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whiskey
October 17, 2007, 10:02 AM
I need help identifying an old shotgun. It is a side by side with mule ear hammers.

Between the barrels it says Belgium Laminated Steel

On the left side of the receiver it says "Oxford ???" the second word is not legible.

On the underside of the barrels there are several stamps. The most unique is an oval with a crown on top. Inside the oval is an E on top with and LG on bottom. There is also a diamond shpe with a 12 over a C inside the diamond.

Any ideas?

SDC
October 17, 2007, 10:10 AM
You've described a typical Belgian side by side, but without any more info or photos, that's all you're likely to get. If you're planing on shooting it, get it checked out by a gunsmith first; if it has true Damascus barrels, it'll be a wall-hanger.

whiskey
October 17, 2007, 10:19 AM
Thanks, it is not in great shape so I doubt there is much value in it other than a nice mantle piece. I believe it does have damascus barrels, so it'll go over the fire place.

Swagman
October 19, 2007, 11:13 AM
Whiskey,
I have what sounds like the gun you describe. Mine says "Bridge Gun Co" on both sides of the receiver. It is stamped with the crown mark with the letters and also the diamond. There are 8 to 10 stamps on each bbl. Most are the same, but there are some differences. Does anyone know of a source for interpretation of these marks?
One article I found on Google says Bridge Gun Co. was a name owned by Shapleigh Hdwe. of St Louis. The guns were made in Belgium by H Pieper and in the US by Crescent, Stevens, and H&R.
I'm going to have to learn how to post pictures...
Swagman

James K
October 19, 2007, 12:22 PM
Those guns were what was known as "trade guns" or "hardware store" guns. Makers or importers would advertise to hardware stores or chains that they would supply so many guns at whatever price and if a certain number were ordered the buyer could have any name he wanted marked on them.

Sometimes the name was simply that of the store or chain; at other times it was a well-known trademark, like Hibbard, Spencer and Bartlett's "Cruso" brand. Sometimes it was even "cute", like "Rev-O-Noc" which was Conover Hardware spelled backwards. More recent trade names have been Sears' Ted Williams and J.C. Higgins, Montgomery Ward's Western Field, and Western Auto's Revelation.

A problem in identifying such guns is that a store or chain often used the same trademark for guns supplied by several makers, depending on what was available at the price the store wanted to pay. Few used model numbers or made any attempt to distunguish a double barrel gun made in Belgium from one made in the U.S. That, and the feeling that foreign meant inferior (and it often did) led to the first passage of laws requiring that the country of origin be marked on goods made outside the U.S.

Jim

Swagman
October 20, 2007, 10:31 AM
Whiskey,
The "Bluebook of Gun Values" 25th Anniversary Edition lists Belgian Proof Marks on pg 1841. My Shotgun has two of the marks listed: the crown you mentioned and the Italic EL.
Swagman

Swagman
October 20, 2007, 10:34 AM
Whiskey,
Mine also has the diamond with the 12 inside I interpreted the "C" as a "G" meaning 12 Gauge.
Swagman

Hawg
October 20, 2007, 10:35 AM
https://store.bluebookinc.com/Info/PDF/Firearm/Proofmarks.pdf

whiskey
November 1, 2007, 09:49 PM
Thanks for all the helpful info.