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Old May 4, 2012, 09:50 AM   #1
goggy6
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Help/I found an old shotgun at a garage sale

The gun is a double barrel with hammers and 2 triggers. It is stamped US Arms Co above the triggers and is also stamped Laminated Steel between the barrels. Cant find much online about it, appears to be very old and I actually just bought it cause I thought it would look good on the wall. Now I'm curious as to what exactly i have, the guy said it was a 10 gauge he got from his grandpa but I think it could be a 12. it is stamped 80884T 10 720 and then under that it has 2 makers marks? or some symbols like that and 441. On the bottom of the barrel it is stamped 720 441 (some small mark I can't make out) 2 star symbols then 80884 and then what appears to be a y or a 9 that is much larger than the other markings. forearm is also stamped 80884 T 10. Anyone know what I have here?
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Old May 4, 2012, 10:00 AM   #2
Jim Watson
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Some of those obscure little marks are probably Belgian proof marks.
US Arms was a small company that lasted only about four years 1874-1878 but the brand name was later picked up by Crescent, then Folsom for shotguns imported by them from Belgium around 1900.
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Old May 4, 2012, 10:00 AM   #3
goggy6
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Another thing is.....

the barrels are only 21 inches long, they do have a bead on the end but I'm guessing this was cut off at some point in it's life. Maybe not but as you can tell i don't know much about old shotguns
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Old May 4, 2012, 10:06 AM   #4
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U.S. Arms Co. or United States Arms Co. Brooklyn New York 1874 1878

google will give you all kind of links. This company is long gone.
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Old May 4, 2012, 12:13 PM   #5
Salmoneye
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Do NOT fire that with smokeless powder, and in fact, you shouldn't fire it at all...
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Old May 4, 2012, 01:08 PM   #6
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Some pics of the marking would help.
One picture is worth a thousand words-- Old Chinese proverb.
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Old May 4, 2012, 05:35 PM   #7
Lee Lapin
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I thought it would look good on the wall.

Best use for it for the time being - use a fired 12 gauge shell in one of the chambers to see if it really is a 12 gauge, or if it's a 10. A hundred years ago and a little more, the 10 gauge was as popular as the 12 gauge is now. This one is a wallhanger and not a shooter, until an expert says otherwise anyway. Not something that can be diagnosed over the Internet...

Any other markings on it? Property stamps in the stock, maybe? Look closely...
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Old May 4, 2012, 08:06 PM   #8
Salmoneye
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Even with a fired shell, you can not tell the length of the chamber, nor the quality or status of that 'Laminated Steel' barrel...
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Old May 5, 2012, 12:34 AM   #9
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Quote:
Even with a fired shell, you can not tell the length of the chamber, nor the quality or status of that 'Laminated Steel' barrel...
I thought Lee was suggesting that just to see if it was a 12 and not a 10 gauge. Why a fired shell I don't understand except perhaps for safety. Is it likely that a modern 2-3/4" shotshell will be too long and this is likely chambered for 2-1/2" or 2-9/16".

Whatever you do, don't shoot it and don't take the word of just any gunsmith that its safe to shoot.
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Old May 5, 2012, 08:45 PM   #10
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Pics?
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Old May 6, 2012, 05:38 AM   #11
Salmoneye
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Quote:
Is it likely that a modern 2-3/4" shotshell will be too long and this is likely chambered for 2-1/2" or 2-9/16".
Very likely, and you are more likely to be able to tell chamber length with an opened (fired) shell, as that is how a shell is measured...Unfired star crimped 2.75" shell is usually a hair under 2.5" in length...
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Old May 6, 2012, 06:55 AM   #12
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The words “laminated steel” are scary. Many years ago I saw some shotguns with what was called a “Damascus Barrel”. These were made by wrapping wire around a mandrel and welding the coils by heat and hammer.

Very dangerous because these were not made for modern pressures.

I wonder if “laminated steel” means the same thing, or similar.

I would disable the gun so it could never be fired and use it for the mantel.
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Old May 6, 2012, 07:16 AM   #13
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Laminated barrels sounds like "Damascus" style barrel... bad juju to fire even light BP shells from my understanding...

You would have to hand me a "pass/fail" sheet from a magna-flux test or similar...

Brent
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Old May 6, 2012, 09:57 AM   #14
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IIRC - and I could be in error - "laminated" was the earliest form of shotgun barrel making, before the advent of deep hole drilling, where strips of iron were laid lengthwise around a bore-sized mandrel & the seams (parallel to the bore) were hammer welded, then the barrel finished inside & out.

After seam failures, someone got the idea to wind the same strips spirally, so the new "twist" barrels could contain the radial pressures better.

The quality varies highly, depending on who made the barrels - with English-made barrel generally of the best quality, and most Belgian the least (having been quickly made to meet a low price point)

"Fluid" was the earliest smelted steel ingots, turned, drilled, & shaped into barrels.

Bottom line: Go with your 1st thought - Hang it on the wall (But - pump some epoxy into the FP holes first, so some innocent doesn't hurt themselves in your absence)

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Old May 6, 2012, 10:54 PM   #15
Lee Lapin
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Why a fired shell

Fired shell no go boom by accident, and it should be a sufficient 'gauge' to tell if the chamber is for 12 ga. or 10 ga. Chamber length doesn't really matter in a wall-hanger. Most interesting would be 8 gauge, but that's not likely at all.

Any stamped property markings in the stock (or engraving elsewhere) might indicate the gun really was used as a 'coach gun' or guard gun at some point, which would again be most interesting. Might add to its value too, if such could be authenticated.
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Last edited by Lee Lapin; May 6, 2012 at 11:03 PM.
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