Lefever E Grade offered for sale. Help!
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Author:  SuperXOne [ Fri May 11, 2007 3:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Lefever E Grade offered for sale. Help!

At our little gun shop there is a rare treasure offered on consignment for $2,000.

It's a straight stocked, beavertailed forend extractor (not ejector) Lefever E grade with 30" Krupp barrels. It has a white line pad, and what appears to be either an expert restock or an expert refinish on really nice English walnut with multi point checkering patterns. Barrels are maybe 95% fading blue, reciever is silver, egraving is very nice and sharp, high quality game scenes, and the lever is the center. Gun is tight. There are all kinds of shallow scratches on the very shiny poly or laquer finish, and it needs redone. There are no serious gouges or cuts on the wood. It's been cut so that with a one inch pad you get about a 14" pull. Bores are shiny. No pits anywhere. Gun is light. It looks like hell with all those scratches and that shiny finish, but I promise you I can fix that. Screws are slightly buggered, not bad, but you can see where they've been turned.

I think it's riduculously high. It's either been restocked or completely refinished with checkering re-cut. There's no trace of case color left. The barrels aren't badly faded, but they need redone to match the wood. The wood's been cut, which is the worst sin.

What do you think? Is this thing worth anywhere close to 2 grand for a project gun?


Author:  natty bumpo [ Fri May 11, 2007 8:22 pm ]
Post subject:  re: Lefever E Grade offered for sale. Help!

If the gun was original and in 60% to 70% condition, It would be worth about $3000. We know it has a new forend, so it's likely restocked. It would be a money pit at %2000, It would cost $2000 to $2500 to bring it to nice restored condition and you would have a $3000 gun.. What is the serial # range.. Bushrod

Author:  SuperXOne [ Fri May 11, 2007 11:08 pm ]
Post subject:  re: Lefever E Grade offered for sale. Help!

If I recall correctly, it was 32 thousand something. It was made in Syracuse.

Also, there is a flat screw in the rib just behind some kind of copper front bead sight with what appears to be a celluloid "bushing" on the bottom part of the front copper bead. The barrels ring, but not like a church bell. What's that small screw doing out there just behind the front bead? It has a "sunken" or "hollow" game rib.

By the way, the beavertail is very slender, well shaped, and I think it has some kind of ebony insert in the front of it. It's multipoint checkered, and matches the well figured straight rear stock exactly. Wood to metal fit is about flawless everywhere. I couldn't tell if the gun was restocked front and rear, or just had an absolute expert rechecker it and refinish it in some kind of flawlessly, hideously shiny lacquer or poly. There are places on the stock where the finish is flaking or coming off, some very light but extensive stratches on the stock. It would strip and refinish in Tru-oil, linseed oil, or tung oil and look great. The checkering is really first rate.

The engraving is extensive, and very well done. The barrels are engraved Krupp Essen on the top rib. They look original, and no dents, pits, or really much if any blue loss, just faded.

How high up was an "E grade"? Are they rare?

How can I tell if the "ball and socket" has had all the adjustment taken up?

I imagine I'm about the only potential purchaser at this little gun shop, and it belongs to a lady that inheirited it years ago from her uncle, and now thinks she wants to sell it.

I don't know much about Lefefevers. It ain't no Nitro Special. :lol: Anything notorious to watch out for?

Author:  natty bumpo [ Sat May 12, 2007 6:38 am ]
Post subject:  re: Lefever E Grade offered for sale. Help!

The forend you describe it not a factory forend.. also the front sight and the screw in the rib is add on. the a screw in the rib, really pulls down the value. The "E" was about midway in the grading system, which was, from lowest to higest: I,DS,H,G,F,E,D,B,A,AA,Optinus,$1,000 Grade, and Uncle Dan Grade..What you have is a heavly modified, Mid Grade shooter. All Syracuse Lefevers are scarce, They only made about 62,000 and topped almost 90 years ago.. There were only about 1200 of the D M Lefevers made 1904-1906.. I have seen more E grades than D grades.. The 32,000 number should be about 1900-1901, but many Lefevers were built out of sequence.. Bushrod

Author:  doublegunsonly [ Thu May 17, 2007 3:53 pm ]
Post subject:  re: Lefever E Grade offered for sale. Help!

I wouldn't really call 60K guns scarce, and there were more "E" grades built than "H" and "F" grades. Approximately 1 out of 6 (11K) is an "E" grade and it should be a pretty clean gun at $2k. This gun sounds like it has way too many serious faults.
Gun dealers like to play the little old lady card... even if it's true... pass and do some more looking.

