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Posted By: Mark Dube Manufrance Ideal - help with grade etc. - 06/16/11 10:53 PM
Hello all, I have recently acquired a Manufrance Ideal with a level of embelishment I have not seen before.

I have owned a few Ideals over the years and all were easily identified by marking on the face of barrel lug where it protrudes through bottom of frame. This particular gun does not have lugs which protrude through frame.

The gun is a 12 gauge with 29 inch barrels, straight grip of gorgeous colour & character walnut. Fences ornately sculpted, and besides the usual decorative scroll it has game scenes engraved on each side and bird(?) on trigger gaurd.

I look forward to your comments, specificaly any information you may have on date of manufacture and grade.

Thanks

Mark



















A couple more



I don't know what grade it is but it's very nice indeed.
"nice one cyril"
looks like a smashin gun mate
loverly stuff
I love them carved fences very much indeedy, as the rest of it.
franc
Mark, can't answer your question but want to say what a lovely gun. Good find!

Regards,

James
Posted By: topgun Re: Manufrance Ideal - help with grade etc. - 06/17/11 12:29 AM
I can't tell you the grade either; but all examples I've seen had the grade noted on the barrel lug, which this example does not have. I can tell you that the number of wreaths stamped on the barrel flats indicated barrel steel quality; the more wreaths stamped, the higher the gun grade. This example has 5 wreaths, and I believe recalling engraver Geoffry Gournet telling me that the highest quality Ideals had 7 wreaths. This is obviously a higher grade than my #4 with 3 wreaths; but I'm guessing not quite the highest grade.
Posted By: JayCee Re: Manufrance Ideal - help with grade etc. - 06/17/11 12:30 AM
Hello Mark,

I can say without a doubt that it is a "Very Nice Grade", congratulations on your find!

Seriously, if you give me the serial number I can give you the year of manufacture
and what grades were made in that year.

Best,

JC
P.S.: Pictures of barrels just front of flats will give the proofs it was submitted to. jc
Thanks JC,

I have PM'd you the SN

Here is a photo of the proof marks on the barrel



Mark
Posted By: JayCee Re: Manufrance Ideal - help with grade etc. - 06/17/11 12:53 AM
Mark, your Idéal was made in 1921 when a total of 1,308 Idéals were made.

It was proofed to 1441kg per cm2 and as it says on the barrels, using 20 grammes of
black powder (Poudre Noire Forte Nº2) and 120 grammes of Nº8 lead shot.

It is a real beauty!

BTW, does the rubber recoil pad have the Manufrance Logo and is the retracting
sling in good working order?

JC
Wow, thanks again JC!

There is no MF mark on the pad that I can see, it is a bit dilapitated though, it appears to me to be a Silvers pad.

The retractable sling works perfectly and leather is 100%

Is there a book or reproduction catalog for these guns?

I'd like to learn a bit about it....

Mark
Posted By: JayCee Re: Manufrance Ideal - help with grade etc. - 06/17/11 01:35 AM
Mark,

You probably know that your barrels are of the highest quality available:


What you probably don't know -and I didn't either until I looked it up just now- is the
meaning of this proofmark I had never seen before on an Idéal, Crown over D between MF:


I'll get back on this after I mend a gaffe I have made.

All "Idéal Perfection" were with sideplates (not so, my mistake). I am sorry for my mistake in grading
yours. This sideplated model was made during a period on "anglomania" and there were
both field models and pigeon guns.

During 1921 the following grades were in use:
0 - 1 - 2 - 2/R - 3/R - 4/R -5/RE - 6/R - 6/RE - 6RE/E - 7RE/P - 9/P - 9/PE -
9RE/A - 205 - 206 - 208 - 210 - 9C/R - 10C/R - 12C/R

Now back to the special proofmark. Sometimes during manufacture some guns were chosen as special ones called "Bis"
and were give to their best engravers and fitted with stocks made from their nicest blanks. The guns thusly finished
were given the approval of the "Directeurs de la Manufrance". That is the reason
for the "D" between MF (ManuFrance).

In short you have a very, very special Idéal! Again congratulations.

JC
Mark,
WOW! That's some find. How did it come your way?
Sometimes the story behind finding the gun is as good as the gun.
BTW, the way the dogs are integrated with the bold scroll
is really quite striking.
Congratulations on a fine gun.
-jim
Posted By: JayCee Re: Manufrance Ideal - help with grade etc. - 06/17/11 02:22 AM
This is the book the information is coming from:


The top gun in the inserted photo is an "Idéal Perfection".

