High-grade L.C. Smith are some of the best-looking doubles ever made in America. Check out this 16g Crown grade to see why.
The Hunter Arms Company made the Crown from 1912-1950, and when it was first introduced it to replaced the company’s No. 5 grade. Crown grades were available in four gauges – 10, 12, 16, and 20 – and in .410. Hunter Arms built 862 Crowns, and 68 of these were in 16 gauge.
They were all made-to-order shotgun, so the specific subject of the engraving patterns, the barrel lengths, and stock measurements could all be dictated by the buyer. That being said, most of the Crowns I’ve seen have had 28″ or 30″ bbls.
This 16g was made in the mid 1930s. At that time, A. F. Stoeger listed an L.C. Smith Crown like this at $292.50, a whole lot more than a basic Winchester Model 21 ($73.40) and a just little more than a Parker CHE with a single trigger ($267.50).
LC SMITH CROWN GRADE 16 GAUGE:#149XXX 28″ IC AND MOD 2 3/4 HUNTER ONE SINGLE SELECT TRIGGER EJECTORS SPLINTER FOREARM PISTOL GRIP NEAR NEW ORIGINAL CONDITION 6LBS 11 OZ X 2 1/4″ X 1 1/2″ X 14″. Price:$29,500.
BTW: I would like to thank the LC Smith Collectors club for a lot of this info. If you want to learn more about Elsies, you should check out their site.
A double-barrel shotgun is a couple barrels, an action, a trigger or two, some walnut, and a few other parts.
Sometimes, though, it can be a whole lot more, too. While this 12 gauge L.C. Smith Field may look like it’s just a nice SxS with a ton of original condition, the story behind it turns it into a unique treasure that deserves to be cherished:
“The times were hard on the farm in Eastern South Dakota in 1949 but Mom and the kids got $78 together and bought Dad the 12 gauge he always wanted. L. C. Smith #48894 was under the Christmas tree in 1949. Dad was one of the first Americans involved in the Korean War as part of the U.S. Army’s 1st Battalion, 34th Regiment, 24th Division. Dad never returned from the heavy action in Korea and the fall of 1950 before Pheasant season #48894 was oiled and put away, literally forever.”
L. C. SMITH- 12 BORE THAT REMAINS as NEW & APPEARS UNFIRED- 98% ORIG COND- 1949- 28″ Bbls.- 99% ORIG CASE COLORS: #FWS 48894, L.C. Smith Gun Company Field Grade Featherweight 12 Bore Made in 1949 that Remains Almost as New; Original Condition and it Appears Unfired, 28″ Armor Steel Extractor barrels at .732 .028 & .041″ (Imp.Mod. & Full), 2 3/4″chambers, Double Triggers, Splinter forend, Pistol grip stock at 14 1/4 x 1 1/2 x 2 9/16″ over the factory buttplate, 7 lbs. 7 oz. This piece retains 96% original vivid barrel blue, The total original case colors remain at 99% including the top lever, The breech face has 100% case colors, The trigger guard and triggers retain 98% blue, The butt and forend has the original finish and remains at 99% with a few very light handling marks only, The checkering remains at 100%, The trigger faces have 100% blue, The barrels inside are literally new, The left barrel has an area of surface corrosion about the size of 2 pencil erasers, The very toe of the buttplate has a 3/16″ piece missing, I do believe the piece was never fired. Here is almost like buying it new in 1949, they don’t get much better condition than this piece.
The times were hard on the farm in Eastern South Dakota in 1949 but Mom and the kids got $78 together and bought Dad the 12 gauge he always wanted. L. C. Smith #48894 was under the Christmas tree in 1949. Dad was one of the first Americans involved in the Korean War as part of the U.S. Army’s 1st Battalion, 34th Regiment, 24th Division. Dad never returned from the heavy action in Korea and the fall of 1950 before Pheasant season #48894 was oiled and put away, literally forever. If only guns could talk! Price:$2,495
Here’s a great looking American double that’s very hard to find. It’s an L.C. Smith No. 5, and it looks like it’s in excellent original condition. Best of all, it’s on Gunbroker.com now at no reserve. The listing ends Thursday, 2/12/2015, @ 5:30:45 PM ET – so if you like what you see, you’ve got to move right away.
The No. 5 was L.C. Smith upper middle grade gun, comparable in cost to a Parker DHE or CHE (even though the L.C. has much finer engraving). Hunter Arms built them from 1894-1912, and in all, they made just 523. Every one was made to order, so engraving patterns vary a bit by shotgun.
“Our No. 5 Smith Gun meets the views of the patron who is in need of a gun handsomely finished and elaborately engraved. We embody in this gun much of beauty. This grade has always stood well ahead”
LC Smith Number 5 Unrestored Unmolested Original Matching #s Elsie 5, Mfg 1903*No Reserve* Very Rare: 12 gauge, 30″ bbls I have a 1903 Elsie number 5 that has been in the gun safe for years and is now time for some else to enjoy her! This gun is matching numbers, original number 5. The silver receiver is in excellent if not perfect condition, the butt stock has a couple minor scratches with no cracks top or bottom which is rare for this gun. The fore stock is in excellent condition and locks the gun up tight and allows for the ejectors to work. The Damascus Barrels very bright and shiny and are in great shape with a small repairable rap about 1/4″ round located 6 inches from the end of the left barrel.