Author:  Alonzo Tubbs [ Fri May 18, 2007 1:42 pm ]
Post subject:  re: Lefever E Grade offered for sale. Help!

At $2,000.00 I'd walk by in a hurry. With the modifcations you have described, it's certainly no collector's item. For $400.00-500.00, it would be a prime candidate for a shooter. Replace the white line pad with a Decelerater, whittle a splinter forend and refinish rhe stock. Until you've used a Lefever in the field, you can't imagine how nice they are.


Author:  SuperXOne [ Sat May 19, 2007 12:49 am ]
Post subject:  re: Lefever E Grade offered for sale. Help!

It's not likely to go anywhere. It's a consignment gun. Their biggest seller in the shotgun line there are Mossbergs that can handle 3 1/2 shells. They've had a W.C. Scott Damascus 10 gauge that's so old it's marked "Not for Ball" for sale for at least seven years at $395. Problem with that one is, it's just in such sad shape I doubt if it could ever be brought back.

The owner of the shop is a good friend of mine. He's looked on the internet at E grades for sale for $5,000, which may or may not be righteous guns, and in any event we know they don't have extra screws in the top rib and new stocks and forends with flaking polyurethane finishes and White Line recoil pads. He's done this before. Once a few years ago he got in a Colt hammerless shotgun on trade on a new Mossberg or something like that, and I looked it over and told him, as gently as I could, that it was a relic with pitted bores, loose action, split stock, and no finish left on wood or metal, and probably worth about the same as the old W.C. Scott, only easier to sell, because it had that rampant Colt on it and it was a desirable gun. He spent I don't know how much having the bores honed, the stock repaired, the action tightened, and I will say the very best mild stock refinish I've ever seen, to where it wasn't shiny, but looked nice and like it could have been original, except for that black plug where the crack in the wrist was repaired. He tried selling it for $2,000, then $1,500, then marked it down to $1,000, and finally sold it to somebody he said shot cowboy action for $750.

I'm going to sit the Lefever out. It doesn't need any major work, it's just not original. For $500 it would be a nice project gun.

By the way, can somebody tell me what to look for on the ball and socket joint? The lever is in the center, and the gun is tight, but I've read about how you can tighten those things up. Anybody know the drill on that?

Author:  natty bumpo [ Sat May 19, 2007 6:45 am ]
Post subject:  re: Lefever E Grade offered for sale. Help!

The ball and socket was to keep the barrels against the breach face, and very rarely needs to be moved. The threaded ball is always extremely tight, it takes a big screwdriver, with a lot of torque to move one. If the ball has the 2 small holes, as opposed to the slot, it's really tough, you have to make some sort of spanner socket and it must be super tough.. Bushrod

Author:  SuperXOne [ Thu May 31, 2007 6:51 pm ]
Post subject:  re: Lefever E Grade offered for sale. Help!

Upon closer inspection earlier today, I found the old girl to be an ejector gun. Does this make it an EE?

The rib appears rather unusual. It's wide, well matted, straight, flat, and raised quite a bit, although not ventilated. The hole in the top of the rib was just for a missing front bead sight, and it doesn't have any screws in the rib, like I somehow thought before. It looks sort of like the target rib on my Caesar Guerini Summit Limited, except it isn't a vent rib. All it needs is a white ivory front bead. The barrels are not only sound, they are individually serial numbered by Krupp.

The stock has high dimensions, and that semi beavertail forend looks like it grew on that gun. It would need refinished, but I could easily do that.

If this gun didn't have a non automatic saftey, I'd venture that it was a live pigeon gun, special order with a semi beavertail, target rib, straighter stock than usual. It even has pigeons engraved on the sides.

Did Lefever make target models, live pigeon guns, or trap guns way back then? This old girl is looking a lot better the more I look at her. She even has quite a bit of very mottled case color left on her, and nothing is worn completely shiny on those parts. Her barrel blue even looks better than I thought, it's a slow rust blue, and she has pretty well all of it, fading just a tad in places.

One bad thing I did notice was a hairline crack back from a sort of "banjo" inletted in the middle of the forend back to the action. The forend just snaps on and off, by the way. I could find no serial numbers on the forend wood, and it's obviously been at least refinished, if not replaced.

The worst part is I don't know what I'm looking at. That extra wide, extra tall rib doesn't look like a normal, ordinary, mill run rib that I'm used to seeing on old Parkers, L.C. Smiths, A.H. Fox, and Ithacas. I wish I knew how to post pictures on here for some Lefever afficianados to help me with trying to figure out what she is. This is the only high grade sidelock Syracuse Lefever I've ever picked up and handled in my life.

