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12 gauge - 38-55 Ballard Drilling, possibly made by Dangerfield-Lefever

12 gauge – 38-55 Ballard Drilling, possibly made by Dangerfield-Lefever

Daniel Myron Lefever was one of the geniuses of American gunmaking. Judging by the number of partnerships and businesses he formed in his career, he must have been mercurial, too.

Born in 1835, Uncle Dan started making firearms under his own name in 1857. Around 1871-1872, he was involved with a guy named Francis Dangerfield of Auburn NY. Then in 1876 Lefever partnerd up with a guy names John Nichols. This association was also short lived. By 1879, it was over and Lefever was back to making guns under his own name.

12 gauge - 38-55 Ballard Drilling, possibly made by Dangerfield-Lefever

12 gauge – 38-55 Ballard Drilling, possibly made by Dangerfield-Lefever

The gun you see must have been made during one of Lefevers association with Danagerfield or Nichols, or maybe right after these partnerships dissolved. Even though it doesn’t carries a maker’s name, it’s built with Dangerfield and Lefever patents, and it looks like the hammerguns made by Nichols & Lefever.

Whatever it is, it’s beautifully made, and it looks very original. Here’s more about it from the seller:

12 gauge - 38-55 Ballard Drilling, possibly made by Dangerfield-Lefever

12 gauge – 38-55 Ballard Drilling, possibly made by Dangerfield-Lefever

12 gauge, 38/55 Ballard. Possibly made by Dangerfield/Nichols/Lefever: This is a no name, no proof marks, no letters or numbers of any kind on the gun to suggest it was made in Europe. You can see from the pictures that the gun was built by an artist. It is a side by side 12 gauge with 2 and 9/16 chambers over a 38-55 Ballard rifle barrel. I have had a myriad of experts look at the gun and about the only thing they agree on is it was made in America around 1870 to 1880. The fixture on the barrel that holds the forend on is a Dan L., 1878 patent, #205193. Also identified is a 1872 Dangerfield patent, #130984.

12 gauge - 38-55 Ballard Drilling, possibly made by Dangerfield-Lefever

12 gauge – 38-55 Ballard Drilling, possibly made by Dangerfield-Lefever

Keep in mind these are not marked on the gun but rather identified by the experts, hence the patent dates and numbers were provided to me. The gun appears to have been shot very little. The reversed trigger not only cocks the hammerless rifle barrel but it also activates and creates a set trigger out of the left shotgun trigger but only when in the rifle mode. The removable gizmo on the end of the barrels is called a false muzzle, the purpose of which was to satisfy the wisdom of those days that the rifle would be more accurate if the rifling were engraved on the bullet before firing. The bullet was pushed/tapped down the barrel with a pre measured wooden dowel to a waiting primed and loaded case with just a thin wad to hold the powder. I can say with confidence that no one who has seen this gun has ever seen a gun of this quality with no markings. If you have I would like to hear from you. Price: $15,000.00

12 gauge - 38-55 Ballard Drilling, possibly made by Dangerfield-Lefever

12 gauge – 38-55 Ballard Drilling, possibly made by Dangerfield-Lefever

12 gauge - 38-55 Ballard Drilling, possibly made by Dangerfield-Lefever

12 gauge – 38-55 Ballard Drilling, possibly made by Dangerfield-Lefever

12 gauge - 38-55 Ballard Drilling, possibly made by Dangerfield-Lefever

12 gauge – 38-55 Ballard Drilling, possibly made by Dangerfield-Lefever

12 gauge - 38-55 Ballard Drilling, possibly made by Dangerfield-Lefever

12 gauge – 38-55 Ballard Drilling, possibly made by Dangerfield-Lefever

12 gauge - 38-55 Ballard Drilling, possibly made by Dangerfield-Lefever

12 gauge – 38-55 Ballard Drilling, possibly made by Dangerfield-Lefever

12 gauge - 38-55 Ballard Drilling, possibly made by Dangerfield-Lefever

12 gauge – 38-55 Ballard Drilling, possibly made by Dangerfield-Lefever

12 gauge - 38-55 Ballard Drilling, possibly made by Dangerfield-Lefever

12 gauge – 38-55 Ballard Drilling, possibly made by Dangerfield-Lefever

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