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  #1  
Old 09-23-2010, 10:23 AM
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Vintage Belgium double barrel identification


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I have a vintage double barrel that I have a few questions about. What I (think) know so far is:
- proof house was Liège (ELG stamp)
- was made in Belgium
- 12 gauge, 70mm (2 3/4" shell) chamber
- says "goverment tested for smokeless powder" on top of barrels
- nitro proof barrels

Questions that I have:

1. When was it made?
2. It has an "E" in a diamond stamp on side of breech ... what company made it?
3. It has 25" barrels ... has it been cut down? It has the brass front bead sight and doesn't look like it...
4. It is in great shape with no corrosion or scratches and the petina on both the steel and woods is fabulous... what is it's rough current value?
5. Does it have damascus barrels (laminated steel)?






Any help would be appreciated.

Last edited by cdncowboy; 09-23-2010 at 11:39 AM.
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  #2  
Old 09-23-2010, 10:52 AM
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Are you sure that it is damascus? There are barrels with a damascus pattern, FYI, if you did not know that.
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Old 09-23-2010, 11:32 AM
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Hi Mike,
I'm not sure they are Damascus actually. I thought they were based on website info. I read but at this point I am really unsure about mostly everything about it I think I may have gotten the year wrong also as I found conflicting stamp marks...
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Old 09-23-2010, 06:12 PM
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There is a test for Damascus involving a drop of acid or something else (in an inconspicuous spot like under the forend) but I can't think of what it is, offhand.

Nitro proof and damascus would seem like an uncommon combination, but never say never. I hope someone else will chime in with more info.
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Old 09-23-2010, 09:23 PM
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I can't make out all the markings, but if you look here:

http://damascus-barrels.com/Belgian_All_Proofmarks.html

You might get a little more information. That sheet also has Belgian Date Codes.

Another good Proof Mark booklet ican be found here:

http://www.phoenixinvestmentarms.com/archives/Proofmarks.pdf

That one has marks from several countries.

DC
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Old 09-24-2010, 06:18 AM
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Thanks Mike and DC for the input. After doing more digging I don't think they are Damascus barrels or at least not the ones fabricated by twisting the iron around a mandrel... as I think that I should be able to visibly see the wrapping (spiral) marks on the barrel and I don't see any.

Very confusing because in the Damascus proofmark link DC provided all the symbols on the barrel are referenced there. So it must be Damascus but did Damascus make solid steel barrels because that appears to be what I have?

That link verifies my findings that the proof house was Liège (ELG stamp). I am even more confused about the manufacture date because according to the link: 1 stamp on it says "used until 1924" while another stamp on it says "used from 1924 to present" ... so I thought it must be made in 1924 ... BUT ... then I look up the controller of proof symbol which is clearly indicated by a star above an "S" and the date starts at 1952 so very contradicting symbols with regards to dating it.
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Old 09-24-2010, 11:26 AM
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Damascus is not someone that made barrels, it is the name of a type of steel. For cutting instruments it is made by heating one or more types of steel to a white or welding heat and hammer forging the metals together. Reheating and folding the forged strip and reforging can produce some very interesting patterns in the finished product. Damascus barrels were made by wrapping strips of steel around a mandrel, again heating to a white or "welding" heat and forging the strips together to form a solid tube. The problem lies in the fact that the "weld" may not be perfect, or thru the years rust may have penetrated a seam and produced a weak spot. That is why damascus barreled guns should be retired--you don't want to be the unlucky cuss holding the gun IF it lets go. For what it's worth your barrels do not appear to show the typical spiral pattern found in damascus barrels, they appear to be fluid steel. Really can't say without personal examination. Being nitro proofed you're probably safe, but you should have the gun examined by a competent gunsmith. Goatwhiskers the Elder
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Old 09-24-2010, 07:22 PM
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"Very confusing because in the Damascus proofmark link DC provided all the symbols on the barrel are referenced there. So it must be Damascus but did Damascus make solid steel barrels because that appears to be what I have?"

Proofmarks in that document don't indicate Damascus barrels. The overprint "DAMASCUSBARRELS" indicates the website. That document covers most all Belgian Proof Marks, Damascus and Fluid Steel.

Another document you might find useful here:

http://damascus-barrels.com/files/Be...rade_Marks.pdf

Covers the various manufacturers and their marks. Might tell you who made the gun.

DC
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Old 09-25-2010, 05:32 AM
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Thanks for the feedback Goatwhiskers and great link DC.

I have figured out that it is made by Jean Delcour-Dupont by the letter "D" with a rounded crown over it that is on each barrel.

I am narrowing the gap but still haven't figured out what the "E" in a diamond symbol is on the side of the breech. Maybe that is the model now that I know who made it. The year still escapes me as well.
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Old 01-30-2017, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by cdncowboy View Post
Thanks for the feedback Goatwhiskers and great link DC.

I have figured out that it is made by Jean Delcour-Dupont by the letter "D" with a rounded crown over it that is on each barrel.