The Perfectionne on your barrel flats refers to the type of choke (which are full
and modified).

Sorry for my previous mistake. I shall try to find what grade yours is.

JC
JC, absolutely no appology necessary, thanks for your assistance.

Any chance the "7" at the very front of the barrel flats would indicate the grade? I have seen no similar mark on any Ideal reference I have found.

Is that book in current production? Is there an ISBN #? Is it "en francaise"?

Twister's Pa, thanks. No exciting story, but I'm still thrilled with the find.

Mark
Posted By: postoak Re: Manufrance Ideal - help with grade etc. - 06/17/11 02:47 AM
A Wonderful Ideal - and with Ejectors too !


I have a circa 1906 Ideal with Lunette triggers that is sans Grade Marking also - I would guess it to be a Grade 5 in comparison to another I own that is a Marked Grade No 6.

Yours is much more finely finished than my No 6 is.
Posted By: JayCee Re: Manufrance Ideal - help with grade etc. - 06/17/11 03:42 AM
Mark, your gun could perfectly be a 7RE/P, a grading that was used in 1921,
the E being Ejector. The R usually designated Cannon Rayé or Rifled barrel
(the right one and used for dispersion of the shot) but yours doesn't seem to
have such option.

The book's ISBN is 978-2-9128-4875-8

It is in french and mine was bought in France by a friend.
Amazon France has it.

Here they also have it with the rest of M. Mournetas' books.

I also discovered that on 31-May-2011 at 19:49:01 in Paris, a copy of a 1921 Manufrance Catalogue was sold for Eur71.-
I sent a message to Corinne, the seller, to see if she can give me the contact of the buyer who in turn, looking at
your Idéal's photos and his catalogue, could be able to identify its grade. Hopefully I'll get a reply.

Don't you love the times we live in!

JC
Posted By: JayCee Re: Manufrance Ideal - help with grade etc. - 06/17/11 04:07 AM
I must correct my self again concerning the "Idéal Perfection":

There were/are four Types of Perfection, two "Type Français" round bodied, one
field grade and one pigeon grade and two "Type Anglais" with sideplates and
an angled action also in both grades.

If you go to this online 1910 MF Catalogue and scroll down to page 84 you can see them.
It takes some time to load.

JC
Posted By: Geno Re: Manufrance Ideal - help with grade etc. - 06/17/11 04:39 AM
I'd say this is 6REE.
Looks great! How does it shoot?
Posted By: JayCee Re: Manufrance Ideal - help with grade etc. - 06/17/11 01:26 PM
Mark, of the several barrel flats of Idéals I have seen there is only one that has a
number like yours up front and it is coincidental with the grade (9P).
I know the photo is not the greatest, but I think I see a "9" there on both barrels:


JMHO.

JC
Posted By: JayCee Re: Manufrance Ideal - help with grade etc. - 06/17/11 03:53 PM
Apropos of the Acier Hercule Trempe and a recent thread where some novel treatment is mentioned, I would like to somewhat clarify what the Trempe
on the Idéal barrels means: The barrels were heated red hot, then submerged into water at 7ºC and after that the interior was sprayed with a powerful
jet of ice cold water to even inside and outside temperatures. This may be easy to do in this day and age but required special efforts from the old mills.
This tempering gave the barrels their final quality.

JC
Posted By: JayCee Re: Manufrance Ideal - help with grade etc. - 06/17/11 08:13 PM
Hello Geno,

After perusing the 1910 Manufrance Catalogue I tend to agree with you.

The grade 6RE/E appears on page 79 and is called an "Idéal EXCELSIOR".
Description mentions the engraving is special to each gun.

This is added to the description of the model 6RE:

"All parts of the weapon have been carefully checked, and it is only after establishing that the gun is perfection itself that the Directors themselves apply, on the action and the barrels, their special MDF proof mark, certifying that this weapon is a true masterpiece of gun making."

Mark, you did find a special one indeed!

JC
Posted By: postoak Re: Manufrance Ideal - help with grade etc. - 06/17/11 09:59 PM
JC thank you for the explanation of "Acier Hercule Trempe" - my little Lunette triggered 16 Ga. has a 5 Palms barrel with this marking.
Hello Mark,
This is a wonderful Ideal.
It is likely a 6RE/E model.
R means "renforce" i.e. reinforced.
The first "E" is ejector, and the second is Excelsior, i.e a high grade. This is demonstrated by the MDF stamp, meaning that a Director personally checked the gun.
S would mean rifled barrel that this gun does not have.
The wood is way above average...
Congratulations again, I'd love to have one like this.
WC-
Posted By: JayCee Re: Manufrance Ideal - help with grade etc. - 06/18/11 01:55 AM
Hello WC, thanks for your confirmation.

