Auction alert: Beautiful High Condition Pre-13 LC Smith No. 1E…

Beautiful High Condition Pre-13 12 gauge LC Smith 1E, Killer wood, Damascus, Excellent:
Beautiful High Condition Pre-13 12 gauge LC Smith 1E, Killer wood, Damascus, Excellent:

L.C. Smith was one of America’s famous gunmakers. Starting in 1880, the company, under various owners, built their distinct doubles until after WW2 and again from 1968-1971. Most collectors agree that the finest ones were made before 1914 or so.

This L.C. Smith is from that golden period. It’s super rare — not because of its grade, but because of its condition. Back when it was built, LC Smith No. 1s were at the bottom of the company’s lineup. Most people that bought them used them a lot. Finding one that looks this good is hard to do.

It’s on Gunbroker.com now and the listing ends today, 4/30/2018, @ 10:00 PM. So if you like what you see, bid now!

Beautiful High Condition Pre-13 12 gauge LC Smith 1E, Killer wood, Damascus, Excellent:
Beautiful High Condition Pre-13 12 gauge LC Smith 1E, Killer wood, Damascus, Excellent:

Beautiful High Condition Pre-13 12 gauge LC Smith No. 1E, Killer wood, Damascus, Excellent: Excellent & scarce “Pre 13”, LC Smith 1E, ejector 12 ga. Here’s one you don’t see every day. An exceptional and unusual Pre-13 Damascus, ejector gun (has modern type 2 ejectors & 3-position safety) with spectacular “above grade” wood and edge-engraved action and top lever. These are becoming increasingly hard to find – especially in this condition. Gun has the majority of it’s original finishes and is tight &mechanically excellent showing little evidence of shooting. (See pics.) Original 30” bores are as they should be: bright and shiny @ .726 L / .725 R, Choked F/F @ .037” per side, 2 ¾” chambers . Condition: Tight and crisp all over, barrels retain 90% of their original chocolate brown, action & lock plates 75%+ case color, trigger guard & other hardware 90% original blue. Excellent screws throughout, sharp engraving. Highly figured English Walnut stock measures 14 3/8” (from ft. trigger) trademark LC semi-PG Stock with “custom” leather covered pad (wood not cut) has a very nice “piano finish” with near perfect checkering. Also comes with original Gutta-percha butt plate and original screws. Again, look at the beautiful wood which is way above grade. Fore end excellent with a pressure scratch by the iron (see pic.) – otherwise excellent. Flaws: Stock finish has light scratches, no dings. Has a small area of light pitting on barrel tops by breeches (pictured) and a nearly invisible surface check repair right of top tang (pictured). “NO” cracks behind lock plates which is typical of older Elsies. All-in-all, a very high condition & scarce gun from the hey-day period for LC Smith. Haven’t seen another anywhere near this condition – especially a Damascus gun with this grade of fit, finish & wood! Perfect for vintage shooting! HISTORICAL NOTE: There were only 10,221 Grade 1s built in all gauges (between 1892-1913) with only 1640 (16%) having automatic ejectors making this the most scarce of the lower grade guns. I have to say that if LC Smith had stuck to this level of quality, they might still be in business today!

Beautiful High Condition Pre-13 12 gauge LC Smith 1E, Killer wood, Damascus, Excellent:
Beautiful High Condition Pre-13 12 gauge LC Smith 1E, Killer wood, Damascus, Excellent:
Beautiful High Condition Pre-13 12 gauge LC Smith 1E, Killer wood, Damascus, Excellent:
Beautiful High Condition Pre-13 12 gauge LC Smith 1E, Killer wood, Damascus, Excellent:
Beautiful High Condition Pre-13 12 gauge LC Smith 1E, Killer wood, Damascus, Excellent:
Beautiful High Condition Pre-13 12 gauge LC Smith 1E, Killer wood, Damascus, Excellent:
Beautiful High Condition Pre-13 12 gauge LC Smith 1E, Killer wood, Damascus, Excellent:
Beautiful High Condition Pre-13 12 gauge LC Smith 1E, Killer wood, Damascus, Excellent:

