Wow- Is this a super rare Dangerfield-Nichols-Lefever American drilling?

12 gauge - 38-55 Ballard Drilling, possibly made by Dangerfield-Lefever
12 gauge – 38-55 Ballard Drilling, possibly made by Dangerfield-Lefever

Daniel Myron Lefever was one of the geniuses of American gunmaking. Judging by the number of partnerships and businesses he formed in his career, he must have been mercurial, too.

Born in 1835, Uncle Dan started making firearms under his own name in 1857. Around 1871-1872, he was involved with a guy named Francis Dangerfield of Auburn NY. Then in 1876 Lefever partnerd up with a guy names John Nichols. This association was also short lived. By 1879, it was over and Lefever was back to making guns under his own name.

12 gauge - 38-55 Ballard Drilling, possibly made by Dangerfield-Lefever
12 gauge – 38-55 Ballard Drilling, possibly made by Dangerfield-Lefever

The gun you see must have been made during one of Lefevers association with Danagerfield or Nichols, or maybe right after these partnerships dissolved. Even though it doesn’t carries a maker’s name, it’s built with Dangerfield and Lefever patents, and it looks like the hammerguns made by Nichols & Lefever.

Whatever it is, it’s beautifully made, and it looks very original. Here’s more about it from the seller:

12 gauge - 38-55 Ballard Drilling, possibly made by Dangerfield-Lefever
12 gauge – 38-55 Ballard Drilling, possibly made by Dangerfield-Lefever

12 gauge, 38/55 Ballard. Possibly made by Dangerfield/Nichols/Lefever: This is a no name, no proof marks, no letters or numbers of any kind on the gun to suggest it was made in Europe. You can see from the pictures that the gun was built by an artist. It is a side by side 12 gauge with 2 and 9/16 chambers over a 38-55 Ballard rifle barrel. I have had a myriad of experts look at the gun and about the only thing they agree on is it was made in America around 1870 to 1880. The fixture on the barrel that holds the forend on is a Dan L., 1878 patent, #205193. Also identified is a 1872 Dangerfield patent, #130984.

12 gauge - 38-55 Ballard Drilling, possibly made by Dangerfield-Lefever
12 gauge – 38-55 Ballard Drilling, possibly made by Dangerfield-Lefever

Keep in mind these are not marked on the gun but rather identified by the experts, hence the patent dates and numbers were provided to me. The gun appears to have been shot very little. The reversed trigger not only cocks the hammerless rifle barrel but it also activates and creates a set trigger out of the left shotgun trigger but only when in the rifle mode. The removable gizmo on the end of the barrels is called a false muzzle, the purpose of which was to satisfy the wisdom of those days that the rifle would be more accurate if the rifling were engraved on the bullet before firing. The bullet was pushed/tapped down the barrel with a pre measured wooden dowel to a waiting primed and loaded case with just a thin wad to hold the powder. I can say with confidence that no one who has seen this gun has ever seen a gun of this quality with no markings. If you have I would like to hear from you. Price: $15,000.00

12 gauge - 38-55 Ballard Drilling, possibly made by Dangerfield-Lefever
12 gauge – 38-55 Ballard Drilling, possibly made by Dangerfield-Lefever
12 gauge - 38-55 Ballard Drilling, possibly made by Dangerfield-Lefever
12 gauge – 38-55 Ballard Drilling, possibly made by Dangerfield-Lefever
12 gauge - 38-55 Ballard Drilling, possibly made by Dangerfield-Lefever
12 gauge – 38-55 Ballard Drilling, possibly made by Dangerfield-Lefever
12 gauge - 38-55 Ballard Drilling, possibly made by Dangerfield-Lefever
12 gauge – 38-55 Ballard Drilling, possibly made by Dangerfield-Lefever
12 gauge - 38-55 Ballard Drilling, possibly made by Dangerfield-Lefever
12 gauge – 38-55 Ballard Drilling, possibly made by Dangerfield-Lefever
12 gauge - 38-55 Ballard Drilling, possibly made by Dangerfield-Lefever
12 gauge – 38-55 Ballard Drilling, possibly made by Dangerfield-Lefever
12 gauge - 38-55 Ballard Drilling, possibly made by Dangerfield-Lefever
12 gauge – 38-55 Ballard Drilling, possibly made by Dangerfield-Lefever

On Gunbroker.com now: a real early 16 gauge Lefever double barrel shotgun…

16 gauge Lefever E-grade Thumb Lifter Shotgun
16 gauge Lefever E-grade Thumb Lifter Shotgun

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.