Anybody know about target or pigeon grade Lefefers?

Author:  natty bumpo [ Thu May 31, 2007 7:40 pm ]
Post subject:  re: Lefever E Grade offered for sale. Help!

It's getting better, but trust me It's an after market stock and forend.. I just Measured some ribs on a GE and an H, both 12 bore, both 30", both measure 9/16" at the breach and just a fuzz under 3/8' at the muzzle. As for the safety, It could be had either way.. I'm sure Lefever would build about anything you want, within reason, but in this case, I think lefever built a nice field gun and someone else turned it into a target gun. By the way if the stock is original, you can remove the grip cap and find an "E' stamped in the wood..Bushrod

Author:  SuperXOne [ Mon Jun 04, 2007 6:57 pm ]
Post subject:  re: Lefever E Grade offered for sale. Help!

Ok Natty, I went and wrote down some numbers on the Lefever.

The serial number of the gun itself is 48,8xx, and it has this number in the usual places, including the bottom of the right barrel under the forend.

Now, what I think is a Krupp serial number is in bigger, Germanic looking letters, and it's numbered 58,9xx, and is only on the bottom of the left barrel. The gun's number is in different stampings on the other side on the right barrel. What's that seperate number doing on the bottom of the left barrel?

What I thought was a pigeon on the bottom of the trigger gaurd turns out to be a duck. There are dogs engraved on both sides of the action.

The stock is straight gripped, and I'm guessing it's Claro now, but it could be English. It's certainly well figured, and it's very well checkered. The gun has been restocked. I can see under the forend where there was a ghost ring of bluing loss for a splinter forend.

I've made so many mistakes looking at this thing I'll reserve description of the rib until I can measure it properly. It certainly looks like a tall, wide, flat target rib to me, though.

Oh, and it has double triggers, with very well made trigger spoons.

I'm starting to think this thing is worth a thousand at least for a shooter. If it was a D grade Parker, or a C grade Fox, or a Grade 4 Ithaca, or a Grade 3 L.C. Smith, I would have already offered a thousand, and be going up, as a shooter, not a collector gun. Except for the hairline crack in the forend, and a missing front bead, this gun looks completely sound and just in need of a wood refinish and a decent pad to be a nice looking "shooter" of what I think is at least the quality level of the other old doubles I just named. Was the E ejector gun their "hundred dollar list" gun a century ago?

Author:  natty bumpo [ Mon Jun 04, 2007 9:06 pm ]
Post subject:  re: Lefever E Grade offered for sale. Help!

I think what we have is an E grade made around 1902-03 and numbered 488xx, it was sent back to the factory about 1908-09 for a set of Krupp barrels, which were given number 589xx. This is found quite often with Lefevers. If you can get it for $1,000, it would definitely be a bargain. How high should you go, I can't say from here.. Bushrod

Author:  SuperXOne [ Fri Aug 17, 2007 2:37 pm ]
Post subject:  re: Lefever E Grade offered for sale. Help!

She's mine for a thousand. The inside of the Krupp barrels are flawless, choked .705 and .695, with about .070 thickness at the end, and they kiss where they meet at the muzzle. And, they measure 32 inches exactly.

Right now, in the flush of the new aquisition, she looks very lovely. The morning after may dull her beauty, but right this minute I'm happy as a clam!

This one is going to force me to learn how to post pictures on here. :wink:

Author:  natty bumpo [ Fri Aug 17, 2007 4:02 pm ]
Post subject:  re: Lefever E Grade offered for sale. Help!

That sounds great, can you send photos in an email, even I can do that. If you can I'll send a private message with my address.. Good luck with your new Lefever..Bushrod

Author:  natty bumpo [ Fri Aug 17, 2007 4:41 pm ]
Post subject:  re: Lefever E Grade offered for sale. Help!

SuperX: Go to and pull up auction # 78511662.. That is an original E Grade Lefever, there are some good shots of the rib.. Bushrod

Author:  SuperXOne [ Mon Aug 20, 2007 1:27 pm ]
Post subject:  re: Lefever E Grade offered for sale. Help!

OK Bushrod, over the weekend:

I shot the Lefever. It works perfect. Everything works. Shoots where you look.

