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 Post subject: Crescent Shotgun
PostPosted: Sat Aug 03, 2013 7:06 pm 
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Joined: Sat Aug 03, 2013 3:26 pm
Posts: 3
Hello , I am hoping that someone can help me identify the age/year and the gauge of an old double barrel shotgun.

I have learned from reading other posts that it is manufactured by Crescent Arms.

At first I thought it was a 12 gauge , but after a closer look it could be a 16 or even a 20 gauge ? I have not found any markings that identify the gauge.

Here are some photos showing the details , markings and serial numbers : https://skydrive.live.com/redir?resid=F ... q-9J7VkNIU

Thank you

-Joe




Last edited by scrbiii on Mon Aug 05, 2013 4:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Crescent Shotgun
PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2013 1:15 am 
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Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2008 10:42 pm
Posts: 3773
Crescent Fire Arms Company of Norwich,CT was in business from 1892 to about 1930 when it was sold to a subsidiary of the Savage Arms Company who continued to make shotguns under the Crescent name up until about 1940. There were over 2.500.000 Crescent shotguns made. All Crescent records were lost or destroyed during a scrap paper drive in 1943. However don't give up hope. The noted shotgun researcher, the late Mr. Joseph T. Vorisek reconstructed the serial number-year made tables for Crescent made guns. Several of us have copies of that information. What we need is a description of the gun, single or double barrel, outside hammers or hammerless and an all markings and where located and the serial number. With that information, we can come close to the year the gun was made.You can measure the inside diameter of the barrels at the muzzle with a ruler, give us that measurement and we can guess the gauge.


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 Post subject: Re: Crescent Shotgun
PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2013 4:55 am 
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Joined: Sat Aug 03, 2013 3:26 pm
Posts: 3
Thanks for the quick reply!

The images included in the link in my first post show all of the markings and serial numbers I could find.

It is a double barrel , hammerless , barrel length is about 30 inches , and a serial number of 156090 .

Thank you
-Joe


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 Post subject: Re: Crescent Shotgun
PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2013 8:34 am 
Crown Grade

Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2007 11:12 am
Posts: 4983
Location: WA/AK
From my copy of Joe's chronology yor gun would be of 1909 vintage. Here is an H & D Folsom Arms Co. catalogue page from a few years later --

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 Post subject: Re: Crescent Shotgun
PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2013 10:02 am 
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Joined: Tue May 18, 2004 11:49 am
Posts: 5421
Location: Southwest Georgia, USA
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 Post subject: Re: Crescent Shotgun
PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2013 6:34 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2008 10:42 pm
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To add a bit more interesting and totally useless information. Your gun is technically what is known or called a "Trade Brand Name" shotgun. That is a shotgun made by a major maker (and between 1880 and 1940) for and was sold by a wholesale sporting goods dealer, a retail chain store or an independent seller (your local hardware store) who chose the name to go on the gun. The names KNICKERBOCKER and AMERICAN GUN CO were used by the H & D Folsom Company of New York City, a large wholesale sporting goods dealer, retail seller and a jobber who incidentally owned Crescent Fire Arms Company. Folsom bought Crescent to supply them with a lot of inexpensive shotguns fast which Crescent did. Folsom claimed in their catalogs that they made the guns. Not quite correct. Folsom located in New York City had no manufacturing facilities. All the guns were made in the Crescent factory located in Norwich,CT. To pin down the date your gun was made a little closer. It may have been said that all Crescent's records were destroyed in 1943 but were reestablished or reconstructed by Mr. Joseph T. Vorisek during his research for his book "The Breech Loading Shotgun In America 1865 to 1940." Joe took the number of a particular model of gun made and divided that by the years it was made and came up with an average number of guns made per year. That may not be too accurate but it's all we have to refer to.
His files show that your hammerless double barrel was made in 1909 as said. The serial numbers for that year start out with serial number 140,00 and end with serial number 168,00. Subtract those numbers and it comes to a total of 28,000 shotguns of this type were made in 1909. Divide 28,000 by 12 and that shows an average of 2,333 shotguns per month were made. Doing the math indicates that your gun was made about July 1909. Of course we all know that a shotgun is not made in a day or even a week. A word of caution at this point. Your gun was made using the technology and metallurgy of the times and designed for the ammunition in use at the time which was 2 1/2 inch shotshells loaded with either black powder or maybe, just maybe early low pressure smokeless powder and lead shot. It was not designed for more modern and longer . 2 9/16 or 2 3/4 inch shells loaded with higher pressure smokeless powder and certainly not 3 inch magnuums loaded with high pressure smokeless powder, steel shot or solid slugs. Since none of us here on the forum can see your gun to determine its condition, we must recommend that you do not attempt to shoot it. These were well made guns and can hold up with shooting shells loaded with smokeless powder if in good condition, we can't recommend it. If you want to shoot the gun, take it to a good competent gunsmith for a check out first and follow his advice and then only with proper ammunition. Value? These were inexpensive guns even when new, selling for between $15 and $25. They haven't appreciated that much over the passing years. Current value will depend on the guns condition, the amount of original finish remaining on the metal and wood as well as the mechanical condition. A prime condition example that appears to have come out of the factory yesterday afternoon (rare to very rare as these guns were used hard and received little care and maintenance) might fetch as much as $150 at auction while a rusty and pitted metal, rotten and broken wood and missing parts piece of junk fit only for parts salvage or as a whisky still stirring stick bring as little as $10 if it sells at all.


