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 info needed on Oxford Arms Co.
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Larzman
Starting Member

USA
44 Posts

Posted - 10/16/2003 :  8:02:57 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Was wondering if anyone knew anything about the Oxford Arms Co...I have a shotgun that was my grandpa's...it's a old 12 ga. with the double hammers...the only info on the gun is Oxford Arms Co. and Belgium dallimated(not legible) steel...it has no serial # or what gauge on it it...any info would be appreciated!

Larzman

nord
Advanced Member

USA
4955 Posts

Posted - 10/16/2003 :  8:10:31 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
See the ELG on the watertable under the barrels... Belgian. Some would call your gun a clunker. I'd call it a utility gun. It has little history, other than being one of countless scatterguns imported into the US around 1900. It retailed for about $10.00 and its value hasn't kept pace with inflation.

"Laminated Steel" is a form of damascus construction. It's considered unsafe to shoot with modern loads. I'd consider it unsafe with any load, but that's a personal preference.

Not much collector interest in these pieces, and I doubt there ever will be.

Nord
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CountryGunsmith
Member

USA
851 Posts

Posted - 10/16/2003 :  8:31:21 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Let's take it a step further.

'Oxford Arms Co' was a known tradename of the HD Folsom Company, a huge distributor of utility-grade firearms to the hardware store trade from the 1890's through about 1930. They owned Crescent Firearms Co, and most of the guns we find with the Oxford markings are in fact Crescent shotguns.

However, Folsom also recognized that a price-point market existed and did import some shotguns from Belgium to satisfy that market. The Belgian proofmark Nord describes is the giveaway. We HAVE seen some hardware-store guns that had Belgian-proofed barrels mated to Crescent receivers, so we can only assume that Folsom imported barrel sets for final fitting to receivers made domestically. Even back then, importing was sometimes cheaper! (Side note: not only cheapie hardware-store guns were made this way... Winchester did it too!)

Your shotgun would have been retailed (probably via mail-order) by the Belknap Hardware Company out of Louisville, KY. This was one of the largest hardware/mail-order conglomerates in US history, remaining in business from c.1840 all the way through 1986! However, from the style of your shotgun and the markings you describe, we believe that it would definitely be pre-WW1 and Nord's estimation of 1900 would be a very good ballpark.

Many, many hardware store items are developing collectable status. Unfortunately, the guns aren't among them. Well, some of us find them interesting - but that's about it.
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Larzman
Starting Member

USA
44 Posts

Posted - 10/17/2003 :  10:45:26 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks guys for the info...was just wondering cause I'd never heard of Oxford Arms Co. and also just wanted some back ground on the gun because it's been in my family a long time...it's not been shot for many many years and it will never be shot again, it was used by my grandfather and his brothers to harvest game back in the day...basically used for survival...the sentimental value makes it priceless to me and would never part with it...it's a beat up, wore out, cheap shotgun...but I wouldn't get rid of it for the world!!

thanks again for the facts!!

Larzman
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