Gun I.D.?

Last year I was looking around the web for information on some guns. One stumped me, I even tryed e-mailing a muzzleloader magazine and they were unable to find the maker in one of their books. But I figure the Teeming Millions might be able to enlighten me so here goes.

Side by side muzzleloader with only apparent markings other than ornamentation is,
E. Corning & Co (with the ‘o’ in ‘Co’ being raised with a line underneath)
Triggers are forward fires right barrel and rear firing left.
Bore seems to be about 23/32 of an inch (at least that’s as close as I can come to a guess)
Barrel length 28 1/2 inches and full length 44 1/4 inches
I think it is a percussion cap type of setup but I’m not very familiar with muzzleloaders.
Most of the metalwork other than the barrels is engraved including most of the screws.
The barrels are relatively thin (about 1/32 inch), so I don’t think it exceedingly old, but who knows.

Anyone help?

I think you may be thinking about a fairly high-end (custom) piece. Can you post something about the ornamentation?

I’ll check a couple of catalogues I have at home and let you know if I find anything.

Livin’ on Tums, Vitamin E and Rogaine

Well most of the screws would be of the straight variety with lines radiating out from what woul be the center. The engravings look somewhat like an ‘e’, giving somewhat an impression of small waves crashing, with smaller curves among them. These are on practically all metal parts less the barrels, including sides of the hammers, trigger guard, side and top plates. On the top between the two barrels at the end sight (single bead) is an arrow with curved shaft that has a circle 2/3 up the curved shaft that surrounds the bead sight, the arrow ending at the tip of the barrel. There is a ramrod stored under and between the barrels.

The stock itself is rather plain. It’s only decor is a crosshatch that is longer horizontally, like an ‘X’ on it’s side. It runs maybe 6 inches on bottom and 1 1/2 inches on top.

Thanks for looking manhattan.

Old shotgun,maybe? That’s a pretty good-sized bore.

Definitely a shotgun type muzzleloader, probably ‘bore’ is the wrong term but I don’t think gauge is the right term either. I don’t think the thin wall of the barrel would ever be able to handle a rifle type load with a ball.


Try the webpage below for help on identifying your firearm. Sounds like a shotgun to me also.

Thanks for the site.
I searched and no go, but joined their board and posted the question there. Slow board by the looks of it though. 20 days and maybe 15 topics, each with zero replys. It wasn’t a software messup either because I looked up some of the topics and there just wasn’t any replies. Oh well, hope springs eternal.

Whoa those are weird eyes, I used to have a dog like that.
Uhmm, gee thanks.

I think it has to be a shotgun with that large of a barrel I.D.
23/32 = .71875 yielding .72 caliber, pretty damn big bullet.

One complete set of morals for sale to highest bidder, new in box.

You stumped me and my catalogues, FunneeFarmer. And I got ‘em back to ’68 for most American makes. I’m going to the range (shooting, not driving) tonight so I’ll ask, but don’t hold out too much hope, they’re mostly pistol guys there.

The ornamentation sounds pretty intricate, and the bore seems pretty big for such a thin and short barrel. I’ll WAG that it’s an old English big game gun.

Do you actually have possession of the piece, or are we working with pictures here. Because I’ll bet you there’s something inscribed inside the works.

I’ll keep my eyes & ears open.

Livin’ on Tums, Vitamin E and Rogaine

My grandmother gave it to me after my grandfather passed last spring along with 4 others. She found them in the attic while cleaning and doesn’t know anything about them. My mother and her siblings don’t have any clue as to their source either. My grandfather was a heating/cooling/plumbing contractor and occasionally bartered for some of the work. He also could have inherited them.

Sure enough the barrels come off easy enough by sliding a pin in the stock. An ‘8’ appears on the bottom of left barrel, even with where the pin attaches. Between there and the closed end are 2 marks on each barrel. Those marks look like ‘X’'s inside a roughly circular outline. No other markings on inner side of the wooden stock.

It also reveals a better look at 2 bands of gold colored paint going around the bottom of the barrels. These looked like dull brown from the top but once the stock was removed it is obvious that originally they were gold colored.

A possible site for info. They have an e-mail question section in their mainbag. I often see old guns on the show. Worth a try?


If you have trouble finding the mainbag, you might want to try the mailbag. :slight_smile:

Thanks mangeorge. Searched the site, but nothing. I did however grab a couple appraisers names. I did find a dungload of blackpowder pages and e-mailed some of their people, including one specific to British blackpowders. Hoping that one will get back to me on it. I also plan to get ahold of someone at Remington which has it’s headquarters just down the road. Remington has a pretty extensive museum and I’m hoping the guy heading it up will either know of the manufacturer or can point to someone locally who might be able to help me.
Thanks for the help guys.

