Antique shotguns

Antique shotguns

This is a discussion on Antique shotguns within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I am a newbie, so this may not be the correct spot to ask my question.... Where can I find some information about an antique ...

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  • 1 Post By gasmitty
  • 1 Post By msgt/ret

Thread: Antique shotguns

  1. #1
    New Member Array Hotrod56425's Avatar
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    Mar 2013
    United States

    Antique shotguns

    I am a newbie, so this may not be the correct spot to ask my question....

    Where can I find some information about an antique double barrel 12 ga. from a great grandfather as a wall hanger, and am trying to find out some info about it. It has "FINEST DAMASCUS" steel barrels, and the only name I can find on it is "Pribyl Bros Chicago" in the engraving. I also have one empty shell casing that appears to be made of copper. I am most interested in information, but pricing estimate would be nice if I need to add it to home insurance.

  2. #2
    Senior Moderator
    Array gasmitty's Avatar
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    Jun 2007
    Gilbert, AZ
    It's not a common brand, to be sure. I did a quick search and only found a catalog or reference book on GunBroker, here: Pribyl Bros. 1879 Shotguns, Rifles, Revolvers & S : Books at It might be worth getting that book to understand more about the gun. From the cover, Pribyl appears to be an "importer and jobber" rather than a manufacturer, which suggests that your shotgun was actually made by a separate firm and Pribyl sold it under their name - which means more research is necessary.

    Realistically, you'll need to search out an appraiser of antique firearms to get a true value of the gun. Pick up a copy of the Double Gun Journal at a Barnes and Noble magazine rack, and you will undoubtedly find ads in the back for people who deal in old double guns. Give some of them a call and see what they say.

    Due to the private label, it's unlikely that you have a truly valuable gun, but... you just never know. The common advice about Damascus barrels is "don't shoot them!", but the horror stories about blowing up those barrels are usually exaggerated. A friend back east has a lever-action 10-gauge with a Damascus barrel that's his crow gun (using mild hand loads)! I certainly wouldn't shoot it without having it checked out first, and recognize that it was designed for black powder shells.

    Chances are you just have a neat old gun with some family history, and it's cool that you have an old brass shotgun shell. Unless or until you have it professionally appraised, its value for insurance purposes it probably below the threshold for individually named items.
    bmcgilvray likes this.
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  3. #3
    Array msgt/ret's Avatar
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    Jun 2006
    North Carolina
    Damascus barrels while beautiful they are not safe with modern smokeless powders. Here is one website that discusses them and I recommend a web search for more info.

    Firearms History, Technology & Development: Barrel Making: Pattern Welded or Damascus Barrels - II

    Firearms History, Technology & Development: Barrel Making: Fake Damascus Barrels
    bmcgilvray likes this.
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