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Old March 8, 2019, 08:24 PM   #1
Doc Hoy
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Back again with Percussion shotgun...

Been a little while but a lot has happened in the household. Folks up in years and ready for some help. Better for us to sell out than for them. Restaurant and food truck sold. Houses for sale. Looks like I finally get to retire this time. We will move to Naples to take care of the folks.

So I came up with an old percussion double barrel shotgun. I'll try to remember how to post photos but in the way of description, barrels are 32 and a half from extreme breach to the muzzle. Rabbit ear hammers. breaks down with a wedge in the forearm. Missing that wedge and the ramrod. Hammers hold at half cock but not at full cock. Nipples prolly won't come out. Mushroomed and corroded.

The shotgun is essentially complete in the major components. All of the furniture on the stock is present and in good shape. I am afraid to try to break the screws loose to take it apart to fix the sear. I can make a ramrod and make a wedge to hold the barrel in place.

I am estimating somewhere just before the civil war. I'd be glad for a more knowledgeable member to come back with a better guess on the age.

I can find marks on the hidden part of the barrel but absolutely nothing that indicates a maker. Just what appear to be stray proofer's marks. There is virtually no marking of any kind on either of the locks. No scrollwork. Nothing. And the metal is in pretty good shape, so I don't think there are any marks that are hidden by wear or corrosion. No checkering on the stock and no bezels on the wedge holes. There are no sling swivels on the shotgun.

I can get a probe through one of the nipples. The other one is prolly rusted shut. Dowel goes all the way to the breach so I am pretty sure it isn't loaded.

I traded a guy about three hundred worth of tools that I can't take along (If it isn't worth $2.00 a pound, it stays here.) for this shotgun, a Steven single shot Patent nr. 1794 is .32 long. and two junk revolvers. (Many of you know I like junk).

Any info or advice y'all can gimme on this shotgun would be much appreciated.
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Old March 8, 2019, 09:02 PM   #2
OutlawJoseyWales
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Welcome back, we've been missing you around the old place.
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Old March 8, 2019, 09:28 PM   #3
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tnx

Thanks for the kind words, OJW.

What about this shotgun?
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Old March 9, 2019, 02:59 AM   #4
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You're not giving us much to go on. We need clear pics of the proof marks and the whole gun but in all likelihood all we will be able to do is pin down the country of origin. It sounds like a run of the mill hardware store gun.
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Old March 9, 2019, 04:33 AM   #5
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Zackly what I was thinkin

Hawg,

This may take a while. We are extremely busy with sale of restaurant and preps for moving. I'll try to get some photos up.

Can you remind me as to how it is done?
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Old March 9, 2019, 07:10 AM   #6
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I use Imgur Doc. I never tried to use the on site photo thingy.
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Old March 9, 2019, 11:17 AM   #7
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Welcome back Barry! Sounds like you ave had a lot going on! Hopefully your "resettlement" will go smoothly and you can get settled in and somewhat back to "normal".

I'm assuming your shotgun is a double barrel. As far as working on it - be aware of several things. I am assuming it is a hook breech and if you go to pull the breech plugs, you'll find one has to come out before the other. Soak well and come up with a wrench that you can safely turn on the hook lugs so they don't get boogered up. They have to come out in the proper order and if the one designed to come out second is a little "off kilter" - it can apply pressure to the first one that has to come out. Second - don't know if you are going to try and make this a shooter - but be sure to check the joints on the webs connecting the two barrels. Many times these were soft soldered together and the joints can let go in places. Many years ago, I had a "Henry Leigh" (English made) double 10 gauge that was in really nice shape - a higher quality side by side percussion. I was going to shoot it and in the process of going over the barrels, I padded them and gently put them in a vise - not tightened up tight at all but gently held in the vise. In the prices of doing that, I applied just enough pressure that I saw movement in the barrels and upon close inspection, I found a number of loose spots in the joints of the barrels and webs. I was going to send it to a fellow who could resolver the barrels but ended up taking it to Friendship and traded it to a guy who specialized in shotguns - he said he could fix the barrels and I ended up with a nice original ML rifle in exchange so we were both happy.

Also - I know it goes without saying but check to make sure it isn't loaded. Years ago when I was working on muzzleloaders I would have some folks who brought me double barrels (percussion) to go over and clean up - some were really rough out of barns, etc. It was amazing how many old ML double barrels were "put away loaded".

Hopefully you can get some pictures up - would love to see it!

Welcome back - you've been missed!

Jim
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Old March 9, 2019, 04:15 PM   #8
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I'll give this a try

The markings I am showing here are on the hidden part of the barrel. Hard for me to distinguish but one looks like "MC" and another is a three digit number with the last digit being "2". Another looks like a proof mark.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Shotgun a.jpg (72.3 KB, 24 views)
File Type: jpg Shotgun b.jpg (140.6 KB, 19 views)
File Type: jpg Shotgun c.jpg (59.2 KB, 22 views)
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Last edited by Doc Hoy; March 9, 2019 at 04:17 PM. Reason: Describing photos
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Old March 9, 2019, 04:19 PM   #9
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More shots

Okay, here is the breach with some marks visible. One of the thimbles. The muzzles
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File Type: jpg Shotgun d.jpg (162.6 KB, 17 views)
File Type: jpg Shotgun e.jpg (81.0 KB, 18 views)
File Type: jpg Shotgun f.jpg (60.3 KB, 18 views)
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Old March 9, 2019, 04:21 PM   #10
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More photos

