Gut Rumbles

January 09, 2005

recognize this?


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.

Posted by: Sam on January 9, 2005 10:49 AM

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.

Posted by: og on January 9, 2005 11:11 AM

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.

Posted by: ET on January 9, 2005 11:18 AM

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.

Posted by: Mr. Lion on January 9, 2005 02:13 PM

... that looks a lot like my old Hopkins & Allen 12ga... it was made around 1920....

Posted by: Eric on January 9, 2005 03:53 PM

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.

Posted by: grampa chris on January 9, 2005 04:01 PM

it also says Black Prince

Posted by: Sam on January 9, 2005 04:03 PM

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.

Posted by: Acidman on January 9, 2005 05:14 PM

I must also say that I have the barrel upside down in the gun in this photo.

Posted by: Sam on January 9, 2005 06:01 PM

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.

Posted by: Sardonicus on January 10, 2005 05:55 AM

Hey Rob,

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.

Posted by: Wayne on January 10, 2005 10:18 AM

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.)

Posted by: Sigivald on January 10, 2005 04:48 PM

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.

Posted by: Sigivald on January 10, 2005 04:50 PM

I have a 410 ga. bridge gun co. shotgun, I understand they were made by Harrington-Richardson arms co. for Shapliegh hardware in ST. Louis mo.

Posted by: michael on September 30, 2005 10:19 PM

I believe the Bridge single shots were made by H & R though I have not been able to find corroboration. BUT there is an H & R model called the 'Bay State', not to be confused with an obscure company from long ago called 'Bay State Arms'. If you took an H & R Bay State and drop it down on your bed, then take a Bridge Gun single shot and put it beside the H & R and eyeball them both, you will observe that every screw, every pin, every shape are identical. Therefore I believe the Bridge singles are H & R Bay States with a different name. Some Bridge guns were marked 'Black Prince', some were marked 'Green Bug' (no joke) and some were not marked with any such 'nicknames'. There are also Bridge Gun SxS that look to me like Crescent Arms/American Gun clones.
Someone observed the gun shown looked like a 10 ga because the barrel was so thick. The truth is all their guns were built on the same frame/receiver therefore the barrels on the small bores had to be the same external size as the large bore guns or they would not work on the same size frame.

Posted by: Ray on April 6, 2009 09:54 PM
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