Rare American classics: 12g L.C. Smith Long Range Water Fowl SxSs….

Scarce L.C.. Smith Specialty grade 12ga "Long Range" 32" fantastic duck gun!
Scarce L.C.. Smith Specialty grade 12ga “Long Range” 32″ fantastic duck gun!

Power and range have always been obsessions with shooters, and as long as people have been using shotguns, they’ve tried to build ones that can reach out further and take game at longer ranges.

In the early ’20s, Fox introduced its contribution to this tradition: the A.H. Fox HE-grade SxSs. These guns were built to take ducks at long ranges using Western’s new12-gauge Super-X shotgun shells.

Western Super X ammo
Western Super X ammo

Around the same time as Fox, L.C. Smith got into the long-range game with its Long Range Wild Fowl Guns. These Smiths were also made to shoot Western’s new ammo and the company claimed “The killing range of this gun is from 70 to 85 yards, and the gun is capable of killing at even longer distances.”

The L.C. Smith Long Range Wild Fowl Guns were big 12 gauges built with wide, heavy actions and barrels built to withstand the recoil from heavy loads. They weighed 8 – 8 1/2 lbs and had 30″ or 32″ barrels with 3″ chambers and were designed to handle 1 3/8-oz of shot. Chokes, as you can imagine, were tight.

Scarce L.C.. Smith Specialty grade 12ga "Long Range" 32" fantastic duck gun!
Scarce L.C.. Smith Specialty grade 12ga “Long Range” 32″ fantastic duck gun!

Scarce L.C. Smith Specialty Grade 12ga “LONG RANGE” 32″ – FANTASTIC Duck Gun: Exceedingly rare configuration with ONLY 2 made in this configuration!!  Matches the LCSCA letter as found today! 12ga L.C. Smith Specialty Grade Long Range gun made with 32″ barrels.  Gun with large original beavertail forend, capped pistol grip buttstock and made with Hunter One SST.  Very scarce gun.  The tip of the beavertail on this gun with a bone inlay that appears it could be original. This gun remains in fine condition overall.  Barrels show most of an older restored blue with an area of light pinprick pitting at the breech end of the left tube on top. Action retains about 35% light original color.  Stocks are sound and retain most of a restored finish. There is a small repair to the bottom left stock finger as seen in the photos. Mechanics are crisp and bores are bright and shiny. These Long Range Guns don’t come up very often and this is a particularly useful and popular configuration. Price: $5950  

L.C. Smith 12 Gauge - LONG RANGE, 3", STRAIGHT GRIP, SST, SxS SHOTGUN
L.C. Smith 12 Gauge – LONG RANGE, 3″, STRAIGHT GRIP, SST, SxS SHOTGUN

This Field grade Long Range Water Fowl Gun was made in 1922, a few years before L.C. Smith had fully developed the features of these guns and come up with a consistent way to designate them. I’ll let the seller tell you all about it:

L.C. Smith 12 Gauge – LONG RANGE, 3″, STRAIGHT GRIP, SST, SxS SHOTGUN:

Description:
General Specs: L.C. Smith, Year 1922, 12 Gauge, 7lbs 12oz, Chokes F/F, LOP 14″ rear trigger, DAH 2 7/8″, DAC 1 13/16″
Serial Number: RE51777

L.C. Smith 12 Gauge - LONG RANGE, 3", STRAIGHT GRIP, SST, SxS SHOTGUN
L.C. Smith 12 Gauge – LONG RANGE, 3″, STRAIGHT GRIP, SST, SxS SHOTGUN

