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 Post subject: Worthington Challenger A16 gauge
PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 7:47 pm 
Utility Grade

Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2011 7:34 pm
Posts: 2
I have a Worthington Challenger single shot 16 gauge serial # E 87620 XG. Does anyone know how old? Who manufactured it? Value? Thanks for any information you may have.


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 Post subject: Re: Worthington Challenger A16 gauge
PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 12:37 am 
Crown Grade

Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2008 10:42 pm
Posts: 3568
Yes. The gun is what is called a "Trade Brand Name" or Hardware Store shotgun. That is a shotgun made by a major maker (and before 1940) for and was sold by a wholesale sporting goods dealer. a retail chain store or an independent retailer who chose the name to go on the gun. Guns with the name WORTHINGTON CHALLENGER were made by the Crescent Fire Arms Company of Norwich,CT (1892 to 1931) for and were sold by the George Worthington & Co of Cleveland,OH, a large sporting goods dealer. The gun with serial number 87,620 was made in 1901. Value? The value of one of these old guns depends on its 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 might bring as much as $125 while a rusty rotten incomplete piece of junk fit only for parts salvage or as a tomato stake might bring $10. Most I have seen sold on the various gun auction sites have sold for between $59 and $95. Caution. These old guns were designed and made using the technology and metallurgy of the times when they were made. The gun may have a damascus barrel and will be chambered for a 2 1/2 inch shell loaded with black powder and possibly very early low pressure smokeless powder and lead shot. It was not made for modern 3 inch or magnum shells loaded with modern high pressure smokeless powder or steel shot. I don't consider it safe to shoot with any modern ammunition.


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 Post subject: Re: Worthington Challenger A16 gauge
PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 6:52 am 
Utility Grade

Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2011 7:34 pm
Posts: 2
Thanks, Ned. The gun is still in very good condition. The finish appears original. The barrel does not appear to be Damascus steel since I can't see the telltale swirl marks. My uncle gave it to me before he passed away. He was from Youngstown, OH( not far from Cleveland)He also gave me several old boxes of shells. They are Revelation brand from Western Auto. With that said, I think I'll just let this old gun remain in the cabinet as a conversation piece.


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 Post subject: Re: Worthington Challenger A16 gauge
PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 10:06 am 
Crown Grade

Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2007 11:12 am
Posts: 3336
Location: WA/AK
I'd say it is a good bet that with that E prefix to the serial number the gun wasn't made by H & D Folsom Arms Co. (or Crescent Fire Arms Co. as Ned likes to say) but was made by J. Stevens Arms Co. in the 1930s. We'll need to see some good pictures to see who is right. There are several other possibilities as well.


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 Post subject: Re: Worthington Challenger A16 gauge
PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 2:53 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2008 10:42 pm
Posts: 3568
I agree about the pictures but in the meantime a quick way to tell if the gun was made by either Crescent Fire Arms or J. Stevens is to look where the butt stock joins the frame/receiver. On a Crescent made gun, the butt stock will have a straight line in the wood while a Stevens made gun will have two (one one each side) semicircular projections that fit into corresponding cutouts in the frame. Also serial numbers on Crescent made guns are stamped on the lower tang (the part that extends back into the wood of the butt stock while on a Stevens made gun, the serial number is stamped on the side of the frame.


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