Gunshows and old side by sides

Went to a gun show this weekend. Unfortunately the show in question has degraded into a para-military concealed carry freak show/ flea market. The number of assault rifles, semi-automatic hand guns and dragon/crystal emblazoned replica barbarian swords out number the classic side by side shotguns 10 to 1. I did happen to find one really nice side by side but since it was un attributable French made box lock I decided it wasn’t worth the $350 he had marked on it. That got me thinking about being more prepared as I shop for the right old side by side. So from now on I’m going to take a list of things to look for with me to my next gun show, which will in all likely hood will be one of the  Tri-State Gun Collectors Club show in Lima although I’m not sure when. In researching how to buy old shotguns I ran across a couple good articles, I’m sure there are many more out there.

One from the LC Smith Collector’s Association.

Another on case hardening from the Double Gun Journal over here… the description of case hardening and how to tell it apart from torch tempering (aka fake case colors) is very useful.

With color case-hardened surfaces, the colors observed do not in general change with the viewing angle relative to the surface…

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