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Old June 8, 2016, 10:24 AM   #1
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What to do with 3 old, poor condition, shotguns?

I recently found 5 old guns in my grandpa's basement. Who knows how long they've been there, maybe 50+ years. 3 of them are old break action shotguns, one 20 gauge, two 12 gauges. They aren't in very good condition and one of them is flat out in terrible condition, and is so rusty I can barely get the action closed.

I was able to get make and model information from the 2 better condition guns. The first is marked as a Continental Arms Co. 20 Ga. the other is a Forehand Arms Co. 12 Ga. The last one has no visible markings, or markings that are too obstructed by rust.

My guess is that in the condition these are in, they're not worth anything. So, my question is, what do I do with them? Any ideas or suggestions?
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Old June 8, 2016, 10:28 AM   #2
max it
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i dunno, sometimes oldies are goodies depending on who made it and what model, i would keep searching then: option one, cut barrel to 18 1/2"and put behind door for home defense (assuming it will fire)
option two, numrich will pay freight and give you something for it. they are the parts warehouse for gunsmiths.
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Old June 8, 2016, 10:34 AM   #3
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The first 2 would fire, after a good cleaning, the third is probably beyond help.

I'm considering, if they are worthless, trying to restore one back to as close to new as possible. I know you never want to do that with a collector gun, but if these are worthless, what harm is there?
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Old June 8, 2016, 11:57 AM   #4
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Hopefully someone will chime in on value if any. My guess would be that its only value is sentimental. Restore one at your leisure and see what you can do. Send the other 2 into Numerich to avoid any possible liability and maybe make a couple $$$.
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Old June 8, 2016, 12:18 PM   #5
T. O'Heir
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"...Send the other 2 into Numrich..." Gunparts won't want 'em. They only want parts they can resell. Not rusted stuff.
In that bad of condition, you're right. No value. Other than as a smithing training exercise, there's not much point in attempting to restore 'em either. They're wall hangers.
There was a CONTINENTAL ARMS CO. of Norwich, Ct. Manufactured Firearms from 1866 to 1890. Also one operating in Belgium likely before W.W. I.
Forehand Arms Co. is also known as Forehand & Wadsworth. Low end stuff(cheap pocket handguns like H&A's and H&R's. And shotguns.) in the late 19th Century. None of their stuff has any collector value and IS NOT safe to shoot due to the Damascus barrels and rust.
Decent article about 'em here.
Spelling and grammar count!
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Old June 8, 2016, 12:37 PM   #6
Don P
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My guess is that in the condition these are in, they're not worth anything. So, my question is, what do I do with them? Any ideas or suggestions?
There are a gun smith schools around the country that you could donate the guns to. Some students while paying for school can't afford project guns.
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Old June 8, 2016, 03:28 PM   #7
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Turn them into lamps,,,

Turn them into lamps.

Several years ago I bought a few old single-shot 12 gauges,,,
I paid $15.00 each for six of them.

My Pop and I were making driftwood and rustic furniture,,,
I took these shotguns and made pedestal bases.

Then I mounted them to the base with long wood screws,,,
Added a lamp harp and ran the cord through the barrels.

With a cheap shade from Hobby Lobby,,,
I sold each of them very quickly,,,
The cheapest went for $125.

Just a thought.


P.S. I filled the trigger and hammer mechanism with epoxy,,,
And drilled holes sideways through the chambers.

Caje: The coward dies a thousand times, the brave only once.
Kirby: That's about all it takes, ain't it?
Combat: "A Silent Cry"
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Old June 8, 2016, 05:14 PM   #8
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Lamp Goes Out

Wife says to hub and "Honey, my lamp won't come on"
Husband locates problem, says to wife "Babe, this bulbs SHOT."

I'm sorry, I'm sorry
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Old June 8, 2016, 05:35 PM   #9
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Thanks for all of the info. It sounds like it is pretty certain that these have little to no value. I think I'll restore one just as a fun project and to see if I can do it. These don't really have sentimental value, since I don't they were ever even shot by my grandpa, in truth, I have no idea who's they would have been. And, one of the other of the 5 guns I found is a Winchester Model 94 in decent condition, so I'll keep that one out of this group.
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Old June 8, 2016, 06:58 PM   #10
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If there are gun buybacks near you, save them for the next one.
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Old June 8, 2016, 07:08 PM   #11
James K
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Once you decide that an old gun is unsafe to fire, remove or grind off the firing pin or otherwise deactivate the gun. You may know better than to throw in a Magnum shell, but your kids or grand-kids might not and lose an eye or a hand or worse.

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Old June 9, 2016, 10:41 AM   #12
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my question is, what do I do with them? Any ideas or suggestions?
Treasure them. Try to find out the story.

I killed my first deer about 10 with my grandfather's old shoot gun. A single barrel 16 ga. Fitting the description of the third gun you mentioned.

