View Full Version : Shotgun ID help

November 9, 2001, 10:21 PM
Friend of mine has a Nichols & Lefever double barrel 10 gauge shotgun. Made in Syracuse New York. He is just looking for any information that might be available on this particular gun. He says it has Barly Twist Barrels but other than that know nothing else about it. Any information would be helpful. Thanks WH

November 10, 2001, 12:40 AM
Syracuse, NY Lefever's were made from 1895 to 1915 with @ 75,000 being made. 25% were 10 Gauge. Without knowing what grade value is hard to determine. Ranges go from 350 for a 10% in a Grade 1 to over 30,000 for a 100% AA grade. If it is in really good condition, a professional appraisal is not out of the question. All the above is for Lefever's. Nichols and Lefever I can't find a reference to and may have been a local manufacturere who was cashing in on the Lefever name. Maybe someone else with more data will answer. HTH

November 10, 2001, 04:14 PM
BADSBSNF81 Thanks for the help. I will pass it on. I haven't found anything on Nichols and Lefever either..... only on Lefever. Sounds like his is probably a copy. Anyway, I appreciate the help.

November 12, 2001, 02:09 AM
No problem. I buy more books than firearms these days. Always something new to learn.

November 13, 2001, 11:57 AM
Sorry about jumping in late on this but I found the following in Side by Sides of the World by Charles E Carder;
NICHOLS, JOHN: Was a well respected gun maker located at Syracuse, New York from 1870 to 1890. Nichols received two patents for firearms improvements, jointly with J.W. Livingston, in 1877. He, also, built side by side shotguns with two sets of matching barrels in fitted cases. Nichols shared a partnership with Dan Lefever from 1874 to 1876. The partnership was dissolved and Nichols continued manufacturing his own fine hammer sidelock shotguns. Nichols guns looked very much like those built by Dangerfield and Lefever.

James K
November 13, 2001, 02:16 PM
Twist barrels are another name for what is commonly called Damascus barrels. While some, especially the British ones, were well made, time can take a toll and I recommend those guns not be fired, even with black powder.

If you are not familiar with the Damascus process, it consisted of twisting bars of iron and steel together to make a single strip of metal, heating the strip white hot and then wrapping it around a mandrel (iron rod). Each strip was then welded into a cylinder by hammering on it while it was hot. Another strip was added, welded to the first, and so on, until the barrel was formed. Drilling to final bore size, filing to outside shape and finishing completed the barrel making. (All this was necessary because it was not possible before about 1900 to drill a hole deep enough for a shotgun barrel.)

Even for barrels that stood heavy proof loads when new, there exists the possibility that rust and corrosion have eaten into the joints in the barrel.

When these barrels do let go, they usually do so where the barrels become thin, which is right where the shooter has his off hand. I have known people to lose fingers that way.


November 13, 2001, 07:42 PM
Another book to add to the list. Thanks, fal308.

November 13, 2001, 09:47 PM
Yep, another book to look for. thanks for all the help. really appreciate it. WSH