View Full Version : Davenport
March 10, 2000, 01:36 PM
Is anyone familiar with Davenport shotguns? The one I'm looking at is an 1898 model and has matching serial numbers on the stock and forearm, too. sundog
March 10, 2000, 02:16 PM
I have restocked many Davenports over the years and they fall into the catagory of being a Hardware Gun. Crescent was a big producer of shotguns and I will continue to cross over to see if I can actually locate Davenport.
W.H Davenport made numerious shotguns during the same era as Crescent and some of those are interlinked with crescent.
This Company mfg’d good quality, inexpensive side by side and single Bbl shotguns and was founded in 1883. They were bought by the H&D Folsom Arms Company of New York, importers and distributors of firearms and sporting goods.
After the purchase of Crescent, the Folsom Company was able to offer a complete range of shotguns, imported English French, Belgium and American made Crescents. By the turn of the century Crescent Arms produced huge quantities of “Hardware Guns” it produced guns under direct contract to distributors, mail order housed and hardware distributors with any brand name the customer requested. Crescent also produced guns for its parent company, as Folsom house brands that were sold to customers that did not want their own brand name.
By the lat 1890's Crescent was producing basically five grade of dbl bbl shotguns offering a model for most tastes. The Crescent /Folsom Arms Company continued this type of business until 1930 when it merged with Davis Warner Arms Corp and became the Crescent-Davis Arms Corp. In 1932 it assets and machinery were bought by Stevens Arms Company, a victim of changing tastes and the depression
[This message has been edited by Harley Nolden (edited March 10, 2000).]
March 11, 2000, 06:38 AM
William Hastings Davenport was a rather prolific entrepenuer. Throughout his life he founded several firearms companies including The Davenport Arms Company or Providence R.I. - mid 1870's, Bay State Arms Company of Uxbridge Mass in 1883 and W.H. Davenport Fire Arms Company of Norwich Conn in 1890. Five years after his death in 1904 the company was purchased from his widow by the Hopkins & Allen Arms Company of Norwich Conn.
Davenport guns have his patented key take-down on the right side of the frame. Patent dates found on the frame are December 15, 1891, August 11,1896 August 14,1900 and May 27,1902. The Davenport doubles were not especially high quality, yet were reasonalby well built, for the market which they were intended. Occassionally guns of this type are found with trade names other than Davenport, thus indicating that they were sold under trade brand names.
There is an interesting picture accompanying this information of a hammer shotgun with the hammers fixed directly behind each chamber instead of being attached on the sides of the frame. The frame looks similar to a boxlock and has a "horseshoe" shaped round wire main spring with each end contacting the hammers. There is no half-cock or safety provision. There is also no documentation that H & A made any of these shotguns after they took over.
All information from Side by Sides of the World by Charles E. Carder
March 13, 2000, 12:45 PM
Harley and fal308, thank you very much. The piece I have is a single 16 g that still shoots and was in my wife's family for who knows how long. A couple of years ago I cleaned it up really good and tried to repair a cracked stock, but the repair did not work well on the old wood. Someone before me had actually nailed, screwed, and taped it. Too bad as it is really a nice piece of wood. Harley, I noticed you mentioned that you had restocked several over the years. Anything special to pay attention to if I decide to do this one? The take down key on the right side is interesting. Thanks, again. sundog
March 13, 2000, 02:46 PM
I am led to believe that the folks who bought out Fajen may still have some of the semi-inletted stocks for this shotgun. I don't know the name of the company, however, if you go to search, gun stocks, you may find a company that still makes them there.
March 13, 2000, 03:54 PM
Harley, thank you. I'll do just that. I think it may be a worthwhile project. A bit of history never hurts. sundog
March 14, 2000, 01:03 AM
Conerning Fajan Gunstocks:
The Potterfields of Columbia Missouri, owners of Midway USA, still own the Fajan name. They are only offering 3 styles of rifle stock right now, according to their web site, made in "state of the art plants around the United States" (not in Mo. anymore, I take).
All the old semi-inletted stocks and wood of all types were sold at public auction in Dec. 1998, and are now hopelessly dispersed. No one person purchased all this stock. I was there and even bought a few myself. They sold for pennies on the dollar and I only wish I had bought more.
Most of the remaining working craftsmen, the duplicating equipment and, I was told, over 1,000 pattern stocks are now at a struggling new company called Wenig Custom Gunstocks located in Lincoln, Mo. I have not yet been able to inspect thier works yet, but I suspect it is in garages all over Lincoln. There are fine and knowlegable craftsmen working there for sure, and I would suggest that you contact them on your stock problem. They have a web site: www.wenig.com (http://www.wenig.com)
March 14, 2000, 02:47 PM
Herodotus, good information. I'll check them out. Thank you. sundog
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