The gun appears to be sound mechanically. If it has a fluid steel barrel, I would say go for it - have fun. If it perchance has a Damascus or twist-steel barrel, then keep it as a wall hanger.I have a basically identical Hopkins & Allen 12 ga "forehand" shotgun, except the serial numbers and overall condition of course. Your gun is absolutely beautiful!!! Mine is not so pretty as most of these firearms turn out to be. After all my research, i conclude that my gun was produced around 1902 and sold for about $5.00. What i'm finding is that most of the info i find tells me that these guns used black powder cartridges, and you can not use the modern smokeless powder cartridges. I also have come across several similar models of my gun up for sale, and the owners state they shoot fine using the modern cartridges. I also found this gun on the cover of American Rifleman Magazine , May 1976, accompanied by a box of shells in the more modern smokeless powder variety. I'm interested in whatever you might know, as far as ammo, parts, schematics, interchangeable barrels of different calibers, etc. I'd really appreciate any info you might be able to provide. Thanks, Josh.