Straight shooter: 5 fascinating vintage firearm appraisals from our gun expert

Guns & ammo

Expert advice, appraisals and fascinating firearms stories

This Stevens Model 58 16-gauge shotgun (above) has been in our family for a number of years, and I would like to know more about it, such as the year it was made and its value. It is stamped with “Savage Arms Corporation Chicopee Falls, Mass. USA.” Also, there are two circles, one stamped with the letters “sp” and the other with “23i.”

I also have a side-by-side 12-gauge with “Monte Carlo, Made in Hungary” stamped on it. All the numbers on the barrels, as well as the stock, are the same: 46652. The hammers and triggers work fine. It was my uncle’s gun, and it’s been in storage for 30 years or so. Thanks for your time.

JIM LAMASH

VERMILION, ALBERTA

 The Stevens Model 58 was introduced in 1933 and discontinued around 1966. I have the Savage-Stevens catalogue from 1962, and it shows the Model 58 as still being in production at that time. The letters “sp” in a circle are the Savage/Stevens proof mark. In 1948, Savage/Stevens began using a letter code for the year of production. With the marking “23 i,” the letter “i” indicates the gun was made in 1956, while the number 23 refers to the inspector who completed the final inspection.

Bolt-action shotguns such as this were fairly popular farm/utility guns into the 1960s; I’ve seen a lot of them hanging on nails in barns and on farmhouse porches for pest control. They were considered reliable, durable, inexpensive repeating shotguns, though not very fast for follow-up shots. They often didn’t get a lot of care, so they are seldom found in good condition. In today’s market with inexpensive pump-action shotguns, such as those from Maverick and Stevens available for $250 to $300, there’s little to no demand for bolt-action shotguns. Nor am I aware of any collector interest at present. Your Model 58 appears to have been very well kept and in much better condition than most, but even so, I’d estimate it to be worth just $150 to maybe $200.

As for your 12-gauge, Hungarian shotguns are considered to be reliable, durable and made well with good materials. They are moderately priced utility guns, not as fancy or well fitted as the better English and Italian doubles. Most Hungarian doubles are based on a 1920s-era design by Rudolf Frommer. Currently, there is no particular collector interest that I’m aware of in such guns, but double gun fans do respect them as good, reliable sporting arms. As with your Stevens Model 58, your shotgun seems to have been well cared for. I can’t find any comparable sales to help with determining the value, but somewhere in the $350 to $500 range seems reasonable.

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