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Antique Percussion Shotguns

Like the rifle, the shotgun was forced to evolve as times changed. As percussion rifles became the norm, percussion shotguns didn’t trail far behind.

A percussion shotgun works by placing a small metal cap filled with a shock-sensitive explosive on top of a nipple, then striking it with a hammer. This creates a spark which ignites gunpowder and propels the shot forward. Many blunderbuss weapons and fowling pieces were converted to percussion from matchlock.

Double-barreled shotguns grew in popularity with the advent of percussion caps. They quickly became the standard by which shotguns were built. These shotguns were favored by cavalry units for the same reason that blunderbusses were: it was easier to strike targets from a moving horse. Hunters, ranchers, and farmers preferred the double barrel for its ease of use, power, and ability to kill in a single shot. Percussion weapons are relatively young and many are still in firing condition.


Quick Facts

  • The Confederate cavalry was legendary for their usage of percussion shotguns
  • Percussion caps and modern manufacturing developed the rabbit-ear hammers still found on double-barreled shotguns
  • Colt produced a revolving percussion shotgun known as the model 1855. It offered more than double the firepower of a double barrel but was expensive and brittle

Recommended Items at Auction

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Unmarked Belgian Percussion SxS 12 Gauge 32" Side by Side Shotgun, ANTIQUE
Mar 01, 9:00 AM PST
Unmarked Belgian Percussion SxS 12 Gauge 32" Side by Side Shotgun, ANTIQUE
by Lock Stock & Barrel Investments Inc.
Est: $200- $400
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Four Percussion Single Barrel Long Arms
Mar 06, 9:00 AM CST
Four Percussion Single Barrel Long Arms
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Est: $600- $1,000
$5001 Bid
ANTIQUE WILLIAM MOORE & CO PERCUSSION SHOTGUN
Feb 26, 6:00 PM PST
ANTIQUE WILLIAM MOORE & CO PERCUSSION SHOTGUN
by O'Gallerie
Est: $300- $500
$1501 Bid
ANTIQUE N.N. WILMOT PERCUSSION SHOTGUN
Feb 26, 6:00 PM PST
ANTIQUE N.N. WILMOT PERCUSSION SHOTGUN
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Est: $200- $300
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Unknown Belgian Double Barrel Percussion Shotgun
Mar 06, 9:00 AM CST
Unknown Belgian Double Barrel Percussion Shotgun
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Est: $300- $500
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Two European Double Barrel Shotguns
Mar 06, 9:00 AM CST
Two European Double Barrel Shotguns
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Est: $500- $900
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Engraved European Style Percussion Fowler with Brass Lockplate
Mar 06, 9:00 AM CST
Engraved European Style Percussion Fowler with Brass Lockplate
by Rock Island Auction Company
Est: $500- $900
$4500 Bids
Engraved and Gold Inlaid Double Barrel Percussion Shotgun
Mar 06, 9:00 AM CST
Engraved and Gold Inlaid Double Barrel Percussion Shotgun
by Rock Island Auction Company
Est: $350- $550
$3000 Bids
BELGIAN PERCUSSION-LOCK SHOGTUN WITH CARVED STOCK, 16 BORE
Feb 23, 11:00 AM EST
BELGIAN PERCUSSION-LOCK SHOGTUN WITH CARVED STOCK, 16 BORE
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Est: $1,000- $1,500
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19th Century Double Barrel Percussion Rifle/Shotgun Combo, .40/12 Ga.
Feb 29, 10:00 AM EST
19th Century Double Barrel Percussion Rifle/Shotgun Combo, .40/12 Ga.
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Est: $100- $150
$500 Bids
A 12-BORE PERCUSSION DOUBLE-BARRELLED SPORTING GUN SIGNED 'C.L. WITTE', no visible serial number,
Mar 25, 10:00 AM GMT
A 12-BORE PERCUSSION DOUBLE-BARRELLED SPORTING GUN SIGNED 'C.L. WITTE', no visible serial number,
by Holts Auctioneers
Est: £300- £500
£3000 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Antique Percussion Shotguns


Rock Island Auction Company

Rock Island Auction Company

O'Gallerie

O'Gallerie

Thomaston Place Auction Galleries

Thomaston Place Auction Galleries

Holts Auctioneers

Holts Auctioneers