View Full Version : LC Smith 10 gauge
09-05-2006, 02:51 PM
I have an LC Smith 10 gauge, double barrel; made by Hunter Arms Makers, fulton N.Y., serial number 438xx. It has a oval quail etching on the left and an oval woodcock etching on the right. First question is what is it's approximate value and second I have been told that it was produced in 1897 and it has damascus steel so I should not fire todays shells in it - is that correct?
You can tell if barrels are damascus by looking at them, provided they are not rusty. Damascus has a "candy cane" sort of pattern, beginning at the chamber and running the entire length of the barrel. It may even say on the top of the barrels what damascus it is. (Near where Hunter Arms is stamped.)
10 ga guns hadn't had much collector appeal until a few years ago, when collectors found out how few 10 gauges were actually made in comparison to 12 ga. guns.
You don't mention if it's a hammer gun or hammerless. You give no clue as to what condition it's in, or if there have been any modifications made to it. My advice would be to get an appraisal done to find out the value. At that time you can also find out if the gun can be shot with black powder shotshells or not.
I wouldn't waste much time on the internet, if the gun is in excellent condition, with no modifications done, original, etc., you are probably going to want to sell it and buy 2 or 3 modern guns with the money.
09-05-2006, 04:23 PM
The gun is in good condition, no rust, all original, all the wood is beautiful with no scratches. I know my wife's grandfather hunted geese with it up to about 20 years ago. It is hammerless with ejectors. It does say Damascus steel on it.
If the gun was made in 1897, the wood is "beautiful with no scratches", was "used for geese 20 years ago", and has damascus barrels, you have a problem.
Any gun that was used has wear. This gun, made over 100 years ago, should have patina, or some scratches. The fact that it doesn't, seems to indicate refinishing. There is always the possibility of firing smokeless powder shells in damascus barrels with no ill effects, but not steel shot. Steel shot going through any barrel has the effect of expanding the steel of the barrel, kind of like a snake swallowing an egg. If you look at modern shotgun barrels, you will see the barrel walls are thicker than barrels made over 60 years ago. This is to withstand the abuse steel shot dishes out. Steel going through damascus will interrupt the weld in the barrels, not to mention the solder joining the barrels and ribs together.
Your wife's grandfather, 20 years ago, would certainly have had to use steel shot for geese, as federal regulations required steel shot for waterfowl since the mid 70's, over 30 years ago.
Reading your posts brings up nothing but red flags. Again, my advice would be to take the gun to someone that knows old L. C. Smith guns. Read this carefully, there are lots of guys who are very intelligent and knowledgeable about firearms, but old Smith guns are a speciality.
Good luck on this.
09-06-2006, 08:26 AM
I will have a professional appraise it. I re-looked the gun and it does not have the words Damascus any where on it. As for the wear, don't get me wrong there is plenty of wear on the gun but for over 100 years old it is good. As I said no scratches on the wood but there is patina. The gun has been in the family for about 80 years and was never re-finished.
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