Anyone who has studied L.C. Smith is aware of their famous “LONG RANGE” waterfowler.  Made to shoot a heavy 1 3/8oz. load while keeping patterns 90% 40 yards, the Long Range is very sought after and in high condition like this one, nearly impossible to find.  Special attention to chamber, bore, and chokes from the finest barrel men in the business is what made the L.C. Smith Long Range gun a legend.  The Long Range had heavy barrels with reinforced forend lug, standard frame, 3” chambers, long barrels, and tight chokes.  Those are the features that make a L.C. Smith a Long Range gun.  The Long Range was not officially introduced to the public until 1923 and most (definitely not all) were marked with “LONG RANGE” on the bottom of the barrel lug visible on the underside of the action.  This Field Grade Long Range, snRE51777, was built and shipped in 1922 and does not have the “LONG RANGE” marking on the barrel lug.  It does have all the features of a Long Range and we have the L.C. Smith Collectors Association letter and the Cody Firearms Museum letter documenting it is a Long Range, one of about 2000 ever made.  Not so “Rare”, but only 343 had ejectors, and only 66 had single selective triggers.  Now that is RARE!  Now consider the factory English stock (only found on about 10% of the total production of L.C. Smith guns) and you have A VERY RARE COMBINATION INDEED. NOW, FOR THE FINAL CLAIM TO AN EXTREMELY RARE FIND…THIS GUN HAS 98% FACTORY CONDITION TO GO WITH ALL THE REST!

L.C. Smith 12 Gauge - LONG RANGE, 3", STRAIGHT GRIP, SST, SxS SHOTGUN
L.C. Smith 12 Gauge – LONG RANGE, 3″, STRAIGHT GRIP, SST, SxS SHOTGUN

For those of you that admire the famous Elsie LONG RANGE, and the magic and skills of some of the best bore and choke men that ever lived, this is the “Holy Grail”.  Truly a fine example of an untouched, factory original, 98% condition in case color, blue, and stock finish in a waterfowler from the heydays.  You can still see jeweling on the breech face of the barrel and all the original trigger blue remains on the trigger blade. The 32” F/F choked barrels match to perfection from left to right.  Of the last 1000 barrels I have measured up, this is the only set that has the same bore diameter, barrel wall thickness, and choke constriction.  It is simply unheard of.  And it is all untouched barrel work as it left the factory.  This gun even has a LONG STOCK WITH EXCELLENT SHOOTING DIMENSIONS and a 14” LOP measured from a single trigger in the rear position to the end of the butt plate.  Add a vintage pad and you will have 14 ¾” LOP.  This gun has everything the modern collector/shooter is looking for and is almost impossible to find.  You can tell this will be an amazing gun in the field.  A gun sure to increase in value as you enjoy its use.  A classic waterfowler at home in the blind or whacking turkey, blocking for pheasants, or blasting long range doves, this is a chance to own a very nice Elsie! Price: $5,750

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

Symes & Wright, London, Best Quality 20 bore Sidelock Purdey-style OU Shotgun
Symes & Wright, London, Best Quality 20 bore Sidelock Purdey-style OU Shotgun

Symes & Wright, London, Best Quality 20 bore Sidelock Purdey-style OU Shotgun: 28″ barrels, stippled solid rib, 2-34″ chambers choked improved cylinder and modified (.009/.016).   Based on a Purdey-Woodward patent, the finely sculpted rounded bar action is engraved in the finest rose and scroll with vivid case colors.  Single trigger.  Highly figured French walnut pistol grip stock with black and gold highlights measures 13-3/4″ to a checkered butt. Symes & Wright, the partnership of two very successful Purdey craftsmen, produced only the finest London guns.  The Firm consisted of some of the most talented artisans in the British gun trade.  A boutique maker, they built only a limited number of guns to the highest standard.  This 20 bore over/under illustrates the high level of craftsmanship and style which was the hallmark of Symes & Wright.  Weighs 6 lbs, 7 oz.  Complete with fitted oak and leather case, a London Best.  Price: $65,000

James Purdey double rifle in .303 British - In superb condition in its makers oak & leather case Exquisite!
James Purdey double rifle in .303 British – In superb condition in its makers oak & leather case Exquisite!

