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Old August 17, 1999, 05:47 PM   #1
PKAY
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Join Date: March 22, 1999
Location: L.A., CA, USA
Posts: 911
My mother-in-law found an old side by side 12 gauge shotgun under her uncle's bed after he passed away (92 years old at the time!). She described it on the telephone to me and asked if I wanted it. Sure I did. So on our next visit she gave it to me and said to do with it as I wished.

When I got home, I disassembled it carefully and found markings indicating it was made in 1878 by Baker Brothers. It has Damascus barrels and exposed hammers. There's no lever to break it open either. You have to push one of the triggers forward to break it and expose the breech.

Looks like some repair work was done on the stock at some time in the past, but, overall it's in pretty good condition. I've been warned, however, not to fire any modern shot shells in this gun because of the pressures and nature of the barrels.

Any history on this puppy? What's it worth? It's been cleaned and oiled and put in my safe. Any info you guys may have would be of great interest. Thanks.

------------------
Safe shooting - PKAY
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Old August 21, 1999, 11:12 PM   #2
James K
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Join Date: March 17, 1999
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William H. and Ellis L. Baker began production of shotguns about 1878, Later, L.C. Smith bought out the original company. About 1888, the Hunter Brothers bought the name and made "New Baker" guns. If yours is marked Baker Bros., and has no L.C. Smith markings, it would appear to be from the first production.

The guns were good, solid guns, but not classics like the Parkers. Value depends primarily on condition and could go $1000 in top condition. Problem is that there is not a lot of collector interest in shotguns other than the classics.

You have been told correctly not to shoot it. It is best kept for sentimental reasons.

One minor "tribute" to the Baker was the number of cheap shotguns marked "BARKER", which was intended to confuse the buyer into thinking the gun was a Baker or a Parker.

Jim
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Old August 23, 1999, 11:52 AM   #3
PKAY
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Join Date: March 22, 1999
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Jim, thanks for the info. At the last Pomona show I happened to mention this gun to a collector of 19th century weapons of the old west. He seemed to be very interested. It may be that some collector interest is increasing with the increase in Cowboy Action shooting sports. In the meantime I think I'll just hold on to it.
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Old August 23, 1999, 11:54 AM   #4
PKAY
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Join Date: March 22, 1999
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Posts: 911
Jim, thanks for the info. At the last Pomona show I happened to mention this gun to a collector of 19th century weapons of the old west. He seemed to be very interested. It may be that some collector interest is increasing with the increase in Cowboy Action shooting sports. In the meantime I think I'll just hold on to it.
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