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View Full Version : Gun Show find- Baker 16ga Side by side


Jacobie
February 23, 2008, 07:26 PM
I have been wanting a cheap side by side to just shoot around with lately, so today at the local gun show I stumbled upon a Baker Black Beauty 16ga side by side. I don't know much about Baker at all, but the price was right (hopefully) so I picked it up. Honestly i don't know much about grading guns, and things of that nature but it seems to be in good condition, besides a few light surface cracks on the stock. It is a 28" barrel, and i was looking for a 20", so I am thinking about having it cut down, bad idea or not?

Hawg
February 23, 2008, 07:41 PM
If it's got a good bit of original finish it would be worth more uncut. If it's an old beater well, it's yours do what you want. Some of them are damascus barrels and some have short chambers. Baker advertised all their guns to be able to fire smokeless loads but some folks are leery about doing it(Im not one of them).
BTW Baker was right up there with Parker, LC Smith, Lefever, Ithaca and A.H. Fox

Jacobie
February 23, 2008, 09:18 PM
Please excuse my ignorance when it comes to shotgun terms, but what does damascus barrels mean. And could you also please explain the smokless loads?

Hawg
February 23, 2008, 09:43 PM
Damascus barrels were made of wire, hammer welded around a mandrel. When they're in good shape they're stronger than proof steel but since they were made for black powder which combined with corrosive primers some of them deteriorated from the inside and let go under smokeless loads. Also the older ones were chambered for 2 1/2, 2 9/16 or 2 5/8 inch shells and will be over pressured with modern 2 3/4 which will chamber fine but shot shells are measured after firing not before. In a nutshell modern smokeless powder is more powerful than black powder altho they use an amount that gives an equivalent power to bp. Hence the dram equivalent noted on shot shell boxes. Modern smokeless develops more pressure than bp does so if a damascus barrel is weakened, smokeless may make it let go where it probably wouldn't with bp.

Jacobie
February 23, 2008, 10:57 PM
Um, I see, so maybe this wasn't such a good deal. Can you post some links up of 16ga shells that shuld be ok to shoot out of it?

Thanks

hogdogs
February 23, 2008, 11:08 PM
Would he be safe firing low brass loads? They are the lightest commercial offering correct?
Brent

Hawg
February 23, 2008, 11:25 PM
If the barrels are marked proof steel they'll be ok, provided shells of the proper length are used. Measure the chambers or have a gunsmith do it. If they're marked damascus twist or twist steel have them checked. If damascus and in good shape it will still be ok to shoot light loads, tho some would argue that. Boil a pan of water and dip the barrels in it. If they're damascus you'll be able to see the banding pattern for a few seconds before they dry.

Jacobie
February 23, 2008, 11:49 PM
Where would the barrels be marked?

Hawg
February 24, 2008, 12:36 AM
Most likely on the side near the breech. They may not be marked tho. Which really doesn't mean anything. My guess would be that if the gun has exposed hammers it's most likely damascus. If hammerless I'd say it's probably proof steel but that's just a guess as both types of guns were made in both steels.

Jacobie
February 24, 2008, 01:19 AM
Hawg Haggen, thank you for all the insight so far. I looked and it doesn't have any marking at all on the barrels, and by the breech it just is marked Baker Gun Co, and underneith "Black beauty model". Oh and it does not have external hammers. I will post some pictures of it.

Hawg
February 24, 2008, 01:34 AM
Dip the barrels in boiling water and see if patterns show up before it dries. If no patterns show it's proof steel. If it's proof steel have the chambers measured and get the appropriate shells and enjoy shooting it. If patterns show up have it checked out by a good gunsmith and again have the chambers measured, if it's in good shape it'll be ok to shoot light loads or bp loads. Damascus isn't anything to be afraid of if reasonable caution is used. Some people have heard all the hype and are deathly afraid of them tho. There are some wonderful old guns adorning walls that should be out getting used. Those old guns handle better, point better, feel better and do just about everything better than modern guns.

Jacobie
February 24, 2008, 01:42 AM
Gun doesn't look as "spotty' as these pictures look.
http://i128.photobucket.com/albums/p167/JDex_bucket/Baker007.jpg
http://i128.photobucket.com/albums/p167/JDex_bucket/Baker005.jpg
http://i128.photobucket.com/albums/p167/JDex_bucket/Baker004.jpg
http://i128.photobucket.com/albums/p167/JDex_bucket/Baker002.jpg
http://i128.photobucket.com/albums/p167/JDex_bucket/Baker001.jpg
http://i128.photobucket.com/albums/p167/JDex_bucket/Baker003.jpg

Hawg Haggen, do yo think it was worth the $100 I paid?

