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L C Smith Hammer E Grade
Posted by Douglas Precourt on March 30, 2014, 12:35 am
Considering an old 12Ga Elsie with hammers and Damascus barrels. Serial No. 138XX appears to be from around 1884, E grade with 2 triggers, extractors not ejectors, and some nice engraving. Stock is in nice shape, oil finish, original butt plate (cracked) with full body dog, Prince of Wales style, but I suspect the stock is replacement since it has but one recent looking knick and no checkering. The far end of the fore arm has a triangle insert that I assumed was of ebony, but now appears to be plastic. Right firing pin is broken, but both hammers lock well and the bores are bright with some very light pitting. The 30" barrels show Damascus patterns, some rust spots, but the bluing is now brownish and chokes are modified/full. Written on the barrels is "L.C.Smith Makers, Syracuse, N.Y." (Left) and "Damascus Steel Barrels" (right). The thumb leaver for opening the break action is well to the left, but I understand that happens if someone replaced the spring with a new one that is too strong. It works well and the barrels and action fit tightly.
Based on my description so far, would this be shootable with RST or other low pressure shells? Can you tell me if it is really from 1884? What effect would a non original stock have on its value? Would a plastic insert in ten fore arm really be original. Can this old style firing pin be replaced easily and without too much cost? How about the spring that is moving the thumb leaver to the left. Are you aware of any competent gun smiths in central Virginia with experience with Elsie's like this? I have two other hammerless Feather Weight L.C.Smiths (12ga & 20ga) and have always wanted a hammer gun to use in the field, but am just worried that $900 may be too much for a gun like this, especially if not a shooter. Can't figure out how to add my photos to this?
Thanks for you help