James Purdey double rifle in .303 British – In superb condition in its makers oak & leather case Exquisite!Ever have a “Wow” moment? I sure did when I lifted the lid of the case and beheld this stunning double rifle from 1899 with almost all its case color on its locks and its stunning marble cake wood. Built in the waning days of the Victorian era (The blessed queen died in 1901) James Purdey was then what I consider at the pinnacle of their gun craft. This beautiful double rifle is a physical testament to the craftsman and company that is still today setting the standard to compare other gun makers. Small bore English double rifles in usable calibers are quite rare. This rifle is in superb condition with an excellent bore. .303 is readily available and is not considered obsolete, in fact being recorded by many to be an excellent caliber for North American big game. This rifle features the Beasley patent self-opening mechanism. The next owner of this rifle is a very lucky man or woman and will not only have an excellent investment but a work of art and craftsmanship from the golden age of English gunmaking. Price: $48,000

Phillipson & Nephew 12g SxS Sidelock Ejector
Phillipson & Nephew 12g SxS Sidelock Ejector

Phillipson & Nephew 12g SxS Sidelock EjectorStunning 12g sidelock ejector shotgun made by Phillipson & Nephew of Birmingham. Famous for making and supplying the majority of the trade with actions, they made a few guns under their own name which were always extremely well made, high end guns. This gun features 30″ barrels, beautifully engraved sidelocks with game scene surrounded in scroll retaining some case colour, double triggers, handsome and highly figured walnut stock measuring 14 3/8″ to centre. Cased with accessories in a leather case. A chance to acquire a very attractive, rare gun in excellent condition. Price: $11,995

L. C. SMITH - LONG RANGE 12 GA. 32" BARRELS FULL/FULL - 99% COND
L. C. SMITH – LONG RANGE 12 GA. 32″ BARRELS FULL/FULL – 99% COND

L. C. SMITH – LONG RANGE 12 GA. 32″ BARRELS FULL/FULL – 99% COND3″ CHAMBERS -PISTOL GRIP STOCK LOP 14  1/6″ – DROPS 1  9/16″ X 2  5/8″ – CASE COLORS 95% – BLUEING 99% – WOOD 98% – GUNS APPEARS TO BE ALL ORIGINAL.   HARD TO FIND ANY SMITH WITH THIS MUCH ORIGINAL CONDITION, MUCH LESS A LONG RANGE 3″ GUN. Price: $4,800

BERETTA - SO2 - Sidelock Over Under -- 27-1/2 Bbls - Double Triggers
BERETTA – SO2 – Sidelock Over Under — 27-1/2 Bbls – Double Triggers

BERETTA – SO2 –  Sidelock Over Under — 27-1/2 Bbls – Double Triggers: 2-3/4″, 27-1/2″ IC / LM (.007 / .011) Boehler Steel Bbls, LOP 14-1/2″ Drop 1-1/2″ to 2-7/16″, Weight 6 lbs. 15 oz. Somone has added a wood butt spacer and fitted a Beretta butt plate. Very nice work. The stock is 13-7/8″ without the extension. So, remove the extension and add a pad and the stock will go almost 15″ with a standard 1″ pad. Price: $3950

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

EDWINSON GREEN 450 #2 N. E.- A REAL DOUBLE RIFLE- EXC PLUS BORES- NEAR EXHIBITION WOOD- 75% ORIGINAL CASE COLORS
EDWINSON GREEN 450 #2 N. E.- A REAL DOUBLE RIFLE- EXC PLUS BORES- NEAR EXHIBITION WOOD- 75% ORIGINAL CASE COLORS

