Serial Number Antique Double Barrel Shotgun Identification

Serial Number Antique Double Barrel Shotgun Identification

Serial Number Antique Double Barrel Shotgun Identification

Antique firearms hold a special place in the hearts of collectors and enthusiasts. Among the most sought-after pieces are double barrel shotguns with unique serial numbers that can provide valuable information about the gun’s origin, history, and authenticity. In this article, we will delve into the world of antique double barrel shotguns and explore the intricacies of identifying them based on their serial numbers.

The Significance of Serial Numbers

Serial numbers are like fingerprints for firearms. They are unique identifiers assigned to each gun during the manufacturing process. For antique double barrel shotguns, these serial numbers can offer a wealth of information, such as the manufacturer, production year, model, and even the specific batch or assembly line where the gun was made. By understanding how to decode and interpret these serial numbers, collectors and enthusiasts can unlock the history and provenance of their firearms.

Locating the Serial Number

Serial numbers on double barrel shotguns can be found in various locations, depending on the manufacturer and the gun’s design. Some common places to look for serial numbers include:

1. Under the Barrel

Many double barrel shotguns have the serial number engraved or stamped on the underside of the barrel. This area is easily accessible and often features clear and legible markings that can be used for identification.

2. Action or Receiver

Some shotguns may have the serial number located on the action or receiver of the gun. This area is typically near the breech or opening mechanism and may require disassembly or close inspection to locate the serial number.

3. Stock or Butt Plate

In some cases, the serial number may be hidden on the stock or butt plate of the shotgun. Careful examination of these areas, especially if the gun has been refurbished or refinished, may reveal the serial number markings.

Decoding the Serial Number

Once you have located the serial number on your double barrel shotgun, the next step is to decode it to extract valuable information about the gun. Different manufacturers use varying formats for their serial numbers, but some general rules apply:

1. Manufacturer Code

The first few digits or letters in the serial number typically represent the manufacturer of the shotgun. By researching and cross-referencing these codes with historical records, you can determine the maker of the gun.

2. Production Year

Many manufacturers include the production year in the serial number, either as a specific digit or within a code. This can help you pinpoint the year your double barrel shotgun was made.

3. Model or Batch Identifier

Some serial numbers may include codes or numbers that denote the specific model or batch of the shotgun. This information can be valuable for collectors looking to identify rare or limited-edition firearms.

Verifying Authenticity

Serial numbers are essential for verifying the authenticity and provenance of antique double barrel shotguns. By researching the manufacturer, production year, and other identifying details, collectors can ensure they have a genuine piece with a rich history. Additionally, comparing the serial number with known databases or experts in the field can help confirm the gun’s authenticity.

Closing Thoughts

Antique double barrel shotguns are more than just firearms – they are pieces of history and artistry. Understanding how to identify these guns based on their serial numbers adds another layer of appreciation for collectors and enthusiasts. By decoding serial numbers, locating hidden markings, and verifying authenticity, you can unlock the stories and origins behind these timeless treasures.


Q: Are serial numbers required on antique firearms?

A: While not all antique firearms have serial numbers, many manufacturers started using them in the late 19th century for record-keeping and quality control purposes.

Q: Can I legally own and collect antique double barrel shotguns?

A: The legality of owning and collecting antique firearms varies by country and jurisdiction. It is essential to research and understand the laws and regulations regarding antique firearms in your area before purchasing or collecting.