Burgess shotguns

Discussion in 'Curio & Relics Forum' started by 38 special, Jul 30, 2009.

  1. 38 special

    38 special New Member

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    Anyone familair with the slide action Burgess shotguns? My grandfather had the only Burgess collection that I know of in the world and I have correspondence between him and Elmer Burgess. Doesanyone know if /where the Burgess descendents are now?
  2. robertchambers

    robertchambers New Member

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    Seems to me that someone was claiming to be a descendant from Alabama but that was back in the early 1980's...I'm assuming your grandfather is from Lockport NY as the foremost Burgess collector (Bob H.) lives there...I've seen his collection...some looked Glahn engraved (but I'n no expert)...somewhere I have a letter from (1980's) a descendant of the infamous Pat Garret...Supposedly the Garret family still has Pat's folding Burgess shotgun that was it the back of a buckboard the day he was killed...I was not given an explanation as to how they recovered it from the man who killed Pat.

    If you want to know more about the Burgess family, maybe hunt up the Garret family as they were doing extensive research on Andrew Burgess 30 years back. I shared the Burgess info I had at that time...but since then my Burgess files have grown considerably.

    To answer your question about Andrew Burgess' descendants...they are NOT here in Buffalo...I live only about 8 blocks from the site of the Burgess factory...I would guess that Burgess' descendants probably melted into the family of his wealthy father-in-law...I know he married the daughter of a wildly famous/wealthy photographer...some say it was Mathew Brady but I've seen conflicting evidence...I read that when Andrew was between jobs, he was forced to work for his father-in-law as a photographer and that the Lincoln portrait originally sent to the US Mint engravers to be copied for the $5 bill was a portrait that Andrew photographed and someone else got the credit for...an arguement followed...
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2009
  3. robertchambers

    robertchambers New Member

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    [​IMG]

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    The Burgess Gun Company as it appeared in 1893
  4. wakeling@elite.net

    wakeling@elite.net New Member

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    I am also a Burgess Shotgun Collector. Elmer and I wrote an article for the GUN DIGEST in 1962, it was published twice. Elmer and the Burgess boys lived in Bakersfield California some time back but I have lost contact with them.
    I collect all firearms using Burgess Patents, not just the shotguns.
    I am looking for the side by side 45-70/16 guage experimental model I sold in 1973 big mistake selling any guns, but I bought a ranch and raised my kids on it.
    By the way they are not slide action guns they are true semi-automatic firearms. Not self-loaders. They fire and eject spent hulls, you close and load manualy.
    Lynn T. Wakeling
    22008 Henry Miller Ave
    Los Banos, CA 93635
  5. wakeling@elite.net

    wakeling@elite.net New Member

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    If you are interested in a copy of the article contact me and I will e-mail it to you.
  6. robertchambers

    robertchambers New Member

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    Holy cats! ...a 45.70/16 SxS! ...not too many breech loading combination guns were made this side of the pond...where did you come up with the Loomis association mentioned in that article...I'm assuming it was one of F A Loomis' sons...is that correct?...most of what is known about Burgess' doings here in Buffalo has been lost or never recorded...it seems to be a generally accepted understanding that the factory workers felt that the Burgess shotgun factory on Military Road closed because Andrew was off in pursuit of bigger money running experiments for the government on increasing the cycling rates of semi or full automatic firearms in a nearby commercial building on Niagara Street...over the years I've collected dozens of Andrew Burgess patents but not much else other than what the other collectors and neighborhood historians tell me...he left Buffalo about 15 years before other great gun nuts got together here...Men like Charles Newton, Emil Flues, Harry Pope, and Rudolph Kornbrath...who knows what could have occurred if those fertile minds had gotten together...

    As for Bob the Burgess collector I will try to dig up a web address for him
  7. wakeling@elite.net

    wakeling@elite.net New Member

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    The Loomis shotgun connection was from Elmer Burgess. Elmer had 3 or fancy engraved shotguns I guess the sons still have them. Elmer and I used to go to Mexico and Shoot dove and the General in the area could have been Andrews twin brother, they both looked alike.
    It is good tio hear from you and I am still collecting Burgess Patents guns.
  8. Anchor Clanker

    Anchor Clanker Member

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    A quick comment from my reference book. The Burgess Gun Company was founded by Andrew Burgess in 1893 to manufacture a repeating shotgun based on his gun patents. In addition to the repeater Burgess also made a hammerless double called the LOOMIS in small quantities from 1895 to 1899.
    The gun was named after one of Burgess' business partners Charles Loomis who joined the firm in 1894. The Burgess Gun Company was sold to Winchester Repeating Arms Company in 1899 and all production ceased.
  9. Shrapnel

    Shrapnel New Member

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    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????

