rorkesdriftvc.com Forum Index


rorkesdriftvc.com
Discussions related to the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879
Reply to topic
British Greener Police Shotgun ?
Coll
Guest

Reply with quote
This from 'The World's Fighting Shotguns' by Thomas F. Swearengen -

'The Greener Police Shotgun was designed and built from the outset as a pure fighting weapon. It was offered to British Colonial Police Forces as an instrument for dispersing rioting crowds or unlawful assemblies, for guarding vulnerable public facilities, for conducting cordon and search operations, and for arresting dangerous criminals. To fill these missions the gun was purposely made very robust. It could be employed as a battering ram for breaking down doors or barricades, as well as a bludgeon for breaking heads, when required. Because of its sturdy construction it seldom suffered damage in these roles'.

'...single shot, hammerless, lever-action, dropping-block, striker-fired, short-receiver Martini action.'

Any idea if it was used in Africa at the time of the Zulu War 1879.

Coll
Sawubona


Joined: 09 Nov 2005
Posts: 1179
Reply with quote
"single shot, hammerless, lever-action, dropping-block, striker-fired, short-receiver Martini action"-- sounds like a Martini conversion, Coll. The problem is that "Greener" was a gunsmith/gunsmiths for a long time and to make matters worse, "WW Greener" was the name of both a father and son. The older refused to work with breech-loaders and the younger wasn't likely to have been old enough and in control enough of the company in 1879. So, I'd write off a Greener shotgun based on a Martini action entirely in the AZW. Still, shotguns in general were definitely possible and even probable there and then. I image many officers on station in Africa wouldn't pass up the opportunity to do some hunting with their Purdy doubles and the like. And remember that a common charge in a musket even in the 1700-1800's was "buck and ball", a wicked mix of a solid slug and scatter-gun lead shot . I seem to recall that shotguns were used in the Frontier Wars against the Xhosa in South Africa and I can say for certain that they were used against the Maori in New Zealand (and more often by the Maori themselves). Frankly, you can put a shotgun shell in pretty much anything-- the Martini chambers and fires a fairly standard 28 gauge shot shell, as does a Snider Enfield and WD sanctioned shotshells were manufactured for both. I've got a few vintage Snider shotgun rounds and I know that somewhere out there are War Department issue Martini shotgun rounds. Many Martinis were converted to smoothbore shotguns after they had served out their out time as front line arms and Greener and company did a lot of that sort of work. Many went to Ireland... enough said?


Truth be told however, I'm just posting while we're waiting for Neil to stop by and answer all of our questions. Incidentally, I think you would fall in love with my sawed off Snider-Enfield "street sweeper", Coll. Why or when someone would cut off all but 13 inches of the barrel of a Mk II * Snider conversion of a '53 Enfield is beyond me, but it's an interesting bit of hardware with a decidedly "in-your-face" feel to it. Frankly, I can't imagine anyone hitting what he was aiming at even if the target was standing motionless at twenty yards, but an off hand shot from horseback at a deer (or a man) standing nearby is entirely possible.


Last edited by Sawubona on Tue Mar 20, 2012 12:30 am; edited 2 times in total
View user's profileSend private message
timothylrose


Joined: 13 Jan 2012
Posts: 17
Location: Bognor Regis, West Sussex
Reply with quote
The Greener Police Riot gun was introduced a long time after the Zulu War - originally issued in 14 gauge and a simple google would give you the history of these bits of kit - easy read would be:

http://world.guns.ru/shotgun/brit/greener-police-gun-e.html

I have got a Mark 111 version which has reduced woodwork and sort of looks a bit like a Swinburn Henry carbine if you squint at it from a distance with the light behind you - patent dated for 1935 amongst the various Martini types here.

Atb - Tim
View user's profileSend private message
Coll
Guest

Reply with quote
Sawubona

Thanks for your detailed reply.

I've got a book on the Snider, but find it difficult to envision a sawn-off 'street-sweeper' version.

Any chance of scanning a photo ? Very Happy

Timothy

Thanks for the link.

Yes. I had seen the later date, but it surprised me somewhat that the Martini aspect of the gun was still popular, including only the one-shot capability.

However, in my book, there is mention of the earlier version of the gun originating about 1869, with some modifications being made over the following few years, but it gives the impression the concept wasn't fully accepted and production remained at a standstill, only to be resurrected late 19C- early 20C, even though it was of an obsolete pattern. Confused

It caught my attention in the book due to its Martini Henry appearance, albeit with an extremely sturdier looking construction.

It struck me that it wouldn't have looked out-of-place in the Zulu War 1879.

Thanks again

Coll
Sawubona


Joined: 09 Nov 2005
Posts: 1179
Reply with quote
No problem with a photo of the "street-sweeper" Snider, Coll. Drop me a PM with your email address and I'll send it out to you. You also might be interested in a .22 caliber target rifle of which I'm the temporary custodian. It apparently started life as an military issue .577/.450 Martini-Henry, was subsequently re-barreled to serve as a .303 Artillery Carbine, and then was re-barreled once again as .22 caliber BSA NRA match rifle. What a history in that one! It seems like no firearm is allowed to become obsolete and "go to pasture" over there until it outright blows up in somebody's face.

