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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a very old, very large, very heavy, single-shot shotgun that used to belong to my great grandfather. No idea what he used it for, dont know when the last time it was shot. I'm told it is an 8 gauge, but there are no shells to go with it, or markings anywhere on the gun with any information about it or the manufacturer. I will post pictures eventually if there is enough interest and people knowledgeable about this kind of firearm from this era.

It is not in shooting condition by any means, the trigger does not control the hammer, but is seems to kind of cock somehow. There is a decent size gap between the barrel and action, however, it does break and lock into place reasonably well, and nothing seems to jiggle around when shook, but that could be from what might be almost 8 decades of not being used or cleaned, just stored.

Hoping to get some history on it, maybe even get it restored back into firing condition, or at least cleaned up to be displayed. I find it beautiful, but at the same time it looks incredibly gruesome. Old rusty wire (now loosely) wrapped around the stock, and no coating on what feels like a cast iron barrel and action.

Any help would be greatly appreciated, thanks
 

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I thought a guy in harrietsfield restored old guns or maybe even small canons, i dont know his name or any contact, although someone else may.
 

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The current owner (my father) said he asked a gunsmith about repairing it years ago, he was told it would be extremely expensive and might not be worth the time and effort. I agree, it will probably have to be a display piece only until i have a spare couple thousand laying around. Im more interested in who made it, where, when, anything really. I've added a gallery to my profile with two pretty bad pictures just to give an idea what it looks like. I plan to add better ones soon.
 

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If it really is an 8 gauge shotgun, you won't be able to hunt with it. The Firearm and Bow Regulations of the Wildlife Act define as Prohibited, in part, (Section 3(1)(b)):

A shotgun greater than 10 gauge.

This is for Nova Scotia, but it should be similar across Canada (and probably anywhere that is signatory to international agreements on the management of migratory waterfowl, such as the U.S.A.). Ammunition is difficult whether it's factory shells or making your own. Only possibility might be loading a slug and going on an elephant hunt!

Measure the bore; at least the muzzle end if you can't get a gauge in far enough past the choke to measure the full diameter. An 8 bore barrel is 21,2mm whereas a 10 bore is 19,7mm (though choke will bring both down, an 8 choked to the size of a 10 would be extreme constriction).

For identification, look for script on the outside: barrel, lock, tang, trigger guard, even butt plate. Now many old guns are of the brand JABS (Just Another Belgian Shotgun) or AOSG (Any Old Spanish Gun), so precise manufacture might not be possible to determine. Such engraving might only identify an importer, or local defunct hardware store who retailed it. There is usually important information on the barrel flat underneath, and the water table on the action which mates with the flat. Clear pictures of the numbers and proof marks will aid an expert in deciphering the gun.

As far as restoration, the rule tends to be 'more than it will be worth,' even for otherwise valuable guns; usually only recommended if utility, beauty, or personal history will, on balance, make a large expenditure worthwhile. With the barrel significantly off face and whatever sear/spring issue with the trigger, in addition to potential un-diagnosed problems, I wouldn't be surprised if a clean and lube and permanent place on the wall is the only future. Wire wrapped on the stock implies a crack, which may well splinter completely if you ever do get around to firing. Is the gun rusty, inside the barrel/chamber or outside? A brownish patina isn't bad like flaking rust, but inside should be shiny and smooth. Dings on the barrel? Cracks in wood?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I haven't examined it closely yet, but i imagine all these years would have caused some spretty serious barrel decay. Also yes, im pretty sure the stock is cracked, hence the wire. I would definitely never hunt with this, i have never hunted myself and doubt i ever will. At least for another decade or so, and if i do, this thing will most certainly not be what i plan to use. The most i would want to actually fire this gun for would be to scare the hell out of my friends, but only once i make sure it is safe again. They have never seen anything like it, nor have i. Im told there are shells for it, somewhere in my grandmother/great grandparents house, but i dont know if they could ever be found or used again. Im going to be posting better pictures in the gallery soon, probably later this week, im just really interested in where this came from and when it was made. Also, found out today it was aquired by my great uncle in a trade, then willed to my grandfather. Not sure for what, probably a different gun. Thanks for the help!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
So i added a couple new pictures i took today of the 8, when i opened the action i saw (stamped on a small metal plate under the barrel) the numbers 212. No idea what it represents. Could be a model number, serial number, length of something, I don't know. I hope it or the better pictures helps someone identify something about it since that number are the only pieces of identification visible without taking the gun apart.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you, Gary. This is exactly what it is (pretty sure). I even tracked the serial number sometime in the mid to late 1880's (most likely). Im starting to research CS Shattuck now and everything seems to be lining up with the timeline my family gave me. Now all i need to do is decide wether its worth restoring for novelty shooting, or cleaning up to be displayed.
 

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heads up: says in the link its belgium twist barrel - if you decide to get it geared up to shoot, make sure you do your research on what you can use for ammo in belgium twist. best of luck-you have an interesting beast there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
heads up: says in the link its belgium twist barrel - if you decide to get it geared up to shoot, make sure you do your research on what you can use for ammo in belgium twist. best of luck-you have an interesting beast there.
I think the twist barrels are only for some of the smaller gauges, not sure, but the action on mine still works and it is most certainly not a twist action. It is a single shot, break action 8 gauge and it is being cleaned for display until i have the multiple thousands of dollars that will most likely be needed to restore it back to firing condition. Once it is, local gun ranges better fear for their lives. Lol

Thank you Wendell, i just sent that smith some information on it and asked if they would ever be willing to work on it, maybe get a rough estimate on cost to restore and maybe even how much it is worth before/after. Im excited to see where this goes!

Thanks for all the help everyone, ill be sure to post more pictures as things start to get moving on the process
 

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Ya in same position myself seems it shouldn't be to hard but nervous I won't be able to sight it in and be chasing it and wasting a lot of ammo and dnr ya can only book 1/2 at time. I've always used a lever action this year after many years of not hunting because of being a single dad bought a tikka t3 hunter ss and a bushnell elite doa scope. Never ever used a scope. Isn't that sad. So at dnr if I was to ask someone to help ya think they would or they all there just to sight in scopes and gone? If I can't sight it in it has been bore sighted for 100 yards would it stop be accurate out to 100?
 
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