View Full Version : Belgium "Rabbit Ear" .410 Double Barrel
July 22, 2010, 09:15 PM
Wonder if some of you guys could help me out. A friend showed me a .410 double barreled shotgun that his father had when he was born (1941). His dad told him he got the gun used when he was a boy(around 1935) and I wondered if someone might shed some light on what it is. The Proof marks show the E L G with the crown and the star below, the "Tower" proof mark, plus the preliminary Black Powder marks designating "Since 1893". Both of the side receiver plates have "Quail Gun" inscribed in english and the top markings show "Belgian Laminated Steel". Under the barrel on the receiver is printed "non raye". and the number on the frame is 3469. Otherwise it is a typical looking double barrel. Maybe someone has seen or knows about another with these details and if it's worth more than just an old shotgun. Any info would be helpful. Thanks.
July 22, 2010, 10:57 PM
There are very few records available for all of the old Belgium shotguns that were were imported over the years. I would guess your friends shotgun was made between the late 1890's and 1911 ( intermission for WWI ) in the 1920s when firearm production restarted in Belgium outside hammers were no longer in vogue and the trend was for the new internal hammer shotgun. The same for Damascus barrels ( Laminated steel is a form of Damascus, where strips or rods of steel are hammer welded around a mandrel ), after WWI the trend was for the stronger " fluid steel or high carbon steel. Prior to and after WWI Belgium had a very large cottage firearm industry,dozens, perhaps even hundreds of small Dad and son shops where perhaps a dozen shotguns were made a year. On large contract orders for the cheaper guns the shops would combine and work as a co op, certain shops would make barrels, other shops would make other parts and yet other shops put it all to together. These guns were shipped to the US by the boat load and sold for for just a few dollars ( 5 to 10 ). There were large Belgium's firms that turned out firearms that were second to none and were as good as anything made in Europe, but they were also not afraid to put there names on their products. These very old, no name Belgium shotguns such as your friend's, do not command much value and are not safe to shoot ( My opinion ). After over a hundred years of unknown use and storage the internal welds could very well be like wood that termites have infested. All rust and no structure. A place on the wall is the best place for these old shotguns, but that's just my opinion.
July 26, 2010, 09:41 PM
Thankis Rjay. I appreciate you answering. Didn't know a lot about this one but you've filled me in. I had already suggested to my frined that he shouldn't shoot it.. and Since I posted the inquiry I've learned that my friend has been offered $1000 for it. I think I'll tell him he should take it. Thanks again.
K in K
July 26, 2010, 10:17 PM
IMO he should take the money and run like hell.:)
Magnum Wheel Man
July 27, 2010, 09:24 AM
while without pics I'd agree... selling it seem like a good idea, unless he is sentimentally attached...
a while back I was going through Cabela's gun library & used guns, looking for double rifle project prospects... ( they had just recieved a large volume of old side by side double barrels from a large collection ) I settled on a Husquavarna that was strong & functional... but ended up buying several, the longer I looked, another "Husky" for a cut down coach gun, & at the advice of my local builder, he had me avoiding the Belgian shotguns, but I bought one anyway, that I thought was both particularly nice, & cheap ( $175.00 ) when I brought it to my builder to inspect, his jaw dropped... it turned out to be a high end gun... had a "dolls head" "greenier cross bolt" double locking lugs, nice grip caps, diecent wood, & some engraving, & fluid steel barrels with damascus look finish... he guessed it to be close to a $1,000.00 shotgun, that I'd just paid $175.00 for from Cabela's...
BTW... the high end guns are fewer & farther between than the cheap guns... also .410 doubles often carry a premium... so, most likely the gun is not worth $1000.00, but if it were a nice high end gun in .410, it could be worth more than that... it would be the best to get it positively identified, before selling it...
can you get any pics...
July 30, 2010, 07:23 AM
Wow. Thanks Magnum. He may have something after all. He went to a gun show last year with it and as he was walking down the aisle some guy came up to him without even asking to hold it and said "I'll give you a thousand for it."..at that time he was just trying to find out if it was anything speical. Currently he is talking with a prospective buyer that he told an offer was made for 1K and the reply was "don't worry, I'll pay top dollar for it." My friend has the shotgun still but I'll try to get a few pics. Dont know what a dolls head or cross bolt locking lugs are. What picture view would tell you?...I'll try to post a few if I can get with him again this weekend.
Thanks you guys...all of you for communicating.
Magnum Wheel Man
July 30, 2010, 07:40 AM
I guess I had a thread on my gun a while back, & it has several descriptions of it's features & several pictures... probably best to just add a link...
if your gun, in .410 has at least most of these features, it's probably not one of the "run of the mill" Belgians made for importation to the common "hardware" store chains, as the bulk of them were at the time...
best of luck...
ooops... I forgot that we had discovered ( or at least we were pretty sure ) mine was Itialian??? It was tagged as Belgian by Cabela's gun library
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