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Discussion Starter #1
I was at a gun show this past weekend and saw a nice 20ga. SXS made by Baker Arms Company. The gun was older (my guess from the 1940's or 1950's) and had side plates and a double trigger. Has anybody ever heard of Baker Arms Company? How long were they in busines? Were their guns of good quality?
 

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'07 Kolar Max TA 3bbl set, Jeff Mainland fitted
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They were as good as any. And you can back up a lot of years as to when they were made. Do some research, you'll be surprised.
 

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Baker SxS shotguns were part of the big 6 U.S. SxS manufacturers of the early 20 century. That group consisted of Parker, Fox, L.C. Smith, Ithaca, Lefever and Baker (not necessarily in that order of quality). All made very high quality double guns, some manufacturers only producing box locks, some only side locks and some perhaps either design and some producing what was termed a utility grade. The Baker gun was part of a time in U.S. firearms history when manufacturer competition between the 6 dealt some their demise, others affected by the stock market crash and it's affect on the economy and later the remaining manufacturers adversely affected by the wants/needs of the american shot gunner after the end of WWII. The Double Gun Journal publication has carried numerous articles about Baker shotguns as well as the other manufacturers over the past 20 years if interested further. There was more than 6 U.S. manufacturers of quality SxS shotguns however around the turn of the century, Colt, Syracuse and Remington come to mind.
 

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As noted from comments above Baker Guns appear to be a popular Name. Baker's can be very high end of Best quality to a Hardware Store gun...
 

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The Baker Paragon, Expert, and De Luxe were still offered in Folsom catalogs after the 1919 acquisition, but it is likely that very few were made.
Daryl Hallquist would know www.bakercollectors.com



Confusion exists because from about 1890 the rib and lockplates were engraved "Baker Gun Co.". Folsom era guns have an 'F' before or after the SN 1- to about 14,000

 

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I have 5 Baker SXS, and 1 single barrel trap gun. Very well made guns, if I was there and the price was right I would have one more. Joe
 

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The Baker De Luxe is eye candy for sure!!

My nephew has a couple Baker guns, barrels/actions that were in a house fire. I have no idea what he'll do with them.

HAP
 

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If I'm not mistaken Baker/Cresent made a lot of guns for the big hardware and
Catalog mail order companies (usually entry level box locks) and put the customers
name on them. I have come across several 410's in REALLY POOR condition.
 

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Rick:
In early 1895 Crescent introduced its first hammerless double, the Triumph Hammerless, made in 12 gauge with either 30" or 32" Damascus or Twist barrels. The gun was based on patents issued to William Beesley and controlled by Charles Lancaster and was the only boxlock hammerless double ever made by Crescent.
http://www.google.com/patents?id=vAxdAAAAEBAJ&printsec=drawing&zoom=4#v=onepage&q&f=false

They were made on order for Sears Roebuck & Co. and probably less than 750 were manufactured. It was listed in the Folsom catalog for $22 with Twist barrels, $25 with Damascus, and in the 1897 Sears catalog for $27.50
http://books.google.com/books?id=CSVIpqnFMTMC&pg=PA526&lpg

1898 Sears catalog No. 107 - https://archive.org/stream/consumersguideno00sear#page/354/mode/2up



The Victor singles were of course boxlocks, and LOTS of tradename (boxlock) guns were also produced by Stevens
Folsom, Crescent & Tradename Guns

Baker Gun & Forging also produced a boxlock referred to as the C Grade; made (possibly) on a Frank Hollenbeck design and the Henry Allender Aug. 12, 1884 patent. It was produced for Montgomery Ward in 1895, with Ward's name on the rib. It was cataloged about two years later as the Batavia Hammerless. 1898 Sears catalog No. 107 lists the same gun as "The New Sears, Roebuck & Co. Hammerless Double Barrel Shotgun, Model 1898".
Baker also produced tradename boxlocks under "New Era Gun Works" for The Fair, Chicago, Ill., "New Haven Arms Co." (a tradename used by both E.K.Tryon and Great Western Gun Works, Pittsburgh), "W. A. Abel & Co. Syracuse, NY", "Edw. K. Tryon Co. Philadelphia, PA.", "Imperial Arms Co. of Philadelphia", and "Clark's Imperial Omaha, Neb."



The boxlock Baker Standard with "Nitro-Rolled Steel" barrels was produced c. 1915 and was mechanically different than the C grade. The Folsom Baker Gun Co. also produced a boxlock with a straight receiver and Flussstahl-Krupp Essen barrels.
 

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No. Both are true sidelocks (as is Crescent) but Baker guns have a cocking bolt and cocking lever






Smiths use a long rotating cocking rod




Both used the very efficient top rib extension lock-up
The L.C. Smith Collectors Association

The good thing about the Baker design is that there was much more wood in contact with the action compared to the Smith and it is less common to find cracks at the apex of the lockplate inlet. The guns were however heavier.

Baker



Smith Reg. frame with the typical cracks in the head of the stock



The usual...misrepresentation...was that a Crescent was a Smith, and stamped as such



A few years back someone in MO was trying to sell a tarted up Crescent .410 as a Rigby, in a Rigby case
Who are the poor suckers????? - The DoubleGun BBS @ doublegunshop.com
Shotgunworld.com • A Crescent .410 for only $5000 ??
 
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Discussion Starter #17
I was at an indoor flea market over the weekend and a gentleman had a Baker Arms "Batauia Leader" SxS 16 gauge with 28" barrels for sale at $600. I would say that it was in about 75% to 80% condition and had no rust or dings and locked up tight but the stock was cut down just a bit but still fit me. Would $600 be a good price for this SxS?
 

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Looks like Baker and Cresent shotguns were produced some with Damascus or twist steel barrels until well into the smokeless powder days. Are they safe to shoot with smokeless or did company’s back then still load shotgun shells with black powder?
 

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Baker Gun & Forging Co. added a lower priced line of sidelock BATAVIA guns in 1902, with the Leader serial numbers starting at 75000. There were several variations of the Batavia line in the 1909 "The Baker Gunner": the Batavia Leader with twist barrels at $25, the Batavia Special with "****-tensil" steel barrels at $21.75, the Batavia Damascus at $28, the Batavia Brush with 26-inch Twist barrels and a straight-grip stock at $24, the Batavia Ejector (introduced in 1909) with steel barrels at $35 and with Damascus barrels for $37.50. To reduce costs the Batavia line did not have the "firing pin block safety" or the "draw block" which passes transversely through the barrel lug and mates into recesses in the frame.

 
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