Beautiful High Condition Pre-13 12 gauge LC Smith 1E, Killer wood, Damascus, Excellent:

Beautiful High Condition Pre-13 12 gauge LC Smith 1E, Killer wood, Damascus, Excellent:
Beautiful High Condition Pre-13 12 gauge LC Smith 1E, Killer wood, Damascus, Excellent:

 

Auction alert: A real nice 20g L.C. Smith Trap Grade…

L.C. Smith Trap Grade, 20 ga. side by side shotgun 26" & 28" bbls
L.C. Smith Trap Grade, 20 ga. side by side shotgun 26″ & 28″ bbls

Here’s a hard-to-find vintage American double in fantastic original condition. It’s a 20 gauge L.C. Smith Trap Grade, and it’s up for auction now at Gunrunnerauctions.com. If you collect Elsies, bid now. I doubt you’ll see a better one of these any time soon.

According to the L.C. Smith website, Hunter Arms Co. made 3346 Trap-grade sxs shotguns. Of those, 348 were 20 gauges. The site also says:

L.C. Smith Trap Grade, 20 ga. side by side shotgun 26" & 28" bbls
L.C. Smith Trap Grade, 20 ga. side by side shotgun 26″ & 28″ bbls

“Production of the Trap Grade began in 1912 and ran to 1940. The 1913 catalog stated “In the production of this grade particular attention has been paid to meet the requirements of sportsmen who are desirous of a gun for trap shooting, as well as for field, with all of the latest attachments – Hunter One-Trigger and Automatic Ejector especially – and at a very low price. Each lock-plate is engraved with a trap shooting scene consisting of a trap house and a squad of five shooters at the score. We can confidently recommend this grade as entirely satisfactory, especially for the purpose the name implies. With our special system of boring, no better guns are made for trap than the L.C. Smith Double Gun with Hunter One-Trigger.” The price with two triggers in 1913 was $55, and a Hunter One-Trigger brought the price up to $75. Ejectors added $11 to the price, and $86 would buy the gun with both ejectors and the Hunter One-Trigger. The base price of this grade increased to $77 by the time that it was discontinued in 1940. ”

L.C. Smith Trap Grade, 20 ga. side by side shotgun 26" & 28" bbls
L.C. Smith Trap Grade, 20 ga. side by side shotgun 26″ & 28″ bbls

L.C. Smith Trap Grade, 20 ga. side by side shotgun 26″ & 28″ bbls: Serial #8013, mfg. 1916 by Hunter Arms Co., Fulton, NY. Excellent condition. The rare “Trap Grade” in 20 ga. AND two-barrel set – all matching serial numbers on all iron. Grade E with scroll engraved receiver – left panel has a trapshooting squad of five men and a trap; right panel has a lone hunter shooting at a flushing bird. Case color is mostly gone on the receiver, but about 15% is in protected areas. Good tight action. Two barrels included: One 26″ barrel with solid rib, two ivory beads, bright bore, beavertail forearm; and one 28″solid rib barrel with two ivory beads, bright bores, splinter forearm. The 26″ barrel has 98% bright blue and the 28″ barrel has 90% blue with some wear near the muzzles. Wood is fancy with excellent dark burl and sharp checkering – appears to be have been refinished when the red Jostam recoil pad was fitted. Hunter One single trigger works well. Ejectors are strong and throw hulls across the room. LOP is 14″ over pad. Both barrels are marked “L.C. Smith Trap Grade” – 28″ barrel is also marked “Hunter Arms Co. Inc., Fulton, NY, USA” on top. Includes Cody factory letter stating the Grade E and Trap model and noting the 26″ barrel. The shotgun was finished on June 30, 1916. The second barrel was made in the factory, but it is correct to not see that noted in a factory letter.

