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.
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: 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
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:
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
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!
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