Rifle/Shotgun Drilling Combo questions - (Rare)


May 2, 2012, 06:46 PM
Hey there,

I'm new to the High Road - i've used this site many times for info but this is my first post.
Anyways, a family member has received an old Drilling type rifle/shotgun combo. And I was hoping I could find some info on it.
Any info is greatly appreciated but I also have some specific questions.
On the barrel, there are markings saying Dianahaus or Dianahavs - which i'm guessing is the maker?
But down on the under-side of the barrel (in less fancy lettering) it says Nitro (in obviously hand engraved lettering) and I was wondering if Nitro was a name (or nickname/pseudonym type of thing) of the engraver?
Also it came with a scope with leather scope lens covers and a leather case for the scope. It fits perfectly on the drilling - so this would be the original scope correct?
Any history and value estimations on this firearm with the scope and case would be awesome.
Is this the best forum for information on this firearm or is there a better forum where I could get more info?

Here's some pictures:

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May 2, 2012, 06:49 PM
More pictures for your viewing :what:

May 2, 2012, 06:53 PM
some more - this isn't my expertise but it seems pretty antique and ornate so I have my fingers crossed on some good info

Jim Watson
May 2, 2012, 07:50 PM
Uh, "Nitro" means nitrocellulose and nitroglycerine, it was proof tested for use with smokeless powder ammunition.

I don't know all the many old European brands, but Dianahaus (House of Diana, the Huntress) sounds more like a distributor or dealer than a manufacturer. Suhl is the city in Germany where so many guns were made.

Scopes were typically individually matched to their guns in those days, so if it fits, it is almost surely original to the piece.

If you take the foreend off and the barrels off the action, there will be proof marks on the concealed areas that will indicate the general period made and the caliber; maybe even in a format we can identify.

Oh, how did your kinsman "receive" a nice gun like that? Gift, inheritance, purchase of a pig in a poke? Pardon, but I am always curious when people are cagy about where a gun came from.

May 2, 2012, 09:38 PM
Most likely the nitro marking refers to the proof testing with smokeless powder.

Combo guns are a nitch market and can go from about $1,500 to $15,000 and more. A professional appraisel is in order. There are some very knowledgable foks here however that can likely give you a lot of information. I'll let them .

May 2, 2012, 09:40 PM
Nitro: Rated for smokeless powder, stamp like that means the gun was made quite a while ago. (Edit: mnrivrat beat me to it)

It's beautiful. And I'll say that I've never seen a cheap drilling, so that's probably a pretty valuable piece right there. It looks kinda nifty with the scope on it.

May 2, 2012, 09:46 PM
Finding one with an original claw-mount scope is a pretty big deal too.

When WWII was raging, the Germans confiscated all the sporting weapons.
But folks figured out it was wise to keep the scope hidden away in the sauerkraut barrel or whatever.
You weren't executed on the spot for having an old scope.
You were for having a firearm.

So, finding a complete drilling with the original claw-mount scope is a pretty rare thing today.

With all that said, there is much more info printed on the scope, and on the water tables and bottom side of the breech if you take the forearm off and remove the barrels.

Take photos of all that, and somebody here can date it, tell you the caliber and gage, and tell you more closely what it might be worth.

Without that, it would just be a WAG shot in the dark on actual value.


May 2, 2012, 09:52 PM
Hey Jim,
Thanks for all the info. No actually my Uncle bought it along with many other antique guns (including a Springfield 1903, M1 Garand, old Mauser made by FN, and a few others). He got a great deal though. Bought them off a older woman who sold them after her husband (the original owner) passed away. He doesn't use computers so I told him I'd look them up. Didn't know I sounded "cagy" - my mistake.
I'll take some more pics of the proof marks under the forearm tomorrow and hopefully I can get some more information on the manufacture date.
Thanks again.

May 2, 2012, 09:57 PM
Wow I'm really happy I posted it here. You guys are helping out a lot more than other sites. I feel stupid for not realizing the "nitro" mark was specific to smokeless powder. It just looked kind of like a grizzly engraving compared to the other marks - so I figured it was uncommon.
Anyways, I'll definitely take some pictures of the proof marks under the forearm and more pictures of the scope too for you guys.
Thanks again - my uncle is already really excited about this gun.

May 2, 2012, 10:11 PM
Lucky Dude. That is cool.

May 2, 2012, 10:29 PM
Ain't that a pretty thing. I like it. I like it a lot.

May 3, 2012, 12:19 AM
whisperer, that's a pile of junk - but I feel sorry for your uncle, so I'll take it off his hands for $100 if he pays the shipping... :uhoh:

May 3, 2012, 02:53 AM
I'm going to blend both these threads into the Shotgun thread

May 3, 2012, 03:07 AM
Suhl, town where many german factories and gun manufacturers are located.

you need to post more hi-res pictures of markings. To me it looks like Sauer drilling .... Suhl is a german city where many small manufacturers where located.

May 3, 2012, 03:19 PM
9mm - thanks for the help combining the two threads.
i've gotta go finish up some work and then when i get back home i'll definitely take some more pictures!
i can't wait to get some more info

texas chase
May 3, 2012, 03:28 PM
My dad's got a drilling similar to that. I'll get him to take a look and see if I can find out any more info.

May 3, 2012, 05:18 PM
Pics of the proof marks will help as will pics of the barrel flats and water table - that will tell you gauge, chamber length, choke dimensions, cartridge for the rifle part, etc....

