The L.C. Smith Collectors Association
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    Re: Syracuse High Grades-Pix to prev. SGT post Archived Message

    Posted by SGT on August 22, 2008, 10:23 am, in reply to "Re: Syracuse High Grades-Pix to prev. SGT post"

    As I stated, I do not have the serial number for the gun in Russ's photo; nor do I have a photo of the trigger guard, although it would be typical for any Quality 5 Syracuse gun to have a gold dog inlay on the trigger guard (gold dog inlays and gold initial inlays are typically seen on Syracuse Quality 4 guns and upwards). I also don't know the gauge of this gun, but it appears to be a 12-bore. On the other hand, a Quality 7 would typically feature gold inlayed dogs on the sideplates, and gold on the trigger guard also; the only exception to that feature would be a gun whereby the customer specifically requested no gold. If you examine this Quality 5, it lacks the extensive engraving coverage seen on the other surfaces of the Quality 7 gun. The other Quality 5 gun noted, #20330, is a 12-bore.

    As to the Quality 7 gun, Russ also sent photos of a Quality 7 gun or two, but I don't have those serial numbers either.

    Now, as to " Another gun talked about is the Quality 7, stepped side plates, Syracuse gun serial #23475, an unfinished gun in Fulton turned into an A2 (no ejectors) by Hunter Arms and presented to Lyman C. Smith in 1891-2 as a present. Initials on trigger guard"; I am not quite sure what you are asking, but assume your comments as the result of remarks in the Houchins book. In my opinion, this gun was NEVER conceived as a Quality 7, or carried over from the early Syracuse inventory as it does not have the Syracuse breech balls. Although this serial number is very near what is believed to be the serial number transition between Syracuse and Fulton guns, it is a clearly marked early Fulton high-grade Smith gun in all respects. Unfortunately, we know virtually nothing about Fulton made guns serialized between 23XXX and 29999, as those ledgers did not survive. As to this gun itself, it is simply a very special presentation gun; and if you look closely and compare the amount and quality of engraving on this gun to other early A2 grades from this period, it is more lavisly engraved with additional game scenes. Since Hunter made Quality and Number grades concurrently up to about 1898, for all I know this gun may have been intended as a Fulton Quality 7, as in the case of the Special on page 95; but it is equally likely that it may have been designed as a special A2 extractor gun as we see with the A2 depicted on page 127 and in the 35XXX range. As to this gun actually being presented to Lyman C. Smith; although that is what we all want to believe, that is pure speculation on John's part. In working with John I learned that as an attorney, John operated on the theory that all he had to do to prove/win his case was establish a degree of reasonable certainty (or reasonable doubt, depending on which side of the table he represented); but yours truly personally "found" this gun and investigated it's history. Thru the current owner I was able to establish ownership back to the late 1920's; but no further. John spun a great story that may have some elements of truth, but believe me when I tell you that there does not exist any established proof that this gun was ever personally connected to LC Smith himself.

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