Three Barrel Gun Company

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by Mel, May 10, 2003.

  1. Mel

    Mel New Member

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    Hello People,

    I'm new to this site, but I do have a question that has nagged me for over thirty years without finding a source that could help. Here goes.

    I have an old trap gun manufactured by the Three Barrel Gun Company of Wheeling, West Virginia around 1910 (as near as I can guess). The gunsmith was Frank Hollenbeck. It's a single barrel gun with a solid matted rib, and fluid steel barrel. Once upon a time, I found a gun writer that said he thought there were about 300 of these made. My serial number is 276 which would tend to suppont that statement. The stock appears to be cherry wood. Gun appears to be of very good construction. It's in great shape and shootable. It is also hammerless. Can anyone shed any light on this firerarm? According to souces I have seen, it is not listed so it probably has never been traded to set any sort of price. Any help appreciated.

    Mel:D
  2. Smokin Guns

    Smokin Guns New Member

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    Hey!

    Welcome to TFF Mel...!...Don't know anything about the Shotgun, but I'll help by asking around...;)
  3. Mel

    Mel New Member

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    SG,

    Thanks a lot for the offer of help. The only thing I left out is that the gun has a 32" barrel. I picked this up in Iowa about 30 years ago. A farmer friend of my brother-in-law had passed away, and his widow wanted to get rid of it. It was much later that my curiosity got the best of me, and I started checking it out. This company made drillings; hence the name. I have also written the local historical society at Wheeling. No reply yet. The gun seems too well made to just be a run-of-the-mill junk firearm. Thanks again.

    Mel:D
  4. Smokin Guns

    Smokin Guns New Member

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    Mel...

    Do you have any way of posting a digital pic of it?
  5. Mel

    Mel New Member

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    No way to get a pic at this time. But, I think one of my buds has a digital camera that I might be able to scan into the computer. I'll have to check on that.

    Mel:D
  6. Smokin Guns

    Smokin Guns New Member

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    Good Deal!

    If you can Mel, Pic's always help!...:) If you need any help posting them let us know!...;)
  7. CountryGunsmith

    CountryGunsmith New Member

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    Hollingbeck was a very prolific gun designer in the 1880's and 1890's. He was involved with Baker and LC Smith before forming the Syracuse Arms Co in 1893. He had been selling patents to Baker during his employ there, and began making the Hollenbeck hammerless gun under the Syracuse name. The 'Three Barrel Gun Co' came some years later, c.1900, and is sometimes referred to as the 'Hollenbeck Gun Co.' Hollenbeck died in 1933.

    There are very few references to a single-barrel trap gun put out by Hollenbeck, and fewer recorded sales. While definitely rare (the production figure of 300 is probably valid), there just is not that much collector interest in the maker - at least as opposed to other American shotgun makers of the period such as LC Smith, Parker and Fox. Depending on condition, figure value at $650-$1000.

    I may have an old auction catalog with a Hollenbeck single, I'll try to see if I can come up with the hammer price.
  8. Mel

    Mel New Member

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    Antique Dr,

    Appreciate the info. You hove told me some things I did not know about Hollenbeck. I guess it was just the case of finding the right people for information. If I can ever put all the pieces together, I might try to put something down on paper that anyone interested can share. I think I forgot to mention that the only thing not original on the gun is that someone put a modern era recoil pad on it, and the original butt plate is missing. Even the bluing is in great shape.

    If you can find that old catalog listing, let me know. I really appreciate all that you all have done already.

    Mel:D
  9. Mel

    Mel New Member

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    Justy thought I'd bring all you guys trying to help me up to date. The Wheeeling, WV, historical society had no info on the company. But, they did have some contacts that might have some info so they forwarded my letter to them. Also, no pics yet; keep forgetting to have my bud take some. Somewhere, someone will know something. I just have to find them.

    Antique Dr......did you have any auction listing? You had mentioned that possibly you did.
  10. Wombat

    Wombat New Member

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    I'm looking for a Three Barrel Gun Company trap gun in excellent condition and heard that you had one. Do you still have it?
  11. CampingJosh

    CampingJosh Well-Known Member

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    Wombat;

    Mel (who had the gun in question) hasn't been back on TFF since May of 2003. I don't expect that he will check this thread.

    If you'd like, you may be able to make contact through email (if his email hasn't changed in these 8 years). You can send something by clicking on the "Contact" tab from his personal profile here: http://thefirearmsforum.com/member.php?u=304

    Welcome to TFF!
  12. Wombat

    Wombat New Member

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    Thanks CamperJosh. I sent Mal a message via his profile.
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