Antique percussion shotgun


Black Knight
January 31, 2014, 11:21 PM
Over the last weekend I was at my brother's home and we looked through some things our dad had. One thing we found was a double barrel percussion shotgun. The gun is in such bad shape it would not be worth $100 for scrap metal. It appears to be in 20 gauge. I am trying to clean it up so will will be a decent looking wall hanger. The maker which is engraved on the side locks is Norris & Brother. On the barrel rib in a very lightly engraved manner is what I believe to be the words "Warrented Trust". The only thing I can find out is that the company was in operation sometime during the Civil War. I know this may be a long shot but if anyone knows anything about Norris & Brother I would appreciate any information given. I will never try to fire it because of its condition but it would look nice on the wall.

Update 31 Jan 2014: I contacted Dixie Gun Works and found out that Norris & Brother was in operation 1840 - 1864. A friend of mine who is more knowledgable than me said the barrel says "Warrented Twist" as in twisted steel (Damascus as he calls it).

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February 1, 2014, 12:23 AM
The Confederate cavalry sawed a lot of those down and carried them as a cavalry weapon for close quarters. I suspect they had pommel holsters for them (plus several other revolver holsters).

February 1, 2014, 12:49 AM
I inherited one of those shortened confederate shotties, reportedly used by a relative in the 19th Texas Cavalry during the Red River campaign. It is a Birmingham made English 12g sxs cb shottie with a 18" damascus barrel. I contacted the proof house in Birmingham check their records regarding the proof marks on the barrel, and they confirmed it was made and proofed prior to 1845. How it found it'd way to the Texas frontier and the adventures it participated in will have to wait for another time.

February 2, 2014, 12:13 AM
You probably know this by now, but my summary research indicates thr maker was located in Baltimore, Maryland.A few of these have come up at antique auctions. The style is in the typical style of the 1840s to 1850s. If the barrel appears to have been shortened from a long Fowler length of say around 42" down to about 31" or less it may have possibly have been used as a combat scattergun by CSA cavalry or by teamsters driving supply wagons. Anything longer than that would have been impractical for mounted combat use.

February 2, 2014, 08:23 AM
During the ACW there were purpose built SXS guns with shorter barrels made specifically for cav use in Tallasse (not to be confused with Tallahasse, FL) Alabama. There is one in the collection at the national Battle field at Chickamaugua.

The FLorida First Cav appearently used shotguns brought from home still at full length early on and they were carried in the hand or across the pommel.


Black Knight
February 17, 2014, 09:32 PM
Thanks for all the information. I have received more information here and from Dixie Gun Works than any other forum site out there. I even asked the Shotgun Forum with not 1 reply in 2 weeks.

Jim K
February 17, 2014, 11:11 PM
Not to disparage anyone's possessions, but if every double barrel shotgun "used by the Confederate cavalry" really was, they had at least a dozen or more guns for every trooper, a formidable fighting force indeed. (And they would have won the war if the poor horses could have carried all that hardware!)

Yes, double barrel shotguns were used in the Civil War, but without absolute proof of CW use, most old junker doubles are just old junker doubles.


February 18, 2014, 05:55 AM
Well, the one in my posession must indeed be rare as it is specifically mentioned in the original owners historically vetted ACW memoirs.

February 18, 2014, 07:35 AM
sorry message was duplicate

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