Some of the stock furniture
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File Type: jpg Shotgun g.jpg (104.9 KB, 16 views)
File Type: jpg Shotgun h.jpg (80.7 KB, 15 views)
File Type: jpg Shotgun i.jpg (59.6 KB, 16 views)
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Old March 9, 2019, 04:23 PM   #11
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More photos

More of the stock furniture and the left lock
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File Type: jpg Shotgun j.jpg (58.2 KB, 14 views)
File Type: jpg Shotgun k.jpg (75.4 KB, 15 views)
File Type: jpg Shotgun l.jpg (85.6 KB, 14 views)
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Old March 9, 2019, 04:25 PM   #12
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More photos

I took the shot of the inside of the hammer since it appears there may be a deliberate mark there. I don't know it as a common place for makers to place marks and this could easily be the result of corrosion.
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File Type: jpg Shotgun n.jpg (122.5 KB, 14 views)
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Old March 9, 2019, 04:26 PM   #13
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Final three

I like the looks of this shotgun.
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File Type: jpg Shotgun p.jpg (243.0 KB, 18 views)
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Old March 9, 2019, 05:57 PM   #14
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Welcome back Doc. The barrels are belgium made, and at sometime before 1893 since the belgium proof mark on your second photo has a circle but doesn't appear to have a crown on it (like a kings crown on top of the circle around the LEG stamp). Look up belgium proof marks, but most of all, read the info in this post about a belgian double .410 I picked up several years ago, especially the info from Captchee.

https://thefiringline.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=549868
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Old March 9, 2019, 06:38 PM   #15
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Tnx, Noelf

Ill read it now.
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Old March 9, 2019, 06:45 PM   #16
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Similar to mine, your right barrel breech was bored through the original breech plug and a new plug was fashioned with a hook on it. So, you have a breech plug in a breech plug. Only your right barrel was done that way. Both of mine were.
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Old March 9, 2019, 06:51 PM   #17
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Yes good stuff.

I have come to the conclusion that I don't care if I never shoot this piece. I think I will try to drill out the nipples and tap the holes for some replacements. That would be just for looks.

I could spend a lot of time soaking and heating it, but as you can see in the photos there is not much to grab onto. I don't think I will try to remove the breach plugs.

Any suggestions would be much appreciated.
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Old March 9, 2019, 07:02 PM   #18
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Doc, If you plan to make her a shooter, please have her checked out by a competent gunsmith that can assess the barrels. How do the bores look? Also, there are some pretty serious cracks in the stock which would need to be repaired. The old Belgium shotguns don't really have a lot of value. They were the walmart specials of their day, but, they make a fun project and great wall hangers!
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Old March 9, 2019, 07:03 PM   #19
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History lesson

I am thinking about all of the ways in which this shotgun may have made it to the U.S.

Brought by an immigrant
Imported as a trade item
Bought under contract by the government, Federal or Confederate.

Do any of you historians know about contracts with Belgian arms makers? I am particularly interested in the fact that there are no makers marks on the piece. Was this common or might it have been a stipulation of some contract?
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Old March 9, 2019, 07:08 PM   #20
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Actually, the belgium shotguns that came here mostly came as barrels only. As I learned from Captchee, the barrels may have been in storage way into the 1900's, and someone fitted them to stocks and such, and sold them. I think that was the case for my .410 as it really is in good shape, and the maker marks on the barrels are not on the rest of the parts of mine. It's hard to tell the actual history of antique anythings, but it's fun to ponder.

By the way, yours does have makers marks. They are the lines you see on the underside of the barrels. On one of your pictures, you can see two parallel lines struck on one of the barrels. Most makers actually had marks like that, because they were illiterate, or weren't masters. My .410 has three lines and a slash ... |||/
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Old March 9, 2019, 07:33 PM   #21
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Got it....

No, not gonna shoot it.

I would like to pretty it up a bit and just keep it around. That is the only reason I would do anything at all with the nipples. It may well be that the piece looks better with the original boogered up nipples.

The trade for this shotgun also included three other pieces. There is a Stevens Favorite which is in good shape mechanically. Has a repaired stock. The action is pretty tight. There was a H and R .32 revolver with the cylinder missing. There was also a Regent .22 LR with a six inch barrel but the crane is busticated. I was under the impression that this revolver did or does not have much of a reputation. But this pistol is tight and seems to be well made. It actually still cycles with the broken crane.

This is the wrong forum for questions on the pistols.
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Old March 9, 2019, 07:56 PM   #22
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While it's true that most American makers imported barrels from Belgium most of them have a stamp of the maker. Completed shotguns were imported by the butt ton and sold for a few dollars in hardware stores. Some of them were marked, some of them weren't. Most of the unmarked guns were made by a cottage industry where one person made barrels, another made locks and so on.
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Old March 9, 2019, 08:14 PM   #23
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Hmmmm

Got it, Hawg,
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Old March 9, 2019, 10:26 PM   #24
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Hope to see you more often after you get settled in Doc.
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Old March 10, 2019, 03:05 AM   #25
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Thanks, Hawg

I think you will.

Since my Dad's shop is about like mine, I sold most of my tools but not the reloading and gun-smithing tools. I will replace the metal lathe and milling machine. We are actually thinking about adding a bigger shop on the back.

I have put a deposit on a 07 Chevy 2500 so I can get to a place to shoot.

I have made contact with a person with the idea of shooting on his property.

All of my firearms are going with me.

I think this time I might actually retire from working. I know we won't start another business.
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