EDWINSON GREEN 450 #2 N. E.- A REAL DOUBLE RIFLE- EXC PLUS BORES- NEAR EXHIBITION WOOD- 75% ORIGINAL CASE COLORS: #6445, Edwinson Green & Sons, Makers, Cheltenham, England: A Real Double Rifle, Made by the Makers of Jeffery Boxlock Double Rifles, A Very Solid 450 #2 Nitro Express with Excellent Plus Bores that was Made in 1906, 28″ Krupp Steel Extractor Chopper Lump Barrels, Dolls Head Extension, 1/4 rib with 1 standing & 3 folding rear sights, Nitro proved at 75 cordite & 480 grain bullet, No sling eyes, Bushed strikers, No cheekpiece, 14 7/8″ LOP over a 1″ leather pad, Cast-Off for the right hand, The proper and correct 450 #2 Big Bore weight of 11 lbs. 7 oz., 15% coverage of very nice scroll, Near exhibition wood with deep black/brown contrast, The buttstock and forend wood remains extremely solid with a lifetime of game field use left in both the forend and buttstock, The strength to this gun is the excellent plus bores & wood condition, The barrel blue appears totally original at 90%, The buttstock refinished & now at 96%, The checkering is at 98%, The frame has 75% original case colors, The breech face has 90% case colors, The inside of the forend has 99% case colors. This is one extremely solid rifle that remains in excellent condition with excellent plus bores that look new for all intents and purposes. This is real stuff that was owned by one of the best double rifle hunter/shooter enthusiasts in the U.S. It is an accurate double that will shoot 2″ at 50 yards and put both 350 & 480 .458″ diameter bullets into 4″ at 100 yards. All the loading information will be furnished with the purchase. Then top it all off; it has super bores, great condition, points like a dream with the proper cast-off and is offered in one of the greatest English cartridges of all time that shoots .458″ diameter bullets all day long. There are double rifles and then there are serious double rifles. Serious rifles have two barrels, everything else just burns gunpowder. Some guns depth is a backyard wading pool; this 450 #2 has depth of the ocean./////////////////////////////// Edwinson Charles Green learned his craft in Birmingham and moved to Cheltenham in 1863 and remained active until his death in 1927 at the age of 89. He was very skilled as his patented O/U laid the ground work for the first Purdey O/U. Mr. Ernest Lawrence Sr. was the works manager at Purdey in 1924 and was approached by Mr. Atholl Purdey to build an O/U gun. Mr. Harry Lawrence was then in the factory and he drew from the ideas of Mr. Edwinson Green. He also patented a 3 barrel gun and built a round action nearly identical to the Dickson. Edwinson Green & Sons was still operating as late as 1983. Price: $27,000

F.W. Kessler Very Best Grade .250 Savage Ejector Clam Shell Action Double Rifle
F.W. Kessler Very Best Grade .250 Savage Ejector Clam Shell Action Double Rifle

F.W. Kessler Very Best Grade .250 Savage Ejector Clam Shell Action Double Rifle: With all the great features and in spectacular condition.   F. W.  Kessler was known for the highest quality and  best workmanship available in his day.  The bores of these 27 inch barrels are mint.  The barrels retain about 97% original blue except a small blemish, (see photo 14) likely a blood spot, on the right barrel just forward of the rear sights. This rare clam shell action has full coverage of very delicate bouquet and scroll engraving.  Original case colors ,in protected areas, are about 99% plus with original 80% fading colors on remaining exposed areas. The stock has excellent figure and finish with a leather covered pad. Checkering is excellent on both stock and forearm.  The stock has a beaded cheek rest and the forearm has a horn insert in the tip.  The rear sights are 1 standing and 4 folding to 500 yards.  The front sight is hooded with a flip up night sight.  Just a few additional fine features are a scalloped action ,excellant screws, both triggers set, cocking indicators, sling swivels, rib extention with Greener cross bolt and bushed strikers.  Price: $10,950

Francotte Pre-War 16ga 28in BLNE 2 1/2in IM/F: A sweet 5lb 14oz DT 2 1/2in 16ga  Francotte BLNE  with lots of condition 60-70% case color  95% blue 98% wood  14 in LOP to a horned buttplate. Price: $2,200

Francotte Pre War 16ga 28in BLNE 2 1/2in IM/F
Francotte Pre War 16ga 28in BLNE 2 1/2in IM/F
PAUL JAEGER 12 GAUGE DOUBLE - HIGH ORIGINAL CONDITION - 4 BITE LOCKUP
PAUL JAEGER 12 GAUGE DOUBLE – HIGH ORIGINAL CONDITION – 4 BITE LOCKUP

PAUL JAEGER 12 GAUGE DOUBLE – HIGH ORIGINAL CONDITION – 4 BITE LOCKUP: Here is a high condition Paul Jaeger 12 gauge double. This interesting gun has FOUR bites – two Purdey style under bites, Greener style cross bolt and a rib extension bite. Early Paul Jaeger, Philadelphia, PA import from Belgium. Gun retains most of original case color. Extractor. Auto safety. Side clips. Mirror bores with .726 measurements. Barrels are 26″ choke Full and Full (40/1000). Chambers are 2 3/4″. Weight of gun is 6 LBS 5 OZ – a great carry weight. Shipping is $40. Stock dimensions: LOP – 14 1/4″, Drop at Comb – 1 3/8″, Drop at Heel – 2 1/4″. Price: $1,450

