Hopkins & Allen Arms Co Rifle

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by Paula, Mar 12, 2008.

  1. Paula

    Paula New Member

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    I have a friend who has a rifle that is believed to be a c.1857 shot gun that takes 12, 14, & 24 gauge shot.
    There is a picture of a squirrel on the butt end, there is a number engraved 219057 on the 2 separate pieces of the rifle when taken apart. The barrel length is 30" ranging from 3/4' to 1" in diameter.
    Hopkins & Allen Arms Co. is also engraved on the rifle. Can you tell me about this rifle? What is worth?
    Paula
    email: Paula2Wood@aol.com
    www.soloflightproducellc.com
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2008
  2. Xracer

    Xracer *TFF Admin Staff Mediator*

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    Hi Paula.....welcome to TFF. :)

    I'm not quite sure what your friend has, but it's a lot newer than 1857. Hopkins & Allen were only business from about 1868 to 1915. Also, "Hopkins and Allen Manufacturing Co." was used from 1868 to 1898. "Hopkins and Allen Arms Co." was used from 1898 to 1915. They made a large variety of pistols, rifles, boxlock shotguns, and falling block shotguns based on their falling block rifle design.

    From your description, I'm not even sure whether it's a rifle or shotgun. Is the barrel smooth, or does it have rifling in it?

    Does it have a single barrel or double barrels?

    Does it use a lever to open it up for loading?

    Can you post pictures of it, full length, both left and right sides?

    Please list ALL of the writing on it, EXACTLY as it appears, including any numbers and/or Model numbers....and where they appear.
  3. Paula

    Paula New Member

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    I will get a photo. A picture tells a thousand words! The gun is a single smooth barrel, was given to my friend by his great uncle.
  4. Xracer

    Xracer *TFF Admin Staff Mediator*

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    OK Paula.....we'll be looking for them. Full length, right & left sides please.

    Also, don't forget to please list ALL of the writing on it, EXACTLY as it appears, including any numbers and/or Model numbers....and where they appear.

    Mind you, H&A made utility-grade shotguns, so your friend won't be able to put his (or her) kids thru college on it.....still, it's nice to know what you've got. :D
  5. Paula

    Paula New Member

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    I will post the pictures on my site under the link to The Firearms Forum Link which is on the page for Web Site Building
    See www.soloflightproducellc.com

    click on the page where I make web sites, and scroll down a bit.I will post the 9 pictures I took today.
    Paula
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2008
  6. Xracer

    Xracer *TFF Admin Staff Mediator*

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    Hi Paula.....WOW! Those pizzas look delicious!!!! :)

    Well, what your friend has is what we call a "wallhanger".....an old gun, of relatively low value, that shouldn't be shot and is best used hanging over the fireplace as a decorator. Sorry for the bad news. :(

    It's a Hopkins & Allen single-shot, boxlock shotgun, made sometime between 1887 and maybe 1905.

    These were inexpensive, utility-grade shotguns, made in a variety of guages and barrel lengths. In their day, many thousands of these sold for about $5.00.

    Your friend's gun, in the condition it's in, is worth maybe $50-$60 as a decorator.

    NOTE: This gun was made for blackpowder and shouldn't be used with modern smokeless powder shotgun shells!!!

    Again, sorry for the bad news. I'm sure we all like to think our "old gun" is a valuable antique....but....unfortunately, as in your case, they're usually just an "old gun".
  7. Hogman

    Hogman New Member

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    I have the 12 gauge H&A handed down from my grandfather thru my father. I would really like to find out what year the gun was produced. It is stamped Hopkins and Allen Arms Company, Norwich Connecticut. It has Smokeless Steel and Choke Bored on the barrell. It is stamped D7524 on the barrell connector, the forward handgrip, and the casing. Can anyone shine any light on what year it may be from?
  8. RJay

    RJay Well-Known Member

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    1898 to 1915 is as close as you are going to get
  9. Hogman

    Hogman New Member

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    Thanks Ron
  10. finloq

    finloq New Member

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    I have a Hopkins & Allen single shot 12 ga. from the same era. The barrel is in good condition (not damascus or braided). I have fired it using black powder shells (have it checked by a qualified gunsmith first). They are a blast (no pun...well...yes, pun intended). The ammo is expensive but good quality.
    You can get it from: http://www.buffaloarms.com/browse.cfm/2,24.html

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Oct 27, 2010
  11. Hawkin

    Hawkin New Member

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    You have a fine looking H&A
    I have a Forehand similar to yours with a serial number of I 6366
    A friend of mine has the Davenport Model serial number V 5594.
    We are trying to put together a serial number/manufacturing date "Guessable"
    (How is that for a title?)

