Mauser looking airguns were used in training but never referred to as a millita. BSA made the Millitary Pattern replica of an Enfield but it was never adopted by the military. Certainly never referred to as a millita.

    Dennis Hiller 3rd addition p. 153 has a very good article on your gun and some various names it was sold under. Who made it. (Oscar Will) This barrel latch is a Lincoln Jeffries patent from 1903. Many years before the Greeners were available. 

    If you don't have Hiller's book I would highly recommend it to any person interested in 1900's air rifles. The fourth edition is available currently.  So much information in there that you will not find online.

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    KWK
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    https://www.gunstar.co.uk/roland-1927-177-air-rifles/Air-Guns/1274247

    Exact same gun marketed as a model #1927 Roland. Pictures 5 and 6 are illustrations from Hiller's book under "MARCO"(another brand this gun was marketed under) where this gun is described as made by Oscar Will.

    UK importers would often sell imported guns under various manes so buyers wouldn't suspect the gun came from "Nasty Germany".

    This is a Millita brand air rifle re branded by Lincoln Jeffries as a "Lincoln".

    https://forum.vintageairgunsgallery.com/millita/millita-air-rifle-lincoln-badged-engraved/

    George Lincoln Jeffries was a fine shotgun maufacturer as well as airgun importer before he invented the famous underlever he had BSA manufacture parts for 1906. Underlevers assembled from the parts at his factory were marked "Lincoln Jeffries". Guns assembled at BSA wore the BSA name. BSA was far better at the marketing game and after a few years bought out George Lincoln Jeffries and his patents.

     

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