View Full Version : Shotgun Identification: Nitro King

April 7, 2005, 02:45 PM
Usually im a pistol person but lately Ive been shooting alot of clays lately, useing one of my fathers shotguns becuase ive never had the need to buy one. While I was borrowing one of his Mossbergs I noticed another bag and pulled it out to see what it was. I always knew he had a older shotgun so I pulled it out and its stamped "Nitro King" in scrolling on the side. finish is ok, wood in is good condition, looks to be 12 gauge. Im assumeing it fires the older kind of shells black powder of sorts if I remember correctly. I gave it a cleaning and put it back, its single shot break barrel also. The only thing on the net ive found close to it so far is the "King Nitro" by Shapleigh hardware co. dateing it back to the 20's-40s. I would just like to know more about it and if its going to drastically reduce its value if it is re-blued.

Oh, and ill throw this in too, Where is there a list of all the Mossberg 500 series shotguns and what model number is associated with model. For instance what is a 500AT or 500AB?


April 7, 2005, 04:33 PM
According to one of my resources, "King Nitro" was indeed a tradename used by the Sharpleigh Hardware Company of St. Louis, Missouri for shotguns manufactured by the Crescent Firearms Company. It was also a tradename used by the J. Stevens Arms Company on certain of its shotguns and rifles. I found no listing for "Nitro King." You might want to copy your post to Harley Nolden's forum here on TFL. If anybody can shed additional light on this subject it will be him.

The "Nitro" in your gun's name undoubtedly refers to "nitrocellulose," a key ingredient in smokeless powder which was the successor to black powder. Shotguns proofed for use with nitro powders have barrels made from fluid steel which are designed to safely handle the greater gas pressures generated by the combustion of these powders. As many a sorry (or deceased) gunner discovered, the Damascus barrels of older shotguns tended to burst when used with nitro powders! Should you want to shoot this heirloom, I would recommend that you have it thoroughly checked by a competent gunsmith first. Better to be safe than sorry.

As for re-bluing, the rule of thumb is that it will detract from the value of a collectible gun. Again, I would consult with a knowledgeable 'smith first before proceeding with any restoration.

Hope this helps.

Good luck, and good shooting!