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100 year old Crescent Victor 12 Ga -- Doorstop, Truck Gun, or Wall-Hanger?

Discussion in 'Rifle Discussion' started by fireninja13, Feb 4, 2014.

  1. fireninja13

    fireninja13 Newberg / Portland Metro Active Member

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    So, yesterday I picked up a Crescent Arms Victor -- a 12 gauge break-top single-action, single-shot shotgun. It is likely about 100 years old, given that the manufacturer went out of business in the 1930s.

    It was a very inexpensive purchase -- about $100, plus a few bucks for gas money as the guy delivered it to me :cool: I was chained to my desk with a lot of work, he was eager. . . guy probably needed rent money. . . Honestly, tossing him $20 was probably cheaper than driving to meet him in the 35 year old lifted v8 monstrosity I call a van.

    I have nicer shottys of course -- figured I can't go wrong for $100. This one was intended as a doorjamb or truck gun. Something that wont break my heart if it ends up stolen or (god forbid) in a police evidence room.

    So, what I know is:

    1) The "Genuine Arsenal Steel" stamped on the barrel (supposedly) indicates it was a later production steel barrel (not the really old Damascus style) intended for use with smokeless powder, so I *should* be able to fire modern ammo in it, so long as I don't go too crazy. But it is really really old. . .

    2) At some point someone cut it down to the current 18.5" barrel length as they never left the factory that way. They did a halfway decent job, and even installed a brass bead sight. So it is legal short barrel, completely un-choked and thus pretty much only suited for doorstop/truck gun close-range, "social work" or unruly animal type situation.

    3) it actually seems mechanically sound and stout -- really not much wear at all on the inside, locks up tight, no rust, most bluing and case hardening is still there. Appears to function fine. Even has a rebounding hammer "safety." Nice simple mechanism. And I like the "patina of age" that 100 years of rural service imparts to a weapon.

    So questions for the wise folks hereabouts:

    1) The barrel is marked "Genuine Arsenal Steel" and I can load whatever shell size I want -- there is no headspace issues. . . But I'm thinking no slugs or magnum buckshot. . . I'm guessing I should stick to relatively weak loads like 2.75" heavy dove. . . Opinions? anyone with any experience shooting similar guns?

    2) Should I cut the stock down and make a poor-mans Lupra? I'm kind leaning this way given that the barrel is already cut down I can do it guilt free. Probably would make it pretty rough to shoot, but I also think it would look pretty cool, and be pretty small. . . anyone with experience here?

    3) It it too likely to go from boomstick to KA-BOOMstick? And should I just hang this on the wall next to the .45 cal muzzle loader?

    thanks NWFA!

    Crescent_victor_boomstick.jpg

    Crescent_victor_boomstick.jpg
     
  2. BillM

    BillM Amity OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Stick with 2 3/4" (it was made WAY before 3" and 3 1/2" existed). Keep them
    light----no baby magnums.

    If you do decide to cut it down, remember you need to stay over 26" overall.
    That's what they tried to get Randy Weaver on---less than 26" overall.

    $100? Sounds fair. You can buy a new NEF for $89 around here on sale,
    but they don't have that 100 yr patina on them.;)
     
    Outdoorxj and (deleted member) like this.
  3. 44mag2ndamend

    44mag2ndamend Round the ole tree stump, Down by the crick Well-Known Member

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    Door stop special, welcome to my home muther bubblegumer.

    Always a back up close by!
     
    fireninja13 and (deleted member) like this.
  4. slingshot1943

    slingshot1943 salem or Well-Known Member

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    I have an old double barrel about that vintage. I just shoot 2 3/4 low base in it.
     
  5. Swedish K

    Swedish K SW Washington Moderator Staff Member

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    I picked up a Crescent double that someone cut to 20" that needs a little TLC so it locks up tight. In the 20s/30s the factory was on Broadway in NYC - how times have changed. Personally I wouldn't run any magnum loads and avoid anything over 2 3/4" shells. Hope you enjoy your truck gun.
     
    fireninja13 and (deleted member) like this.
  6. Outdoorxj

    Outdoorxj Wilsonville Active Member

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    I see them for 150 :(
     
  7. jbett98

    jbett98 NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Any choke marked on the barrel?
     
  8. fireninja13

    fireninja13 Newberg / Portland Metro Active Member

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    Thanks for the reminder on that! I just measured and if I were to follow the line of the handle it would be 25.5" D*amnit!

    Oh well. She looks pretty ok with the stock too. I suppose if I ever decide I have too much time, I can carve a completely new one.
     
  9. fireninja13

    fireninja13 Newberg / Portland Metro Active Member

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    Nothing marked on the barrel, and any choke disappeared when she was cut down to 18.5" -- wide open barrel as of now :)
     
  10. fireninja13

    fireninja13 Newberg / Portland Metro Active Member

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    Here is a better shot of the patina -- you can see remnants of the case hardening on the receiver. Gotta love the chipped old bakelite cap on the stock and the crooked hand stamped serial numbers ;)

    View attachment 78164
     
  11. fireninja13

    fireninja13 Newberg / Portland Metro Active Member

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    Currently leaning in the doorframe, loaded w/ 2 3/4 Heavy Dove shot. Welcome to NE Portland!
     
  12. jbett98

    jbett98 NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    You could add a rubber butt plate to make it longer overall.
     
  13. fireninja13

    fireninja13 Newberg / Portland Metro Active Member

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    It's plenty long enough with the stock on -- its just too short if I cut it down to a pistol grip by following the shape that is already there.
     
  14. Phillyfan

    Phillyfan Oregon City, Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Fun purchase. You know, that is one of the things I love about gun collecting. How many other antiques can you get that can be over a hundred years old and they can still work almost as well as anything you could buy today? I hunt with a swastika marked german mauser k98 built in 1942 that groups at less than 3/4 of an inch at 100 yards. Amazing that even after 70 years, my gun can shoot with any top shelf gun made today. Enjoy your gun and love the wear and tear it has earned over its lifetime.
     
  15. Phillyfan

    Phillyfan Oregon City, Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    After all, even though few of us look as good as we used to that doesn't mean we are worthless.
     
  16. stavros4570

    stavros4570 eugene,or. Member

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    Be a shame to cut the stock off such a beautiful gun!