I don’t like to sell my shotguns, especially if it’s one I’ve had for a while. Once I’ve had a double for a few seasons, we’ve been places together and shared time.
I remember slipping it out of its case at the beginning of hope-filled October days and breaking it down as I remember the points made and the birds hit and missed. The gun becomes part of my season – as important to me as the people and dogs I walk the woods with and the covers I visit.
But life is expensive, especially if you’re crazy about dogs, hunting and old shotguns. As bills pile up, some things have to go. So it’s time to say goodbye to this one: An L.C. Smith 16 gauge No. 2 with Ejectors and 28″ damascus barrels. It’s on Gunbroker.com now, and the listing ends tomorrow, 12/10/2013, at 9:00 p.m. ET.
The Hunter Arms Co. introduced the No. 2 grade guns in 1890 and they built them until 1914. The No. 2 was a popular model, but people didn’t order many of them in 16 gauge. Of the 12,483 No. 2s the company made 12,483, just 793 were sixteens.
Far, far fewer of these sixteens had ejectors, damascus barrels, and double triggers. So the SxS you see here is tough to find, and when you factor in its condition, you’re looking at an extremely rare double barrel shotgun.
Every gun nut has THE shotgun they’re trying to find. For a friend of mine, it’s 2o gauge Lindner-made Charles Daly with damascus barrels. Another guy I know is searching everywhere for an all original, color-case hardened Belgian-made 20g sidelock with 28″+ tubes.
My holy-grail used to be a 16 gauge L.C. Smith No.2 with a straight grip and double triggers. I spent years trying to track one down. When you look at the gunmaker’s production numbers, it’s easy to see why.
According to the L.C. Smith Collector’s Association, the folks in Fulton made just seven-hundred and ninety-three 16-gauge No. 2s. I bet at least 90% of these had pistol grips, and that’s why one with this configuration are easy hard to find (I’ve owned at least 3).
But swap in a straight grip, ask for double triggers, and now you’ve got a tough gun to track down. L.C. Smith probably set up fewer than thirty 16g No. 2s like this, and I’ve spent a decade looking for one.
In the past few month — bang! — two of them have popped up on the market. When I found the first one, I shocked by the condition – 90%+ all original – and stunned by the price – $8,0000. This one has less of that condition, but the price is still steep. Of course, it may be the last one you every see:
16 gauge L.C. Smith 2E with an original straight grip and double triggers: Nice, original condition LC Smith 16 GA, grade 2E. 28″ barrels choked .021 modified right and .032 left. Both bores are .661. Barrels retain 75-80% original blue. Engraving is sharp and clear, original case color remains at 50% or so. Straight hand stock with splinter fore-end. Checkering is sharp and un-damaged. Butt stock has an extension added that is so good that is hard to see.(see photos). LOP is 14 7/8″ to a 1/2″ pad. DAC 1 5/8, DAH 2 3/4, Cast is neutral. Mechanically perfect, this one is ready for some action in the field or on the range. Price: $5,495.00
If classic American doubles are your thing, here are two nice ones to check out. This first shotgun is a 12 gauge L.C. Smith No. 2. According the L.C. Smith Collector’s Association, “The No. 2 grade was nicely finished and engraved… and was said to be “just the kind for rough usage.” The Hunter Arms Company made 10,814 of them in 12 gauge, and the twelves are very common on the used market.
I’ve owned a few No. 2s over the years — a 12 gauge and two or three 16s. They were all solid, reliable shotguns. I still own one of the 16s — a real early one that’s a nice grouse gun. There’s another No. 2 that I’ve always wanted: a 16 gauge with a straight grip and double triggers. If you have one and you want to sell, drop me note. I would love to buy it.
Here’s more about the one pictured:
LC Smith Grade 2 – 12 GAUGE with ejectors and chain damascus barrels: Nicely figured stock with sharp checkering. Gun is tight on face. Ejectors are perfectly timed. Three position safety. Bores are excellent with right at .732 and 22/1000 choke (Imp Mod) and left at 31/1000 choke (full). Barrel length is 30″. Chambers are 2 3/4″. Weight of gun is 7 LBS 1/2 OZ. LOP – 14″. Drop at Heel – 2 3/8″. Price: $2,200
The next double is a 20g Ithaca Flues Grade 3. The Ithaca Flues was one of the country’s most popular doubles. But even though the company made 223,000 of them from 1908 to 1926, they didn’t make a whole lot of 20 gauge. They made even fewer of them in Grade 3 with 30′ barrels, so it’s safe to say that this is one very rare American side-by-side:
Fantastic Ithaca Flues 20 gauge Grade 3E — 30″ barrels: Rare gun, with ejectors. Beautiful original condition, tight as the day it was built. 80% original color, 95% barrel blue and varnish. Full figured wood with perfect original butt place. Splinter forend with push-button release. Long, 30” barrels. Perfect upland gun. 14 ¼” x 1 ¾” X 2 7/8”. Price: $5,500.00