diamond firearms company

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by mpwilson, Nov 30, 2008.

  1. mpwilson

    mpwilson New Member

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    I have a handed down 12 guage single shot shotgun with a rabbit on it. I am wondering what the age of this gun is. Since it is an inheirited item I am not wanting to sell it but I am curious of what it may be worth. Let me know if I need to provide more information.
  2. RJay

    RJay Well-Known Member

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    There was no Diamond Firearms Company. Trade name used on shotguns imported by H&D Folsom on shotguns wholesaled to the Shapleigh Hardware Co. St Louis, Mo. There are no records on these old shotguns, you can only go by guess and by golly. If it has outside hammers then late 1880'so 1912, internal hammers, from 1920 to the the early 1930's. Folsom imported their shotguns from Belgium, and Belgium was the center for Damascus steel. if your shotgun has twisted steel barrels , then it is not safe to shoot with modern loads.
  3. Anchor Clanker

    Anchor Clanker Member

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    RJ is almost correct. I have two listings for the name DIAMOND. One is just plain DIAMOND and that name was used on guns made by the J. Stevens Arms Co. The other name is DIAMOND ARMS CO and that name was used on guns again made by J. Stevens. G.B. Crandal, and Harrington & Richardson. Yes the guns were made for and were sold by Shapleigh Hardware. I could find no mention of H & D Folsome importing guns with either name from Belgium. If the gun was made by Stevens it was made after 1915.
    A little aside, H & D Folsome was a large wholesale and retailer located in New York City. They did import a lot of shotguns from Belgium. They also owned Crescent Fire Arms of Norwich,CT (1892 to 1932), the largest maker of "Trade Brand Name" shotguns ever and whatever Folsome wanted, Crescent made.
  4. RJay

    RJay Well-Known Member

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    That's what makes these old shotguns so interesting :). As stated H & D Folsom were a large sporting foods distributor, at on time one of the largest in the world. They owned their own firearms Co. ( Crescent ) and also imported firearms from Belgium. They also acted as a middle men to several American companies such as Colt, Remington and Winchester, as stated they were sporting goods distributor and would furnish what ever their customer wanted. Over the years from the late 1880's to the early 1930's they furnished shotguns to Shapleigh hardware, roll marked Diamond Arms Co. from Iver Johnson, Davenport, Crescent, and Stevens. Most of my references show that the single barrel Diamond Arms Co. were imported and most of the double barrels were American made. Do this , pull the wood for the forend and look for a Belgium proof mark. which will be in the form of the letters ELG in a circle or oval. Since the United States did not have a national proof house, no markings at all would indicate as being made in the US. Post back with what you find.:)
  5. Anchor Clanker

    Anchor Clanker Member

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    RJ. I would be interested in what references you are using. Mine are "The Breech Loading Shotgun in America 1865 to 1940" written by Joseph T. Vorisek in three volumes and "Shotgun Markings 1865 to 1940 A List" by the same author and my own research "Trade Brand Names on Shotguns,Who Made Them or Used The Brand Name". When I started collecting over thirty years ago, there wasn't much information on such guns. I bought every book I could find and soon had a stack almost two feet high. I got tired of going from book to book looking for a name so I sat down one winter night and started listing every name I could find into one book. It took over two months to get every thing organized but when I finished I had a listing of over 600 names. And that's just American made guns. Throw in the foreign made guns and there are over 1,000. And that not all of them. Not all the names were recorded. I find at least one unknown name a month. It has been said that Crescent Fire Arms would make as few as 12 guns with a name on them as long as the buyer paid for the die made up to stamp the name on the gun.
  6. RJay

    RJay Well-Known Member

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    I used various sources, both printed and internet However I have found that when ever there is a question on trade name shotguns, the books by Joe V has the final say. He has helped me in the past on research and he had corrected me ( as much as I respected Mr. V, I will a say he was very straight forward in his communication ) on several occasions. His passing was a great loss to every one. I will also defer to your expertise and long experience. I have found the in the area of American trade name shotguns there is always knowledge to be gained. I'm going to a large gun show this week end and I know the odds are good I will see a Crescent with a Trade name not on my list. Also I will try and post my references at the time of posting so if they are wrong I can make corrections. Mr Goforth has helped in correcting several reference I have on Iver Johnson's. So, I am not afraid to say I may be wrong pending further research:), and I have been known to be very wrong on occasion. I found out a long time ago ( I think I was 21) I only thought I knew every thing.:)
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2008
  7. Anchor Clanker

    Anchor Clanker Member

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    In addition to the references already cited, I have used "The Standard Catalog of Firearms" (various editions) by Ned Schwing "The Official Guide To Gunmarks" First Edition by David Bryon, Gun Digest various editions, "The Golden Age of Shotgunning"
    by Bob Hinman and "The Official Price Guide to Antique and Modern Firearms" again various editions. Joe Vorisek and I corresponded until his death which shocked and saddened me. Like you I miss him very much. Like you i use the internet. Whenever I come across a name I'm not familiar with, first I try to look it up in one of the references. If I can't find it--- well Crescent made it and I record the name in my book
    I would never argue with Bill Goforth. He has done more research on Iver Johnson that I ever could. Unlike the 21 year old, I know everything. I thought I had made a mistake last year but then I found out I was right I'm 75. Nobody argues with me except the wife and she usually wins.
  8. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

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    like anchorclanker i started my own list of brand name fireams many year ago using any and all sources available then and now. shotguns as well as handguns, haven't done much with rifles yet (not as many of them). the internet has been helpful in that now pictures can be transmitted instantly instead of by u.s. mail.

    joe vorisek's book is a very good reference. some of his serial number information is dated ( based on information known at the time of publishing) and unfortunely joe is not here to update it.

    i no longer take everthing as face value without proof. a recent post on another forum about a henry arms co. single barrel shotgun that every one was saying it was a cresent turned out to be a patented single barrel actually manufactured by "Henry Arms Co." about 1912. this henry arms co. operated by granville henry turned out to be the very last of a very old henry arms co. started in 1751 by granville's great great grandfather william henry (the first).

    i at one time thought about puplishing the information i have gathered on brand name firearms (shotguns & handguns) but there is still so much unknown it this area that anything published today will be obsolete tomorrow. one thing i have learned about this class of firearms is that there could have been as many as four different type of companies who handled them and could have marked a name on them, 1. manufacturer 2. distributor 3. wholesaler 4. retailer. most often the distributor and wholesaler were the same but not always.
    bill
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