1. mtcowboy

    mtcowboy New Member

    Oct 14, 2010
    hi guys i am new i was looking for some info on a old old 410 i have it is a diamond arms st. louis mo. .410 breach action single shot.
    now for the history of this gun as told by my father, my grandfather, and my great grandfather. who lived on a farm at the mouth of the james river as it emptys into the missouri, in south dakota.
    the story goes that this gun was left leaning against a building after some men who had been wintering in a cave on the river.they had been there to trade labor for bacon and eggs. and did so several time until the spring thaw. a short time later the territory marshall came by looking for the men. turns out they were the james gang. whos gun it was never was determand and i see no serial number on it. its a neat story and the caliber of this little gun is great for phesant hunting and is very acurate. and i use it every year.
    i have searched and found some info and came across this forum and did read what was here but is there anything else you guys can tell me about this plain but well built rifle. is the story from my family with in the makers era?
  2. The_Rifleman

    The_Rifleman Member

    Feb 10, 2010
    I was wondering where I left that gun! :p
  3. Bindernut

    Bindernut Well-Known Member

    Oct 24, 2007
    ND, USA
    I'm gonna remain leery of the James Bros. connection since the only info I've got on the Diamond Arms brand name is "contract guns" built by Iver Johson around the early 1900s.
    Maybe B.Goforth might have a bit more info on the exact years since he's the resident IJ guru.

    The Diamond Arms brand might've been used earlier than that too but I can't find any references to it in the Crescent Firearms (another maker of contract guns) brand list from earlier than that. Crescent has been around since the 1880s (J Stevens eventually wound up with the Crescent factory in the 1930s). The lists I've seen show that Crescent/Stevens did make some of the Diamond Arms branded guns after IJ...sometime in the 30s up to 52 or 53.

    It's also possible that H&R might've made some of those contract guns with that name as well. I don't have much H&R info to help ya out on them.

    Do ya got a picture of it to share? That would help pin down who made it.
    Diamond Arms was a trade name that ties to Shapleigh Hardware from St Louis MO

    It's always neat to have a good tale to tell about a firearm. Whether or not it winds up being true or not, it's always fun to hear a good yarn.
    It's kinda neat for me to hear the SD connection too even if the James gang didn't deposit it there. St Louis would've been a fairly close rail or even river supply point for the lower Missouri river part of SD.
    (I'm from the south end of ND...right about where the James crosses into SD...so it's sorta local to me.)
  4. Ed Wagner

    Ed Wagner Member

    Nov 17, 2007
    NW Ohio
    I have a Diamond Arms 410, made in 1914, it is basically a Stevens made for a major customer. I believe the James Gang predates Diamond Arms by a few years. Mine has been in the family since 1940. Research on markings gave the 1914 date, as far as Stevens it is identical to one of their's part for part.
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2010
  5. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

    Dec 30, 2003
    houston, tx
    the other poster have pretty much said it all. "diamond arms" was a brand name owned by shapeigh hardware co. of st.louis mo. several different companies made guns for them, including stevens, h&r & iver johnson. will need pictures to be able to tell which company made your gun.

    the connection to the james gang is a good story but a false one. generally speaking 410 shotguns can be dated to no earlier than about the time of world war I. very early one were marked 410-44 by most manufacturer, meaning they fired the the short 2 inch 410 and the 44 caliber shot shell about 1913 to 1916. latter one were marked 410-12mm meaning they fired the longer 2 1/2 410 or the 12mm shot shell (1916- 1929 or so.) the one simply marked 410 were usually made around 1930 or so. the 410 3 inch shell came about 1936. i believe winchester was the first to chamber the 410 for the 3inch shell about 1932 or 1933 with ever one else coming very close after that

    the above dates are general in that different manufacturer made the switch to the different length shells at different times. but during the time the james gang was in operation there were no 410 shotguns single or double barrels. now if this had been a uncut barrel 10 or 12 gauge it very well could have been. as one of the movies about the james gang shows cole younger using a single barrel 10 or 12 gauge single barrel shotgun. the one that featured all the modern brothers playing the different james gang brothers. i just can't remember the name.
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2010

  6. kingcuke

    kingcuke Member

    Mar 22, 2009
    Cucumber Island
    The movie was the "Long Riders" featuring the Carradine (Youngers), Keach (James's), and Quaid brothers (Millers).
    One of the great Western movies.
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2010

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