View Full Version : Old 8 gauge.

September 8, 2009, 03:31 AM
I was at my Grandmother's (house my great-grandfather built when they first came over from Russia) way out in the boonies of Eastern-Nebraska cleaning out some stuff in the attic and found an 8 gauge in a cedar chest. I'm just now really getting into shotguns, but I've been around firearms my entire life. I just do not believe I've ever seen an 8 gauge. It seems that it was purchased and then put into a cedar chest. My mother believes it was my great-grandfather's and he simply didn't use it in the Midwest because it wasn't necessary for the hunting he did. It doesn't even look as though it has been fired. Would an 8 gauge even be worth anything these days?

Uncle Buck
September 8, 2009, 07:47 AM
Please provide more info. Any markings on the barrel? Pictures would be great. I would love to know more about this old gun.

Lee Lapin
September 8, 2009, 09:04 AM
These days, 8 gauges are normally used in industrial applications to clean out slag in furnaces, boilers etc. See http://www.remington.com/products/ammunition/industrial/ammunition.asp . You, ummm, WON'T be wanting to shoot these from the shoulder, I promise, even if you were to buy some. The industrial guns are on stands, like cannons. And modern ammo might well not be/probably isn't safe for the old gun, as it was almost certainly made to be used with black powder and not modern smokeless.

The last couple decades of the 19th Century were a time of great change in the shotgun world, in terms of both guns and shells. Guns went from twist barrels to fluid steel, choke boring had appeared in the late 1870's, and external hammer double guns became hammerless. Self contained shot shells went from brass hulls to paper hulls. In 1880 the 10 gauge rivaled the 12 gauge as an all-around gauge, and the 8 gauge was fairly popular for waterfowl hunting. The 16 gauge was the specialized upland gauge, and the 20 was regarded as something of a curiosity. 10 gauge shells were loaded with 1 1/4 ounces of shot, and 12 gauge shells with 1 ounce.

As time passed and the 19th Century became the 20th Century, both guns and shot shells became more efficient, and the smaller gauges made great inroads on the popularity of the large gauges. By the 1890's the 12 gauge had begun to replace the 10 gauge as the all-around gauge, and by 1900 the 12 gauge was firmly in first place. -- http://www.chuckhawks.com/intro_gauges.htm

How much it's worth depends on what company made it and what condition it's in. It's worth far more than mere $$$ as an heirloom though, IMHO...


September 8, 2009, 10:09 AM
Ballistic products lists once fired industrial 8 gauge hulls. Track of the Wolf has card, cushion and overshot wads for 8 gauge shotguns.

140 grains of FFg and two ounces of shot should deliver the total 8 gauge experience when you pull the trigger.

I usually load my 8 gauge muzzleloader with a 12 gauge equivilent load, 75 grains of FFFg and 1 1/8 ounce of shot with two nitro cards between the shot and powder. This load smashes trap birds even at the handicap yardages and is so mild that I let kids shoot it.

September 8, 2009, 10:12 AM
I think the 8 has been banned from migratory bird hunting (main use for them). I have heard embellished tales of kin folk using them for geese and ducks. One thing I remember them saying was "They ain't so bad from a free floating jon boat blind as the boat scooting backwards negates some of the recoil...":D

September 8, 2009, 10:22 AM
You would want to have a good foot hold, your dentures well glued in and have a death wish to shoot that off your shoulder :eek:

I was talking with a mate who fired a 4 ball once off his shoulder :eek: it threw im on his butt.... his mate fired it (photo on his wall to prove it):D The guy broke his nose & thumb, the photo shows him on the back foot, front foot 1' in the air (about to fall over) muzzle pointed straight up in the air (not on purpose) still with the muzzle flash visible!

Evidently, guns like 4 balls (yes, 4 balls from 1 pound of lead!) were usually mounted on the railing of boats or trucks (for obvious reasons):eek::D

I have a .662 smoothbore (16.8mm round ball/16ga) muzzle loader, so I can imagine what an 8ga kicks like :D

September 8, 2009, 10:49 AM
I believe the 8 Gauge Industrial Rounds are belted & will not chamber in a commercial shotgun. Also, I believe 8 Gauges are still legal in Europe & maybe Canada.

September 8, 2009, 10:56 AM
I don't think it's illegal to own an eight in the U.S. You just can't use them for hunting migratory game birds.
Individual states may have additional restrictions.

September 8, 2009, 01:33 PM
An industrial 8-gauge shotgun!!! Never heard of it before - learned something new today.:)

September 8, 2009, 02:39 PM
kompulsive, the fact that it is an 8 gauge ( once a common round) means nothing and adds no value. What is important , what is wraped around the 8 gauge ? What make or model shotgun is it, that's what's important.

September 11, 2009, 04:52 PM
An 8 Gauge SxS Double Barrel shotgun is one of the main weapons used in the Ed Harris movie "Appaloosa".
Viggo Mortenson uses it as his main carry gun. Very good movie, although it's kind of an Old West love story with some great shoot-outs and gun-fights. Really cool ending. See, it was a Saturday, wait, no, it was Friday. Jo-Bob Methackenwalters was on his way to, oh, wait, no, that was another movie. Anyway,...there's an 8 gauge in it.

September 11, 2009, 06:04 PM
when i was younger my folks and i used to go up to a family friend's cabin to go shooting and hang out. another guy came over and brought an 8ga bolt action marlin. my dad and the other guys were shooting skeet with it. i was 10 at the time and too small to handle a 12ga, let alone an 8ga. it was an interesting shotgun that would absolutely pulverize skeet.

September 11, 2009, 06:29 PM
My grandad had an old single shot 8 gauge shotgun handed down from his dad. He used to shoot it once in a while at the family farm. He handled the recoil just fine and he wasn't a big man...I was about 6 or 7 and, I guess he judged me too small to shoot it. Recoil always seems to be exxagerated...witness all the people who'll tell you the 3 1/2" 12...heck, even the 3" 12 in buck or slug, is so ferocious it'll hurt you somehow. :rolleyes:

Bill DeShivs
September 11, 2009, 09:24 PM
I don't believe Marlin ever made an 8 ga. shotgun. If they did, I doubt it was a bolt action.

September 12, 2009, 02:30 AM
The Viggo Mortessen character in "Appaloossa" had a 8 guage and the baddies where terrified of it.

Lee Lapin
September 12, 2009, 07:58 AM
{thread drift}

For you Appaloosa fans, Robert B. Parker's new novel Brimstone is just out, and features further adventures of Virgil and Everett (not to mention that 8 gauge express gun).

{/thread drift}


September 12, 2009, 09:44 AM
The Viggo Mortessen character in "Appaloossa" had a 8 guage and the baddies where terrified of it.

I think that any shotgun pointed at me would terrify me but the bore of an 8 and a 10 are so close to each other that you could easily mistake an 8 gauge for a 10 gauge just by looking at it.

An eight is only .060" bigger than a 10. .775 vs .835

September 15, 2009, 07:20 AM
Funny thing is that in Britain they've dropped the registration requirements for "8-bore" shotguns provided that the owner does not plan to use it and has no ammo for it. The 8ga and other longarms shooting obselete ammo, can now be kept as ornaments or collector pieces without being registered, provided owner does not have any ammo for it. If you take some photos of any markings, some of us may be able to help identify it.