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Old March 11, 2012, 08:22 PM   #1
GSequoia
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J. Manton Double Ten I.D. (Picture Heavy)

I have this old so-called J. Manton shotgun that has lived in my grandfather's closet for a long time. He never really cared for shotguns so when he got it from his dad he just stuck it there and forgot about it. I figure it hasn't been fired in at least sixty years, I don't intend to change that. I was wondering if anybody can help nail down identification for me as I'm quite curious.

I'll let the photos speak for themselves...







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Old March 11, 2012, 08:23 PM   #2
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Old March 11, 2012, 08:24 PM   #3
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Old March 11, 2012, 08:25 PM   #4
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Thanks for the assistance.
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Old March 12, 2012, 05:54 AM   #5
Mike Irwin
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Here's a thread from a few years ago that may give you some insight.

http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=355179

It would appear from that that this gun could have been made in Belgium for Manton.
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Old March 13, 2012, 12:55 PM   #6
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It has Birmingham black powder proof and inspection marks on the barrels. If I remember correctly, they were used until 1905 or so.

You'll definitely not want to shoot it, given its condition, but it looks like a fine wall hanger and a great reminder of your grandfather.
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Old March 13, 2012, 03:36 PM   #7
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I don't know why anyone would think Belgian made - I don't see any Belgian markings on the gun (and also not on the one in the linked thread). Neither the perron mark nor the usual elg or the typical star-over letter Belgian inspector mark. Unless it's a complete fake, including faked Birmingham marks, I wouldn't doubt the British origin.
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Old March 14, 2012, 06:40 AM   #8
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Maps,

Read what I linked in.

Quoted from Jim Watson:

"Greener describes the practice of Belgian gunmakers sending guns to Birmingham to be prooved so as to avoid foreign markings. They would apply any brand name specified by the seller. The fine old Manton family was likely out of business by the time this gun was made."

Apparently it wasn't uncommon for the lesser British arms houses to contract for firearms from Belgium and France.

They would be shipped, unfinished and unproofed, to Britain, where they would be finished and then proofed with the FAR more desirable British proof marks.

Apparently perfectly legal, although a bit deceptive.

The same sort of thing was done in the United States in which the big jobber Crescent Arms made low cost shotguns that were then stamped with a name very similar to a much better quality British or even American maker.
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Old March 14, 2012, 07:31 PM   #9
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While I read that, it would have been illegal in both Belgium and Britain. Wirnsberger describes the penalty for trying to pass of a foreign barrel as British as 20 Pound sterling, a huge amount in the 19th early 20th century (in excess of the gun's value), and that Belgium marks were sufficient in the UK to sell the gun without reproof. So yes, the chance for a complete fake exists, maybe for sale overseas as a high-grade gun, but at least I don't see the gun as being so bad and so obviously fake that that would be my first assumption.
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Old March 15, 2012, 05:42 AM   #10
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Hum...

I didn't think it was illegal to manufacture them for export, and export sans proof, as long as they were proofed in the nation where the finished guns were sold.

I've come across other references to this before, not just the reference to the Greener book.
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Old March 15, 2012, 05:51 AM   #11
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Yes Mike, I've read numerous references to that practice too, but the British were very proud of their finished goods at the time and tried their best to protect the brand. Don't forget, "made in Germany" started out at that time as a discriminating mark to distinguish the cheap German import from true British quality.
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Old April 2, 2012, 01:37 PM   #12
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Under no circumstances should you fire that shotgun with modern ammunition. It was made for black powder. I have an old damascus 12ga. double that belonged to my grandfather, but I reload with black powder and the shotgun has been well taken care of.

If you want to clean yours up a bit, remove the metal and soak it in penetrating oil, wipe off with rags, soak again etc. until most of the heavy rust is gone. Once that has been done, rinse off with solvent or mineral spirits and re oil with gun oil. You will probably have to re oil every couple of days or so until the gun oil has completely soaked into the metal.
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Old April 2, 2012, 08:36 PM   #13
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"but the British were very proud of their finished goods at the time"

Yet they weren't above making a buck, either.

For example, Rigby manufacturing his bolt rifles from Mauser-made actions for a number of years.

It was more financially feasible for him to get them from the source rather than either designing his own or having someone make them for him in Britain.
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