The L.C. Smith Collectors Association
[ The L.C. Smith Collectors Association ]
Re: photos of unusual Trap Grade gun
For what my opinion is worth Darryl, Smith guns with special engravings are not that unusual. In this case, given that a Trap Grade represented a special order anyway, the purchaser elected to have his engraving designs duplicate those of the earlier Grade 3 model. He may have paid extra for that engraving pattern, or the company could have agreed to meet his request at no additional charge; but whatever his reasoning, the Grade 3 pattern is much more appealing than the Trap Grade pattern. As to the research letter not indicating the gun as a special order, if you review Dr. Stubbendieck's book, you'll note not a single mention of a gun graded as a "Special" Grade (although there is at least one pre-13 example that was over looked). We don't have the order cards which would've recorded all special requests, we only have the shipping records containing the most basic gun specifications; but I've personally seen a number of special engraved guns. Some will have a grade stamp consistent with features; but most I've seen are graded in a grade lower than external features would indicate. I actually saw an early Grade 3E Saturday with unusual engraving, the two woodcock were engraved in the typical fashion; but instead of two quail in a field scene on the opposite side, one quail was standing in the field and the other perched in a tree. Like you, I find these unusual guns far more interesting. And for what it's worth, we know from a 1941 Kraus prepared engraving schedule, that the engraving shop was still offering engraving in new and old style patterns. That policy could have changed after the Marlin acquisition?
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