This is a fine condition, antique German hammer Drilling in 12 gauge and .43 Mauser that was manufactured by the famous German firm of Miller & Greiss of Munich, Germany.
The term “drilling” comes from the German word for “triplet,” indicating firearms with three barrels. The drilling was initially designed for use on hunting preserves where the hunter may encounter different types of game during the hunt. A hunter could encounter birds or large stags so the drilling was the perfect type of firearm to enable the hunter to engage whatever he saw during the hunt.
The firearms firm of Miller & Val. Greiss has its origins in another firearms firm known as Baader & Sohn, which was started by Frans Xaver Baader around 1830 in Munich. Around the time of Frans Badder’s death, Johann Miller took over operation of the company while keeping the Baader business name. Some time around 1870-1872, Valentin Greiss (April 24, 1835 to December 12, 1890) joined Johann Miller in the Baader firm and on June 10, 1872, it was officially announced that the name of the firm going forward would be “Miller and Val. Greiss.” Shortly after Valentin Greiss died in 1890 at the age of 55, the firm of Miller & Van. Greiss ceased operations.
This particular drilling is known as a “shotgun drilling,” with two shotgun barrels on top and the rifle barrel on the bottom.
The Barrel Assembly on this Drilling is in fine condition. The top two barrels are shotgun barrels chambered for 12 gauge. The chambers measure 2.6 inches. Each barrel is 26 1/8” in length. The barrels are made of fine Damascus steel and both retain the majority of their original brown finish. There are a few areas of old pinprick pitting on the exterior surfaces but it presents beautifully throughout. The right barrel measures .7105” at the muzzle, which is a modified choke, and the left barrel measures .7220” at the muzzle, which is an improved choke. At the rear of both shotgun barrels are two gold inlays.
The bottom barrel is a rifle barrel that is chambered in .43 Mauser, also known as 11x60mm Rimmed Mauser. This was a black-powder cartridge original developed for the Mauser Model 1871 Rifle. The breech measures 16.01 mm at the rim with an internal rim measurement of 14.87 mm and 13.37 mm at the rearmost portion of the case. The .43 Mauser round has a case length of 60 mm (2.37 inches). The rifled barrel is also 26 1/8” in length. The barrel measures 10.86 mm at the muzzle so this rifle was not fired often. The bore has a mirror finish with 6 grooves with a right-hand twist. The rifle barrel is also made from fine Damascus steel and it also retains the majority of its original brown finish. A front sling swivel assembly is brazed to the bottom of the rifle barrel centered 11” from the muzzle.
The top of the barrel assembly has a finely grooved sighting line that runs the length of the barrels. At the front is the front sight assembly, which is secured by two single-slot screws and measures .237” above the barrels. It has a brass sighting post. The rear sight assembly is dovetailed into the sighting line has a fine, flip-up rifle sight. Also dovetailed into the top are two claw scope base mounts. Both mounts are checkered and the rear mount has the finely checkered lever that operates smoothly.
The bottom of the rifle barrel has the forend mounting notch that is still tightly brazed to the barrel. Between that notch and the barrel assembly lugs are a series of proof stamps. The first is a crown over intertwined “CP” proof stamp. Next is a crown over serif “M” stamp. Next is a lion over a script “M” stamp followed by the serial number “14363,” over a “122” stamp. The serial number “14363” is repeated on the bottom, right side of the rifle barrel. On the right side of the rear-most lug is a crown over serif “V” proof. The Extractor operates both shotgun barrels and the rifle barrel and it retracts .215” from the rear face of the barrels.
The steel receiver exhibits a polished appearance with traces of pitting on the front, left and right side. The break-action Lever is knurled at the end and functions perfectly. Both original triggers are present and both still have crisp releases for their respective hammers. The front trigger fires the left shotgun hammer and the rear trigger fires the right shotgun hammer/rifled barrel hammer. The Sideplates still retains generous traces of the original dark oil quenched finish. All of the receiver screws have single slots and are engraved. The elaborate pistol grip is a unique piece of curved steel that ends in a stylized heart and is unique to Miller & Greiss Drillings. Both receiver bolsters still exhibit a strong polished appearance. The breech face of the receiver has an inverted crown over serif “V” proof stamp.
Both Hammers have crisp checkering on the thumb pieces. The right hammer, which fires the right shotgun barrel and the rifled barrel, has a hinged nose that is lowered down to fire the rifled barrel. All three firing pin plungers are present and work perfectly with strong springs.
The stock is beautiful European Walnut with wonderful grain throughout. The left side as the standard German check piece that extends out to the left. The bottom of the stock has a solid rear sling swivel assembly post. The original polished steel butt plate is present and still exhibits a strong polished finish with small areas of plum patina and old pinprick pitting. The partial matching serial number “4363” is stamped on the bottom of the butt plate. Both Butt Plate Screws have unmarred single slots and are engraved. The original checkering on the wood portion of the pistol grip remains crisp. There is a serif “W” stamp on the bottom of the wrist just to the rear of the checkering. There are minor dings and scratches but no cracks or chips are noted.
The Handguard is a beavertail type and is in fine condition. The walnut wood exhibits a beautiful grain like the stock and the checkering is equally as crisp. The two covers for the key channel both have engraved screws. The inside portion of the handguard has the matching penciled serial number “14363.” The mounting hardware is in fine condition. The handguard key has an engraved button.
This Drilling comes with a modern duck canvas and leather case with brass combination lock that secures the Drilling when broken down. This Drilling still functions perfectly and would still be a great hunting Drilling for birds or large game.