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Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 131
Sidelock
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Sidelock

Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 131
recently lucked into a nice 12ga Baker Batavia Leader. But a little confused because of the serial # and barrels. All numbers match #110, but has chain damascus barrels where I would expect twist in older guns and fluid steel in Folsom era guns. I was under the impression that the older Baker Leaders started with serial #s in the 70,000+ range.

Glad to see a Baker web site is under construction by DrBob. Maybe he or Mr Hallquist can help with the answers. I've misplaced my copy of Daryl's article from Guns Illustrated 1997.
Here are some pics:

Thanks

Jeff

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Jeff, your gun is an unusual one. Judging from the quality of the metal finish and the stamping of Baker Gun Co. and Batavia Leader it appears to be a very early Folsom made gun. Probably they were using up parts acquired from Baker Gun and Forging Company in 1919. The making of Damascus barrels was severely altered in WW1 and of course with the developement of fluid steels. The other possibility is a "lunch box" gun. I tend to lean toward the former for whatever reason. The earliest Batavia Leader I have recorded from Folsom is 553F.

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Sidelock
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Based off of a handful of things I see in the pictures, I'm guessing that your gun was put together by Folsom after they bought the gunmaking portion of Baker. The placement of the retaining screw for the firing pin is below the center line of the breech balls, the right side is marked "Baker Gun Co." instead of "Batavia, NY", and the shape of some of the action lines indicates Folsom build instead of Baker Gun & Forging Co.

I know that Folsom put together some Baker guns from leftover parts they acquired in the sale, so that would explain the barrels.

Edit - Hit the "Submit" and found Daryl beat me to it!

Last edited by BPFischer; 03/31/11 02:22 PM.
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Beautiful Chain Damascus barrels!! Very interesting gun.

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I agree, the firing pin retaining screw, is to me a give away that it is a Folsom gun. I may be wrong, but I didn't think that the earlier non-Folsom guns ever had that screw in that location. What numbers are on the barrels, forearm metal and forearm wood and on the trigger guard? Opps, I now see the number on the barrel. I also never saw the number on that part of the lug.

Last edited by Dave Katt; 03/31/11 03:21 PM.
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Sidelock
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As far as I know the retaining screw was always above the center of the breech balls on the Baker made guns. Only gun that I know of that was different was the Black Beauty and it simply didn't have the retaining screw.

Which leads me to notice one more thing about the gun pictured above...

The top lever is stippled instead of checked. Most of the Folsom made Leaders I've seen have a checked surface. The top lever for the Baker made Black Beauty was stippled just like the one pictured. Another reason to think it may have been assembled by Folsom from leftover Baker parts.

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Sidelock
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Sidelock

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Thanks to all for the quick replies. So I've got an early Folsom gun. Glad the maker grabbed the chain damascus tubes.

Jeff


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