We weren't what you call rich. To hunt I had to walk a mile to the store picking up pop bottles to raise the funds. It cost $.25 for three shells. Yes you could by individual shells then. Not a lot of people had money.

The gun was old, a break open affair that required the spent shell to be pried out with a knife.

My grandfather was long gone then, but I started hearing stories about this gun. He pretty much fed his family during the depression with it. He had a part time job with the sheriffs department transporting prisoners from Perryville AR to Little Rock by wagon. It was the only firearm he had for the job. He lived about 11 miles east of Perryville, so he'd drive the wagon to town to pick up the prisoner, then back to the house where he'd spend the night for the all day trip the next day to Little Rock.

My uncle told me the story where he parked the bandit in a chair. Gave the gun to my grandmother (who was frail and stood about 4'10"). Told her to shoot him if he got out of the chair, while he took a nap. My grandmother parked herself in her rocking chair (which I also have) and covered the bandit.

The bad guy ask her, "you wouldn't really shoot me would you?". She says "get out of the chair and see". He didn't.

Years latter I lived in Portland. My mother and father we divorced and I lived with my father. When I was in HS, Id ride my motorcycle to Arkansas to spend the summer with my mother.

On one such trip I asked about the shotgun, I wanted it. My aunt had it but wouldn't let it go, said she needed it for protection. Though she never shot it, or even had shells, she needed it to scare people.

I convinced her a pistol would be better for her needs and told her I'd buy her one to trade for the shotgun. She agreed so I went to the hardware store and paid $29 for a pot metal RG or similar piece of crap. (Kids could buy guns in those days). I was afraid to shoot the thing so I didn't get her any ammo. But I got the gun now.

My grandfather use to load his own shells. Cast his slugs and used what ever he could find for shot. Later I found the gun was suppose to be for BP only but we didn't know about that stuff back then. We just shot what we could find.

I wouldn't shoot the thing now, Its too loose. Not front sight or bead, (didn't have one when I shot my first deer). To anyone else it wouldn't be worth the price to haul it to the dump, to me its Price Less.

Right now it rest on the horns of a deer my father's father shot during the depression in Idaho. That deer is another story altogether.

Grandpa's Gun

My first deer:

Blake Shelton - Granddaddy's Gun

I have a Model 28 S&W I was issued and carried in my 20 year LE Career. My department let me keep it when I retired. I just pray, some day when I'm long gone, it means as much to one of my grandkids as that old 16 ga. means to me.
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Old June 9, 2016, 11:18 AM   #13
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You can build an DIY electrolysis tank with a phone charger or battery tender for a car.

It will get all the rust off them.
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Old June 9, 2016, 11:45 AM   #14
Bill DeShivs
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Never participate in gun "buy backs!"
They just fuel the anti-gunners.

Why do you have to do anything with the guns? Just clean them up and keep them, or give them to someone who wants them.
Bill DeShivs, Master Cutler
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Old June 9, 2016, 11:55 PM   #15
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I'm pretty sure I've heard those names before, but can't remember the details. Most likely, they are "hardware store guns", guns made by H&R, Stevens, Iver Johnson, or others, with a "store brand" name on them. Or, no name at all.

They were never "quality" guns like a Winchester, the were economy guns, "bargain basement" guns, sound enough for safe use (when new), with nothing extra to add to the cost.

IF in sound mechanical shape, they make good "beater" guns, and many of us older folks began our hunting careers with one of them, often one in poor shape. One of the ones I got to use had a cracked wrist, held together with a couple of wood screws and electrician's tape. Another had a chunk missing allowing easy visual inspection of the hammer spring! Single barrel 16s, both of them. More brown than blue.

No way were they going to trust me with a "good" 12ga double, not yet. The next year, since I hadn't managed to destroy or seriously damage them, I got to use a better gun.

Clean them up, have them checked and keep them for training kids or just something to have. Market value is LOW, to non-existent.

The Gun Parts Corp. (Numrich Arms) will buy them for parts. You won't get much, but you will get something. Call them for current policy.
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
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Old June 10, 2016, 01:21 AM   #16
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Continental and Forehand both made shotguns until around 1890. Stevens bought out Continental and Hopkins and Allen bought out Forehand but both kept the original names until probably sometime in the 30's. Stevens and H&A most likely made those two. If you plan on shooting either one check chamber length.
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Old June 10, 2016, 06:52 AM   #17
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Post some pictures.

Clean the 2 that you can salvage up - since they are low dollar guns, use them to practice re-blueing on and stock refinishing.

Everyone needs a DIY hobby.

The rusty one probably still have value as a parts gun. How's the wood on it? Can you take the stocks off and sell them on Gunbroker? Could also sell the whole gun on Gunbroker.
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Old June 10, 2016, 07:37 PM   #18
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Making a lamp out of them was really a bright idea.
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Old June 11, 2016, 05:09 PM   #19
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JWT, I don't care who you are, that's a bad pun right there!
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