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#12516 - 11/29/06 10:28 PM information on an old gun
Jeremiah Offline

Registered: 11/29/06
Posts: 1
Hello, I'm looking for information on an old gun that is in my family. It was my grandpa's gun and there's a million stories on how he got it, the only actual fact is that he got it in WWII in Germany. I cannot find any info about it and I don't know anything about old guns. It is a side by side 16 gauge with double triggers and hammers. it is stamped on the side in small letters M.G. Stahl. It has a steel buttplate on it that has a large 'G' with eco in the G (so Geco?). When you take off the barrel it has some tiny, tiny stamps on each barrel- they are the german eagle, a 'w' with a crown above it and a 'u' with a crown above it. Does anyone know how I can find out ANY info about it???

#12522 - 11/29/06 11:52 PM Re: information on an old gun [Re: Jeremiah]
PeteM Offline

Registered: 11/29/05
Posts: 4583
Loc: IL
If you can post pictures of the gun it will help. Especially where ever see any of the lettering. I am sure some one can help. Yes, Geco was a German gun maker.


#12525 - 11/30/06 03:07 AM Re: information on an old gun [Re: PeteM]
Greg Tag Offline

Registered: 01/01/02
Posts: 2751
Loc: Aggieland, Texas
GECO is a trademark of Gustav Genschow of Hamburg, according to Carder's "Side by Sides of the World". You have a fair to middlin' grade of German gun, sort of a Chevrolet. Durable, useful, well made, but not extremely expensive.

M. G. Stahl is short for "Maschinengewehr stahl", or "Maschinengewehrlauf stahl ", literally "machine-gun steel", or "machine-gun barrel steel". This is a typical puff term from the marketing department, much as LC Smith used the term "armor steel".

The small marks are "proof marks" , including associated letters and numberts, and will give us a means to date the gun, including possibly the actual month and year it was proved. "The Crown over U " is the proofmark, and "Crown over W" is the indicator that the barrels have choke. Th German Eagle, if it is the Imperial Eagle, is a pre-1939 mark. If it is a Nazi Reich Eagle, it is 1939 and later.

Look forward to the pics or full descriptions.


Texas Declaration of Independence 1836 -The Indictment against the dictatorship, Para.16:"It has demanded us to deliver up our arms, which are essential to our defence, the rightful property of freemen, and formidable only to tyrannical governments."

#12547 - 11/30/06 09:00 AM Re: information on an old gun [Re: Greg Tag]
ChiefShotguns Offline

Registered: 01/02/02
Posts: 2287
Loc: Georgia
Geco was a giant sporting goods retailer throughout Europe, not an actual gun maker. Their guns were made under contract by several different makers, much like Craftsman tools are made for Sears. J P Sauer made many of them, if it is a Sauer it will have the Sauer logo consisting of intertwined script "SUS" letters, standing for Sauer und Sohns. This will be on the barrel flats and/or the action flats, called a "watertable." They were also made by Simson, also a good German maker, as well as several Belgian makers. Sounds like your proof marks at least indicate German make, normally better than lower grade Belgian.

#12561 - 11/30/06 10:11 AM Re: information on an old gun [Re: ChiefShotguns]
gil russell Offline

Registered: 02/27/03
Posts: 1226
Loc: Southwest
Greg and Larry: Were there other German makers using the Geco trade name? It was always my guess or understanding that the name was merely to give the makers another venue to sell through; like GMC and Chevy trucks coming off the same assembly line. Of course today, there doesn't seem to be the name recognition of Geco at least in this country. Is Geco still a living, breathing entity? best regards, gil

#12578 - 11/30/06 11:11 AM Re: information on an old gun [Re: gil russell]
ChiefShotguns Offline

Registered: 01/02/02
Posts: 2287
Loc: Georgia
Geco actually contracted with gun makers for firearms stamped with the Geco logo. Sears contracted with various gun makers in the US in the same way. Sears still does this with their line of tools, as an example, the Craftsman brand dehumidifier I have in my vault is actually made by RCA Whirpool, but it says Craftsman on it and the owners manual says Craftsman. I saw the same machine at Lowes with the Whirpool name. A reprint book by The German Gun Collectors Association states that Geco initially sold ammunition and loading components from 1887 on and began actually manufacturing a line of .22 LF rifles in 1924. These are the only firearms actually manufactured by Geco. They apparently had retail stores in major cities throughout Europe. While no longer still in business as a large retailer of sporting goods, after several mergers, the Geco name is still seen on ammunition made by Dynamit Nobel AG of Austria.
My understanding from a conversation with Dietrich at GGCA is that Sauer and Simson were the largest German makers selling to Geco, but they were the largest German makers period, so that seems reasonable. I am quite sure he said that other makers also provided German made guns, and he pointedly said that the commonly seen Belgian made Geco guns were not of the same quality as the German guns.

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