View Full Version : Forehand Arms Co. Shotgun, 1898 patent SBL

June 17, 2010, 08:23 AM
Hello. I'm new to this site, so please forgive me if I am in the wrong area. I'm working on an old Forehand single barrel made between 1898-1902. It has the remains of a shell stuck in it. What I can see is all brass. The primer is spent, and I don't think there is much left of the business end of the shell. I tried running my electrolytic rust removal setup for a while, but that didn't break it loose. I also tried putting a dowel in through the barrel and tapping it with a hammer, but I wasn't sure if it was a good idea to get very agressive that way. I could drill it, but it looks like an interesting little artifact itself, and I'd kind of like to get it out in one piece. Does anyone have any suggestions?

June 17, 2010, 11:50 AM
I have an old Forehand SBL shotgun. The patent date is 1896, so it may be just like yours. If it is, it should have a shell ejector mechanism. The ejector mechanism on mine will kick a heavy lathed RMC brass shell out of the gun so hard that I try to to be careful not to get hit by it. If your gun has the same setup, when you load the gun, the shell lies with its rim on the ejector lip which protrudes about a quarter of an inch out of the breech end of the barrel until you snap the barrel shut. As the barrel begins to close shut, it forces the ejector rod forward into a hole under the gun barrel, and that rod moving forward pulls the ejector lip into the breech along with the shell. As the gun snaps shut, the shell seats firmly in the breech. When you want to eject the shell, you break the barrel and the ejector throws the shell out by the reverse motion of the ejector rod.

I'm wondering if whats keeping your brass shell stuck in the barrel is a mechanical failure of that ejector mechanism? If your gun has one like mine, and if its working properly, the ejector lip should pop out of the breech end of the barrel and protrude from it about a quarter of an inch when the barrel opens and it should slide back into the barrel when the barrel is closed. If your gun has this same type of ejector mechanism, but its not coming out of the barrel carrying the shell with it when the gun breaks opens, the ejector may be the problem.

PS Welcome to the Forum!

June 17, 2010, 02:03 PM
That's actually very helpful. Regrettably the gun isn't in great shape, and that mechanism isn't freely moving due to rust. I've been thinking that if I could free it up the shell would come with it. Your reply would seem to confirm that thought. Thanks!

June 18, 2010, 07:23 AM
Fill the barrel with Kroil, and let it sit for a while. That stuff is amazing. Then use an aluminum rod to push out the shell. Wooden dowels are not a good idea, if they break you have a really hard time getting them back out.

James K
June 18, 2010, 12:16 PM
Using a brass or aluminum rod should get the shell out. The worst that can happen is that you will drive out the base of the shell leaving the rest in there. That can be dealt with if/when it happens.

BYW, are you sure the shell has been fired? If the primer was dented but did not fire, you could have a live round in there waiting. Use that dowel rod and measure where it stops.


June 18, 2010, 05:23 PM
BYW, are you sure the shell has been fired? If the primer was dented but did not fire, you could have a live round in there waiting. Use that dowel rod and measure where it stops.

What difference would it make? It's not like he's going to set it off from the front end. It's possible it's an old paper hulled shell thats swelled over time.

June 20, 2010, 11:37 PM
Sure would like an update on this to learn if you got the problem fixed.

I hope your gun was fixable, but if not, and IF you're interested in selling its salvagable parts for REASONABLE money, I might be interested, just to have backups for mine. I can't buy the receiver though. I don't have a FFL but I think I can legally purchase all the parts except the receiver without one. I'm most interested in the buttstock, forearm, and butplate if they're in halfway decent shape.

July 2, 2010, 04:00 PM
I wanted to thank everybody. This project is going well. The fragment is out. It was an all brass casing, 2 1/2 inches 12 gauge. I guess those were common back then.