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Thread: Unknown Shotgun

  1. #1
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    Unknown Shotgun

    Found an unknown shotgun in an old turquoise mine in the Mojave around 1979 or 80.
    Wondering if anyone has heard of it. I'm sure its just a an old trade name gun but can't figure it out.
    It's a 12ga pump. On side it says BE ARMS CO. It has a 5 digit serial number stamped in several places.
    Brass front sight. wood on slide looks like mahogany or cherry wood. Stock is missing.

    Dawson
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  2. #2
    Supporting Member weaselfire's Avatar
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    Welcome to Gun Tips and Talk!

    Pretty sure that's a Union Arms model 24. They sold through all kinds of retailers, Sears, Montgomery Ward's, etc. so the markings may be for a specific seller. Likely early 1900's, pre WWI, Union Arms redesigned it just before WW1.

    The front "trigger" is actually the set, or cocking trigger and the rear is the actual trigger. They're really similar to the old Spencer design, except the Spencer kicked the spent shells out the top. The slide that kicks back is notorious for wreaking havoc on many shooters' thumbs as they gripped the stock. The stock is likely walnut, which was very common on guns of the era. No rib on it so it wasn't one of the Sears/Union Arms trap guns that were popular at the time.

    Unfortunately, in its present condition, it's not worth much. Even in decent condition they're not terribly collectible and still usually sell for under $200. Also, it may be a laminated or Damascus barrel (can't tell from photos) and unsafe to shoot with any modern ammunition. Ithaca bought Union Arms back in the early 1900's, so they might be able to provide some sort of provenance (doubtful).

    Cool conversation piece though. Did you get any turquoise?

    Jeff

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