Original or Redone – 1901 L.C. Smith Pigeon grade…

One of top double barrel shotgun collectors in the US just sent me some pics of his latest find: a pristine 1901 L.C. Smith Pigeon grade with ejectors. Take a look at the pics below to see for yourself what a 100+ year old American side by side shotgun with most of its original condition looks like.

In this first pic, check out the overall condition of the gun. The butt stock looks new, with no dents, dings, or scratches. 1901 LC Smith Pigeon Grade double-barrel shotgunThe pad is a bit deteriorated, but rubber does that after 100+ years. What matters is that it’s original to the gun. The blueing on the bbls also looks great, as does the color case harding on the action. Overall, this is a very bright, crisp gun.

LC Smith made Pigeon Grades from 1895 to 1912. They cost about $150 in 1901. They built 1,214 of them in all and most came with straight-grip stocks. This gun’s Monte Carlo, pistol grip was an option available at the time.

The Pigeon Grade fell between LC Smith’s Grade 3s and Grade 4s in the pre-1913 lineup, making it a medium-grade gun. For a mid-range gun, the wood is exceptional. The manufacturer bragged that they used “…a choice piece of French walnut, beautifully figured. The richness of the color in these finer stocks is superb…”

In these next pics you can see the bright, vivid the color-case harding on the action. 1901 LC Smith Pigeon Grade double-barrel shotgunThose milky greens, yellows, and blues are the signs of vintage Smith case coloring. I think their cloudy, opaque tone comes from time and I don’t think it can be reproduced. Along with the colors, check out how sharp and crisp the wood is around and behind locks. Obviously, this gun wasn’t used much.

The checkering on this gun is also interesting. See how it wraps up and around the stock? This is hard and time consuming to do, so you see it on few American guns. I think it looks very nice and it’s one of the features I like about pre-1913 L.C. Smiths.

1901 LC Smith Pigeon Grade double-barrel shotgun

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9 thoughts on “Original or Redone – 1901 L.C. Smith Pigeon grade…

  1. In my opinion, the wood looks too shiny. These guns came through with an oil finish.

  2. Judging by the stock finish, as well as the amount of wood left around the wrist, I’d say no.


  4. i have my great grandfathers 1901 12ga double barrel. could you tell me where i can find information on this gun? thank you.

  5. Thanks for your post on my blog regarding your L.C. Smith.

    The best way to find out more about your gun is to tell me all you can about it and then send me as many pics of it as possible.

    The more I know, and the more I can see, the more I can tell you.

    Thanks again,


  6. Gregg,

    I have my grandfathers, 1910, LC Smith Pigeon Grade #212343. Is in I would consider great shape, have killed a turkey with it several years ago with low brass. What is with the “gold” bar across the top, why was it used?

    Gary (Upstate NY)

  7. Thanks for your post. The gold bar was just cosmetic — a little flourish to show that the gun was a special grade. It didn’t have a practical use.
    Do you have any pics of you gun? I would love to see it.
    Thanks again,


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