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 Post subject: WH Hamilton, Belgian Twist, double barrel
PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2003 9:52 pm 
Utility Grade

Joined: Sat Aug 02, 2003 9:26 pm
Posts: 2
My dad is hopefully giving me an old shotgun that was [apparently] used quite a bit by my great granddad. Quite a bit of play where it breaks, some rust, and the pins stick a bit, but to me a gem for knowing it put some meat on the table for my forefathers. Rabbit ear hammers. Only markings I can find are "WH Hamilton" and "Belgian Twist". Can you help me with this guns history and approximate value. I intend to keep it in the family, just curious. Thanks! jr


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 Post subject: Re: WH Hamilton, Belgian Twist, double barrel
PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2003 10:45 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 30, 2002 3:53 pm
Posts: 8661
Location: Padua IL
W. H. Hamilton was located in New York City and was an importer of double barrelled shotguns made in Europe . He operated from about 1875 to 1885.

This name was also used as a trade name by Thomas Leary on shotguns made by F. Dumoulin & Co. 1904 to 1910 or 11.

I found references to it being a trade name used by Torssin & Son on imported shotguns also.


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 Post subject: Re: WH Hamilton, Belgian Twist, double barrel
PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2003 5:20 pm 
Thanks! Any way to narrow it down between the three possibilities? Does "Belgian Twist" tell me it was made in Belgium?
jr


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 Post subject: Re: WH Hamilton, Belgian Twist, double barrel
PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2003 5:43 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 30, 2002 3:53 pm
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Location: Padua IL
most generally , yes it does, there have been cases brought here where a London gunmaker used the same process as the Belgians and called it Belgian twist but I don't believe any of the London guns are applicable here.

I'm betting all three choices if traced back, would lead to the Dumoulin company


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 Post subject: Re: WH Hamilton, Belgian Twist, double barrel
PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2003 12:27 pm 
I've read where there were godzillions of run-of-the-mill shotguns were imported from Europe in the late 19th century and early 20th century. Can I assume the WH Hamilton is among this class and has little value to collectors?

thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: WH Hamilton, Belgian Twist, double barrel
PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2003 12:38 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 30, 2002 3:53 pm
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Location: Padua IL
Most generally they are priced as shooters unless near mint, then there are exceptions.


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 Post subject: Re: WH Hamilton, Belgian Twist, double barrel
PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2003 1:06 pm 
One more historical question. You placed the earliest date at about 1875. But, is this the type of gun that Confederate soldiers returned home with a few years prior?

Also, I'd like to make the old double shotgun a shooter again! Unsafe now. Any advice on where in the panhandle of Florida could I get it restored to shooting condition, ie action made tight & new firing pins.

Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: WH Hamilton, Belgian Twist, double barrel
PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2003 10:34 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 30, 2002 3:53 pm
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Location: Padua IL
Soldiers on both sides of that war carried so many different types and variations of so many guns it would be impossible to guess.

you'd better get it looked over by your local gunsmith before you ever consider restoring it to a shooter, that belgian twist could possibly be coming apart or otherwise be weak.


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 Post subject: Re: WH Hamilton, Belgian Twist, double barrel
PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2003 11:13 pm 
I'd like to interject something here. Since centerfire shotguns were not invented until 1861 and it took almost a decade before they were available worldwide the chances of any such shotgun being used in the CW runs fron negligible on down. They didn't start pouring into this country until the late 1870's.
Also, I wouldn't recommend making a shooter out of what some of us call a JABC (Just Another Belgian Clunker) such as the Hamilton. Prices of these guns reflect value as a mantle piece decoration rather than a shooter unless in EXC condition, checked out by a gunsmith that knows doubles, and use proper low pressure loads. To do otherwise is asking for trouble.


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 Post subject: Re: WH Hamilton, Belgian Twist, double barrel
PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2003 6:59 pm 
Utility Grade

Joined: Sat Aug 02, 2003 9:26 pm
Posts: 2
:shock: Dang. Russ R hurt my pride. I'll leave the mantle decor alone and toss the old JABC in the fire! :twisted: Not! Still proud of the heirloom.

Thnks for all the info! litenin out :idea:


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 Post subject: Re: WH Hamilton, Belgian Twist, double barrel
PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2003 9:56 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 19, 2003 5:44 pm
Posts: 332
This old gun should be priceless for the family connections, but unfortunately, once that tie is cut, it is worth very little. As Guest said, there were a gazillion similar guns imported, so collectors aren't looking for them unless in absolutely pristine condition. Shooters can get a new utility grade shotgun for a few hundred $ so aren't interested in one a century old that may not be safe to use and can't be fed Walmart shells. Clean the old gun up and give it a light coat of oil, then pass it on to another generation along with its history.


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