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Old June 22, 2001, 04:34 PM   #1
Barn Dog
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Join Date: March 16, 2001
Posts: 169
Shotgun Identification

I inherited a single shot 20 gauge shotgun that has "BRIDGE GUN COMPANY" stamped on the left side and under that the words " Black Prince" in a fancy font. On top of the barrel appears "MADE IN THE USA 20 GA CHOKE". My dad had it so it I think it has to be at least 50 years old. The stock has been refinished in black so I don't know what the original color was and it has been re-blued. It is rather small, S/N is A770xxx stamped behind the trigger guard and the barrel and a small plain bead for the front sight. Any comments on age, history or worth are appreciated as I have been unable to find anything on this one. Thanks, Barn.
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Old June 23, 2001, 06:50 AM   #2
Harley Nolden
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Join Date: January 8, 1999
Location: Brunswick,GA USA
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Barn Dog:

The Bridge Gun Company was the registered name of the Shapleigh Hardware Co of St. Louis MOL. This was during the era of the 20's and 30's and was known as a Hardware Gun. Here is the story of Hardware guns.


This Company mfg’d good quality, inexpensive side by side and single Bbl shotguns and was founded in 1883. They were bought by the H&D Folsom Arms Company of New York, importers and distributors of firearms and sporting goods.

After the purchase of Crescent, the Folsom Company was able to offer a complete range of shotguns, imported English French, Belgium and American made Crescents. By the turn of the century Crescent Arms produced huge quantities of “Hardware Guns” it produced guns under direct contract to distributors, mail order housed and hardware distributors with any brand name the customer requested. Crescent also produced guns for its parent company, as Folsom house brands that were sold to customers that did not want their own brand name.

By the lat 1890's Crescent was producing basically five grade of dbl bbl shotguns offering a model for most tastes. The Crescent /Folsom Arms Company continued this type of business until 1930 when it merged with Davis Warner Arms Corp and became the Crescent-Davis Arms Corp. In 1932 it assets and machinery were bought by Stevens Arms Company, a victim of changing tastes and the depression

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Old June 24, 2001, 07:03 PM   #3
Barn Dog
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Join Date: March 16, 2001
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Thanks Mr. Nolden. The location makes sense, my dad was from the St. Louis area. I did not realize the gun may date back to the 20's or 30's. I have been told the gun is worth $50. Although not for sale, because it was my dad's, any comments you have on worth would be appreciated. Regards.
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Old June 25, 2001, 06:54 AM   #4
Dave McC
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Join Date: October 13, 1999
Location: Columbia, Md, USA
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There's lots of old single bbls around in conditions ranging from superb to crab trap anchors.'Cept in extremely rare instances, little monetary value.Many make fine knockabout guns.

Since it's a family gun, you definitely want to keep it. But, before firing it at all, I vehemently urge you to have a decent smith look it over first. Age and iffy metallurgy may make it a grenade rather than a shotgun.

If the smith OKs it, stick to lighter loads like 1 oz, 2 3/4 dr trap loads with it.
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