Perhaps the most popular of American hammerless guns is the L. C. Smith, made by the Hunter Arms Company, of Fulton, N. Y. They have kept up with the times, and always endeavored to give the trap shooters the latest improvements in fine arms for use at the traps, and their pigeon gun stands today as the latest development of the gunmakers’ art. The L. C. Smith gun contains some most admirable features, and their claims for strength and durability have been well sustained. The balance of the Smith gun is quite perfection, and the finish is always of the highest character. The shooting quality is unsurpassed, and their system of boring for nitro powder has placed their gun as a favorite among a large class of men who desire an American gun for pigeon shooting where the killing power must be of the highest degree.
A visit to the immense factory of the Hunter Arms Company would soon convince one that the L. C. Smith gun was made on its merits, and that every sportsman possessing one would have full value for his money. The plant of the Hunter Arms Company is a fine building four stories high, 220 feet long and.50 feet wide, while an addition for their bicycle factory, which has lately been erected, is 40 by 60 feet and three stories high. The testing gallery is outside, but connected with the main factory, and all guns are given a most thorough test for penetration and pattern, as well as strength. This factory has a capacity of 100 finished guns a week, and mostly of the high grades, and at the present time the Hunter Arms Company are making more fine guns than ever, and nearly one-half have the ejector mechanism.
The Hunter Arms Company employ over 150 men. and working part of them overtime. Their bicycle factory will add 100 men to their pay roll, and they expect to turn out 25 wheels a day. The Hunters are a progressive firm and their factory is a model one. Each department is in charge of one of the Hunters, there being four brothers engaged in this business, and each has his own particular part to do. They have 7000 guns going through the works in different stages of construction, and are construction, and are doing a fine business, especially in the higher grades. Each part of the gun which requires separate work is done in a department of its own, and the tempering and brazing is in a separate building, as well as the browning room. The polishing and barrel boring room, is on the ground floor, and the testing gallery, adjoins the barrel-boring department. On this floor is the tool room, and the machines for milling, cutting and preparing ribs. The machinery for making the screws used in the different parts of the guns is also situated in this room. In a separate building the drop forgings are made for the frames and other parts. Three large casehardening ovens are used for case hardening, all parts requiring this operation, and the ovens for bluing different parts are also located in the same building.
On the second floor the stocks are fitted, finished and varnished and then, placed in glass cases to keep them from any dust. The locks are assembled, parts fitted, ejectors adjusted and other work on the gun completed. The best of skilled workmen are employed on this work and only the guns passing the most careful examination are sent to the stock room.
The factory is supplied with a 300-light dynamo, which lights the factory in the evening when the men are working overtime.
One of the most interesting machines which they have is an automatic matting machine, which gives the pretty design to the top rib of the gun. This machine runs the full length of the rib, then changes and works back, doing the work perfectly and in a remarkable short space of time. The entire factory is run under the direction of experienced foremen, each man looking after the interests of his own department. There is no finer equipped gun factory in this country than that of the Hunter Arms Company, and the guns which they turn out stand equal to any produced. WILL K. PARK
I have a bunch of Smith related articles and images that appeared in Sporting Life from 1896 through 1913 as a Word document. Bro. David and I discussed putting some in the LCSCA Journal, but maybe Bill could add a "From the Sporting Life Archives courtesy of the la84foundation" heading under "Publications" on the Home Page.
The original articles were prior to 1923 so should be in the Public Domain. I contacted the la84foundation twice seeking permission to reproduce sections of Sporting Life for articles Dr Jim and I wrote for The Double Gun Journal, and also the DamascusKnowledge website and never had a response. Other authors have used Sporting Life images and text for articles in the DGJ.
Whatchathink BODs? Let me know and I can start sending stuff to Bill