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Old January 22, 2009, 03:30 PM   #1
surfersami
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Just a shot in the dark!

Hi,
New here. I was wondering if anyone might have some info on a gunsmith from the 40's - 60's in Colorado area. I have a 16 ga. side by side with no markings for brand. It is a family heirloom, and a sweet bird gun/clays. There are markings on different parts of the gun, and the gunsmith's name is on the top of the barrels. Karl Klavberg. Like I said, it is a beautiful piece of art work, and shoots really well. My great uncle had it made for him, but I have never been able to find out any info on this gunsmith. It was appraise for insurance at more than my car. (not saying much) Just thought I would ask. John
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Old January 22, 2009, 04:24 PM   #2
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I'd ask the insurance appraiser.
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Old January 22, 2009, 04:34 PM   #3
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G'day and welcome. I have a car like that to.
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Old January 23, 2009, 02:22 PM   #4
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The appraiser did not know who the smith was, he was just looking at fit/finish/quality type things. Most of the screws in the metal parts of the receiver have over-lapping lock screws, when tightened properly, all the slots line up horizontally it is really a wonderful piece of firearms craftsmanship.
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Old January 23, 2009, 11:48 PM   #5
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I've seen a "gunsmith Registry". Try a Google on it...but it may only be for active 'smiths.

Mark.
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Old January 24, 2009, 11:38 AM   #6
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I tried google, but I think this guy has long been dead. I was wondering what receiver he used as his base platform. I've seen some old Remingtons, and a few others that looked similar, but none that are perfect matches.
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Old January 24, 2009, 01:58 PM   #7
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Okay, let's do this ... get some pics and up load them to this thread.

I'll move this thread to the Research Forum and maybe the guys that haunt that forum will have some ideas.

With some good pics, we may be able to identify the hardware, even if we aren't able to name the gunsmith. Get a couple of good shots of the barrel side and the breech side with the action open, as well as side shots of the whole shotgun.
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Old January 26, 2009, 08:03 AM   #8
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I will try to do that as soon as I can. The gunsmith's name is Karl Klavberg, and he actually used german proof marks in the barrels. If the photos come out well you will be able to see them.
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Old January 26, 2009, 01:48 PM   #9
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Sounds like it's a German gun. The Germans have this thing about screws and lock screws that line up, very intricate machining, and elaborate carving and engraving on many of their firearms. The Colorado gunsmith you speak of may have simply rebuilt the gun or restocked it. If he had actually built the gun, he would have had to mark it, and he would not have used German proofmarks.
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Old January 26, 2009, 02:00 PM   #10
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I was told he was a german gunsmith that moved here (Colorado) but had no other info. Karl Klavberg sounds pretty german to me.
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Old January 30, 2009, 08:47 AM   #11
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Got a few pics of the rcvr.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 16ga rcvr 1024.jpg (225.6 KB, 102 views)
File Type: jpg 16ga rcvr rh.jpg (173.8 KB, 94 views)
File Type: jpg 16ga open breech.jpg (198.2 KB, 89 views)
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Old January 30, 2009, 08:49 AM   #12
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follow up.

I will take it apart and try to get some photos of the proof marks underneath the forearm stock.
The pictures don't do it justice, the scroll work is very intricate, and the checkering on the wood is very small.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 16ga gs name.jpg (118.8 KB, 80 views)
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Old January 30, 2009, 12:56 PM   #13
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More photos!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 16ga LH stock 1024.jpg (199.8 KB, 61 views)
File Type: jpg 16ga forearm1024.jpg (189.5 KB, 50 views)
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Old January 30, 2009, 01:01 PM   #14
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more photos.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 16ga trigger 1024.jpg (240.0 KB, 44 views)
File Type: jpg 16ga sling swvl 1024.jpg (147.5 KB, 44 views)
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Old January 30, 2009, 01:05 PM   #15
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I don't know who ol' Karl was, he may have been a small maker, he may have been the final assembler of gunmaker's guild parts in his area, or he might have just been the dealer. Lots of guns are marked for who sold them, not who made them.

