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buckstix
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Loc: Whitetail Country
Please help - explain marking on 450-400 EX Double Rifle
      #312852 - 22/02/18 03:11 PM

Hello All,

Please help explain the marking I found on this 450-400 EXPRESS 3-1/4" Double Rifle.

Based on the style, and the serial number, and the mfg date, I think this might be a low-grade Francotte and would like to know if anyone can confirm this.

Features:
Reinforced Frame
Bushed Firing Pins
Engraved
11 lbs 1oz (11 lbs 5 oz loaded)
14-3/4" LOP
Greener Cross Bolt w/ Rib Ext
non-automatic safety
26" Bbls
2-Leaf Express Site (100 / 200)


Markings on the barrels (see pics) = "ACIER MARTELE" - "958" - "1462" - ".450-400 EXPRESS 3-1/4" - "JAMIN" - "STAR / T" - "CROWN / JF" - "10.1" - "EL" - "B.BLINDEE"









Markings on the action between the firing pins (see pics) = "BE" ? ? monogram





--------------------
"You never pay too much for something, you only buy it too early."


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DORLEAC
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Loc: Perpignan, France
Re: Please help explain the marking I found on this Double Rifle [Re: buckstix]
      #312865 - 22/02/18 06:24 PM

Quote:

Please help explain the marking I found on this 450-400 3-1/4" Double Rifle.

I would particularly like to know if anyone can identify the maker.

MARKING FOUND ON THE RIFLE (SEE PICS) = "ACIER MARTELE" - "958" - "1462" - ".450-400 EXPRESS 3-1/4" - "JAMIN" - "STAR / T" - "CROWN / JF" - "10.1" - "EL" - "B.BLINDEE"





ACIER MARTELÉ => Forged steel
958 => Assembly number
1462 => Serial number
JAMIN => Barrel maker
Proof stamps => Belgium made, proofed at Liège proof house
10.1 => 10,1mm nominal dimension for the .400" bore
B. BLINDÉE => proofed for fully jacketed bullet

DORLEAC
www.dorleac-dorleac.com


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herrdoktor
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Re: Please help explain the marking I found on this Double Rifle [Re: DORLEAC]
      #312892 - 23/02/18 06:19 AM

"B. BLINDÉE" usually means the rifle is a nitro one. "B. PLOMB" means it is a black powder rifle.
I don´t see any Francotte markings, but according to the looks, it could be. And not a so low grade.
Nice rifle and cartridge!


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4seventyModerator
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Re: Please help - explain marking on 450-400 EX Double Rifle [Re: buckstix]
      #312894 - 23/02/18 10:17 AM

Hello Buck,
That's a nice Belgian double for sure.
Here is a possibility regarding the gunmaker and the barrel maker. This is based on the marks 'Jamin' and 'Crown over JF'.


JAMIN----- MARCEL JAMIN Liege Gunmaker 1910-1933

Crown over JF----- JEAN FALLA - Barrel maker.

Marcel Jamin


Edited to add.
The mark located between the strikers does look like it could be 'EB'.

There was a Belgian maker named Emile Bernard who would have been in business around the time this rifle was built.

EB

Belgian guns can sometimes be a little difficult to identify regarding the maker.
Best of luck. It looks like a quality gun to me just judging by what can be seen in the photos.

Edited by 4seventy (23/02/18 10:54 AM)


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buckstix
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Posts: 660
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Re: Please help - explain marking on 450-400 EX Double Rifle [Re: 4seventy]
      #312937 - 24/02/18 12:59 AM

Hello 4seventy,

Thanks for the reply.

So, here is what I've found out so far. Does all this sound correct?

Any comments or corrections would be appreciated.

JAMIN = Marcel Jamin = Gun Maker
Crown/JF = Jean Falla = Barrel Maker
Acier Martele = Hammer Forged Steel
.450/400 EXPRESS 3-1/4" = Caliber
B.BLINDEE = Proofed with Jacketed Bullet
g = Date Code = 1928
Lion/P.V. = Nitro Proof Mark
*/T = Inspector Mark
*/P = Inspector Mark
10.1 = Bore dia.
958 = Assembly number
1462 = Serial number
Monogram = Unknown ? - perhaps retailer ?

