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Discussion Starter #1
Here are some pics of the engraving on my Model 1878 shotgun. The Colt letter states it is factory engraved, but the engraver is not identified. Is it possible to identify the engraver by looking at the engraving patterns? I can take more and better pics if needed. Thanks.
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Wow, very nice. Where or whom was it shipped and where? Is it a 10 gauge? I do shoot my 1878 10 gauge with low pressure smokeless loads. What condition are are the bores?
 

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It is a 12 gauge with SN 671. According to the Colt letter, it was shipped on September 7, 1879 to Howe & Jacobs. I have searched the web and have not been able to find anything about Howe & Jacobs. So I'm interested in learning more about who they may have been. Attached are a two more pics. One shows a bird engraved in the trigger guard. The other shows the pistol grip which is not the typical one you see on the M1878.
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If the inhouse engraver marked it, and that is a big "IF" you will have to remove the buttstock to find out. BUT I doubt that it's marked anywhere. COLT has always had the philosphy that they engraving has to be "Expert" or "Master" to be so marked by the engraver.

That's not to say that it wasn't expertly done, it is just there inhouse grading for marking the guns.
 

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Does your Factory Letter Indicate the Level of Engraving?-- It should. 1878 Shotguns were offered in 6 Engraving Grades,-- 1 through 6---With Grade 1 just a borderline, & Grade 6 Highly embellished. Yours appears to be at least a 4 or 5.-- Most of the 78' Engraving came from the shop of Cuno Helfricht, & yours looks to be of his style. As Kid said, Colt rarely named the engraver on 19th Century guns. That practice of naming the engraver, while still rare, came later. At any rate, a beautiful piece, done by the hand of a master.
 

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Does your Factory Letter Indicate the Level of Engraving?-- It should. 1878 Shotguns were offered in 6 Engraving Grades,-- 1 through 6---With Grade 1 just a borderline, & Grade 6 Highly embellished. Yours appears to be at least a 4 or 5.-- Most of the 78' Engraving came from the shop of Cuno Helfricht, & yours looks to be of his style. As Kid said, Colt rarely named the engraver on 19th Century guns. That practice of naming the engraver, while still rare, came later. At any rate, a beautiful piece, done by the hand of a master.
The factory letter, from MS Huber, only states "Factory Engraved - Yes" and a comment that the name of the engraver is not in the records. I love the gun. I looked for 10 years for a nice one. I have seen low grade M1978s that were approaching factory new condition, but this one is has high condition and is of much higher grade.

PS: I like your signature "De Oppresso Liber" - Special Ops background?
 
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