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Old July 19, 2010, 07:23 AM   #1
-Kaintuck-
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Belgium "Rabbit Ear" .410 Double Barrel

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 1925) 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. Any info would be helpful. Thanks.
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Old July 19, 2010, 08:35 AM   #2
oneounceload
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The ELG is the Belgian proof mark. Laminated steel is the old steel, many times called "Damascus", and when used with black powder loads (as it sounds like it might have been), can have corrosion in the barrels making modern use VERY iffy. There will be some who say never shoot a Damascus-barreled gun under any circumstances, and that is just not so. It DOES mean, however, that a trip to gunsmith WHO IS PROFICIENT in examining old guns like this is in order. If there is ANY doubt, it becomes a wall-hanger, even in 410.

If after being given an OK by said smith, use lower-powered loads, not any 3" specials.

Pics are always nice and helpful as well.......
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Old July 19, 2010, 10:14 AM   #3
isanchez2008
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Maybe posting in http://thefiringline.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=19 will help you
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Old July 20, 2010, 06:50 AM   #4
-Kaintuck-
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Thanks guys...I appreciate your help. I'll tell my friend he has a neat collectible but nothing special. I don't think he was really interested in shooting it as much as he was interested in selling it. You think it's worth more than just another .410?
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Old July 20, 2010, 11:10 AM   #5
Goatwhiskers
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There were literally thousands of "hardware store" shotguns imported from Belgium just before and after the turn of the 20th century. Quality ranged from decent using guns to junk. As regards the Damascus or "twist steel" barrels: I see a lot of discussions on this forum regarding the shootability of these guns. Damascus steel barrels ran the gamut from excellent (usually English made) to debatable quality. The danger of separation of laminations and consequent blowout of the barrels is real whether some shooters choose to believe it or not, regardless of the manufacturer. Would you want to have your face and hands next to the gun IF it lets go? There are way too many good quality guns available to take the risk. Hang those old guns on the wall. Here endeth the lesson. Goatwhiskers the Elder
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Old July 22, 2010, 05:29 PM   #6
-Kaintuck-
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Thanks for the info Goatwhiskers. Just wondering too, is it worth any more than just an old shotgun?.
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