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Login Name Post: Original Manton shotgun ID        (Topic#236878)
50 Cal.
Posts: 1113
08-10-09 09:43 AM - Post#747431    

I'm looking at what is supposed to be an original single barrel manton fowler (percussion). I know Manton put a serial on most if not all his guns, if I recall? Where did he put the serials? Any good pointers on ID'ing an authentic manton, if it is not an authentic manton it is still a really nice english gun, what are generic english single barrel fowlers going for in very-good condition these days here in the states?

Posts: 1
08-10-09 10:18 AM - Post#747442    

    In response to texcl

I have a nice half stock octogon with under rib 20 ga. front and rear sights(steel dovetailed rear and silver dovetailed front), percussion back action lock, double set triggers rod style front trigger(go figger on a shotgun)silver nosecap,thumbpeice and takedown pin bushings,two steel ramrod tubes attached to rib. High quality lightly floral engraved lock,hammer( hammer has fish on top),butt plate, tang and triggerguard. it is marked "J.Manton.London" on the top of the barrel. the lock is marked "j. Manton." The barrel has a birmingham proff and a black powder proff on the bottom of the barrel. the stock is excelent quality with fine checkering at the wrist and a steel butt plate held on with a blind hook at the top and two screws at the rear. No serial number. The quality is too high to be a belgium knockoff.I beleve it is a gun sold by J manton. I hope this helps.

Rich Pierce 
70 Cal.
Posts: 4075
08-10-09 10:42 AM - Post#747450    

    In response to natchezjim

There were a lot of high quality manton knock-offs. Nicely made, engraved, etc. I THINK most of the real Manton stuff was beyond high quality.

50 Cal.
Posts: 1113
08-10-09 11:36 AM - Post#747460    

    In response to Rich Pierce

Also, to make things more difficult, after manton went out of business in 1826, after losing a long law suite with the british government, his shop was liquidated by the gov. and sold to other gun makers who put the guns together with manton marked parts. Most of the confirmed knock offs I've seen were of outstanding quality,and they were not made in belgium, they were english built, that's why ID is so hard. Manton's sons also built guns and marked them with the manton name. I sure would like to see pics. of your gun it sounds like a beauty, Joseph Manton or not.

Russ T Frizzen 
70 Cal.
Posts: 4762
08-10-09 07:19 PM - Post#747635    

    In response to texcl

Pictures would be of great help in assisting you and will keep us entertained for hours.

45 Cal.
Posts: 916
08-11-09 08:21 AM - Post#747823    

    In response to texcl

Hi Texcl!

I have (what purports to be) a Joseph Manton SxS shotgun. The barrel rib is inscribed Joseph Manton, Hollis Street, Cavendish Square, London. Both locks are also inscribed Joseph Manton. The serial number is marked on both barrel flats, both breech plugs, both locks, the trigger guard, and the butt plate. At least, that's all I've found.

To complicate matters, Joeseph had a brother John Manton. They were not partners but competitors in the high-end London gun market. A gun by either would be an historic find. Somewhere, I came across a gun (on the web) marked John Manton and Son, looked 1840's to me. So at least one J. Manton had a high quality business passed on to his son.

For what it's worth, I have heard that Belgian knock offs (probably of varying grades), got around Manton's copyright (or tried to) by labelling guns J. Manton. I believe that came from the double gun forum.

Joseph Manton did go bankrupt, as you have written. He did reopen using his name (and may have crashed again). The late history of the firm is shakey.

As I remember, you started looking for a Pedersoli, and then moved this way. I have 2 Pedersolis, and the clearly labelled Manton. The 12 guage Pedersoli is heavy for a game gun, but the 20 swings well. I got it from, which is the only place I would go for Pedersoli. Is use the 20 for training Spaniels and to shoot skeet, and I like having a gun I can use and not worry about. (I also like having a club that will let me shoot black powder on their regular days.)

I think that there are more than one market for these guns. TOW is probably the most extensive and varied. (on double gun bb I came across a J. Evans in Philadephia who sold guns that he had Jim Purdy run up for him--so there is a probably a good reason why that Evans double at TOW is pricey, whoever actually made it).

Roosevelt and Drake is fun to look at--and they sell guns at those prices. (Clearly, they have access to a "different" market.)

Vintage Double has a couple of percussion guns, including a Mortimer Percussion SxS for $800. (Kirby has guns ranging from about $800 to $18,000. He crosses markets.)

So, anyway, this is some data that you can take or leave.

50 Cal.
Posts: 1113
08-11-09 09:25 AM - Post#747838    

    In response to GreenMt

I've come to the conclusion that the gun is a good london made knock off. I have since found 2 manton marked singles both are in really nice shape with good sound stocks good bores and good functioning locks, the one is going for $400 and the other is asking $550. I've also found a pedersoli sxs locally for $4oo but it looks really clunky compared to these other guns, I'm leaning towards the $550 single barrel, since they have a 3 day return policy. These singles seem to have alot less stock issues than the doubles, they seem stouter.

45 Cal.
Posts: 916
08-11-09 12:03 PM - Post#747867    

    In response to texcl

Those sound like pretty reasonable prices to me. Obviously, buy the gun you like, because that's the whole point.

The newer Pedersolis have gotten pretty heavy, and I like the 20 gauge better that way.

The 3 day inspection is huge. I would get a AAA battery flashlight that you can slip down the barrel to get a look at the bore, unless you already have one.

Best of luck!

40 Cal.
Posts: 277
08-12-09 08:15 AM - Post#748109    

    In response to GreenMt

They have a book in the Peoria Illinois library that is about the Mantons.I think that the title is Mantons The Gunmakers.The book contains numerous photos of both Joe and Johns work and descriptions of their patents.You might see if your library has a copy or maybe they can get the one from Peoria through a library loan.Joe was the royal gunmaker and John his business rival.From the pictures that I saw of Joes work his guns had lines of gold between the breehplug and barrels and the the touchholes were gold.

50 Cal.
Posts: 1113
08-12-09 10:22 AM - Post#748144    

    In response to Jblk

Thanks, for the heads up on the book. My library has swapped all sorts of books for me(since ND doesn't have a very diverse colection), I'm going to see if they can get the book for me.

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