i have a 1907 tavist eclipse finish belgium 5212 choker double barrel shotgun collase leader. what is it worth?
The gun is a "Trade Brand Name" shotgun made in Belgium or is commonly known as JABC (Just Another Belgian Clunker). My reference book lists nine shotguns with some form of the name Eclipse something or other all made by Anciens Establissment Pieper (also known as Henri Pieper) a large Belgian maker and one with the name Eclipse Patent 488316 Dec 20 1892 Eclipse Meteor also Belgian made. This one is a hammer double while there is a listing for a hammerless double. Which ever the gun was made some time between 1890 and 1914 when World War One, The Great War or The War to End All Wars (choose one) cut off exports from Belgium. Value, everyone wants to know. The value of one of these old guns depends on its condition, the amount of original finish remaining on the metal and wood as well as the mechanical condition. A prime example might bring $150 while a rusty rotten incomplete piece of junk fit only as a tent peg might bring $10 for parts. A word of caution here. Belgian made guns of this period were designed and made using the technology of the times and for the ammunition in use which was black powder loaded. Most if not all will have damascus barrels with 2 1/2 inch chambers. They were not designed for modern high pressure smokeless powder, 3 inch or magnum shells or steel shot.
"Twist" refers to a method of barrel manufacture. Thin wires were twisted together then wrapped around a mandrel and hammer-welded. Although these were quite satisfactory in the days of black-powder shells, they are generally not safe with modern ammunition. HOWEVER, when machine manufacturing made fluid and cast steel barrels possible, not everyone trusted this new-fangled (and cheaper) technology, so some manufacturers "painted" them with a pattern imitating the older methods. The "Finish" may mean that these are really fluid steel barrels that have been "finished" to imitate the appearance of twist construction.
ECLIPSE ** was a "Trade Brand Name" used by the E.C. Mecham Arms Co of St. Louis,MO (a wholesaler,not a maker). There were many forms of the name such as Eclipse Beauty, Eclipse Company, Eclipse Patent 488316 Dec 20 1892 Eclipse Meteor, Eclipse Giant, Eclipse Gun Co and Eclipse Gun Co Eclipse Leader Twist Finish. All the foregoing guns were made in Belgium by a maker named Anciens Establissment Pieper (Henri Pieper). There is one more name Eclipse Hercules which was made by Hopkins & Allen and J. Stevens Arms & Tool Co as well
Do Not Fire This Gun, even with black powder loads you stand an excellent chance of a catostrophic failure (BOOM)