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Thread: Help identifying my 16 gauge SxS

  1. #11
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    The word "Nitro" in straight letters shows the gun being proofed post-1912 by the Suhl proofhouse. So it was made in Suhl. I have seen that "crippled imperial eagle" among Suhl proofmarks of the early 1920s before. About 1923 Suhl started marking proof dates and, for a short time, ledger numbers like Zella-Mehlis. So your gun was likely Suhl made 1919 – 1922.
    The gun has conventional Anson boxlocks with bottom hinged sears, not Ernst Kerner's (watch the first name!) improved boxlocks with top hinged sears.
    Single K marks were used in Suhl by both Emil Klett, Gothaer Strasse 122b, Suhl, and by Emil (!) Kerner & Sohn (Franz K.), Truebenbachstr. 3-5, Suhl. As both were active in the early 1920s, it's your choice.
    I don't know the meaning of the X and dot. Maybe a maker's memory mark to keep several very simlar guns, destined for different customers, sorted?

  2. #12
    I didn't even recognize that as the "crippled eagle." (My bad...)

    The Crippled eagle marks on my guns really look different than these. (The "feathers" look similar, but the part above that - the body - looks much "fuller" on my guns. Not relevant, but it looked different enough for me to not recognize it !)


    Was I correct in thinking that the barrel flats should bear a Crown S ? (Again, all of my guns do...)

  3. #13
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    Thank you Axel for your opinion and evaluation of my shotgun. Do you think the serial number reflects the date of the gun ? I have read some threads on this site that seem to show it sometimes. The serial number is in one of the pictures I posted. Thank you again, Guy

  4. #14
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    The eagle marks on my guns really look different than these.
    That’s why I call this simplified postWW1 "eagle" stamp "crippled".

    Was I correct in thinking that the barrel flats should bear a Crown S ?
    Most often the crown/S I found on the barrel flats, but sometimes, like here , elsewhere on the barrels. The proofhouse inspectors then where rather free where they applied the different marks "on the barrel". In fact, when a crown/W mark is on the flats, the crown/S is rather superfluous, as this choke bore marking itself indicated "shotgun". F.i. the post-1912 crown/N mark for smokeless proof is often found not besides the other proofmarks, but besides the service load info.

    Do you think the serial number reflects the date of the gun ?
    No! Definitely NOT! German law only required that each gun had to have a serial number the maker was able to identify from his files. Every gunmaker was free to what numbering system he used or where he started his numbers, not necessarily with"1". Some examples: Sauer & Sohn numbered all their guns cosecutively, regardless of type or model. But they assigned the numbers at the "start" of a gun, not on completion or sale. So a certain serial number may have been still sitting in stock at the factory while guns with higher numbers were already proofed, finished and sold. O.Will of Zella – Mehlis assigned actions already numbered in lots to his outworking action filers. Here too a gun with a lower serial number was documented as being sold later than one with the higher one. All the famous bolt action rifles signed by Wilhelm Brenneke, Leipzig, were serial numbered by Schmidt & Habermann, Suhl, who actually made the rifles for Brenneke. So, unless you luck into the lost files of the individual makers, serial numbers are useless not only for dating, but for estimating production figures of models too.

  5. #15
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    Thank you again Axel. Im guessing that this shotgun is a good start to my collection. Is it rare to have one with the crippled eagles stamped on it ? I only ask because I really don't know.

    Kiwi bloke, when I do take the gun apart, I will look for other markings. Thanks, Guy

  6. #16
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    Not really rare, but found mostly on immediate post-WW1 guns only. Just a warning: Don't equate "rare" and "valuable"! Very rare guns often go at very low prices. When nobody knows what it is there is no demand. A shotgun collecting friend has some breechloading guns like the Pauly or Chateauvillard. Those are rarer than Colt Patersons or Walkers, slightly older, technically even more important, but he got them cheap, as there is little knowledge and little demand for them. Everyone thinks he knows something about Commercial Mausers and wants them. But who has ever heard about a Schmidt & Habermann model 21, a short Mauser type action, made in small numbers during the 1920s. While K Mausers usually go for over $ 1000.-, I bought two S&H M21 during the past 3 years, complete with contemporary claw-mounted Zeiss scopes. I merely paid Euro 135.- and 175.- for each.

    When disassembling your gun, take a look at the breech face. Some of the Suhl gunmakers applied their mark there.
    Last edited by Axel E; 11-21-2015 at 05:39 PM.

  7. #17
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    Axel, I understand. I was just wondering for collectability for my German shotgun. Value is only for how much one is willing to pay for it.

  8. #18
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    Axel,
    What does the "crippled imperial eagle" designate? Is it just an early, pre "pick and trough" Suhl house mark; or does it mean something else. Would it still be an "imperial" eagle after the World War, or was there some time before the "Weimar Republic" ?
    Mike

  9. #19
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    Great question Mike. I wonder if that's how the country felt right after the war and it reflected in the eagle proof mark.

  10. #20
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    I called this distorted eagle stamp "crippled". After the "Novemberrevolution" on November 9, 1918, there was no justification for the imperial crown above the eagle any more. Some proofhouses, as well as the government arsenals, simply ground off the crown from their stamps and continued to use them. But the then "red" Suhl, ruled by left-wing socialists and early communists, had this new stamp made, hardly recognizable as the eagle prescribed by proof law for the first proof any more. The head and body is reduced to a gate-like figure above an o, the wings indicated by a wreath of lines only. After a short time Suhl again scrapped this stamp and used a recognisable eagle stamp again.

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