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 Post subject: Re: Crescent Shotgun
PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2013 8:38 pm 
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Joined: Sat Aug 03, 2013 3:26 pm
Posts: 3
Thanks everyone for the great information,

This shotgun and a rifle were donated to a thrift store that is managed by my stepdaughter.

I would like to "buy" it for myself to clean it up a bit and hang in my glass cabinet. I've always had a thing for old double barrel shotguns.

The other option is for the thrift store to consign it at a local gun shop.
I wouldn't want the thrift store to be liable if someone buys the gun and is injured from firing unsafe ammo loads etc.

-Joe


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 Post subject: Re: Crescent Shotgun
PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2013 10:20 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 06, 2013 9:04 am
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I have a hammerless Crescent Arms 12 gauge double barrel that has an extensive amount of scroll work, a duck hunting scene on each side, the trigger guard and even several of the screws have been hand engraved among other places. It is in excellent condition and is a great looking shotgun. The barrel says "genuine armory steel choke bored" and according to what I have found on this site it using serial number dating it was made in about 1903. I had it checked out by a competent gunsmith I know and he said it was safe to use, and so I have been, for pheasant and dove hunting for a few years now, even though it is heavy. The firing pin system is strange, behind the firing pin(s) there is a piece of steel rod about 1/2 inch long that slides into the breech and it falls out from time to time when the barrel is pointed up (a lot) and it gets hot. I keep it heavily greased but grease melts, any ideas?. It takes some abuse from the hammer(s) so it may be made that way intentionally so it they be changed out easily. I am getting tired of taking it apart, had to do it 2 days ago in the field while hunting doves but I'm getting pretty quick at it. I may see my gunsmith and have it modified in some way. I am not advocating the use of any old shotgun, a competent gunsmith should be consulted before attempting to fire one, And even then it is at your own risk.


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 Post subject: Re: Crescent Shotgun
PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2013 6:33 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 23, 2012 12:50 pm
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I would love to find one of these as my wife's name is "Crescent"!


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 Post subject: Re: Crescent Shotgun
PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2014 5:34 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 17, 2014 5:22 pm
Posts: 1
I have a 16GA shotgun with "Trustworty" engraved on it that belonged to my Dad. He died in 1952. From what I can gather because it has a serial number, it was probably made by Crescent. Ser # A28720 The forestock is missing but I would like someone to restore it for sentimental value. Does anyone know an approximate year of manufacture. Can a forestock be made or must be purchased off the internet. Can anyone recommend someone reputable to repair and refinish this shotgun. I am 71 and haven't fired this weapon in over 50 years.


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 Post subject: Re: Crescent Shotgun
PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2014 4:22 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2008 10:42 pm
Posts: 3773
Fast Sled & Tom.
I hope you gentlemen don't mind if I answer both your questions at once. Crescent Fire Arms Company of Norwich,CN (1892 to 1930+) was the largest maker ever of "Trade Brand Name" shotguns ever making over 2,500,000 shotguns of all types using almost 650 different known names. The name Crescent hasn't been used in over seventy five years but with so many having been made, they are still around in all states of conditions from almost factory new to something a junk yard wouldn't accept with major repairs. You'll find them on sites like Gun Broker or Auction Arms.
Tom, it would help to know if the gun is a single barrel or a double barrel. Crescent made about six different models including single barrels and double barrels and started each model with serial number 001 and just kept going until either the model ceased production or Crescent quit making shotguns. Shotguns with the name TRUSTWORTHY were made by one of two makers, either Crescent or the Harrington & Richardson Arms Company of Worcester, MA for and sold by the Trustworthy Hardware Company (location unknown). We'll just assume it was made by Crescent. There is really no problem in the type of gun in this case as either , serial number 28,720 was made in the same year, 1898. The single barrel serial numbers for the single barrel start with number 21,000 and stop with 42,000. The double barrel serial numbers start with 18,000 and stop with 36,000. A single barrel with your serial number would have been made some time in June of that year while a double barrel would have been made in August. This is just playing around with numbers as the records for Crescent made guns were lost in 1943. The late gun researcher and writer, Mr. Joseph T. Vorisek reestablished the serial numbers during his research on Crescent for his book "The Breech Loading Shotgun in America 1865 to 1940". It's an approximation but it's ll we have.


