The L.C. Smith Collectors Association
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    Re: 0ld L C Smith side by side Archived Message

    Posted by SGT on October 27, 2006, 8:15 pm, in reply to "Re: 0ld L C Smith side by side"

    With this question regarding the inception of 2 3/4" 12-bore Smith chambering, it would certainly be great if we could have the benefit of Russ's input, as that is a great question and he possessed much knowlege. My honest answer is that I don't have a clue as to when the gunworks first began 2 3/4" 12-bore chambering; nor do I know why longer 12-bore chambers were standardized by Hunter Arms years before the other domestic makers (although one of Hunter's 1894 ads did state "We lead while others follow"). I can relate my personal experience however with 12-bore Smith guns I have owned and used dating back to 1901; all have had factory original 2 3/4" chambers. Because of my experience with Parkers, Lefevers, Foxes, etc; I found this difficult to believe (I had forgotten that I had previously read chamber specs in Brophy's book!), so I asked gunsmith Buck Hamlin (who has serviced and seen as many Smith guns as anyone) for his input. Buck advised me that he had never measured an original set of standard Smith 12-bore barrels that had other than 2 3/4" chambers. Obviously that is not true in every case; a customer could always special order a specific chamber boring. Therefore, the rule of thumb, as Smith chamber lengths are almost never stamped on the barrels, is to have them measured by a professional and be certain; but never doubt the originality of a set of 2 3/4" chambered Smith barrels just because the other period makers standardized shorter chambers!

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