JC
BTW the S "Supra" barrels were intended primarily for short range shotgunning rather than slug.
In France, it is (was) very common to hunt for rabbits (cotton tail like) which was very often a short range job, especially when ferrets are used.
The rifled barrel would quickly disperse the shot so that the prey would stay edible, even in the 10-20 yard range.
This looks easy, but I must assure you that one must be very fast, as the rabbits are usually in the brush such as blackberry bushes, and run like, well, rabbits...
Hunting rabbit over ferret is a lot of fun...
Another S barrel target would be woodcock hunting, also a short range, fats target job.
Boar hunting was not a big thing back in the 20's as they were few and far between, and would have been hunted with buckshot in most cases.
Best regards,
M-
Posted By: Geno Re: Manufrance Ideal - help with grade etc. - 06/18/11 05:30 AM
To compare this is model 6RE made in 1903


What an outstanding find, Mark. I'm not sure of the grade of my 1898 20, but it doesn't have the grade stamp on the lug either. It wasn't as high grade as yours and I was guessing it was a 4.
Posted By: JayCee Re: Manufrance Ideal - help with grade etc. - 06/18/11 09:39 PM
Hello Geno,

Beautiful specimen. The engraving with what appear like grapevines is very nice.
Do you have bigger photos?

JC
Posted By: LeFusil Re: Manufrance Ideal - help with grade etc. - 06/19/11 12:55 AM
Could his gun possibly be a Grade 8? Has ALOT of Grade 8E features. Remember also, it is hard to accurately date a Ideal. Serial numbered parts sat for years on warehouse shelves waiting to be made into guns, parts (i.e. actions & barrels) actually built and numbered in the 1930's...could have acutally been made into a completed gun in the 1960's and later.

Dustin
Wow guys, I've never learned so much on a single thread, THANKS!

I appreciate your effort, and kind words.

I had a heck of a time accessing the 1910 catalogue, but did succede, and I agree the 6RE-E does seem the closest model at that time. It would be fantastic to find the info in a correct year catalogue.

I do have more questions now:

- did all higher grade guns use the Anson push-rod forend release instead of the framilair Ideal lever?

- do these guns show up in original leather case often (this one did)?

- Is there a grade or designation (E - Excelsior??) which correlates with the absence of through hole for lug in bottom of receiver?

Thanks again!

Mark
I can only add my congratulations and best wishes for many satisfying years of stewardship of such an example of exquisite, functional art. What does it weigh? For me, it would be perfection indeed if it were a 16.

Regards,
Mike
Posted By: postoak Re: Manufrance Ideal - help with grade etc. - 06/19/11 02:55 PM
Originally Posted By: Mark Dube
I do have more questions now:

- did all higher grade guns use the Anson push-rod forend release instead of the framilair Ideal lever?

- do these guns show up in original leather case often (this one did)?

- Is there a grade or designation (E - Excelsior??) which correlates with the absence of through hole for lug in bottom of receiver?

Mark


Mark it is my belief that use of the Anson push-rod forend was limited to the Ideal Ejector guns, that has been my observation. We have some very knowledgable folks on this thread perhaps they can confirm or debunk my opinion.

They generally came in a rather plain Leg of Mutton Case - it is nice you have the case - could we see some photos of it ?

I have examined one lower Grade Ideal that did not have the exposed barrel lug in the bottom of the receiver. So I don't believe this feature was restricted to high grade guns.

There are me varations in the features of Ideals.

Now LeFusil, JayCee, and Wildcattle know about 10 times as much about them as I do, so take my opinions above with a grain of salt.
Posted By: Geno Re: Manufrance Ideal - help with grade etc. - 06/19/11 03:21 PM
JC, full resolution photos are here
http://talks.guns.ru/forums/icons/forum_pictures/004663/thm/4663720.jpg
http://talks.guns.ru/forums/icons/forum_pictures/004663/thm/4663726.jpg
http://talks.guns.ru/forums/icons/forum_pictures/004663/thm/4663867.jpg
http://talks.guns.ru/forums/icons/forum_pictures/004663/thm/4663877.jpg
http://talks.guns.ru/forums/icons/forum_pictures/004664/thm/4664164.jpg
http://talks.guns.ru/forums/icons/forum_pictures/004664/thm/4664178.jpg
http://talks.guns.ru/forums/icons/forum_pictures/004723/thm/4723944.jpg
http://talks.guns.ru/forums/icons/forum_pictures/004737/thm/4737584.jpg
If full resolution doesn't work go to the following link and click on every photo.
http://talks.guns.ru/forummessage/112/817484.html
Posted By: JayCee Re: Manufrance Ideal - help with grade etc. - 06/20/11 01:46 AM
As Poastoak says, push-rod forend is limited to ejector guns, as far as I know.

