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#589969 01/14/21 11:42 AM
Joined: Jan 2021
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Boxlock
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Greetings! Long-time lurker here who finally signed up for an account to be able to get in on the conversations more.

I recently picked up a Post-'23 French SxS at auction and wondered if I was missing anything from the marks. I figure Argo44 would catch anything I might have missed, but there's really only one mark that is a bit of mystery to me.

For all appearances, this seems to be a St. Etienne Guild-made 12ga SxS with 65mm chambers and 18.3 for the "choke" on both barrels giving it the equivalent of an IC choke in US terms. Single smokeless proof on each barrel along with the initials E.M. under the choke/rectefie mark. "Compressed Rolled Steel" for the barrel material. The only mystery mark to me is the M "Star" M near the rib on the left barrel. Not sure if this gives a clue as the manufacturer of the barrel or not. It's obviously a A&D style boxlock and I assume the action bolt is of the VC helical design, but have not investigated yet.

The engraving of holly leaves and berries on the fences is fantastic and I quite like the rest of the engraving as well. The wrist, unfortunately, is cracked through. It came completely apart when I released the trigger plate and tang tension taking it apart last night to see what repair would need to be effected. Luckily, the break is extremely clean with no missing chips, and when pressed back together, is seamless to the eye. 3/32 diameter brass stock repair rods are inbound along with some Acraglas gel from Brownell's to get it back together and reinforced. The forend is chipped on the left front above the checkering border and there's a crack near the center as well. This too will be properly repaired. The bores are pitted, but not very deeply giving me hope that a simple, gentle elongation of the forcing cones with a mild hone by a professional will take care of the worst of it. The original horn buttplate shows the usual signs of insect activity, but other than the wrist break and crack at the forend, the wood is good structurally overall.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Here's the damage to the wood:

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
[img]https://i.imgur.com/O4kv8bz.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i.imgur.com/GGLrSX7.jpg[/img]

The only question I have other than "Did I miss anything?" is how to get the trigger guard separated from the plate. I assume is like any other double where it is threaded and screws into the plate, but it won't budge left or right which made getting the plate and tang separated a little difficult. Can't tell if it's rusted in place, or if there's some esoteric French system of removing them. Any help would be appreciated as I'd like to get a thorough cleaning done.

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It appears to be a typical french guild gun. Yes the trigger guard should unscrew from the action. Try some penetrating oil, or heat. To get the tail out of the wood, tap the back of the guard with screwdriver or hammer handle, that should pop it out. Good luck.

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Tallen, you've got all the marks that I can see. Afraid I can't help much.

I have seen a Jean Breuil barrel mark with a Star.....So, going only on this, it may be that M (Star) M is the barrel maker:
[Linked Image from jpgbox.com]

I've also seen a "Choke Rectifie" stamp with the barrel borer's initials on it...which may be what you have.
[Linked Image from jpgbox.com]

I looked at the 1951 list of gun makers in Saint Etienne but unfortunately there are only last names on it so can't winnow this down further without some additional research. Here are the "M"'s:

Maisonnial Aimé, 13 rue Clément Forissier ;
Manufacture Française d’Armes et de Cycles, Cours Fauriel ;
Manufacture Nationale d’Armes, 2 rue Javelin Pagnon ;
Marnas, 13 rue du Rozier ;
Marsault, 6 boulevard Valbenoîte ;
Martin-Dubost, 38 rue Badouillère ;
Mathieu, 25 rue Badouillère ;
Maumey Jean-Baptiste, 35 rue Mulatière ;
Meunier, 7 rue Jean-Baptiste David ;
Montagny Aîné, 48 rue Gambetta ;
Montcoudiol Lucien (Mécanique), Saint-Bonnet-le-Château ;

We discussed a number of times the "Helice" key. Verney Caron patented a top key and trademarked it three times under various names but none of them were simply "Helice." That word came to be stamped on a lot of French keys, as it came to be associated with "Quality." Larry finally showed what the difference was. A VC top key will not have a slot in the key - VC turned it around so it never needs adjusting. A Scott Spindle top key has a slot in it:
[Linked Image from jpgbox.com]

Last edited by Argo44; 01/16/21 11:26 PM.

Baluch are not Brahui, Brahui are Baluch
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It is a Helice.



Serbus,

Raimey
rse

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It is a Helice.


Serbus,

Raimey
rse

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It is A >>Helice<<.


Serbus,

Raimey
rse

Joined: Jan 2021
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Boxlock
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Boxlock

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I figured as much, but felt it was worth checking just in case I was missing something!

FWIW, I'm just a bit across the river from you, Argo44. Up in the Agricultural Reserve of Montgomery County near Damascus. This gun came out of a not-well-advertised online auction in Howard County. I picked it up for very little, especially by today's standards in pricing. There was a very nice William Evans .410 Bore in the original case in the auction as well. Had I had the money to bid on it, I would have. Ultimately it went for just $1030. The most interesting part was that there was still a receipt for the sale of it to whoever brought it over from Scotland for £1 in what looks like 1941 or 1971 depending on the hard to see third number of the year. I wish I could have won that one! https://maryland.hibid.com/lot/8076...a-shotgun/?ipp=10&q=&ref=catalog

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That is a good solid shooter. Needs a bit of work but nothing that extreme. Think of it as a learning tool. Many here can help guide you step by step if needed. Or YouTube has several good videos on minor wood repairs.

Funny thing about most French guns we see here is that they are almost all lower grade guns. I wonder if they hid them when the Nazis came and never came back in GI bags or I’d higher graded guns just never we sold in any numbers. Perhaps the later I think.

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This one is definitely a contender for GI bring-back status.

I cleaned the bores the day I got it home by running a 12ga bore snake through it with Remington Bore Bright. It was dirty, but not awful. I started inspecting the interior and saw what looked like a bunch of dirt where the chambers meet the forcing cones, so I poked around a bit and found that it was waxed paper from old-style shotshells. I continued cleaning and eventually ran one of the Hoppes Tornado-Style bore brushes down it which really pulled the paper out. Lots and lots of flecks of waxed reddish-orange paper. I figure it hasn't been fired since the 40s or 50s at the latest given that fact. It was all old and fragile, not new production stuff. The lack of any importation marks makes me think it's a Pre-68 bring-back or import regardless.

I'm looking forward to fixing it up and getting it back into action taking pheasants and chukar up in PA.

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Raimey, you know that's not going to work.....when you say something quickly three times, to make it true, you also have to jump in the air and click your heels three times at the same time. smile

Tallen, the 18.3 won't give you the chokes. You'll have to run a bore check thingy. I would bet the chokes are tight, .024 or higher. And I am curious about that "DA 8883" or something like that, I can't play with contrast etc. enough to make it out, on the barrel. What is it?
[Linked Image from jpgbox.com]

I believe 8 bore lives close to you too.

Last edited by Argo44; 01/14/21 04:43 PM.

Baluch are not Brahui, Brahui are Baluch
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