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 Post subject: Rate the Models
PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2020 9:29 pm 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Mon Apr 15, 2013 8:18 am
Posts: 108
I know the NID is considered stronger than the Flues, but how would you rate the Crass, Lewis, and Minier against each other and the Flues? Let`s consider all models using only RST shells, and the design as a whole, not individual guns. If one design has a weakness that has consistently shown up over time, what is it.




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 Post subject: Re: Rate the Models
PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2020 12:39 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2005 11:09 am
Posts: 2563
Hello Biglar, It would be helpful if you could establish a criterion such as engraving quality by grade, options, e.g. beavertail FE, single trigger, weight etc. :D


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 Post subject: Re: Rate the Models
PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2020 5:23 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Mon Jul 05, 2010 7:16 pm
Posts: 3264
Location: New England
I would rate them, top to bottom and regardless of features as:

Flues
Minier
Lewis
Crass

For me, the use of low-pressure RTS ammo precludes toting around the heavier NID.


YMMV, of course

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["CriscoKid", alias: Fat in the Can]


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 Post subject: Re: Rate the Models
PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2020 8:48 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2005 11:09 am
Posts: 2563
Well-here is mho.
NID for double trap, water fowl or live pigeon shooting also for repair part availability and options offered. Flues for upland hunting. NID and Lefever models 5 and 6 for skeet (fully optioned). Early Crass for the finest engraving, fine engraving on all models until the change over in the 1915 era then OK to good for the remaining of double gun production. Minier good on the outside but not so good on the inside. Nitros for "take a beating and keep on ticking."
These are my thoughts at 9:45 Monday evening.
PS The Bakers are of interest for serious collectors-not so much for shooting.
Western Arms a sturdy gun but that is all I have to say about that. :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Rate the Models
PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2020 9:59 pm 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Mon Apr 15, 2013 8:18 am
Posts: 108
Walt, I guess what I was asking is the early Fluse and the other models are over 100 years old. Parts will be hard to find, and if a gun is parted out on ebay they may be well worn. So I was interested in knowing if any gun was known for holding up well with use, but may have been replaced by another model that may have been thought a better design, or just cheaper to make. Is there any model you would stay away from if looking for a old shooter, and not just to fill a spot in a collection.

The Minier is a good example of a gun that in the higher grades has fine engraving, but was not made for vary long. If not for the Fluse would it still have had a short production life.

I have seen a few grade 3 & 4 Crass and Lewis guns that got me thinking I would like a nice early engraved gun to take in the field. I am not a handsome man, but I would like to return home with my face and hands in the same condition as when I left.

I guess another question would be, Who is known as a gunsmith that can make new parts from scratch and repair these 100 year old guns.

Thank you for your responses


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 Post subject: Re: Rate the Models
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 7:40 am 
Crown Grade

Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2005 11:09 am
Posts: 2563
Here is my take on the model evolution. The Baker was an exposed hammer gun. Fred Crass designed Ithaca's first internal hammer gun. Ithaca continued to make an exposed hammer gun base pretty much on the Crass platform but the popularity of exposed hammers was on the wane. The Crass went on a diet as time went on. The Lewis model offered a rib extension and a top lever lock up--considered an improvement in design. The Minier added a second lock up feature to the rib extension and top lever interaction-again a design improvement. The Minier also introduced the use of coil springs to the internal lock works-'new technology. The internal lock works was cleaned up by Emil Flues and that design had the longest run. There were a few minor changes during the life of the Flues-the barrel lug being one of them. Ithaca offered the Flues model by weight and when nitro powder ammo became available in the early 1920s, the short chambered light guns began to experience cracked frames. So the stage was set for a beefier model-enter the NID.
So, I think model changes were driven by improvements in manufacturing and cost reductions, changing technology e.g. coil springs for example AND marketing mentality of a NEW model-'don't you have the latest thing'. None of us were there so all this is somewhat speculation.
The introduction of the Nitro Special and later the Western Arms were to offer a lower price point to consumers.
Also, Ithaca didn't operate in a vacuum. They had to respond to what the other gun makers were doing to some extent and what the market demands.
What do ya'll think??


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 Post subject: Re: Rate the Models
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 11:15 am 
Diamond Grade
User avatar

Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2016 11:00 pm
Posts: 1014
Location: Wisconsin
Hello Larry.... I like the way you think. I have been taking my higher grade guns in the field as of last fall. And I shoot my 1928 Knick single at trap every week year round also.
I can only add to what Walt is saying by giving you first hand experience. I find that for field work, the Flues design is better for me than the others that I have (NID and Lewis and a couple hammer guns; NIG and Two Bolt which is equivalent to a Flues) because of the light weight. I have 2 Flues 16 gauges... one is fluid steel and the other is twist steel. They each weigh under 6 pounds. I don’t believe that I will ever shoot enough rounds to wear them out. My second favorite is my grade 3 Lewis and only because the engraving is a work of art. I love taking it out and showing it to people. I will say that the wrist of the earlier models has a lot of wood removed for the frame so in my opinion they would be a bit more delicate for use in the field. Finally, the NID. It’s also a 16 gauge, field grade, single trigger. I’m not very excited about it. It’s rather plain, feels “square” in my hands, like a Winchester 24 kind of... but not as bad. The only advantage is that I can shoot modern loads in it but I still shoot low pressure RST’s because I buy them in full cases. Now, if you’ve ever held a NID in 20 or 28, that’s a different story.


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 Post subject: Re: Rate the Models
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 1:04 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2005 11:09 am
Posts: 2563
If Biglar's question is about reliability. IMO. any gun that is still shooting after 50 to 100 years will most likely keep shooting. Something like Newton's 2nd law of thermodynamics?? :lol:




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