LC SMITH LONG RANGE IN 12 GAUGE - 30" BARRELS
LC SMITH LONG RANGE IN 12 GAUGE – 30″ BARRELS

LC SMITH LONG RANGE IN 12 GAUGE – 30″ BARRELS: Here is the famous LC Smith “Long Range” 12 gauge in Field Grade. Designed for long range waterfowl shooting this gun features 3″ chambers and special chokes. Correct “Long Range” features and markings (see last photo). Mirror 30″ bores as original, Right at .727 with 30/1000 choke (Full) and Left at .728 with 48/1000 choke (Extra Full). Chambers measure 3″ and have correct forcing cones. Barrels ring true with no loose ribs. Gun is tight on face. Case colors in protected areas. Extractors. LC Smith buttplate. Weight is 7 LBS 15 OZ. Beavertail forend. Shipping is $40. Stock dimensions: LOP – 14 1/8″ Drop at Comb – 1 9/16″ Drop at Heel – 2 3/8″ Price: $1,400

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

HOLLAND & HOLLAND, SELF OPENER BREVIS 12GA SHOTGUN
HOLLAND & HOLLAND, SELF OPENER BREVIS 12GA SHOTGUN

HOLLAND & HOLLAND, SELF OPENER BREVIS 12GA SHOTGUN: S/S, WITH HAND DETACHABLE LOCKS, 1930 MFG DATE, HOLLAND & HOLLAND ROYAL SCROLL WITH CASE COLORS, 98% ORIGINAL, 26 1/2″ CHOPPER LUMP BBLS, 2 1/2″, CHOKED 1/4, 1/2, STANDARD GAME RIB, EJECTORS, DBL TRIGGERS WITH HIGHLY FIGURED WALNUT, ST/SP, LOP 14 1/2 TO CK BUTT, 1 3/8, 2 1/8, CAST OFF 1/4, 6LBS 3OZ, ORIGINAL MAKER’S CASE WITH ACCESSORIES, INCLUDES ORIGINAL EXTRA PINS IN IVORY, ONE OF THE VERY BEST , ALL ORIGINAL CONDITION, RETAINS NEAR ALL CASE COLORS, ORIGINAL BLUE & STOCK FINISH! Price: $36,750

LEBEAU COURALLY GRAND LUXE SIDELOCK SXS 12 GAUGE: MADE 1972 ROUND ACTION SIDELOCK 27 1/2″ 007 AND 016 2 3/4 DOUBLE TRIGGER EJECTORS SPLINTER FOREARM ENGLISH GRIP CHECKERED BUTT EXCELLENT PLUS CONDITION 6LBS 9 OZ X 2 1/2 X 1 1/2 X 14 3/4 Price: $25,000

LEBEAU COURALLY GRAND LUXE SIDELOCK SXS 12 GAUGE
LEBEAU COURALLY GRAND LUXE SIDELOCK SXS 12 GAUGE

A.H. FOX XE 12 GAUGE SxS  SHOTGUN: #22XXX PHILADELPHIA GUN 30″ FULL AND FULL 2 3/4 DOUBLE TRIGGER EJECTORS SPLINTER FOREARM PISTOL GRIP LIKE NEW ORIGINAL CONDITION 7LBS 2 OZ X 3 X 2 X 14 Price: $17,500

A.H FOX XE 12 GAUGE SxS American Shotgun
A.H FOX XE 12 GAUGE SxS American Shotgun
WINCHESTER - Model 21 - 12ga - 30" M / F - - RARE - Double Trigger - Ejector - Splinter
WINCHESTER – Model 21 – 12ga – 30″ M / F – – RARE – Double Trigger – Ejector – Splinter

