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topgun Offline OP
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The 1902 and 1903 large Syracuse Arms catalogs were the only factory produced catalogs to feature the full SAC grades line up (sans the hammer gun), and special attention was paid to the five high grade models (grades A, A-1, B, C, and D) in that the grade depictions included both a side and bottom view of what the maker claimed were actual guns. From studying those depictions I was able to read the Grade A and Grade D gun serial number (#25317 and #25307 respectively), while serial numbers on the A-1, B, and C Grade guns were either partially legible; or completely illegible. The catalog featured D Grade was located 20 years ago and is still with the same owner; but I'd never located the A Grade and had no idea if it still existed (this same A Grade is also featured in the 1905 pocket catalog). But that search has now ended as SAC gun #25317 surfaced at the just completed Amoskeag auction and was purchased by a SAC collector in California. Unlike the D Grade catalog gun it saw lots of use, but is still intact with no after-market mods. As a SAC collector I'm happy to finally learn that this example still survives after 118 years, and thought some forum members might appreciate knowing that fact also.

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Mr. Topgun, I wonder whether the SAC catalogs will be reproduced? Those Cornell copies sure are useful...Geo

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I've no idea George. I've given thought to having mine reproduced, but both my '02 and '03 catalogs are very delicate and I don't want to risk damage. And further, if they were reproduced I've wondered how a reproduction might impact the value of the originals; and the originals I have very not inexpensive. For instance, I'm aware of three original 1903 catalogs, and one of those sold on eBay a few years ago for better than $1200 (that same catalog sold in a private sale about 3 years ago, although I'm not aware of the price). I've no idea what my SAC catalog collection would bring today, but I'm reluctant to take a chance on reducing the value of the originals because I allowed mine to be reproduced. The only thing I can say for sure regarding SAC catalogs is that they are extremely hard to come by. Tom

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Someone gave me a copy of his family's gun company catalog from long ago. It was gifted to me with the proviso that I never allow anyone to copy it. I think it was his intent to use it in a book he might write one day. Can't say as I blame him. Or you...Geo

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Not to jump in on this thread but a couple months ago i ran into one of these shotguns in grade 2 in very nice condition case hardening visable with 24 in. barrels that dont appear to have been cut [???] also the Damascus barrels are in exc. cond. inside and out. the pistol grip bottom is flat. I located a second set of steel barrels which I am fitting. also automatic ejectors serial#26432 I didn't know if you are collecting info. if so i hope this is helpful.
regards

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Thanks pod, and in answer to your question, I haven't collected serial number information in many years now; my current focus being on unusual guns and new research data. But your Grade 2 was one of SAC's most popular models with beautiful Damascus patterned barrels and retailed at $50 (suggested) with auto-ejectors and $55 if fitted with the ejector on/off device. Your serial number would indicate yours to be what is know as a "Second Variation Model" with stock head in-letted into the frame, double top bolt, strengthened top strap, and modified safety slide. If your gun was ordered with the ejector on/off device, it would be a bit rare as that device is seldom seen on guns below Grade A. In 12-bore, barrels were never cataloged shorter than 28" but I own a Grade 3 light weight gun special ordered with 26" barrels; so who's to say someone couldn't order 24" tubes? But I've also owned SAC guns with 18" and 20" barrels and can attest that those tubes were definitely cut (and one of those guns was a rare BE grade). Your serial number would date your gun to 1902. Good luck with your barrel fitting; and if you don't know already, barrels from the three different production periods are not interchangeable so your replacement set should have a serial number in the approximate range of 245XX to 335XX (there is some overlap).

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Originally Posted By: topgun
Thanks pod, and in answer to your question, I haven't collected serial number information in many years now; my current focus being on unusual guns and new research data. But your Grade 2 was one of SAC's most popular models with beautiful Damascus patterned barrels and retailed at $50 (suggested) with auto-ejectors and $55 if fitted with the ejector on/off device. Your serial number would indicate yours to be what is know as a "Second Variation Model" with stock head in-letted into the frame, double top bolt, strengthened top strap, and modified safety slide. If your gun was ordered with the ejector on/off device, it would be a bit rare as that device is seldom seen on guns below Grade A. In 12-bore, barrels were never cataloged shorter than 28" but I own a Grade 3 light weight gun special ordered with 26" barrels; so who's to say someone couldn't order 24" tubes? But I've also owned SAC guns with 18" and 20" barrels and can attest that those tubes were definitely cut (and one of those guns was a rare BE grade). Your serial number would date your gun to 1902. Good luck with your barrel fitting; and if you don't know already, barrels from the three different production periods are not interchangeable so your replacement set should have a serial number in the approximate range of 245XX to 335XX (there is some overlap).


Top... whats the weight of your grade 3? We'd love to see pics?

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To be honest Mr. Battle, I'm technologically challenged and therefore haven't figured out the photo posting thing, but if you'll forward your email addy to tomarcher@charter.net I'll be glad to take and share some; although please be aware that Doc Drew has declared me photo challenged also, so they may not be great. By the way, period cataloged weights for SAC 12-bores were 6 1/2 to 8 1/2 pounds; this example weighs in at about 6 lbs. 9 oz. as I recall.

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Thanks, Tom. I have a low grade, 1902, SAC and find the guns fascinating. Glad to hear one of the higher grade guns lives.

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Philbert, although the Grade 3 was a higher grade, it was not considered high grade by the company. Nowadays finding a SAC gun that has survived in near new condition seems virtually impossible; but if one can be obtained that individual will be amazed at the quality and attention to detail given even the lowest grade SAC gun. One of our members here has a near new SAC Grade O gun that is stunning, and perhaps he'll post photos if he sees this thread.
I'm privileged to own a 1901 vintage Grade 00 12-bore, the lowest grade and a $29 gun at retail in 1901, that has survived virtually unused and the quality and attention to detail in that gun is amazing; wood to metal fit is flawless, and all screw slots are perfectly qualified.
Most of the survivors we see today have been used and abused to the point that they are ugly undesirable beaters, but high condition survivors are beautiful guns and there is little wonder why low grade SAC guns were good sellers in their time.

Battle - I believe our Friend David Noreen will be posting some pics of the above referenced Grade 3 gun soon.

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