How collectible is your firearm? These Outdoor Canada readers find out

Guns & ammo

Expert advice, appraisals and fascinating firearms stories

I have a W. H. Wakefield & Co. shotgun (above) with the serial number 3085. I don’t know very much about it. My granddad won it in a poker game in Prince George in the 1950s, so its value was never much of a concern. He died when I was two, so it’s my link to him. Any information about the gun and its value would be great.

Andrew Bouey

Vancouver, B.C.

William Henry Wakefield founded his like-named company around 1878, and it remained as a family run business until the mid-1920s. The company was primarily a maker and distributor of gunpowder at facilities in Kendal and Liverpool, England. It also ran a shop in Birmingham, where it sold shotgun cartridges and shotguns.

Apparently, the shotguns were made by a trade maker and marked with the Wakefield name. While it can’t be confirmed, the Greener-style cross-bolt lock-up suggests your shotgun may have been manufactured by W. W. Greener. It was likely made before 1900, as external hammers fell out of favour in the 1890s.

Wakefield-marked shotguns don’t appear to come up for sale very often, but they seem to be fairly well regarded in Britain. I can’t find much information about sales, but I did come across one Wakefield that sold for £395 (approximately $640). That shotgun was in better condition than yours, however, and it sold in Britain where doubles are more in demand as collectibles and sporting arms.

Your shotgun has quite a bit of rust on the breech end of the barrels, reducing its value. Also, there aren’t a lot of Canadian collectors of old double shotguns, especially ones with external hammers, so I estimate it might bring in $250 to $300 at an auction. Considering its age I wouldn’t shoot it, but it’s certainly a nice reminder of your grandfather.

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