November 14, 2006, 10:50 PM
I am looking for info on "Galef" single shot shotguns. There was a model called the "folding companion". I would like to know more about Galef and when this company or importer was in action. Also, if you know when these guns were produced and who actually produced them, that would be helpful also. I think they are Italian, but they might be Spanish.
November 14, 2006, 11:13 PM
Nice little shotgun if this is it. John
"J. L. Galef Co. had been the US importer and distributor for Beretta during the 60s and distributed the gun under the name “Companion.” After Beretta set up its own US network, the single was omitted from Beretta’s line, but Galef continued to import and sell a nearly identical gun under the name “Companion.” This was the same name Galef had used for the Beretta single, but after the breakup, Galef did not mention Beretta's name in connection with its sales efforts for the new gun, and I do not know whether the nearly identical gun was a Beretta product." - excerpted from:
"Hi, I'm looking for information regarding an old Beretta folding .410 shotgun.
It dates back to 1945 with the serial number B83719.
The gun belongs to a friend who bought it in the 50's when he was 10 yrs old and it's still in regular use for shooting rats. The ejector has broken off and become lost so we are trying to find info on how to come by a replacement, the gun has great sentimental value and any help will be greatly appreciated. None of the gunshops contacted know anything about this gun. Sirocco200022@aol.com
Your little Beretta single barreled gun is well covered in R. L. Wilson’s lavishly illustrated The World of Beretta, an International Legend.
Beretta called this neat little gun its “monocanna ripieghevole” which translates as "single barrel folding shotgun." Patented in 1922, it first appeared in a Beretta catalog in 1925 and remained in the catalog until 1992. At first offered in 16, 20, 24, and 28 gauges, it eventually appeared in 8 (!), 10, 12, and 32 gauges. The.410 bore was introduced in 1958, along with a short lived 9mm Flobert rimfire version with 20 inch barrel. Total production exceeded 500,000 guns.
Intended as a simple hunting model, throughout its production life, the little guns were offered in highly decorated and engraved versions often advertised as especially suitable for ladies.
I could find no mention of it in Wilson’s book, but I very distinctly recall a well executed “trap” version of this gun in the late 60s-early 70s. It had a 32 inch full choked barrel with vent rib, a Monte Carlo stock and automatic ejector. It may have been called the Mark I trap.
J. L. Galef Co. had been the US importer and distributor for Beretta during the 60s and distributed the gun under the name “Companion.” After Beretta set up its own US network, the single was omitted from Beretta’s line, but Galef continued to import and sell a nearly identical gun under the name “Companion.” This was the same name Galef had used for the Beretta single, but after the breakup, Galef did not mention Beretta's name in connection with its sales efforts for the new gun, and I do not know whether the nearly identical gun was a Beretta product.
I can find no source of parts. If you have not yet done so, you should contact Beretta. Since the gun was catalogued into the 90s, it is possible that parts are available. Absent that, a competent machinist or gunsmith should be able to make a satisfactory replacement, although the cost might be high. Marshall Williams"
November 14, 2006, 11:31 PM
J.L. Galef & Son, Inc.
85 Chambers Street
New York, New York 10007
After doing a little more looking I see they were founded in the late 1900s and sold everything from firearms to wide-angle camera lenses to the little four-tubed changemakers the ice cream man used to wear on his belt.
From a 1955 Popular Science magazine:
""It's cheaper. yes. The 16-mm. job is $125 and the 8-mm. one $75. Anyway, those are the prices that I got from the people who import them - J. L. Galef and Sons in New York, down at 85 Chambers Street."
"That does give me a choice. But say, do these wide-screen home movies really work? Have you seen any of it?""
"When Bill Morris, the chief photographer of POPULAR SCIENCE, and I were up in the Arctic last summer, he took along a FilmoRama lens attachment for his Bell & Howell 16-mm. movie camera."
U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker Eastwind
Okay, it's not gun related, but I liked the pic.
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