Daniel Myron Lefever was one of the geniuses of American gunmaking. Born in 1835, he started making firearms under his own name in 1857. Fifteen years later he was working with machinist Francis Dangerfield. Together they patented a doll’s head, thumb lift locking mechanism for breechloading shotguns.
In 1883, Lefever used part of this design on his new barrel-cocking hammerless shotgun, the first of its kind created in the US. The 16 gauge Lefever Arms Co. E grade you see here is built on those two patents. Made around 1886, it’s one of the first sixteens that the Lefever Arms Co. produced. From what I can see, it looks like it’s in pretty original condition. The only issue I can see with it is with the bbls: They’re short (26″) and possibly cut. Other than that, this125+ years old side-by-side looks like it in excellent shape.