Expert advice, appraisals and the fascinating stories behind your firearms
My uncle bought this gun new back in the late 1960s or early ’70s (above), but I can’t find any information on it. Anything you could provide would be greatly appreciated. I would like to know the value of the gun, where it was manufactured and the actual make. Thank you.
Your shotgun is a Perfex, made in St. Etienne, France, by Manufrance, a large manufacturing and marketing company. Manufrance made and distributed a wide range of products, from firearms to bicycles to sewing machines.
The marking “Brevete S.D.G.D. France et etranger” on your gun stands for “Patented without guarantee of the government, France or foreign.” This appeared on a great many products manufactured in France between 1844 and 1968. It means the product was patented, but the French government makes no guarantee the patent is valid. The main purpose of this seems to have been to relieve the government of any liability in the case of disputes or lawsuits.
The Perfex model was brought out by Manufrance in 1962, and since your gun has the S.G.D.G. marking, it was most likely made prior to 1968. The lettering in English indicates it was made for export to English-speaking countries, such as Canada and the U.S.
Manufrance fell on hard times in the 1970s and underwent financial reorganizing before finally declaring bankruptcy in 1985. The last year of firearms manufacture appears to have been 1982. With the European Union making trade easier among European countries, Manufrance found it tough to compete, especially with Italian gun makers such as Beretta and Benelli.
The Perfex was considered a good quality, well-made shotgun. There were some complaints about its reliability and the need to keep it scrupulously clean, though this was fairly typical of semi-automatic shotguns of the era (and today, for that matter). There is little collector interest in this model, however, so its value is as a practical sporting arm.
This gun also has some strikes against it, such as lack of spare parts and an unfamiliar name. Today’s hunter looking for a semi-auto has many choices in new shotguns, and at various price levels. There are also a great many used models, including those with a better reputation, such as Browning’s long-recoil humpback and the Remington 1100. All of this is to say, there’s not a great demand for a Perfex that’s older than 50 years. On the plus side, your shotgun has a ventilated rib, and it appears to be in excellent condition. Assuming it functions reliably, it would likely be worth $300 to $400.