View Full Version : Value of L C Smith Shotgun
In 1988 our local priest gave me a shotgun for my then 8 year old daughter when she got big enough to hunt. He and I hunted ducks together and every year I would guide him on a hunt for deer, elk and antelope. He told me the shotgun had been given to him by the widow of a jeweler who had been a good friend of his and had passed away. The gun is an L C Smith Field grade 20 gauge made by Hunter Arms Co Inc M'F'R's Fulton .NY.US.A Serial Number F wE48883. Both barrels are marked ARMOR Steel. Both Side plates are marked L.C. Smith. It is not marked as to what lenght shells should be shot in it so I assume its a 2 3/4 chamber only. The gun is a minature of the 12 gauge. The stock is shorter and the forearm is also tiny. Engraved on the underside of the trigger guard is the name ADA B CUNNINGHAM. The gun is in excellent shape with the exception that a few of the screws show screw driver marks and the stock has a few small blemishes. The receiver appears to have a little wear on the finish but absolutely no rust. It also has two triggers. It has a 26 inch barrel and a three position safety with Safe in the middle and fire either up or down from there. I don't want to sell it but Im giving it to my daughter and want her to know what it is worth.
08-18-2006, 10:30 PM
Plain extractors in exc. shaper around $1100 and around $700 in good shape
Auto. ejectors in exc. shape around $1300 in good around $1000
20 GAUGE ADD UP TO 50% .410 ADD UP TO 400%
It has auto ejectors and I believe it to be in very good shape. So I can assume it might be worth 1300 to 1600 ball park?
08-18-2006, 10:46 PM
Sounds about right
I don't know too much about these old shot guns someone else should be around for a second opion
Thanks for your input anyway. My daughter is a firefighter for the Forest Service. She is on a helitac crew and rappels to fires. I plan to take her pheasant hunting this winter when she finally gets a day off and give her the gun for keeps. I think the time has come when she will take care of it and understand its value not only in cash but in sentimental value. I plan to trade her out of the 870 youth pump shotgun I gave her on her 12th birthday and let her gun up a little with the beautiful little L C Smith. Not a great trade for me but hopefully one she will remember!
08-19-2006, 10:10 AM
I beleive the Museum in Cody Wy. has a library which includes a lot of info on the L.C. Smith guns and the serial numbers. We were there, un planned, and I didn't have the 166,318 serial number of my grand father's Smith. If you are in Wy. you should take advantage of the museum.
You may want to have the chamber length checked. Brophy's book has the gun as manufactured in 1922. Some older 20 ga. guns had the 2 1/2 inch chamber, and 1922 is only a little past the "standard" date of 2 3/4 inch.
It's pretty rare the gun has ejectors and not one trigger. Does the forearm latch have a knurled roller inside a little banjo shaped mount? Thats the thing to look for to determine auto ejector mechanism.
Your gun has a featherweight frame which was common for 20 ga. guns.
Retail was about $32.50, with ejectors, $42.50 so few had ejectors.
Current selling price today would be around $1200.00, more or less depending on originality and condition. You will find asking prices higher, but with a shortened stock and name engraved this really knocks it down. Buggered screws are another issue. Just an FYI, did you know that L C Smith timed all the screws to run with the slots parallel with the barrels on all guns, even the field grade? This was certainly an age where craftmanship was valued!
The forearm does have a little roller mechanism to remove the forearm. I don't believe the stock has been shorten I really believe it came that way. The butt plate has not been changed in any manner I can tell. I have shot it with 2 3/4 shells and it does have auto ejectors. The engraving is tastefully done in silver but I understand it detracts from the value. Thanks again for the information the year of manufacture is really neat to know. I will pass all this information on to my daughter.
Interesting fact about the screws. I checked and they are all aligned with slots parallel to the barrels. I hope to get to the museum in Cody in the next couple of months and do a little research on the gun. Thanks for the tip I knew they had all the Winchester data but was not aware they had the LC Smith data also. I only live about 80 miles from the museum but have not been there for 4 or 5 years. Sounds like its time for another visit.
Thanks everyone for all the advice!
Maybe the jeweler did the engraving?
It does sound like you have a little gem there. Small guage SXS are really hot right now. You could probably up the ante from $1200.00, but I don't know how much.
Always remember there is asking price, and selling price. I'm not trying to beat you up, only being realistic.
A nugget of truth I can pass along is factory original. This holds true with Parker, Ansley Fox, L. C. Smith, Winchester, Savage, etc. If you look around, there are not many of these guns around. There was a period of time when guns of this type were considered junk, because you could buy a new Rem. 870, Mossberg 500, Savage 67, etc. for really cheap, and these guns held more shells, and swung better because of the single sight plane.
You could also equip these guns with a poly-choke or Cutts Compensator.
Now history has come full circle. The cheap pump guns are now being seen for what they are, and the guns that a REAL craftsman fussed over are being held in the light for what value they really have. Now look at how many of these guns have survived without being refinished, had a recoil pad put on, cut off to make a stagecoach gun, or been butchered in any other way. The guns that are factory original are RARE.
I wouldn't wangle a trade with your little girl, I would give her the gun for safekeeping. Tell her to use it, and try to wear it out. These guns will delight her, and her childrens children.
Considering the long and short of it, people who understand the value of these guns are really only keeping them for the next generation, we really don't own them.
Mark you are absolutely right we are just caring for them until the next generation uses them. I want my daughter to use it and I pray that if I ever I have grandchildren they will also use them and get as much joy from them as I have gotten over the years. And yes I hope the good lessons that come from firearms ownership and time spent afield are passed along as well. Thanks again for the information.
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