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Discussion Starter #1
A few weeks ago, I bought a French shotgun made by Darne, pronounced Darn.

In trying to decode all the stamping marks, a true Darne expert is saying the gun was re-stocked with American black walnut not the original French black walnut....

My question is, can someone really tell the difference between American or French walnut by simply looking at it???

Jim
 

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^...LOL!
Unfortunately, the gun will never be "original" again IF the stock was replaced.
What are you looking to do with it?
 

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I’m thinking the Darne expert determined the stock was not original from other clues and added in that its American and not European walnut???
 

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My question is, can someone really tell the difference between American or French walnut by simply looking at it??

Jim
Jim,
In many cases it may be possible for someone to tell the difference. The two walnut types are very different in appearance and color.
 

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A few weeks ago, I bought a French shotgun made by Darne, pronounced Darn.

In trying to decode all the stamping marks, a true Darne expert is saying the gun was re-stocked with American black walnut not the original French black walnut....

My question is, can someone really tell the difference between American or French walnut by simply looking at it???

Jim
Yes they can tell the difference. The French version looks gay.

They are both of the same species (Juglans nigra). If the French walnut is actually French (European) walnut, it's a different species (Juglans regia ) and someone familiar would be able to tell the difference.
 

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I believe their is a National Forestry Service Headquarters in Wisconsin (Madison?). They have tested a few species of wood for us so that we may be able to get a correct match with some work we have done. I can get you the info if you are interested in talking with them? Also, if you look up The Wood Database I bet they may be able to help you out as well, great source of info for me. The guys at the forestry service were awesome and I had results pretty quick.
 

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A few weeks ago, I bought a French shotgun made by Darne, pronounced Darn.

In trying to decode all the stamping marks, a true Darne expert is saying the gun was re-stocked with American black walnut not the original French black walnut....

My question is, can someone really tell the difference between American or French walnut by simply looking at it???

Jim
Ian McCollum at Forgotten Weapons is a French firearms expert. You may want to contact him through his website. The reference book he wrote in the subject is supposed to be out very soon, also. They say it's going to be the go-to book to reference French firearms so he may be able to help you out. This links to Darne machine guns but he may know more than just machine guns. Hell you may get lucky and he ask to feature it on his website and do a video about it.



His father is a firearms expert, also and can be seen on episodes of the show 'Tales of the Gun' that came on Discovery Channel way back when.
 

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Jim, I remember you were pretty excited getting this gun. I hope you are still happy with your purchase.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I’m thinking the Darne expert determined the stock was not original from other clues and added in that its American and not European walnut???


440 and every else, let me see if I can lay this whole thing out for you and, have it make sense....

Bought this shotgun off Guns international.
It was advertised as a V model, grade 20.
The V model is the highest before you go full custom order, the highest grade is 22.

In trying to figure out all the stamping marks ( there's a LOT!! ) to decode this gun, I found out these old French guns were kind of ID'ed will nilly, they documented every step of the build but not in a logical way, Darne was about the worst.

Trying to get an appox age, the serial # makes no sense at all, apparently since it went Japan??

The stock has the same production number as the rest of the gun.
I think it's X 104 it's all over the gun.
Since these guns were completely hand made, they IDed the parts as they went along with a short # to keep the parts together.
The stock has this X 104 stamped into it, if it was restocked, it was done perfectly!!!!

Here is part of an E-mail from the Darne expert.

Jim,
I would guess that gun ended up in a Japanese territory or Japan proper
prior to
the second big war. Indochina was full of French colonies and French
controlled
industries, and some of the stuff ended up on the market or just plain stolen
at that time. The numbers like that that I have seen previous all came from
guns that had been in Japan. A lot of US servicemen came home with neat guns
that were in Japan.
Just a guess, but it is an educated guess, based on what I have seen.

Darne guns were never factory produced with full, flat pistol grip stocks.
Either a straight English, or a semi pistolette, with a POW type round end.
They were never factory stocked with American black walnut, either, which, is
what is on your gun.
I wouldn?t be bothered too much about either the grade being a P or the
restock,
if the gun fits you, and you were happy with the price. A P is a high
grade gun.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I would think the flat bottom on the pistol grip could of been custom ordered??
Hard to believe he can tell the difference between French & American walnut but, maybe?????

Just trying to decode & figure out better what I have here.

Thanks everyone, Jim
 

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440 and every else, let me see if I can lay this whole thing out for you and, have it make sense....

Bought this shotgun off Guns international.
It was advertised as a V model, grade 20.
The V model is the highest before you go full custom order, the highest grade is 22.

In trying to figure out all the stamping marks ( there's a LOT!! ) to decode this gun, I found out these old French guns were kind of ID'ed will nilly, they documented every step of the build but not in a logical way, Darne was about the worst.

Trying to get an appox age, the serial # makes no sense at all, apparently since it went Japan??

The stock has the same production number as the rest of the gun.
I think it's X 104 it's all over the gun.
Since these guns were completely hand made, they IDed the parts as they went along with a short # to keep the parts together.
The stock has this X 104 stamped into it, if it was restocked, it was done perfectly!!!!

Here is part of an E-mail from the Darne expert.

Jim,
I would guess that gun ended up in a Japanese territory or Japan proper
prior to
the second big war. Indochina was full of French colonies and French
controlled
industries, and some of the stuff ended up on the market or just plain stolen
at that time. The numbers like that that I have seen previous all came from
guns that had been in Japan. A lot of US servicemen came home with neat guns
that were in Japan.
Just a guess, but it is an educated guess, based on what I have seen.

Darne guns were never factory produced with full, flat pistol grip stocks.
Either a straight English, or a semi pistolette, with a POW type round end.
They were never factory stocked with American black walnut, either, which, is
what is on your gun.
I wouldn?t be bothered too much about either the grade being a P or the
restock,
if the gun fits you, and you were happy with the price. A P is a high
grade gun.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I would think the flat bottom on the pistol grip could of been custom ordered??
Hard to believe he can tell the difference between French & American walnut but, maybe?????

Just trying to decode & figure out better what I have here.

Thanks everyone, Jim
Contact Ian McCollum. He does workshops to train ATF, FBI on serials, proof marks, acceptance marks, stamps, how to ID them, etc. French guns are his specialty.


Here is one of his workshops called "Introduction to Proof Marks and other Firearms Identification(1880-1945)"

He knows French guns and how to ID & research guns in general



Email him. Now. Stop waiting.

[email protected]
 

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Today's video is about how to identify real, reworked, & fake Broomhandle Mausers. He knows his stuff about all kinds of guns.

 
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