January 09, 2005
Sam and Stacey found this old shotgun on one of their junk-collecting missions. I believe that it's a .410 with a barrel about a half-mile long. (they sent me a picture of the entire gun, but I can't get it to upload.) The gun is rusty and in poor condition, but it might be worth some money if they cleaned it up.
Anybody ever heard of Bridge shotguns?
For what little information I found on the internet about it, I've read that it's not worth a whole lot of money maybe $50-$150 cleaned up but it is pretty old between 1870-1930. Any information anyone else has would be helpful.
Bridge Shotguns was a tradename of the Shapleigh Hardware chain in Saint Louis.
Most likely it was a Stevens or Iver Johnson shotgun. It looks identical to my old Iver Johnson 20 gauge "Champion"
Here's a little info:
You can buy replacement or repair parts for it at Numrich Arms, here:
It's probably worth a couple bucks if it shoots. 0000 steel wool will clean the rust off. 410 gauge shotguns are uncommon and command a higer price than the smaller gauges.
I don't know much about gun collecting, but I don't think they should clean it up if they want it to sell it to a collector.
If I have learned anything from Antiques Roadshow, it's that rusty and unusable trumps restored and useful every time.
Ur.. .410 gauge shells are the smallest you can get. They're quite cheap and readily available.
One can also fire .45 long colt rounds out of it, if you're feeling adventurous.
Still, that's a hell of a thick barrel for a .410. Looks like a 10-gauge or something huge to me.
... that looks a lot like my old Hopkins & Allen 12ga... it was made around 1920....
I have a Rossi single shot shotgun that looks exactly like this one. My guess is that it was made by Rossi and had the Bridge company info stamped on it.
it also says Black Prince
The barrel is mighty small bore if you see the whole gun. If it's not a .410, I don't think it's any bigger than a 20-gauge.
But all I've seen is a picture.
I must also say that I have the barrel upside down in the gun in this photo.
You're right, Sam! And here I was thinking that was a scope mount. I don't like admitting I'm a dumbass, but I had to admit that one.
Most likely its what they call a hardware store gun, from the late 1800s- to about WWII a lot of big hardware stores would order single barrel shotguns like that from gun companies, and have their name or brand put on them, instead of the makers. I have an old 16ga. Called an Essex, from the Bellknapp Hardware store in Louisville KY. belonged to my Great Grandpa. I also have an old doublebarrled 12 gauge Ranger from Montgomery Wards, that was probably made by Stevens, anyway, coulnt resist thowing in my two cents.
Needless to say, if you intend to consider firing that thing, have a pro look at it.
(Though I wouldn't be too worried as long as the lockup is strong and the breech face and barrel aren't deeply pitted or otherwise damaged, and the hammer doesn't move when the trigger ain't pulled.)
I second that it's probably not worth more than a few bucks, as it's not likely to be real rare, and it's in lousy cosmetic shape. The real shame here is that .410 ammo is much more expensive than 12 or 20 gauge, in my experience - much less demand for it, so no economies of scale.
(Me, I have a cute lil' Russian-made Baikal .410 break. Great feel, crisp trigger, points like a dream cut down to 19" on the barrel (Because I didn't like the long barrel it came with, but I don't want to go to prison for cutting it too short, so I left an extra inch). Fun toy.)
A clarification - what OG said about the price premiun on .410s is true.. of high quality guns, especially in good condition.
But I don't think there's a significant price difference between a rusty ol' hardware store .410 and a rusty ol' hardware store 12 gauge - and neither is likely to be worth much anyway.