I may be gaining. There was an Erastus Corning (1794-1872) in the upstate NY area. The Library of Congress has a biography published by Cornell (Ithaca NY) around 1970. I’m hitting a used book store tomm. (my day off) that carries a lot of local stuff and hope to pick it up. Meanwhile Erastus was a correspondant of Lincoln’s during the Civil War and was a politician of the Democrat variety. He is obviously connected to Corning NY so I’ve e-mailed the Rockwell Museum in Corning and when I’m done here I’ll try to e-mail and research Corning Glass. Maybe at one point they made firearms or it could just be a gift that they received or gave to another company or individual. I’ll also contact Ithaca guns, same area of the state and maybe connected somehow. The man from the British Blackpowder group e-mailed me back and was unable to find anything.

I’m tenacious, like a coonhound tracking a poodle in heat.

Funneefarmer, I got a hunch that you’ll find that gun over at Colt.

Try this: .

Go into the “Historical Services” section, and email them.

Bet that what you have there is a special edition Colt Double Barrel Shotgun. From your description, it might even be a hammerless.

Turns out that old Sam Colt loved to sell or give away special edition weapons. Judging from when Mr. Corning passed on, it’s unlikely that he was the recipient of a gifted shotgun, but perhaps the company bought them for its top people.

If it turns out I’m right, protect that gun. In particular, protect the engravings. It looks like Colt charges $300 just to authenticate the thing.

Good luck, and keep us posted.

Livin’ on Tums, Vitamin E and Rogaine

Well? C’mon, we’re dyin’ here! Let us know!

And BTW, when are you gonna have all us gun guys Upstate to do some birding? I’ve got a '68 Browning 5-Shot Automatic (when the barrels were still made in Belgium), still very blue, and I’m eager to put some of that overpriced Bizmuth shot through it.

Livin’ on Tums, Vitamin E and Rogaine

I couldn’t find the Erastus Corning biography, Berrry Hill Books (Oriskany Falls) had just about every other local NY title you could ever want except that.

I did pick up “The Gun Collector’s Handbook Of Values” for 1961-62 and although no Colt Shotguns were listed a photo of their Double barrel Cartridge Sporting Rifle is somewhat similar in amount of drop of the stock. The bottom profile of shotgun stock is straighter than that of the rifle but the top profile is very similar. What is more striking though is the triggers and guard look almost identical. The rifle (1880) is listed as having a hard rubber butt plate, the shotgun I have has a metal one. I would have to say if it is a Colt, and I’m beginning to really lean that way (thanks again manhattan), then it’s probably an “1878 Hammer” because there are hammers there.

Still have not heard from anyone at Ithaca, Rockwell Museum or Corning Inc., but since I mailed them on thurs. evening my guess is they just didn’t get around to it before the weekend. Corning Inc. has a library with mostly info. on glass but also corporate history as well, so I might be able to find out something during my fall vacation, if I get one. Hoping to find a picture of the 1878 Shotgun to compare. Oh yeah also bought “Guns and Gunning” signed by author Paul Curtis for $5, just thought it’d be interesting if I ever get around to reading it. As for the Colt sight they seem to want a picture and money (you weren’t kidding about that price list). I’ll look around a little more before sending to them.

As for birding I’ve got about 6 or 8 of my father’s friends staying with me for part of next week for turkey hunting. There are virtually nil Pheasants in this area and the Grouse is sparser here then in other parts of the state. Pheasants seem to love the western part of the state more than our area, turkeys are still kind of scarce out there though (N of thruway, S of L. Ontario). So if you want upland birds you’re better off heading out between Rochester and Niagara Falls. Gotta love those Brownings for upland hunting.

Tenacious, like a coonhound tracking a poodle in heat.


Did you find an answer yet? I found another gun forum with a forum for questions such as yours.
Check out the Harley Nolden’s Institute for Firearms Research forum

Thanks DW3 I’ll check it out.

No, I haven’t found out what it is. I took it to a gun dealer who told me it wasn’t a Colt 1878. He figured the barrels were Damascus and figured E. Corning and Co was the manufacturer but couldn’t find it in any of his books.

On the up side I’ve found out that the NY State Historical Society, just down the road in Cooperstown, has a book with all the gun manufacturers of NY state. I haven’t had time to get over there yet during the day and look and see if E. Corning is listed.