WINCHESTER – Model 21 – 12ga – 30″ M / F – – RARE – Double Trigger – Ejector – Splinter: 1932 – Winchester Model 21 – 12ga, 2-3/4″, 30″, Mod / Full (.010 / .034), Pistol Grip, Splinter Forearm, Double Triggers, Ejectors, Automatic Safety, LOP 14-1/4″, Drop 1-5/8″ to 2-5/8″, Weight 7 lbs. 4 oz. Excellent Condition. Appears to be original finishes – at about 92% overall. Bores are excellent. Price: $4,750

LC SMITH LONG RANGE 12 GAUGE WITH 30″ BARRELS – 3″ ORIGINAL CHAMBERS – FIELD GRADE: Here is the famous LC Smith “Long Range” 12 gauge in Field Grade. Designed for long range waterfowl shooting this gun features 3″ chambers and special chokes. Correct “Long Range” features and markings (see last photo). Mirror 30″ bores as original, Right at .727 with 30/1000 choke (Full) and Left at .728 with 48/1000 choke (Extra Full). Chambers measure 3″ and have correct forcing cones. Barrels ring true with no loose ribs. Gun is tight on face. Case colors in protected areas. Extractors. LC Smith buttplate. Weight is 7 LBS 15 OZ. Beavertail forend. LOP – 14 1/8″, Drop at Comb – 1 9/16″, Drop at Heel – 2 3/8″. Price: $1,650

LC SMITH LONG RANGE 12 GAUGE WITH 30" BARRELS - 3" ORIGINAL CHAMBERS - FIELD GRADE
LC SMITH LONG RANGE 12 GAUGE WITH 30″ BARRELS – 3″ ORIGINAL CHAMBERS – FIELD GRADE

The L.C. Smith Long Range Wildfowl shotgun…

Early Ad for L.C. Smith's Long Range Wildfowl Double Barrel Shotgun
Early Ad for L.C. Smith’s Long Range Wildfowl Double Barrel Shotgun

The 1920s were big times for America, and for American firearms. Over those 10 years, a lot of things changed about both. For guns, two new products came onto and had a significant impact on the market.

The first new product was the Super-X shotgun shell. Introduced by the Western Cartridge Company, it was loaded with their new progressive powder.  Super-X shotgun shells gave “…high velocity and longer range without high gas pressure plus “Short Shot String” and the maker told customers that the end result “…assures clean kills at distances almost unbelievable.”

Western Cartridge Company, 12g Super X shotgun ammunition
Western Cartridge Company, 12g Super X shotgun ammunition

Next up was the Super-Fox shotgun, introduced by the the A.H. Fox Company. A.H. Fox created the first Super-Fox to test Western’s new shells. John Olin, Western’s founder, took delivery of this prototype in 1921. It was well received and in 1923 A.H. Fox made the Super-Fox a part of their line up. Soon it was hit with duck hunters, including the the legendary wing shooter Nash Buckingham.

To take advantage of the new Western ammo and compete with the Super Fox, L.C. Smith introduced the 12 Long Range Waterfowl shotguns in 1924. Available in 3″ and 2 3/4″ 12 gauge, and in all available grades, the L.C. Smith Long Range Wild Fowl guns was advertised as:

THE HARDEST HITTING GUN IN THE WORLD

“The L.C. Smith Long Range Wild Fowl Gun is built from our Regular model, and is designed to handle heavy charges of modern propellant powders, giving it an increased range of 15 to 25 yards, and extreme velocity and penetration with uniform patterns.”

Catalog Description of L.C. Smith's Long Range Wildfowl Double Barrel Shotgun
Catalog Description of L.C. Smith’s Long Range Wildfowl Double Barrel Shotgun

L.C. Smith catalogs claimed that the Long Range Wild Fowls used “A distinctive L.C. Smith method of choking adds 15 to 20 yards to ordinary shotgun range…specially bored to a longer, tapering choke…” To handle heavy recoil, these guns also featured a a reinforced forend loop on the barrels.

L.C. Smith Long Range Wildfowl Double Barrel Shotgun
L.C. Smith Long Range Wildfowl Double Barrel Shotgun

The last L.C. Smith Long Range Wild Fowl Gun was completed in 1942, and in all they made 2,631 of these guns. Right now, this nice one is on Gunbroker.com.

You can learn more about the L.C. Smith Long Range Wild Fowl Gun here.

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