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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is my first post here, but it comes with a neat story. So, hello all.

I live in the NC mountains and I dont have many guns. What I do have is an intrest in research and a computer. About a year and half ago a friend here showed me a beautiful shotgun he got in a dog trade. The manufacturer was unknown to us so I pittled around on the net looking for where it came from. While the friend was here I found nothing but afterwords I took it as a mission to find out ..about 3 weeks later from the markings on it 'Bertrand & Son' and 'Ant' I kinda came up with a family outfit in England that only made gun barrels or something to that effect like late 1800's. This was enough info for me so I let it go at that :)

Well..

I get a phone call from another person today. It seems the gun has traded hands and still noone knows much about it. I just got the info over the phone but it sounds like the same gun, although he mentioned 2 cocks on the buttplate that I don't remember, one flying one sitting on a limb in a bush.

Ok, now to the question about shotgun histories.

Back in the day.. did the manufacturers all use hardware from all over and the Bertrand & Son is just the people who made the metalworks, or can we say this is a Bertrand & Son gun?

I'm just curious.. its my nature. These guys are fanatics though hehe, loaf and trade :D

Wittol Wanderer
 

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I've seen the name before, but don't remember much about it, there was a Jules Bertrand in Belgium, he's known for a revolver in the 1890's.

you might check out the shops here http://www.***********/gunrac2.htm if you have time. They might pan out , they might not. But there's lots of interesting reading there.

As for your question, it really wasn't uncommon for firearms to be built by committee so to speak.

Oh and BTW, we have lots of "curious" people here ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
So if the shotguns were done 'by commitee' would the markings engraved in the hardware be absolute identifiers?

I'm just thinking, a year and half ago when I saw the shotgun I thought it looked as if it was brand new. If I see anything that looks too pretty I am suspicious if it was 'restored' or something. What questions do I need to ask in order to put a finger on exactly what he has?

so far, I have markings on the metalworks.
-Ant
-Bertrand & Son

And a metal plate at the butt of the stock (I'm calling a buttplate for lack of knowledge) with an engraving of -what looks like a rooster flying and a rooster roosted in a bush-

What else should I find out about the piece to determine its origin?

oh yea, thanks for the link :)

Thanks in advance,
Wittol Wanderer
 

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If it's been a while since you saw the gun then you wouldn't know if there's writing or symbols under the forearm or in the "break" would you?

I always thought that English gunmakers put their address on the gun somewhere ,like the rib between barrels or anywhere it would fit...

Other things that can help with determining age, manufacuterer , etc is the style of action (boxlock, sidelock,boxlock with sideplates, Greener crossbolt, etc,) style of wood (montecarlo stock, english straight stock, or forearm, (splinter, schnabel, wide etc.)

I would think that whoever put their name on it either made it , sold it, or restored it........
 

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Until you can post the proof marks my money is on Antoine Bertrand gunmaker, Liège, Belgium circa 1886-1900. The famous barrel makers were named Bernard.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
You guys rock..! Hes coming off the creek to show me the gun in next couple days. I will get out my magnifying glass and study on that action and wood style till then.

Thanks again,

Wittol Wanderer
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yay! He brought the shotgun by this morning.

I wrote down every mark and drew some of the symbols. I didn't, however, try to draw the birds (I think they are crows) on the buttplate because my abilities lack :)

OK, here we go.

Along each barrel, in the break, from the end inward were these markings.
- Inside a circle with a crown on it were the letters, from top, clockwise, E G & L .. this does not mean this is correct order of letters hehe. To look at it it looks like E L & G.. may be the "Liege" that was mentioned.

- within a diamond 12 G is marked. Gauge I'm guessing

- the next is a symbol that appears on other metal pieces so I'm guessing its a mill mark of sorts .. its a funnel shape ..kinda like >-

- took me a while to see this one. I thought it was a symbol, but its a fancy schmancy way of writing "Pig" :) where the bottom stroke of the P connects with the bottom stroke of the g.

- a 5 pointed star

- thin line fine stroke script letters E L

- plain numbers 18.3

- again the E L script

OK, that was the barrels.

Between the barrels on the separator was the word Belgium along with 4 numbers. 3 then a space, then the last one.

- Belgium 943 4

- closer to the break part was a stamp that seemed offcenter as if perhaps done by an owner. The stamp was D.C 1 ..the 1 is thicker than the D.C and there was no dot after the C.

OK the rest you know :)

On the stock,all on one plate, ANT BERTRAND & SON

Thats alls I know now. One thing I found out is it is not the same shotgun I saw some time back. It just so happens that they both appeared to come from the same time and area.

Hmm.. a set? lol

Well thanks in advance and if you can give me any more clues to this mystery I'd preciate it.

Wittol Wanderer
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
OK..cool.

I took that info and found that Browning distributed Over-Under Shotguns by Liege.. actually, quoted off webpage.
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The Leige Over/Under Shotgun was introduced to the U.S. market in 1973 and discontinued in the U.S. in 1975. This shotgun is still being produced, but sold through Browning International in Belgium
http://www.browning.com/services/dategun/guns/leige.htm
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The serial #'s seem way different though. In 1969
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Browning started using two digits for the date of manufacture:
J=12 gauge
K=20 gauge
This was then followed by the serial number beginning with 1000.
Example: 69J1000 = A 1969 Leige 12 ga. shotgun with a serial number of 1000.
_____

No numbers like this on shotgun.

Just curious, would Browning be equal to the Bertrand & Son on this shotgun?

Wittol Wanderer
 

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It's very unlikely that Browning had anything to do with these shotguns. Their Belgian products would have been produced by Fabrique Nationale - Browning. Anyway, you are looking at black-powder proofed guns that would not have been manufactured after 1910 at the latest. I found one outside possibility, if two similar shotguns had managed to get from Canada to North Carolina. In the early 1900's there was a general store called Bertrand & Son in L'original, Ontario. Around that time it was popular for hardware retailers to order utility shotguns "personalized" with their own names. The guides usually list these as being manufactured by "unknown Belgian maker".
 

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:? Browning has nothing to do with this. If you want to learn more about this gun you need to start researching Antoine (Ant) Bertrand gunmaker, Liège, Belgium circa 1886-1900. There are numerous web sites in Belgium that deal with firearm history. That's where you need to be posting.
 
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