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How do I confirm year, model and manufacture of a 100 yr old shotgun?

Lady KayleeLady Kaylee Member Posts: 13
My father has a 12 gauge hunting shotgun given to him by his father who was given to him by a British man.  My dad thinks the gun is pre-WWI and bought from Army and Navy Mail Order store that went out of business.  He also believes it is 1 of a pair.  We located a serial no. on the barrel but don't know what to do from there.  My local gunsmith wants to charge $40 to authenticate it.

How do I confirm year, model and manufacture of a 100 yr old shotgun? 6 votes

Should I pay $40 to gunsmith to track down gun authenticity?
83%
mark christianHorse Plains Drifterdiver-rigGrasshopperRicci.Wright 5 votes
Find another way I can track it down since I have serial no?
16%
mohawk600 1 vote

Comments

  • mac10mac10 Member Posts: 983 ✭✭✭
    well tell us all you know about it there has to be a maker name ect,,
  • brier-49brier-49 Member Posts: 6,325 ✭✭✭
    Put up a few really clear close up photos and description of markings and there guys will hunt down the answer.
  • mark christianmark christian Forums Admins, Member, Moderator Posts: 22,850 ******
    edited September 30
    Should I pay $40 to gunsmith to track down gun authenticity?
    Pay the gunsmith the $40 and move on with your life. He probably has a book or other documentation which can provide information in about 8 minutes, while this poll has been running for over 8 hours.
  • Ricci.WrightRicci.Wright Member Posts: 1,450 ✭✭✭✭
    Should I pay $40 to gunsmith to track down gun authenticity?
    Pay the professional who probably spent hundreds if not thousands of dollars on a firearms library? Don't be silly. That would be like paying a professional mechanic to diagnosis your sick automobile.  
  • nononsensenononsense Member, Moderator Posts: 10,575 ******
    My father has a 12 gauge hunting shotgun given to him by his father who was given to him by a British man.  My dad thinks the gun is pre-WWI and bought from Army and Navy Mail Order store that went out of business.  He also believes it is 1 of a pair.  We located a serial no. on the barrel but don't know what to do from there.  My local gunsmith wants to charge $40 to authenticate it.
    There is apparently a significant amount of important information left out. What your Dad thinks is of very little value when compared to actual verifiable information. Believing it's 1 of a pair unless verified doesn't mean much.
    What type of shotgun is this? If it's a side by side, removing the barrels will let you examine the water table and bottom of the barrels under the forearm where the British place many of the proof marks and acceptance marks. These marks can provide information about when and where it was made.

    Clear, sharp pictures of the overall and closeup details should help also.

    Best.

  • nmyersnmyers Member Posts: 16,312 ✭✭✭
    If no manufacturer's name is visible, no point in going any further.  A serial number alone is of no help.  Consider it to be a "decorator", best permanently hung above the fireplace of your hunting lodge.
    Neal
  • Lady KayleeLady Kaylee Member Posts: 13
    Thanks all, my dad lives out of town so when I see him again I will get lots of pictures, but more likely I'll take the gun home with me and take it to the gunsmith.  My dad watched his dad fire it so I know it's not a decoration and my dad would like like to fire it.  But given my dad's advanced age and the age of the gun, we likely need it inspected by a gun smith for worthiness anyway so might as well let them do the research as well.  I appreciate everyone's advice.
  • chmechme Member Posts: 480 ✭✭✭
    A note of STRONG caution- many of the shotguns made prior to 1900 era may have barrels formed from "twist" or "damascus" steel.  These were formed by twisting bundles of wire together, heating them white hot, wrapping around a rod, reheating and hammer welding them into a solid mass.  That worked fine when shotshells used black powder.  They were NOT meant for the higher pressures of modern smokeless powders.  They CAN be subject to failure on firing with very bad results.  The $40 for a competent smith to examine the gun is less than the co-pay for a visit to the emergency room to remove bits of the barrel from your body.  This is ONE example of a twist steel barrel-

  • Lady KayleeLady Kaylee Member Posts: 13
    A picture is worth a thousand words...thanks @chme
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