A hundred years, most of New England was excellent grouse cover, especially north of Boston and up into southern New Hampshire and Maine. As people abandoned their small farms for jobs in the factory towns, mother nature took over and turned the old sheep pastures and apple orchards into prime grouse and woodcock cover.
The guys alive then hunted a world that will never be again. I think of them sometime, and of all the birds they used to see. When I do, I imagine them carrying a gun like this Parker as they follow a setter through hundreds of acres of grouse dreamland.
Parker VH – 16g – SxS- Shotgun: Presented for you today is a pre-owned Parker VH 16 gauge shotgun. Carrying serial number 236444 this desirable American side by side was originally manufactured in 1934 in Parker’s Meriden, CT factory. Metal condition: 40% original case color, trigger guard burnished to white, engraving crisp, screws excellent. Very good rust blue on barrels. Excellent bore. Wood condition: Very good original condition with very good original checkering; 3/4″ Silvers pad (hard) with remnants of leather cover. Serial Number: 236444 Metal Condition: 40%, Bore Condition: Excellent, Action: Boxlock, Gauge: 16 Stock Dimensions: 1-1/2″ x 2-5/8″ x 14-1/2, Butt Pad: Silvers recoil pad,LOP: 14-1/2″, Chokes: Full/Modified Grips: Checkered Pistol. Price: $4,000
Over the past year I’ve come across some nice L.C. Smith double-barrel shotguns. LC Smith made hammerless shotguns from 1886 -1950 and again from 1968-1971. I’ve pulled together this little study to show the stock styles a customer could order these guns. The guns below were all made before 1913.
Of all the classic American shotguns, LCs come in right after Lefevers for me. L.C. Smiths were the only sidelock side-by-side shotguns mass produced in US. These “sidelocks” give the guns a sleek, graceful look through the action and into the stock. The sidelocks also leave a lot room for engraving. LC Smiths feature some great engraving – but that’s a subject for another post. So lets get to the stocks.
LC Smith stocks came in a variety of styles – pistol grips, an English-style straight grip, a round-knob, half-pistol grip, and in Monte-Carlo styles with straight and pistol grips. This first gun is a 12g LC Smith grade 2 with a straight, or English style, stock.
Check out the wood on that gun! That yellowish tone and swirly figure look like Turkish walnut (a.k.a. Circassian walnut) to me. Whatever it is, its awfully nice for a Grade 2, a gun that LC Smith claimed was “just the kind for rough usage.”
On this gun, Look at how thick and meaty the stock’s comb and face are. This gun has 30″ bbls and is heavy – around 7 3/4 lbs. It also has a pretty high stock and very tight chokes (Full & Fuller). It wouldn’t surprise me if it made for competition shooting, maybe live pigeons.
These next LCs is also Grade 2 – a 12g with a rounded grip. LC Smith called this style a half pistol grip. The comb on this stock is also real meaty. Its nose it pretty thick, too (the stock’s nose is the place where the comb rises up from the hand, or right behind where your thumb would sit).
The wood on this one is pretty. I like the red tone it has. It looks like a piece of French Walnut.
In the pre-1913 guns, Grade 2s were fourth up from the bottom (OO grades) and considered nice, but not special. They were comparable in price to a Parker GH, a B-grade Fox or an F- or E-grade Lefever.
This next LC has a full pistol grip. This gun is a 12g Grade 4. In 1912 this grade retailed for $127 and a Grade 2 without ejectors went cost $70. This full pistol grip is the one I see the most often. On pre-1913 Smiths, the grip tends to be very laid back and open. I find them very comfortable to carry and shoot. They ‘re nice, looking, too.
For more on the history of LC Smith side by sides , check out LCSmith.org. This is the official site of the LC Smith Collector’s Association and it’s loaded with info about these double-barrel shotguns. The pics of the catalog cover and the straight-grip 2E come courtesy of them. The other pics are from Cabela’s and Kevin’s Guns.