My lowly 16 bore Idéal does not have an exposed barrel lug and is definitely not an Excelsior:


Geno, thanks for the photos.

JC
Posted By: postoak Re: Manufrance Ideal - help with grade etc. - 06/20/11 02:07 AM
My old Ideal 12 Gauge No6R


Posted By: JayCee Re: Manufrance Ideal - help with grade etc. - 06/20/11 01:52 PM
Hello Postoak,

I can only see a frog in an ice cube (?)

JC
Posted By: Rockdoc Re: Manufrance Ideal - help with grade etc. - 06/20/11 02:27 PM
JC, I don't think the French really appreciate being referred to as frogs laugh
LOL!
Steve
Posted By: JayCee Re: Manufrance Ideal - help with grade etc. - 06/20/11 11:38 PM
Oops!

Good one Rockdoc! smile

JC
Thanks again guys!

Roy, it shoots great, dimensions near perfect for me, the hardened old recoil pad is slippery though, it will work better for me when that is replaced.

Postoak, it makes perfect sense that the Anson "push bitton" forend release be utilized on ejector guns, the lever would be in the same place as the ejector works.

Geno, JC, postoak, beautiful guns, thanks for sharing.


Here are a few (poor) photos of the case, sorry they are taken with phone not a quality camera.

One of the labels on the exterior is dated 1945 and is for checked luggage on the CNR (Canadian National Railway)and it is direcly on top of 2 or 3 other identical lables.

The other label is name and adress of a gentleman in Calgary Alberta.

Notice how the muzzles fit in the leather cup hinged to the frame of the case.







Mark
Posted By: JayCee Re: Manufrance Ideal - help with grade etc. - 06/21/11 04:32 PM
Hello Mark,

Nice vintage case that adds to the history of your fantastic find!

I am enclosing a photo of mine's stock with a Pachmyr English type pad I fitted for your reference.
I chose a black one that I think goes well with my stock colour. Maybe a brown/red one might go better with yours.


Good shooting,

JC
Posted By: Jeff G. Re: Manufrance Ideal - help with grade etc. - 06/23/11 02:59 PM
Hi Guys,

I'm a little late to this thread. What a beautiful Ideal. I think they are one of the nicest looking, sexy and well made shotguns I have ever handled. That said I have not found that I shoot either of mine really well. I am lucky enough to be the steward of 2 one is an early 1900's 3r with tons of case colors and lunette trigger guard. I also currently have (once Dustin's and Bill G's)a grade 6 which is truely a work of art. I don't have any pics handy to post and I am going to try to learn to shoot the 6 up to its potential this summer.

Jeff G.
Posted By: JayCee Re: Manufrance Ideal - help with grade etc. - 06/23/11 07:37 PM
Hello Jeff,

Here you go! This is your lunette:

and its flats:


How's that for cooperation!

Best,

JC
Posted By: Jeff G. Re: Manufrance Ideal - help with grade etc. - 06/24/11 08:12 PM
Hi JC

Thanks you really are a organized and computer savy friend. I will find some pics of the grade 6 and add them to this thread.

Thanks, Jeff
I'm resurrecting this thread from last summer because I was lucky enough to acquire the subject Manufrance Ideal and I have a couple questions still.

JayCee, you date the gun to 1921 in one of your posts but I have attached a listing I got from the seller, Mark Dube on this forum, and the serial number suggests the gun is from 1919. Any thoughts anyone?

Also, any suggestions for a good person to repair the case? Someone located in Canada would be Ideal (get it!) but more importantly would be to get it done well. A careful and accurate restoration is what I am looking for.

Jaycee and I use the look up table from the Mournetas book.
The table that you have comes from the Barrel making operation, which has little to do with the finished guns and has earlier dates.
Best regards,
WC
WC, Thank you. That clears it up for me as well as makes sense.
I am resurrecting this thread as a teaser for my fellow Manufrance Ideal aficionados. Over the next few months (up to a year) I will be providing some updates on this gun, a Grade 6R EE Excelsior, as some work has been done already and more is in the works. Hopefully this may provoke more Ideal discussion. See what I did there? wink

First thing I did, in the spring of 2015, was send the barrels to our friend Doug Woodin (PA24). Despite this being a French gun and having significant reservations about allowing it into his workshop (LOL) Doug took delivery of it and did a stellar job of blackening it. I also have some barrels done by our friend on this site, CJO, and with both of them, I can't imagine better work being possible. Doug also admitted that these actually were pretty okay barrels. High praise indeed from Doug.

