Here’s a hard-to-find vintage American double in fantastic original condition. It’s a 20 gauge L.C. Smith Trap Grade, and it’s up for auction now at Gunrunnerauctions.com. If you collect Elsies, bid now. I doubt you’ll see a better one of these any time soon.
According to the L.C. Smith website, Hunter Arms Co. made 3346 Trap-grade sxs shotguns. Of those, 348 were 20 gauges. The site also says:
“Production of the Trap Grade began in 1912 and ran to 1940. The 1913 catalog stated “In the production of this grade particular attention has been paid to meet the requirements of sportsmen who are desirous of a gun for trap shooting, as well as for field, with all of the latest attachments – Hunter One-Trigger and Automatic Ejector especially – and at a very low price. Each lock-plate is engraved with a trap shooting scene consisting of a trap house and a squad of five shooters at the score. We can confidently recommend this grade as entirely satisfactory, especially for the purpose the name implies. With our special system of boring, no better guns are made for trap than the L.C. Smith Double Gun with Hunter One-Trigger.” The price with two triggers in 1913 was $55, and a Hunter One-Trigger brought the price up to $75. Ejectors added $11 to the price, and $86 would buy the gun with both ejectors and the Hunter One-Trigger. The base price of this grade increased to $77 by the time that it was discontinued in 1940. ”
L.C. Smith Trap Grade, 20 ga. side by side shotgun 26″ & 28″ bbls: Serial #8013, mfg. 1916 by Hunter Arms Co., Fulton, NY. Excellent condition. The rare “Trap Grade” in 20 ga. AND two-barrel set – all matching serial numbers on all iron. Grade E with scroll engraved receiver – left panel has a trapshooting squad of five men and a trap; right panel has a lone hunter shooting at a flushing bird. Case color is mostly gone on the receiver, but about 15% is in protected areas. Good tight action. Two barrels included: One 26″ barrel with solid rib, two ivory beads, bright bore, beavertail forearm; and one 28″solid rib barrel with two ivory beads, bright bores, splinter forearm. The 26″ barrel has 98% bright blue and the 28″ barrel has 90% blue with some wear near the muzzles. Wood is fancy with excellent dark burl and sharp checkering – appears to be have been refinished when the red Jostam recoil pad was fitted. Hunter One single trigger works well. Ejectors are strong and throw hulls across the room. LOP is 14″ over pad. Both barrels are marked “L.C. Smith Trap Grade” – 28″ barrel is also marked “Hunter Arms Co. Inc., Fulton, NY, USA” on top. Includes Cody factory letter stating the Grade E and Trap model and noting the 26″ barrel. The shotgun was finished on June 30, 1916. The second barrel was made in the factory, but it is correct to not see that noted in a factory letter.