Auction alert: 16g L.C. Smith Field Grade, 28″ bbls…

Auction alert: 16g L.C. Smith Field Grade, 28" bbls...
Auction alert: 16g L.C. Smith Field Grade, 28″ bbls…

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.

Super cool 1907 LC Smith Catalog Cover
Super cool 1907 LC Smith Catalog Cover

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.

Auction alert: 16g L.C. Smith Field Grade, 28" bbls...
Auction alert: 16g L.C. Smith Field Grade, 28″ bbls…

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

Auction alert: 16g L.C. Smith Field Grade, 28" bbls...
Auction alert: 16g L.C. Smith Field Grade, 28″ bbls…

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.

A lightweight, baby-frame 28g Charles Daly OU?

Baby frame 28g Charles Daly OU shotgun?
Baby frame 28g Charles Daly OU shotgun?

A lot of 28-gauge shotguns aren’t what they claim to be. Even though they shoot 28g shells, they’re really 20-gauge guns. That’s because some makers cut corners when they built them.

Instead of scaling down the entire firearm, they just stick a set of 28-gauge on a 20-gauge frame. The OU or SxS you end up with has the feel and heft of 20, but it shoots more expensive 28-gauge shells. What’s the point?

But some makers do make and have made true 28-gauge guns. Typically, these doubles are really expensive. But that’s not the case with this one at Cabelas in Hazelwood, MO — or at least I think it isn’t.

Baby frame 28g Charles Daly OU shotgun?
Baby frame 28g Charles Daly OU shotgun?

In the ’60s and into the ’70s, the Charles Daly name was used on a series OU shotguns made by Miroku in Japan. These shotguns were model after Browning Citoris. Overall, they were reliable, well-made doubles.

Miroku made two types of 28 gauge OUs: Some on 20-gauge frames, other on scaled down, 28-gauge frames.

I think the gun you see here is one of those lightweight, baby-frame 28s. According to the Blue Book of Gun Values, Daly/Miroku made around 1,000 of the lightweight/baby frame 28 gauges. So if this is one, and judging by the weight the seller has listed it is, it’s a hard-to-find over-under and a good deal.

Charles Daly Over-Under Shotgun in 28 GaugePrice: $1,349.99 

Weight: 5 Lbs.

Barrels: 26″

Chambers: 2 3/4″
Metal Condition: Minor surface scratches

Baby frame 28g Charles Daly OU shotgun?
Baby frame 28g Charles Daly OU shotgun?

Wood Condition: Minor surface scratches
Bore Condition: Clean
Stock Dimensions:
14″ LOP
Sights: Vent rib with brass mid and front bead
Chokes: Fixed

The story behind this L.C. Smith will tug at your heart….

L. C. SMITH- 12 BORE THAT REMAINS as NEW & APPEARS UNFIRED- 98% ORIG COND- 1949- 28" Bbls.- 99% ORIG CASE COLORS
L. C. SMITH- 12 BORE THAT REMAINS as NEW & APPEARS UNFIRED- 98% ORIG COND- 1949- 28″ Bbls.- 99% ORIG CASE COLORS

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
L. C. SMITH- 12 BORE THAT REMAINS as NEW & APPEARS UNFIRED- 98% ORIG COND- 1949- 28″ Bbls.- 99% ORIG CASE COLORS

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

Is this the finest L.C. Smith .410 Field Featherweight around?

.410 L.C. Smith Field Featherweight Shotgun
.410 L.C. Smith Field Featherweight Shotgun

If you collect small bore L.C. Smiths, here’s one that will get your hear pounding. It’s a .410 L.C. Smith Field Grade, and it appears to be in pristine original condition. Its on Gunbroker.com now, and the listing ends on 3/9/2014 @ 8:30:00 PM ET.

L.C. Smith shipped their first .410 in October of  1926. According to the L.C. Smith Collector’s Association website, this gun was made soon after in 1927. In all the company made 2,665 .410s — 2,509 in the Field grade.

L.C. Smith made Field grades 1912 – 1950. They were the company’s least expensive guns and L.C. Smith advertised them as  “…especially designed for those requiring a cheap, sound and plainly finished weapon. It is particularly useful for field and marsh where rough usage is required.” It looks like this .410 never saw that rough usage.

