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 SxS Damascus shotgun
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tccox
Advanced Member

4422 Posts

Posted - 06/01/2004 :  3:00:39 PM  Show Profile
I bought the following at auction yesterday. Would like to get an idea of how much I overpayed and any history of the gun. I haver never heard of this company. Stats are:

12 gauge
30" barrels. Rabbit ear hammers
top rib says "BELGIUM FINE DAMASCUS" but I see no Damascus pattern like on my LeFever.
Left lock plate says Janssen sons & co.
Right says ????interchangeable
on top of L barrel; choke bored
With handguard off, Left barrel has 18.0 over 18.0. Right only has 18.2
Both barrels have an oval with a crown on top and an E over LG over *
Also, there is a diamond with 12over c. There is a * over F.
There are a couple of squiggl things like two S's over stamped.
The gun is the tightest I have seen for an old gun and the the ckeckring is still sharp and crisp. Don't know original finish but it now has brownish/blue and the lockplates seem to have been plated at one time but only a hint under the hammers.
From my poor discription, can any of you tell me anything about this gun? BTW I paid $225 for it. Tom


<BR>Those who beat their swords into plowshares will plow for those who don't.<P>

rufe-snow
Advanced Member

15436 Posts

Posted - 06/01/2004 :  3:16:59 PM  Show Profile
The shotgun book, gives data on Janssen & Sons Co. shotguns.

They were in business between 1891 & 1931, in Liege Belgium.

Some of their shotguns were of excellent quality.

Being you got a Damascus, it's value would be in it's cosmetic appearence as a wallhanger.

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Bert H.
Moderator

USA
10823 Posts

Posted - 06/01/2004 :  3:28:34 PM  Show Profile
Hello Tom...

As you already know, it is a Belgian made scattergun. Most of them are worth between $100 - $200 (and yours is no exception to that).

There is very little collector interest in any of those old Belgian made clunkers, and as a result, there is precious little that has ever been written about them. There were several million of them imported to the U.S. between 1890 - 1913, and they sold for $6 to $9 new.

None of them are safe to shoot with modern ammo, and many of them are only mariginally safe with the original blackpowder shells for which they were designed. If the gun locks up tight, and the bores are in excellent condition, they can be shot with 2-1/2-inch or 2-5/8-inch blackpowder (or equivalent) shells. You can not use current standard length shells in them regardless of the type load. I would highly recommend having the gun inspected first (bore scope it as a minimum).

Bert H.

Real Men use a SINGLE-SHOT!
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tccox
Advanced Member

4422 Posts

Posted - 06/01/2004 :  6:03:26 PM  Show Profile
Rufe-snow & Bert-h, thanks for your replies. I know I paid top $$++ but I now have it out of my system and can now move on to buy something else. I do have a question. I know it says "Belgium fine damascus" on the rib but I really don't think it is Damascus as I know it. My Lefever has damascus barrels and has the obvious pattern. This gun has no such pattern in the steel.
As far as shooting it, I have plenty of full length brass shells and black powder and will load a few. But also, this seems to be a very well made (even tho cheap) gun so I will probably take my chances and shoot some low brass shells in it.
Again, thanks to both of you for your great info. Tom

<BR>Those who beat their swords into plowshares will plow for those who don't.<P>
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Bert H.
Moderator

USA
10823 Posts

Posted - 06/01/2004 :  7:13:21 PM  Show Profile
Hello Tom...

Your LeFever just has a better grade of damascus, and is obviously a much higher grade of shotgun. Belgian export guns were made as inexpensively as possible. Damascus (a.k.a. "laminated", twist", etc.) was constructed in many different grades, methods, and with several different types of material. Each of the different methods and exact materials used produced different patterns. If you want to see a really good looking (and well built) damascus barreled shotgun, hunt down a Colt Model 1883 Grade 2 sometime.

You really should NOT shoot full length shells of any type in that old Belgian shotgun... the chambers in it are only 65mm (approximately 2-5/8 inches), and shooting full length 2-3/4 inch shells (or longer), it will increase the chamber pressure to unsafe levels.

Bert H.

Real Men use a SINGLE-SHOT!
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tccox
Advanced Member

4422 Posts

Posted - 06/01/2004 :  8:12:33 PM  Show Profile
Ah so Bert, Thanks for that bit of info!! Will rethink my thoughts on shooting the thing. Tom

<BR>Those who beat their swords into plowshares will plow for those who don't.<P>
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piperdriver
Starting Member

USA
2 Posts

Posted - 06/02/2004 :  07:56:32 AM  Show Profile
If the bbls are fairly gray without much finish, they will not show any pattern. Likewise, if they have a heavy layer of patina they will not show their pattern either. Bert H., you may be interested in knowing that Colt imported their barrels from Belgium! They (the Belgians), did make good quality barrels in the day. Paul.
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tccox
Advanced Member

4422 Posts

Posted - 06/02/2004 :  08:24:09 AM  Show Profile
Paul, thanks for your reply and welcome to the forum!! I guess by your name you fly Pipers? I would love to visit Oskosh during the airshows and see all the neat planes that are there. I am not a pilot but when I lived in San
Antonio TX a co-worker was and we would go flying every weekend. There ain't nothing like flying!! Tom

<BR>Those who beat their swords into plowshares will plow for those who don't.<P>
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piperdriver
Starting Member

USA
2 Posts

Posted - 06/04/2004 :  09:40:43 AM  Show Profile
Hi tccox - yes, I fly a Piper. The EAA is great place if you enjoy aviation. You may want to try taking a look at the www.gunshop.com website and checking out their forum. On it they have a FAQ section where Oscar Gaddy discusses the different makes & types of damascus. Paul.
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Bert H.
Moderator

USA
10823 Posts

Posted - 06/04/2004 :  10:46:44 AM  Show Profile
quote:
Originally posted by piperdriver

Bert H., you may be interested in knowing that Colt imported their barrels from Belgium! They (the Belgians), did make good quality barrels in the day. Paul.



I was already very much aware of that fact, and yes, the Belgians did make some real high quality Damascus tubes... but not on the guns they imported by the millions from 1890 - 1913.

Bert H.

Real Men use a SINGLE-SHOT!
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eastwood44mag
Senior Member

2370 Posts

Posted - 06/04/2004 :  11:22:42 AM  Show Profile
Flayderman's Guide to Antique Firearms is the best resource I can offer. It has almost anything you can ask for. Hope this helps.
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bigtire
Advanced Member

USA
9260 Posts

Posted - 06/04/2004 :  11:25:07 AM  Show Profile
Janssen & Sons shotguns were made by Jannsen Fils & Company who were Belgium gun makers from 1895 to 1965. Joseph Janssen traded for many years in Liege Belgium in the late 19th century. Janssen Fils continued to work in Liege until the beginning of World War I.
Janssen Fils & Cie, Liege Belgium, were successors to Joseph Janssen. A founder member of Le Syndicat des Pieces Interchangeables (1898), and also the maker of the Jieffeco pistol. Work ceased shortly after the German invasion of Belgium in 1914.

The interchangable Model of 1901 was made by Simonis, Janssen & Dumoulin who were Belgium gun makers from 1884 to 1905. Values are noyt high, $100 to $300.

This is all I could find on http://www.gabelguns.com/QuestionsAndAnswers/search.asp


MOLON LABE!



An evil tree bears evil fruit. You can destroy as much fruit as you want, but it will always grow back, and it will always be evil.

Tear the tree out of the ground by the roots and burn it. Burn it to ash and grind out the embers with your boot until there's nothing left. Not a single spark. Not a single seed.
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