L.C. Smith Trap Grade, 20 ga. side by side shotgun 26" & 28" bbls
L.C. Smith Trap Grade, 20 ga. side by side shotgun 26″ & 28″ bbls
L.C. Smith Trap Grade, 20 ga. side by side shotgun 26" & 28" bbls
L.C. Smith Trap Grade, 20 ga. side by side shotgun 26″ & 28″ bbls

See the amazing finish on this 100+ year old L.C. Smith No. 2…

 L.C. SMITH No. 2 12 GAUGE HAMMERLESS SXS SHOTGUN
L.C. SMITH No. 2 12 GAUGE HAMMERLESS SXS SHOTGUN

Twelve-gauge, L.C. Smith No. 2s are not hard guns find– unless you’re looking for an example with the kind of condition you see here. Hunter Arms made 10,815 of them from 1890-1914, and according to the L.C. Smith Collector’s site, they turned out the one you see here in 1899.

Yeah, 1899. That’s before Ford introduced it’s first car and before most people in the US had electricity.
L.C. SMITH No. 2 12 GAUGE HAMMERLESS SXS SHOTGUN

L.C. SMITH No. 2 12 GAUGE HAMMERLESS SXS SHOTGUN

No. 2s weren’t fancy guns, and most of the one you see today are pretty banged up. This one looks like it has barely been used, and except for the pad and maybe a light refinish to the back of the buttstock, I’m thinking it’s all original. So take a long look at it, because doing so is almost like taking a trip back in time.

L.C. SMITH No. 2 12 GAUGE HAMMERLESS SXS SHOTGUNA beautiful high condition early L.C. Smith SxS. 12 ga with 2-3/4″ chambers. Serial range of 103k making it built in about 1898-1900. Early characteristics including the early style sideplate, rectangular safety window and dogs head on the forearm. High condition with beautiful blue bbls that are just as nice on the inside. Frame has all case colors remaining. Most are very vivid. Grade 2 bird engravings on the sidelocks. Wood is exceptional and has the very thin wrist with pistol grip knob. LOP 14″ from the added white line recoil pad. Fine early shotgun! Price: $4,875.
L.C. SMITH No. 2 12 GAUGE HAMMERLESS SXS SHOTGUN
L.C. SMITH No. 2 12 GAUGE HAMMERLESS SXS SHOTGUN
L.C. SMITH No. 2 12 GAUGE HAMMERLESS SXS SHOTGUN
L.C. SMITH No. 2 12 GAUGE HAMMERLESS SXS SHOTGUN
L.C. SMITH No. 2 12 GAUGE HAMMERLESS SXS SHOTGUN
L.C. SMITH No. 2 12 GAUGE HAMMERLESS SXS SHOTGUN
L.C. SMITH No. 2 12 GAUGE HAMMERLESS SXS SHOTGUN
L.C. SMITH No. 2 12 GAUGE HAMMERLESS SXS SHOTGUN
L.C. SMITH No. 2 12 GAUGE HAMMERLESS SXS SHOTGUN
L.C. SMITH No. 2 12 GAUGE HAMMERLESS SXS SHOTGUN
L.C. SMITH No. 2 12 GAUGE HAMMERLESS SXS SHOTGUN
L.C. SMITH No. 2 12 GAUGE HAMMERLESS SXS SHOTGUN
L.C. SMITH No. 2 12 GAUGE HAMMERLESS SXS SHOTGUN

