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 Wester Arm's Co. Single 12 Guage
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Bodi
Starting Member

USA
43 Posts

Posted - 01/23/2011 :  09:35:18 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I was recently given a single shot,shotgun made by this company.It is in excellent shape and was my late grandfather's.He purchased it new to put food on the table my grandmother tell's me.It has great lockup and my question is will this shotgun perform o.k. with low power modern shotshell's?I think it dates to the early 50's.Thank's for any info,will have a smith look at it before firing just curious as to educated input on this firearm... +

When the well run's dry,then we shall know the wealth of water

Edited by - Bodi on 01/23/2011 10:42:34 AM

perry shooter
Advanced Member

13960 Posts

Posted - 01/23/2011 :  09:42:32 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hello is the name Western Arms C0. or Western Field. as to made in the 1950's . By that time most all shotguns were using modern steel and would be safe with most any non Magnum shot shell . However a quick check with a gun shop is always a good Idea.
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Ned Fall
Member

USA
644 Posts

Posted - 01/23/2011 :  4:37:19 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
If the name is WESTERN ARMS CO or just WESTERN and not WESTERN ARMS CO OF NEW YORK or WESTERN ARMS CORP, then the gun was made by the Crescent Fire Arms Company of Norwich,CT and was probably sold by the Paxton & Galleger Company of Omaha,NB. If so. the serial number should be stamped on the lower tang just behind the trigger guard.Give us that number and we can tell you when the gun was made.

Ned Fall
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WinMike
Junior Member

USA
141 Posts

Posted - 01/23/2011 :  8:07:54 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Keep looking, perhaps for a city of manufacture. My Western Arms (no apostrophe) is a double-barrel (also inherited from my grandfather), made in Ithaca, NY, and made by Ithaca arms as their low-priced entry-level shotgun, probably in the 'teens, 20s & early '30s. In catalogs and price tags, Western Arms is listed as a "Branch of Ithaca Gun Co., Inc.

By the 1930s, Ithaca not only produced their own "entry-level" shotguns, but had absorbed many other gun-making firms, such as LeFever, Syracuse Arms, Union Fire Arms, Wilkes-Barre Gun Co., and others.

Western Arms (and many other inexpensive double and single barrel shotguns) were made in the late 19th & early to mid-20th century. In the teens & 1920's, they were popular alternatives to more costly pump and semi-auto shotguns, but costs of doubles began to creep up in the 1930s and surpassing them in many cases.

However, single barrel production continued by most manufacturers long after double production ceased. My 1940 Stoeger Arms catalog does not show Western Arms (the only Ithaca-produced shotguns listed are pumps; Ithaca, LeFever and others are available by special order), so I do not know the exact year Ithaca stopped producing Western Arms.

An Iver Johnson single barrel shotgun, with automatic ejector in 1940 retailed for $9 (12,16,20, 28 or .410); add $3 for a "Matted Top Rib." I'm guessing your shotgun priced similarly. (Not to derail this thread, but how about $75 for a Browning O/U, $49 LC Smith Improved Field Grade and $149 Parker VHE?!)

Many shotguns of the era claimed to be "proof-tested" with a double load of powder. However, the reference is most likely a double load of black powder, which would not provide near the pressures of modern smokeless loads. Nonetheless, when I was younger....and dumber....I shot hundreds of duck, geese and rabbits with my 12 ga. Western double. When I noticed that the action was "self-opening" with short magnums, I thoughtfully restricted use to "low-base" shells....and kept on shooting. You should be OK.

Oil the metal parts with good quality oil (I use Rem-oil or good fishing reel oils). You might have to use Kroil to free up any really cruddy oil-grease packed metal parts.

Store your shotgun barrel-down, so that oil does not drip down into the wood pistol grip/stock. Many older guns have soft stocks where oil was allowed to soak in. Johnson's paste wax is fine for shining a stock; otherwise, use a good grade furniture oil (but not gun oil).

edit: Ned Fall is right: my double is marked Western Arms Corp.




Edited by - WinMike on 01/24/2011 12:50:56 AM
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Ned Fall
Member

USA
644 Posts

Posted - 01/23/2011 :  9:30:47 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Check the name on your gun one more time. According to my information, Ithaca did not make shotguns with the name WESTERN ARMS CO(mpany). They made shotguns with the name WESTERN ARMS CORP(oration). These guns were made for and sold by Montgomery-Ward.

Ned Fall
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