The stock was badly in need of a refinish and to have that hardened old pad dealt with. So the gun is currently with our member Newf,(Chris Dawe) getting a much needed refinish. After much deliberation with Chris, I decided to have a horn butt plate made as a replacement for the pad. Also, Chris was able to determine original chequering was at a crazy 36 lpi. That has been the subject of a lot of thought and I have finally decided 36 is just too much....might as well not chequer it. So will likely go with something fine but not that fine.

Chris also found a crack in the wood in the inletting so that has been pinned and glassed. And a cracked leaf spring (although it has not failed yet). Working on getting a replacement out of France so a spare is handy. If it arrives before Chris is putting the gun back together, he will just install the new spring.

I put a lot of thought into having it CCH'd, as I have done on a few other restorations. But on this gun, I have decided not to. One has to try to get the right aesthetic balance, especially with redone barrels and stock, but I have come to believe this gun is best served by leaving the action alone. Although I could probably be swayed by a really good argument in favour. Haha.

And finally, in another thread on this site, Lefusil and Wingshooter16 got me thinking very hard about adding a second set of barrels to the gun. The original barrels, made in 1919 are 5 palm, 29" barrels choked mod and full. I have acquired a set of 4 palm, 25.5" original length barrels that will be opened to appropriate Ruffed Grouse/Quail chokes. These barrels were also made in 1919, also made for a Grade 6 gun. Currently, I am searching out the ejector iron to have a new forend made as we fit the new barrels to the gun. As the forend making/barrel fitting portion of the job starts later this year, likely after hunting season, I will update with photos.

I expect the gun to be back in my possession from Chris before the end of August. He tells me the wood is looking pretty okay. When it arrives I will be posting some updated pics of the gun, as well as some "work in progress" pics Doug took of the barrels.

I have also had that unique leather gun case restored as much as possible. It's original construction method and current condition made a restoration very difficult but we did the best we could. So I'll get some photos of that up as well.
Glad to see the Ideal thread resurrected. The French round action is a true treasure over here...Geo





Wish there were more of them around.
Posted By: Argo44 Re: Manufrance Ideal - help with grade etc. - 07/09/16 03:17 AM
Thanks for bringing this back. Re-reading it is an education. Love that stock.
Interesting that Mournetas puts the second set of barrels at 1922, but the manually typed page referenced above at 1919. What is the source of the latter?

Mike
Mike, according to Wildcattle, the typed list is a listing of when the barrels were made, not the guns.

I have had no one explain where the list originated.
James, I am really looking forward to seeing it when everything is done. The second set of barrels is quite a find.
Posted By: L. Brown Re: Manufrance Ideal - help with grade etc. - 07/12/16 12:59 PM
I must've missed this thread back when it originated. I'd think anyone with an Ideal would want to save it! Really nice gun, great find.
Larry,

An interesting aside is that James and I, and others, when we have work done on them, invariably get very positive feedback from the smiths who are encountering them for the first time. Action design, materials employed, and execution are typically cited.

Mike
Mike & Larry, further to Mike's comment, the gunsmith who has it now and has been doing the stock refinish, had not examined one before and is quite taken with the design as in "where do I get me one of these?" LOL Maybe not those exact words but you get my drift.

This is not the first time I have experienced that.
Posted By: JayCee Re: Manufrance Ideal - help with grade etc. - 07/12/16 11:46 PM
Hello All,

Great to see this thread again!

Canvasback, looking forward to seeing pictures of the gun.
Maybe too late, but perhaps the checkering could be the typical basket weave
some Idéals have.

The typed list was sent to me by a Frenchman who had "inherited" it from
an uncle who worked at Manufrance. I have not been able to remember where
I contacted him or if he contacted me :-(

Regards,

JC
Originally Posted By: JayCee
Hello All,

Great to see this thread again!

Canvasback, looking forward to seeing pictures of the gun.
Maybe too late, but perhaps the checkering could be the typical basket weave
some Idéals have.

The typed list was sent to me by a Frenchman who had "inherited" it from
an uncle who worked at Manufrance. I have not been able to remember where
I contacted him or if he contacted me :-(

Regards,

JC


Hi JC. Nice to hear from you. Hope all is well. Thanks for responding about the typed list. Now I will make some notes about where it came from. When the gun is back I will certainly be posting some photos.