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 Post subject: Re: Crescent Shotgun
PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 9:16 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2014 8:50 pm
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I have this one. I know VERY little on it. I am told it is an 1895 Crescent. Anyone know anything more for me? Thanks!!! {hs#

http://s300.photobucket.com/user/crarnd ... t=3&page=1


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 Post subject: Re: Crescent Shotgun
PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2014 1:09 am 
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Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2008 10:42 pm
Posts: 3773
That's a lot of photographs that tell us nothing about the gun except that it appears to be a Crescent Firearms Company Hammer Double Model that was made from 1897 to 1927 in 12,16 or 20 gauges with 28,30 or 32 inch Armory Steel, Twist or Damascus barrels. We need to know all the markings found on the gun including the top of the barrels and the lock plates and the serial number. With that information, we can tell you what year the gun was
made an possibly who ,it was made for or sold it.


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 Post subject: Re: Crescent Shotgun
PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2014 8:43 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 13, 2013 4:46 pm
Posts: 83
Location: Eastern SC
Crarndtii: Your shotgun was made in Belgium as evidenced by the Belgian proof marks, "E", "L", "G" and * in an oval on the barrels and the Perron (inspection) stamping on the frame watertable and barrels. The "N" surmounted by a star is the inspectors mark.

Since both the frame watertable and the barrels are stamped "JD" it can be suspected that the maker was Jean Duchateau,. I have been unable to find any information on this maker other than his makers mark was "JD".

The back action locks and side lever opening on your specimen would date it in the period 1877-1890+-. The barrels appear to be Twist or Laminated Steel which many experts consider not safe to use with modern ammunition.


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 Post subject: Re: Crescent Shotgun
PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2014 10:05 am 
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Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2007 11:12 am
Posts: 4983
Location: WA/AK
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JABC -- Just Another Belgian Clunker.

The North American market was flooded with cheap shotguns from Belgium from the 1870s to WW-I.

Back in 1889 the magazine Forest and Stream was doing a series of pattern and penetration tests of various shotguns available to the American shooting public in each issue. For the September 26 issue they decided to take a break from the Greener, Scott, L.C. Smith, Winchester Model 1887, Colt, Remington, etc., and test H & D Folsom's cheapest doubles. Here is a brief quote of what they had to say --

“...but the mean grade gun of no name. "W. Richards," that nonentity in the gun trade, was stamped on the plate, but they were really only those cheap bits of ordnance which come through our custom houses, pay a duty of 40 per cent., and yet may be placed on the counters of the gun shop at $5 a piece. The Forest and Stream has already in past times expressed its opinion about these pestiferous products of the penurious population clustered on Belgian soil.”

Take that H & D Folsom!!!


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 Post subject: Re: Crescent Shotgun
PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2014 2:00 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2011 3:35 pm
Posts: 1834
Location: AZ (heart in KS)
'JD' turns up a lot, and in that location is likely the barrel maker; Jean Delcour-Dupont, Joseph Delcour or Jules Delheid. All were members of Syndicat des Fabricants de Canons de Fusil de la Vesdre.

http://docs.google.com/a/damascusknowle ... Xntqw/edit

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Richard Baxter (1615-1691), Directions Against Covetousness
"Be more careful to use what you have, than to get more."

Kingsley Brown "Shoot more, shop less."


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 Post subject: Re: Crescent Shotgun
PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2014 4:21 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Wed Mar 13, 2013 4:46 pm
Posts: 83
Location: Eastern SC
Drew: Would the barrel makers mark, "JD" also be stamped on the frame watertable?


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 Post subject: Re: Crescent Shotgun
PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2014 6:13 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2011 3:35 pm
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Location: AZ (heart in KS)
No, not if 'JD' was only the tube supplier

_________________
http://sites.google.com/a/damascusknowl ... m/www/home

Richard Baxter (1615-1691), Directions Against Covetousness
"Be more careful to use what you have, than to get more."

Kingsley Brown "Shoot more, shop less."


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 Post subject: Re: Crescent Shotgun
PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2014 7:12 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2008 10:42 pm
Posts: 3773
two old dogs is correct of course. He has a sharper eye than I do (and is most likely younger and better looking). I just didn't want to go through all those photographs looking for what I should have. Between about 1880 to 1914 when World War One, The Great War or The War to End All Wars (your choice), cut off exports from Europe in General and Belgium in particular thousands of inexpensive shotguns were imported into the United States. These guns were designed and made using the technology and metallurgy of the times and for the ammunition in use backl then which was a 2 1/2 inch shotshell loaded with black powder and lead shot. They were not designed for longer, 2 9/16 or 2 3/4 inch shotshells loaded with smokeless powder and certainly not modern 3 inch or magnum shells loaded with high pressure smokeless powder, steel shot or solid slugs. These old guns should not be fired with any ammunition due to the risk.


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 Post subject: Re: Crescent Shotgun
PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2014 8:10 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 13, 2013 4:46 pm
Posts: 83
Location: Eastern SC
Ned: I'm only 10 years your junior and my looks have faded with age. I evidently have a bigger magnifying glass.




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