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Why Bernard on CH, CHE, andplain old C?
Old 07-12-2018, 03:29 PM   #1
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Default Why Bernard on CH, CHE, andplain old C?

I have looked through the forum and have not seen this discussed. If it has been, my apologies.

I am struck by the curiousness of the decision to put Bernard Barrels on the Grade C guns? I personally find them to be the most striking Damascus pattern I have seen in person and am surprised such a distinctive pattern was not reserved for the higher grades. Now granted I have never seen any finest damascus barrels in person so they may be better in person.

I am certain I am not the 1st to ponder this question so I figure some of you fellows can possibly enlighten me on the matter.

I am sure some of the allure of Bernards is tied to the less common nature of them then regular Damascus patterns, but I still find it somewhat puzzling.
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Old 07-12-2018, 03:34 PM   #2
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I agree with you on them being the nicest looking. And some of the Laminated varieties are very nice as well.

The finer damascus seems to get washed out and too busy visually, in my opinion. But... they do require a lot more skill and time to make. So it makes sense that they would be reserved for higher grades and be priced accordingly.

The C grade is a bit of a gap-stop grade between D and B. They make have been chosen for that grade in krder to make it stand out more to perspective buyers. ???
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Old 07-12-2018, 03:39 PM   #3
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That is part of what I suspect because especially on the pre 1900 Cs, you get better checkering, finer scroll work, but the actual engraved animals are not much different then Ds in most cases. I just find it surprising they would make a whole other grade that's primary selling point was its barrel pattern. Though you have to consider, in the damascus era barrels were legitimately figured to be half the cost of the gun...not so much when fluid steel arrived, which is why I think the engraving on Cs changed so much in the early 1900s, both rondells and simpler B style engraving- 1 dog deeply engraved vs 2.
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Old 07-12-2018, 03:48 PM   #4
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Price for the "rough forged tubes" related to the complexity/artistry/time invested in the production thereof, and possibly to stand out from other U.S. makers. I've only seen a Bernard barrel on a Lefever.

Ferdinand Drissen 1897-1898 price list.
http://www.littlegun.be/arme%20belge...issen%20gb.htm
The conversion of Belgian francs to U.S. dollars in 1900 was about 5 francs to 1 dollar.
The complete charge for the barrels and gunsmithing for ‘3 band Crolle’ was 80 francs or about $16. Note three grades of ‘Boston’ damascus. Barrels 2-6 were each a Twist variant, and obviously much cheaper to produce.
Bernard I & II (used on the C grade) are at the bottom



The most expensive barrels offered by Drissen were E. Heuse-Lemoine 1st quality 4-band Crolle’ at 165f and 6-band Crolle’ at 180f (about $36), and likely the tubes on Grade 5s and 6s.

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Old 07-12-2018, 04:57 PM   #5
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The Bernard barrels used on Parker Bros grade-4 is the 'Bernard I' by far the most striking of the Bernard tubes.

I think that using these barrels on the Grade 4 simply helps to set off and legitimize the extra expense for the Grade 4 as well as create some, as we say these days, "sizzle" which is a good marketing ploy.





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File Type: jpg N 16 L N B S BW DSC_9150.jpg (339.2 KB, 3 views)
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Old 07-12-2018, 05:20 PM   #6
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Dean's image is from Manufacture Liegeoise D'Armes A Feu Damascus Salesman's Samples, published in Parker Pages in 2008 courtesy of Ken Waite Jr.

It has a subtle "Rose Pattern" and is clearly marked Bernard I.
No. 15 is labeled Bernard II and a more prominent "Rose Pattern". Maybe Dean could post a full size image.
It appears to me that No. 16 is "black & white" and No. 15 "browned"?

This is the Damascus sample display in the Buchsenmacher u. Jagdmuseum of Ferlach, Austria courtesy of Charles A. Herzog Sr. and Richard B. Hoover. Unfortunately the sample segments could not be removed from the display cases so the images were taken through the glass



Bernard I; the bottom acid etched



Acid etched Bernard I



Bernard II



c. 1900 product brochure illustration for N.J. Higny showing Quality No. 1 and 2 Bernard not much help
http://www.littlegun.be/arme%20belge...higny%20gb.htm



Bernard variants in Joseph Juleinond de Nessonvaux samples, unfortunately not labeled



Dr Gaddy's Bernard samples not labeled as to I or II, but with distinct rosettes



Parker Bernard courtesy the gold towel guy, and could be Bernard I



This is Larry Frey's, with more distinct rosettes


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Old 07-12-2018, 07:35 PM   #7
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Found another U.S. maker offering Bernard; American Arms Co. Fox Gun Side-swing No. 8 in 1881
https://books.google.com/books?id=rE...J&pg=PA242&lpg

and Colt



Possibly Bernard I



Remington 1875 Whitmore with Bernard I



and of course numerous U.S. smiths used Lindner actions and barrels. This is a Wm. R. Schaefer & Son, Boston


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Old 07-12-2018, 08:02 PM   #8
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This is a set of Bernard barrels I sent to Dale Edmonds. They turned out remarkably well with some of the best contrast I've seen.


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File Type: jpg 025_25.jpg (519.4 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg Bernard.jpg (272.6 KB, 2 views)
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Old 07-12-2018, 08:09 PM   #9
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This is the best I can do. These images were on one of the CD's that Austin Hogan gave to me.

It seems very likely that sample 15 was browned and 16 was finished in black & white.


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File Type: jpg KW 11 15 S DSC_9449.jpg (522.9 KB, 2 views)
File Type: jpg KW 16 20 S DSC_9448.jpg (511.0 KB, 2 views)
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Old 07-12-2018, 08:20 PM   #10
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And here is a set of orphaned and abused Lefever barrels I recently bought.


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File Type: jpg DSC_00001.jpg (526.1 KB, 2 views)
File Type: jpg DSC_0010.jpg (499.5 KB, 1 views)
File Type: jpg DSC_0007.jpg (398.6 KB, 5 views)
File Type: jpg DSC_0012.jpg (356.9 KB, 1 views)
File Type: jpg DSC_0013.jpg (435.6 KB, 3 views)
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