You might be interested in seeing some items coming up in a local (to me) auction at: http://www.amoskeagauction.com/88/auction88_3.html

Check out the LeMat's (items 115-117 and 171-175) and their estimated prices Shocked . Still, you've got to love an auction offering not one but EIGHT LeMat pistols. Don't you be biddin' on the Deane Adams and Deane pistol though (#214)! Lots of Enfields as well, but because of the Civil War connection they, like the LeMat's, are very collectible over here and typically sell for a great deal more than say a Canadian two or three band Enfield. Number 41, the "Nock flintlock volley gun" is worth you're taking a look at too. But look at the estimate before you bid Wink .
View user's profileSend private message
Coll
Guest

Reply with quote
Sawubona

Thanks for the info.

Yes, the varied life of the MH, recycling I think it's called, just by finding another calibre and use for it. I seem to recall the .22 version was issued to cadets.

The link is interesting, though I've just glanced through it at the moment.

LeMats - I finally acquired a great book on them, 'The Confederate LeMat Revolver'. by Doug Adams. Very Happy

Another book you may be interested in is 'Standard Catalog Of Civil War Firearms'. by John F. Graf. Illustrations aplenty.

As an aside, rather than asking about U.S. 19C firearms on the forum, I managed to get the above books along with a few others last year, including about the U.S. Cavalry and the Trapdoor Springfield. So I'm a very happy man !

However, my weapon of choice is the Bowie knife and the bible for it is 'The Bowie Knife: Unsheathing An American Legend'. by Norm Flayderman.

Coll

P.S. Sent you a pm with my e-mail address.
Coll
Guest

Reply with quote
Sawubona

Photos received. Many thanks.

Lucky man, it is a nice looking gun.

Shorter barrel does give it an 'edge' appearance-wise and extremely practical. The mere possession of it would be enough to deter any opponent.

Thanks again. Very Happy

Coll
Coll
Guest

Reply with quote
Timothy

There's mention of a bayonet for the Greener police shotgun, have you managed to acquire this also ?

Thankyou

Coll
timothylrose


Joined: 13 Jan 2012
Posts: 17
Location: Bognor Regis, West Sussex
Reply with quote




Well Coll - guess I could say I have 5 bayonets that fit this one as they used a cut down SMLE bayonet lug to put on the end of the shotguns. Makes sense at that was the issue bayonet for the military rifle of the day and also carried on in Indian and Egyptian Army after the Number 4 was introduced in Europe.

Atb - Tim
View user's profileSend private message
Coll
Guest

Reply with quote
Timothy

Thanks for the very clear images. Wink

Yes, having the issue bayonet would be the most logical, apparently it was to make the shotgun even more threatening to prisoners, etc.

I'm sure it worked as it really is a solid-looking weapon to begin with.

Thanks again

Coll
Sawubona


Joined: 09 Nov 2005
Posts: 1179
Reply with quote
Would that be the sling mount behind the lug, Timothy?
View user's profileSend private message
timothylrose


Joined: 13 Jan 2012
Posts: 17
Location: Bognor Regis, West Sussex
Reply with quote
No - it's the hole from where originally a piling swivel would have been - the sling ran from the lower band as shown on the woodwork to the rear of the butt. And it's Tim by the way please, I log in on my full real name as it maybe sort of known by a few in these parts!

Atb - Tim
View user's profileSend private message
Sawubona


Joined: 09 Nov 2005
Posts: 1179
Reply with quote
Ooops! Sorry. I was focusing so much on the second picture that I overlooked the first picture and what is obviously a sling swivel on the band.
View user's profileSend private message
Coll
Guest

Reply with quote
Sawubona

A couple of years ago, mention was made of a Snider (shotgun?), which was different in that it a had a ring attached, not for a sling, etc.

It was considered that it might have been for a prison guard to secure it by a chain to his belt, to prevent prisoners from taking it from him.

Any thoughts ?

Coll

P.S. Unfortunately, I don't recall seeing any images of the firearm being included on the forum, for comparison.
Sawubona


Joined: 09 Nov 2005
Posts: 1179
Reply with quote
Never heard that one, Col. I'm guessing that someone, somewhere mistook a "carbine ring on a rail" for something other than what it was, in spite of his claim otherwise. As you know, many cavalry carbines (British and otherwise) have a sliding ring for the lower end of the sling attached to a rod anchored at both ends on the right hand side of the firearm. Snider carbines often had it, as did many Martini-Henry and early Lee-Metford carbines. Still, it wouldn't surprise me if a prison guard were to attach his shotgun to himself by means of some sort of chain and ring thing.

That auction with all of those LeMats was today and I didn't go! No money! But I'll let you know what they went for if you're interested. Perhaps, like many of us on this site, you have more important things on which to spend your money-- things like food and clothing Wink
View user's profileSend private message
British Greener Police Shotgun ?
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
All times are GMT  
Page 1 of 2  

  
  
 Reply to topic