I am fairly sure he did not move to Colorado and continue putting German proofmarks on his guns. Largely because the maker does not apply proof marks in Europe, that is the job of the government proof house.
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Old January 30, 2009, 05:57 PM   #16
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I understand that the german proffs are actually west german which ment it was post war. I am not sure someone told me that once. My dad said he may have even got it when he was in europe, he visited often. I am hearing some conflicting stories from different family these days. The family is in agreement that "Karl" was the smith, but after that it is hard to piece everything together. It is a 16 ga. and it is marked for Nitro propellants. The lockwork is tight, and the stock was fitted for my great uncle who was about my size, so the shotgun fits me real well. I enjoy shooting it, and many friends are surprised when I hit the number of clays that I do considering the barrel length and one barrel is choke full. My great uncle had it made for duck/geese. He loved to hunt those water birds.
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Old January 30, 2009, 07:31 PM   #17
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interesting turn of events, seems I've been looking on the wrong side of the pond. The action and barrels are identical to many jp sauer ss shotguns posted on the internet. Although none are completely identical, the proofmarks seem to match what I read for the Suhl germany area. It does have the name Karl Klavberg on the right barrel and the word Kiel on the left. Nitro is stamped both barrels. The rib engraving on top is identical to several JPS guns I have seen, but the other engraving is not the same. Still searching will update as I find stuff.
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Old January 30, 2009, 08:50 PM   #18
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I think JP Sauer always put their name on their guns, but I could be wrong. In any case, all those German doubles are pretty much the same. I doubt that Herr Klavberg was actually the maker; he was probably a retailer selling trade guns turned out by a guild or sort of a gunmakers' co-op.

A picture of the proof marks would tell if the gun was made before or after WWII, and also if it was made in Kiel. The Kiel proofmark looks like a kind of sunburst superimposed on a "Y"; any other mark would indicate the gun was not made in Kiel. (Technically, a maker could have his guns proved at any proof house in Germany, but in practice the nearest was always used.)

In Germany and England, it was common for the actual maker(s) to leave the barrels blank so the retailer could have his name engraved or, sometimes, to engrave the retailer's name at the factory.

It is not done so much any more, but we used to do that here, with guns and other products. Remember guns "made" by Ted Williams and J.C. Higgins?

Jim
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Old January 31, 2009, 08:49 PM   #19
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I have a feeling it was a gun made by sauer and then used as a blank for Herr Klavberg. My family seems to remember my great uncle paying a pretty penny in the day, but it seems we may never know. It has the double triggers, crossbolt lock, tang safety, and I am told it was a buffalo horn buttplate. I assume that was African plains buffalo. All I know is it shoots good, will handle 2.75" 16 ga shells, stamped for nitro, and one barrel is choked pretty tight. (Have the turkey shoot prizes to show for it.) I really enjoy the way the gun handles in the field. The barrels are 30", or just a hair under. The triggers break crisply with no play, and I cant slide any of my feeler guages into the action at any point when closed. I've always wondered what this gun was worth. I had one official assesment done in the early 90's and he said insure it for 3500.00 replacement cost because of the quality.
Did JP Sauer or others sell actions to small custom smith's as blanks?
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Old January 31, 2009, 10:06 PM   #20
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I don't know about Sauer selling actions, but anything is possible. But I think you would need more than a picture to be sure it was made by Sauer; as I said, those German doubles pretty much all look the same.

The fact that it is 16 ga. would tend to indicate it was made in German for sale in Germany. That doesn't rule out an imported gun or even one bought in Europe by an American, but 16 ga. has never been that popular in the U.S. where 12 ga. pretty much rules.

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Old February 2, 2009, 05:57 PM   #21
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I did finf something on the underside of the barrels I hadn't noticed before, just in front of the SN there is a K&P 22XX.
The K would match the Klavberg, but no idea what the &P would mean. I'll keep searching. Anyone know of a German gun maker K&P?
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Old December 12, 2012, 03:28 PM   #22
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a little update, I found that the action the shotgun is built on is a Simpson. I don't know the year, but it has a low serial number.
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Old December 12, 2012, 06:46 PM   #23
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That confuses things even more; Simson (shouldn't be a "P" there) was a manufacturer based in Suhl who was taken over by the Nazis during WW2. They made lots of side by sides, but they should bear specific proofs. If you can pop the barrels off (open the latch under the forearm, pull the forearm down, and then rotate the barrels down off the receiver) and post some pictures of the proofs, that'll go a long way towards figuring this one out.
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Old December 12, 2012, 07:09 PM   #24
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Your shotgun is of a pattern typically made for the European field hunter - 16ga extractor gun with sling swivels.

While I know you think your pics show a lot, in reality the most informative pics are missing - clear closeups of the proofmarks and other stampings in the metal of the bottom of the barrels, the barrel flats, and the action's watertable/flats, all nearly unviewable w/o first removing the forend and dismounting the barrels to inspect & photograph those parts.


For instance - If the barrels are marked "16-70", they are indeed chambered for 2-3/4" (70mm) fired-length shells; but if it's simply marked with a circled "16", or "16-65", then it's definitely chambered for the older/shorter 2-9/16" (65mm) fired-length shells ONLY, and should not be fired with longer ammo, even though unfired 2-3/4" shells will fit/seat in the shorter chamber.



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Old December 13, 2012, 08:54 AM   #25
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You are correct there is no p in Simson.
There is no manufacturers name on the shotgun. I will try to post a picture of the proofs.
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File Type: jpg 16ga proofs 800.jpg (155.3 KB, 25 views)
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