High grade L.C. Smiths side-by-sides are some of the nicest double barrels ever made in America. Just check out this 12 gauge No. 5 to see what I mean.
In their 1900 catalog, the Hunter Arm Company wrote that the L.C. Smith No. 5 was designed for shooters “in need of a gun handsomely finished and elaborately engraved.” The actions were filed up in the usual Smith style, and then finished with elaborate engraving of dogs, flowers, and scrollwork. Patterns varied, though, because No. 5s were custom-made shotguns and customers could specify what they wanted to see.
L.C. Smith made just 484 shotguns in No. 5 grade: 1 in 8 gauge, 11 in 10 gauge, 414 in 12 gauge, 37 in 16 gauge, and 21 in 20 gauge guns. That mans the one shown here is rare. When you factor in its original condition, it gets even harder to find.