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Old April 24, 2012, 04:39 PM   #1
bldmaghead
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Old French Shotgun

My grandfather gave me, through my dad, an old French side by side, 12 gauge shotgun he had gotten from his neighbor. This neighbor was an elderly Polish gentleman who escaped Poland with this shotgun ahead of the advancing Germans in WWII. I didn't talk to the original owner of the gun, so I don't have any information other than it is of French manufacture. Unfortunately, both this gentleman and my grandfather have passed away. I have had the shotgun for 21 years, and it has been sitting in my closet in a case. I occasionally take it out and clean, lube and oil it. It is in very good condition.

It has on the opening lever:
Helice Elite BTE SCDG
Marque Deposee

On the underside of the receiver, it has:
Hot & Prunier Valenciennes

Where the barrel assembly rests on the receiver:
A crown over the letters PT
the numbers 52 30485

On the undersides of the barrel assembly where it meet the receiver it has
:
St Etiennes proof mark
Canons Gallia
A rearing lion in front of:
Marque Deposee
Crochets Encastres

A crown over the letters PT
18.4
65
Reforage Longitudinal Cylindro

Canon Surete'
B.A.
Double (with another word I cannot make out)

A diamond shaped mark with the letter BF inside

the numbers 52 30485

Questions: Who is the manufacturer and does anyone have any ideas about this gun, and maybe what it's value might be?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Shotgun_1.jpg (250.9 KB, 38 views)
File Type: jpg Shotgun_2.jpg (241.8 KB, 30 views)
File Type: jpg Shotgun_3.jpg (244.8 KB, 30 views)

Last edited by bldmaghead; April 24, 2012 at 09:02 PM.
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Old April 24, 2012, 05:08 PM   #2
oneounceload
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18.4 will be the bore diameter or choke diameter depending of there are other similar numbers; the 65 will be the chamber length - that means 2-1/2, NOT the 2-3/4" that is normal today

marque déposée means registered trademark

Crochets Encastres means built in hooks, presumably for the bites

Here are some French proof marks:

http://www.phoenixinvestmentarms.com...Proofmarks.pdf


Pics would be real helpful
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Old April 24, 2012, 05:18 PM   #3
bldmaghead
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Here are some more pics:
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File Type: jpg Shotgun_5.jpg (248.8 KB, 24 views)
File Type: jpg Shotgun_6.jpg (247.8 KB, 24 views)
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Old April 24, 2012, 05:20 PM   #4
bldmaghead
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Here are 3 more pics:

Also, the stock is canted to the left for a right handed shooter. Will submit another pic of that.
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File Type: jpg Shotgun_8.jpg (238.4 KB, 20 views)
File Type: jpg Shotgun_9.jpg (210.7 KB, 22 views)
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Old April 24, 2012, 05:30 PM   #5
bldmaghead
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I thought this angle shows the stock offset the best:
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Old April 24, 2012, 05:33 PM   #6
bldmaghead
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oneounceload, according to your link, it appears to have the proof mark for St. Etienne 1897 double proof finished and joined barrels.
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Old April 24, 2012, 06:29 PM   #7
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The "Helice" top-bolting mechanism was a trade-name used by Verney-Carron, and one of Verney-Carron's marks was a logo consisting of "V", "C", and "F" all formed into one simple monogram, and you may be able to see that somewhere.
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Old April 24, 2012, 06:32 PM   #8
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I noticed that as well.

The 18.4 = .724 in inches which is either a slightly smaller bore than the .729, or it is indicating a .005 choke

The Crown with the PT is a smokeless powder proof

The word Helice that I am aware of is used for a game where propeller-driven targets are launched - it is the mechanical substitution for live pigeon shooting - whether this gun was designed for that, I can't say
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Old April 24, 2012, 07:29 PM   #9
eastbank
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i would have the barrels opened up for 2-3/4 shells and use one oz. loads in it. it will make a nice small game shotgun. eastbank.
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Old April 24, 2012, 07:50 PM   #10
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Depending on the age and barrel conditions, it might be easier to just buy some 2-1/2" ammo from RST or Polywad
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