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OLD SxS identification and value?

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by Frank C, Nov 25, 2009.

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  1. Frank C

    Frank C Well-Known Member

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    Friend inherited an oldie American Arms side by side. Markings Under the barrels GH Fox. Pat Jan 4 1870, Nov 6, 1877, and Jan 8 1878. sn ??? 1777
    And on the top of barrels between the tubes "American Arms Co. Boston" and on the sides below the hammers American Arms Co.

    the barrels are Damascus or twist barrels....note how the gun swings open to the side, not vertically like typical side by sides...... so is it a hanger, a banger or ?????

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  2. MTA Tom

    MTA Tom Active Member

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    There's a similar one on Gunbroker now for $1250. A higher grade failed to sell on Gunbroker at $3975.

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    Cornell Publications LLC has a book available for $9.95, http://www.cornellpubs.com/old-guns/item_desc.php?item_id=25

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    From "Cowboy Action Shooting: Gear, Guns, Tactics" By John Taffin:

    The history of American arms is rather sketchy, but it appears the company was formed in 1853 as the G. H. Fox Co. and then became the American Tool & Machine Co. in 1865. In 1870 they formed a new corporation called American Arms Company with George Fox as the principal stockholder. This corporation was dissolved in 1873. A second American Arms Co. was incorporated in 1877 and a third in 1890. It is unclear if these corporations had essentially the same owners, but George H. Fox appears as a principal owner in two of the three. One could assume that financial problems forced them to bankrupt one corporation and reorganize under another. American Arms manufactured firearms in Boston, Massachusetts, from 1866 until 1893. In 1893 they moved to Bluffton, Alabama and manufactured guns until 1901.
     
  3. Frank C

    Frank C Well-Known Member

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    huh, right you are.....only difference seems to be in the stock checkering....
     
  4. goatskin

    goatskin TS Member

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    Frank, your last pic appears to show a fair-decent gap between barrels & breech.

    If the gun was in full lock, that's not a real good sign for more than just an occasional, very-low-pressure shooter.

    That said, if you want to load 60gn of ffG under some card & fiber wads, enjoy!

    Those old warhorses are a lot of fun ... especially doubles if there is no wind.


    Bob
     
  5. Savage99Stan

    Savage99Stan Active Member

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    Damascus equals black powder only and then after being checked out by a competent gunsmith who understands these old guys. I shoot a couple of twisters, tight breeched, and magnafluxed barrels, and stick with standard loads: 3 drams/1 1/8 in the twelve (I use all brass cases for authenticity) and 3 1/2 drams/1 1/4 in the ten (an old Schattuck my great uncle gave me, again with brass cases). I made a wad punch for each and use card and fiber wads over the powder, milk carton disc over the shot and seal it in with waterglass (sodium silicate). Won the BP cartridge event thirty years ago in Wisconsin with the ten.

    Now...I know there will be folks out there who will say that damascus can be used with "light" trap loads but I say not. You decide...it is your face, eyes, and hands you're risking.

    It looks well made but have the barrels checked and the locking lugs before you take a chance.

    I retired an old damascus muzzle loader when an x-ray showed erosion around the breech plugs.
     
  6. phirel

    phirel TS Member

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    A nice old shotgun that deserves to be retired. Shooting an old black powder gun might be fun for some, but cleaning the gun after shooting can't be fun for anyone and I would never feel comfortable about the safety issues. I would question any gunsmith who lacks good x-ray equipment, judging the safety of shooting an old gun. If I wanted to shoot black powder loads, I would do it with a modern gun and keep this gun hanging on the wall. For some real fun, why not shoot black powder through an automatic shotgun. That will keep you busy cleaning for a couple of hours after the shoot.

    Pat Ireland
     
  7. MTA Tom

    MTA Tom Active Member

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    Or how about sub-gauge tube inserts?
     
  8. Frank C

    Frank C Well-Known Member

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    It will not be shot, owned/inherited by a non shooter.....
     
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