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Old Crescent single shot info

Well, I am sorry if this topic has been beaten to death, but I am working on a few shotguns as a father-son project. I fished these out of a dumpster, and they are pretty rough.

The one I am having trouble with is marked VICTOR EJECTOR AMERICAN GUN COMPANY NEW YORK. The serial number on the barrel is 295404.

It is a 12 gauge single shot. The fit is tight and I was able to fire a primed empty hull with no problems. It is just in need of stock repair and rebluing.

My questions... A date of manufacture? Is this safe to fire low brass bird shot? If not, I can load black powder in my new manufacture brass cases.

Any info would be appreciated.
If it is a solid steel barrel it would be safe to shoot low base shells for sure. And if a std. 2 3/4" shell can be chambered then it should also handle any normal factory load. NO STEEL SHOT as the choke won't handle it.

NOW if its a so called Damascus Barrel (actually welded twisted wire) then you should be able to see a pattern in the steel. Then your looking at a Black Powder gun and most likely shouldn't be fired.

Most likely 1900-1930 from what I see on line. I doubt you could ever track an actual year down.


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I had one of these myself. It's hard to find accurate information on production dates, but I found a guy on a shotgun forum that's about as close to an expert as you can find. Mine dated back to 1909 based on his database of production dates and serial numbers. I had taken it in a partial trade and wanted to check it out.

Here is some information I got from user "Ned Fall" on the Shotgun World forum - he appears to be one of the few people that have much of any information on these guns as much of the records were lost or destroyed years ago. According to what I could find, these guns generally don't carry a lot of value, usually around $100 unless they're in really awesome condition. This is what he replied to me about my gun:

You have, if you don't already know, a "Trade Brand Name" shotgun. A "Trade Brand Name" shotgun is any inexpensive shotgun made between 1880 and 1940 with some name other that the makers name on it. Between about 1880 to 1940 there was a great interest in all things having to do with shotguns, designing, making, selling (especially selling) and of course shooting. Wholesale sporting goods dealers, retail chain stores and independent sellers (your local hardware store) wanted guns with names of their own choosing to sell. The major makers were only too happy to meet this demand. They would stamp almost any name in the world on one of their standard models. The biggest maker of such guns ever was the Crescent Arms Company of Norwich,CT (1892 to 1930+). Crescent made over 2,500,000 shotguns using over 655 known names. Your gun is one of these Crescent made guns. The records for Crescent Fire Arms were lost or destroyed during a scrap paper drive in World War 2. However they were re-established by the late shotgun researcher and writer, Mr. Joseph T. Vorisek as part of his research for his book "The Breech Loading Shotgun In America 1865 to 1940". His work is only an approximation but it's all we have. According to his figures your gun was made in May 1909. The serials numbers for 1909 start with 252,000 in January and end with 273,000 in December. That's a 1,750 guns a month. You can do the math. I have no information as to who the retailer might have been but the gun was sold at wholesale by the H & D Folsom Company of New York City, a wholesale, retail and gun jobber. Folsom owned Crescent Fire Arms and whatever Folsom wanted, Crescent made. Since Folsom owned Crescent they could and did claim in their catalogs that they made the guns. Most of us (me included) give credit to Crescent for making the guns. Given the time your gun was made it most likely has a 2 1/2 inch chamber and was designed for black powder and lead shot loaded shells. It could as well have a Damascus barrel. It was not designed for smokeless powder loaded shells and certainly not 3 inch or magnum shells loaded with high pressure smokeless powder, steel shot or solid slugs (it is full choked).

Mark's information above jibs with what I had been told as well. After talking with a few others on the safety of shooting the gun, and confirming it was in good mechanical condition, I took it out several times and shot 2 3/4" lead bird shot through it, and it shot great, and was really accurate. I did some cleanup of the metal and the wood to restore it a bit.

You may try and contact Ned Fall on the Shotgun World forum. If you ask him nicely, he may be willing to help out with some information. You can find some information on these guns, including some photos, at this thread - watch for Ned's information in the posts:

By the way, this was my shotgun. I think she looked pretty good for a 110 year old shotgun - I sold it over a year ago to fund a different project:




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