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  10. Shrapnel

    Shrapnel New Member

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    This is not true, the gun has to be operated manually to facilitate the ejection of the spent case. Somewhere there is a myth started that made this "SemiAutomatic" claim, but it just isn't true. The Burgess catalog does refer to "Semi Automatic" but the description is evident of the impossibility of that happening.
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2010
  11. robertchambers

    robertchambers New Member

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    Jim,
    I couldn't get the private message system to work so I am responding here...your message and my response are shown below...

    I read some information you posted about the Burgess Gun Company and found it very interesting! I have always had an interest in old guns and recently found that the Burgess company was located in my old neighborhood in Buffalo NY. Do you have any idea what their street address was and if the building is still standing?

    Thanks

    Jim Foley
    Spokane WA

    Jim,
    I am sorry to say that the building no longer stands. You are asking a question that I had to dig out of the Erie County tax records 30 years ago as no one seems to know the answer. I'll do my best to answer but it will hinge on how familiar you are to the neighborhood.
    The answer is "Military road at the beltline" ...since the beltline no longer exixts I will try to explain...on Militay just south of Hertel ave the is a railroad overpass...that was the beltline...Burgess Gun Company was on the north side of the tracks but I can't figure out whether it was on the east or west side of Military...if I had to guess, I would say where the parking lot of West Hertel acadamy is currently...The old timers in the neighborhood said that the company failure is attributed to Andrew being distracted by the federal governments bankrolling him into researching increased cyclical rates of fire at another site`1/4 mile west on the Niagara River near Hertel...Hertel was called Byrd Ave back then...
    Dr Gatlin was aslo nearby trying to expand his horizons...in fact he purchased (?) a large tract of land on the north side of 18 Mile Creek at the mouth. He planned to use the water power to build large naval guns from pigs produced at the Bethlehem Steel plant in Lackawanna about 10 miles up the shore of Lake Erie. According to Western New York Heritage magazine, Dr. Gatlin planned to build a small town for human resources called "Gatlin City" in what is now part of Lakeview NY. but when his personal windfall began to dwindle his investors lost faith as well. It is not known to me whether or not Andrew Burgess and Gatlin knew each other but I can't imagine how both firearm inventors working temporarily in Buffalo NY, both working on increased cyclical rates, both worked closely with the federal government, both are associated with Colt Firearms, could not be at least aware of each other. Maybe it's just my mind trying to connect the dots...but 20years later Charles Newton, Emil Flues, Rudolph Kornbrath, Harry Pope, and Fred Adolph put thier heads together on more than a few matters (here in Buffalo).
  12. rockfish

    rockfish New Member

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    i have a Burgess shotgun - 12 ga. 28" barrel; S/N 2104. Patient dates on the barrel are:
    Dec. 83; Mar. 86; Feb. July & Nov 87; and June & Aug 92. it is a "breakdown" not folding. i have not nor do i intend on shooting the gun. damascus pattern but worn.
    learning something about this gun has been like chasing rabbits but finally found some knowledgable people at this forum.
    One question i have is this a first or second model? it is highly engraved but showing some wear and tear. any help or additional comments would be appreciated.
    rockfish
  13. rockfish

    rockfish New Member

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    i am just trying to locate some info on my Burgress shotgun with s/n 2104.
    any help would be appreciated. for some reason i have not been able to make my attached pictures work.
    rockfish
  14. wakeling@elite.net

    wakeling@elite.net New Member

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    The Burgess shotguns are true semi-Autos. The patent papers called them that. I have used them dove hunting and in quick draw contests, they auto eject the spent hulls and you get to load the next round by closing the action. The inertia release is part of the trigger group, recoil unlocks the bolt and lets it slide back. If the inertia release is removed you can us it manualy. Charlie Left Hand Damon could get 5 in the air at one time.
  15. wakeling@elite.net

    wakeling@elite.net New Member

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    If you want a copy of the GUN DIGEST Article e-mail me at wakeling@elite.net and I will send you a copy.
    Andrew married Mathew Brady's Daughter Eudora and got the Photo Gallery as a wedding present, plus all the wet plates that ended up in the KODAK collection.
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