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Old February 11, 2009, 11:02 AM   #1
240golf
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Gold plated antique hangun?

I found this cleaning out my uncles office. All the parts are stamped with the serial number. It is gold plated and has wooden grips. On top of the barrel is stamped Centennial 1876. This weapon does operate. The only thing missing is who is the manuf. and model#. Does anyone have an idea?

Thanks
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Old February 11, 2009, 12:42 PM   #2
DrLaw
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That gun is typical of the type that used to be called Saturday Night Specials. It was a popular design around the turn of the 19th century (into the 20th century) and it was a type that was made cheap, fast and in large numbers by all sorts of small gun manufacturing companies.

I really doubt that it would be clad in gold, though, and suspect it is some other sort of metallic coating. It would be the same as gold-plating a fender washer for a regular Ford Taurus, no real sense in it. The fact that there is no name of manufacturer or serial number showing lends more credence to it being something of a Saturday Night Special.

More for looks now than actual use.

If in doubt though about the metal cladding, take it to a jewelers for their advice.

Here is a website showing some similar guns.

http://www.armchairgunshow.com/otsDSZ_spurtriggers.htm

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Old February 11, 2009, 05:27 PM   #3
240golf
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I sensed it was a saturday night special with no markings. I had it tested and it is gold plated. Still does not mean ****. Thanks for the feedback.

Thanks
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Old February 11, 2009, 06:02 PM   #4
Jim Watson
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It does not match any specific make or model in Flayderman, just one of a multitude of "suicide specials."

As to the gold plate on a low end gun, there was once a store here that had many old guns that had been nickel and/or gold plated just to make a flashy display. Many were cheap, many were worn or rusty with plating over the pits. But they were shiny, which I guess was what the proprietor wanted.
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Old February 11, 2009, 09:26 PM   #5
DrLaw
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Could it be???

http://books.google.com/books?id=QK3...um=1&ct=result

This is a long one to put into the address line, but check out this find.

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Old February 12, 2009, 12:18 AM   #6
James K
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Centennial was a trade mark used by the Hood Fire Arms Co. for a line of "suicide specials" in 1876 (the centennial of the Declaration of Independence). While normally those guns were inexpensive ($1.50-2.50 being the normal range), if the gold plating is factory, it would certainly have cost more and that would be reflected today. IF the plating is factory, and IF the gun is in new condition, it could go for $400 or more, much greater than the average price of a suicide special. (I doubt a gun like that was ever fired; if it has been, the value is considerably reduced.)

It seems to me like something that would have been presented to someone at about that time (1876) for some kind of service, maybe as the head of a local lodge or club, as organizer of a local centennial celebration, as a local law officer, or something like that. (Someone more prominent would likely have rated a more expensive gun and it would have been suitably engraved.)

If you can do some research on your family, you might come up with information on the original owner, and that kind of information, with good documentation, could increase the value of the gun significantly.

Jim
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Old February 12, 2009, 01:22 PM   #7
240golf
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My uncle was retired law enforcement, and this gun was a trophy to the top marksman amongst his buddies. It came from an episode in their careers that is kept to them. Yet, every year they get together and have a weekend and this is the trophy. It also comes with a fully loaded cigar humidor for your desk..

I doubt this will ever be shot again, but ammo has passed through the handgun. I believe this weapon will be going back to the sharpshooters and their weekend.
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Old February 13, 2009, 01:25 PM   #8
TEDDY
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gold plated

you also realize that gold was not worth very much at that time.I have had many of that type,as they were very common in my time and a lot were in 32 rimfire.
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Old February 13, 2009, 02:11 PM   #9
Mike Irwin
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I've seen quite a few cheap guns from this time period that were treated with a gold wash, FAR thinner than gold plating.
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Old February 13, 2009, 04:08 PM   #10
James K
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I rather assumed a gold wash. With the additional infomation from the OP, it is beginning to look like a joke "present" or "trophy" among people who knew guns and were serious shooters. The story, if it can be learned, would be interesting to be handed down along with the gun to future generations.

Jim
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