.410 L.C. Smith Field Featherweight Shotgun.410 L.C. Smith Field Featherweight Shotgun
.410 L.C. Smith Field Featherweight Shotgun

L.C. Smith FeatherWeight Field shotgun in .410 Ga.: Original 26″ barrels choked Full/Full. The blue, vivid case colors and stock varnish are all original! Not Restored! This shotgun is as it was shipped out in 1927! Don’t be fooled by the flat top checkering, that is Not wear! That was how L.C. Smith checkered a field grade gun back then! And that stock is in spectacular condition! There are however some cloth pattern “imprints” in the varnish. This gun was wrapped in cloth and stored for many years. It was a closet find that recently surfaced in my area! There is also a repair on the forearm tip area. Near impossible to see, looks like a dark grain line! No other cracks anywhere and very few handling marks, this sweetheart is very, very little fired and little used! Still has the original butt plate as well!

.410 L.C. Smith Field Featherweight Shotgun
.410 L.C. Smith Field Featherweight Shotgun

Action is smooth and tight just like a new gun! Lever is to the right. The bores are perfect, mirror bright and no dents. The Chambers are 2 1/2″. This gun was stored so long, I had my gunsmith inspect and test fire it, and it shoots just great! The barrel blue is original, thick and rich, just a hint of wear at the muzzles and some tiny marks and blems near the chambers! The original Niter blue on the trigger guard is wonderful, and there is no wear at the tang area! The receiver case colors are original from 1927! There are a very few and scattered blems and speckles, nothing big or bad! The weight of this wonderful LC Smith .410 is 5lb 8oz., LOP is 14 1/4″, Drop is 2 1/2″.

.410 L.C. Smith Field Featherweight Shotgun
.410 L.C. Smith Field Featherweight Shotgun
.410 L.C. Smith Field Featherweight Shotgun
.410 L.C. Smith Field Featherweight Shotgun
.410 L.C. Smith Field Featherweight Shotgun
.410 L.C. Smith Field Featherweight Shotgun

Good gun alert: 20 gauge L.C. Smith Field, straight grip….

20 gauge L.C. Smith Field Featherweight. 28" bbls, straight-grip stock
20 gauge L.C. Smith Field Featherweight. 28″ bbls, straight-grip stock

For some reason, Americans have never loved shotguns with straight-gripped stocks. That’s why most of the doubles by American makers like Parker, A.H. Fox, & L.C. Smith feature pistol grips.

When you do see straight-gripped stocks on an American double, it’s usually on a higher grade model. The higher-grades were custom made, and customers could order whatever they wanted.

But most of the lower-grade guns were bought off the rack at a local sporting-goods shop or hardware store, and buyers took what they could get. And that was usually a double with a pistol grip.

20 gauge L.C. Smith Field Featherweight. 28" bbls, straight-grip stock
20 gauge L.C. Smith Field Featherweight. 28″ bbls, straight-grip stock

So all this means that this Field-grade L.C. Smith is a tough shotgun to find — especially in original condition.

L C Smith, Hunter Arms, 20 Gauge Straight Stock: Field grade, 28″ bbls, Full & Full, 2 3/4″ chambers, Very good blue, Mirror bores, Light case color, Featherweight frame, Straight-grip stock, Splinter forearm with the Curtis Forend Fastener (refer to page 424 in the John Houchin’s L.C. Smith book). Very good wood and checkering. 1 1/2″ X 2 3/4″ X 14 1/2″. Made in 1913. Price: $1650

20 gauge L.C. Smith Field Featherweight. 28" bbls, straight-grip stock
20 gauge L.C. Smith Field Featherweight. 28″ bbls, straight-grip stock
20 gauge L.C. Smith Field Featherweight. 28" bbls, straight-grip stock
20 gauge L.C. Smith Field Featherweight. 28″ bbls, straight-grip stock
20 gauge L.C. Smith Field Featherweight. 28" bbls, straight-grip stock
20 gauge L.C. Smith Field Featherweight. 28″ bbls, straight-grip stock
20 gauge L.C. Smith Field Featherweight. 28" bbls, straight-grip stock
20 gauge L.C. Smith Field Featherweight. 28″ bbls, straight-grip stock

Big bucks, little boxes: Insane prices for antique shotgun boxes…

Peters Cart. Co., Target, 28 GAUGE!, 2pc., FULL & SEALED, shot size No. 4
Peters Cart. Co., Target, 28 GAUGE!, 2pc., FULL & SEALED, shot size No. 4

