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 Post subject: Gebruder Merkel, Suhl 12 #70337 o/u Bohler Stahl Antique
PostPosted: Sat Mar 27, 2010 12:26 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 27, 2010 12:02 pm
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Need some help identifying the age and potential value of this gun from my Grandfather, any help will be appreciated. Marking " NITRO" :P

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[img][/ihttp://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47a0dd06b3127ccef9e2c528912900000030O01AaMWzJw3YsQe3nwk/cC/f%3D0/ps%3D50/r%3D0/rx%3D720/ry%3D480/[/img]

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 Post subject: Re: Gebruder Merkel, Suhl 12 #70337 o/u Bohler Stahl Antique
PostPosted: Sat Mar 27, 2010 5:02 pm 
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Judging by the engraving pattern and color case hardened frame, it looks like a Model 200E or predecessor model. Since the barrels are marked with the maker's name and the city, Suhl, with no mention of the country of origin; I suspect that it was made prior to 1945. It is my understanding that on Merkel guns produced between 1945 and 1990, the letters DDR ( or in some cases, GDR ) were stamped on the barrels to indicate country of origin. Post 1990 production (and perhaps some pre-1945 export models) will be marked, "Made in Germany". A date code may be stamped on the breech end of the barrels or frame. Some clear, close-up photos of the proof marks may also help to establish date of proof and hence, manufacture. The Bohler Stahl (Steel) stamped on the barrel refers to the high grade steel used in making the barrels.

BTW, a number of German SxS doubles, O/U's and drillings were "liberated" and came into the States as G.I. bring-backs after the war.

Most Merkel O/U field guns appear to have been fitted with solid ribs and double triggers as shown in your photos. Value ranges from $1,000.- (good) up to $2,500.- or more (Exc.) depending upon condition. As always, check the online auctions for real life prices paid.

Your Grandfather had good taste in guns!





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 Post subject: Re: Gebruder Merkel, Suhl 12 #70337 o/u Bohler Stahl Antique
PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 5:18 am 
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Location: Hannover, Germany
Hi globalwavetracker,

as there is the Q1 marking present on the barrel lug, the gun comes from GDR production. The Q1 = 1st quality symbol was used only in the GDR since the early 60s. In the GDR some quality levels were used – only items on the best quality level (Q1) were exported to the West.

Unfortunately, I can’t make out the three digit number above the crest with crossed pick and sole (what’s the crest of the Suhl proof house). This three digit number is the proof date, e. g. 569 would be May 1969. So, look at this number and you’ll know when it was proofed. As the proof lowed immediately after production, you know then, when it was made.

Regards

Martin

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Value? Open an auction at GB or AA and in two weeks you'll know exactly....


Last edited by sauerfan on Mon Mar 29, 2010 7:27 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Gebruder Merkel, Suhl 12 #70337 o/u Bohler Stahl Antique
PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 5:45 am 
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Hi globalwavetracker,

And here’s the guy who made your gun:

http://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa/ ... uality.jpg

:lol: :lol:

Wording is: “Quality – you have my word!”

That’s a 1986 dated GDR propaganda poster on the occasion of the 11th party conference of the GDR’s communist party.

Regards

Martin

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Value? Open an auction at GB or AA and in two weeks you'll know exactly....


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 Post subject: Re: Gebruder Merkel, Suhl 12 #70337 o/u Bohler Stahl Antique
PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 7:16 pm 
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Sauerfan,

Wow......your eyes are better than mine! I couldn't identify the marking on the barrel lug. So, Q1 refers to export quality during the DDR years;
interesting. Thank you for the information.

Doppelflinten



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 Post subject: Re: Gebruder Merkel, Suhl 12 #70337 o/u Bohler Stahl Antique
PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 9:21 am 
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Location: Hannover, Germany
Hi Doppelflinten,

doppelflinten wrote:
So, Q1 refers to export quality during the DDR years;
interesting.


yep. Check out this, showing the different quality level markings used in the GDR:

http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/G%C3%BCtezeichen_%28DDR%29

Q1 (since the early 60s) and “S” (until 1960) = superior quality over the average level of the world market
1 = good quality on the average level of the world market
2 = sufficient quality; adequate but below world market level

The interesting part of that: Q1 Merkels were exported, while quality level 1 Merkels were marketed in the East Block and in the GDR. One of the results was: Soviet high ranking officers drove to West Berlin (they were allowed to do so) and bought at the only existing gun shop in West Berlin…. Merkels, made in GDR! Simply, because the Q1 quality was not available in the GDR.

Regards

Martin

_________________
Value? Open an auction at GB or AA and in two weeks you'll know exactly....


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 Post subject: Re: Gebruder Merkel, Suhl 12 #70337 o/u Bohler Stahl Antique
PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 8:25 pm 
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Hello sauerfan,

Thank you for the link to gutenklassen und gutezeichen (DDR). I should have been aware of the quality catagories having had experience with other former East Bloc export products years ago (it may be time to recharge the memory banks). It was interesting to learn that Soviet officers travelled to West Berlin to purchase their Merkels in order to obtain the best quality.

Again, thank you for the education.

Regards,

Doppelflinten


Montani Semper Liberi


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 Post subject: Re: Gebruder Merkel, Suhl 12 #70337 o/u Bohler Stahl Antique
PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 3:12 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2012 2:51 pm
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doppelflinten wrote:
It was interesting to learn that Soviet officers travelled to West Berlin to purchase their Merkels in order to obtain the best quality.

In the '80's I used to visit friends in East Berlin fairly frequently. It gave me a kind of perverse pleasure in inviting them out to dinner in locations which were out of bounds to unaccompanied GDR citizens, and then paying the bill with my American Express card. So much for the idea of a "classless society"!

I, too, have a Merkel like the one owned by Globalwavetracker's grandfather. Since it is a single non-selective trigger model choked Skeet I and II, I assume it also has the "Q" mark, although I have never noticed it. I'll have to drag it out now and examine it.


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 Post subject: Re: Gebruder Merkel, Suhl 12 #70337 o/u Bohler Stahl Antique
PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2017 10:47 am 
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Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2015 1:08 am
Posts: 18
My father had a Bohler and Stahl that was stamped "Made in West Germany".
I don't recall the actual manufacturer.
I always thought it was Bohler and Stahl, because it was stamped on the upper barrel.
I just wish I could find it.
It was lost in a pawn shop deal gone bad back in the late 70's in Waco, Texas.
It was a beautiful over/under with beautiful dark wood on the stock and forearm.

After reviewing these posts, it appears it may have been made by Merkel in Suhl, West Germany.
If anyone has one for sale out there I would love to see it.
Who knows, it could be my Dad's shotgun.
My email is: stankoehne@yahoo.com

Thanks.

PS: I should add that my Dad brought this 12 gauge over/under home after WW2.
I only wish I had more information on it.
I do remember the engraving was gorgeous and man did it have a kick when you squeezed that trigger.
I used it to hunt dove and quail around the Waco area where I was born and raised, but an unscrupulous pawn dealer stole it from me around 79-80.
I would estimate it was manufactured sometime in the 40's.




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