Shooters Forum banner

1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
103 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey I picked up this gun today and I want to know more about it. Here are the pics of all the proof marks I could see, Ill have pics of all the words on it tomorow sometime. Some of the words I do see and understand are Hestal and Liege meaning its Belguim but thats about most of what I know about it.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
766 Posts
I don't know much about this, I just like looking at old guns. I do know the rampant lion over P.V is a voluntary smokless powder proof. I am thinking that just because the barrels are Belgian marked doesn't always mean the firarm is Belgian made. This link may or may not be helpful. Just trying to help.

http://littlegun.be/
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
865 Posts
Pics of the barrel markings will probably help ID the gun. Bear in mind that this old gun came from a day when chambers were not standardized and there is a strong chance that your 16ga. has 2 9/16 chambers. You would be wise to have a knowledgeable gunsmith check it. If it does, do not shoot 2 3/4 shells in it. Long story, but bottom line is that it (1) runs up the pressure and (2) makes the gun kick like a mule. Here endeth the lesson. Goatwhiskers the Elder
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,069 Posts
Goat is correct about the chambers. On the last pic you can see a small oval-like figure with 16-65 in it. This translates to 16ga, 65mm or 16ga 2 9/16 chamber so it would be very unwise to shoot longer shells in this gun. You can buy short ones, mostly from European makers, in light loads that would allow you to use the gun.

The markings on the barrel flats apply more to the barrels than the gun as a whole. Small shops that made guns used high (and low) quality barrels, often of Belgium descent. Are there any markings on the top of the barrels or the lock plates, inside or out?

The upper proof mark dates from 1893 and was used on blackpowder breech loaders. The lower mark began in 1924 and is for Nitro Proof so that means these barrels were made sometime after 1924.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
103 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well I took it to Bass Pro Shops fine gun room and lets just say the staff were less than knoledgeable as the man there said things about the proofs that I know to be inacurate.
On the bottom side of the box locks it says "J. Faisant Arm Eleeuf" and "Importe De Belgique". Then on top of the barrel it says "Et Breakers" and of course "Herstal Liege". Thats about all the writing I can find on it, hope it helps!
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,069 Posts
Slick, the 3 pics you posted are great but could you put up some side views of the action, with and without barrels assembled, a top view assembled and a bottom view of the action?

First, I am not an expert on European shotguns but they really interest me and I like learning more about them. I have some references. Using these and some high-school French translation, here is what I suspect.
J. Faisant Arm Eleeuf roughly translates to J. Faisant Arms Maker.
Importe De Belgique means Imported from Belgium
Et Breakers, Et meaning "at" is questionable but implies Breakers is a place.
Herstal Liege is a place.
Web searches did not reveal very much.

Prior to WWII Liege Belgium was known as one of Europes largest makers of arms. Without a doubt, FN and Browning were the best known but there were many other smaller, lesser known makers. Thousands of cheap and poorly made single and double barreled shotguns from Belgium were imported into the US before 1940 by the H. & D. Folsom Arms Company of New York City. There were over 200 names used on Folsom guns alone, in addition to others. I cannot say that J. Faisant is one of those and based on what I can see in the photos I would not say this is one of Belgium's worst.

Its important to understand that not all of the Liege gunmakers, other than FN, made junk! It is just that most of the pre-war imports were. Now the question is, how did this 16 gauge you have get here? It is quite possible that this gun was made in a small shop and is a very fine gun that went to some European sportsman who was unlucky enough to have his prized firearm 'liberated' by American G.I.s as they crossed Europe. I have seen a good number of really nice Belgium made firearms that came here that way and this could be the case here. So it would be wise to establish what history you can of this guns American ownership.

Finally, the folks that hang around Double Gun Journal, a very fine quarterly publication, know far more than I do. Try this link; http://www.doublegunshop.com/doublegunjournal.htm

Good luck on your quest and keep us posted on what you find!:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
766 Posts
Regardless of who made it I really like the engraved holly or mistletoe or Ivy or whatever it is. It looks real nice. Can we see a side view of the action? I love looking at old guns!:)
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,069 Posts
Thanks, nice pictures!

Well, based on what I can see my opinion is that this is a good quality gun, something comparable to a Fox Sterlingworth or the like. If it locks up tight, as it appears to, then I would not hesitate to shoot it with the proper 16 gauge shells.

I stick to my original opinion that this was made in a small shop for a European customer, not export, and that it got a free ride to the US after WWII. The engraving is a simple pattern as engravings go and probably done rather quickly so I don't think this was a particularly high dollar gun. Other little things also indicate this.

I'm going to put J. Faisant on my watch list but other than something new on him coming up, I've exhausted my info.
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top