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 Post subject: Old SxS I.D.
PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2021 10:19 am 
Utility Grade

Joined: Tue Mar 16, 2021 9:44 am
Posts: 6
Location: Ohio
A buddy gave me this SxS a little over a year ago. I tried to get info on it then, on another forum. But never did get anything definit. I’ve heard crescent, stevens and others. That manufactures back then would produce the firearm with whatever the buyer wanted on it and wouldn’t put they’re mark on it. I would like to find out the manufacture, date, and estimated value. The engraved writing on the forend is I believe a previous owners name.
All that’s on it is Illinois Special and the serial number. The barrels are 30” and as far as I can tell they are full and mod. The gun is solid and tight. The only thing I can find wrong with it is the flat spring for the forend latch is broke. It’s a spring held in place by one of the forend latch assembly screws. Doesn’t effect anything but I have to play with it to get the forend back on. I’d love to find a replacement spring for it too.
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 Post subject: Re: Old SxS I.D.
PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2021 4:43 pm 
Diamond Grade
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Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2011 3:35 pm
Posts: 1913
Location: AZ (heart in KS)
It is a N.R. Davis (or Davis-Warner) Peerless Diana breech non-ejector tradename gun, in very nice shape. I have no record of "Illinois Special" but made for Hibbard, Spencer, Bartlett & Co., Chicago would be a good guess.

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 Post subject: Re: Old SxS I.D.
PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2021 4:59 pm 
Utility Grade

Joined: Tue Mar 16, 2021 9:44 am
Posts: 6
Location: Ohio
Thank you for responding. So it was made by N.R. Davis. What’s the peerless Diana breech mean? And tradename?
And your thinking it was made for Hibbard Spencer Bartlett & Co.? What makes you think that?
I’m just trying to get as much information as I can on the firearm.
What is your estimated date of manufacture and value?


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 Post subject: Re: Old SxS I.D.
PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2021 5:19 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 16, 2021 9:44 am
Posts: 6
Location: Ohio
Okay I did a little Google surfing and I think I found the definition for peerless, is that the shape of the stock? Tradename is made by a manufacturer for business?
But still looking for Diana breech. And do you think this was produced between 1920/30?


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 Post subject: Re: Old SxS I.D.
PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2021 5:36 pm 
Limited Edition

Joined: Sun May 17, 2009 11:43 am
Posts: 415
Diana breech would be in reference to the barrel construction. The barrel tubes are fitted into a mono-block breech. The seam line is shown 3"-4" forward of the breechface. Approx. 1917-1930.


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 Post subject: Re: Old SxS I.D.
PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2021 5:46 pm 
Diamond Grade
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Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2011 3:35 pm
Posts: 1913
Location: AZ (heart in KS)
The Davis Diana Breech Hammerless Double was manufactured in 12, 16 or 20 gauge with 20", 22", 24", 26", 28", 30" or 32" Steel barrels about 1920 to 1930.
The engraving at the breech covers the weld line where the barrels were inserted into the monobloc breech.
J. Stevens Arms & Tool Co. used a similar process called Demi-bloc.

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"Be more careful to use what you have, than to get more."

Kingsley Brown "Shoot more, shop less."


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 Post subject: Re: Old SxS I.D.
PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2021 6:31 pm 
Utility Grade

Joined: Tue Mar 16, 2021 9:44 am
Posts: 6
Location: Ohio
So should I just shoot low velocity shells thru it? And what would be a ballpark value on it.
This is the spring that is broke on it. I did order a spring kit but not the correct one. I’m going to try and do some modifications on it to get it to fit and work. Any ideas where else I might find the correct spring? I checked eBay all so.
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 Post subject: Re: Old SxS I.D.
PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2021 9:26 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2007 11:12 am
Posts: 5060
Location: WA/AK
Here is an N.R. Davis Premier by Davis - Warner Arms Corp.

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From the 1926 Edw. K Tryon catalog --

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With the plain stock and forearm on the O.P.'s gun, I'd say it is much more a "trade branded" AJAX Grade.


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 Post subject: Re: Old SxS I.D.
PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2021 7:02 am 
Diamond Grade
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Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2011 3:35 pm
Posts: 1913
Location: AZ (heart in KS)
Dave: was the 'Peerless' another tradename?

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"Be more careful to use what you have, than to get more."

Kingsley Brown "Shoot more, shop less."


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 Post subject: Re: Old SxS I.D.
PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2021 8:26 am 
Utility Grade

Joined: Tue Mar 16, 2021 9:44 am
Posts: 6
Location: Ohio
I wound up ordering the 4 page 1928 brochure from Cornell. Figured it’d be a good info reference material, and I like paper reading better than internet.
So what is the definition of peerless? I thought it was the shape of the stock?
And still looking for an estimated value, I’m guessing in the $350/400 range.


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 Post subject: Re: Old SxS I.D.
PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2021 9:28 am 
Crown Grade

Joined: Mon Jul 05, 2010 7:16 pm
Posts: 3669
Location: New England
.

Many of the words/terms stamped into the metal of many shotguns made from the 1880's until the Great Depression were perceived to make a product more marketable, and have no real definition.

Crescent Firearms, for one maker, used over 100 different brand names on the same gun(s) for various wholesale buyers.

Remember, that was then, and this is now - there was no such thing as an FFL before the mid-1930's, and guns were sold by chain stores (hardware stores, automotive stores like Western Auto, and general retailers like Sears, etc) & other mass marketers (like importers).

Those perceptions were usually by the entity(s) that ordered whatever gun for their retail company - how the term "House Brand Gun" came into use.

,

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 Post subject: Re: Old SxS I.D.
PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2021 9:40 am 
Diamond Grade
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Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2011 3:35 pm
Posts: 1913
Location: AZ (heart in KS)
"Peerless" has nothing to do with the stock, and may be a knockoff of the Crescent No. 6 Peerless - or as Crisco said, it just sounded good ;)

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Richard Baxter (1615-1691), Directions Against Covetousness
"Be more careful to use what you have, than to get more."

Kingsley Brown "Shoot more, shop less."


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 Post subject: Re: Old SxS I.D.
PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2021 1:21 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2007 11:12 am
Posts: 5060
Location: WA/AK
I would suspect that "Peerless Ejector" was a trade branded version of the "DeLuxe" Grade which had ejectors.


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 Post subject: Re: Old SxS I.D.
PostPosted: Wed Mar 24, 2021 6:16 am 
Utility Grade

Joined: Tue Mar 16, 2021 9:44 am
Posts: 6
Location: Ohio
I received my little 1928 2 page reference brochure from Cornell’s.
Looks like mine is the Ajax model. It’s the only one that didn’t have auto ejectors and no checkering.
Thank you for everyone’s help. I’m still looking for a ballpark value if anyone has an opinion.


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 Post subject: Re: Old SxS I.D.
PostPosted: Wed Mar 31, 2021 12:38 pm 
Diamond Grade

Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2004 10:08 am
Posts: 1263
Location: sussex wi
your price range seems as good as any....with the forearm spring fixed.....



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