Hawg
February 24, 2008, 01:43 AM
I just did some online searching and found this. http://www.picturetrail.com/gallery.fcgi?p=999&gid=17434920

In part it says The sidelock “Black Beauty” replaced the Batavia Special, Leader, and Damascus guns about 1916. When Baker Gun & Forging sold their gun business to H.∓D. Folsom in 1919, it was renamed Baker Gun Co.,

So it would appear the barrels should be proof steel.

Hawg
February 24, 2008, 01:48 AM
It's a nice looking gun and looks nice and tight. I don't think the forearm is original to it tho. If it was me I wouldn't cut it. It'll shoot much better with the barrels as is than it ever will with them cut. 100 bucks! Want to double your money? I'd have that crack behind the lock fixed before I did a lot of shooting with it.

Jacobie
February 24, 2008, 01:57 AM
Yea, the forearm looks really good in person, do you think I should fix the stock, or just replace it. Considering that I only have $100 in it now, I guess I wouldn't mind springing for a new stock. Any idea where to find one that would fit it?

Hawg
February 24, 2008, 02:01 AM
From the look of it it should be a fairly easy fix. Take it off and if you can spread the crack a lil bit squirt a lil Elmers waterproof carpenters glue into it with a syringe then either clamp it or wrap it tight with surgical tubing. If the crack will squeeze together it will barely show but even if it shows it'll be stronger than the rest of the wood.

J F Cooper
February 24, 2008, 07:21 AM
The Gun pictured is likely a Folsom made gun, check to see if there is an "F" in the serial number.. The gun appears to be well worth $100, assuming the bores are good.. However, both the stock and forend have been replaced at one time.. The gun most likely has 2 9/16" chambers.. JFC

Jacobie
February 24, 2008, 11:19 AM
I can not find a serial nmber anywhere on it. Where can I find shells for it?

Hawg
February 24, 2008, 01:06 PM
Serial numbers were not required in the U.S. until 1968. Some companies used them, some didn't. Measure your chambers and make sure of what you have. Remember shotgun shells are measured after they're fired not before.
If they're 2 9/16 you'll probably have to make your own. Maybe somebody knows where you can get them but I don't. They probably won't be cheap either. Your best bet would be to get brass shells like Magtech. They'll make any length you want and you can glue the overshot cards in instead of crimping them and they'll last forever like that. A lot of CAS shooters do it that way.

Jacobie
February 24, 2008, 01:21 PM
seems like alot of work for someting I just wanted to plink around with. Maybe I'll just post it up on gunbroker. Thin I could get my money back?

Hawg
February 24, 2008, 01:28 PM
I'm sure you can get your money back. Might even make some off it. If I had the money to spare I'd take it off your hands.

Jacobie
February 24, 2008, 01:44 PM
Maybe I'll look around and see if I any one wants to trade for a beater 12 guage side by side.

Jeff Mulliken
February 24, 2008, 08:21 PM
What a bunch of crap.

First there is no such thing as proof steel. The steels that replaces Damascus and Twist steel barrels are fluid steel.

If some idiot blued the barrels at some point in the past and hid the twist or damascus pattern boiling it in water won't teach you anything.

Proof refers to a test performed to confirm that the barrels are sound, prior ot making a gun and selling it. There is no requirement to proof a barrel in the US. Most European countries have proof houses and guns made there have "proof marks" stamped on them confirming the tyoe of proof, the amount of pressure and the key measurements of the chamber and bore at the time the test was performed. Baker guns were not proofed.

The stock may be original, the forend is not. Replacing the stock is not an option, it would cost at least 10 times the value of the gun, probably more.

Elmers carpenters glue to fix a cracked stock on a sidelock shotgun? Right.
If your going to do it use a gunsmith grade epoxy like Acraglas, sold by Brownells.

Whether it is safe to shoot or not depends on a lot of things, not the least of which is the thickness of the barrel walls. A smith with a proper wall thickness gauge can measure them. In addition you need to know if the locking mechanism is sound. It probably is, these were reasonably well made guns back in the day.

The chamber should be measured at the same time. Given the age it is likely 2 9/16" chambers.

These guns were not made to use shells made to the current SAAMI specifications. While it may hold up you are better off feeding it shells that keep the chamber pressure under ~8500 psi

That does not mean that you need to load your own. There are several manufacturers that make 2 1/2" 16 ga shells, loaded to modest pressure levels. Try RST, they load great shells and the owner is a real gentleman.

http://www.rstshells.com/

Dont cut the barrel. If what you want is a gangster shotgun, pick up a gun that has no history or class and ruin it instead.

Dont dry fire it, it is easy to break a firing pin and a new pin will cost you more than the gun....unless you get lucky and find a gun being parted out.

