Where were my barrel tubes made?
Posted by Drew Hause on September 2, 2017, 10:31 am
There continues to be a difference of opinion as to the makers of the "rough forged tubes" used by Hunter Arms to fabricate finished barrels. |
Please note that it is in no way a disparagement of John Houchins' exhaustive research to share new information.
The assertion that the tubes were sourced in Syracuse, from Sanderson Bros. and Halcomb is based primarily on Houchins' citation of an interview with John J. Goss, foreman of the Hunter Arms barrel brazing department published in Shooting Times by Wallace Labisky in 1961. Mr Goss stated that at least from 1900 until the 1940s all of the barrels came from a steel works in Syracuse, except for Whitworth barrels.
And from an early 1900s article cited in Col. William Brophy’s L.C. Smith Shotguns regarding a visit to the Hunter Arms Co. factory by a Mr Millman:
“This, I told him, as I opened the door, is our barrel department. Here the barrels are reamed and polished. We import our Damascus barrels, which are rough bored. Our fluid steel barrels are made especially for us over in Syracuse.”
THAT IS NOT WHAT WAS SAID BY ANY U.S. MAKER
Baker Gun & Forging in Batavia
November, 1904 The Baker Gun Quarterly:
“All our barrels are specially made for us by the best European barrel makers.”
Ithaca Gun Co.
Machinery, February 1907, W.L. McLaren, “The Manufacture of Shot-guns at the Ithaca Gun Company’s Works”
"The barrels (Krupp-Essen, Cockerill, Twist & Damascus) are all imported..."
Hearings, Vol. 14, United States 60th Congress 2nd Session, November, 1908.
"We further request that shotguns barrels in single tubes forged rough bored...be continued on the free list as at present, because their manufacture or production can not be economically undertaken in this country."
Hunters Arms co., Fulton, N.Y., Ithaca Gun Co., Ithaca N.Y., Parker Bros., Meriden, Conn., Lefever Arms Co., Syracuse, N.Y., J. Stevens Arms & Tool Co., Chicopee Falls, Mass., N.R. Davis & Son, Assonet, Mass., Baker Gun & Forging Co., Batavia, N.Y.
Or BY THOMAS HUNTER IN 1912
Report on Duties on Metals and Manufactures of Metals
By United States Congress. Senate. Committee on Finance, 1912
Testimony regarding the Payne-Aldrich and Dingley Tariff Bills
STATEMENT OF MR. THOMAS HUNTER, OF FULTON, N. Y., REPRESENTING THE HUNTER ARMS CO. AND OTHERS
The Chairman: Will you state the companies you represent, Mr. Hunter?
Mr. Hunter. The Hunter Arms Co., the Baker Gun & Forging Co., Parker Bros. Gun Co., Hopkins & Allen Arms Co., A. H. Fox Gun Co., Lefever Arms Co., H. & D. Folsom Arms Co., Ithaca Gun Co., N. R. Davis & Sons, and Harrington & Richardson Arms Co.
Senator McCumber: Does the American manufacturer use the unfinished importation?
Mr. Hunter: He uses what are designated in the present bill as “gun barrels rough-bored.” That is what we import.
Senator McCumber: To what extent do you use those?
Mr. Hunter: Entirely.
Senator McCumber: You do not manufacture any of them?
Mr. Hunter: No, sir. We have no facilities for making shotgun barrels.
Senator McCumber: Does any other company make them?
Mr. Hunter: There are a few that make them for themselves only. None are made to be sold. We never have been able to buy any in this country.
The 'C' mark which is presumed to be that of Crucible Steel appears on DAMASCUS barrels.
NO U.S. maker attempted to make pattern welded barrels after Wesson's and Parker's brief attempt to do so in the 1870s
And we have Armor, London, Crown, Nitro and Royal steel barrels clearly having over-stamped the 'LLH' of Laurent Lochet-Habran
'LLH' & 'ACL' over-stamped; 1910 20g 00 Armor Steel
Crown over-stamped 'LLH' & 'ACL' (Acier Cockerill Liege)
It's all here
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