L.C. SMITH No. 2 12 GAUGE HAMMERLESS SXS SHOTGUN

This week’s good guns: Powered by Gunsinternational.com …

GREENER 360 NO. 2 EJECTOR SxS DOUBLE RIFLE
GREENER 360 NO. 2 EJECTOR SxS DOUBLE RIFLE

GREENER 360 NO. 2 EJECTOR SxS DOUBLE RIFLE: Exceptionally fine condition this Anson & Deeley boxlock Ejector Greener Double Rifle was made in 1928 and remains in exceptional condition. The Trigger guard is engraved: “GRADE R.E.H.T. 60” Chambered for the .360 #2, 3” it has great bores and the previous owner reports excellent accuracy. The gun weighs 10 lb 7 oz with 26 ½” barrels. The front sight is a moderate size bead with a fixed rear sight labeled 100 yards and folding leaves at 200 and 300 yards. The stock is straight grain well laid out walnut nicely checked over the top of the grip. The length of pull is 14 3/8” with drop from line of sight at 1 7/8” and 2 ¾” to the heel.  The barrels shows the “40 Pall Mall, London. S.W.”  address and are engraved for the “Cordite 55 Grs Bullet ‘320Grs” load. Barrel flats show Greener Trade Mark elephant, Birmingham Nitro Proofs and chamber specs. The gun is in wonderful condition with the only corrosion in the Greener Safety recess with gold SAFE lettering. The stock has a few nicks, shows some shrinkage but is overall excellent. The butt is capped with a checkered steel buttplate and a horn grip cap and forend tip.The checkering is in excellent condition and is more pointed-up and not flat-toppedd giving a firm grip. Some cartridge brass is included with the rifle.  Price: $19,995

CHARLES DALY DIAMOND QUALITY 16GA
CHARLES DALY DIAMOND QUALITY 16GA

CHARLES DALY DIAMOND QUALITY 16GA: Early Lindner manf. 26in IC and Full. .006 & .024. Double triggers. Automatic ejectors. Receiver fully scroll engraved with game scene on bottom and trigger guard. 50-60% case coloring. 97-98% blue. 14 1/4 LOP pad. 1 1/2 comb 2 1/4 heel. Excellent bores. Light weight model only 6 lbs! Price: $8,950

W.W. GREENER JUBILEE GRADE SIDE-BY-SIDE - 12 GAUGE - EJECTORS - HIGH CONDITION FROM 1934
W.W. GREENER JUBILEE GRADE SIDE-BY-SIDE – 12 GAUGE – EJECTORS – HIGH CONDITION FROM 1934

W.W. GREENER JUBILEE GRADE SIDE-BY-SIDE – 12 GAUGE – EJECTORS – HIGH CONDITION FROM 1934Here is an oustanding original condition Greener Jubilee Grade made in 1934 to celebrate His Majesty, King George’s Silver Jubilee. This gun features a Anson and Deeley style scalloped action with ejectors. Case colors at 80%. Original bore configuration and in proof – chambers ar 2 1/2″, chokes at IC (12/1000) and Full (42/1000). Rolled edge trigger guard. Auto safety. Tight on face. Barrels ring true – no loose ribs. Nicely executed engraving including fences and barrel bands. Unengraved stock oval. Barrel length is 27″. Flat top checkering. The annual production of hand made guns for WW Greener in 1934 was a total of 100 guns. Made in a great period of English gunmaking. Stock dimensions: LOP – 14 1/8″, Drop at Comb – 1 1/2″, Drop at Heel – 2″. Price: $3,500

HIGH QUALITY "Gastinne Renette, A Paris" FRENCH SxS SHOTGUN
HIGH QUALITY “Gastinne Renette, A Paris” FRENCH SxS SHOTGUN

HIGH QUALITY “Gastinne Renette, A Paris” FRENCH SxS SHOTGUNA 12 ga shotgun chambered for 2-1/2″ shells. A very classic looking European shotgun with a straight grip stock. Very thin in the wrist area. Very tight engraving on the frame. Heavy deep relief engraved bolsters. The frame has most case color remaining. Typical of European style, the inset panel is in blue as is the trigger guard. Extensive high quality engraving with the classical long pointed lower tang. Bbl blue very nice also. Wood is good overall cond with typical hunting mars and dings. The buttplate on this is not separate but instead sculpted into the stock. Price: $2,100.

