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How would I find out the history on an 1878 Colt shotgun that I have, it may have some kind of provenance as it came with an original Leather covered Hard Travel Case made by Louis Vuitton. Also The Stock has a sharp drop to it (why) It's in really mint condition. It would be great to have a value on it for insurance purposes.
 

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Most Colt doubles and contemporary Remingtons, Greeners, etc. have excessive drop by our standards. One reason is the style of shooting favored in the mid-19th Century was more "head up" than we favor.

Another was that the loadings were much lighter than we now use--just not as much recoil. Even the 10 guage, the standard field guage up until about the 1890s, used 2 5/8" shells, not the longer shells that became standard later. Most 12s were 2 1/2" with 7/8oz shot; a 1-oz load was heavy. So the less straight stock didn't generate the felt recoil that it would with modern shells.

Can't help you on value, but I can tell you any Colt double in truly excellent condition is a GEM!
 

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The Louis Vuitton company got its start making trunks and other travel accessories, so it is entirely possible that it made gun cases in the late 1800s. Does the case look "old?"

I cannot imagine that Colt would have any information about a gun case made by a French company.
 

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See page 223 in R.L. Wilson's Colt An American Legend for a photo of a Helfricht engraved and pearl stocked Colt Police Positive Special with a Louis Vuitton case of some sort. The photo description says nothing about the case though and it would have been interesting to know if the case was fitted for the revolver or was just a photo prop.
 
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