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Discussion Starter #1
HI!, new member here. Ihope to learn something from the experts on this site.
I have a L. C. Smith 16ga Double with Damascus barrels. SN 614XX. Based on limited research I have identified it as a Field Grade O, with a mfg. Date of 1904. The gun is in good condition but has wear and a few dings, scratches, and some minor pitting on the lockworks and barrel. The barrel is pitted inside and will never be a shooter.The gun was given to my son several years ago by my Father-in Law. My son was a minor at the time and I have kept the gun stored for many years. He is now in his 30s and has developed maturity and interest in firearms. I am considering having the gun restored and presenting it to him for Christmas. My question is, is this the correct thing to do? Will I hurt the “collector” value of the gun by having it restored? In my opinion the gun is currently “ugly” as is and I believe a restoration will enhance the beauty and value of the gun. I don't want to do anything that would hurt it's value. Any ideas as to what it might be worth “as is” vs. after restoration?

Thanks.
 

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Welcome to TFF.
You need to post pictures for us to see.......
When you restore a gun a gun it takes away from the value compared to a unrestored one.
But if the gun is in bad condition and not worth anything because of it's condition then it won't hurt the value restoring it and will bring up it's value but again not up to a gun that has not been restored.
Mike
 

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My hipshot opinion, now a wall hanger worth $50-100, maybe more if someone wants it for its parts. After restoration a nicer wall hanger worth maybe $100. Cost to restore quality of the job and to what extent, $200 up. A cheap job can make it look better on the wall.

For may people the value is in its history, family attachments, etc. aside from the money spent.
 

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Cost to restore quality of the job and to what extent, $200 up. A cheap job can make it look better on the wall.

For may people the value is in its history, family attachments, etc. aside from the money spent.
I do not know any body that will restore a gun steel and wood for under $300.
That is prepped right hot blue and a good finish on the wood.
And a Damascus barrel will cost extra to do.
Mike
 

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You are right for sure, as you describe it. I was starting with a cheap cosmetic job. A few hours work can make it look a lot better just to hang up and look at several feet away.

My actual thought is it is not worth bothering with. I wouldn't hang even a good old double shotgun on my wall. But "different strokes for different folks". OTOH my GFather's he bought used in 1886, in Texas killed quite a few deer and a bobcat with buckshot & I as a kid everything that flew, ran or slithered, I wouldn't refinish it nor hang it on the wall but it's priceless to me.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Better at taking photos of coins than I am of guns. A lot bigger subject, but here goes. What I can't show is the pitted barrel. I was thinking it would cost me about $300 to reblue and refinish. The refinishing of the stock I can do as I have done so in the past. Sandpaper, linseed oil, and a lot of elbow grease. As you can see, this gun was used for many years. What I can't do is fix the dings and pitting. Might be best to just clean up and keep as is.
 

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First off an L.C. Smith isn't some Belgian knockoff. They were high quality guns and it will still have some collector value even if the barrels are damascus. Second, are you sure the barrels are damascus? My 00 grade was made in 1899 and has fluid steel barrels. One more thing. Hot bluing will melt the solder holding the barrels together.
 

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As I just posted on another forum yesterday, I sold an L. C. Smith double which like yours was made in 1904 on auction. It was in about the same condition as yours, except the barrells had been shortened to a 20" length and had external hammers and was complete. It brought something over $200 and the buyer wanted it for parts. His boss had a Smith and he was refurbishing it for him. You might make sure the gift will be appreciated before going to the expense which may be large.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
First off an L.C. Smith isn't some Belgian knockoff. They were high quality guns and it will still have some collector value even if the barrels are damascus. Second, are you sure the barrels are damascus? My 00 grade was made in 1899 and has fluid steel barrels. One more thing. Hot bluing will melt the solder holding the barrels together.
Positive on the damacus, and yes, this is not a 1969 J. C Higgins. Ain't going to be melting any barrels.

Can see the damacus clear on this pic.
 

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It looks pretty good as-is. I expected far worse. IMHO, if its future is as a family heirloom and wall exhibit, I think I'd just give it a good cleaning and anti-rust treatment and hang it on the wall. Money spent restoring it will be just down the tube and won't make it look any better viewed a few feet away. Its evidence of use and abuse contribute something to its 'character'. Good luck!
 

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I am with rhmc24 on this. I expected to see a rust bucket.
I would do nothing to it except clean it up and hang it.
It is a good looking gun for it's age.
Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #13
It looks pretty good as-is. I expected far worse. IMHO, if its future is as a family heirloom and wall exhibit, I think I'd just give it a good cleaning and anti-rust treatment and hang it on the wall. Money spent restoring it will be just down the tube and won't make it look any better viewed a few feet away. Its evidence of use and abuse contribute something to its 'character'. Good luck!
Thanks, I feel a lot better. Yes, it is a family heirloom. I coveted the gun from the first time my Father- in -Law showed it to me. I was stunned when he presented it to my son but was extremely proud that he did so. One thing I am going to do is spend $65 to get the documentation from the L C Smith site. This will add to the providence of the gun. Unfortunately both my father-in-law, his brother, and his parents are all deceased. I don't have any of his family left to provide me with the background/ownership of the gun. All I remember is him telling me it had been in the family for years.
A few years ago I decided to present my son and daughter with items that they expressed interest in(after I'm gone). Why wait, I rather see them enjoy them now. So far I have given my son my "first" shotgun and my New Model Ruger Single Six, along with the original Red box and sales receipt from 1972(first year of issue). Now he has eyes on my Ruger Super Redhawk. He's gonna have to wait on that one, I'm not trough with it yet. My daughter shoots a .357 magnum. Bought her 250 rounds of ammo for last Christmas.

Thanks for everyone's help and kind thoughts.

Mike
 

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Mike--You made the right decisions on the old Smith and the guns for the kids. Half the fun I have in my gun room now is sorting out things my boy needs to enjoy now. I already have.

Consider a 'museum clean and preserve' on the LC Smith. It takes gentle heat after complete solvent cleaning and then very light oiling (just enough to darken the metal. Then re-warm and apply paste wax. Let cool and buff and burnish with an old tee shirt until it's 'slick'. It'll hang on the wall for many decades if treated that way. Take the white residue in the cracks and crevices with a soft tooth brush.
 

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As others, I was expecting the worse. I would hang that on my wall in a minute.
 

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It is a field grade LC Smith. A common gun and not really anything special. It has been restocked and a pad added. The top lever is so far off to the left of center I suspect damage to some part of the lock up system or perhaps replaced barrels, check for matching numbers. The forend has the tip replaced. The barrels appear to have been refinished, especially if the Damascus does not show. LC Smiths are not high quality as is often stated. They are a low end US made double. They cost half or less then a comparable Parker. They used the fewest number of parts possible to make the lock works. Wipe it off and hang it up. I just do not understand everyone trying to make low end guns into something they are not.
 

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This is almost 2 years old. I am sure he has done something with it a long time ago.
 
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