This is a question I get all the time: What SxSs should a guy on a budget buy, especially if you like vintage guns?
The 16g. L.C. Smith you see here is one of the answers I give. It’s on Gunbroker.com now and the online auction listing ends 7/17/2019 @ 2:52 PM.
L.C. Smith was one of America’s major side-by-side shotgun makers. The first L.C. Smiths were made in 1884, the last in 1971. Over that time, the company built all sorts of SxSs and passed through several owners.
I’ ve owned a bunch of L.C. Smiths (including 16gs like this one), and I think these low-grades ones make excellent grouse, woodcock and quail guns. Because they’re not as collectible as Parkers or Foxes, they sell for fair money. And thanks to the way they’re built, I’ve found them to be lighter and more dynamic than most comparable Ithaca NIDs.
This sixteen-gauge is from the period when Hunter Arms owned L.C. Smith (1888-1944). It’s a Field grade, which was the most basic gun L.C. Smith offered. I’m pretty sure it’s a Featherweight model, too, which means it was made a bit lighter than a standard 16g Field grade.
I like this gun for a few reasons:
- First, it’s a late L.C. Smith (made in 1942, according to the seller). The stocks on guns from this period tend to have less drop than what you find on earlier guns, and on 16 gauges, chambers are often 2 3/4″ long instead of 2 1/2″ (like you find on earlier sixteens).
- Second, it looks like it’s in excellent original condition with pleny of gorgeous color-case hardening and nice blueing
- Last, you should be able to get a deal on it — and who doesn’t like a deal.
BTW: If you happen to get this gun, here’s a cool brochure you should check out: L.C. SMITH: CARE OF YOUR SHOTGUN, courtesy of the folks at the L.C. Smith Collectors Association
LC SMITH FIELD GRADE 16 GAUGE: 28 ” BARRELS, M&F, MADE 1942, EXCELLENT BORES, A FEW HANDLING MARKS ON WOOD, METAL GREAT, 3-DAY NON FIRING INSPECTION.