I've done as much research as I can about this gun given to me by my step-father 4 years ago, which was time consuming as it's not a popular collectable. I know it's not very valuable but I still have a few questions as I'm new to the game.
I was told this is a 12 guage single barrel, damascus barrel black powder shotgun. It appears to have a black finish on the barrel which is coming off. CS Shattuck is marked as well as "1813" on three places - no other marks to be seen.
1. Should it try to clean it up/restore it?
2. Is there somewhere that I can find the relevance of the 1813 stamp?
3. The firing pin is broken off - shouldn't I at least have that fixed (although I'll never shoot it).
4. The action opens by pulling the front trigger - was this ever common?
This is the information I've painstakingly compiled:
C.S. Shattuck Arms Co., Hatfield, Mass. (1878 to 1908)
In 1875 C.S. Shattuck and Andrew Hyde started a pistol manufacturing business in Springfield, Mass. In February of 1877, Andrew Hyde and Major Charles S. Shattuck brought their Springfield pistol manufacturing business to Hatfield and went into a partnership with Mrs. Mary D. Porter in the Thomas Meekin sawmill on Prospect St., formerly Crescent Pistol Co. est. 1874 (Shattuck possibly also had, concurrently or otherwise a gun shop on Bridge St. in Hatfield, dates unknown). In 1878 Mrs. Porter withdrew her partnership and the business was continued by Hyde and Shattuck. In 1880 Shattuck bought out Hyde and continued the factory alone, turning out many revolvers. Soon after he began to make single-barreled breech-loading shotguns, and then few years later double-barreled shotguns. Large quantities of both were made, averaging for a time 15,000 guns per year.
Gun shop image: http://www.zshare.net/image/18963571c0d4886e/
The gun shop was burned in 1881 and was immediately rebuilt on the same site. The manufacture of guns was abandoned in 1909. In 1910 the only arms being turned out was a new four-shot pistol*, but for how long is unknown.
Major Charles S. Shattuck served with the 6th Vermont Infantry in the Civil War and later lived on Main St. in Hatfield, Mass. He returned at least once to Vermont for a military reunion.
Shattuck was best known for inexpensive handguns and single barrel shotguns. Their single barrels are valued from $35 to $150, double barrels $100 to $400 depending on condition. The 8 bores may command more.
* “A History of Hatfield, Massachusetts” Daniel White Wells, Reuben Field Wells 1910