There aren’t a few rules to gun collecting. “Cash rules” is one of them. So is “Oral agreements are worth the paper they’re written on.”
Another rule is “Original condition is king”. The more of it a double has, the more it costs (and “restored” never compares to original). The side-by-sides below are perfect examples of the high prices that shotguns in original condition can command. Check them out to see what original finishes really look like, and how much they’ll cost you.
LEFEVER “H” GRADE 16 GAUGE SHOTGUN: 16 gauge, 28″ damascus steel barrels, double triggers, extractors, and top lever opening. Checkered forend and pistol grip buttstock measuring 14″ to a factory buttplate. Comb: 1 3/4″ Heel: 3″ Weight: 6lbs 11oz. Retaining 99% original barrel brown, 99% plus vivid casehardened finish. Beautiful wood and checkering. Appears unused. Mint bores. Chokes: mod & full. Price: $6750.00
A H Fox A Grade 20 Gauge Automatic Ejectors Philadelphia: A H FOX, PHIL., A GRADE 20 GAUGE, 26″ BARRELS. EXCELLENT BLUE, MIRROR BORES, IC & MODIFIED (RIGHT BARREL .007, LEFT .017), CLEARLY MARKED NUMBER FOUR BARREL WEIGHT. AUTOMATIC EJECTORS, ATTRACTIVE DEEP CUT ENGRAVING, LIGHT CASE COLOR, TOP LEVER TO THE FAR RIGHT, VERY STRONG EJECTORS. MOST OF THE BLUE ON THE TRIGGER GUARD. ROUND KNOB PISTOL GRIP STOCK, SPLINTER FOREARM, EXCELLENT WOOD, PERFECT CHECKERING. ORIGINAL BUTTPLATE, 1 1/2 X 2 5/8″ X 14 1/8″, 5 POUNDS 8 OUNCES. MADE IN 1926. ALL ORIGINAL FINISH. NICE LITTLE FOX.Price: $5,000.00
The sixteen was never America’s favorite gauge Even though all our makers built 16s, the gauge that was most popular with us was the twelve. There’s a simple reason for this: versatility. Most American shooters were opportunistic. They shot everything from waterfowl to rabbits and upland game. A twelve could handle all this action.
But the sixteen always had lot of fans – and for good reason. For an upland game it’s hard to beat. Slightly larger than a standard 20, it handles a bit more lead if required. It’s also feel better in your hands (at least it does in mine).
Of all the America makers, Lefever made the fewest 16 gauge double barrels. Daniel Myron Lefever was one of the geniuses of American gunmaking. Born in 1835, he started making firearms under his own name in 1857. In 1880 he formed the Lefever Arms Co in Syracuse, NY. The company was only around until 1919, and in that time they only built around 65,000 shotguns. I’m not sure how many of these were 16s, but I bet the number is under 10%.
Lefever Sidelock 16 GA: 28″ damascus bbls, Full & Full chokes, double triggers, 14″ LOP, 6 1/4lbs. Metal has little finish remaining but bores remain excellent. Lockup is tight and solid. Wood has darkened with age and forend has a filler peice added. Sidelocks have cockimg indicators and mechanical function is excellent! Price: $1,199.99