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Belgum Double, what do I got?

Discussion in 'Firearms Research' started by Sisco, Sep 29, 2003.

  1. Sisco

    Sisco Well-Known Member

    Side by side, exposed hammers, double trigger, extractor.
    "Washington Arms Co." on the receiver, "Damascus Finish Belgum"
    on the strap between the barrels.
    Stamped on the receiver under the barrels is Belgum & some numbers. Bottom side of the barrels has numerous proof marks, serial number 1852XX.
    Not sure but I but I think it's a 16ga.
    Blueing is all gone, surface rust and light pitting. Stock looks like it might have some pretty wood under all the varnish.
  2. Jagermeister

    Jagermeister Moderator In Memoriam

    Washington Arms Co was a trade name, used by Crescent Arms Co on shotguns made for The Edwrd K Tryon Co of Philadalphia Pa in or around the 1920's. They were commonly called "Hardware Guns", meaning mfg's and in particular Cescent, mfg'd guns for just about anyone who wanted their name on a gun.

    For your convenience I have attached the Crescent Story.

    For Info on more guns, go to:



    Attached Files:

  3. Sisco

    Sisco Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the info (and the email). I would assume the value of such a piece is around $1.98 or less. :D
    The gun belongs to an Uncle, he asked me it I could "fix it up" for him.
    My opinion is it's a wall hanger, does he want a rusty wall hanger or a shiny blued one?
    Just had to make sure it wasn't worth much before doing anything to it.
  4. Jim K

    Jim K Well-Known Member

    IMO, the Damascus barrels make it a wall hanger unless the shooter has some spare fingers he wants to get rid of. I would look at deactivating it just in case somebody decides to load up with modern shells.

  5. Sisco

    Sisco Well-Known Member

    I'm familiar with what a Damascus barrel is but I've never seen one.
    Are the twist lines visible? There are no visible lines on this one.

    BEARMAN Well-Known Member

    Quit often a barrel marked" damascus finish" is not a damascus barrel but a steel barrel finished to look like the more expensive damascus barrel to increase it's appeal and saleablity . Check it out, it may be a shooter. If it is tight and finishes up nice and you decide to try and shoot it, have the chambers checked to make sure that it is chambered for 2 3/4 in shells and not 2 1/2 in shells. CAUTION a 2 3/4 shell will fit into a 2 1/2 chamber but there is no room for the shell to open up when fired, thus increasing the pressures in an old gun, a bad thing. OLD GUNS CAN BE FUN TO SHOOT, WITH LIGHTER LOADS. JUST BE CAREFUL AND DO YOUR HOMEWORK AND CHECK IT OUT. GOOD LUCK
  7. Jim K

    Jim K Well-Known Member

    You can check for false Damascus by sanding off a bit of the finish under the foreend. A touch of acid or even cold blue will bring out the different colors of the iron and steel if it is Damascus.

    FWIW, I see no reason to doubt that it is Damascus, and I will repeat my cautions. I do NOT recommend those guns be fired even with light loads or black powder loads.

    I have sectioned a couple of old Damascus barrels and even though they looked good on the outside and the bore appeared smooth and shiny, the metal looked like a piece of lace, full of rusted out holes and almost completely rotted away in places from the old corrosive primers and powder getting into the tiny cracks in the welding.

    Another fact often overlooked in black powder era guns is that black powder has a different pressure curve than smokeless, which keeps the pressure on further out where the barrels get thin. That is where they usually blow and further reason to avoid smokeless loads if one must shoot the old guns.

    Needless to say, I had those old barrels because they blew up. One took three fingers of the shooter's left hand along for the ride.


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