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#507912 03/10/18 07:57 PM
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Before 1914, only two companies were able to entirely manufacture weapons in workshops...in Leige..: the FN and Établissements Pieper.

Source: the remarkable work of Claude GAIER, Doctor of History and Director of the LIEGE ARMS Museum, Five centuries of Arms manufacturing in Liège, Editions du Perron, Alleur (Belgium)

With all the trade guns from Belgium it would be interesting to understand how many were from those 2 companies and how many produced in other 'states' of Belgium


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Talk about a complicated and in some aspects convoluted gun industry. Yet some of their 'trade' guns are perfect examples of a world class game gun.

So are we saying that numerous unnamed anonymous shops produced these game guns?

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Last edited by skeettx; 03/10/18 10:07 PM.

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England was little different with only a handful of shops able to manufacture the entire gun. I dare say Scott, and Webley had a hand in the majority of firearms produced outside of the boutique shops in London. And even they probably tipped their hats to Scott and/or Webley from time to time.


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There was a lot more builders in England then just two and merely procuring roughed out forgings from the cottage industry doesn't necessarily mean that the name stamped on the barrel did not build that gun.

But, at least in England we have a name whereas when we look at Belgium all we have is a masterpiece of a game gun and no markings, no name, no stampings as to who actually built it.

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That's the way the firearms industry worked in several European countries back then. A lot of no name guns came out of France as well, made by St. Etienne independent outworkers. Either that or the name on the gun was that of the shop that sold it rather than the "company" that made it.

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Yes, but how was quality control exerted over these small work shops? Its tough enough today to insure that control. In other words, I have a beautifully finished gun made from a forging I received that was made with junk steel. How would I know? But its my name being trashed for its my name on the finished product.

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Interesting legacy for Henri, seeing as he was the originating, driving force in both companies.


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Originally Posted By: treblig1958
Yes, but how was quality control exerted over these small work shops? Its tough enough today to insure that control. In other words, I have a beautifully finished gun made from a forging I received that was made with junk steel. How would I know? But its my name being trashed for its my name on the finished product.


Quality control was exercised by whomever arranged to have the gun in question made. If the barrel maker, actioner, stocker etc screws up, the word gets around, their reputation goes down the drain, and they don't get used any more. Vouzelaud in France would be an example of one modern "maker" that had their guns built by quality outworkers in St. Etienne. Some of that goes on--or has gone on--in this country. I recall Wisconsin gunsmith Hugh Lomas putting the finishing touches on AyA's that Bill Hanus was marketing under his "Hanus Bird Gun" brand. And Wisconsin stock maker Toby Leeds did the wood on some of the Ithaca Classic Doubles.

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“The Manufacture Of Firearms At Liege”
Board of Trade Journal, Volume 10 1891
http://books.google.com/books?id=-X3NAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA556&dq
The following information respecting the firearms industry of Liege, is extracted from a report by Vice-Consul Menzies, which was forwarded to the Foreign Office by Mr. G. de Courcy-Perry, Her Majesty's Consul-General at Antwerp.
The most important industry of Liege is the manufacture of firearms. There are over 180 gun-makers in the town alone, and in the district the industry gives employment to more than 40,000 workmen. The peculiarity of the Liege gun-making is that there are hardly any manufactories, as we understand the term, the various component parts of the firearms being made by the workmen at their own homes, and brought in ready made to the gunmaker, who thus merely requires premises for finishing and storing the arms. It will be at once seen how the economy realised by no extensive plant nor costly workshops being required enables the Liege maker to compete favourably with the manufacturers in, in this respect, less favoured countries.

Those 180 gun makers and 40,000 workers were the barrel makers, lock makers, actioners, stockers & finishers providing parts, and parts of guns to the major sporting arms players like Dumoulin, Francotte, Janssen Bros., Manufacture d’Armes à Feu Liégeoise & others.

Fabrique Nationale Herstal was established Oct 15, 1888 by Albert Simmonis, Jules Ancion, Dresse-Laloux, M.A.L., Dumoulin Freres, Joseph Janssen, Henri Pieper, Pirlot et Fresart, Credit General Liegeois, Nicolas Vivario, Auguste Francotte, and Emil et Leon Nagant BUT most of those makers continued to produce branded, "guild", and tradename guns for the U.S. market.

More here
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1vgxxWD_hui-i629-T1yxwY559DU-xzFFBDVe9ur3mCo/edit

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