The L.C. Smith Collectors Association
[ The L.C. Smith Collectors Association ]
Re: USA-F Markings; A Theory
Jim poses a lot of good questions that are difficult to answer because we have no facts. I can add a question to his list and that is why did HAC select such a 'strange inspectors' mark that suggests a military connection? Answers to all these questions can only be guesses, again, because of the lack of any factual information. Speculative answers can run the gamut from (1) early guns were provided as "try guns" to determine if they would be suitable in their intended role and (2) the hyphen was used to distinguish from any specific military branch because HAC intended, and maybe the government intended, that the guns would be used by all the services, not just the army.
The big question that always comes back to haunt me is what kind of an inspection mark is 'USA-F' if it was only intended for HAC's use. I still believe it indicates a connection to the military, maybe even as a marketing ploy to draw attention to Smith guns for military use.
At any rate here is a theory to chew on that has as much creditability as an HAC inspectors mark because neither can be backed up by facts, so take your choice and join the effort to document more of these interesting guns.
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