Wells Fargo Coach Guns

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


    TBDTATER New Member

    Feb 12, 2008
    I was wondering if there was anyone out there that might help me authenticate the small 12 gauge shotgun I have.

    I received this gun from a friend that was going through a divorce. He had researched it and talked to Wells Fargo and was told that all of the main records had burnt in a fire.

    My friend did get to talk to someone that told him that if it was in deed a coach gun that it would have certain stampings in the bridge of the barrell (It Does) and if you break the double barrell down it would have other markings in certain places.(And it does!)

    This tells me that it is not a fake like you see all over the net.

    But I was wondering if anyone else out there would have any more information so I could further prove that this is an authentic Wells Fargo Coach Gun.

  2. Xracer

    Xracer *TFF Admin Staff Mediator*

    Hi TBDTATER.....welcome to TFF! :)

    Be very, very careful here. Authentic Wells Fargo markings can turn an "old junker" shotgun into a valueable antique.....and there are lots of very good fakers out there that know that. And many of them are quite expert forging markings.

    The only way to tell if this shotgun is a real "Wells Fargo" or a clever forgery is to have it appraised by an expert.

    From the Wells Fargo website: (https://www.wellsfargo.com/about/history/faqs#Q10)

    "How do I know if the Wells Fargo markings on an antique shotgun are real?

    "Wells Fargo" marked shotguns have become a problem among collectors of antique firearms. In general, each town's Well Fargo Agent bought weapons from local stores carrying whatever was available — it was not a central headquarters function. Just as with companies today, Wells Fargo's offices did not keep outdated records. Therefore, there are no comprehensive lists of Wells Fargo firearms.

    Additionally, in recent years, many people have added "Wells Fargo" to actual antique weapons. All of this makes it very difficult to know whether any shotgun currently for sale was or was not used by Wells Fargo, regardless of the markings. For further information, you may check the book by James Bartz, Company Property, (the Westbound Stage, 1993), for sale at http://www.westboundstage.com."

  3. wonderwhippet

    wonderwhippet Active Member

    Jan 10, 2003
    I also had a "Wells Fargo" marked shotgun which looked absolutey authentic. I took it to a number of high class collector shows and nobody would touch it, as they considered it ridiculously simple to conterfeit the markings. After a couple of years of trying to sell it, I finally accepted a $300 offer.
  4. Xracer

    Xracer *TFF Admin Staff Mediator*

    Yeah WW....I've heard from a number of collectors of "Old West" firearms that collecting Wells Fargo guns is a real crapshoot.

    Not only did each town's WF Agents buy whatever guns were available at the local gun or hardware store, but they also had the "Wells Fargo" stamped locally at the hardware store (or "wherever") so types and fonts of the stamping varied all over the lot.

    No way of telling what's real and what's fake out there.....but I'd be willing to bet that at least 80% of 'em are fake. :mad:
  5. Typical isn't it; the bad guys screw it up for everyone else. Now a guy holding a real WF is stuck holding the bag.
  6. buckeylee

    buckeylee New Member

    Jun 22, 2010
    Would you mind describing the stamping you used it ID the gun?
  7. TheGunClinger

    TheGunClinger Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    I dont think you will get an answer as the original post was from 2008 and the poster has not been back since.:(
  8. deadin

    deadin Well-Known Member

    May 16, 2006
    Maybe just fishing...;)
    I've been told that about the only way to authenticate a Wells Fargo shotgun is to have absolutely perfect documented provenance back to the original owner/agency. (And even that can be faked.:mad:)
  9. buckeylee

    buckeylee New Member

    Jun 22, 2010
    FYI, I have been tracking down a shotgun engraved W.F. & E. Co. I saw discussion about one of theses somewhere with speculation that it was a wells fargo (shot)gun. Many people were approaching it as being a fake. However there was a Company Western Fuse & Explosives Co. that went by W.F. & E. Co. ( references that way in court documents also ), that hired guards for the protection of their explosives transports and storage facilities. It also was in business at the time this shotgun was produced ( a Remington 1894 DP hammerless 12 ga.)
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