i can't tell you a date for the manufacture of a 16ga.shotgun but i own a 12ga. singleshot shotgun made by mass. arms co. with patent date December 1900. i hope this info will help someone with finding the answer.
MOST of the single shot shotguns do not have really high values. The Stevens is a good gun- dependable, reliable, well made- but not a lot of collector interest. Depending on condition, a Stevens single may be worth between $50-$175. I keep a few of the singles around as loaner guns to new shooters- they are a very good shotgun for a "first shotgun".
patented Dec. 11. 1900 probably a Stevens modelAnswerThe date mentioned in the first response is indeed a J. Stevens patent. Shotgun Markings says that Massachusetts Arms single shotguns by Stevens were made "1920 and later". If that date does not belong with the gun in the original question, the REAL Massachusetts Arms Company made a few shotguns in Chicopee Falls between 1860 and 1893. These would have an unusual tip-up action and look a bit odd when compared to a modern single shot top-break.
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