ever heard of ESSEX shotgun?

Discussion in 'Technical Questions & Information' started by Rneck, Jan 21, 2010.

  1. Rneck

    Rneck Member

    Nov 1, 2009
    I have my dad's old single shot 20 gauge. It has on one side just above the trigger guard ESSEX, on top of the barrel it has 20 ga choke. no other markings or numbers. any info would be appreciated
  2. yes,i happen to have two,one 410 single barrel break down and one 410 single barrel pistol.from what i have been told they were marketed only by belknap of louisville,early to mid 1900s.they were manufactured i think by harrington and richardson.make sure these are safe to shoot,suggest you have gunsmith to chk out. old semperfi

  3. Rneck

    Rneck Member

    Nov 1, 2009
    thanks Semper Fi, this one has long since been retired to the gun rack. it was,according to dad purchased for $4.95 in early 1900's and handed down thru 3 brothers to my dad. it belongs to my youngest son now and has all previous owners initials carved into the butt plate.
  4. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

    Jan 11, 2010
    Essex was a tradename used by Crescent-Davis firearms Co on shotguns made for the Belknap hardware co of Louisville KY back in the 18 and 1900's. The term "Hardwareguns" is derived from the Crescent Co, as they made guns for just about anybody, and would put any name on the gun if you oedered 10 or more.
    Despite this generic type history they where , i read, quite good guns and had a good following, finish was average but the materials used where the best available for the period.
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2010
  5. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

    Dec 6, 2009
    They were, as jack404 says, not bad guns but were made for the mass market. The older ones have Damascus barrels which are unsafe with modern ammo and may be unsafe with anything. In a day when game birds darkened the sky, most of those guns were shot and shot until they plain wore out.

    They have no collector value but, as heirlooms, they deserve an honorable retirement displayed on the wall.

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