Burgess rifle, anyone seen one?

Discussion in 'Curio & Relics Forum' started by Shrapnel, Jul 26, 2010.

  1. Shrapnel

    Shrapnel New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2010
    Messages:
    8
    I just received my Burgess rifle with 2 barrels in 44-40. I had never seen or heard of such a gun until I found it on an internet auction. It is a 2 barreld set in very good condition, and I would like to know more about these rare guns. It does function as it should, has a bright bore and shoots quite well. Anybody have any information????

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  2. grampawmike

    grampawmike New Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2010
    Messages:
    194
    Location:
    Mojave Desert, CA
    Well, the calendar says I'm about to hit 70 yrs of age and I've never seen such a neat piece of machinery in my life. I LIKE IT!!!!
  3. muddober

    muddober Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Messages:
    1,447
    I have never seen one, it is very cool and thanks for sharing.

    Ron
  4. Contenderizer

    Contenderizer New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2007
    Messages:
    603
    Location:
    North-Central Florida, USA
    Andrew Burgess was one of the most prolific gun designers of the 1800's. The Burgess Gun Co., formed 1892 in Buffalo, NY, manufactured slide action shotguns and rifles which were operated by their pistol grip, as you show in your last photo.

    Another interesting piece he made was a folding shotgun (hinged) so that the barrel would fold against the buttstock. Burgess sold his company to Winchester in 1899. Other gun makers manufactured some of his designs under license, including Whitney Arms, who manufactured a lever action rifle, and Colt, who also manufactured a lever action rifle (1883-1885) in an attempt to compete with Winchester.

    Your gun, with two interchangeable barrels, is a dandy and probably rather rare. You didn't say what you paid for it, but I'm guessing its worth $4-5 grand, perhaps more. Which auction site had this fine piece listed?
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2010
  5. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2009
    Messages:
    6,400
    I have seen one shotgun, but have never seen a rifle. Thanks for sharing the knowledge and the pictures.

    Jim
  6. Shrapnel

    Shrapnel New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2010
    Messages:
    8
    I got it from Greg Martin Auctions and it was way beyond $5,000.00.

    It does shoot well, had it out today shooting gophers...nothing but head shots...

    [​IMG]
  7. Contenderizer

    Contenderizer New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2007
    Messages:
    603
    Location:
    North-Central Florida, USA
    Shrapnel,

    While Burgess rifles with a single barrel are the standard fare (still scarce, however), yours is such a rare and unusual piece that value is impossible to determine until the hammer drops. What ever the cost, you seem happy with the purchase and that's the true measure of value. You really got my juices flowing when you made your post. Good luck with it.
  8. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2009
    Messages:
    6,400
    I just love those casual statements like "I was out shooting gophers with my Burgess rifle...." Wow!

    Sort of like, "I had my original Paterson at the range the other day...."

    Jim
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2010
  9. Big Shrek

    Big Shrek Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2009
    Messages:
    1,196
    Location:
    NorthWest Florida
    ^^^ :)

    "If you know of a man who only has one rifle, he's probably pretty good with it..." :D
  10. Shrapnel

    Shrapnel New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2010
    Messages:
    8
    As I researched the Burgess rifle I was able to come up with a Burgess shotgun, made the same way as the rifle. It is still able to take grouse. This has a Damascus barrel with a solid rib, a rare feature on a scarce gun...What is next?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  11. Contenderizer

    Contenderizer New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2007
    Messages:
    603
    Location:
    North-Central Florida, USA
    What's next? With you who knows. All I know for sure is that you are killing me with these great finds! Keep up the great work.

    Assume its 12 Ga. Are you reloading shells for use with the Damascus barrel?

