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Old January 6, 2002, 08:39 PM   #1
Uncle Red
Join Date: January 6, 2002
Posts: 15
Father-in-law's "new" shot gun.

Hey guys, my Father-in-law just picked up a "new" shotgun and I was wondering if someone might be able to help me identify it. It is a SxS 12 Ga. 2 3/4" chambers w/ 30" tubes and about 40-50% bluing, exposed hammers, double triggers, spring loaded firing pins(rebounding?). It locks up nice and tight and has hand cut, diamond pattern checkering on the for arm and pistol grip. The right lock plate says, "MACHINE MADE". The left lock plate says, "NEUMANN BROS." Inside the right side receiver it has the S/N, #3055 and "M2". The top of the sight rib is marked, "BELGIUM LAMINATED STEEL". The bottom of each BBL is marked with, the number "12" over the letter "C" inside a diamond, then the number, "181" next to that. Next to that is a vertical oval with a crown on top and inside the oval is,"E", next line, "LG", next line is a 5 point star(*). Then there is a mark about an inch away from the rest that looks like a vertical line on top of a square diamond. The bottom of the right BBL has the matching S/N, (3055) and then the letters, "JS" not far from that. We were looking for any history, value and most importantly a replacement butt stock. Any help would be greatly appreciated, thank you.
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Old January 6, 2002, 09:45 PM   #2
James K
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Join Date: March 17, 1999
Posts: 24,383
Hi, Uncle Red,

FWIW, it is my recommendation that the gun not be fired. IF inspected by a knowledgeable gunsmith, it might be fired with black powder shells.

The reason is that "laminated steel" means that the barrels were built up from small pieces of steel heated white hot, wrapped around a mandrel and welded together by hammering. They are often considered stronger than "Damascus" barrels, which contain both steel and iron, but IMHO, any built up barrel is risky to shoot, especially after many years during which corrosion or rust could have worked its way into any openings.

(Note that some people feel those barrels are perfectly safe and have told me so with sound and fury. I still feel that keeping all one's fingers is more important than trying to prove me wrong.)

Once gun makers learned to drill deep enough holes, they began to use solid steel barrels, and the older types gradually went by the wayside.

The ELG mark is the Liege proof mark for black powder proof; the diamond with 12 C is the "caliber" (gauge) designation. The mark that looks like a line and diamond is the "perron" mark, actually a stylized picture of the monument in Liege that is a city symbol.

I can't tell the year it was made, but likely in the 1890-1910 time frame. I have nothing on Neuman, but perhaps others will.

I doubt that any parts are available and a stock would have to be custom made at some considerable expense. I could not set a value on the gun, but unless it is highly decorated or has some historical association I doubt it would have more than nominal value.

Hope this helps.

Jim K
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Old January 6, 2002, 10:19 PM   #3
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Join Date: October 29, 1999
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Welcome to TFL Uncle Red.

Like Jim says........don't shoot it.

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Old January 8, 2002, 11:53 AM   #4
Cap n ball
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Join Date: October 17, 2000
Posts: 247
I did a search on 'Neumann Bros' and found the following at a gun trade site. It describes a similar firearm that is perhaps a bit more fancy than the one you have.

Neumann Bros. (Belgium)
Built around the turn of the Century this Damascus barreled side-by-side has beautiful figure in the barrels (with excellent bores) which have been professionally shortened by Briley?s to 27" and fitted with their Ultra Lite tubes in 20ga. and incorporating Briley screw-in chokes from Skeet through Imp. Modified. With the tubes in place the gun weighs 7 lbs. even and without 6 lbs. 6 oz. The length-of-pull is 14 5/8" over a black "Old English" pad, stock is of the half-grip (or Prince of Wales) variety with a splinter forearm. The boxlock frame retains 50% case colors and is lightly engraved with nice detailing of the fences, double triggers, extractors, double ivory beads. A solid and very nicely made double in an eminently usable configuration with beautiful Damascus barrels which would probably Nitro prove.

I wouldn't fire it either until it had been re-proofed by a gunsmith.
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Old January 8, 2002, 12:35 PM   #5
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Join Date: October 12, 1998
Location: Missouri
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According to Side by Sides of the World by Charles E. Carder;
NEUMANN & CO; Gun makers located in Belguim fromt eh 1890's thru the 1930's. NEUMANN guns were excellent quality and their manufacturing methods were the most modern. They used the latest techniques and the finest materials...were distributed in the USA by Hartley & Graham of New York in the 1890's and by Schoverling, Daly & Gales of New York in 1903....

As stated before, have it checked before any firing is attempted.
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Old January 9, 2002, 11:15 PM   #6
Nuts and Bolts
Join Date: January 3, 2002
Location: Cold Lake, Alberta
Posts: 19
One thing i have read about, if you want to fire the gun, is after you have the gun inspected, you can have some form of sub-caliber inserts installed in the gun. From the sounds of it, that might have been what was done to the gun that cap and ball found. For the 12 guage i would assume you could have inserts for 16, 20, 28, and 410. This solves the problem of the laminated steel, as it would have a barrel in a barrel. I don't think that it changes the ballence very much.

Safe shooting
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Old January 10, 2002, 10:25 PM   #7
James K
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Barrel inserts are an excellent way of allowing an old gun with Damascus or laminated steel barrels to be safely fired. However, they do affect the balance and are not cheap. In the case of the very expensive gun mentioned, it would be worth the money.

Thanks for the info on Neuman. Just remember that the "latest techniques and finest materials" was vintage 1900.

It seems odd today, but traditionalists really rule the shotgun market, then and now. Even though it had been possible for years to drill solid steel barrels (Mauser did not use "laminated steel" in rifle barrels), it was considered "common" to have a shotgun with "cheap" steel barrels, when the "artistry" of Damascus and laminated barrels was to be admired. Many shotgun fanciers argued that those barrels were stronger than the new barrels (some were; not all solid barrels were as strong as they should have been), and manufacturers actually acid etched solid steel barrels to look like Damascus, such was the desire for the "old time" craftsmanship.

Jim K
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Old January 13, 2002, 02:44 AM   #8
Uncle Red
Join Date: January 6, 2002
Posts: 15
Thanks for all the help guys. I appreciate it.
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