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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recived this single shot 12 gauge for 20 bucks and it needs work and all i can find in the gun for ID is ( *choke bored* ) and ( EXCELSIOR ) or maybe ( EXOELSIOR ) not sure looks like fist one though it has some stange things about it it has a screw that you have to take out to break it down and it has a ejector that is from the bottom external. please help!!! is it worth any thing?
 

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"Excelsior" shotguns were made in Europe by Liegeoise D'Armes a Feu. These European guns can be identified by their proof marks on the barrels, got any strange symbols?

"Excelsior" was also used in the US by Iver Johnson's Arms and Cycle Works from 1870 to 1878. But may also have been used by others since it was just one of those names that would have given the impression of quality. .

I doubt that it has much value , unless in really good shape but sometimes these old guns with strange systems to them can surprise you.
 
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my father has the same gun. we have been tring to find out more about it. On his it also has ea 879. but no other marks on the barrel. Have you found out any more infor on yours. Dads is in great shape.
 

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i picked one of these up in 12 gauge at a show for $35.

my barrel is about 22 inches long, but it appears to have been shortened.. i'm interested to know how long the barrels originally were. (even at 22 inches, mine is very heavy.)

the left side of the frame reads "excelsior"

on the lower tang behind the trigger guard is the number "587" with an "N" above it.

on top of the barrel it says " *choke bored*pat'd dec 11, 1900* "

those are the only markings.

the hammer is powered by a leaf spring. (most modern single shots use a coil spring) the leaf springs lose power over time.

if you look behind the trigger guard you will see a screw (not the one holding the trigger guard on.) if you tighten this screw, it puts tension on the spring which makes the hammer hit harder.

if you are having problems with misfires, this simple adjustment might help.

i only fire mine with light trap loads because i can't be sure if the barrel is damascus or not. i showed it to two talented gunsmiths who couldn't tell if it was or wasn't without polishing a spot on the barrel and inspecting it (which costs more than i paid for the gun)

i strapped it to a spare tire with bungee cords and fired it with a string using heavy loads. it held together, but i still stick with light loads.

it appears to have 2.75 inch chambers, but i can't be sure.

this is everything i know about this gun. i hope it helps someone.
 

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update

i saw two guns over the summer that are exactly the same as the one i have. the only difference is they were marked 'j. stevens'

they had full length barrels, and they were indeed heavy. the guy wanted $80 each, which is too much for poor condition guns that may have damascus barrels.

i was told by a retired gunsmith that stevens singles with this type of unscrewing pivot pin were made around the damascus/fluid steel barrel transition. some have damascus, some don't.

i have a few damascus single shots, i pay around $35 - 40 each if they are in decent condition. i don't fire them, i just set them on the rack and admire them for what they are- relics.

as far as this particular gun goes... it's the exception to the rule. i only fired mine because it was already modified, and because it makes a nice home security gun. (the barrel where it was cut is very thick. it looks like it has a howitzer barrel on it... not something a burglar likes to see.)

i keep it loaded with a cheap #7.5 trap shell in the chamber and more of the same in an elastic band on the stock. i wouldn't be afraid to fire it if i had to, but i wouldn't want to use it every day, either.

there are always debates on firing damascus shotguns. i err on the side of caution. if i don't fire them, they can't blow up.
 
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