In doing the research for the Syracuse line of guns and having it in the March issue of the Journal, has brought more light on the subject with some new information. In looking at many Syracuse guns, I thought one of the main differences between the Syracuse and Fulton's was the squared barrel lug. I was contacted by a few individuals that have early Fulton guns with this same type lug. In talking with them, it seems that the very early Fulton guns in the 30-31000 range do have the squared lug and at least one that I have seen has the large convex ribs. This gun is in the 30,000 range. What is different is that these Early Fulton guns do have the dogs head for-end escutcheon, for-end wood is narrow and has a more rounded look than the flatter profile of the Syracuse line, ebony insert is the Syracuse line has a leg shaped insert compared to the Fulton "V" shaped insert. Checkering is more lines to the inch compared to the Fulton guns. Some of the breech balls of the early Fulton guns are still rounded (later ones sloped) (except 10 ga guns c. 1907).
This new information to me is valuable in determining the breakaway period between the two groups of guns and hopefully will generate more information in the future.
I also was contacted by a gentleman that has a "Baker-Smith two barrel combination gun, 12 ga one barrel and 44-40 other barrel and with sights. I'm not sure if gun has the the L.C. Smith side plate shape or the Baker side plate shape. This change took place with patent of Nov. 1883 (side lock) but I don't know if it was installed on earlier guns. Also had a F Grade hammer gun from great grandfather in the 26xxx range. So where does this breaking point between Syracuse and Fulton end/begin? Who is between 23xxx-30xxx, and were any guns assembled/made between 1888-1900?
I would like to thank all who responded in giving me their Syracuse serial numbers and in contacting me with information. This is the only way that hopefully we can try and put some type of data together. It would still be nice to know why the serial numbers have such a jump in between them. I still firmly believe that no more than 1000 hammerless Syracuse guns were made, and probably closer to 750.