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Argo44:

I was wondering when you would reply with that exact verbiage.

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It's D.A. 6665. 6665 is stamped on the water table, flats, both triggers, the floor plate, and possibly other parts I haven't gotten to yet. So I'm assuming that's the serial number or at least a number to prevent mixing of parts since everything seems to be hand-fitted to some degree. The only place the D.A. appears before the number is there on the barrels. D.A. may be the maker's initials?

I have some digital calipers for my reloading bench, would that work for determining the choke?

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The barrels look quite long. You can measure the constriction but the measurement of choke is empirical; a pattern effort being dependent on shotsize.

I assume >>E.M.<< and >>M.*M.<< are related?

Can you pleasure us w/ a pic of the water-table?


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Do I read the steel type on the flats as >>Acier Comprime<< over >>Surlamine<<??

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I'll post a picture of the water-table tomorrow. Not much there, just the 6665 and a single smokeless proof. And yes, you do read the steel type correctly. Acier Comprime Surlamine. If my high school French serves me well, It means "Rolled Compressed Steel" (Literally Steel, Compressed, Rolled) with "Surlamine" being a somewhat obscure method of saying "rolled" specifically for metal. (Google Translate even has it listed in the "see more translations" for "rolled")

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Ronchard Cizeron in the 1890's began stamping his barrels "Acier Comprime" which was a direct translation of the Whitworth steel "Compressed Steel" mark.
[Linked Image from jpgbox.com]

https://www.doublegunshop.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=557199&page=4

Whitworth steel barrels appeared in 1875:

Whitworth fluid compressed steel was invented by Mr. Joseph Whitworth, who we already talked about when discussing polygonal bore rifling and the Whitworth rifle. Mr. Whitworth was the eminent mechanical engineer of his day and came up with a way of producing a stronger cast steel. His process consists of melting a steel ingot into a mold and applying pressure of up to 6 tons/sq. inch to the mold while the steel is in a liquid state. The pressure drives out all the gases and eliminates blowholes in the cast steel. It also increases the density and strength of the steel. According to W.W. Greener's book, The Gun and its Development, with the introduction of choke boring in shotgun barrels, whitworth steel was found very suitable for this process and started replacing damascus barrels, and he mentions in 1875, "Whitworth steel was giving great satisfaction for rifle barrels, a leading London gun-maker adopted it for shotgun barrels." The leading London gun-maker was Purdey & Sons, who used Whitworth steel exclusively for years after that. Use of Whitworth steel for gun-making spread to America as well and well known makers such as Parker, L.C. Smith and Lefevre were making guns using this steel, way into the 1930s.

This DGS line discussed it in 2007...Whitworth patented his compressed steel in 1874; 1st Purdey with Whitworth barrels delivered 1 Jan 1880, ordered 3 years previously.
https://www.doublegunshop.com/forums/ubb...&PHPSESSID=


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Re "D.A." I'm sort of leaning towards "Alloni" (fnu) as being the gun maker.
Alloni, 12 boulevard Valbenoîte

Nothing to go on....no more specific info...but there is a girl in Saint Etienne named "Alloni-Berger"...Gun maker families intermarried. (Weak reasoning of course)
https://www.verif.com/societe/ALLONI-BERGER-NATHALIE-492909361/


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Originally Posted by Argo44
Ronchard Cizeron in the 1890's began stamping his barrels "Acier Comprime" which was a direct translation of the Whitworth steel "Compressed Steel" mark.
[Linked Image from jpgbox.com]

https://www.doublegunshop.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=557199&page=4

Whitworth steel barrels appeared in 1875:

Whitworth fluid compressed steel was invented by Mr. Joseph Whitworth, who we already talked about when discussing polygonal bore rifling and the Whitworth rifle. Mr. Whitworth was the eminent mechanical engineer of his day and came up with a way of producing a stronger cast steel. His process consists of melting a steel ingot into a mold and applying pressure of up to 6 tons/sq. inch to the mold while the steel is in a liquid state. The pressure drives out all the gases and eliminates blowholes in the cast steel. It also increases the density and strength of the steel. According to W.W. Greener's book, The Gun and its Development, with the introduction of choke boring in shotgun barrels, whitworth steel was found very suitable for this process and started replacing damascus barrels, and he mentions in 1875, "Whitworth steel was giving great satisfaction for rifle barrels, a leading London gun-maker adopted it for shotgun barrels." The leading London gun-maker was Purdey & Sons, who used Whitworth steel exclusively for years after that. Use of Whitworth steel for gun-making spread to America as well and well known makers such as Parker, L.C. Smith and Lefevre were making guns using this steel, way into the 1930s.