As far as the chequering goes, I have really wrestled with this for a while. Original was the basket weave style at 36LPI. Problem is I hate the basket weave style. And 36 LPI is so fine I might as well not chequer at all. So I'm going with the original pattern, but doing it either in 28 or 32 and not basket weave.

I'll never be selling the gun so......originality is not as important as having the gun that I want.
I have been fortunate to receive some phone camera pics of the stock in process. What was obscured is being revealed, and it is a wonderful example of regia.

Dustin and others have made the point that the barrels could languish for years before being fitted to a gun. Yesterday I was cruising the French auction site, and found an Ideal with pattern welded tubes on a receiver with the modern single trigger guard- no lunettes, no doll's head, but those lovely brown barrels. Could have been 20 years of dust on the tubes before they were married to a receiver. What an adventure of discovery these guns are.

Mike
Originally Posted By: wingshooter16
I have been fortunate to receive some phone camera pics of the stock in process. What was obscured is being revealed, and it is a wonderful example of regia.

Dustin and others have made the point that the barrels could languish for years before being fitted to a gun. Yesterday I was cruising the French auction site, and found an Ideal with pattern welded tubes on a receiver with the modern single trigger guard- no lunettes, no doll's head, but those lovely brown barrels. Could have been 20 years of dust on the tubes before they were married to a receiver. What an adventure of discovery these guns are.

Mike


Mike, I saw that gun and really did a double take on the trigger guard. But it sure makes your point.
Posted By: JayCee Re: Manufrance Ideal - help with grade etc. - 07/13/16 01:18 PM
Just found this:

http://www.loire.fr/jcms/c_819765/manufrance-nous-devoile-ses-archives

Have not yet gone in but they should prove to be "interesting".

JC
Posted By: JayCee Re: Manufrance Ideal - help with grade etc. - 07/13/16 04:10 PM
Frustrating site. Nothing readily available!

JC
Posted By: Tamid Re: Manufrance Ideal - help with grade etc. - 07/13/16 05:40 PM
Originally Posted By: wingshooter16
Larry,

An interesting aside is that James and I, and others, when we have work done on them, invariably get very positive feedback from the smiths who are encountering them for the first time. Action design, materials employed, and execution are typically cited.

Mike


Mike,
That is so true. I currently have an Ideal with Martin Hagn who specializes in falling block actions and rifles. He has never had one in hand before and is quite taken with it.
Originally Posted By: Tamid
Originally Posted By: wingshooter16
Larry,

An interesting aside is that James and I, and others, when we have work done on them, invariably get very positive feedback from the smiths who are encountering them for the first time. Action design, materials employed, and execution are typically cited.

Mike


Mike,
That is so true. I currently have an Ideal with Martin Hagn who specializes in falling block actions and rifles. He has never had one in hand before and is quite taken with it.


David, I know it won't be cheap but here's to hoping Martin can rectify the problem created by the other gunsmith. He certainly is talented enough and having him like the gun must help, I would think.
Posted By: Tamid Re: Manufrance Ideal - help with grade etc. - 07/13/16 06:11 PM
James,

Martin is only working on some of the metal parts. Reworking the firing pins, hardening the cocking spur/hammer. He is reworking the pitch on the butt stock but that is the only wood work he agreed to do. He recommended someone else in BC that I do not know. I think I'll leave the wood work to Chris Dawe.
Another aside:

Three 16ga Ideals in Texas, top is a 314, then two No. 5's from the 1920's.



Posted By: GLS Re: Manufrance Ideal - help with grade etc. - 07/14/16 10:14 AM
Beautiful guns, Mike. Gil
Posted By: L. Brown Re: Manufrance Ideal - help with grade etc. - 07/14/16 12:22 PM
Mike--Do the safeties on those all work backwards to what you would normally expect? That is, forward is on safe, back is off. That was the case with my one and only Ideal, and I could not get used to it in a field gun. On the other hand, one virtue of the Ideal safety is that it's truly ambidextrous.
You are correct, Larry. It is not present on the early guns, and does really appear to be an "afterthought" or, "well, if you insist, we'll put one on." They often have varnish or crud underneath them, and don't work at all. The small button is only sufficient if the safety is working flawlessly. Milton's No.5, bottom of the three in the pic, has had a few alterations (which he is addressing). A sharp observer will note the soldered on extension to the safety.


