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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Ornate Wall Hanger, Single-Shot, Break-Open Shotgun - PROOFMARKS!

Hello,

This piece was recently inherited. We actually had no idea that our family member owned any firearms, let alone this beauty. So unfortunately, there is little to no history passed down with it. All I know is that it was purchased at auction ~15 years ago.

No markings of any kind found on the barrel or receiver, or anywhere visible.
With the crosskey removed, I pulled downwards on the forend with a good amount of force. I only managed to pry the forend out maybe 1/4-1/2 of an inch from the barrel.
I know that I should be able to remove the forend off the barrel. There is quite a bit of resistance due to the rear of the forend pressing against the receiver.
I'm simply not brave enough to really try to pull it apart.

The break-open action is jammed by the firing pin, which is stuck "open" in the fired position.
The break-open action only opens maybe 30%.

Also, the firearm has a good coating of grime, and "sludge" along the creases of the wood.

If nobody is able to help with an identification, I may take this to a professional restorer/gunsmith.

Without further adieu... the pictures:

EDIT - More pics, more detail in description.
EDIT2 - Pics of markings on Barrel & Receiver






















 

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With no name on the lockplate, the only identification will almost certainly be proofmarks on underside of the barrel, probably Belgian but possibly British.

Rather than trying to pull the crosskey, try tapping lightly on the protruding end on right side to get it started, and then maybe use an old brass key that's flat and narrow enough to drive it out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
With no name on the lockplate, the only identification will almost certainly be proofmarks on underside of the barrel, probably Belgian but possibly British.

Rather than trying to pull the crosskey, try tapping lightly on the protruding end on right side to get it started, and then maybe use an old brass key that's flat and narrow enough to drive it out.
Thanks HRF.

Sorry my description was vague.
I am actually able to remove the crosskey out fairly easily.
(It looks like someone had to pry it open in the past, as evidenced by the chipped head of the crosskey)

However, with the crosskey removed, I pulled downwards on the forend with a good amount of force. I only managed to pry the forend out maybe 1/4-1/2 of an inch from the barrel.
I'm not brave enough to put any more force into it.

The "butt" of the forend seems to be pressed tightly against the receiver.
I'm afraid of cracking/breaking the wooden forend.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Also, based on the pictures, can you help me identify the features this firearm has?

Example:
"Single-shot, Break-open, etc."

What type of Hammer/Action is this (pin fire, center fire, side hammer, etc.)?
What gauge does this look like?
What type of wood/metal?

What is that Reddish-Brown coating on the metal? Rust?

Thank you!
 

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Probably centerfire, but can't tell for sure without seeing the breechface. It's not pin-fire.

I'd get a can of good penetrating oil - like Liquid Wrench - and apply it to all places where it appears the gun should move. Start at the hinge where it opens. Apply oil to the hinge, then open the gun as far as it will go. From the pix, that looks to be about a half inch. Close it. Open again and close it. Working it like that will make oil seep into the hinge, breaking crap loose and floating it to the surface. As the oil on the surface gets dirty, wipe it off and apply more. Eventually it will open completely.

To find the gauge, measure the hole in the end of the barrel. 3/4 inch? 12 gauge. 5/8 inch? 20 gauge. The list on this page will help.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gauge_(bore_diameter)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Probably centerfire, but can't tell for sure without seeing the breechface. It's not pin-fire.

I'd get a can of good penetrating oil - like Liquid Wrench - and apply it to all places where it appears the gun should move. Start at the hinge where it opens. Apply oil to the hinge, then open the gun as far as it will go. From the pix, that looks to be about a half inch. Close it. Open again and close it. Working it like that will make oil seep into the hinge, breaking crap loose and floating it to the surface. As the oil on the surface gets dirty, wipe it off and apply more. Eventually it will open completely.

To find the gauge, measure the hole in the end of the barrel. 3/4 inch? 12 gauge. 5/8 inch? 20 gauge. The list on this page will help.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gauge_(bore_diameter)
Excellent information, thank you.

The break-open hinge actually functions perfectly. No grainy-ness or anything.
The firing Pin is actually stuck in the "fire" position, and the pin is catching the bore of the barrel, stopping it from fully opening.
(you can kinda see this in the grainy pic of the open breech)

Not sure how to back-out the firing pin.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Would anyone recommend, or condemn me attempting a light cleaning with Laquer-thinner (wood), and 0000 steel wool + Hoppe #9 (metal) ?
 

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Not sure how to back-out the firing pin.
If you can find a socket that fits, remove the hexagon collar at rear end of the pin. (You may have to remove the hammer for access)

The metal part in front of the swivel point should come off with the wooden forend, and may be stuck to the barrel with rust, so try some penetrating oil there as Alpo suggests.
 