This DGS line discussed it in 2007...Whitworth patented his compressed steel in 1874; 1st Purdey with Whitworth barrels delivered 1 Jan 1880, ordered 3 years previously.
https://www.doublegunshop.com/forums/ubb...&PHPSESSID=




Salut Argo44

Jean Didier était le fils de Jean-Pierre Didier et de Marie Drevet. Il est né à Saint-Etienne le 9 septembre 1856. épouse à Saint-Etienne le 25 novembre 1882, Fleurine Mathaud (Saint-Etienne, 4 août 1859), couturière 7 rue du Haut Vernay. Jean Didier est alors canonnier 5 rue du Haut Vernay. En 1883, il est canonnier au 14 de la rue du Haut Vernay et en 1888, au 11 Grande rue Saint-Roch. Associé à la veuve de Ronchard-Cizeron par acte du 22 juillet 1901, il fonde la société Didier et Cie, dans laquelle la veuve Ronchard-Cizeron est majoritaire. Ils déposent les marques « déposé - acier comprimé » au-dessus et au-dessous d'une presse le 12 août 1904 et « RC rectifié » de part et d'autre et au-dessous d'une médaille le 28 novembre 1907. Didier et Cie, rassemblant les ateliers et les marques de Didier-Drevet et Ronchard-Cizeron, sont hors-concours comme membre du jury à Saint-Etienne en 1904, à Liège en 1905, primés à Londres en 1908, à Bruxelles en 1910 et à Turin en 1911. Didier et Cie obtiennent également la médaille d'or du prix Escoffier de la Chambre de commerce en 1904 pour leur canon plume « Euréka » et sa cale unique en acier mandriné, breveté
Il décède à Saint-Etienne en décembre 1940.

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RE Jean Didier:

Excuse the somewhat sloppy translation. Google Translate is getting better and better, but it's still not perfect. I found the following regarding the history of the Jean Didier lineage and gun-making.

"At the origin of the "light" from 1925

Canons Plume: this name, which dates back more than a century, remains familiar to us. But the multiplicity of brands with which it has been associated makes it difficult to reconstruct its history. The many branches of the armor lineage that gave birth to him add further to the confusion.

If you have a rifle with Plume cannons in your hands, you might run into a lot of confusion as to its origin, but there are two things you can be sure of. A Plume barrel is always associated with the specific markings of the Saint-Etienne proofhouse and necessarily equips a French rifle manufactured in the interwar period, but whose use may have continued until the 1960s, when the juxtaposed will give way to superimposed, with in particular the fashion of sporting and ball-trap.

The Didier-Drevet line

The invention of the principle of the Plume barrel is due to a Saint-Etienne gunsmith, Jean-Pierre Didier (1831-?). Initially a gun sharpener in Rochetaillée, in the Loire region, he moved to Saint-Etienne in 1862 as a gunner, at 7 rue de Villeboeuf. After his marriage to Marie Drevet in 1855, he changed the name of his brand, which became Didier-Drevet, often mistaken for the first name and the name of the manufacturer. We find traces of the firm in 1868, at the Saint-Etienne exhibition. From 1870, Jean-Pierre Didier was assistant controller on the proofhouse. In 1887, he became president of the Chambre Syndicale des Manufacturers de Cannons de la Loire, a founding member of the Conservatory of Fine Arms and of the Christian Corporation of Stéphanois Armourers. Above all, he obtained several grand prizes at the Universal Exhibitions of Paris in 1889 and 1900. A year earlier, in 1899, he registered the Canons Plume Eureka brand. Some confusion may have arisen with his parent Joannès Didier (1874-1954), also a gunsmith, awarded a gold medal at the Saint-Etienne exhibition in 1904. However, it was also in 1904 that Didier et Cie , which, as we will see immediately, is the mark of the son of JeanPierre Didier, was awarded the gold medal of the Escoffier prize from the chamber of commerce for its Eureka feather barrel with a single chock in mandrinated steel. But the Plume barrel is to be linked to the founder of the Didier-Drevet brand and to his son, Jean (1856-1940), as well as to the latter's sons, Pierre (1883-1969) and Clément (1888-1955) . Jean-Pierre Didier handed over to Jean in 1920. The latter was himself a gunner, first rue du Haut-Vernay, then at 11 Grande-Rue-Saint-Roch. We owe him a fruitful association, from 1901, with the widow Ronchard-

Cizeron. Together, they will deposit the markings "compressed steel" and "rectified RC". With their Plume cannon, the two workshops, united under the name of Didier et Cie, will truster European laurels: Liège (1905), London (1908), Brussels (1910), Turin (1911). What about the Didierfusil and Didierétui brands, which are probably just as much, if not more familiar to us? They are those of ClémentMarius Didier (1888-1955), another son of the founder, who after having been associated with his father and his brother, had to continue alone after the retirement of the first in 1920 and the cessation of activity of the second after the First. World War which had left him amputated of a leg. In 1920, Clément - Marius Didier therefore founded the company Didier Fils, still in Saint-Etienne, which successively sits on rue Cizeron, Tissot and des Mouliniers. Its productions are Anson system weapons and classic or Plume cannons.

