Re: I'm confused......
Posted by Tom Archer on May 29, 2012, 11:23 pm, in reply to "Re: I'm confused......"
Jim is out of the country on an African Safari; and as Chris has noted, will be unavailable for an extended period. As to those production differences in question, Jim will be THE MAN to provide a detailed explanation; but please allow me to give my opinion in the interim, which answer I believe to be very simple. When John Houchins published his book, the LCSCA did not have access to the remaining Smith gun shipping ledgers; but after The Legend Lives was published, those records have been made available to the LCSCA for study. Jim has those records and has indeed been studying same, grade by grade, gauge by gauge, etc. In the process Jim has discovered a number of discrepancies between what has been published previously, as regards grades production; the final analysis being that his totals seldom agree with what has been published in the Brophy and Houchins grades recaps. But in all reality, we will never have an exact number for all grades and gauges because 1) we simply don't have all the records, as not all shipping ledgers have survived; and 2) a number of discrepancies have been discovered between what is recorded within the shipping ledgers, and the actual surviving article itself. For instance, I am aware that one of our members currently has in his possession two of those discrepancies; one is a ,410 bore field grade ejector recorded as a 12-bore in the shipping ledger, and the other an A-2 Grade that is recorded as a PE Grade in the shipping ledgers. I have personally examined these two guns, and have seen others; and whether the ledger page entry was a mistake, or deliberate we will never know (some differences are so dramatic that it is difficult to believe that anyone who actually examined the gun could have made such a mistake). But the lesson for us all is clear, just because the specifications of an actual gun do not match the specifications noted for that serial number in the shipping ledgers; such discrepancy may not be clear evidence that the gun in question is not legitimate, All such examples should be examined by an expert before being "written off".