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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all.
I recently brought an old single shot shotgun purely for the fact it is as tall as I am. I was hoping to find some info on it here.
the receiver is heavily engraved but the only marks on it are the word "GURINA" on the receiver 3 times and the sentence "SE I ZO FUJI TAOO ZUIYO" across the top of the barrel. Though the spacing is odd so I may have combined or separated some words. Any information would be very appreciated. Thank you.
 

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Read this and comply
 

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Remove the front grip and open the action slowly, the barrel should separate from the frame. Typically the front grip or forend is held in place by spring tension or sometimes a screw. I can't see a screw in your photos, so I would assume its spring tension.

Make sure you hold onto the barrel and frame firmly so you don't drop them. There may be some proof marking on the bottom of the barrel which could indicate caliber/gauge and country of manufacturer by the way of proof stamps.
 

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GURINA means "butter" in Basque, and the wording on the barrel, all combinations, looks Japanese, but doesn't translate to anything, and the safety has "SAFE" in English. I'm stumped. Any markings under the chamber area of the barrel?
 

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Is it an 8 ga? The safety is like an early greener 8 ga style. Greener design was copied by other companies in early days.

Those companies even made there names sound similar. "Gurina"

Even if a knock off it could have some worth? I might try sending photos to Greener just to see if they may be interested.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
There are no markings under the barrel or under the fore end. It seems to have had sling mounts at one point that have been removed. It is not marked for caliber but fits a 12 ga. Also the last 5 or so inches of the barrel seem to have been added on or cut off then reattach
I looked up GURINA before and in old Norse it is a combination of secret and beautiful god, so I’ve just been calling it beautiful god’s secret.

Quite the odd find if I do say so myself.

Commonly known as a Japanese Dragon Mouth shotgun. ( translation )

Made for export, my guess is made in 1930s.
Really how can you tell and do you have any other information?
 

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40 years ago a friend had one that was 10 gauge. He used it for hunting deer up in New England. It wasn't fun to carry through thick woods though. Ammo was expensive.
 

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Just a bit more info as if it really matters. There are very few Japanese shotguns from this time period due to the fact that you had to have money and be politically connected. The common person in Japan was not allowed to own firearms without government approval.
Of the Japanese shotguns I have seen , which is not all that many , is that they all had some engraving . All of the ones I have seen have the stylized Sun engraved on the hing pin and the Greener style safety. I have seen the safety written in Japanese and this is the first I have seen it in English. The single barrel shotgun has a scalloped receiver ( breach area ) while the doubles have the opposite ( kind of ugly looking )
There is very little research on Japanese sporting shotguns and rifles.
Even though you may have a rather rare shotgun, there is almost no interest from collectors and if you sell it you will not get much for it. Hopefully some time in the future some researcher will get off his butt and properly give this type of shotgun a place in the collectors market.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Years ago I repaired it's twin. I got the info from it's owner who happened to be Japanese,
In that case do you think it is strong enough to handle modern bird and buck shot? Maybe slugs?
I tried to fire it but had it had light strikes so I’ll either try slightly lengthening the firing pin or shimming the barrel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Wow thank you very much! No wonder I was having trouble finding anything. I never intend to sell it, it’s just too cool. Was just curious about value since I only paid a little over a hundred dollars for it. Do you know if GURINA is the name of the maker or maybe the original owner?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
What do you mean by shim the barrel ?
Place a small thin piece of steel or aluminum where the barrel hooks into the receiver so it tightly presses against the breach face. Larry potter field has a video of it.
Thought I don’t think I will do that. I just put a primer only she’ll in weighed down with a few 223 shells and it still light striked. Looks like I’ll have to remove heat and carefully hammer the fireing pin to lengthen it a bit
 

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This is only my opinion . I would either Silver solder a shim or tig weld and recut . If there were no engraving then I would simply ream and put in a new hinge pin.
I consider ALL shotguns that are loose and need to be tightened as UNSAFE. But I am a gunsmith and am anal about safety.

If you do get the action tightened as to be deemed safe by a Qualified gunsmith then.......

From a mechanical point of view, Yes , but not for slugs. The choke was added after the barrel was made by welding on a extra bit of length to the barrel. The question I have is that the shotgun may be for 2 1/2 inch shells or is it 2 3/4 or 3 inch or ??? shells ?
You have to take this shotgun to a GOOD gunsmith to have it checked out for safety. ( otherwise you may end up having a really bad day )
The light primer strike problem could be the main spring needs to be replaced or re tempered or it may just need a really good cleaning (firing pin hole )

Is this shotgun worth spending money on repairing it ? Yes.

Note, I have seen shotguns tightened by using a pin punch to distort the metal and tighten the action. Do that and your shotgun is now worthless.
 

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In that case do you think it is strong enough to handle modern bird and buck shot? Maybe slugs?
I tried to fire it but had it had light strikes so I’ll either try slightly lengthening the firing pin or shimming the barrel.
If it doesn't have "Made in Japan" or other country on it, it was likely made prior to 1921. 1891 - 1914 required in english only "Japan" or "Nippon". "Made in" was requied in 1914 but not enforced until 1921. The gun is likely made between the start of the use of primered shells and 1891. England required the made in on imports starting 1891+/-. I don't think I would try to fire any modern ammo in it and defenantly not without a competent smith inspecting and fixing anythong wrong with it. If you weld on it you will risk retempering, crystilizing, or puting micro fractures in the steel which will make any prior proofing n/a and it could pop on you.

Did some research on the "Made in" requirements. I knew this some years ago but couldn't remember - old age catching up. Corrected in above italic.
 
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