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History of Nelson shotgun

Jimbo5Jimbo5 Member Posts: 16 ✭✭
edited July 2015 in Ask the Experts
I just purchased a Damascus double barrel shotgun. It says on the side of the action "the Nelson SC Co New York" It is hammer-less with double triggers. No proof marks on the bottom side of the barrels. It is a 12 gauge with checkered stock and forearm. Barrel length is 30 inches. Can anybody give me some information on this gun. Any help appreciated.

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    rufe-snowrufe-snow Member Posts: 18,650 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Many shotguns were made by the Crescent Arms Co. of Norwich CT. They were sold using many different Trade Names, and Hardware Store names.

    If a hardware store ordered as few as 10 guns. Crescent would put the stores name on the shotgun.

    Chances are if your shotgun doesn't have any foreign proof marks on it. It was made as a store brand gun by Crescent.

    Crescent was in business between the 1880's and the 1930's. I don't know the specific figure? But in that time span, they must have made hundreds of thousands of utility grade store brand shotguns.
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    He DogHe Dog Member Posts: 51,061 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    This has not been up for a while, it is what I could put together on the history and trade names of Crescent. Notice your Nelson is not among the names, but reportedly there were over 400 names used, and I have only listed those for which I have a printed attribution, about 150 names.

    Crescent Firearms Co. was started in 1888 by George W. Cilley when he bought out the defunct Bacon Arms Co. of Norwich, Connecticut. Cilley formed a partnership with Frank Foster and Crescent was born. Both men held firearms patents, and both were qualified to design and manufacture firearms. They began making a tip-up single with external side hammers, and began making SxS's in 1891. Crescent was best known for producing "house brand" shotguns. These were made for and sold by a variety of hardware companies, mail order stores, retailers and distributors. Over 100 names are known or thought to have been used on shotguns produced by Crescent. In 1929 N. R. Davis Firearms Co. merged with Crescent to become Davis-Crescent Arms Co. H & D Folsom was a New York importer and distributor of firearms from about 1890 to 1930, at which time they merged with the Davis-Crescent Arms Co. In 1931 the depression forced the sale of Davis-Crescent to the Savage Arms Co., which assembled the remaining parts and sold them under the Stevens name. (Another version of the history has Crescent sold to Universal Tackle and Sporting Goods Co. in 1954)

    It is not known whether Crescent produced any high grade shotguns, but certainly the house brand shotguns were utilitarian and unadorned. Most sold in the range of $10-$12. Today, only a handful of models, such as the New Empire and the Crescent Certified have collector value. The vast majority are sold as shooters or wall hangers for modest prices, usually under $250.

    I have found the following names attributed to Crescent/Davis-Crescent. Authors list the names differently (e.g. King Land Ten Star and Kingsland 10 Star). Whether these are inaccuracies or real variations, I cannot say.


