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12g Francotte Knockabout Double Barrel Shotgun

12g Francotte Knockabout Double Barrel Shotgun

Old shotguns with tons of condition spook me. I love original condition, so I’m excited to see any vintage side-by-side that looks brand new. At the same time, I wonder if what I’m really looking at is an excellent restoration. Unless I have the double in my hands, it’s hard to tell.

So when I saw this 12 gauge Francotte Knockabout I was intrigued, but then put off. Part of me thinks that this side-by-side is all original. But another part says no ‘friggin way.

12g Francotte Knockabout Double Barrel Shotgun

12g Francotte Knockabout Double Barrel Shotgun

Up until they were purchased by Abercrombie & Fitch, Von Lengerke & Detmold was a major importer of Francotte shotguns. The Knockabout was the lowest grade they offered. Shotguns like this were bought by guys who wanted a quality double that they could really use. That’s why so most of the ones you see today look more like this one: decent, but definitely used.

12g Francotte Knockabout Double Barrel Shotgun

12g Francotte Knockabout Double Barrel Shotgun

The one shown here looks like it spent more time in a closet than in a marsh or field. For a shotgun that’s 85+ years old, it’s just not showing it’s age. That’s what worries me. Did the owner really buy it, shoot it for a couple years, and then put it away for a lifetime?

Or was it restored 20- 30 years ago by someone who knew what they were doing, and then used gently since then? I just can tell from these pics. I have seen brand new, honestly 100% original shotguns  that are even older. And those are the ones that keep me hoping to find more.

What do you think? Let me know.

12g Francotte Knockabout Double Barrel Shotgun

12g Francotte Knockabout Double Barrel Shotgun

3 Responses to “Original or redone? A 12g Francotte Knockabout side by side…”

  1. Without a hands-on exam, no way to tell. If I had to guess, I’d say the gun is a restoration, and probably a good one. If not, it’s a real find and a true gem. Either way, a great shooter. Personally, I believe guns were made to shoot, more than to look at, regardless of their quality. I have friends whose gun safes are full of high-priced pieces of ordnance that haven’t been fired in decades. Nothing wrong with that, but I sure as hell wouldn’t stick a beautiful woman in a closet and only haul her out once or twice a year to fondle.

  2. Andy Kelley says:

    Definitely, redone stock, receiver and barrels ….nice looking gun with the straight stock and it is a Francotte that you could drag through the Alders and not sweat the scratches.

  3. steve says:

    looking at pic #1, stock has been off, lever is tired. and i thought knockabouts had a semi-pistol grip, w/ checkered “arrowhead”

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