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I'd try oil on the dingus that the hammer hits, and more in and around the firing pin hole. Then I'd use a little percussion. Hit it. I'd use a big screwdriver. The handle. That plastic or wood screwdriver handle ain't gonna hurt your gun any. Put the oil on, let it sit of a half hour or so, then bang on the side of the action a bit with the screwdriver handle. Little more oil, little more rest, little more hitting. Maybe that will break some of the crud loose, and allow the firing pin to retract.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Good stuff.
I now have a bit more courage, and will likely attempt to loosen the firing pin tonight.

May or may not try to remove the hexagonal collar behind the firing pin.
I'm afraid of scratching the collar if I use standard socket wrench.

Can I use any lubricating oil?
I heard WD-40 is not good for use on guns, especially old ones.
 

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Even with the firing pin retaining nut off, you may have to remove the barrel, as in your pic with barrel cracked open, it looks like end of pin has been bent upward by the extractor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Even with the firing pin retaining nut off, you may have to remove the barrel, as in your pic with barrel cracked open, it looks like end of pin has been bent upward by the extractor.
You are correct. The pin is bent upwards.
This is probably due to more than one brute trying to force the breech open, while unaware of the firing pin issue.

1 hour left until I can go home and try-out all your recommendations.

EDIT - I found another post somewhere, which mentions using a long Dowel, running it down the barrel, and tapping the firing pin back. Not a bad idea... but who has a 4 foot wooden dowel laying around?
 

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Lubricating oil is for lubricating. You want penetrating. Different stuff. PB Blaster. Liquid Wrench. Kroil. Like that. WD40 works really good for getting the water out of your distributor cap, or love bugs off your bumper, or pine pitch off your fender. As an oil - I'm not real thrilled with it.
 

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Actually, since you can get the breech open enough to SEE the firing pin, if the pin will move you should be able to push it back with a screwdriver blade. But, since it is sticking out (it's not supposed to) I'm guessing the channel is full of rust and crud.

As for a dowel, if the pin is stuck, all that will happen is the pin will go into the wood, like a nail. If I was going to try to drive it back, I would use something sturdier than a dowel (like, maybe, go to the sporting goods store and buy a muzzleloader ramrod) and then put a fired cartridge case over the end of it. So the pin would be being pushed by a piece of metal, not wood.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
How bad does the finish look to you guys?

Would a professional gunsmith be able to bring the beauty back out of the wood and metal on this firearm?
What should I expect?

There's a Midway USA video out there that says to restore old firearm, use lacquer thinner... but won't that strip the finish??
I think I'll use a cotton rag, soaked in soapy warm water.

I have penetrating spray that I intend to use. Forget the brand, but I believe it's Liquid Wrench.

Edit - By the way, the responses and consideration from this community are awesome. Thank you very much.
 

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Now, if you want to take the years of crap off the wood, without harming the finish that's there, WD40 is good for that. :D
 

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Clean it up and appreciate it for what it is, a piece of family history. Restoration from any reputable smith will cost many $$$ and what do you have then?

I pick up similar pieces, single and double barrels, .22rf files etc. for little or nothing to use for decoy purposes. Set them out in your shop or garage openly and if you are unfortunate enough to have a break in; maybe the perps will get excited enough to grab and go.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
So I managed to push the firing pin back, and finally get the breech open.
I used the rod from my shotgun cleaning kit, ran it down the barrel, and tapped it back with a rubber mallet.

The barrel was absolutely filthy. It looked like mice had a poop party in there.
The barrel is now sparkling clean and oiled.

Sprayed the mechanics with Liquid Wrench.

After some man-handling, I finally got the barrel off!

The forend doesn't disconnect from the firearm. Instead, it "tilts" down and away from the barrel.
To remove the barrel you remove the crosskey, open the breech, tilt the forend down, and the barrel comes straight up and off. It's an odd configuration.
I'm really glad I didn't forcibly try to pry the forend off... it would have broken in half.

Sadly and probably due to age, a small sliver of the edge of the forend snapped off.
It fits back on, and the seam almost disappears... but my heart sank when I noticed.
My grandpa is a master cabinet maker... so he should be able to help me repair it properly.

Took some pictures, but forgot the camera at home :(

Here are the markings I found (that I remember):
Two "P" symbols on the receiver.
One "E" stamped on the barrel.
"24" stamped on the barrel.


There may be more markings, but the receiver->barrel area is covered in a very sticky gunk.
Will use Goo-Be-Gone to remove gunk, and check for more markings tonight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Clean it up and appreciate it for what it is, a piece of family history. Restoration from any reputable smith will cost many $$$ and what do you have then?

I pick up similar pieces, single and double barrels, .22rf files etc. for little or nothing to use for decoy purposes. Set them out in your shop or garage openly and if you are unfortunate enough to have a break in; maybe the perps will get excited enough to grab and go.
Agreed, I don't want to spend tons of $$$ to restore it to original, but I do want to clean it up as much as possible.
Nothing wrong with that, as long as original finish isn't damaged.
I'd rather have a clean, shiny decoration on my wall, as oppose to a rusty dirty ugly one.
 
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