Volunteer Arms Co. Shotgun Questions!


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MustangMan01
November 30, 2010, 05:47 PM
I inherited an older single barrel break open shotgun, and I was wondering if anyone has any information on the company. On the left side of the receiver, roughly centered is the words "Volunteer Arms Co". No other markings accept the serial #658608, which is on the bottom of the stock, just behind the trigger guard. It is also stamped into the bottom of the barrel, and then burned into the hidden part of the fore stock. Any help appreciated.

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Carl N. Brown
November 30, 2010, 06:10 PM
A few years back I had a list of manufacturers that made guns for distributors who ordered guns made under house brand names; I will double check if I have time, but off the top of my memory, it is possible you have a gun manufactured by Crescent Arms (manufacturer) for Volunteer Arms Co. (distributor).

Dr.Rob
November 30, 2010, 06:16 PM
Your shotgun was likely made by the Crescent Arms Co. for The H&D Folsom Arms Company of New York, importers and distributors of firearms and sporting goods. They bought crescent in 1883 or so and were large importers of Belgian doubles. They rebranded hundreds of models for various distributors.

"Volunteer" was the trade name stamped on these guns sold by Belknap Hardware Company of Louisville,KY.

Stevens ultimately bought them out Crescent, Folsom in the 30's

Yours is likely 1900-1930 but I can't be more specific.

MustangMan01
November 30, 2010, 07:10 PM
Thank You.

JohnBT
November 30, 2010, 08:28 PM
Looks a lot like an Iver Johnson Champion to me. The styles changed during the 60+ years they made them, but the fore arm sure looks like it. Let's see, this is close.

http://www.gunsamerica.com/964943344/Guns/Shotguns/Iver-Johnson-Shotguns/Iver_Johnson_Champion.htm

Jim K
November 30, 2010, 09:57 PM
Bill Goforth also has "Volunteer" on his list of trade name guns made by Iver Johnson for Belknap Hardware of St. Louis. That is not necessarily contradictory; in those cases, the hardware distributor owned the name and could have guns or other items made by anyone, using that name. The practice is not too common now, but Sears still has trade names for some of the items it sells and can have the product made under that name by about anyone.

Jim

Carl N. Brown
December 1, 2010, 08:18 PM
Hardware chains would have a house brand name, and over the years would contract manufacture/import with different suppliers.

J.C.Higgins brand guns sold by Sears were made by Savage, High Standard, Sako, Browning, Marlin. The Ted Williams brand name guns sold by Sears were made by practically everyone making guns in the US or so it seemed to me at the time.

MustangMan01
December 4, 2010, 09:09 PM
This shotgun came from the New Haven, Ct area. Thank you all for the great response!

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