Dating a Fabriques D' Armes Unies de Leige Belgium SxS?....


El Mariachi
October 16, 2012, 02:40 PM
Ok Kidz, anyone good at deciphering these hieroglyphics on this 12 gauge side x side I just bought? About the best I can come up with is that she was made sometime between the late 30's and 1968. Which doesn't tell me too much

Any takers?.....:rolleyes:

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October 16, 2012, 03:45 PM
The stamped markings in that last picture indicate a full choke barrel.


El Mariachi
October 16, 2012, 03:47 PM
Damn, but you're good.....:D

October 16, 2012, 03:59 PM
How to Identify Antique Fabrique Nationale Side-by-Side

By Neal Litherland, eHow Contributor

There are several marks on a shotgun that will help you identify it.

Fabrique Nationale is a Belgian firearm company that created many high-quality shotguns over the years, and whose side-by-side double barrels can command good antique prices. Some of the designs came from John Browning, of the Browning firearms company, which still maintains business ties with Fabrique Nationale. If you have a very old, side-by-side shotgun from Fabrique Nationale, it is possible to identify and date it, but it's going to take some legwork.

Things You'll Need

Show More Instructions
1 Go over the shotgun and look for identifying characteristics. The barrels will have the company name, either Fabrique Nationale or FN, stamped somewhere on the barrels. Examine the pattern on the hammers and the break for the shotgun. Make notes on the stock and whether there are any precious metal inlays or carvings that make it unique. If there is a serial number, write it down. Make notes and take photographs of the gun from several different angles.

2 Go to Browning's website and check the date for your gun. The list can be found at the Browning link in the Resources section. However, if you don't have all the details for the gun, it might be hard to look up in that registry.

3 Request a letter of history from Browning. For a $39.95 fee, a Browning representative will search the history of your particular shotgun and provide you with a letter of history detailing what it is, where it came from and all of the other, relevant details regarding your double barrel.

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Read more: How to Identify Antique Fabrique Nationale Side-by-Side |

Jim Watson
October 16, 2012, 05:36 PM
Ah, but this is not a Fabrique Nationale D'Armes de Guerre, Herstal.
Different company altogether.
There are several examples of FAUL guns shown at
Including the Centaur line of muzzleloaders.
But nothing to tie the date down any closer.

October 16, 2012, 05:41 PM
The ELG and PV are proof marks, the 12-70 indicates 12 gauge and 2-3/4" chambers, 18.2 is the bore diameter, the 1kg is the pressure

Jim Watson
October 16, 2012, 05:46 PM
1kg ain't much pressure

1 kg 649 (grams) is the weight of the barrels.

October 16, 2012, 05:51 PM
The cursive " i " on the barrel is either 1930 or 1970 according to the second table.

October 16, 2012, 06:43 PM
This shotgun was manufactured by a conglomeration of several Belgian manufacturers that came together in 1919, and went out of business in 1959; "Fabriques d'Armes Unies de Liege" means "United Arms Factories of Liege", and this company was formed by the companies of Albert Simonis, Antoine Bertrand et Fils, and Pirlot & Fresart.

El Mariachi
October 16, 2012, 07:44 PM
So perhaps it is a C&R'er, SDC?......

October 16, 2012, 08:38 PM
I doubt it could be considered a C&R, simply because this company made so many of these firearms, and there's nothing particularly notable about the design. But, as long as it locks up tight, and a smith gives it a thumbs up, there's no reason why it wouldn't make a decent hunting gun.

October 16, 2012, 08:46 PM
This history of the Hanquets Gun Dynasty and Belgium gun making is interesting - to me anyway.

Two briefs excerpts:

"1836 Jean Nicolas entered into a venture with Ancion et Fils to become market leader for military guns. Their new company named FABRIQUES D’ARMES DE LIÈGE (FAL) was registeredas Ancion, Hanquet et Cie. They were the most important gun makers of the time. Between 1849 and 1859 they made around 60,000 to 70,000 guns per year with a record high of 91,164 in1850. "

"Ferdinand Hanquet made his business visions come true and finally merged with FABRIQUES D’ARMES RÉUNIES and FABRIQUE D’ARMES UNIES DE LIÈGE. The name of the new company was FABRIQUES D’ARMES UNIES DE LIÈGE (FAUL). "

El Mariachi
January 27, 2013, 12:02 PM
Well I finally got my hands on her last week, and despite the fact that I know jack squat about SxS's, I really, really like this one. Pretty good looking, nice lumber, everything's is still tight and works perfectly. Took her out to the desert for a little test drive and and it's a shooter. Just for drill (after researching 'chokes' and all that) I stuck a piece of cardboard out about 20 yards and fired a round of #8 shot at her. I didn't get real scientific with what happened but I did notice that a very large percentage of the pellets hit the 20" x 24" target----so I'm assuming that this she truly has 'full choked' barrels on her? And what's the theory and/or main purpose for that?

Also as far as her d.o.b., I'm going with 1930 instead of 1970, given that the little cursive 'i' isn't underlined (as per the chart). Which is cool with me, as she's now officially my oldest firearm in my collection.....:D

January 27, 2013, 12:57 PM
In the past, shotcup/wad/buffer technology wasn't nearly as advanced and shot was lead, so chokes were tighter than commonly seen now.

January 28, 2013, 08:57 AM
And nowadays, we are going back around full circle - in many places, they are dictating the felt wads because they decompose unlike the plastic, so some of these older tightly choked guns may be getting a second life

1kg ain't much pressure

1 kg 649 (grams) is the weight of the barrels.

Yep - brain fart on my opart

El Mariachi
January 28, 2013, 09:17 AM
Felt wads? Hmmmm, were/are they any better than plastic? Or was that just s.o.p. back in the day?

Oh yeah, and what do you guys think was the main purpose/use for this girl back in the 30's? Just small birds? Or was she actually 'gooseable'?..........

January 28, 2013, 10:47 AM
Felt was what they had before the plastic shot cup in the ???60s???
Now, in certain areas, they are demanding the use of the felt because of the plastic trash

If it is a European gun, most likely driven birds. I wouldn't shoot geese with it now, those barrels are not proofed for steel, and the stock needs repairing

Tom Held
January 28, 2013, 11:53 AM
I've been on two sporting clays ranges recently where you cannot use shells with plastic wads, just felt. Which limits your choice of ammo but they shoot well and break targets.

El Mariachi
January 28, 2013, 12:07 PM
Perfect, I'll look into those, Tom. 'Cuz the odds of me bird hunting in So Cal in the near future are just a bit worse than zero.....:D

January 28, 2013, 01:33 PM
The gun needs to be checked out - yours may have a short chamber. RST, Polywad both have ammo for older guns that need low pressure

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