    What is your serial number and best guess at its date of manufacture?
    Do you believe or know if it is Model 712?

    Hawkin
  12. finloq

    finloq New Member

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    No idea as to the date other than the period assumption (1898-1914). The serial number is: W6429. Other than the Hopkins & Allen stamp the only other stamp is the serial number: barrel, strap, forend tip.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: May 25, 2010
  13. Hardin Richard

    Hardin Richard New Member

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    I bought around 1985 in Mexico a hand gun Hopkins and Allen 6 shooter marked
    "caliber winchester 1873". It has on the top canon and on it's side Hopkins and Allen
    etc etc patent 1874 etc etc until 1877.It also has "mother of pearls" hand plates.
    Serial number 2432 on the end of the handle and 1433 on the barrel.
    Could somebody tell me more about this gun ?
    Thank you
  14. finloq

    finloq New Member

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    Mine IS a Model 712. This model is featured first in their 1902 catalog. Distinctive cosmetic changes were made for their 1909 catalog. therefore, I can assume that my shotgun was made 1902-1908. Note: it sold for $5.50 in 1902, I bought it for $44 in 2010, I guess that I am not going to get rich with this shotgun.:p
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2010
  15. padowser

    padowser New Member

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    Hello:

    I have the same shot gun as finloq. A Hopkins & Allen SN # N54XX.

    I figured I could shot 2 3/4" shells in it at the block shots.

    Am I wrong? It seems like it is OK for smokeless powder.

    Thanks
  16. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    I wouldn't fire any gun that old with modern shells. Moreover, it was made in the era where the changeover was taking place from guns made (and proved) only with black powder to those considered safe with smokeless. Many shotguns of that and earlier times were made with Damascus barrels, a process in which strips of iron and steel were heated and wrapped around an iron rod. Well done, the barrels were fairly strong, but with time they can become weak and dangerous to fire with any powder.

    FWIW, I consider any shotgun of that age suspect and a wall hanger.

    Incidentally, that gun was probably made for 2 1/2 or 2 9/16 shells, so the extra length of the 2 3/4 shell will partly obstruct the forcing cone and raise pressures.

    Jim
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2010
  17. finloq

    finloq New Member

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    And that is why I stuck with black powder shells, much lower pressure.
  18. Van Gilbert

    Van Gilbert New Member

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    I have a Hopkins & Allen Arms Co., Norwich Conn., U.S.A. 12 gauge dropdown single barrel shotgun, Serial # 251782, which looks very much like the ones pictured on a thread called "Hopkins and Allen Co. Rifle" on which there have been no new posts since December. I assume from reading the thread that mine was made somewhere between 1902 and 1914. It has a 30" barrel and what looks to me like a full choke. It does not have a removable break down lever (to the pin the barrel pivots down on). I know, with certainty, it to have had paper jacketed Western 6 Super X shells (which have an actual measured length of 2 1/4" to the fold) fired through it without incident relatively recently, so I assume it has a barrel that will take smokeless powder (i.e. is not "damascus"). Incidentally, it had a beautifully tight pattern at about 12' and kicked (not me) like a mule. Though in very good shape, except for a bad amateur re-blue job, I understand it not to be of much value, and to be what Xracer and Jim K called a "wallhanger". I have no intention of hunting with it, or otherwise firing it as rapidly as reloading would allow, but I would like to know if I can fire it occasionally without undue concern (except for my shoulder), or if I really should just consider us lucky not to have had it blow up before now! I would also very much appreciate learning anything else anyone can tell me about this gun, since it had belonged to my grandfather and was handed down to me by my father (born in 1915), who I know hunted with it as a boy and young man. My sincere thanks to anyone who answers this post.

    Since drafting this post, I have learned that Xracer has died, and have read the heartfelt regrets and condolences. I am sorry for your loss of a revered member and friend.
  19. felix46

    felix46 New Member

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    Where the gauge where write on the gun?
  20. KevinMc

    KevinMc New Member

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    Hey Everyone,

    I have similar 12 gauge Hopkins & Allen dropblock lever action. My question is the block has always opened up completely, but just now will only open about 1/2 to 3/4 of the way I didn't really want to tear into it but if someone can give me any suggestions I appreciate it. My email address is kmcin9@yahoo.com. Thanks, Kevin
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