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 Post subject: Batavia Leader
PostPosted: Wed Aug 11, 2010 7:53 am 
Limited Edition

Joined: Mon Jan 15, 2007 9:38 am
Posts: 474
Location: VIRGINIA BEACH
I have a Batavia Leader 12 guage. Serial numbers match # 93502. Splinter forearm with ebony insert. Looks to be in real good shape. Not sure if the barells are damascus or steel . What do I have ? , and is it safe to shoot ?


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 Post subject: Re: Batavia Leader
PostPosted: Wed Aug 11, 2010 10:24 am 
Crown Grade

Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2007 11:12 am
Posts: 3229
Location: WA/AK
The Batavia guns were the low priced or "field grade" models of the Baker Gun & Forging Co. To reduce costs the Batavia line did not have the "firing pin block safety" or the "draw block" which passes transversely through the barrel lug and mates into recesses in the frame, of the graded Baker hammerless guns and the Model 1897 hammer gun. After WW-I with the rise of repeaters Baker sold their gun business to H&D Folsom Co. a major marketer, manufacturer and importer of low priced guns. Folsom added the 20-gauge to the Baker line that they produced. Folsom-made Baker guns normally have an F before or after the serial number. In the very last Baker ads that I've found in old sporting magazines from April and May 1928, and October 1929, Folsom also offered a 410-bore Batavia Leader, though I've never seen one.

During the Baker Gun & Forging Co. days there were several variations of the lower priced "Batavia" line. From a 1909 copy of The Baker Gunner -- The Batavia Leader had twist barrels and listed at $25 -- The Batavia Special had steel barrels and listed at $21.75 -- The Batavia Damascus had Damascus barrels and listed at $28 -- and, finally the Batavia Brush had 26-inch twist barrels and a straight-grip stock listing at $24 and offered swivels and a sling as an option for $3. There was also a Batavia Ejector that listed at $35 with steel barrels and $37.50 with Damascus barrels. About 1915 Baker Gun & Forging Co. discontinued all these "Batavia" models and replaced them with the Black Beauty and the Black Beauty Special. In 1919 Baker sold out their gun business to H&D Folsom. H & D Folsom revived the Batavia Leader name but with steel barrels like the old Batavia Special.

No one can, or should, tell you over the internet that a particular gun is safe to shoot and with what ammunition. Only a qualified double gun smith, not joe S**t the 870 parts replacer down on the corner, can make that determination.


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 Post subject: Re: Batavia Leader
PostPosted: Thu Aug 12, 2010 6:23 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 15, 2007 9:38 am
Posts: 474
Location: VIRGINIA BEACH
Does anyone know where I might purchase low pressure black powder loads or their equivalent ?
Thanks for your info '' RESEARCHER 01 ''


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 Post subject: Re: Batavia Leader
PostPosted: Thu Aug 12, 2010 10:21 am 
*Proud to be a*
*Proud to be a*

Joined: Mon Aug 25, 2008 2:03 pm
Posts: 3626
Location: peoples socialist republic
http://www.rstshells.com and http://www.polywad.com call them; I'm sure a lot of guys use their loads in shotguns designed black powder.

However, the Batavia Leader I believe was proofed for nitro shells; even twist barrels. I would not shoot modern off the shelf loads.

Have the gun inspected by a competent gunsmith for pits; and measure wall thickness on the barrels. Never know what was done to guns that have been around 100 yrs.

I have an old Batavia Leader ser.# 100xxx made in about 1908; twist barrels with multiple small dents and considerable pitting. About 1970, some 3 3/4 dram eq. loads were ignorantly fired in it and it stayed together. I have since used Four Tenner inserts in the gun. Can't get them anymore except some come up on the sites sometimes. I have thought of using 12 to 20 ga Gauge Mates chamber inserts. That would give added strength to the chamber and a rapid pressure drop in the barrel.

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 Post subject: Re: Batavia Leader
PostPosted: Thu Aug 12, 2010 4:08 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 15, 2007 9:38 am
Posts: 474
Location: VIRGINIA BEACH
Thanks a lot Patriot USA , I will be using the old Baker this season on timberdoodles in upstate NY. Thanks again.


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