On a diet before everyone else!

The particularity of these tubes, pioneers in the quest for lightness, is that they do not have an intermediate band thanks to an assembly by a single brazed wedge. The pointed aiming micro-band is nicknamed eagle's beak and provides quality aim despite its three small centimeters. The absence of a real sighting strip allows a saving of 200 g compared to traditional guns. Thinning the tubes here and there, while preserving a sufficient thickness in the sensitive parts (at the level of the chokes and the connection with the grenadières in particular), makes it possible to subtract another hundred grams. This gives a rifle that is both light (2.6 kg in 12, and this well before the war!), Handy (often with 68 cm tubes) and totally modular, "à la carte", like the majority of productions. high profile of the interwar period; everything was available, turntables, English sticks, marbling… The Didierfusil house favors quality over quantity, limiting itself to a production of 500 units per year, guaranteed for five years. Although having actively participated in the war effort, the manufacturer who never ceased to struggle with financial problems throughout the duration of his activity, closed in 1924. The Didierfusil and DidierDrevet brands were however taken over by Laspoussas-Driol which , until 1950, perpetuates and renews the genre with “Didierfusil 1919 OP, registered trademark”. Laspoussas had already absorbed, in 1923, the Berthon brothers, creators of the Perfecta lock-plate rifles and themselves depositaries since 1910 of Martin Gesret, grand prize of the Paris exhibition of 1900 and Liège of 1905. Martin was the son of Antoine Gesret (1830-1914), founder of the Chambre Syndicale in 1885 and Secretary General of the Union des armuriers Stéphanois from 1903. This way of making light guns caught in a hoop will quickly be envied and copied, and that at big day from the moment it falls into the public domain. Darne and especially the gunner Fanget, with his Epervier model which would equip many Saint-Etienne weapons until the 1950s, used the fret devices of the Plume guns. In 1930, Didierfusil joined Sifarm (Industrial Company for the Manufacture of Hunting Weapons), a merger of small artisans (Berthon, Francisque Darne, Gerest, Ronchard-Cizeron) who, through this association, try to increase their resistance commercial in the face of competition from Manu, which was then running at full speed. Maisonnial equips its rifles, already renowned for their finesse both in quality and weight, with Plume barrels on request. Good level armories, such as Vouzelaud, ordered several of these weapons just before their production was stopped in 1965. Louis Zavattero, whose house was founded in 1880 and will disappear in 1968, supported by his son Joanny, makes a rifle Zedef Plume on barrels signed Jean Breuil. Note that the manufacturer has also given in the Darne process. Didier-Drevet has become a brand, if not forgotten at least, very little known, but many Stéphanois rifles from the 1930s and 1960s, not always easy to identify, are stamped with its famous guns. They ceased to be produced in 1963, when Verney-Carron took over both Sifarm and the Jean Breuil company, but without subsequent use of their processes. The Sagittarius, and its countless variations since its inception in 1968, is something of the descendant of those lightweight rifles, which hold the attention of today's connoisseurs. They come to us most often in good condition as the hunters who agreed before the war to put a significant price on a quality weapon knew how to take care of them. They bequeathed us Feathers whose liveliness is still astonishing today, still just as effective in the face of rapid woodcock and snipe."

Original article here: https://www.pressreader.com/france/armes-de-chasse/20180619/281517931826233


As for my particular gun, I may try my best to post it over at Chasse Passion (French hunting site and forum) to see if there's any other info out there that we simply don't see on this side of the pond due to the language barriers and search algorithm issues. Unless they have some insight into the M-star-M mark or the "D.A." or "E.M." marks, I doubt there's much more we'll learn though.

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Originally Posted by Argo44
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.

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]

One small point: Neither of the guns shown in Argo's photos is a Verney Carron. Trademarks are very specific. One of the V-C trademarks is "Helice Grip". Note there's only one P. Other makers could avoid violating the V-C trademark by adding a 2nd P, as in those photos.

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