Expert advice, appraisals and the fascinating stories behind your firearms
I have a 12-gauge over/under shotgun I received as a gift when I was 12 years old (above). I’m now 33, and I would love to learn more about this firearm, including who made it, where and when it was made, its original value, and its approximate value today. I have no intention of selling the gun, but I’m curious to know more. Thank you in advance for any information you can give me. I love the magazine, so keep up the great work!
Your shotgun was made by Investarm, founded in 1975 by three brothers from the Salvinelli family. The company is still in operation today, making single-shot and over/under shotguns, as well as black powder firearms. The business is located at Marcheno, Italy, not too far from the town of Gardone Val Trompia, which has long been a centre of firearms production. For a time, a Toronto company called Safari Arms imported and distributed Investarm guns in Canada. I can’t find the exact dates this company was in business, however.
All Italian firearms since the Second World War have a date code indicating the year of production. The letters “AT” on your shotgun reveal it was manufactured in 1988. These shotguns were made to be sold for modest prices, so they’re quite basic, with plain wood and checkering, and simple extractors instead of ejectors.
The quality of the components and workmanship has always been very good, however, and these shotguns have a solid reputation for reliability and durability. The marking “PSF” with a star on the barrels indicates the gun was proved for smokeless powder (polvere senza fumo in Italian). And the “FINOTO” marking with a star is the proofmark for finished firearms.
Currently, Investarm over/unders are only sold in Britain and Europe, with new models going for the equivalent of approximately $850. Since the current Canadian dollar has about doubled in value since 1988, a reasonable estimate for the original sale price of your gun in 1988 would be roughly $500. I can’t find any recent Canadian sales, but used Investarm shotguns in Britain seem to be priced around the equivalent of $450 to $500.