Truth be told, and I guess I'm a little reluctant to openly admit this- I treat mine like a pigeon gun, relying on the safety between my ears, and the decocking feature. I have been taught, and think it's a good practice even hunting alone, to slip the safety off on the mount. Not possible with many of the Ideals, and those of us who love them adapt, preferring to view it as a mole on a supermodel. smile
Posted By: postoak Re: Manufrance Ideal - help with grade etc. - 07/15/16 01:21 AM
My lunette Ideal safety is on when to the front postion, and my NO6 is on when it is to the rear. The weak point of the Ideal is the safety, in my opinion.
It is stated that the gun that is the subject of this thread is a Grade 6R EE Excelsior. Earlier in the thread there is a list of other grades from 1921. Are any of the higher grades known to be in existence? I can only imagine what they might look like.

During 1921 the following grades were in use:
0 - 1 - 2 - 2/R - 3/R - 4/R -5/RE - 6/R - 6/RE - 6RE/E - 7RE/P - 9/P - 9/PE -
9RE/A - 205 - 206 - 208 - 210 - 9C/R - 10C/R - 12C/R
Originally Posted By: VictoryXC
It is stated that the gun that is the subject of this thread is a Grade 6R EE Excelsior. Earlier in the thread there is a list of other grades from 1921. Are any of the higher grades known to be in existence? I can only imagine what they might look like.

During 1921 the following grades were in use:
0 - 1 - 2 - 2/R - 3/R - 4/R -5/RE - 6/R - 6/RE - 6RE/E - 7RE/P - 9/P - 9/PE -
9RE/A - 205 - 206 - 208 - 210 - 9C/R - 10C/R - 12C/R


Sure there are. Here's one for sale now. I have saved pics of a number of others. This one is a bit gaudy for my taste. Maybe made for a Russian. LOL

http://www.naturabuy.fr/MAGNIFIQUE-IDEAL-356-AS-DE-PIC-item-2940019.html
Stunning gun, but a wee bit out of my price range. Well, maybe more than a wee bit.
Posted By: oskar Re: Manufrance Ideal - help with grade etc. - 07/20/16 09:27 PM
Another Ideal, although a low grade it is very unique. It is a Costo Super, from what I've been told by a Manufrance authority he's never seen one before other than in a catalog.

12ga, Robust style stepped barrels, snap-on forend and working retractable sling.





I did post this a number of years ago looking for info but as long as this thread has legs I thought I'd throw it in.
Oskar, what do you want to know about it? It is the same gun as what's called an MF Robust-Ideal, a hybrid of the two main models, Ideal and Robust. It was a marketing effort to reach a middle price point.

Your Costco version (nothing to do with big box retailers) was branded "Costco" in an effort to be able to sell essentially the same model of gun through a different (and usually conflicting) channel of distribution. Done by brands regularly, although besides with MF I'm not really familiar with gun companies doing it other than MF.

I have seen pics of Costco Ideals and Costco Robust Ideals. I've also seen a completely no name Ideal.
Posted By: oskar Re: Manufrance Ideal - help with grade etc. - 07/20/16 10:19 PM
Actually it is branded "Costo Super" not "Costco".

I have pretty much all the info on it from my earlier search. There was a writer from South America that has done some articles on MF shotguns that filled me in on the history of the Costo/Ideal.
Is it Supra or Super?
Posted By: oskar Re: Manufrance Ideal - help with grade etc. - 07/21/16 04:12 AM
It is "Costo Super"

Well, as long as the thread is still winding on and I love to have Ideal conversations...

Here's another La Manu mystery: it is generally agreed that barrels could languish for years before being fitted to receivers and completed. This would then explain the serial number on the barrels reflecting an earlier date than the production of the completed gun (though I believe the serial number on the gun, (in my observations "upside down" on the standing breech) matched the barrels.

But when did the barrels receive their serial number? I have purchased two sets of barrels in the white, "finished" except for fitting to the gun. Only the finished bore size is stamped on the barrels. Were they then only numbered when they went in for proof? Here are pics of the numberless barrels:




So I brought the set on the left in from France to fit to the No. 5 recently acquired, but it seems they are from the 1930's, or at the very least, later than the 1925 No. 5, and won't work. They are however identical to the 314, and if I had deep pockets they could be fitted to the 314 and thus would be born a 16 Ideal with three sets of barrels. Or I could exhibit some uncommon sense and have the originals opened up to make them more useful.

So many barrels, so few Ideals.

