Tuesday, February 17, 2015

A bit about Mrs. Bloomberg

Close examination of Charlotte with a jeweler's loupe shows that the lock plates on either side are marked "T.Barker." The barrels are marked "Belgian laminated steel." A quick search revealed this:
Shotguns marked 'T. BARKER' were sold by various hardware store and catalog stores in c.1880-1910 (or so). They were generally imported from Belgium and distributed by the H&D Folsom Co. Look for the telltale Belgian proofmark underneath the barrels and on the water table (flat part of the frame where the barrels meet the frame). The proofmark is the letter 'E' over 'LG' in an oval or variant thereof.
These shotguns were designed to be utility shotguns and were low priced when they were new. Nothing has changed today, and their value is strictly whatever somebody will pay to have something hanging on the wall. Under no circumstances should a T. BARKER shotgun be fired. The barrel construction is almost certainly a twisted-wire construction and the pressure curve of modern shells, even "low-brass" can certainly cause the barrels to come apart.
You can see them priced at $200-300 on some auction sites, but they rarely sell. A more realistic value would be $100-150 in really good condition. I have had mine checked by a good gunsmith and do shoot hand loaded, full length brass shells loaded with light black powder loads. NEVER shoot smokeless shells in these guns.


Anonymous said...

It's good that there's a shotgun in our movement with Bloomberg's name on it!

Death before slavery!

Comrade X

Anonymous said...

In general:

smokeless powder + damascus barrel = more excitement than you need or want.

Anonymous said...

Mike, this is anonymous in TN. who commented on this yesterday, regarding my black bear in Wi. and pulling both triggers at the same time. This gun is exactly the one I have, and did the research on it as well many years ago. It is hanging over my fireplace as you suggest, and is a conversation piece because of its history. Have no idea where my dad got it, but was probably 80 0r 90 years ago. Take care!!:)

ag42b said...

A Swedish company called Gyttorp used to specialize in shells for old shotguns, including 2 1/2 inch shells for old European makes.

I don't know if they still make them or not, but my old Husqvarnas functioned well with them, Damascus barrel or not.