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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A friend of the family recently passed away and my mom has been helping his widow out with cleaning all his old stuff out, he was a bit of a packrat (but had really interesting stuff). My mom called me yesterday while I was at work and said she had found "an old looking double barrel shotgun" in the back of the closet and wanted to know if I wanted it...needless to say I did. So today she brought it by and the only markings on it are "W.H. Hamilton" and "twist belgium" on top of the barrels. I have never heard of either one.

And now for my list of questions.
How can I find out how old it is? ( it looks pretty old)
Do you suggest cleaning it up (its not in bad shape but it definately aint mint)
How would I go about cleaning it up/restoring it? ( I dont want to refinish it or anything I just want to clean the brass and stuff up)
Whats it worth? ( I'm not selling it because this was a close friend of the family I am just curious)

any info would be greatly welcome

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651 Posts
Some info on it here but the links they provided do not work.


This link has a whole page of links to check.


I found this when I clicked on one of the links.

"If a side by side shotgun is marked WH Hamilton and has no other markings what gauge would it be and what is its value?"

"W H Hamilton was an importer in New York City c. 1875-1885. The same name was used as a trade name on shotguns made in Belgium by F. Dumoulin & Co and sold by Thomas Leary about 1904-1910. It would PROBABLY be a 12 gauge but made for 2 1/2" shells and the ones made in the 1800's would be for black powder shells. The value would be $100-$250 for use as a mantle decoration. Don't try to shoot it unless it has been checked and approved by an experienced gunsmith."

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5,372 Posts
Don't do more than take off surface rust. Do not clean the brass parts. The gun could be fired with Black Powder ammunition. Shooting smokeless powder ammunition in the twist barreled shotguns is hazardous to your health. The barrel can burst and when they do, the place they burst is where you hand holds the forearm. There has never been a lot of collector's interest in the Belgian made propriety shotguns. This is not true of the US Made high quality double barrels made at the same time as the imports.

Doug Bowser
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