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View Full Version : Dakin Gun Company?


JohnPL
February 20, 2002, 11:44 AM
Saw a used 12 gauge SxS made by Dakin Gun Co. (of St. Louis?)
and was wondering if anyone has had any experience with them.
Nice field grade gun, fairly nice wood, only thing I didn't like was the single non-selective trigger, which sort of negates one of the great advantages of a double-the ability to choose which barrel to shoot. Any info is appreciated.

Harley Nolden
February 20, 2002, 12:17 PM
Dakin Gun Co is out of SF Calif and made several SXS shotgungs. From what you describe the gun is possibly the Model #160, standard grade, or the Model #215, which is the same gun as the #160, but finer finished. These guns were mfg'd in the 1960's

HJN

James K
February 20, 2002, 10:09 PM
The Dakin guns were not the worst of the Spanish doubles, but they were not the best, either. The usual Spanish problems with hand filed parts, sometimes soft; good looking outside, a mess inside. Parts will likely not be available if anything breaks or wears out.

At the time those guns were imported, Dakin was in St. Louis, MO.; they later were in SF, but I think they are now gone completely.

Jim

C.R.Sam
February 20, 2002, 10:43 PM
Dakin gone.
Might not make any difference on lockwork parts tho. Often those were individualy hand fitted so replacements, if available, wouldn't fit anyway. Repairing older Spanish shotguns lends new meaning to 'do it yourself".

Sam

JohnPL
February 21, 2002, 06:59 AM
Thanks for the info, especially about replacement parts. It wouldn't be the first time I got a good deal on something used, just to discover that it can't be repaired if needed. There's "project guns" and then there's guns that will drive you insane trying to fix:mad:

James K
February 22, 2002, 11:17 PM
John,

Even when the Dakins were new, they (and other Spanish guns) presented a problem. The Spanish at that time used a lot of "cottage labor". Rough forged parts were given to people who worked at home, with a gage, a vise and a file, and were paid piecework. Then a "factory" worker hand fitted the parts. Everyone got maybe a buck a day. If you ordered a part, you got the rough forging. Then you, or your gunsmith, spend hours or days trying to make it fit, at a lot more than a buck a day.

This is not, BTW, theory. I spent a lot of time trying to fit parts into those guns; I was usually successful but often felt like wrapping the da*n junk around a tree.

People tell me that things have changed in Spain. I hope so, but I don't think I'll buy any Spanish shotguns.

Jim

C.R.Sam
February 23, 2002, 12:29 AM
Repairing Spanish shotguns.
Doing it yourself is a test of skill and patience.
Having it done is a test of your pocketbook and patience.

Jim speak true.

Sam.....been there.

UnitMaster
January 31, 2010, 08:05 PM
There definitely were a few bad sxs's that came out of Spain in the 70's. However there were also some of the finest guns ever made that came from the Basque region.

Think of it like this, in the 60's and 70's Ford made both the Shelby Mustang; to this day one of the most amazing production sports cars of all time; and the piece of crap Pinto. Chevy also produced the Corvette and the Chevette. Just as you wouldn't judge all Fords based on a Pinto or all Chevy's based on the Chevette, you should also not judge a Spanish gun maker based on making a gun to target Pinto and Chevette buyers market.

The Basque region of Spain is home to some of the finest sxs makers in the world. Arrizabalaga, Arrietta, and Grulla hold there own against the finest sxs maker's in the world.

James K
February 1, 2010, 02:54 PM
"However there were also some of the finest guns ever made that came from the Basque region."

Yep, but they weren't imported by Dakin. In fact, though, even many of those high quality guns were made exactly as I described, just with good quality control. Even AYA guns show a lot of hand work. Some folks consider that a sign of quality; I consider it a sign of primitive industry.

Every time I tried to work on those guns (and I worked on good ones), I failed to be impressed; I still like being able to replace the hammer on a Remington 870 without a file and ten hours labor.

Jim

UnitMaster
February 3, 2010, 03:22 PM
Jim

I know there are a lot of guns that many makers from the Basque region wish could be "unmade". At a time when the gun makers needed cash, they buckled to make low end mass produced guns to an economy price point. Just as Ford probably regrets making the Pinto.

