The Empire Patent 1910
W.W. Greener’s intention in gun design was to build a gun composed of a few simple, strong parts. His son Harry Greener continued this tradition and in patent no. 12012 of 1910 created the Empire boxlock utilising just three parts: a tumbler, a sear and a spring.
The spring is ingenious, being both a cocking device and a mainspring. It is a V spring with the upper limb longer than the lower. After the gun is fired, the forward end of the mainspring projects forwards slightly through the knuckle. As the barrels open, the fore-end iron forces back the mainspring and as it moves backwards, the upper limb rotates the tumbler to full cock. In doing so, the bottom of the tumbler rises and compresses the spring.
The mechanism was simple and robust, and with so few parts was very reliable. It is no wonder that from the first gun built in 1910 to the last in 1965, over 17,000 were built and a reliable reputation created.
The mechanism of the three-part Empire showing the sear, the tumbler and the mainspring.