--------------------
"You never pay too much for something, you only buy it too early."


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4seventyModerator
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Re: Please help - explain marking on 450-400 EX Double Rifle [Re: buckstix]
      #312976 - 24/02/18 09:09 AM

Buck,
Looks good to me.
Thanks to Joel Dorleac for the information on the marks shown in the photos.
Mr Dorleac, do you have any thoughts regarding who the maker of this rifle might be?
I'm guessing you would have handled a lot of Belgian doubles over the years.
Thanks.


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buckstix
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Re: Please help - explain marking on 450-400 EX Double Rifle [Re: 4seventy]
      #313136 - 26/02/18 02:01 AM

Thanks to all that helped with information.

Based on the latest information from Axel E., he suggested Braeckers as being the possible maker;

Ets. Braeckers SA (=societe anonyme = plc), Rue du Crucifix 21 -39, Herstal. .... listed as "Fabricants des armes" = gunmaker.

I searched the internet and found this example. Although the pictures are not very clear, You can still make out the name "Braeckers" and "Herstal".



In addition, There is a monogram on the top of the rib that matches the monogram on my rifle.

Although the monogram is typically referenced as "EB", I think perhaps it might be the letters "BCC" which could stand for "Braeckers, Charles & Cie". (two opposing "C"'s with the letter "B" intertwined ? ? ? )



Also, there is a small distinct feature on the two actions that match on the guns. A small "raised" island that acts as a "stop" for the lever. I have not yet found this feature by any other maker.



As always, your comments are welcome.

--------------------
"You never pay too much for something, you only buy it too early."


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buckstix
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Re: Please help - explain marking on 450-400 EX Double Rifle [Re: buckstix]
      #313139 - 26/02/18 03:17 AM

Thanks again to all.

For those that would like to see some additional photos of the rifle - here are a few.



















--------------------
"You never pay too much for something, you only buy it too early."


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Daryl_S
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Re: Please help - explain marking on 450-400 EX Double Rifle [Re: buckstix]
      #313141 - 26/02/18 05:05 AM

WOW - that is SOME fouling! Looks like Lead-Away or 0000

steel wool or Curly-Kate strand scrubber time.

--------------------
Daryl


"a rifle without hammers, is like a Spaniel without ears" Edward VII


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buckstix
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Re: Please help - explain marking on 450-400 EX Double Rifle [Re: Daryl_S]
      #313148 - 26/02/18 06:04 AM

No lead fowling what-so-ever. Just poor, out of focus pictures, with a little copper streaking.

--------------------
"You never pay too much for something, you only buy it too early."


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tinker
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Re: Please help - explain marking on 450-400 EX Double Rifle [Re: buckstix]
      #313172 - 26/02/18 04:07 PM

Looks good.

Also it looks like it's had a lot of use, and a lot of maintenance. I doubt that the previous owner would have bothered with it if it weren't a good shooting rifle.

Get it running.
Nice ejector rifle, it would be murder on wild hogs.
Let's see how it goes!



Cheers
Tinker

--------------------
--Self-Appointed Colonel, DRSS--



"It IS a dangerous game, and so named for a reason, and you can't play from the keyboard. " --Some Old Texan...


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buckstix
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Re: Please help - explain marking on 450-400 EX Double Rifle [Re: tinker]
      #313192 - 26/02/18 11:08 PM

Hello tinker,

Thanks for the reply.

Yes, it does show a lot of use, and some repairs, over the last 90 years.

Its an extractor rifle, not ejector.

Hogs or not, the 450-400 3-1/4" Nitro Express was deadly on elephants in its day.

Later today I'll be shooting, and I'll report the results here. (targets, not elephants)

--------------------
"You never pay too much for something, you only buy it too early."


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tinker
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Re: Please help - explain marking on 450-400 EX Double Rifle [Re: buckstix]
      #313193 - 26/02/18 11:26 PM

Have a great day running it.
When you get a chance, will you please post a photo of the barrel breeches including all from rib to lumps?

Thanks!



Cheers
Tinker

--------------------
--Self-Appointed Colonel, DRSS--



"It IS a dangerous game, and so named for a reason, and you can't play from the keyboard. " --Some Old Texan...