L C SMITH NO.2, 30" DAMASCUS BARRELS, EXCELLENT WOOD
L C SMITH NO.2, 30″ DAMASCUS BARRELS, EXCELLENT WOOD

L C SMITH NO.2, 30″ DAMASCUS BARRELS, EXCELLENT WOOD: No Cracks, Tight Action, SN#40601, Made in 1897-98.  LOP: 14 1/2″ Front Trigger, 13 1/2″ Back Trigger.  Three Position Safety,  Gun Requires Low Pressure Shells. Price is $949.00 or Best Offer by January 30. 2016. Antique Gun, No FFL Required.  Price: $949.00 or Best Offer by January 30. 2016.

Wow – what a gun: 16g L.C. Crown grade, original, near new …

LC SMITH CROWN GRADE SxS SHOTGUN 16 GAUGE
LC SMITH CROWN GRADE SxS SHOTGUN 16 GAUGE

High-grade L.C. Smith are some of the best-looking doubles ever made in America. Check out this 16g Crown grade to see why.

The Hunter Arms Company made the Crown from 1912-1950, and when it was first introduced it to replaced the company’s No. 5 grade. Crown grades were available in four gauges –  10, 12, 16, and 20 – and in .410. Hunter Arms built 862 Crowns, and 68 of these were in 16 gauge.

They were all made-to-order shotgun, so the specific subject of the engraving patterns, the barrel lengths, and stock measurements could all be dictated by the buyer. That being said, most of the Crowns I’ve seen have had 28″ or 30″ bbls.

LC SMITH CROWN GRADE SxS SHOTGUN 16 GAUGE
LC SMITH CROWN GRADE SxS SHOTGUN 16 GAUGE

This 16g was made in the mid 1930s. At that time, A. F. Stoeger listed an L.C. Smith Crown like this at $292.50, a whole lot more than a basic Winchester Model 21 ($73.40) and a just little more than a Parker CHE with a single trigger ($267.50).

LC SMITH CROWN GRADE 16 GAUGE: #149XXX 28″ IC AND MOD 2 3/4 HUNTER ONE SINGLE SELECT TRIGGER EJECTORS SPLINTER FOREARM PISTOL GRIP NEAR NEW ORIGINAL CONDITION 6LBS 11 OZ X 2 1/4″ X 1 1/2″ X 14″. Price: $29,500.

BTW: I would like to thank the LC Smith Collectors club for a lot of this info. If you want to learn more about Elsies, you should check out their site.

LC SMITH CROWN GRADE SxS SHOTGUN 16 GAUGE
LC SMITH CROWN GRADE SxS SHOTGUN 16 GAUGE
LC SMITH CROWN GRADE SxS SHOTGUN 16 GAUGE
LC SMITH CROWN GRADE SxS SHOTGUN 16 GAUGE
LC SMITH CROWN GRADE SxS SHOTGUN 16 GAUGE
LC SMITH CROWN GRADE SxS SHOTGUN 16 GAUGE
LC SMITH CROWN GRADE SxS SHOTGUN 16 GAUGE
LC SMITH CROWN GRADE SxS SHOTGUN 16 GAUGE
LC SMITH CROWN GRADE SxS SHOTGUN 16 GAUGE
LC SMITH CROWN GRADE SxS SHOTGUN 16 GAUGE

On Gunbroker.com now: A rare 16g L.C. Smith No. 2E, 28″ damascus bbls…

L.C. Smith 16 gauge No. 2 with Ejectors & 28" damascus barrels
L.C. Smith 16 gauge No. 2 with Ejectors & 28″ damascus barrels

I don’t like to sell my shotguns, especially if it’s one I’ve had for a while. Once I’ve had a double for a few seasons, we’ve been places together and shared time.

I remember slipping it out of its case at the beginning of hope-filled October days and breaking it down as I remember the points made and the birds hit and missed. The gun becomes part of my season – as important to me as the people and dogs I walk the woods with and the covers I visit.

