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 Post subject: Columbia double barrel shot gun pat. 1887
PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2012 12:49 pm 
Utility Grade

Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2012 12:30 pm
Posts: 1
I have inherited a COLUMBIA double barrel shotgun, it has two side hammers and several markings but no serial number. the only readable markings say Columbia 1887 machine gun. No gage markings. The butt rest has a dog sitting under a tree with a bird hanging upside down from a limb and a long gun leaning against tree trunk. Can anyone help tell what I have and what it may be worth. thank you.


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 Post subject: Re: Columbia double barrel shot gun pat. 1887
PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2012 2:51 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2008 10:42 pm
Posts: 3568
You have what is known as a "Trade Brand Name" shotgun. A "Trade Brand Name" shotgun is one that was 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 seller who chose the name to go on the gun.I noticed that you said Patented 1887 in your heading and said Columbia 1887 Machine Gun (machine gun in small letters) in the body of the message. In order to properly identify one of these old guns the markings must be reported exactly as they appear on the gun with no additions, deletions or contractions. I have listings for over 850 names that were used between 1880 and 1940 and COLUMBIA MACHINE GUN is not among them. That's not surprising as so many names were used and not all of them were recorded. However, I can make an educated guess. I do have listings for just plain COLUMBIA, COLUMBIA ARMS CO, COLUMBIAN, COLUMBIAN FIREARMS CO,COLUMBIA NEW YORK ARMS CO, COLUMBIAN SINGLE and COLUMBIAN FIRE ARMS CO. Guess what. all of them but one was made by the same maker, Crescent Fire Arms Company of Norwich,CT (1892 to1930). Please recheck the markings and post them just as the appear on the gun. The Machine Gun marking does not mean an automatic gun but does mean that the gun was made on machinery and not by hand. Also look on the watertable (the flat part of the frame/receiver where the barrels close up) or on the bottom of the barrels for the serial number and if you find that, please post it. Value? The value of any 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. These guns were inexpensive (read cheap) even when new selling for between $25 and $35. and haven't appreciated that much over the years. A prime condition example (rare) that appears to have come out of the factory yesterday afternoon might bring as much as $150 while a rusty rotten incomplete piece of junk fit only for parts salvage or as a fire place poker might bring as little a $10 Most I have seen sold on the various gun auction sites have sold for between $50 and $100. A word of caution. These guns were designed and made using the technology and metallurgy of the times when they were made and for the ammunition in use back then which was 2 1/2 inch shells loaded with black powder and lead shot. They were not designed for more modern 3 inch or magnum shells loaded with high pressure smokeless powder or steel shot. My recommendation is don't attempt to shoot the gun.


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 Post subject: Re: Columbia double barrel shot gun pat. 1887
PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2012 3:12 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2008 10:42 pm
Posts: 3568
After all that writing and getting my head out of my butt, I looked in another book and found the name.
It's still a "Trade Brand Name" gun and all the other information still applies but the gun was made in Belgium by a large maker named Simonis, Jannssen & Dumoulin who was located in Liegew,Belgium. Look of Belgian proof marks on the bottom of the barrels which consist of the letters "ELG" in an oval with a crown on top.No information as to just when the gun was made but it had to between 1880 and 1914 when thousands of Belgian made guns were imported into the U.S. World War One, The Great War or The War to End All Wars (choose one) cut off exports from Europe.


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