    American Bar Lock Wonder, American Gun Co (Used on guns built for Sears Roebuck circa 1900)., Aristocrat, Armory Gun Co. (1904-1920), Bacon Arms, Badger Gun Co., Baker Gun Co., T. Barker (for Sears), Black Beauty, Blue Grass, Bridgeport Arms Co., Bright Arms Co., Carolina Arms, Central Arms Co., Chatham Arms Co., Cherokee Arms Co., Chesapeake Gun Co., Colonial, Columbian New York Arms Co., Compeer Gun Co. (used on guns made for Van Camp Hardware & Iron Co.), Creve Cour, Cruso, Cumberland Arms Co., Daniel Boone, Delphian Arms Co., Dunlap Special (for Dunlap Hardware Co. of Macon, GA circa 1920-1940), Eagle Arms Co., Electric City, Elgin Arms Co., Elmira Arms Co., Empire Arms Co., Enders Oakleaf, Enders Royal Service, Enders Special Service, Essex, Farwell Arms Co., Faultless, Faultless Goose Gun, Folsom Arms Co., The Field, F.F. Forbes, Fort Pitt Arms Co., C. W. Franklin, Fremont Arms Co., Harrison Arms Co., Hartford Arms Co., Harvard, Hermitage Arms Co., Hermitage Gun Co., J. C. Henry Arms Co., Henry Gun Co., Howard Arms Co., H S B & Co. (Hibbard, Spencer, Bartlett and Co. Also used a rooster trademark), Hudson, Hummer, Interstate Arms Co., Jackson Arms Co., Joseph Arms Co., Keen Cutter, Kelly Mfg. Co., Keystone Arms Co., Kingsland Special, Kingsland 10 Star, King Nitro (made for Shapleigh Hardware Company of St. Louis, Mo), Kirk Gun Co., Knickerbocker, Knockabout, Knox-all, Lakeside, J. H. Lau & Co., Leader Arms Co. (or Leader Gun Co.), Lee Special, Lee's Munner Special, Leige Arms Co., J. Manton & Co., Marshwood, Massachusetts Arms Co., Metropolitan, Minnesota Arms Co., Mississippi Valley Arms Co., Mohawk, Monitor, Wm. Moore and Co., Mt. Vernon Arms Co., National Arms Co., New Haven Arms Co., New Rival (used on guns built for Van Camp Hardware & Iron Co.), New York Gun Co. and New York Arms Co.(both used on guns built for Garnet Carter Company of Chattanooga, Tennessee), Nitro Bird, Nitro Hunter, Norwich Arms Co., Not-Nac Mfg. Co., Oxford Arms Co., C. Parker & Co., Peerless, Perfection, Piedmont, Pioneer Arms Co., Quail, Queen City, Rev-O-Noc, W. Richards (not related to Westly Richards, the British gunmaker), Richter, Rickard Arms Co., Rival No. 3 (may have been used on guns made for Van Camp Hardware and Iron)Rochester Gun Co., Rocket Special, Royal Service, Rummel, Shue's Special, Sickel's Arms Co., S. R. & Co., Southern Arms Co., Special Service, Spencer Gun Co., Sportsman, Springfield Arms Co., Square Deal, Stanley, Star Leader, State Arms Co., H. J. Sterling, St. Louis Arms Co., Sullivan Arms Co., Ten Star, Ten Star Heavy Duty, Tiger, Tournament, Triumph, Tru-Test, U.S Arms Co., Utica Special, Victor, Victor Special, Virginia Arms Co., Volunteer, Vulcan Arms Co., Warren Arms Co., Washington Arms Co., Wilkinson Arms Co., Wilmot Arms Co., Wilshire Arms Co., Wiltshire Arms Co., Winfield Arms Co., Winco Arms Co., Winoca Arms Co., Witte Hardware Co., Wolverine or Wolverine Arms Co., Worthington Arms Co. XLCR was used on model 850 box locks made for W. Bingham and Co. Cleveland, OH.

    References:

    Carder, Charles, Side by Sides of the World for Y2K, Carder, Charles, Avil Onze Publishing, 1999.

    Fjestad, S. P., Blue Book of Gun Values Twenty Sixth Edition, Blue Book Publications, 2005.

    Fjestad, S. P., Blue Book of Gun Values Twenty Seventh Edition, Blue Book Publications, 2006.

    Taylor, John, The Shotgun Encyclopedia, Safari Press, Inc.2001


    From Bert Hartman: During World War I, Savage merged with Driggs-Seabury Ordnance Company, and made Lewis machine guns. In 1920, Savage purchased J. Stevens Arms, a company which was associated with the famous barrel maker, Harry Pope. Later, Savage acquired the assets of Page Lewis Company, Davis-Warner Arms, Crescent Firearms, and A.H. Fox.


    Attributed to Crescent without attribution: Union Arms, made for Bostwick-Braun of Toledo,OH, Ohio Valley Arms.
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