Joined: 10 Jan 2005
Location: sheffield.Tasmania Australia
I've just been looking on gun broker and there are 3 -16s there that I don'know anthing about,all US guns
1 cresent davis arms corp
2 wards western model 52
3 American gun company ( knickerbockers )
I'm sorry I don't know a thing about these guns is there any body who can supply info on these.
today I saw a S Troughton of Blackpool England dated 1905-1909.
a plain 12 bore Anson & Deeley boxlock non eject gun what we call.A fairly agricultural gun.
what struck me is the engraving . a standard well above that grade of gun.
The standard of engraving that is usually seen on a best gun,a very nice pattern .
I'm going back with a loope next week to have a better as this pattern really really impressed me.
Joined: 12 Mar 2005
sbs, You are refering to two different types or classes of trade guns that often overlap in quality and serviceability. These guns are all known as trade guns. they are either inexpensive, generic, domestic knock-offs of the more popular name brand guns of the late 19th through the early to mid-20th century or, they are simplified, easily assembled designs made for the blue collar trade of the late 1930's through the late '60s. the cheapest and shoddiest are a continuation of the cheap and shoddy trade guns of the early to mid 19th century produced in England for export, often refered to as "lacquered trash".
the Ward's Western was made for Montgomery Ward, probably after WWII, and might be a Stevens made by Savage Arms. If so, it might or might not be a servicable shooter. The Cresent Arms and the Knickerbocker were most likely made prior to 1920 in Connecticutt of locally sourced out, mass produced parts and assembled with little to no fitting work. The assembly line workers would simply keep swapping out action parts until that function worked. Then, the gun would be passed on to the next operation and so on. Hand fitting was expensive and not done.
The guns were designed and made to sell inexpensively through catalogs and at local hardware stores. Quality of the metal, the wood, fit, and finish on them are not of the best quality. Often, on guns made before WWI, mild steel, brass, and cast pot metal were used for parts to save machining time and tool wear. Proper hardening or annealing were often shoddily done or overlooked. On any of these guns, The walnut used for stock wood was often cull wood like sap wood. Other hardwoods like birch or low grade maple were substituted for stock wood.
The best of these trade guns were serviceable for occasional use. The worst were unreliable to downright dangerous. for guns made before WWI, there is often no reliable way to tell which is which, because the trade names used were bandied about and often were coined to impress and confuse the unwary buyers of the day. Names like Foxx, LeFavor, Vulcan, L Smith, Sternsworth, etc were commonly seen on these type guns.
On any of these guns, don't expect the chokes to be anywhere near right and don't expect the barrels to be properly regulated either. None of these companies expended any time or labor on these important functions. Most were simply made full and full and the pattern centers of imact for each barrel would often be several feet apart at 40 yards.
However, if you come upon one that has survived this long in reasonably good shape and is still functioning reliably, its probably a decent shooter if the barrels will shoot together at reasonable hunting ranges. Most of the junkers would not last through two seasons of average use, nor would they place their patterns within a foot of each other. Today, these guns will not bring anything over $200 and probably are not worth that unless they are near perfect in condition and function. 16GG
Joined: 10 Jan 2005
Location: sheffield.Tasmania Australia
thanks for the response and the information.I thought they were ,as you called them, trade guns, but we see so little of the early American gun trade over here.A few of the higher grades or more famous names show up now and again but very infrequently . thanks again
The Crescent Davis and the American Gun Company guns would both have been very basic, "hardware store" guns. Crescent Davis eventually became Stevens, by about 1930 I believe. And American Gun Company was simply another one of the various names used by Crescent--which, like Stevens, made guns under a number of names. Quite a few of those were for various hardware store chains.
The Wards Western Field . . . there's a possibility it might be worth another look. Back in the 60's or so, Ward's marketed some Miroku-made doubles--the same company that makes the Browning Citori--as Ward's Western Field guns, Western Field being the Ward's brand name. I've owned a couple of those, and if it's made by Miroku, you may also find "Miroku" somewhere on the outside of the receiver, or else you will definitely find Japanese proofmarks on the barrels. More likely an older and less valuable gun, but definitely worth a second look.
Joined: 12 Mar 2005
You might be right here again Larry. If it is a Miroku SxS in the smaller gauge 20 from the late 50's and early 60's, its probably a very nice gun indeed. After Charles Daly took the Miroku line over, these other brand Mirokus dissappeared for a while. However, quite a few were sold to American servicemen at both overseas and domestic PX outlets. Sears ended up importing Kodensa guns very similar if not identical to the early Winchester 101 line. Monkey Wards went the cheaper Spanish double route as well as Stevens guns for a while.