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Daryl_S
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Re: Please help - explain marking on 450-400 EX Double Rifle [Re: buckstix]
      #313208 - 27/02/18 05:46 AM

Quote:

No lead fowling what-so-ever. Just poor, out of focus pictures, with a little copper streaking.




Tks for that explanation. I mentioned lead as I have seen some of my own barrels look like that from lead bullets pushed past their design and alloy.

--------------------
Daryl


"a rifle without hammers, is like a Spaniel without ears" Edward VII


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93x64mm
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Re: Please help - explain marking on 450-400 EX Double Rifle [Re: Daryl_S]
      #313210 - 27/02/18 07:26 AM

Wow nice piece Buckstix!!!!!!!!

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4seventyModerator
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Re: Please help - explain marking on 450-400 EX Double Rifle [Re: buckstix]
      #313215 - 27/02/18 09:35 AM

Buck,
Good to see that you now know who built your rifle.
Well done Axel for identifying the maker.

The action on this rifle is similar to what is often seen on Belgian double rifles.
There are a couple of small differences though.

The slot in the breech face which accommodates the barrel extension is milled right through to the top lever.
This slot usually terminates just before the top lever.

There is a drilled hole high in the breech face which is not common in Belgian DR's that I have seen.

Striker bushing keeper screws appear to be brass. These are usually steel so may not be original.

Barrel extension appears in the photos to be two piece, where dovetail lump guns would usually have an extension made from one piece.

The top lever screw usually/often would have a small keeper screw.

It should be a nice gun if everything works ok. There might be a few little problems to start with but most can usually be sorted out without too much drama.

Looking forward to hearing how it shoots.

Oh by the way, if you end up taking the action apart for work or cleaning etc, be aware that the cocking lever screws sometimes have concealed keeper screws hidden under the action bottom plate.


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buckstix
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Re: Please help - explain marking on 450-400 EX Double Rifle [Re: 4seventy]
      #313217 - 27/02/18 10:38 AM

Quote:

Buck,
Good to see that you now know who built your rifle.
Well done Axel for identifying the maker.
.
Yes, Axel has come through again.
.
The action on this rifle is similar to what is often seen on Belgian double rifles.
There are a couple of small differences though.

The slot in the breech face which accommodates the barrel extension is milled right through to the top lever.

This slot usually terminates just before the top lever.
.
According to Braecker's 1926 catalog, this same feature is shown on their model 301 G and 302 S and 411 G models. All are milled through to the top lever.
.
There is a drilled hole high in the breech face which is not common in Belgian DR's that I have seen.
.
This hole is in-line with the hidden cross-bot and I assume its for lubrication of that cross-bolt.
.
Striker bushing keeper screws appear to be brass. These are usually steel so may not be original.
.
Not sure about this feature. I'll have to see if I can find another similar double rifle to verify.
.
Barrel extension appears in the photos to be two piece, where usually dovetail lump guns would have an extension made from one piece and integral with the sighting rib.
.
It is one piece, integral with the rib. Only the engraving changes on the extension.
.
The top lever screw usually/often would have a small keeper screw.
.
Again, according to Braecker's 1926 catalog, none of the models in the catalog show a keeper screw in the top lever. All the top levers are like the one on my rifle, no keeper screw.
.
It should be a nice gun if everything works ok. There might be a few little problems to start with but most can usually be sorted out without too much drama.

Looking forward to hearing how it shoots.

Oh by the way, if you end up taking the action apart for work or cleaning etc, be aware that the cocking lever screws sometimes have concealed keeper screws hidden under the action bottom plate.



.
Thank you for your comments.

--------------------
"You never pay too much for something, you only buy it too early."


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buckstix
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Re: Please help - explain marking on 450-400 EX Double Rifle [Re: buckstix]
      #313589 - 07/03/18 05:28 AM

I found an error in my scale when I first weighed this rifle. No wonder it felt lighter. It actually weighs 7 lbs 11 ounces. (not 11 lbs 1 oz) And loaded it weighs 7 lbs 15 oz. (not 11 lbs 5 oz) Even though this rifle only weighs about 8 pounds, its' superb balance, recoil is very tolerable. Tested loads of 2,000 fps with a 400g bullets have a felt recoil of about as much as a 300 Win Mag. This one is really a lot of fun to shoot.

