05 January 2012

Baker "Batavia Special": a classic American shotgun

I recently made an inventory of my firearms and came across a nice old piece that I had almost forgotten about. It's a classic hammerless sidelock double barrel with solid steel (i.e. not Damascus) barrels made by the Baker Gun Company in upstate New York c. 1910:

The Batavia Special was a utility, base-priced model with no fancy engraving, yet still the craftsmanship was outstanding. This model sold for $21.75 in 1909 (Baker Gun web site)--a time when the average American earned about $14 per week (http://kclibrary.lonestar.edu/decade10.html):

Did some laborer or clerk plunk down two weeks wages for this treasure?:

Dad was a sucker for side-by-side double barrels, and picked up this gun c. 1970. The buttstock may be original with nice walnut and well-cut checkering, but the beavertail forend was probably a later addition. Dad shot some doubles trap with it. He had better shooting guns for this purpose, but liked the Baker I think because of the sense of nostalgia and history that it brought to the line.

4 comments:

troutbirder said...

I had a double barrel for years that was my favorite upland birder...

Should Fish More said...

Beautiful shotgun. I had a hammers visible 10ga of my dad's that had damascus barrels, beautiful but I never found 10ga black powder loads. Wish I had kept it.

Terry Scoville said...

Nice photos of a well cared for old gem, thanks for the nostalgia.

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