Founded in 1852 for the initial purpose of providing banking service to California, Wells Fargo rapidly grew due to demand caused by the California Gold Rush, and by the time the gold rush came to an end in 1855, Wells Fargo dominated the banking and express service industry in the West. Pieces of the Wells Fargo legacy are in high demand by collectors, and this piece of Wells Fargo heritage is documented in the Ithaca factory records. As confirmed in the factory letter, this Ithaca shotgun was finished on November 17, 1911, and sold to the legendary Wells Fargo & Company Express as a Grade X with 24 inch fluid steel barrels in 12 gauge. It is not often we catalog Wells Fargo shipped firearms, especially shotguns with factory "coach" barrels (18 to 24 inches). The origin of these short barreled shotguns date back to the Wild West when Wells Fargo issued them to their stagecoach guards for defense. While the stagecoach had long since vanished from the American landscape by the time this coach gun left the factory in 1911, the short barreled shotgun remained a popular weapon of choice with Wells Fargo guards. The right side of the frame has the Wells Fargo marking: "W.F.&CO. EX. 238." Includes a Wells Fargo & Co. Express guard marked badge.
Good displaying all the character of a well-traveled Wells Fargo coach gun with the barrels retaining 30% original blue finish. The heavily worn and cracked stock also proudly wear the scars of a Wells Fargo working gun. Mechanically excellent. A true piece of Wells Fargo & Co. Express history!
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