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 Post subject: Belgian Shotgun
PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2005 11:38 am 
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Location: Campana, Argentina
My name is Jorge Modarelli, I´m from Argentina, and when I was looking for information on the net , I found the shotgunworls site.
Some days ago I bought a shotgun from a old man here. Since that day I was searching for more information about this gun in the net but the only thing that I found is that is belgian, so I think that you could help me

The shotgun have two barrels side by side, I think is 28ga, with hidden hammers. The only incription in the rib is ACIER COCKERILL (the information that I found talk about the type of steel and the maker of this steel). Below the barrels I found differents marks, an L.B in each barrel, and in left one "BS", the choke is marked too, with 13,9. also I found a mark that is a provisional proof mark.(like an E with and L)

Other marks in the Action system are: PV with a lyon above, ELG in circle whit a crown above and star below ( that marks told me that is an belgian shotgun) also I found and X with a star above.

I will very happy if you can identify or tell me who can I contact for this. I will appreciate information of the maker of this gun and the year of contruction.

Thank you for your time.




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 Post subject: Re: Belgian Shotgun
PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2005 12:40 pm 
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Welcome to Shotgunworld!

The X with a star above is the mark of the inspector who conducted the proof test.

13,9 is the bore (or choke) diameter in millimeters (in the US we would write this as 13.9 mm). That is equal to 0.547 inch, which is within the range for 28 gauge (US standard bore diameter for 28 gauge is 0.545-0.565 but European guns are often tighter). You often see these numbers in pairs, one over the other, indicating bore diameter and choke diameter. If there is only one such number and the word "CHOKE" does not appear, the barrels may be cylinder-bored (no choke). If the word "CHOKE" is there, but only one number, the gun was made after 23 June 1924 and has at least .008 inch of choke constriction.

Lion over PV indicates voluntary proof with semi-smokeless powder.

Oval containing E LG with star below and crown on top of oval, means final black powder proof.

My reference book does not indicate what L.B. or BS mean.

I am not aware of any way to identify the year of construction of Belgian guns.

Most inexpensive Belgian guns cannot be identified as to maker. They are referred to as "guild guns", and may have been assembled by any member of the gunmaker's guild, using parts produced by several other members.

I hope this helps.

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 Post subject: Re: Belgian Shotgun
PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2005 12:47 pm 
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Question: Is there an oval open on the right side (or an elongated letter "C") containing the numbers 28-65 or 28-70? Guns made after 23 June 1924 were required to carry this mark, indicating the gauge and the chamber length in mm.

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 Post subject: Re: Belgian Shotgun
PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2005 1:21 pm 
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Location: Campana, Argentina
Thanks a lot for your welcome and for your fast response.
Yes there are a kind of oval with numbers, I can see this numbers 29-85. There are two marks of this type one in each side. Other Mark that I found is kind of little arrow, and a kind of R alone.
Can we agree that this gun was made after 1924 ??? It´s looks a pretty solid gun.
Do you think that I can shoot with new ammunition in this gun ???

Thanks again


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 Post subject: Re: Belgian Shotgun
PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2005 2:21 pm 
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I don't know what the arrow might be.

I just found this on the internet.

Image

Look at the little mark under the final proof mark ELG with crown. Could the "arrow" you see be an indistinct mark like this? It is called the "perrin" or "tower" and is another mark indicating final black-powder proof. It is sometimes small and hard to make out.

My references don't show an R by itself. An R with a crown over it is used on rifles.

I don't understand the numbers 29-85 in the oval. If the oval is open on the right side like an elongated letter C, it should indicate the gauge and chamber length. I could understand the number 29 maybe meaning a slightly tight-bored 28 gauge, but a 85 mm chamber doesn't make sense to me. Could it actually be 65 rather than 85?

I would advise you not to shoot the gun until it has been examined by a gunsmith. It appears to be a 28 gauge, but the numbers 29-85 are so confusing, it just might be something unusual and different from the standard 28 ga shotshell.

I'm sorry I can't answer all your questions.

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 Post subject: Re: Belgian Shotgun
PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2005 2:29 pm 
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the 28-85 is possible since some early 28's had four inch chambers... (I think A-5Guy has a 4 inch 28 ga shell)

Browning used ACIER COCKERILL as a descriptive phrase for their barrel steel in the early 20 I think.

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 Post subject: Re: Belgian Shotgun
PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2005 2:57 pm 
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Location: Campana, Argentina
Thanks you again
I will check the numbers again.
I will try to post a digital photo of the marks.
About the R it´s a simbol like and R extended down.
The arrow it´s like that you found and posted.
The gun has all the marks posted except the R with the crown, and the E.C with the lyon.

Dou you think that could be a Browning ???



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 Post subject: Re: Belgian Shotgun
PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2005 11:02 pm 
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Quote:
I am not aware of any way to identify the year of construction of Belgian guns.

If anyone is interested give me your e-mail address and I'll send you the date code chart. It's good from 1922 - present.

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 Post subject: Re: Belgian Shotgun
PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2005 11:33 pm 
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By George, I found it!

I thought there was a date code chart for Belgian guns, but I couldn't find it until ShotgunT reminded me! Thanks, T.

Image

jmoda, do you see any of these symbols on the gun?

I'm sure MarlandS did not mean to imply that the gun could be a Browning. He simply meant that Acier Cockerill was a descriptive term for the grade of steel, as used by a number of manufacturers, including Browning as an example.