How much would you pay for a box of 28 gauge ammo? At Ward’s Auctions May 2013 sale,

someone’s answer to that question was around $3,500. Of course, this wasn’t for  just any box of  28s. It was a full & sealed box of antique Peter’s Cartridge Co. 28 gauge Target shotgun shells, and it was in mint original condition. Below is some more info about that lot, plus a few other highlights of the sale:
Winchester, PHEASANT BOX, REPEATER, 28 GAUGE: 1pc., Empty, Multi-colored PHEASANT BOX!!! Loading: R236C 1 3/4 – 5/8 – 6, 2 1/2 inch, box is very nice with great color, bottom flap is glued to inside flaps, HARD TO FIND IN 28 GAUGE! Grade: Excellent – Value: 1000 to 2000. Hammer: $1500

Winchester, PHEASANT BOX, REPEATER, 28 GAUGE
Winchester, PHEASANT BOX, REPEATER, 28 GAUGE
Western, FIELD, 28 GAUGE!, 2pc., FULL & SEALED, Shot Size 4
Western, FIELD, 28 GAUGE!, 2pc., FULL & SEALED, Shot Size 4

Western, FIELD, 28 GAUGE!, 2pc., FULL & SEALED: Shot Size 4 Chilled, buff box with multi colored label picturing single Quail in the grass, box is solid with great label, VERY RARE IN 28 GAUGE!!! Grade: Excellent – Value: 500 to 1400. Hammer: $1738

Peters Cart. Co., Target, 28 GAUGE!, 2pc., FULL & SEALED: Ahot size No. 4Ch., buff box with multi colored label picturing quail in flight, Loading: No. 3974. 14 Grs. 5/8 Oz. No. 4Ch. Dense Smokeless, box is STONE COLD MINT. Grade: MINT – Value: 500 to 1000. Hammer: $3120

This weeks’s good guns: powered by Gunsinternational.com…

Westley Richards. .275 Side-by-Side Double Rifle
Westley Richards. .275 Side-by-Side Double Rifle

JOHN RIGBY DOUBLE RIFLE: Caliber 275 #2 Magnum. Overall gun is in beautiful cond with virtually all the orig vivid case colors on the receiver as well as all the bbl blue, vivid blue on the triggerguard. Orig checkered deluxe pistol grip circassian style walnut stocks are in exc cond with metal buttplate and the typical 3-leaf platninum lined express sight. Best quality gun weighing 9-1/2 pounds, 26″ bbls, bores are as new, length of stock is 4-1/2″. Overall gun is in as new cond; beautiful inside and out. Price: $ 31,000.

Alex Marin, Pair. 12 gauge Double Barrel Shotguns
Alex Marin, Pair. 12 gauge Double Barrel Shotguns

ALEX MARTIN BEST SLE SXS PAIR 12 GAUGE: CELTIC ENGRAVING BOTH HAVE 28″ BARRELS WITH 011 AND 026 WITH BRILEY FIXED BLIND CHOKING 2 3/4 CHAMBERS DOUBLE TRIGGER EJECTORS SPLINTER FOREARM ENGLISH GRIP LEATHER COVERED PADS 6LB 13 OZ X 2 1/4 X 1 1/2 X 15 EXCELLENT CONDITION. Price: $25, 000

Holland & Holland .500 Double Rifle
Holland & Holland .500 Double Rifle

HOLLAND & HOLLAND DOUBLE HAMMER RIFLE .500 3 1/4″: 27″ steel barrels, ramp front sight with folding night sight. Two leaf rear express sight. Lightly engraved back action locks and rebounding hammers. Stock dimensions LOP: 14 1/2″ Comb: 1 1/2″ Heel: 2 1/4″ Weight: 9lbs 2oz. Super untouched original barrel blue. The action and locks are lightly engraved and retain areas of casehardening with the remainder fading to a pleasing mottled gray. Mint bores and tight action. Beautiful wood and checkering. Left side of the receiver engraved “CHARGE 5 DRAMS, CASE 3 1/4 INCHES” Price: $12,500

12 gauge Beretta Boxlock Side-by-Side, Made in 1933
12 gauge Beretta Boxlock Side-by-Side, Made in 1933

