Help Identify Strange antique shotgun.

Discussion in 'Curio & Relics Forum' started by Achmell, Jul 28, 2010.

  1. Achmell

    Achmell New Member

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    Hey everyone! This is my first post and I am going to ask a lot from you! Awesome site!

    I found this in a barn on my father's property that used to be a hunting lodge, this was in the attic rusted up.

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    We have shown it to gun shops and no one has any idea what this is. I researched the markings with this awesome resource.
    http://damascus-barrels.com/Belgian_All_Proofmarks.html
    From there I found that this was made in belgium AFTER 1893, it's a 12gauge, that's about all I got... I am not an experienced antiquer.

    So I still have NO IDEA.

    Here's a sequence showing the workings of the bolt.

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    If any more pictures are needed simply request them.

    I am looking for information as to what kind of trigger that is, who made it, if I should get it restored and use it, also if it ever saw service in the military.
    Thank you so much for your time.
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2010
  2. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    I think it is a converted military rifle, though I can't put a finger on the exact model.

    In any case, please do not even consider spending time and money trying to restore the old gun. It is very likely that it could be dangerous if fired with any modern ammunition. I would keep it as a wall hanger, and limit work on it to cleaning off the worst of the dirt and rust and applying some oil.

    Just FWIW, the gun was probably not made in Belgium; I think it is French. Belgium, especially the Liege area, was a major gun making center. In the late 19th century, entrepreneurs bought up surplus military guns by the train-load and had them converted to shotguns; many were worked over in Belgium and of course had to be proved (or "proofed") there, accounting for the Belgian proof marks. Once converted, the guns were sold all over the world, the U.S. included.

    Jim
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2010
  3. flintlock

    flintlock Well-Known Member

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    Looks a little like a Model 1888 rifle converted to a shotgun. The action looks similar.
  4. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    The Model 1888 doesn't have a trigger-sear arrangement like that.

    Jim
  5. USMCSpeedy

    USMCSpeedy Member

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    Parts of the bolt remind me of a Beaumont.
  6. Kestral

    Kestral Member

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    Have a very similar one.. complete.. up in the attic.will dig it out & send a pic over the next couple of days.Mine is called a Zulu,converted for use in Africa from x french military rifles late 1800s to early 1900s
  7. Kestral

    Kestral Member

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    Sorry can`t locate the one similar to yours, will turn over the attic next week.The pics enclosed are from the Zulu 12b conversion I have which was also a x French Military rifle circa 1880s to 1920s

    Attached Files:

  8. Big Shrek

    Big Shrek Well-Known Member

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    It would be a fun project to clean, reblue, stick in an appropriate stock &
    place on the wall with the chamber permanently blocked.

    Good for teaching someone how things work without putting them in danger.

    :)
  9. Achmell

    Achmell New Member

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    Thank you so much for the info Jim! And to everyone else for the posts!

    I am still very curious about this gun and am not willing to De-commission it just yet. I am considering testing it. Secured, with with a string to the trigger and firing from behind a blast shield. The gun shop that i took it to said it still has a lot of "meat" on it and I am hopeful. My question is this. If hypothetically that the gun does not explode would that mean it could handle repeated firing? I know that they tested brass barrels with 4 times the needed powder and then sent it to the front... I'm just saying that I really would like to actually use this thing.

    Also who should I talk to about reblueing? Any gun shop with a gunsmith? Where do I find a stock for this bad boy?

    Thanks so much for your time! If anyone wants more pics I can get them. I would really like to know more!
  10. RJay

    RJay Well-Known Member

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    You don't have a firearm, you have a relic, what is left of a firearm. Restock, it would have to be custom made, no off the shelf stock would fit. Re blue, sure any good gunsmith can buff and re blue, but because of the heavy rust and pitting it would require a lot of polishing and most gun smiths wont touch it for that reason. They know that no one is willing to pay 5 times the value of a firearm for a re blue job, and once they present the bill to the customer they will refuse to pay. I think 2000 dollars would turn it into a shootable firearm. That's just to make a shootable firearm ( the action has to be worked over, missing parts made, chamber cleaned or re-cut, barrel polished and so on ). to truly restore it, to put it in a 'as issued condition', probably 5,000 will do. it. Of course if all you want to do is to change the appearance then a spray kit from Brownells will do the job, but you still have the problem finding a stock . I'm not trying to be a WA, but there are times when a project is just not feasible
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2010
  11. Achmell

    Achmell New Member

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    Thanks for the tips! Really good points.
    I guess I'm just in love with the ugly girl haha. So there are spray kits that will give this some appearance improvements? And would just about any gunsmith be able to make a custom stock?
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