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Wm. Moore Shotgun (Read 6724 times)
16th Dec, 2004 at 10:17am
Big_Buck   Ex Member

 
I have a Wm. Moore double barrel shotgun. As near as I can tell this company was in London, England around 1854-1872. The barrel says laminated steel. The gun is in excellent condition, it was a gift from an uncle who used it hunting. It has a leather shoulder carrier with tubes for shot and powder. Can anyone tell me more about the company and the gun?
 
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Reply #1 - 16th Dec, 2004 at 2:55pm

dbm   Offline
Senior Member
UK

Posts: 381
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Have a look at the 'Historical Database' on the Internet Gun Club web site at: http://www.internetgunclub.com

You'll find some information there.

David
 

Research Press - www.researchpress.co.uk
Firearms, long range target shooting and associated history
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Reply #2 - 19th Dec, 2004 at 10:58am
Big_Buck   Ex Member

 
I tried the "Internet Gun Club" it came back that they could not identify the maker. I have an old (40+ years) book, Small Arms Makers of the World" which identifies Wm. Moore & Co. as being in London during the years 1854-1872. As that forum and this are new to me maybe I am not wording the question properly. Thank you for your reply.
 
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Reply #3 - 19th Dec, 2004 at 5:58pm

bill_curtis   Offline
Senior Member
Wales

Posts: 976
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William Moore was one of the top gunmakers and all the guns of his company will have London Proof Marks and will be serially numbered.

You do not say if the gun is a breech loader or a muzzle loader but from what you have said so far in respect of the Laminated Steel marking I suspect that this is a Belgian 'knock-off' .  Unfortunately, William Moore was one of the most commonly used names by the fakers.

Please supply a lot more information of the type of gun and a note of ALL the markings you can see inside or out,
 

W. S. (Bill) Curtis
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Reply #4 - 20th Dec, 2004 at 10:38am
Big_Buck   Ex Member

 
It is a muzzle loader. Right now it is at my son's, I will get and look for marks. I do remember that the name is on the sideplate. Wm. Moore & Sons Co. London England.
 
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Reply #5 - 21st Dec, 2004 at 6:45am
Big_Buck   Ex Member

 
I have just finished looking the shotgun over. I tried to take some parts off the look for proof marks. The side plates are fairly involved as is the trigger assembly, I was afraid I would damage something. Under the hammer on the left side was what I thought was a screw, but now believe it was a trigger adjustment. On the side plate, right hand side, right of the hammer and below the barrell is the name Wm. Moore & Co. the m and o have underscores. On the bottom of the stock near the butt plate is a small brass shield. On the strap between the barrells the name Wm. Moore & Co followed by Laminated Steel.  I was wrong earlier when I said Sons. The gun is engraved on the side plate, hammers, top strap and trigger guard. If I have to I will try to find a gunsmith knowledgeable in muzzle loaders to find any proof marks. I have never shot the gun however I am reasonably sure that my Uncle hunted squirrels in the 1940's with this gun.
 
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Reply #6 - 21st Dec, 2004 at 10:23am

Robin_G_Hewitt   Offline
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gun nut

Posts: 242
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Laminated steel sounds like it was made for the American market, possibly after the UK market had gone breech loading. The Americans didn't make damascene and early attempts at steel barrels were not necessarily safe, as Robert Adams found out when one of his burst and severely damaged his reputation. I get an impression the Americans wouldn't buy a lightweight shotgun barrel unless it was clearly marked, London Fine Twist, Laminated Steel, Twisted Stubbs or similar, it was a sort of guarantee that it wouldn't let go. Their own guns were amazingly heavy, hard to swing but the sheer thickness of wrought iron meant it was unlikely any slag inclusion could go full width of the barrel wall.

Stockel lists 9 William Moores, if we discount the 3 in the USA and the 2 who are too early we are left with the London William 1780-1847, one in Ripon active 1854-7, and 2 in Birmingham 1829-45 and circa 1873.

Plus of course the Belgian clones, but you might rather expect W Moore rather than Wm Moore on a clunker ??? Good luck with those proofs, if it doesn't have any we are back to the US makers Grin
 
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Reply #7 - 21st Dec, 2004 at 10:34am
Big_Buck   Ex Member

 
Thank you. I will continue to attempt to find out more about this shotgun. It is a really nice gun. I have a few other muzzle loaders and only one comes close to this one for workmanship.
 
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Reply #8 - 21st Dec, 2004 at 2:51pm

dbm   Offline
Senior Member
UK

Posts: 381
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Quote:
I tried the "Internet Gun Club" it came back that they could not identify the maker.

Just put Moore in the surname section and run the search. Lots of gunmakers appear, including 'William Moore of 118 Whitechapel, London.' This may be yours, assuming it is not a copy as has been suggested!

David
 

Research Press - www.researchpress.co.uk
Firearms, long range target shooting and associated history
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Reply #9 - 21st Dec, 2004 at 6:34pm

bill_curtis   Offline
Senior Member
Wales

Posts: 976
****
 
Reading the above, it seems to me that you have not been able or have not found out, how to remove the barrels from the stock.  Underneath the breech end of the barrels is where you will find the proof marks and the serial number, if there is one.  Barrels are secured by a wedge or slide which can be seen on both sides of the foreend. This needs to be driven across, usually from right to left, which releases the barrels which then unhook at the rear end by lifting the muzzle end.  Take care to remove he ramrod before starting this.

Half cock the locks before lifting.  There is no need otherwise to remove the locks save to put a small drop of oil on friction surfaces.

AND always remember, never dry fire or snap a muzzle loader.  Playing with them has wrecked more down the ages than any other reason.
 

W. S. (Bill) Curtis
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Reply #10 - 22nd Dec, 2004 at 6:02am
Big_Buck   Ex Member

 
Thank you, DBM and Bill. I will follow both suggestions. I suspected that the wedges may have something to do with removing the barrels but I was afraid to try it. Now I know how.
 
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