It looks on great shape, but you want to make sure you use the proper ammo - it MIGHT be short chambered for 2-1/2 or 2-9/16" ammo (available on line)

Once safety checked and chamber and cartridge determined, go have some hunting fun with it

May 3, 2012, 06:12 PM
Got some more pics of the barrel flats and water table for you guys! Hopefully we can figure out exactly what I got and a estimated value. Because I do believe my uncle's looking to sell/trade.

May 3, 2012, 06:15 PM
And now, what I believe is the water table.... (right?) haha - can you tell i'm a noob to antique firearms?

So obviously it's a 16 gauge - but if anyone knows the "chamber length, choke dimensions, and cartridge for the rifle, etc" that'd definitely help.
Also any guesses to the value would be great.

Jim Watson
May 3, 2012, 08:11 PM
General proof marks
(Crown) B, (Crown) U, proof tested and inspected.
(Crown) S, smoothbore, (Crown) W, choke bored.

8.7mm is the rifle BORE diameter, likely corresponding to a 9.3mm groove/bullet.
That in combination with what is likely a 72 with weakly struck figure 7 indicates the rifle barrel is most likely 9.3x72R, a common drilling and light hunting rifle caliber suitable for deer and not much more. Often compared to US .38-55.
(Crown) N is another sign of smokeless powder proof.
KmG/13 gn means a copper jacketed bullet of 13 grams = 200 grains, again about right for 9.3x72R. If so, ammo is available but not cheap.
Since the powder charge is not shown, that indicates manufacture AFTER 1912.
The 117 stamp may indicate manufacture in January 1917 but a nice sporting gun made in the middle of WW I seems unlikely.

(Circle) 16 is the shot barrel gauge. Since the chamber length is not shown as 70mm = 2 3/4", the default is 65mm, variously listed as 2 1/2, 2 9/16, or 2 5/8". Shells are available from Polywad.

Looking more closely at the pictures of the whole gun, I think the scope is a replacement.
The front base is attached with three screws to what I think is the original base dovetailed into the rib. Nicely done, but not contoured or engraved to match.

May 3, 2012, 09:15 PM
Argh. I hate being broke. A 16/16/9.3 drilling is exactly what I'd like for hunting here in Wisconsin. A similar one I was watching on Gunbroker went for $1025 last week.

Perhaps you should scrounge some ammo for it - you might want to keep it ;)

May 3, 2012, 10:43 PM
Thanks for the info you guys! I really wasn't expecting much on the value but was still curious. I know people don't pay much for them anymore.
Anyways, if anyone has a good appraiser in the New England area or wants to shoot an offer by me, i'll take a look.
Thanks again.

Pete D.
May 4, 2012, 06:44 AM
I know people don't pay much for them anymore.
Uh....yeah, they do.

Dave McCracken
May 4, 2012, 08:55 AM
Yes, they certainly do.

No Drilling was ever a utility grade, entry level gun. All were well made, oft lavishly embellished and stocked with great wood.

I'm no expert on these, but I have noted $5K and more pricing on some.

Polywad, Gamebore etc, make 2 1/2" ammo. Polywad's version is also low pressure, kindly to older guns.

9.3X72R is lower pressure than the similar 9.3X74R. Get the right ammo and have fun.

stan rose
May 4, 2012, 09:21 AM
There has been a lot of good advice, observations and comments posted already, and I may be over cautious due to ignorance, but I would like to suggest a chamber casting. I know there are some people, like Jim Watson, who can easily make sense of all the stamps on the barrel and receiver, but I have seen a good few old guns that were altered and never marked accordingly. I am not implying any one has given unsound advice, just erring on the side of extreme caution.

Tom Held
May 4, 2012, 09:57 AM
Suggest you contact the German Gun Collectors Association in New Hampshire. They have a new website. Tom

May 4, 2012, 12:21 PM
Tom, Thanks for the tip man I'm sure they'll be able to give me some straight info!

May 4, 2012, 12:27 PM
Uh....yeah, they do.

From what I've seen, the ones that go over a few grand, are gold inlayed, and are much fancier than mine. If I'm wrong about that, my mistake. Like I said I'm new to dealing with older firearms. But simply disagreeing and offering no actual viable information - doesn't really help. Thanks for the correction.

May 4, 2012, 03:14 PM
Go here:


and look at the prices for drillings and combo guns - anything of minimum quality is in the four and five figure range

May 4, 2012, 04:38 PM
Go here:


and look at the prices for drillings and combo guns - anything of minimum quality is in the four and five figure range

Awesome thanks man! Ya I think I'm just going to have to get this thing appraised. There seems to be a lot of different variables that come into play when finding the value of it. Thanks again everyone

Pete D.
May 6, 2012, 06:13 AM
From what I've seen, the ones that go over a few grand, are gold inlayed, and are much fancier than mine. If I'm wrong about that, my mistake. Like I said I'm new to dealing with older firearms. But simply disagreeing and offering no actual viable information - doesn't really help. Thanks for the correction.

Happy that you have found useful info. My post wan't meant as a correction but as an encouragement to look a bit more. As provided by Oneounceload, there are links to better info; sorry that I was so cryptic.

Tom Held
May 6, 2012, 07:30 AM
Just some advice on appraisals. A legitimate appraisal will likely cost somewhere around $50 from a professional or up to 3% of the appraised value. Also, ask for the "retail" and "wholesale" value. The wholesale value is what a dealer will likely pay, probably 30% under the retail value. Realistically if you do decide to sell you will be closer to the wholesale value.

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