Where is the serial number located, and how to determine age
If you enjoyed reading about "<Mass Arms, 12 gauge single shot" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
December 19, 2011, 04:52 PM
Most likely doesn't have a serial number.
There was no legal requirement to serial number shotguns until passage of the 1968 Gun Control Act.
Massachusetts Arms Company was a trade name used by both the J. Stevens Arms and Tool Company, and the H. & D. Folsom Arms Company on firearms made for the Blish, Mizet and Silliman Hardware Company of Atchinson, Kansas.
The company was founded in 1871, and is still in business today as Blish-Mize.
Since your gun has no serial number, and no records exist even if it did, setting an exact date would be very difficult.
Your gun was probably made in the late 1800's to early 1900's, and sold for very little at the time compared to a Winchester or Remington or other quality brand shotgun.
Collector value today is near nothing, as people don't collect guns like that..
December 19, 2011, 05:06 PM
Thank you! I am not interested in value, just researching the weapon, It more than likely would use old powder charges. correct.
December 19, 2011, 05:10 PM
If it's as old as I think it is, it probably has a short 2 9/16" chamber instead of the modern 2 3/4" chamber.
If it doesn't say 2 3/4" on the barrel, I would assume the worst until proven otherwise.
I would suggest you take it to a gunsmith and have the chamber measured, as well as a general safety check-up before shooting it.
December 19, 2011, 05:12 PM
thank you! I am not interrested in value, granfather had it in the attic, and I was cleaning it, I have never shot but I surmise it would use low charge shells, correct
December 19, 2011, 05:24 PM
I don't know what you mean by low charge shells?
Low brass trap loads generate just as much pressure as high-brass Magnums.
There are a couple of companys that makes truly low pressure, shorter shells for old guns.
But they ain't cheap. And they ain't at Walmart.