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Old 08-06-2018, 06:03 PM   #1
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Howard Firearms Co SxS

have been asked to repair an old Howard Firearms Co 12 gauge SxS and have not been able to locate any data on the gun, the company, or parts.

Gun Data has next to nothing on Howard Firearms, stating that they were probably just a business name for some distributor but could not even verify that.
Has anyone here ever heard of the company?
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Old 08-07-2018, 02:56 AM   #2
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Any marks in hidden areas that might be a clue to original equipment manufacturer? Belgian proof marks, etc?
Who is not an expert in anything anymore...I am retired.
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Old 08-07-2018, 04:17 PM   #3
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Found this....

"HOWARD ARMS CO. was a tradename on shotguns used by the hardware store Fred Bifflar & Company of Chicago, Illinois. They were made by Crescent Fire Arms Company".

Crescent Arms was a huge maker and importer of shotguns from 1888 to 1931 in Norwich CT.

Crescent imported inexpensive shotguns from Belgium and made large numbers here in the USA.
These guns were usually low end basic guns for farmers and others wanting a cheap gun.
These were rock bottom of the barrel quality guns made to sell at the cheapest possible price, and are now near or over 100 years old. They were never made to handle modern power level shells.

They specialized in making vast numbers of "House brand" guns for anyone wanting to sell shotguns with their own name on them.
All that was needed was to buy enough to pay for having a special stamp made.
Huge numbers of hardware stores bought guns from Crescent and had them marked with their names.
Major buyers were catalog companies like Sears and Roebuck and Montgomery Wards.
Hardware stores from large chains like Shapleigh of St Louis to single local hardware stores sold Crescent guns under their own names.

Values on these guns are very low due to the huge numbers made and the low end quality.
A SXS gun in 100% brand new condition would be worth no more then about $400 maximum.

Due to the questionable steels used, these are usually considered to be wall hangers and not to be fired.
Many made in the late 1800's to early 1900's had Damascus or "twist steel" barrels and are NOT SAFE TO FIRE.

Another warning about firing them.... Many had shorter chambers then today's standard 2 3/4 inch chambers. These older guns should NEVER be fired with shells longer then they are chambered for.
Again, due to the age and steels used it would be a good idea to caution the owner that these should NOT be fired no matter how good it looks. Ruptured or blown barrels are common.

The usual story is an offended "Why, my family and I have shot it MANY times and it's a good gun". Then you later hear about a visit to the emergency room and you never hear mention of the "good gun" again by the family.

Last edited by dfariswheel; 08-07-2018 at 04:28 PM.
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Old 08-08-2018, 12:03 PM   #4
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Cresent Arms was very busy with all its trade names.

Crescent Firearms Company trade names
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Old 08-08-2018, 12:42 PM   #5
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TRUE fact.

My TREASURED River Arms Company of MS (& made by Cresent Arms) 12 gauge single barrel w/32" full-choke barrel (given to me when I was 10YO by my grandfather) probably wouldn't sell for 20 bucks cash BUT it's PRICELESS to me.
It was bought at a hardware store in Talco, TX before WWI.

yours, sw

Last edited by stand watie; 08-08-2018 at 04:18 PM. Reason: add
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