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 Post subject: Unable to identify this shotgun
PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 12:19 pm 
Utility Grade

Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2012 5:17 pm
Posts: 1
First post – thanks shotgunworld

Have been unable to identify this shotgun please help.

http://s205.photobucket.com/albums/bb142/stx911/




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 Post subject: Re: Unable to identify this shotgun
PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 1:06 pm 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2011 6:02 pm
Posts: 124
I'm not surprised you haven't been able to ID it; that's one weird puppy.

It looks like it has at least some features of the Snider system, invented in the 1860s (IIRC) as a method of cheaply converting military muzzle loading rifles to use centerfire cartridges. My first thought when I saw the pix was, therefore, that it was an attempt, probably by the village blacksmith, to Sniderize a percussion shotgun.

But it looks a bit more sophisticated than that. I think it was originally made as a muzzle-loader, and my guess would be it was originally French or Belgian (I can't make out any proof marks or read the name on the rib, so I'm going by shape and style alone). Where the aftermarket chop job was done, and by whom, God only knows. Whoever and wherever, they went to a lot of trouble. Am I right in thinking you release the breech block by pulling down on the trigger guard? That's a step up in sophistication from the usual Snider system.

I'm sure you don't need to be told this, but just in case; *don't* be tempted to fire it (assuming a modern shotshell will fit in there) The genius who did the chopping-about effectively moved the breech/chamber area 3 inches or so down the barrel, which means he also moved the point at which maximum pressure would develop, to a point where the barrel walls are rather thinner than you'd want them to be. Maybe not such an issue with black powder shells, but definitely problematic with modern nitro cartridges.

It's a fascinating object, and presumably quite rare, possibly unique. Some military rifles were Sniderized, smoothbored and sold in the US (I think the trade name was "Zulu" shotguns) but they were, of course, all single barrels. This is the first double Snider I've seen.


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 Post subject: Re: Unable to identify this shotgun
PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 4:10 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2007 11:12 am
Posts: 3474
Location: WA/AK
It is an Ethan Allen as introduced in 1868. See chapter 8 of the late Ed Muderlak's book Parker Guns, Shooting Flying and the American Experience.


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 Post subject: Re: Unable to identify this shotgun
PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 7:04 pm 
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I don't have a clue what type shotgun that may be, but I think it is very interesting the way you open and close the "action". It appears to have a hinge like an ordinary door hinge and also a sliding locking bolt mechanism to lock up the "door".

Very interesting the way it works.

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 Post subject: Re: Unable to identify this shotgun
PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 10:26 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Tue May 18, 2004 11:49 am
Posts: 4453
Location: Southwest Georgia, USA
Image


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 Post subject: Re: Unable to identify this shotgun
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 5:01 am 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2011 6:02 pm
Posts: 124
I was trying to figure out what the notches in the top of the chambers were for; at first sight I thought 'pinfire', but obviously not. Then the penny dropped; they're to allow the firing pin tips to clear the chamber rim when the block is swung back, which is why they're offset to the left.

Researcher01 -

Could you please tell us some more about this gun? If it's an Ethan Allen, rather than an Allen & Wheelock, presumably it's 1860s vintage. How long were they around for, and were there many of them made?


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 Post subject: Re: Unable to identify this shotgun
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 10:16 am 
Crown Grade

Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2007 11:12 am
Posts: 3474
Location: WA/AK
The guns used a steel shell based on E. Allen's Patent No. 47688 granted May 16, 1865. The guns were only offered for three years, 1868 to 1871, and were quite pricey. The "Fine Stub Twist" barrel gun was $100 while the gun with "Fine Laminated" or Damsacus barrels was $150, with 8-ga $15 extra. The steel shells were $6 per dozen, and the Flobert-style rimfire primers were $2.50 per thousand. According to Ed, the steel shells didn't expand like brass shells and black-powder blowback gummed up the works and the gun's dinkey extractor, levered by the triggerguard, was next to useless on stuck shells. Ed speculates that these guns may have actually had American made Twist, Laminated or Damascus steel barrels rather than barrels made from imported English, French or Belgian tubes.


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 Post subject: Re: Unable to identify this shotgun
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 4:36 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2011 6:02 pm
Posts: 124
Thank you!

$150 for a shotgun in 1868; that was a lot of money.

Sounds like STX911 has an interesting rarity




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