But life is expensive, especially if you’re crazy about dogs, hunting and old shotguns. As bills pile up, some things have to go. So it’s time to say goodbye to this one: An L.C. Smith 16 gauge No. 2 with Ejectors and 28″ damascus barrels. It’s on Gunbroker.com now, and the listing ends tomorrow, 12/10/2013, at 9:00 p.m. ET.

L.C. Smith 16 gauge No. 2 with Ejectors & 28" damascus barrels
L.C. Smith 16 gauge No. 2 with Ejectors & 28″ damascus barrels

The Hunter Arms Co. introduced the No. 2 grade guns in 1890 and they built them until 1914. The No. 2 was a popular model, but people didn’t order many of them in 16 gauge. Of the 12,483 No. 2s the company made 12,483, just 793  were sixteens.

Far, far fewer of these sixteens had ejectors, damascus barrels, and double triggers. So the SxS you see here is tough to find, and when you factor in its condition, you’re looking at an extremely rare double barrel shotgun.

A couple classics: Check out these vintage American Doubles…

12 gauge L.C. Smith Grade 2 Double Barrel Side-by-Side shotgun
12 gauge L.C. Smith Grade 2 Double Barrel Side-by-Side shotgun

If classic American doubles are your thing, here are two nice ones to check out. This first shotgun is a 12 gauge L.C. Smith No. 2. According the L.C. Smith Collector’s Association, “The No. 2 grade was nicely finished and engraved… and was said to be “just the kind for rough usage.” The Hunter Arms Company made 10,814 of them in 12 gauge, and the twelves are very common on the used market.

I’ve owned a few No. 2s over the years — a 12 gauge and two or three 16s. They were all solid, reliable shotguns. I still own one of the 16s — a real early one that’s a nice grouse gun. There’s another No. 2 that I’ve always wanted: a 16 gauge with a straight grip and double triggers. If you have one and you want to sell, drop me note. I would love to buy it.

Here’s more about the one pictured:

12 gauge L.C. Smith Grade 2 Double Barrel Side-by-Side shotgun
12 gauge L.C. Smith Grade 2 Double Barrel Side-by-Side shotgun

LC Smith Grade 2 – 12 GAUGE with ejectors and chain damascus barrels: Nicely figured stock with sharp checkering. Gun is tight on face. Ejectors are perfectly timed. Three position safety. Bores are excellent with right at .732 and 22/1000 choke (Imp Mod) and left at 31/1000 choke (full). Barrel length is 30″. Chambers are 2 3/4″. Weight of gun is 7 LBS 1/2 OZ. LOP – 14″. Drop at Heel – 2 3/8″. Price: $2,200

The next double is a 20g Ithaca Flues Grade 3. The Ithaca Flues was one of the country’s most popular doubles. But even though the company made 223,000 of them from 1908 to 1926, they didn’t make a whole lot of 20 gauge. They made even fewer of them in Grade 3 with 30′ barrels, so it’s safe to say that this is one very rare American side-by-side:

20 gauge Ithaca Flues Grade 3 Double Barrel Side-by-Side shotgun
20 gauge Ithaca Flues Grade 3 Double Barrel Side-by-Side shotgun

Fantastic Ithaca Flues 20 gauge Grade 3E — 30″ barrels: Rare gun, with ejectors. Beautiful original condition, tight as the day it was built. 80% original color, 95% barrel blue and varnish. Full figured wood with perfect original butt place. Splinter forend with push-button release. Long, 30” barrels. Perfect upland gun. 14 ¼”  x 1 ¾”  X 2 7/8”. Price: $5,500.00

20 gauge Ithaca Flues Grade 3 Double Barrel Side-by-Side shotgun
20 gauge Ithaca Flues Grade 3 Double Barrel Side-by-Side shotgun

Good gun alert: a nice 12 gauge L.C. Smith 3E side by side…

12 gauge L.C. Smith 3E side-by-side double barrel shotgun
12 gauge L.C. Smith 3E side-by-side double barrel shotgun

L.C. Smith shotguns get bad raps. Cracked stocks – that’s the most common criticism you’ll here about them. Finicky single triggers – that’s the other complaint people bring up all the time. While there’s some truth to these charges, the really only apply the post-1913 LCs.