Mike
Posted By: L. Brown Re: Manufrance Ideal - help with grade etc. - 07/23/16 04:05 PM
Mike, if you keep at it, you may eventually have enough pieces to make up your own "Wingshooter's Special Model Ideal".
Well, bringing this thread back to the top as the gun has just returned from Newf's workshop having had the wood refinished and the crap old pad replaced with a beautiful carved horn butt plate that brings the LOP to a perfect 14 1/4" for me.

The final project for this gun, currently in the works, is a second barrel and forend set. Original barrels, made in 1919, are MF 5 palm 29" choked IM and full. The second set, also made in 1919, are factory original and untouched 4 palm 25". The chokes will be opened to yet to be decided grouse/woodcock chokes, a perfect complement to the original IM and full.

I think the wood turned out okay.









And let me offer a big thank you to Mark Dube from this site, who knew who to call when he found himself with an Ideal that wasn't right for him. Thanks Mark!
If Newf reads this you better tell him it came out way beyond "OK" and you are just being a doofus. I got an early peek at the pics, and when the first one came on my screen I literally gasped.

Looking forward to seeing and shooting it in just over a week

Mike
Stunning gun. I was never a fan of French guns, but this one is super sweet.
Posted By: BillK Re: Manufrance Ideal - help with grade etc. - 10/12/16 01:56 AM
Congratulations on getting her back. The wood looks stunning. BillK
Posted By: GLS Re: Manufrance Ideal - help with grade etc. - 10/12/16 12:17 PM
James, what a great job and fine piece of wood to work with. It looks like a slice of heavily marbled chocolate cake good enough to eat. wink Gil
Thanks Gil. Glad you are able to think about something other than Matthew. Newf, who did the work had to cancel an annual ptarmigan hunting trip because the the remnants. And another friend in Bermuda who needed immediate surgery had difficulty traveling to the US. These storms have affect a broad swath of us.
Posted By: Lloyd3 Re: Manufrance Ideal - help with grade etc. - 10/12/16 04:23 PM
What a gorgeous gun!
Gorgeous is the word for it!
Wow, wow, wow---oh, did I say WOW!!
James, I am looking forward to seeing it at our next SxS shoot. You must be thrilled with how it turned out. Stunning craftsmanship on the refinish.
Posted By: postoak Re: Manufrance Ideal - help with grade etc. - 10/14/16 12:22 AM
An exceptionally niece piece !
To all who've enjoyed the pics and commented, thank you for the kind words. I'm like a kid in the candy store....so excited as it turned out better than I ever imagined when I bought the gun.

Only problem is a big one.....it's making all my other SxS jealous and they have already started clamouring for new wood. I can hear them now...."make mine Turkish"...."I want honey"...."please can I have some marblecake?".
Originally Posted By: canvasback


Only problem is a big one.....it's making all my other SxS jealous and they have already started clamouring for new wood. I can hear them now...."make mine Turkish"...."I want honey"...."please can I have some marblecake?".


I'd be getting rid of all those other unruly guns that are complaining!
Seemed appropriate to add to James' thread, a report and pics from the restoration of my No. 5 Ideal which I just got back from Dennis Smith. After some metal work, the butt stock went to Dennis for dent removal (it traveled from France in the same box with James' Roblin that Doug fixed all those nasty dents on- the stock on mine looked like a kid learned how to use a hammer on it). Turned out to have a lot more hidden issues, which Dennis took in stride. The leather pad was briefly mounted using the existing screw holes to pattern the gun, then removed so Dennis could fit another pad for me. Here is a "before" of the dents:








And Dennis' flawless internal repairs and refinishing:









Planning on linking up with James and my shooting mentor Steve Voss later next week in the Sandhills of Nebraska, where I'm sure James and I will inspect and try each other's guns, and even take a sharpie or two.

Mike
Posted By: postoak Re: Manufrance Ideal - help with grade etc. - 10/15/16 08:10 PM
I like the nice straight figure in that stock.
Looking good Mike. Dennis did nice work. Can't wait to shoulder it!
Posted By: postoak Re: Manufrance Ideal - help with grade etc. - 10/15/16 09:35 PM
James it is too bad I will not get to meet you up in the Sandhills, maybe some other time I can make it.
Rocky, Mike doesn't know this yet but I intend to invade Texas. I don't know if you've heard this but water freezes up here. I don't like that unless I have two long boards strapped to my feet. Then it's tolerable.

I'll look forward to getting together one day soon! laugh
Posted By: postoak Re: Manufrance Ideal - help with grade etc. - 10/16/16 03:53 AM
And don't believe a word of what those two say about me smile
^^^^ Hahahahahaha! Dude, I have photos. laugh
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