The L.C. Smith Collectors Association
[ Message Archive | The L.C. Smith Collectors Association ]

    Syracuse L.C. Smith Hammerless Archived Message

    Posted by David W on July 17, 2009, 2:19 pm

    I would like to thank everyone for giving me their serial numbers for these fine guns. As of today I have 112 hammerless serial numbers.

    I have put together some information as to what I have found. Some more knowledgeable than I will agree/disagree but this is what makes it enjoyable.
    I am also in the process of collecting hammer Syracuse guns. The ones from L.C. Smith Maker started in 1886 with serial number 15xxx earlier guns from L.C. Smith/Baker are below these serial numbers, probably starting in the 10xxx-14xxx range.

    Information found in a 3”x6” notebook handed down show production of hammerless Syracuse guns started in August of 1886 and showing quantity made:
    August 14
    September 96
    October 73
    November 82
    December 66
    Total 281
    Returned for credit 15
    Net sales 266

    Also he (Brophy) stated that the late 1888 Syracuse catalog and the early Hunter Arms catalog are carbon copies of each other.
    This research is what makes it very interesting to me and I find that all will not agree on some points, but again that what makes it interesting.

    The Syracuse guns had the convex ribs on the receiver bottom, the squared receiver lug on the barrels, all had the joint check, bushed firing pins and all had up to three (3) patent dates on the receiver.
    Did Fulton make guns with the squared lug? I know there were left-over parts that went to Fulton, but by that stage in completion they should have been serial numbered to Syracuse numbers.
    The early Fulton guns also had the convex ribs and I believe that stopped around the early 1890’s. Also how many guns from Syracuse parts that had the large breech balls and were assembled with Fulton serial numbers? There are some guns that I have pictures of that have most of the Syracuse characteristics, squared lug, engraving style but the breech balls are those of a Fulton gun. Serial number is 22649

    Patent numbers and dates:

    First patent #274,435 of March 20, 1883, Breech-loading mechanism, joint and ejector system.
    Some guns are showing a patent date of March 29,’83

    Second patent #345,362 July 13, 1886, lock mechanism for concealed hammer guns (L.C. Smith Hammerless gun)

    Third patent #350,109 October 5, 1886 Safety catch for gun locks.

    The original guns came through with a plastic like butt plate (bakelite), most will have a dog watching a duck fall with the inscription The L.C. Smith then below Trap Gun. I know there is another variation but I don’t have what the inscription says, I believe it has the words L.C. Smith, Maker, and then below Syracuse. I believe this type might have been used on early hammer guns, and has a dog on point with it's left leg on a rock. Also I believe that no recoil pads were available then.
    Some get this confused as to these guns being Trap guns, this was a new sport then, and for a marketing ploy they used this to help sells guns for both field and trap.
    There is another question, on some there are ¼” indentations on each side at the rear of the breech balls near the top of the side lock plate. What were the plans for these, it wasn’t about relieving weight, was it a plan for cocking indicators as Skip Dunlap suggested?

    As posted earlier, the Syracuse guns are fairly easy to identify, they have either 30" or 32" barrels, all are Damascus and the Quality 2's were Chain Damascus, higher grades were listed as Finest Damascus. All had the convex bottom ribs with a squared barrel lug, and even the lowest grade Quality 2 had 22 lines per inch checkering. All (exceptions) were 10 ga. or 12 ga. and had 2 3/4" chambers, "choked to L.C. Smith's special choke boring"

    Anyone having any questions, information or to disagree on something, please feel free to email me.

    Message Thread: