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Scarecrow Repair
12-30-2006, 5:03 PM
A friend inherited a side by side double barreled shotgun, hammers on the outside, two triggers one behind the other, lever between the hammers swings sideways a bit to break it open.

A plate on each side says "California Field Gun", and a smaller plate on each side say "No. 1". There's a forward part of the stock were your holding hand goes, and underneath that is a serial number.

I can probably get pictures tomorrow.

Anybody have any ideas what this is? He found one entry in an antique gun reference book which looks about right, but that one is supposed to have "Remington" on it somewhere, which we can't find.

Fjold
12-30-2006, 5:27 PM
Besides the plates,somewhere on the barrels should be a maker's mark

Scarecrow Repair
12-30-2006, 9:55 PM
Besides the plates,somewhere on the barrels should be a maker's mark
What is a maker's mark, and what should we look for? Initials, full plate, ... ?

Scarecrow Repair
12-31-2006, 4:30 PM
Two pictures of the shotgun in general.
2356
2357

Scarecrow Repair
12-31-2006, 4:33 PM
Two marks near the triggers. They are the same on each side.
2358
2359

Scarecrow Repair
12-31-2006, 4:34 PM
This mark is on the top between the barrels.
2360

-hanko
12-31-2006, 8:46 PM
Hardware store gun...a nice keeper. I'd recommend you not shoot it.

-hanko

VeryCoolCat
12-31-2006, 8:54 PM
DON'T REPOLISH IT, DON'T DO ANYTHING OF THE LIKES.

If it has any value, that'd destroy it.

Scarecrow Repair
12-31-2006, 9:00 PM
Hardware store gun...a nice keeper. I'd recommend you not shoot it.

What exactly is a hardware store gun, and why should it not be fired? My friend inherited it, I guess from his father, who got it from his father ... I think.

Scarecrow Repair
12-31-2006, 9:04 PM
DON'T REPOLISH IT, DON'T DO ANYTHING OF THE LIKES.

If it has any value, that'd destroy it.
Hmmm ... the part of the stock in front of the triggers where you hold it has a spring clip to hold it on, and that was apparently broken years ago and tape used to hold it in place. My friend did take that tape off and it left a stain behind. He hasn't done anything else to it, well, there's a rubber band around that section now :-)

This is all very intriguing. I hope you guys will expand upon your posts and tell me more about this ... :-)

Fjold
01-01-2007, 9:07 AM
The barrel marking "Fine Damascus Steel" means that it is not safe to fire with modern ammo and may no longer be safe to fire with reduced loads.

Damascus steel barrels were made by hammering strips of metal around a mandrel. The edges of the strips were welded together with heat and hammer blows. The welds are very inconsistent and weak because nothing was done to insure that the edges were completely conjoined.

It is a wall hanger.

maxicon
01-01-2007, 10:11 AM
The barrel marking "Fine Damascus Steel" means that it is not safe to fire with modern ammo and may no longer be safe to fire with reduced loads.

Damascus steel barrels were made by hammering strips of metal around a mandrel. The edges of the strips were welded together with heat and hammer blows. The welds are very inconsistent and weak because nothing was done to insure that the edges were completely conjoined.

It is a wall hanger.

Frank's correct. Damascus is, at best, black powder only, but can be risky even then. I wouldn't even consider shooting it.

Best bet is to find out if it's collectible, by any chance (unlikely, due to lack of a name brand, but you never know). Someone over at http://www.shotgunworld.com/bbs/index.php might help - try the Gun ID and Value forum.

You can find out a lot more on damascus barrel risks by searching the SGW forums for "damascus". There are a ton of posts.

If it were mine, and assuming it's not collectible, I'd clean it up enough to make it prettier without taking off the patina of age. Clean and polish the wood without stripping the finish, gently clean the metal so it doesn't look grungy but still looks like an old, well-used shotgun. Bring out the Damascus grain without trying to make it bright and shiny. Oil everything lightly, wipe down, and hang it on the wall. Go slowly, be gentle, and you'll know when to stop.

Take it down now and again to admire, then hang it back up again. Repeat as necessary.

Scarecrow Repair
01-01-2007, 11:44 AM
OK, I'll pass on the word to not fire, even with black powder.

But what is a "hardware store" gun?

-hanko
01-01-2007, 12:02 PM
OK, I'll pass on the word to not fire, even with black powder.

But what is a "hardware store" gun?
Simply a gun made by the manufacturer with a trade name. E.g., High Standard making shotguns for Sears with the trade name JC Higgins (sp??). Trade name sales were big time from the turn of the century up to WW2. There's no intrinsic collector's value, but as the post above notes the damascus barrels are not safe with modern shells. Before shooting, I'd have a qualified shotgun smith check it out, then see if you can find black powder field shells on the web. If sound, it would be a very cool shooter.

-hanko

Scarecrow Repair
01-01-2007, 12:44 PM
Simply a gun made by the manufacturer with a trade name. E.g., High Standard making shotguns for Sears with the trade name JC Higgins (sp??). Trade name sales were big time from the turn of the century up to WW2.
So is there any way to tell when this gun was made, or anything more about it? My friend has a couple of books on antique guns, and one of the (Remington? Winchester?) shotguns looks like this. It is shown with four different versions of the scrollwork on the side, and his scrollwork matches the 1889 model, I think. Is that a good indication of when it was made, or even the manufacturer?

maxicon
01-01-2007, 1:24 PM
Back in the day, there were lots of small gun makers, and very little tracking of them. Many of them didn't bother with putting names on the guns, though if they were popular, people may know something about them. They also freely borrowed styles and features from other gun makers.

Best bet is to find someone who specializes in antique shotguns, and I'd start at shotgunworld. They may be able to come up with a general age by features, even if they don't know the maker. Here's a page with a bunch of links to gun ID resources:
http://www.shotgunworld.com/identify.html

For example, here's a folding trigger boot pistol that a friend of mine has.

Beautiful little piece, nothing but proof marks, little collectability because there's no brand name. These were made by lots of small gun makers in Belgium and thereabouts. They're curios and wallhangers, and are worth exactly what someone would pay (rarely much over a few hundred bucks in this case).

http://www.maxicon.com/guns/d-right0-a.jpg

Scarecrow Repair
01-01-2007, 1:49 PM
I have learned more about antique shotguns (and firearms in general) than I would have expected. I'll go over that site with my friend.

I guess this couldn't happen today, what with licensing and all. Seems a shame just from the creativity point of view.

M. Sage
01-01-2007, 2:43 PM
What exactly is a hardware store gun, and why should it not be fired? My friend inherited it, I guess from his father, who got it from his father ... I think.

You see where it says "Fine Damascus Steel?" That's one reason not to shoot it. It's ALMOST like forging, but more like rolling...

Oops, didn't notice page 2 before I posted.

The re-branded guns continued at least into the '70s. My .22 is a Glenfield 75C.. it's a Marlin 60.