BERETTA 1933 BOXLOCK SxS- REMAINS TOTALLY ORIG & NEARLY as NEW- OUTSTANDING CONDITION INSIDE & OUT- 28″ KRUPP STEEL BARRELS: #60439, Beretta Boxlock SxS Made in 1933, 12 Bore with 27 7/8″ Krupp Steel Extractor Barrels , crossbolt rib extension, a hidden third bite at .725 .042 & .042″ (Full & Full), Original 2 3/4″, Original & Correct 18.3mm bores, Double triggers with a true & real articulated front trigger, Splinter forend with an Anson release, Straight hand stock at 14 1/4 x 1 1/2 x 2 11/16″ over the factory horn buttplate with “Armi P. Beretta Brescia, 6 lbs. 15 oz., Sling eyes, The initial shield on top of the stock at the heel, 15% coverage of scroll and border engraving, 95% original barrel blue, 85% original case colors, The absolute original wood finish at 97%, The original checkering is at 100%, The trigger guard bow and tang have 100% original blue, Every screw inside & out lays North & South, The gun remains tight as new with a lot of bite left and with bores that remain as new. Price: $2,950.00

20 gauge L.C. Smith Field, Double Barrel Shotgun, 30" barrels, Ejectors
20 gauge L.C. Smith Field, Double Barrel Shotgun, 30″ barrels, Ejectors

LC Smith 20ga ejector, all original: 20ga LC Smith. 30″ barrels. F/XF choke. some case showing. honest blue wear. Pad added by Pete Mazur. Pete has inspected all, including inside-all original and working. relly good condition for an LC. Price:$2850.00

 

Auction Alert: Krieghoff, Parker, Fox, Lefever, Colt & more…

Gunrunner Online Firearms Auctions
Gunrunner Online Auctions

Gunrunner Online Firearms auction is having their November sale right now. They’re auctioning off these shotguns today and through the rest of the week. Below are a few from the list that caught my eye. There are some nice looking doubles there – get on them now.

Krieghoff Model 32 Trap "Crown Grade", 12 ga. O/U, 4 barrels
Krieghoff Model 32 Trap “Crown Grade”, 12 ga. O/U, 4 barrels

-Krieghoff Model 32 Trap “Crown Grade”, 12 ga. O/U, 4 barrels, Hard Case

-Parker Trojan, 12 ga. side by side shotgun, 30″, mfg. 1926

-Ithaca-SKB Model 600, .410 ga. over/under, 28″, Scroll engraved

-Remington 3200 Special Trap, 12 ga. over/under shotgun, 30″

-Rizzini Express 90L Double Rifle, .30-06 cal. over/under, 20 ga. barrel, Hard Case, Italy

-Ithaca Grade 4E, 12 ga. side by side shotgun, 30″, Flues, mfg. 1920

-Browning Citori Lightning, 28 ga. over/under shotgun, 28″, Box

Colt 1883 Grade 2 double barrel shotgun
Colt 1883 Grade 2 double barrel shotgun

-Colt Model 1883 Grade 2, 12 ga. side by side shotgun, Engraved, 30″, 1886 mfg., Factory Letter

-Colt Model 1878, 10 ga. side by side shotgun, 28″ barrels, Factory Letter

-Ithaca Model 600, 20 ga. over/under shotgun, 28″ VR, Engraved, SKB mfg.

-Browning Liege, 12 ga. over/under shotgun, 26″ VR, IC/M, Belgium

LeFever Grade DS, 16 ga. side by side shotgun, 26″, F/F

16g Fox Sterlingworth side by side, 28" barrels
16g Fox Sterlingworth side by side, 28″ barrels

-A.H. Fox Sterlingworth, 16 ga. side by side shotgun, 28″

Underrated American Classic – L.C. Smith Field….

Post-1913 L.C. Smiths Field grades are the Rodney Dangerfields of the double barrel shotgun world. They get no respect. The disdain many people have for these guns isn’t fair, though. Many of them are nice hunting guns, and even though some of them have problems with cracking behind the lockplates, many of them are fine. If you’re looking for a quality side-by-side to take out hunting, they can be a great choice.

Case in point: This 16g L.C. Smith Field. It’s a Featherweight model with 28″ barrels and 2 5/8″ of drop at the heel. Coming it as just over 6 1/2 lbs., it’s a fantastic grouse gun.

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