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 Post subject: hercules 12 gauge
PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2012 7:11 pm 
Utility Grade

Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2012 6:44 pm
Posts: 1
i have a old single shot 12 gauge that has been setting in the gun cabinet for years, it came from my grandpa many years ago. i just recently took it out as for this is my only shotgun i have now for deer season. i plan to see how she shoots this weekend. but im really wanting to know more info about it, ive tried researching but i just cant find anything other than its not worth anymore than prolly $25. im basically just wanting to know how old it is and who made it. the only thing it really has on it is the word Hercules and some numbers.
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This one reads "69 204"

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This one reads "selected forged steel"

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this one reads "11 00"

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This one just has the letter "D"

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This one is the letter "S" circled and also has a small letter "P" and what looks to be a "J" "T" or an "I" cant really tell.

Thanks for any help guys! :D




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 Post subject: Re: hercules 12 gauge
PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2012 10:20 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2007 11:12 am
Posts: 3420
Location: WA/AK
The gun was made by J. Stevens Arms Co., likely during the 1930s or early 40s.


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 Post subject: Re: hercules 12 gauge
PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2012 1:54 am 
Crown Grade

Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2008 10:42 pm
Posts: 3664
The gun is what I call a "Trade Brand Name" shotgun. A "Trade Brand Name" shotgun is one that was made by a major maker (and before 1940) for and was sold by a wholesale sporting goods dealer. a retail chain store or an independent seller ( your local hardware store) who chose the name to go on the gun. Guns with the name HERCULES were made by one of two makers, Stevens Arms & Tool Company of Chicopee Falls,MA (1864 to date) as said or by the Iver Johnson's Arms & Cycle Works of Fitchberg,MA (1871 to 1993). The guns were made for and sold by the Montgomery Ward Company, a retail chain store with offices in Chicago,IL.This gun cam be identified as have been made by Stevens. There is no published serial number-year made tables for Stevens made guns that I know of but Stevens did not start making "Trade Brand Name" guns until 1915 and this gun was made before 1940 so that gives you a time frame. Please before you start to shoot the gun and with slugs, have the gun inspected by a good competent gunsmith. It may be full choked and not safe to shoot slugs through it. As to value, these guns were inexpensive even when new selling for $15.00 to $25.00 and they haven't appreciated that much over the years. Todays values are determined by the guns condition, the amount of original finish remaining on the metal and wood as well as the mechanical condition. A prime condition example (rare) that appears to have come out of the factory yesterday afternoon might bring as much as $100 at auction while a rusty metal, rotten or broken wood and missing parts piece of junk fit only for parts salvage or as a tomato plant stake might fetch as little as $25.00. Good Hunting.


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 Post subject: Re: hercules 12 gauge
PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2012 9:47 am 
Crown Grade

Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2007 11:12 am
Posts: 3420
Location: WA/AK
The gun is a variation on the No. 94 which was first introduced as a Springfield Arms Co. gun in the 1929 J. Stevens Arms Co. catalogue. The Springfield Arms Co. name was introduced for the J. Stevens Arms Co.'s lower priced line in 1929. Prior to that their lower priced line was called Riverside Arms Co. Most of the "trade brand" guns made by the J. Stevens Arms Co. were guns from their Riverside and Springfield lines.

This gun is from a later time than the J. Stevens Arms & Tool Co. which was gone by 1916. Also, arms making left Chicopee Falls by 1961 when Savage/Stevens/Fox moved to their new factory in Westfield, Mass.

The logo is an oval enclosing a large S (Stevens) and PT (Proof Tested).


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