Hopkins & Allen 12 gauge single barrel shotgun
I have a Hopkins & Allen Arms Co., Norwich Conn., U.S.A. 12 gauge dropdown single barrel shotgun, Serial # 251782, which looks very much like the ones pictured on a thread called "Hopkins and Allen Co. Rifle" on which there have been no new posts since December. I assume from reading the thread that mine was made somewhere between 1902 and 1914. It has a 30" barrel and what looks to me like a full choke. It does not have a removable break down lever (to the pin the barrel pivots down on). I know, with certainty, it to have had paper jacketed Western 6 Super X shells (which have an actual measured length of 2 1/4" to the fold) fired through it without incident relatively recently, so I assume it has a barrel that will take smokeless powder (i.e. is not "damascus"). Incidentally, it had a beautifully tight pattern at about 12' and kicked (not me) like a mule. Though in very good shape, except for a bad amateur re-blue job, I understand it not to be of much value, and to be what Xracer and Jim K called a "wallhanger". I have no intention of hunting with it, or otherwise firing it as rapidly as reloading would allow, but I would like to know if I can fire it occasionally without undue concern (except for my shoulder), or if I really should just consider us lucky not to have had it blow up before now! I would also very much appreciate learning anything else anyone can tell me about this gun, since it had belonged to my grandfather and was handed down to me by my father (born in 1915), who I know hunted with it as a boy and young man. My sincere thanks to anyone who answers this post.
Since drafting this post, I have learned that Xracer has died, and have read the heartfelt regrets and condolences. I am sorry for your loss of a revered member and friend.