16 gauge Lefever E-grade Thumb Lifter Shotgun
16 gauge Lefever E-grade Thumb Lifter Shotgun
16 gauge Lefever E-grade Thumb Lifter Shotgun
16 gauge Lefever E-grade Thumb Lifter Shotgun
16 gauge Lefever E-grade Thumb Lifter Shotgun
16 gauge Lefever E-grade Thumb Lifter Shotgun
16 gauge Lefever E-grade Thumb Lifter Shotgun
16 gauge Lefever E-grade Thumb Lifter Shotgun
16 gauge Lefever E-grade Thumb Lifter Shotgun
16 gauge Lefever E-grade Thumb Lifter Shotgun
16 gauge Lefever E-grade Thumb Lifter Shotgun
16 gauge Lefever E-grade Thumb Lifter Shotgun
16 gauge Lefever E-grade Thumb Lifter Shotgun
16 gauge Lefever E-grade Thumb Lifter Shotgun

 

Auction alerts: lots of Lefevers, plus more…

There are a handful of decent auction coming up over the next week.

Lefever C/D grade double barrel shotgun at Amoskeag Auction Company
Lefever C/D grade double barrel shotgun at Amoskeag Auction Company

Montrose Auctions in Montrose, Georgia has a some decent doubles coming up on March 19th. There are a number of side-by-side shotguns, including Parkers, Parker Repros, Winchester M21s, a few A.H. Foxes, and some L.C. Smiths. This is where you can search the lots and bid online. This possible Parker Skeet gun jumped out at me as interesting, as did this real clean looking L.C. Smith 20 gauge OO grade.

Alderfer Auctions in Hatfield, PA, has some good double barrels in it’s March 22nd sale. There are handful of American side-by-sides, including some Parkers, some Foxes, some Bakers, and a few more. Here’s a searchable catalog where you can see everything and even bid.

Amoskeag Auction Company in Manchester, New Hampshire, has ton of Lefevers in their March 26 sales. By ton I mean more than 40. There’s a little bit of everything, from hammerless stuff to real rare, real earlier guns like Barber-Lefevers and percussion conversions. The guns are all on line at Amoskeag’s site. Unfortunately, the site is a bit of a pain in the A to use and you can’t bring up all the Lefevers at once. So to save the hassle of having to click and scroll through all 26 pages, I’ve pulled out all the Lefevers for you. Is that nice, or what?

Here they are, listed by their lot #:

6. Lefever Arms Company D-Grade Sidelock Double Shotgun, 12g

7. Lefever Arms Company F-grade Sidelock Double Shotgun, 12g

48. Rare Special Order Lefever DE Grade Sidelock Ejectorgun, 16g

95. Lefever Arms Company E-grade Sidelock Double Ejectorgun, 12g

360. Lefever Arms Company F-grade Sidelock Double Shotgun, 12g

512. Rare Barber and Lefever Thumb Opener Double Hammergun, 10g

514. Rare Barber and Lefever Thumb Opener Double Hammergun, 10g

515. Rare Barber and Lefever Round Body Thumb Opener Double Hammergun, 12g

564. Lefever Arms Company H-grade Sidelock Double Shotgun, 12g

565. Lefever Arms Thumb-opener Sidelock Double Shotgun, 10g

588. John Nichols E-grade Thumb Opener Double Hammergun, 10g

607. Lefever Arms Company H-grade Sidelock Double Shotgun, 16g

615. Lefever Arms Company DS Grade Sidelock Double Shotgun, 20g

616. Lefever Arms Company F-grade Sidelock Double Shotgun, 16g

619. Lefever Arms Company E-grade Sidelock Double Shotgun, 10g

620. Lefever Arms Company F-grade Sidelock Double Shotgun, 12g

621. Lefever Arms Company I-grade Sidelock Double Ejectorgun, 12g

622. Lefever Arms Company G-grade Sidelock Double Shotgun, 12g

679. Manton Percussion Double Converted to Breech-loader by Dangerfield and Lefever , 12g

681. Dangerfield and Lefever Breechloading Double Hammergun Conversion,  10g

682. Nichols and Lefever Thumb Opener Double Hammergun, 10g

683. Nichols and Lefever Thumb Opener Double Hammergun, 10g

684. Nichols and Lefever Thumb Opener Double Hammergun, 12g

685. Extremely Rare H. Tomes & Co Percussion Double Converted to Breechloader by Francis Dangerfield

756. Lefever Arms Company G-grade Sidelock Double Shotgun, 12g

762. Lefever Arms Company DS-Grade Sidelock Double Shotgun, 16g

822. Nichols and Lefever Thumb Opener Double Hammergun, 10g

847.Bar-in-wood Percussion Converted Double Barrel Shotgun by J A Ellis of Canandaigua New York, 10g

848.Bar-in-wood Percussion Converted Double Barrel Shotgun by Dangerfield & Lefever, 14g

852. Lefever Arms G Grade Sidelock Double Shotgun, 12g

867. Lefever Arms Company H-grade Sidelock Double Shotgun, 12g

868. Lefever Arms Company G-grade Sidelock Double Shotgun, 12g

869. LeFever Arms Company DS Grade Sidelock Double Shotgun, 12g

872. Lefever Arms Company F-grade Sidelock Double Shotgun, 12g

909. Rare Barber and Lefever Thumb Opener Percussion-converted Shotgun, 16g

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