My gunsmith friend fixed the cracked forend with epoxy from the inside. He also looked over the gun, and he's not a "classic doubles" expert, but he used to be about the best checkerer and stock fitter around. He pronounced that the wood to metal fit of the stock and the forend was so good, so perfect, that it either was done at the Lefever factory or by somebody better than he ever was. He also marveled at the "acres" of nearly perfect borderless checkering on the stock, which wraps around the bottom of the grip, and the forend, which has mulitple diamond points, and again said it was either done by the factory or an absolute master at the craft. He pointed out that the ejectors on the barrels only have the second serial number 589xx, and he was of the opinion that the obviously factory fitted 32 inch Krupp tubes were provided with a brand new "extra wide" trap forend and straight trap stock back in 1909. The original pad, he said, rotted off and was replaced in the 40's or 50's with the Pachy. The finish is, he said, an old laquer (not a poly). He said the checkering did not look to have ever be "rechased". It could have been it was restocked later, but he said, the skill levels involved were of the very highest order.

Now, as to comparison with the Gun Broker gun. First, my gun has a lot, lot less wear than that one. But, the rib fascinates me. That gun has a wide rib, but it's not nearly as well made, mine looks even wider, and the barrels of my gun are hand engraved with Lefever Arms Co Krupp Steel Syracuse N. Y. USA. (Yes, USA is hand engraved on mine. Isn't 1909 early for that?) On the barrel flat of my barrels is stamped a visible "O" or maybe it's a "G". The action is stamped "E". My gun still has about all the color case, too, it's just muted and faded in exposed places, and better in protected places. My engraving is much more extensive, scroll is finer and more pronounced, my game scenes are enclosed with circles, the animals in my gun are very realistic, and my barrel lug is fully engraved. Now, the forend iron on my gun is fully engraved, but it's completely different that the one on the Gunbroker gun. Mine is much smaller, doesn't have "extensions" front and rear, is in perfect shape with all color case hardening still showing, and is serial numbered to the action (488xx). It sort of looks just like the middle part of the gun online.

The action on my gun is absolutely an E grade ejector, and in very fine condition. My barrels are geniune Krupp, and she was rebarreled at Lefever about 1909. The only question is where did my beautifully fitted and checkered straight stock and forend come from, as I see it.

What do you think, Bushrod?

Author:  SuperXOne [ Fri Aug 24, 2007 5:59 pm ]
Post subject:  re: Lefever E Grade offered for sale. Help!

My gunsmith neighbor has already refinished the stock on my Lefever. It was a replacement stock, he said, and a replacement forend. But, a first rate stocking job. My EE gleams like she was new, with a red, soft pad.

These are wonderful guns. At least the equal of an old Fox, Parker, Smith or Ithaca of similar grade, and far more adjustable for wear than any of them.

Author:  wraco [ Fri Aug 24, 2007 10:34 pm ]
Post subject:  re: Lefever E Grade offered for sale. Help!

SuperXOne: --- There was a excellent write up in the American Rifleman a few years back, probably more like 5 or 6 years the way time goes by.

The article was called "Uncle Dan's Double". I've read it over and over quite a few times as it's quite good. The author goes into the history of the man and his gun and how it was called the "Automatic Double" because it cocked itself when opened.

The author had handy, a field grade that he pulled the sideplates off to show that it wasn't really a true sidelock and he explained how the cocking indicators functioned. The author had nothing but praise and admiration for "Uncle Dan's Double". He especially admired the adjustment for wear screw.

He told how Uncle Dan was forced out of his own company and how together with his son's formed another company that made
some boxlocks. Uncle Dan passed away soon after that, if I recall. It's been some time since I've read the article. I think I'll scout around for it and read it again.

Enjoy your fine shotgun.


Author:  Alonzo Tubbs [ Sat Aug 25, 2007 7:33 am ]
Post subject:  re: Lefever E Grade offered for sale. Help!

SuperXone- It looks as if you've stumbled onto a real gem. It's not only the equal of the guns you listed, it's superior. In my never to be considered humble opinion, it's the finest shotgun produced in America- period. Now, do us all a favor. Toddle on over to the Lefevever forum and list it with the Lefever Collectors a$$. Quite a lot of good information over there and you're liable to get a response from Uncle Dan's great grandson. Congratulations.


Author:  SuperXOne [ Mon Oct 08, 2007 1:01 am ]
Post subject:  re: Lefever E Grade offered for sale. Help!

Yesterday an old gunsmith took a big screw driver and took about a century of wear out of my EE Lefever with just the slightest twist of a screw. The top lever is now far over to the right, the gun is tight as a drum, and the best part is that the screw still has a lot more room to turn if it ever needs tightened up again.

The government is always passing laws. There ought to be a law that every new side by side shotgun without a Lefever ball and socket action, adjustable for wear, would be subject to a $100 fine. :lol:

Why didn't anyone else ever use this system?

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