16 Gauge LeFever Double Barrel

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by Agjoe, Nov 27, 2012.

  1. Agjoe

    Agjoe New Member

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    I have a LeFever, E Grade, in 16 Gauge, Serial #35763. A local appraiser told me that it was built in 1900 and that the condition is at least 95%. He also said over all only 8% of LeFever guns were built in 16 Gauge. I know that there are few records remaining from LeFever but is it possible to find out just how many 16 Gauge E Grades were built in 1900?
  2. wv hillbilly

    wv hillbilly Well-Known Member

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    you might want to post this in ask the pros forum
  3. jstgsn

    jstgsn Well-Known Member

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    Don't know the answer, but am envious.
  4. wv hillbilly

    wv hillbilly Well-Known Member

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    Lefever Arms Collectors Association
    HomeAboutThe LACAContactFAQHistory Of D.M LefeverLefever GradesLefever Grades 1904-1905Production DatesDM Lefever GradesLinksNewsSitemapProductsUncle Dan Lefever CupQuestionable GunsPhotosExpanded HistoryLefever ChronologyLACA Hall of FameGun InquiriesSponsorsComparison of Classic American Side by SidesNews

    Website created!...
    05-04-2009
    This website is still under construction, please visit us later!
    Production Dates

    Production Dates
    Please remember that there are no factory records for the Lefever Arms Co. (of Syracuse). Therefore these numbers are an extrapolation from known data. However, up to 1/3 of LAC guns were produced out of sequence.



    YEAR GUN #
    Lefever Arms Co. - Lefever Sidelock Model Guns 1880 5000
    Lefever Arms Co. - Lefever Sidelock Model Guns 1881 5500
    Lefever Arms Co. - Lefever Sidelock Model Guns 1882 6500
    Lefever Arms Co. - Lefever Sidelock Model Guns 1883 7500
    Lefever Arms Co. - Lefever Sidelock Model Guns 1884 8049
    Lefever Arms Co. - Lefever Sidelock Model Guns 1885 8500
    Lefever Arms Co. - Lefever Sidelock Model Guns 1886 9500
    Lefever Arms Co. - Lefever Sidelock Model Guns 1887 10000
    Lefever Arms Co. - Lefever Sidelock Model Guns 1888 10500
    Lefever Arms Co. - Lefever Sidelock Model Guns 1889 11500
    Lefever Arms Co. - Lefever Sidelock Model Guns 1890 12500
    Lefever Arms Co. - Lefever Sidelock Model Guns 1891 14552
    Lefever Arms Co. - Lefever Sidelock Model Guns 1892 17240
    Lefever Arms Co. - Lefever Sidelock Model Guns 1893 20264
    Lefever Arms Co. - Lefever Sidelock Model Guns 1894 22112
    Lefever Arms Co. - Lefever Sidelock Model Guns 1895 23288
    Lefever Arms Co. - Lefever Sidelock Model Guns 1896 24856
    Lefever Arms Co. - Lefever Sidelock Model Guns 1897 25556
    Lefever Arms Co. - Lefever Sidelock Model Guns 1898 27180
    Lefever Arms Co. - Lefever Sidelock Model Guns 1899 28916
    Lefever Arms Co. - Lefever Sidelock Model Guns 1900 31632
    Lefever Arms Co. - Lefever Sidelock Model Guns 1901 36364
    Lefever Arms Co. - Lefever Sidelock Model Guns 1902 40480
    Lefever Arms Co. - Lefever Sidelock Model Guns 1903 45408
    Lefever Arms Co. - Lefever Sidelock Model Guns 1904 49496
    Lefever Arms Co. - Lefever Sidelock Model Guns 1905 51064
  5. Agjoe

    Agjoe New Member

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    I'm new to the site so Thanks for the info. I will re-post it to the Pros Forum.
  6. wv hillbilly

    wv hillbilly Well-Known Member

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    it's already there:D
  7. roundball

    roundball Member

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    Great shotgun with unique features. Make sure chambers are long enough for modern shells if you plan to shoot. Had two, a 16ga. and 12ga.DS Special, refurbished by the old LeFever Arms Company (not the original company) that is no longer in business. This was about thirty years ago. Asked them why the survival rate appeared to be so low. The answer was they were light guns made mostly in the damascus/black powder era. The DS was a low end field grade gun
  8. Agjoe

    Agjoe New Member

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    I know that the gun was last used for Bird hunting in 1974 so it is very capable of using modern shells and loads.

    The bores of both barrells are spot on. This is indeed a beautiful work of craftsmanship!

    I know the gun is rare just for the fact that the serial numbers indicate that at the very most, LeFever only produced a little over 4,700 guns of all grades and gauges in 1900. I am trying to find out if it is possible to determine just how many 16 ga. E-Grades may have been produced.

    Thanks again for everyones help.
  9. BillM

    BillM Active Member

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    Roundball brings up a very valid point about old 16 ga shotguns.

    The standard chamber length was originally 2 9/16" The current
    16 ga chamber length is 2 3/4".

    Firing 2 3/4" in a 2 9/16" chamber works OK. Except that it has
    the potential for higher pressures, due to the longer case opening
    into the forcing cone rather than the chamber.

    There is no definite date after which they are 2 3/4". Generally
    I figure if it's pre WWII I have it checked.

    VERY good chance your LeFever is chambered 2 9/16". Have it
    checked.

    If it is 2 9/16", you can find ammo in that length, or have the chambers lengthened for modern ammo. Doesn't cost much. I've had it done to several old 16's.
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2012
  10. Tom Archer

    Tom Archer Member

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    You will never know, or be able to determine how many 16-bore E Grade Lefever guns were manufactured, as the original production/shipping records simply do not exist; and the numbers of guns estimated for any production year are nothing more than best "guesstimate" type projections. And not only must you contend with that reality, Lefever did not build guns in sequential order; so examples with a serial number in the 30XXX range may have in fact been built late in production, or even finished by Ithaca after Ithaca purchased the Lefever Arms Company in 1915. The E Grade Lefever was Lefever's most popular mid-grade gun and carried a catalog price of $100; as Lefever offered several higher, and more costly grades above the E Grade beginning with the D, C, B, A, AA, Optimus, and the $1000 dollar grade. If this gun is truly in 95% condition, it should not be hunted with; and should certainly not be fired with modern shells, as it was not designed to consistently handle modern high pressure loads (even "light" modern loads generate high pressures, as they are loaded to high pressures to insure their function in a spring loaded semi-auto). Also, as a poster has noted, unless your chambers have been lengthened; they are bored shorter than today's 2 3/4" standard. If you want to shoot this gun anyway, several makers load low pressure, proper length "vintager" loads designed for vintage double guns (Gamebore, RST, Polywad, etc); or you can hand load using recipes generating pressures of 8,000PSI or less.
  11. Agjoe

    Agjoe New Member

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    Tom, Thanks for the info. From what I have been able to find on line, your info matches. All of LeFevere info is GONE and I did find out that they didn't always make guns according to the serial number! I DO NOT PLAN TO HUNT WITH OR EVEN FIRE this gun, well I may fire it once or twice as I have some very old 16 gauge shells stored away. I bought it from my Father-in-law who got it from HIS Dad, so it has been in the family for a LONG time and I didn't want it to leave. Hopefully my son will keep it around for another long, long time. It is indeed a piece of art!
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2012
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