View Full Version : Newbie needs help identifying gun!

October 23, 2012, 04:03 AM
Hi guys,

Apologies in advance if this is not the right sub forum (feel free to move it).

I recently inherited this gun from my Grandpa, I believe it's a shot-gun.

Does anyone know more about it? Do you think it's worth much?

Any help would be greatly appreciated! :)




October 23, 2012, 06:52 AM
That is very cool!
Google is your friend. I did a quick search and came up with lots of information. The company is still in business. They seem to be pretty high end guns. Evidently they made a name for themselves in the smallbore market. started in 1885.
You'll have to do some leg work. Your grandpop's gun might be worth $500 or $5000 or more. It all depends on model and features.
There are online appraisal companies that can give you an estimated value. They need pictures, markings and serial numbers. {if any}
You might also try a collector firearms website
One thing, do not attempt to clean anything until you find out what you have.

October 23, 2012, 08:34 AM
Hi, thanks for your reply. I spent a while searching and found this "BLE" is a close match but it's not quite the same pattern...


October 23, 2012, 08:40 AM
Did a quick look at Guns International, they list 13 Watson Bros. guns, the cheapest--The Cheapest is $5,000, WOW.

You have just become not a owner but a caretaker of a very well made English gun. Guns like the Watson don't come along that often and are built to a standard way above todays mass produced plastic/stamped guns.

If you want the gun serviced, DO NOT take it to the corner gun shop. A specialist is needed to work on this gun, one who works just on English guns.

Check with Connecticut Shotgun www.csmcspecials.com they may do the work or can recomend a very good gunsmith. By the way CS has a Watson Bros doubles listed under used guns it's $12,500!!!:D

October 23, 2012, 09:25 AM
You may have a hard time finding an exact match on the engraving. Your pattern may have been a 1yr offering or a later or earlier manufacture.

Like Jaguar said, you'll be hard pressed to find a local gunshop that knows anything about your gun. It really is a seperate catagory.

Go over to www.shotgunworld.com and and post it there. You may get some useful information.

October 23, 2012, 09:59 AM
FYI, "BLE" is not a model, it's a description of the action type - Box Lock Ejector.

A less expensive gun would be a BLNE - a Box Lock Non Ejector.

You have a high end British boxlock SxS ("Best" guns are usually sidelocks, aka: SLE's), by a well-known maker with the always prestigeous London address - worth well over $5K.


October 23, 2012, 10:07 AM
Watson Bros. was at the Old Bond Street address from 1895 or '96 to 1930 according to Michael McIntosh's book Best Guns (page 228.) Fwiw, in 1935 the company was sold to Grant & Lang who continued to use the Watson name on guns.

October 23, 2012, 10:48 AM
Would first like to take the opportunity to Welcome you to TFL.

I don't know about your shotgun but I will say you have gotten some very good advice thus far as to NOT altering or messing with it or having anyone do anything to it till you find out what you have.

What some people deem as doing something minor to a collectible gun can turn a very high $ gun into a low end gun costing themselves several thousand $'s.

Again, you've already rec'v some good advice and there are some very knowledgeable people here on TFL when it comes to high-end collector shotguns. I'm sure you will hear from more of them.

Congratulations on your inheritance. ;)

October 30, 2012, 09:36 AM
Beautiful shotgun and Kudos to you for finding out about it before you started messing with it.

November 9, 2012, 10:19 PM
Thanks everyone for the replies! :)

I have a few more pictures. Do they reveal anything else about the gun? What can be determined through knowing the serial "5757"?





November 10, 2012, 03:23 PM
AFAIK, that SN should put your Watson Bros SxS' DOM as about 1923-24 - just after WWI.


November 11, 2012, 04:37 AM
Very nice shotgun indeed. I'd recommend that you post on the Shotgun ID subforum of www.shotgunworld.com. Try to find a camera with a close up macro setting to take pictures of the proof marks, use better light and hold still while shooting them.

I would repeat the comments on not cleaning the gun until you can get advice from someone who knows what they are doing. I would recommend that you get a clean, soft rag (piece of old t-shirt or similar) and put a few drops of gun oil on it and lightly wipe down the metal parts. You don't need to baptize it, just a light coat of oil will do.

Recommended oils:
Hoppes no 9 OIL (not No 9 bore cleaner) or Breakfree CLP. Any gun store will have them.

November 11, 2012, 09:34 AM
A little nicer than my cut down 5100 with "Pincher-right" plastic stocks...:D

Sweet gun and I hope it suits you in any role you place it from case queen to shooter...

NEVER FORGET IT IS IN A CASE!!! If your A/C goes out etc... Get it out of the case if not in a NON HUMID cun safe etc or it may suffer heartbreaking rust you just won't want to see...