I am narrowing the gap but still haven't figured out what the "E" in a diamond symbol is on the side of the breech. Maybe that is the model now that I know who made it. The year still escapes me as well.
Cowboy,

You are in fact correct on the manufacturer, at least as far as the barrels are concerned.

What you have is a mid-grade trade gun, which were manufactured in Belgium and imported into North America by most department stores and chains.

In this case, the Diamond with the E stamped in the center is indicative of the T. Eaton Company ( Eatons). These were fairly mass produced guns, and were of decent quality. By no means were they a Parker, or a Fox, but they were a well built shotgun, which, if cares for, would shoot and last just as long.
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Old 01-30-2017, 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by bluebulldog View Post

You are in fact correct on the manufacturer, at least as far as the barrels are concerned.


Quite correct - Due to the gun trade unions.

There were entities (tradesmen) that produced only barrels, others made stocks only, and yet others (actioneers) fitted the metal prior to sending them to a finisher.


As stated - have a good doublegun smith (not some AR parts-changer) check it out thoroughly for fitment, tightness and any issues with the frame (microscopic cracks) and/or barrels (loose rib/ribs, pitting bulges, dents, etc) .


I would strongly advise against firing any 2-3/4" magnum loads, in any case.


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Last edited by Rangr44; 01-30-2017 at 03:15 PM.
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Old 01-30-2017, 04:44 PM
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My reference books don't show an Eaton but it does list Diamond Arms of St. Louis, MO as actually being Shapleigh Hardware Co importing many Belgian doubles and had American makers mark guns as Diamond Arms or a logo of a diamond with a letter from about 1900 until WW-II.

Those are NOT twist steel or Damascus barrels, but the gun is NOT safe for high base shells. It was not heat-treated at all as shown by the wear on the Greener cross bolt and the side clips.

She'd do well with a rest on a nice wall somewhere.

Edit to ad--- Look at the muzzles. Is the space between the barrels filled with solder? Is there simple line engraving on the muzzle? If so, it's not cut, but would be unusual. Guns of that period were almost all choke bored and long.

I can talk you through a complete gunsmith's check if you like but I'll just about guarantee it'll fail the first one: Take the fore arm off the gun and simply wag the barrels back and forth and up and down. Is there looseness? I thought so.
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Last edited by JBelk; 01-30-2017 at 04:57 PM.
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Old 01-31-2017, 05:26 AM
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Originally Posted by JBelk View Post
My reference books don't show an Eaton but it does list Diamond Arms of St. Louis, MO as actually being Shapleigh Hardware Co importing many Belgian doubles and had American makers mark guns as Diamond Arms or a logo of a diamond with a letter from about 1900 until WW-II.

Those are NOT twist steel or Damascus barrels, but the gun is NOT safe for high base shells. It was not heat-treated at all as shown by the wear on the Greener cross bolt and the side clips.

She'd do well with a rest on a nice wall somewhere.

Edit to ad--- Look at the muzzles. Is the space between the barrels filled with solder? Is there simple line engraving on the muzzle? If so, it's not cut, but would be unusual. Guns of that period were almost all choke bored and long.

I can talk you through a complete gunsmith's check if you like but I'll just about guarantee it'll fail the first one: Take the fore arm off the gun and simply wag the barrels back and forth and up and down. Is there looseness? I thought so.
Funny, since I have the exact same gun in my safe.

The Diamond E was a simple mark used by Eatons, ( a Canadian Department store). Several trade guns up here marketed by them had it.

2 3/4 standard velocity shells work just fine, and my gun locks up tight. Choke on mine is 18.4 choked 18.3, so fairly open. ( the equivalent of improved).
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Old 01-31-2017, 05:50 AM
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Glad to hear you have the same mark. The books don't picture the mark for Shapleighs, only describe it.
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Old 01-31-2017, 06:04 AM
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Originally Posted by JBelk View Post
Glad to hear you have the same mark. The books don't picture the mark for Shapleighs, only describe it.
Not to say there weren't some overlap, or that trade guns shipped elsewhere didn't bear the same mark. The double gun market back then was pretty sketchy at best.....
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Old 01-31-2017, 07:02 AM
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The double gun market back then was pretty sketchy at best.....
No Kidding!!! There were more than 200 'gunsmiths and partsmen' that went BROKE in Belgium during the hey-day. No telling how many participated in total. The La Beau-Courally book says there were more than 300 trades shops supplying the industry in Belgium in 1900. Auguste Francotte had 1685 employees in 1900 and actually 'made' very little of their hundred or more model's parts.
Birmingham England, Belgium and the Mohawk Valley of NY to Chickopee Falls Mass. were the hot beds of the world's doubles. In those areas, quantity rather than quality was the rule. High quality guns WERE built, Westley Richards, LeBeau-Courally, and LeFever sidelocks prove that, but for every 'best' gun were hundreds of 'good enoughs'.
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