Before then, these side-by-side were much more trouble free. The 12 gauge L.C. Smith 3E you see here is a pre-1913 gun, and it’s a good example of the kind of quality that the Hunter Arms Co. of Fulton, NY, was turning out at that time. The

12 gauge L.C. Smith 3E side-by-side double barrel shotgun
12 gauge L.C. Smith 3E side-by-side double barrel shotgun

In the 1900 Hunter Arms / L.C. Smith catalog, the makers claimed that the No. 3 Grade’s “…Nitro Steel barrels is considered by many to be the finest medium-grade on the market,” and that “This grade always pleases as in it we give so much of value.” I don’t know about the Nitro Steel, but their statement about value is right on. Here’s the rest of the story on the one you see here:

LC SMITH GRADE 3 12 GAUGE EJECTOR GUN: FINE ORIGINAL CONDITION. 30″ FLUID STEEL BARRELS ARE CHOKED IMP MOD AND IMP MOD. 2 3/4″ CHAMBERS WITH EXCELLENT BRIGHT BORES. AUTOMATIC EJECTORS. SINGLE SELECTIVE TRIGGER. PISTOL GRIP STOCK. 14 1/8″ LENGTH OF PULL. WEIGHS 7 3/4POUNDS. SERIAL #208XXX. VERY NICE HIGH GRADE SMITH. INCLUDED IS ORIGINAL LEG O MUTTON CASE IN GOOD CONDITION. SHIP TO FFL OR C&R. Price: $2,295.00

12 gauge L.C. Smith 3E side-by-side double barrel shotgun
12 gauge L.C. Smith 3E side-by-side double barrel shotgun

 

Good gun alert: a real nice 16 gauge L.C. Smith Ideal grade….

16 gauge L.C. Smith Ideal Grade Double Barrel Shotgun
16 gauge L.C. Smith Ideal Grade Double Barrel Shotgun

Old age is one of the drawbacks of American side by sides. This country’s golden age of side-by-sides was pretty much over by the mid 1920s. By the time prohibition was repealed in ’33, our shotguns of choice had single barrels and pump-style actions. This means most of the doubles we come across today by Parker, Fox, and L.C. Smith are old – like 75 years + old. That’s why this 16 gauge L.C. Smith caught my eye. Made in 1946, it’s just a kid by vintage double standards:

L.C. Smith Ideal 16E gauge S/S – Excellent condition: LOP: 14″, Drop: 2-1/2″ – 1-1/2″, Barrel length: 28″, F/M, Weight: 6lb 11oz. Lots of dark color & blue, mirror bores, very tight, super nice! 2-3/4″ chambers, chokes – R)663-021, L)664-029

16 gauge L.C. Smith Ideal Grade Double Barrel Shotgun
16 gauge L.C. Smith Ideal Grade Double Barrel Shotgun

The Hunter Arms Company redesigned the L.C. Smith shotgun in 1913. While they kept the mechanics on the guns the same, they renamed the grades (except for the Monogram) and developed new engraving patterns for each one. The Ideal Grade was introduced as a “general purpose” shotgun with “just enough engraving to make it attractive.”

When Marlin acquired the Hunter Arms Company in 1945, they continued making Ideal Grade shotguns. But as you can read in this description from a Marlin/L.C. Smith Gun Company catalog, they had a higher opinion of the model: “Sportsmen who want a real custom-built gun without the additional expense that is usually involved…”

“General purpose” or “Custom built”, this 16 gauge Ideal from 1946 is almost new. And with 2 3/4″ chambers, 28″ bbls, and high stock dimensions, it’s very modern for a vintage shotgun.

