Re: Simson Suhl 16 gauge
For some reason your photos appear considerably clearer and sharper today. Perhaps I have a better Internet connection, or perhaps my glasses are cleaner. I can't say for sure.
I can say that your gun is a little nicer than I first thought. Being a 16 gauge with side clips and cocking indicators - and given its excellent condition - I suspect it is worth $1,200-1,500 retail. You can expect about $800-1,000 as a trade-in, and if it was mine, I would insure it for about $1,800.
Unfortunately, I still can't read the date code on the barrel flats for some reason. It looks like your code is three digits; you will find it just below the word NITRO. The first digit is the month and the last two are the year. It appears to me the last digit of the year is a 2. NOTE: Date codes are sometimes 4 digits - Nov 1985 would be marked 1185.
The serial number (of no value dating the gun) is 226519, and it is located on the barrel hook, water table and the underside of the forearm ... exactly as it should be.
The proof mark W (under a crown) indicate the barrels are choked rather than cylinder bore. German gun makers of that era did not indicate how much choke, however. That is something you will only determine through pattern testing. German shotguns are often very tightly choked (by US standards), and it is not unusual to find both barrels to be the same (such as full and full). It is perfectly safe to use modern shot shells, BUT NOT STEEL SHOT.
You have a very nice gun and it should be easy to sell if that is your intention. I would be interested, but I already have one.
NOTE: The information herein is provided free of charge. In some instances, you may actually be getting your money's worth.
Author of: The History and Guns of Simson & Co., Suhl