For certain, although there may be some visual similarities, the Silver Seitz, Bowen and Alfermann guns are NOT made by the "same maker". I've owned a Silver Seitz and its a very nice gun. Have seen Alfermann and Bowen guns but not shot them.
Silver Seitz is made by a division of AIM Machining in Parkton, MD. The original Seitz gun was first made in the 70's and 80's by a very talented and well known gunsmith, Tom Seitz, from Oregon. Tom passed away in a very untimely camper accident after making approx 45 Seitz shotguns. In the late 80's, Jerry Phillips of AIM and Bill Jacobsen from the Silver Dollar bought the drawings from Tom Seitz's widow and began making the Silver Seitz. The gun is known for its very high quality, stainless steel receiver and fast trigger action. Silver Seitz, contact Rich Phillips 410-329-6801. http://www.silverseitz.com/index.htm
The Alfermann is made by the Alfermann brothers. Very highly regarded gun, pretty much hand made. I know Merlyn of Merlyn's Trap Guns sells these. Only reference I can find for contact info is Alfermann USA, Inc., 636-239-6978
The Bowen is made by Bruce Bowen from Sturgis, South Dakota. http://bbgunssturgis.com. Again, a very highly regarded gun for its quality and workmanship.
That's the condensed version of what I recall. More folks can chime in.
I have no hands-on experience with any of them but it seems that all 3 were made by gentlemen who each had their own ideas and experience as to what would make the very best trap gun in the world. None were/are huge commercial successes but these men are perfectionists, not businessmen. Bill Cole was probably another.
The "innards" of the Bowen, Seitz, Silver Seitz, T.S.2000, and Jack Moore are basicall the Tom Seitz design with the inline striker (hammer and firing pin). The Ljutic and Cole have the swinging hammer design. The Alfermann uses an inline spring on a modified swinging hammer(about 5/16 " to contact with the firing pin (Hammer-lock design). Externally, the guns are similar. The Alfermann is a silhouette of the Model 12.
If anyone has any questions about the Alfermann, I will try to help 636 456 1012.
Here is a couple Bowen Guns and birdgogs they do have some spectacular wood on them.
With that said, while the Bowen, Silver Seitz, Alferman guns do look similar each one of them are "different". The Bowen gun is the only one that has the same barrel to the receiver fit that the original Tom Seitz gun had. The Bowen gun was the only one that would custom make the gun to YOU. Bruce would give you a choice of barrel length, POI, and FIT the gun so it would be the most comfortable gun you would shoot.
Try to shoot them all, they all handle differently, and look at the materials that go into each one and make your decision from there. Have fun.
Don, the barrel in the seitz is higher than that of the alderman. The seitz tends to have muck more felt recoil. Notice all the Seitz's with recoil devices. There's one with a soft-touch for sale right now.
I shoot an Infinity--it has the best features of the 3 guns you inquired about, its custom fitted by the IMHO the best fitter out there. The trigger's lock time is 3X faster than the Seitz's trigger.
Look @ DeVault Industries website, for info on his latest SBT--Its a 21st century gun.
Merlyn, I am still looking for a twin. Have you found one yet? I have shoot around 100,000 rounds through one of my Alf's (I traded a Seitz for a second one). I have never had the first problem with the first one that I purchased. My release trigger is still setting exactly the same as the day it was delivered. You will never wear anything out in the Alf. Best kept secret in the trapshooting gun market. By the way, the boys told me at the grand they are getting ready to build some new ones. If you contact them, they will custom build the gun EXACTLY to your spec's. You can pick out the exact wood you want you installed on your gun. Dollar for Dollar, best buy on the market.
Funny l see this post. I just saw and handled my 1st Alferman the other day at a shop. It had a gold colored receiver and fit me well. Reminded me of my old Lujitic l used to have. The owner wanted 4800 for it. Good shape. No nicks or dings. Fixed choke and regular recoil pad. Was thinking about trading my 687 EL for it.
I have been shooting a Seitz for 10 + years and never noticed the recoil. I have no Recoil Reduction devices on the gun.
I just received my new Seitz. It has the Titanium receiver that reduces the weight 1.5 lbs. As I have gotten older I wanted a lighter gun. Will post about felt Recoil on the new gun next week.