    PS - If you don't have any kids, let me know so I can send you my name and address to be included in your Last Will and Testament. :D
  12. armedandsafe

    armedandsafe Guest

    Shrapnel, you owe me a new keyboard. The drool shorted out mine. :D

    Pops
  13. Shrapnel

    Shrapnel New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2010
    Messages:
    8
    I am actually using smokeless 2 5/8 inch subsonic loads. There is hardly any recoil, works nicely.
  14. opoefc

    opoefc New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2009
    Messages:
    2
    Some years ago, Elmer Burgess, grandson of Andrew Burgess the Inventor, used to put on shooting exhibitions at So. Calif. gun clubs with various Byurgess firearms. A search of gun magazines of the 50s & 60s will come up with articles on Elmer and his firearms. A good friend of mine, the late Alan Comstock was married to a Burgess descendant, and collected Burgess firearms. He had a large collection of various rifles & shotguns and we often shot them. It takes a few minutes to get used to the odd method of firing these, with the backwards sliding trigger guard action, if you are used to the more common slide action pump shotguns like Winchesters & Remingtons, but once you have tried it , it becomes second nature. Andrew Burgess was a facinating inventor and individual. Many of the Civil war photographs attributed to Brady were actually taken by Burgess. Ed.
  15. BullShoot

    BullShoot New Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2010
    Messages:
    449
    Location:
    missouri ozarks
    If anyone is interested.... there is a Burgess coming up for auction a week from Saturday.

    Check out Morphy Auction, Dec. 18th, lot 212

    Burgess Gun Company Slide Action Shotgun.**
    Description Serial # 2942. Cal/GA: 12 gage. Manufacture date: Circa 1892 to 1899. Barrel length: 28 inches. Chamber length: 2 - 1/2 inches. Choke dimension: F. Damascus barrel and receiver turning nice brown patina. Unique slide action works smoothly. Finely checkered wood shows nice grain. Originality: 100%.
    Condition (Good).
    Estimate: 1,000.00 - 2,000.00


    Cheers from BullShoot
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2010
  16. zita andre

    zita andre New Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2011
    Messages:
    1
    We have a burgess that is a combination 12 guage and a .25 caliber rifle. There is a lever that switches from the shotgun to the rifle. Can not find any info on the gun.
  17. Dead Eye

    Dead Eye New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2011
    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Virginia
    You described yours as being in very good condition. On today's market the estimated value for one in excellent condition is about $3,000-3,500. I think you said you paid in excess of $5,000. Ouch! This is a very scarce model and perhaps someday it will be worth what you paid. I am a gunsmith, collector, dealer and competition shooter. I've seen several of these over the years; they are fine quality specimens and a number of American manufacturers based the design of their arms on Burgess' patents.
    Just a friendly word of caution- Ask questions first or do some research prior to bidding on a weapon or making a purchase otherwise you can pay too much.
  18. deadin

    deadin Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2006
    Messages:
    1,031
    There's the old saying about collectible guns..."You can never pay too much, but you can sure pay too soon.";)
  19. whirley

    whirley New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    Messages:
    542
    You have a very unique and interesting gun, actually two guns. I'm sure you enjoy using it.

    At any auction, there are two people that believe the item is worth the price. The losing bidder just couldn't raise the bid for some reason. If I want it and think it's worth it, and have the money, I buy it!
  20. NZEF1945

    NZEF1945 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2011
    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Otago, New Zealand
    Great stuff and I love it - alongside John Browning I reckon that Burgess is the greatest American firearms inventor of all times and the reason I say this is for two reasons - the number of firearm patents he held PLUS the uniqeness of some of his designs - they were HIS designs and not based on the designs of earlier firearms. I own and shoot both a Whitney Kennedy rifle which is a Burgess design and a Burgess 12g Shotgun the same as shown above but without the rib along the barrel.
    It is also interesting to note that Burgess patent designs are stuill in use today and in the Marlin Model 39A and 39M rifles you will find Burgess designs.
    The Colt Burgess, Whitney Kennedy and other rifles made licence and designed by Burgess were far, far superior to the Winchester 1873 to which they were contemporary.
Similar Threads
Forum Title Date
Curio & Relics Forum more WALKER pics and baby burgess Jun 29, 2010
Curio & Relics Forum Burgess shotguns Jul 30, 2009
Curio & Relics Forum german sniper rifle? k98 zf 41 ? Dec 13, 2013
Curio & Relics Forum GG grandfather's civil war rifle Jul 11, 2013
Curio & Relics Forum Latest Mosin "rescue rifle" May 18, 2013