Some of the 12 gauge SxS Mirokus were not well balanced and were heavy. These SxS guns eventually ended up being the Browning BSS models. A clean basic 20 BSS will bring nearly 2K today. A 12 will fetch about 1/2 of that or less. However, a clean "Monkey Wards" would or should be a real bargain if it is a Miroku gun. I believe Sears also sold some of these early Miroku SxS guns too. Unfortunately, none of these guns are 16s.
Guy, like you, I've never seen a Miroku 16ga sxs. Don't think they exist. Not sure about the Sears connection, and as you said, most of them were sold as Charles Dalys--but I've owned a couple Western Fields, a 20 and a 12. The nicest Miroku I ever owned, and regret selling, was a 12 ga. Straight grip, DT, splinter forend, plain case colored receiver, 28" barrels factory choked IC/IM. Lighter by a good bit than a BSS 12, excellent pheasant gun. Looked for all the world like a Japanese copy of a plain Jane Birmingham boxlock.
Joined: 20 Nov 2005
Location: Jonesboro, AR
Gosh, I like reading posts by guys like you who really know their guns and gun history. I'v learned so much on this board and all of you who know so much more than I do aren't snotty about it. thanks ya'll mod11rem
_________________ If I can't throw lead from a 16, I'd just as soon throw rocks.
Joined: 12 Mar 2005
As irony would have it, I ran into a pair of model 500 SxS c Daly/Miroku double trigger, extractor, beaver tail and pistol grip models at the Marlboro Gun Show over the weekend. They were barely used, real clean. One was a 12 and one was a 20. The fellow was asking to hell and gone each for them. They were not 16's and I moved on. The same guns would have fetched under $200 NIB in the mid-60's, sometimes 1/2 that at closeout prices.
I believe these guns have solid springs. If so, they may be as problematic as the Miroku C Daly O/U guns if and when the springs break...and they will sooner or later. A word to the wise; find out before buying, if and where new springs for these guns can be had. Then buy two complte sets if you buy the gun. These SxS models were never popular nor plentiful, so aftermarket springs might not exist. Custom made springs will surely cost you a whole big bunch with no guarantees usually. The big advantage of the Miroku/Browning BSS and Citori over the C Daly guns is coiled springs that are easily bought and easily replaced.
I did notice that nearly any 16 double is now priced at at least 50% higher than a compareable 12 and sometimes much higher. They don't sell here in N.E., but a lot of these guys are now fishing for takers on the internet.
Wildwood Guns was there in all his heavily overpriced glory. This guy must be using his gun shop as a cover. He has the same stuff on the table he's had for three years now. His guns all have a story and the prices are always at least 50% higher than anyone else's. He has been all hat and no cattle as long as I can remember. I just glance and pass by.
I saw a refinished 16 ga. VHE for $2800. the gun as not restored mind you. The stock was smoothed and revarnished with slightly rounded edges and slightly flattened checkering. The barrel was reblued . The action had not been refinishd. It was cleaned up, redarkened with a light application of browning solution to restore the patina, and then laquered over. Some poor fool will snap this one up and think he's getting a real find.
I saw a twin triggered 16 ga., supposededly a '42, LC Smith light field w/ 28" barrels. It was in about 50-60% and had a bunch of mild dings all over the metal. It had one that went very slightly into the bore about 8" back from the muzzle on the left barrel. The bores had been roto-polished with steel wool wrapped on a bore brush and maybe some Flitz or Semi-Chrome. They showed no big pits, but you could see that some light rust had been removed and smoothed over. The blue was gone, as was the case hardening, so the metal was mostly gray. It was in sound mechanical shape, snug, and on face. However, it was a "project gun' at best and not worth the $900 being asked. The guy saw me appraising it and said he'd take less, by about $150 without being pressed. I said thanks but no thanks. The gun would make a nice shooter with some wood refinishing and with the ding ironed out of the barrel. However, it was still not worth the money asked IMO.
The 16 ga. 870's and 1100's were all about 20% higher than the 12s, but were generally ignored. The model 12s were about 50% higher than their 12 ga counterparts. I saw not one 37 16 ga..There was not one 16 Citori in the building. Last year there were three.
For those of us who like or collect folding bird knives w/ the entrail hook, I did find a nice Camillus model 17, Sid Bell designed American wildlife folding bird knife from the 80's in about new shape. The guy offered it for well less than 1/2 its true value and I snapped it up. That little bargain was worth the price of admission and I got more educated as well.
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