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 Post subject: Re: Belgian Shotgun
PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2005 6:01 am 
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The marks on that list should have a star located above, so it sounds as though your gun may have been produced in 1945.
A little insight I've gained in using the list:
[1] The script or font shown doesn't seem to always be the same font as actually used, but the letters tend to hold true to the approximate date manufactured.
[2] I use the word approximate because an expert contact of mine, in Belgium, has dated one of my guns 2yrs. differently than the list does. The man is currently doing research in order to publish his own list, and has been doing so for years to my knowledge. I tend to believe him as his credentials seem quite sound [ie. high up the food chain at Francotte before they closed the doors]. I don't think the slight difference means much. Telling someone my 20b was made in 1926 rather than 1924 has little effect. On the other hand, if the dates in question were 23 vs. 25 , other marks would tend to conflict. I haven't seen one like that to compare yet, but hope to.
Jim

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 Post subject: Re: Belgian Shotgun
PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2005 6:50 am 
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I do have a 4" 28ga SxS with rifled barrels.

The oval with the two numbers in it is a Greek letter Omega(this was receintly pointed out to me) and the first number indicates the gauge and the second indicates the chamber legnth in millimeters.

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 Post subject: Re: Belgian Shotgun
PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2005 8:08 am 
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Location: Campana, Argentina
First, thanks a lot to everyone.The information posted was very useful.

I can confirm that the numbers are 28-65 inside an Omega letter (like and oval open at right)
About the marks, I found two X, with a star above. Also there are an little O with a star above, but this mark is located below the left barrel, when the other marks are below the chamber.


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 Post subject: Re: Belgian Shotgun
PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2005 8:18 am 
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The 28-65 in the Omega would indicate a 2 1/2" 28 gauge.

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 Post subject: Re: Belgian Shotgun
PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2005 9:03 am 
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The open oval containing the gauge and chamber length may have been derived from a Greek Omega, but it is not a direct rendering of the Omega. The capital letter Omega is more nearly circular and the opening is on the bottom, not the right side. The open ends of the oval do have serifs on them, like an Omega.

If JimfromTrafalgar is right about the date codes having a star on top, that introduces confusion because the inspector's marks also have a star on top. If the mark looks like a script X, it is probably the date code for 1945, but if it looks like a capital X it is more likely to be the inspector's mark. I suspect in this case it is the date code, while the O with star is the inspector's mark.

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 Post subject: Re: Belgian Shotgun
PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2005 6:50 am 
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MrBen,
To my knowledge, the inspector's marks are used as date codes. [This from several sources,one of which is my Belgian contact]. This tends to make sense, to my mind. If the Belgian proof house had a system used for marking guns as to date proved, why wouldn't they make it public? My understanding is that one can discern the date a gun was proved by knowing what inspector's marks were used during which years, but that the Belgian proof house keeps these marks confidential. This would explain why my contact,Luc, has been researching this for quite some time.
As to why the marks are kept in confidence, I'm not sure. I've heard it was to protect the identification of the inspectors.
Jim

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 Post subject: Re: Belgian Shotgun
PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2005 10:47 am 
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Jim, I think you are confusing the inspector's marks and date marks. Inspector's marks have the star over the letter, while date code marks are just letters or similar marks.

I think you'll find the same inspector's mark used by different individuals in different time periods. Thus, it's hard to establish a date of production with an inspector's mark since some individuals used the mark for many years and other individuals used the same mark in a different period. For instance, the star over A was used by 4 different inspectors from 1911 to 1974 and on.

I believe the date marks, usually letters without a star above, will tell the dates of proofing closely.


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 Post subject: Re: Belgian Shotgun
PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2005 12:50 am 
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sfco,
Could be, however, I've got a gun without a mark that doesn't have a star above, at least not legible, there are a couple of partial marks. This one was dated by this fellow in Belgium using only the marks that were clear. Perhaps this caused my confusion. At any rate, I'm still curious as to why this stuff seems to be closely guarded. I sent an e-mail to a Belgian govt. site this morning, to see if there is a potential contact with the Belgian proofhouse. I'm tired of hearing this stuff second hand, and intend to go straight to the source,if possible.
Jim

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 Post subject: Re: Belgian Shotgun
PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2005 1:19 am 
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Jim, the list of inspector's marks I have has the names of the inspectors and the years they started and finished their inspecting careers. The list goes from 1911 to 1994. Is that the information you are looking for ?

The date marks list I have goes from 1922-1997. I think I got both lists off of the internet.

The way it looks to me, dating a gun with the inspector's marks is not very accurate. For instance, take star/F. This was Lambert Alexandre's mark from 1927-1953. In 1974 Joseph Scholtissen began using this mark. How would one get a production date out of that ?


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 Post subject: Re: Belgian Shotgun
PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2005 1:42 am 
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Quote:
If the Belgian proof house had a system used for marking guns as to date proved, why wouldn't they make it public? My understanding is that one can discern the date a gun was proved by knowing what inspector's marks were used during which years, but that the Belgian proof house keeps these marks confidential. This would explain why my contact,Luc, has been researching this for quite some time.

The date codes are public. The chart shown on this thread is the most common one found. Also there is nothing confidential about the inspectors marks. This information is easily available. I have a complete list from 1911 to present. I'm suprised your contact hasn't come across it.
If you want info on a Belgian gun no other site is better than the one below. Contact Alain through that site. Your not likely to find anyone more knowledgable on Belgian guns and he's always glad to help. He was a great help on my Pirotte in fact the pictures on his site are of my gun.

http://www.littlegun.be/site%20reduit/belgique%20gb.htm

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 Post subject: Re: Belgian Shotgun
PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2005 2:32 am 
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sfco,
Not that it seems to be important, but could I get that list from you?
ShotgunT,
I started checking on Belgian info a couple of years ago and found only what I've related here. I do mean I searched in depth, and found nothing more. I now wonder what Luc's been feeding me, and what the heqq he claims to have been researching.
Thanks,
Jim



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