Levi Coon

In the years 1810-35, a gunmaker named Levi Coon was active at Owego, New-York. This gunmaker seems to have specialized in making mixt shotguns like this one, and had acquired a good reputation.

During the percussion period (around 1835), his son Levi Coon jr seems to have focused on the production of rifle-and shotgun barrels. He runned a shop in the village of Ithaca, New-York.

Around the same period, "gunsmith & gunmaker" Levi Coon Jr opened a new shop at Mott Corners, Owego, New-York, for the production of barrels. That shop was runned by Alva Lull, Abiel Losey and their descendants. Apparently that shop was in direct competition to Eliphalet Remington's one, which was in the village of Ilion in the same state. A company named Levi Coon & Sons has been registered in the New York Mercantile Union Business Directory of the years 1850-1851, which was an official directory and in a way the ancestor of our modern Yellow Pages. This company was located 37 Aurora Street Ithaca, NY.

A few single-barrelled shotguns have been found, signed A.W. Spies on the lockplate and marked "L. Coon Warranted" on the barrel, which tends to indicate that various gunmakers did order shotgun barrels from Coon.

This arm has superposed barrels (over/under), which is typical for the hunting weapons used in the western part of the state of NY. Sibe-by-side barrels seem to have been more popular in the eastern part of the state. I believe it goes back to the beginning of the percussion era, I would say 1835-40.

As there was plenty of deers but also smaller game in that area, mixt guns were highly appreciated, because one single gun offered a smooth barrel for small game at short range, and another, rifled barrel for shooting big game at a longer distance.

A remarkable detail is that the gun has one single trigger for both barrels, which was unusual in those days.

There are no elements to establish that this gun was made by Coon. It may have been made by some unknown gunmaker who did not sign it, and equipped with Coon barrels. Anyways it may be considered rare, since even Norman Flayderman does not mention Levi Coon . His Guide only mentions a few styles of mixt S/S and O/U shotguns.