--------------------
"You never pay too much for something, you only buy it too early."


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buckstix
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Re: Please help - explain marking on 450-400 EX Double Rifle [Re: buckstix]
      #316731 - 24/05/18 04:30 AM

Quote:

This one is really a lot of fun to shoot.




Update:

Because Factory Ammo is hard to find and very expensive, my 450-400-3-1/4" has been sent out for re-regulating to my favorite hand-load.

I'm also having the ventilated recoil pad replaced with a red Decelerator pad while its being re-regulated.

I'll be posting some targets in the near future.

--------------------
"You never pay too much for something, you only buy it too early."


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nopride2
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Re: Please help - explain marking on 450-400 EX Double Rifle [Re: buckstix]
      #316859 - 28/05/18 12:46 AM

Most 450-400s are too heavy. 8 pounds is about right in my opinion.

Dave


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buckstix
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Re: Please help - explain marking on 450-400 EX Double Rifle [Re: nopride2]
      #316926 - 30/05/18 07:44 AM

Hello nopride2

Thanks for the reply.

I agree that 8 pounds is fine. Recoil is very tolerable. No reason to go heavier.

--------------------
"You never pay too much for something, you only buy it too early."


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buckstix
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Re: Please help - explain marking on 450-400 EX Double Rifle [Re: buckstix]
      #318317 - 21/07/18 04:41 AM

.

***** UPDATE ***** JULY 20, 2018 *****

.

Well I've received the rifle back yesterday, less than 9-weeks from when it was sent away for its face-lift. Since the rifle was almost 90 years old, I decided to add a number of things to the list of updates for the rifle.

The top & bottom ribs were fully re-laid and the barrels were fully re-joined. The rifle was regulated to my load specs and the barrels were rust-blued. In addition, a new solid pad was installed to replace the ugly ventilated one and LOP was set at 14-3/8". Both front and rear sites were rebuilt, and lastly the frame hinge was tightened on face.

This rebuild should carry the rifle for the next 90+ years.

here are some pics.

BEFORE AND AFTER







--------------------
"You never pay too much for something, you only buy it too early."


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93x64mm
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Re: Please help - explain marking on 450-400 EX Double Rifle [Re: buckstix]
      #318321 - 21/07/18 08:10 AM

looks like you've had another win Buckstix!
Do you have to use a filler with your load?
Another silly question mate, but can the 450/400 3" be resized for the 3 1/4"?


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buckstix
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Re: Please help - explain marking on 450-400 EX Double Rifle [Re: 93x64mm]
      #318331 - 21/07/18 09:12 PM

Quote:

looks like you've had another win Buckstix!
Do you have to use a filler with your load?
Another silly question mate, but can the 450/400 3" be resized for the 3 1/4"?



Hello 93x64mm

Thanks for your reply.

I use 1/2" diameter foam backing rod , cut to 1.2" long, as a filler. Its available at local hardware stores in diameters of; 1/4", 3/8", 1/2", 5/8", 3/4", 7/8", and 1". I use it for all the cartridges where my loads don't fill the case. Its extremely light at less than 2 grains even in the bigger cases.

You CAN NOT use 450-400 3" cases to make 450-400 3-1/4" ammo. 450-400 3" cases have a bigger head diameter and a thicker rim.

--------------------
"You never pay too much for something, you only buy it too early."


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buckstix
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Re: Please help - explain marking on 450-400 EX Double Rifle [Re: buckstix]
      #318735 - 03/08/18 07:09 AM

******************** AUG 1 UPDATE **********************

Hello All,

I just acquired a vintage Westley Richards leather hard case for my little 450-400 double.

It is a very well used case with lots of character and vintage repairs. Unfortunately the lid was was missing the top latch. So, I purchased an old ragged leather suitcase on eBay for $10, and asked the seller to cut-off the latch and send it, and then to toss the rest of the suitcase in the garbage. The seller actually sent me everything including the bottom lock mechanism and key.

When the items arrived, I added the top latch to the WR case.

The case has a gorgeous old parchment label, and its embossed with the Westley Richards address and slogan. All-in-all its a good match, and the case is a perfect fit for this 450-400 ......



.



.



.



.



.



--------------------
"You never pay too much for something, you only buy it too early."


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