Old side by side 12 ga. ACME

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by petfuller, May 5, 2003.

  1. petfuller

    petfuller New Member

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    I have inherited my great grandfather's old shotgun. I am looking for any information I can get about the gun and want to have it restored. I don't believe it is worth much on the market, but the sentimental value is great to me. It is stamped ACME Arms Co. under the hammers, they are exposed double hammers. The top of the barrell is stamped Belgium Superior Fluid Steel. On the underside of the barrell are the following numbers 22347 12. It has a 32" barrell. Any information would be greatly appreciated. I live in Atlanta, Ga and any suggestions on where I could go to get the stock and firing pins repaired would be appreciated. Thanks
  2. Xracer

    Xracer *TFF Admin Staff Mediator*

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    Minn-eeee-sota, ya, sure, you bet!
    Hi petfuller.......and welcome to TFF.

    Well, if you're a fan of the Roadrunner cartoons, this shotgun is obviously one that Wiley J. Coyote ordered to shoot that pesky bird with. ;)

    However, seriously, there were several "ACME" shotguns made. One was a trade name used by the W.H. Davenport Company on various shotguns, another was used by J. Stevens Arms and Tool Co. on pistols and shotguns produced for the Cornwall Hardware Co. of New York....and there were probably others.

    Your description leads me to believe that this was an inexpensive Belgian "Hardware Store" or "Mail Order House" gun. Some of these were reasonably well made, some were not.

    I applaud your willingness to spend money to refurbish an old family heirloom......this is a piece of your family's history.

    I'd take it to a good gunsmith and have him check it out. If it's safe to shoot, he can make or repair the firing pins and stock.

    Even if it's not safe to shoot, you can always clean her up and retire the old girl to an honored place above the fireplace.
  3. petfuller

    petfuller New Member

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    Thank you so much for the info. It probably was a hardware store purchase. My great grandfather was a farmer in Northwest Louisiana and did most of his trading with the local mecantile store. This would have been in the 1890's to 1900. I will try to find a good gunsmith in the Atlanta area.
    Thanks again for your response.
  4. Xracer

    Xracer *TFF Admin Staff Mediator*

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    Minn-eeee-sota, ya, sure, you bet!
    If this shotgun was bought around the turn of the century, it was designed for blackpowder loads and is not safe to shoot with modern smokeless powder shotgun shells.....so please don't shoot it until it's been checked out by a gunsmith.

    Even then, unless you're willing to load your own blackpowder shotgun shells, it probably will never be shot again.

    However, you still have a nice piece of your family's history that you can hang on the wall....maybe underneath a picture of your great grandfather.
  5. CountryGunsmith

    CountryGunsmith New Member

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    So lets talk about your shotgun. In the 1880's, Crescent and HD Folsom used a buyer named Louis Muller who was in Liege, Belgium. HD Folsom arranged for Muller to have a number of double guns made and marked 'Acme Arms Co' and imported them into the US, where they acted as a distributor of sorts to hardware stores and mail-order houses.

    The vast majority of these were marked 'Belgium - Fine Damascus.' Of course, they werent actually 'Fine Damascus,' more like twist-stub barrels, but the marking was to lure the buyer. These guns were known to have been sold by the hardware/catalog concern of Cornwall & Jesperson of NYC in 1899 for the princely sum of $17.75!

    We know that Muller was active in Belgium as late as 1910. I would imagine that your shotgun would be one of the later guns with the 'Fluid Steel' markings. As with most of these Belgian contract guns, always assume they are not safe to shoot unless checked over by a competent gunsmith first.

    Firing pins would have to be made, but that is not a difficult task on a mini-lathe. The stock would likewise have to be made and finished, and is probably adaptable from semi-inlets designed for Crescent sidelock guns.
  6. petfuller

    petfuller New Member

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    Do you do any work on old guns like this? I have called a couple of places here in Atlanta and they don't seem ready to take on looking for a stock. I would appreciate any suggestions where I might could go to see about repairing this shotgun. I do appreciate all the info.
  7. CountryGunsmith

    CountryGunsmith New Member

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    We do an amazing amount of business restocking/refinishing older doubles for people wanting to restore a family heirloom.
  8. petfuller

    petfuller New Member

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    Since I travel to San Antonio often and travel to Minden, Louisiana where my relatives are and I have land from my great grandfather, do you think I could find your shop and talk to you and leave the shotgun? Are you anywhere near Louisiana border in east Texas and is it north or south. By the location name of piney woods I hope you are in the North East. I will be back that way in a couple of months.
  9. petfuller

    petfuller New Member

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  10. Xracer

    Xracer *TFF Admin Staff Mediator*

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    Minn-eeee-sota, ya, sure, you bet!
    Hey petfuller....let us know how this project turns out, will you please?
  11. petfuller

    petfuller New Member

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    I sure will. I am excited about getting some help with this. I will post back as progress is made. Thanks for your help also.
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