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 Post subject: Modern ammo in a LeFever Nitro Sprecial?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2010 5:00 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2007 2:41 pm
Posts: 42
I am looking at used 16 ga LeFever Nitro Special (serial #179xxx) and it looks pretty good for an early 1920s gun. Barrels ring, action tight, minor pitting, 1 little barrel ding, stock refinished, splinter forearm showing wear.

Only thing I was unable to determine is the chambers. If the chambers are 2.75, is it safe to shoot modern 16 ga shells or will RSTs be preferred?

Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: Modern ammo in a LeFever Nitro Sprecial?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2010 7:18 pm 
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PAgrousin wrote:
I am looking at used 16 ga LeFever Nitro Special (serial #179xxx) and it looks pretty good for an early 1920s gun. Barrels ring, action tight, minor pitting, 1 little barrel ding, stock refinished, splinter forearm showing wear.

Only thing I was unable to determine is the chambers. If the chambers are 2.75, is it safe to shoot modern 16 ga shells or will RSTs be preferred?

Thanks!
I have one, SN: 129*** made in 1921. I acquired the gun in 1965. Mine had 2 9/16" chambers. I had it rebored to 2¾" chambers. I've shot every 2¾ 16ga load imaginable through it in those 45 years; to include THOUSANDS of Magnums. The gun locks up as tight as the day it was made.

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 Post subject: Re: Modern ammo in a LeFever Nitro Sprecial?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2010 9:45 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2007 2:41 pm
Posts: 42
Outstanding News! Fingers crossed that it is 2.75 chambers.

Thank you!


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 Post subject: Re: Modern ammo in a LeFever Nitro Sprecial?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:54 am 
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Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2006 2:47 pm
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Location: Staying in the "Zone"
I would have a qualifed doubles gunsmith look the gun over. be safe, not sorry.


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 Post subject: Re: Modern ammo in a LeFever Nitro Sprecial?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 12:31 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2007 11:12 am
Posts: 3230
Location: WA/AK
A Lefever Nitro Special in the 179xxx range would be a 1924 vintage gun. In the Ithaca catalogues they didn't begin stating a 2 3/4 inch chamber length for their 16-gauge NID doubles until Catalogue No. 51F which equates to 1934. So, I doubt they were chambering their Lefever 16-gauges 2 3/4 inch any earlier.


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 Post subject: Re: Modern ammo in a LeFever Nitro Sprecial?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 2:58 pm 
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Location: peoples socialist republic
I would shoot 1 oz loads in the right and 1 oz in the left. The receiver may take heavy loads OK, but what about 85 year old wood. The two loads I mentioned do quite well in a 16.

Correct length shells can be gotten here....www.rstshells.com and http://www.Polywad.com

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Last edited by Patriot usa on Fri Feb 26, 2010 9:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Modern ammo in a LeFever Nitro Sprecial?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 7:05 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 24, 2006 8:08 am
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Location: Virginia
Patriot usa wrote:
I would shoot 1 oz loads in the right and 1 1/8 oz in the left. The receiver may take heavy loads OK, but what about 85 year old wood. The two loads I mentioned do quite well in a 16.

Correct length shells can be gotten here....www.rstshells.com and http://www.Polywad.com


Very well said most people dont think about that till that crack shows up.


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 Post subject: Re: Modern ammo in a LeFever Nitro Sprecial?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 9:12 pm 
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I changed my previous post to 1 oz in both barrels. Mind must have lapsed to 12 ga.

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 Post subject: Re: Modern ammo in a LeFever Nitro Sprecial?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2010 6:00 pm 
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Location: North Dakota
If a 2 3/4" chamber is present or created you can shoot any modern lead shot shell safely in these guns. They are built to take it. Old doesn't always equate to weak. I will never part with my Nitro Special. Mine is a 12 gauge built in 1937, and gets shot a lot. If you are worried about the wood, stocks and forearms are available for a very low price from Gunstocks Inc. and other sources. A lot of people are out there shooting these guns every day! {hs#

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 Post subject: Re: Modern ammo in a LeFever Nitro Sprecial?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2010 8:17 pm 
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Yep. I had mine out for Sporting Clays and pheasant the other day. It is my standard Upland gun - 12 ga. The serial number is in the 50,000 range. Remington Club loads. Gun is still tight. (Does need a touch up from a Smith though - it is an old gun - which I asked about in another thread.)
Pete

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 Post subject: Re: Modern ammo in a LeFever Nitro Sprecial?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 9:34 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2009 7:59 am
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What the heck is "Modern"?? I have several 1920's vintage guns that have had everything offered to the public run through them and no problems. My father-in-law and I shot 2 3/4 20 ga. through a 1920 flues for 80 years before I learned I shouldn't. We made no distinction between "low brass" and "high brass". My '29 12 ga. Nitro Special has seen them all, but no steel. Both weapons are in great shape, although the stocks are dinged-up a bit and the blue is pretty worn.

That said, these guns have only been used in the field, not for high volume clay shooting.

If it wasn't for the internet, I still wouldn't know about these potential problems, and I am guessing that most guys using these guns are in the same boat. On the other hand, most guys I see in the field today aren't carrying SxS's. I do have one single barrel gun, a 12 ga. model 37 built in 1959, and dumb me: I shot steel with it until I learned I shouldn't.

So back to my original question: What the heck is "Modern"?


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 Post subject: Re: Modern ammo in a LeFever Nitro Sprecial?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 8:50 pm 
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What the heck is "Modern"? (Not considering non-toxic loads)

Anything after 1922, when Western Cartridge Co. intoduced the 'Super-X' 12 gauge 2 3/4 inch 1 1/4 ounce 3 3/4 dram equiv. load :wink:

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