German Double Barrel Shotgun

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by chrisforthy, Dec 31, 2007.

  1. chrisforthy

    chrisforthy New Member

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    I just bought this gun from a friend and cannot find any information what so ever anywhere.

    I believe it is German made, double barrel side by side, 16 guage?
    left barrel says Fluss the right barrel says Stahl. Also on the right barrel it says R. Bornmuller & Co. The serial number on the trigger plate is 8532.

    Any and all information would be helpful. I can send pictures to anyone that may be able to help. I cannot upload on this thread for some reason. Thanks,
    Chris
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    Last edited: Jan 4, 2008
  2. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    Fluss and Stahl mean Fluid Steel. So the gun is not damascus barreled. Probably short-chambered. Take it to a gunsmith and have the chambers measured. Shooting 2 3/4 inch shells in a 2 9/16 inch chamber is hard on your shoulder and even harder on the gun. If it is short-chambered, it can be reamed for modern shells without much trouble. Or you can do like I do for my Huskies, and load 2 1/2 inch shells. Ain't hard to do, and you don't ruin an old gun.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2008
  3. chrisforthy

    chrisforthy New Member

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    Have you ever heard of R. Bornmuller and Co? I can't find them anywhere on the internet except a book sold online about Old German Target Arms.
  4. Contenderizer

    Contenderizer New Member

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    R. Bornmuller & Co (the "u" in Bornmuller should have two dots above it) is Richari Bornmuller & Co., of Suhl, Germany. If my memory serves me correctly they manufactured both rifles and shotguns, and, perhaps some combination guns. One of my reference books indicates that Bornmuller patented a modification of the 1871-pattern Mauser, doing so in 1882, so they were around as early as that.

    Occasionally Bornmuller firearms come-up for auction, so I suggest you try some of the auctions sites in an effort to learn more. The examples I have seen appear to be much more modern than 1882, so I am guessing the company may have been around until (perhaps) WWII. This is only speculation, however.

    Many older German shotguns were proofed and these markings can often give some indication of age. Drop me a private message and I'll try to walk you through the looking. Include a photo if the system allows.

    Sorry I can't help more.
  5. chrisforthy

    chrisforthy New Member

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    You can thank my friends at GGCA for this tidbit. I still would like to know if this gun has any value....
    Bornmüller, Richard 1844-1908

    was a gunmaker and inventor in Suhl, Germany. He invented improvements for the Dreyse and the Mauser breech loading rifles and an improvement of the Peabody falling-block action.
    The Schützenrifle with the Bornmüller system is covered in the book “Alte Schützenwaffen” volume II by Tom Rowe, available from the German Gun Collectors Association.
    The Bornmüllers produced a great variety of hunting and sporting guns, brought out a magazine for gunsmiths called “Der Waffenschmied” and were dealers and distributers. A member of the family is still in Suhl today and an old stone tower the Bornmüllers built as a powder magazine can still be seen.
  6. chrisforthy

    chrisforthy New Member

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  7. Contenderizer

    Contenderizer New Member

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    After viewing the photos I must say that I am more confused then before doing so. Your gun is a bit paradoxical.

    At first glance I guessed that your Bornmuller had been manufactured around the turn of the century - given the external hammers and Doll's Head (the round rib extention that fits into the top of the receiver). Afterall, by the mid-1920's external hammers were becoming a thing of the past (though still available) and the doll's head had basically been replaced by the Greener cross-bolt system. When I saw the proof marks, however, I had to say whoa!!!

    Until the 1930's shotguns manufactured in Suhl were dated with the month and year separated by a forward slash. As an example, Nov, 1924 would have been stamped 11/24. After the 30's the slash was dropped and stampings have 3 or 4 numerals to indicate the date. In your case, 442 would mean April, 1942. You gun, oddly, also has what seems to be Nazi proof marks. This appears to confirm the time period.

    The $64,000 question is: What in the world were the Germans doing manufacturing a sporting gun (with outdated technology) during the height of WWII when almost all manufacturing was dedicated to the war effort? One can only guess; here is mine:

    If the Bornmullers were Jewish, the Nazis would have seized the company well before 1942 and used the plant and machinery for the war effort (as they did with a famous gun manufacturer, Simson & Co.). If their were some old parts laying around your gun may have been assembled for Civil Defense purposes. Even if the Bornmullers were not Jewish (Bornmuller and Simson shared a patent at one time, so at least they had a working relationship) this may still be the answer - though I am only speculating.

    By the way, the symbol above the "U" followed with the number 16 below it (also a 16 in a circle) usually indicates the gauge (sometimes stated in millimeters).

    The barrels are "fluid steel" and as such you are able to fire modern shot shells, BUT stick to target loads (low brass) AND ONLY after having the gun inspected by a qualified gunsmith who will also confirm the the proper shell length.

    Value? As you know, it all has to do with supply and demand. Given that little is known about your gun - demand, it would seem - is minimal. Keep researching and see what you can learn; until then I would insure it for about a grand.
  8. chrisforthy

    chrisforthy New Member

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    I think that is a great theory. One of the hammers has been replaced with a less ornate hammer. I have checked with some german gun collectors and it does look the gun was made between 1890 and 1939. Those proof marks were abolished by the Nazis. I would love to know the tru history behind this shotgun. One thing for sure, it is unique by all accounts. Thanks for the help.
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