And if you want ,more info that is not a bunch of BS go to the double gun website and post a question about your Baker. You'll get real answers from guys that know it and dont just make it up. Here is a link.

http://doublegunshop.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=postlist&Board=2&page=1&PHPSESSID=65bcf5ce87effd1c4debd37469e79567

This is a great site if you want to know how many times to shoot a home intruder, but if you want info on a classic gun run away, run away.

Hawg
February 24, 2008, 08:36 PM
First there is no such thing as proof steel. The steels that replaces Damascus and Twist steel barrels are fluid steel.

More smokeless barrels are marked proof steel than fluid steel.

If some idiot blued the barrels at some point in the past and hid the twist or damascus pattern boiling it in water won't teach you anything.


The heat from the water will bring the pattern to the surface through the bluing.


Elmers carpenters glue to fix a cracked stock on a sidelock shotgun? Right.
If your going to do it use a gunsmith grade epoxy like Acraglas, sold by Brownells.


That's going to be hard to do with a crack like his. Elmers waterproof carpenters glue can be injected with a syringe and the repair will be very strong and the glue won't show.

That does not mean that you need to load your own. There are several manufacturers that make 2 1/2" 16 ga shells, loaded to modest pressure levels. Try RST,

9.50-13.00 per box plus shipping isn't exactly cheap.

And if you want ,more info that is not a bunch of BS go to the double gun website and post a question about your Baker. You'll get real answers from guys that know it and dont just make it up. Here is a link.


My information is not B.S. and it's not made up. Thank you very much.

Jeff Mulliken
February 24, 2008, 10:18 PM
What exactly is a smokeless barrel? Damascus and other composite barrels were made for use with smokeless powder just as fluid steel barrels were made for use with black powder.

That term is meaningless just as there is no such thing as proof steel. The term "proof steel" is just marketing, by itself it tells you nothing about the type or strength of steel.

Boiling may help a twist pattern show through a plum brown rust patina but it will not show up through a blued barrel.

Elmers is not for gunstocks. Acraglass works fine through a syringe. It is available in a liquid or gel. My bench has a pile of syringes specifically for injecting acraglas, and it can also be blown into the bottom or a crack too thin for a syringe with compressed air....I do stock repair.

Read the RST website more thoroughly, $7.50 a box plus shipping, still not cheap but neither are empty unprimed brass hulls at over $20.00 a box plus all the tooling to get started reloading.

Jacobie
February 24, 2008, 10:45 PM
"Dont cut the barrel. If what you want is a gangster shotgun, pick up a gun that has no history or class and ruin it instead."
That's pretty much what I think I have decided to do.

Hawg
February 25, 2008, 12:14 AM
Jeff Mulliken, I don't understand why you have a problem with me. I haven't given the man any erroneous information. You're just nitpicking. You don't like my terminology or the products I choose to use but if we were all like you or me the world would be a boring place. I'll agree with your point about damascus and fluid(just to make you feel better) steel barrels being used for both powders. Boiling will show damascus through old bluing. I do assume it would show up through new bluing but haven't actually tried it for myself because I've never had a set reblued. I see no reason it wouldn't. Elmers whether you like it or not does work on gunstocks and is cheaper by far than arcaglass. I have used it on gunstocks (including one hi powered centerfire that was broken clean through at the wrist) that were pretty bad and never had one get any worse no matter how hard it was used. As for reloading brass shotshell you don't really need any expensive tooling to reload them, just the components. They use pistol primers which can be removed with a small punch and installed with a wooden dowel. The overshot card can be glued in eliminating the need for a crimping tool which will also make the brass last a lot longer. Go find somebody else to rag on and have a nice day.

Jeff Mulliken
February 25, 2008, 08:00 AM
Hawg,

I dont have any problem with you. Your an active member on this board and that is never a bad thing.

I have a problem with inaccurate information and what I consider to be bad advice.

Good day sir,

Jeff

Hawg
February 25, 2008, 08:12 AM
I know what I'm talking about Jeff. I may not use proper terminology( I call a pistol mag a clip too) and may use products and methods you don't believe in but they work. While I don't know you I'd be willing to bet I've handled and fired more 19th and early 20th century guns, especially shotguns than you've ever seen. I haven't given bad information or bad advice. I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree. Now this thread has gone from the discussion of a particular shotgun to a personal attack. I think we should just drop the whole thing. I'm surprised it hasn't already been locked.

Jacobie
February 27, 2008, 07:49 PM
Anyone know if I can ship this to a C&R holder?

Hawg
February 27, 2008, 08:38 PM
Yes.

Jacobie
February 27, 2008, 10:27 PM
Thanks again Hawg