I'll have to take your word on the parts as I am not a gun smith. I do know that many knowledgeable people have a lot of respect for high end Basque makers.

I'm sure we could get into a discussion about machining vs. hand filed. But the discussion would be the same. There are excellent machined guns and crappy ones, just as there are excellent hand made guns and crappy ones.

WillyB71
February 19, 2010, 10:55 AM
I have seen many spanish doubles made in the late 60s & 70s that were rough, but the two 50s/early 60s made Dakins I have used for the last 30 years were well made and have performed flawlessly for me.

The Model Especial (higher end Model 100) is a 12 ga 2-3/4", 28 1/2" F/M, double trigger gun w/pistol grip, hand checkered Pyreneese walnut stock, & BT forearm. The Anson & Deely type box lock is triple bolted, has ejectors, & is new gun tight after many, many, high brass loads duck & pheasant hunting. The engraving & fine checkering are well done. The walnut is striking. Gasper Arizaga made these guns for Dakin out of Eibar, Spain.

This gun is light, quick pointing, and sold for $108.50 in their 1956 catalog, advertising #9 Gutter St, San Francisco. CA as their home address.

The Quails Fargo model is a gun I was told Simmons Gun Specialties out of Kansas City imported and modified for Dakin for local markets. This is a straight stocked 3" 20 ga cut down to 22" Cyl/Cyl barrels & 39" overall, with a Simmons vent rib, extractors, and a NS single trigger. It isn't as fancy as the other gun, but is well finished, has hand checkered dark walnut, & is still very tight after many 3" mag loads hunting birds in tight cover over the years. Their 1963 catalog advertised this gun for $160 and showed their home office to be at 1739 Locust St, Kansas City, MO.

There aren't many of these guns around, but the ones I have seen have been tight, even if they have been abused cosmetically. They are usually good buys if someone wants a shooter. The last one I saw in a gun show was $500, which is cheap for a decent double. I looked in Cabela's fine gun room just before sending this and they had one listed for $1100.

As to finding parts, who still stocks parts for any 30+ year old double gun???

DCP
December 31, 2010, 10:29 PM
I kind of inherited one of these Side by Sides. At first glance I thought I was in big trouble NO PARTS.Mine needed some screws and other misc. PART being the cocking lever. Not so minor ,old one was not even ther.
After finding all the other parts I needed ,I pulled out the other lever.
Found a piece of 316l stainless and went to work, no mill. Less than one hour latter I made a few finishing touches with a buffer ,it was in the gun.
It worked as if it was suposed to be there. I WAS JUST PLAIN LUCKY.
If you need a hammer or any of the springs in the lock ,heaven help you.
I still think they are a well built middle of the road side by side.
JUST DON"T DRY FIRE THEM.

James K
December 31, 2010, 11:24 PM
This is an old thread, but I have seen nothing to change what I said above. Sure, there were/are some fine Spanish guns. Mostly they don't break and give long service. But when/if the owner is unfortunate to have one break, he is going to pay a lot of money for repairs.

I congratulate DCP for being able to make a fairly complex part from scratch, and I have to say that not many folks, even experienced gunsmiths, could (or would) do what he did, at least not in an hour. Of course, he did not pay $60 an hour for his own labor, or count the time to take the gun down, figure out the problem and reassemble. If a gunsmith did the whole job in, say, two hours, at a regular gunsmith rate, that would be a pretty expensive part.

Jim

4V50 Gary
January 1, 2011, 02:11 PM
#9 Gutter Street?

Are you sure it's not #9 Sutter Street?

Mike Armstrong
January 11, 2011, 05:24 PM
Probably IS Sutter St. (Couldn't find a "Gutter St." in Frisco, although I could find the Sutter St. gutter....).

A friend of mine has been using one of those "Quails Fargo" doubles since he bought it in the late 1960s. Deadly in close cover. He's even killed ducks with steel shot in it over decoys. But man, does it kick with 3" shells!

stanardgranite
December 11, 2011, 08:24 PM
i have a Dakin 10gage that has a broken stock . Can anyone point me in the right way to find one or get one maid?