16 gauge L.C. Smith Ideal Grade Double Barrel Shotgun
16 gauge L.C. Smith Ideal Grade Double Barrel Shotgun

Good gun alert: a 12 gauge L.C. Smith Specialty Featherweight…

12 gauge L.C. Smith Specialty grade, Featherweight, side by side
12 gauge L.C. Smith Specialty grade, Featherweight, side by side

I like 12 gauge side-by-sides. Size wise, they feel right to me. Unlike 20s, the bbls and stocks on 12 gauge fit well in my hands. I also like the versatility of the larger gauge. With the right loads, my go-to 12 gauge can handle everything from woodcock to wild pheasants.

Of course, twelves can have drawbacks, especially weight. A lot of twelve gauges are heavy, especially ones made by American companies like Parker, Lefever & A.H. Fox. In fact, it’s hard to find a 12 gauge American double that comes it at under 7lbs. That’s one of the reasons why I like this L.C. Smith:

LC Smith Specialty Grade 12ga Featherweight with ejectors, 28″ bbls

12 gauge L.C. Smith Specialty grade, Featherweight, side by side
12 gauge L.C. Smith Specialty grade, Featherweight, side by side

As a featherweight, it’s probably under 7 lbs, and it may as light at 6 3/4lbs. That weight, along with the straight stock, 28″ bbls, and high dimensions, make this could a candidate for a perfect all around double,.

L.C. Smith introduced the Specialty grade in 1913 as “…a well-balanced and good shooting-gun and we have every confidence in recommending it to sportsmen who are desirous of having a high quality gun and do not feel justified in purchasing our highest.” In all, L.C. Smith made 4,826 twelve gauge Specialties. I bet very few were featherweights set up like this one. So if you like what you see, I would say get on it today.

Good gun alert: a 12 gauge L.C. Smith 5E…

12 gauge L.C. Smith No. 5E double barrel side-by-side shotgun
12 gauge L.C. Smith No. 5E double barrel side-by-side shotgun

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.

Auction Alert: Parker A-1 Special, L.C. Smith Monogram & more…

12 gauge Parker A-1 Special Dside-by-side shotgun, 2 barrel set
12 gauge Parker A-1 Special side-by-side shotgun, 2 barrel set

Bonhams Fall, 2012 Antique Arms & Armor and Modern Sporting Guns sale is on Monday, November 12. If you click here, you should be to see all the shotguns in the sale.

This year’s sale is in San Francisco, CA, which is nice for American buyers. You can bid away and not have to worry about the hassle of importing any lots you win. Good luck.

Lot 3389: A 20 gauge Parker Brothers VHE Grade boxlock shotgun with hang tag and factory letter.

Lot 3391: 16 gauge DHE Grade Parker Brothers boxlock ejector shotgun. This is a late gun with lots of original condition. Very hard to find like this.

 

12 gauge Parker A-1 Special Dside-by-side shotgun, 2 barrel set
12 gauge Parker A-1 Special side-by-side shotgun, 2 barrel set

Lot 3392: 12 gauge A-1 Special Parker Brothers boxlock shotgun two barrel set. After these three Invincibles, the A-1 Specials were the highest grade shotguns Parker ever created. They introduced the first one around 1907 and about 79 in all.

Lot 3393: 20 gauge Winchester Model 21 boxlock trap shotgun

Lot 3394: 12 gauge L.C. Smith Monogram Grade sidelock ejector shotgun with hang tag and factory letter. Made in 1924. Another rare America side by side. Introduced in 1895 and offered until 1945, L.C. Smith made fewer than 250 of these shotguns.

12 gauge L.C. Smith Monogram Grade Double Barrel Shotgun
12 gauge L.C. Smith Monogram Grade Double Barrel Shotgun
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