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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a LC Smith 12 gauge shotgun serial number 338xxx (which I believe dates it to 1912). It has 00 stamped below the serial number, and "steel" stamped on the bottom of each barrel. I believe that means it has armor steel barrels. Is that correct?

Also, do you know whether this gun (if original) would have 2 3/4" chambers?

I'm considering whether to fire modern shells (low brass target loads) in this gun. Is that a good idea? What about modern high brass (buckshot etc)?

Thank you for your help.
 

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No one can tell you over the internet what ammunition may or may not be safe in a given gun.

While the metal of your gun may well stand up to any SAAMI spec lead loads, as a favor to the 110 year old wood one should stick with one or 7/8 ounce loads at no more than 1200 fps.
 

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Alan,

Researcher01 is giving you good advise, and I definitely agree with him, no one can tell you over the internet what ammo is safe to use in any particular gun. However after your gun is checked out by a good guns smith, and you are assured it is in safe working order, I recommend the use of RST SpredR shells. I have been using them sense RST started making shells, never had any problem with them or the RST conventional shells, working properly in any of my L.C. Smith or any other Classic American vintage double guns. You're 12 gauge L.C. Smith 00 gun is a pre 13 gun, it should have 2 3/4" Chambers for 2 3/4" shells. I would not use modern buck shot of any kind, out of your old gun at all. Keep your pressure and recoil low to assure the gun will last for many more generations.

Give me the entire SN # and I will make sure when the gun was produced by Hunter Arms.

all the best,

Pine Creek/Dave
L.C. Smith Man

1901 L.C. Smith #5 Gun works perfectly with RST shells.
 

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Alan,

The gun is a L.C. Smith 12 gauge 00 Grade, Built in 1912 in SN group that run 336,573 - 341,717 (12 & 10 Gauge guns in that SN group). The gun if in good working order will shoot 2 3/4" modern shells, I recommend RST shells 1200FPS and under to keep both the pressure and recoil low, the gun is 109 years old this year. Clean the gun properly, never over oil, use only a small amount of Singer Sewing Machine oil where needed. If possible get your hands on the original instruction paper work that came with all the L.C. Smith guns, it shows exactly where and how much to oil your L.C. Smith double gun. RST & Poly SpredR shells work real well in the L.C. Smith guns, you're 00, 12 gauge is probably choked M/F from the factory.
These 00 Grade guns came with well finished English Walnut wood unless special ordered, and many were special ordered. When used with the correct shells, cleaned, oiled and stored properly, the stock on your gun should last for ever, most all our family L.C. Smith guns are over 100 years old now used hard to shot clays, live Pigeons & hunt birds, none have cracked stocks. I also recommend the purchase of the L.C. Smith Cocking Tool & fore-end removal tool, both work well and never damage the L.C. Smith double guns. You're 00 grade gun was only offered with Armor Steel barrels unless, special ordered. Original Spelling was Armour Steel, later made guns were marked Steel or Armor Steel.

have fun shooting and hunting with your L.C. Smith 00 gun.

all the best,

Pine Creek/Dave
L.C. Smith Man

The L.C. Smith Cocking Tool is in the hard case on the far left side, the remakes are solid steel the originals are solid brass, both work perfectly for resetting the L.C. Smith Cocking rods, if the triggers were pulled with the gun disassembled.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks, Pine Creek/Dave!

I've used a 3/8" box wrench for re-cocking a couple of times, but I'm sure the tool made for the job would be better.

I've already picked up a few RST shells and will order more when they come in stock. I also found this PDF copy of a Hunter Arms "Care of Your Shotgun"

http://www.lcsmith.org/images/catalogs/ ... ooklet.pdf

BTW your LC Smith in the case is a thing of beauty! Mine is more of a working man's tool in its current condition, but I think it will still get the job done.

Thanks again for your help!
Alan
 

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Alan,

In reality all L.C. Smith guns were built to the same engineering standards, the higher grade guns had fantastic engraving, upgraded wood and internal Jeweled damascened side lock works. The field grade type guns, especially the pre 1913 00 guns were all hand fit and finished, you can not take one set of barrels from a Smith gun and put it on another L.C. Smith gun without having a master gun maker due major fit up rework. This was not just an advertising stunt made by Hunter Arms, it was actually the way the guns were really made. Your 00 grade gun was made with the same engineering, metals and high quality barrel articulation as the higher graded guns. If your Field grade L.C. Smith double gun was made today, the starting price would be above $5,000, using CNC machined parts, the final hand fit and finish would drive the gun up to about $7,000. This was one of the reasons Marlin discontinued building the L.C. Smith gun. They found that in reality the gun could not really be built on a production line set up, way too much detailed hand work needed to be done. Never sell your L.C. Smith 00 Grade double gun short, in reality it is a very high quality side lock double gun.

I was hoping you would post a few pictures of your gun, so I could see the English Walnut wood your gun was built with.

all the best,

Pine Creek/Dave
L.C. Smith Man

All grades of L.C. Smith guns could be Special ordered by the purchaser, L.C. Smith built and supplied more Special Order guns than any other American gun manufacturer. There are many Special Order 00 & Field Grade guns with up graded wood, special engraving and internal jeweled damascened side lock work. If you understand what you are looking at, you can collect some very serious L.C. Smith double guns.

1914 L.C. Smith Field Grade 20 gauge gun with 24" Barrels, DT and ivory sight beads, choked IC & M.


L.C. Smith 20 gauge Field Grade with French Walnut Wood, below a nice Huglu 28 gauge, both real nice Grouse guns. The DT quality trigger pull on the 107 year old L.C. Smith 20 gauge gun is 3.5 & 4.3 with zero creep.
 
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