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#482310 06/06/17 10:41 AM
Joined: Feb 2006
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Sidelock
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Sidelock
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If anyone has one of these shotguns in the low 16000 serial number range could you verify that your lock/s do or do not have a sear spring.
I just recently purchased the first hammerless Syracuse L.C. Smith, serial number 16000. This has a sear spring and the sear is located above the mainspring.
This gun is a 10 gauge with 30" barrels, it does not have L.C. Smith engraved on the locks and does not have a makers name on the barrels. It is a Quality 2 and also does not have any patent dates on the receiver.




David


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Prototype or lunch bucket gun ?

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I'm not really familiar with a Smith this early, but later ones do not have a separate sear spring. These have a Vee Main spring with the longer upper limb being the hammer spring & the shorter lower limb being the sear spring. The sear on these is mounted below the mainspring & does not engage the outer periphery of the hammer as this one does. The hammer Smith's I am familiar with are set up very much like the later hammerless guns. In short I have never seen a Smith with this sear arrangement.


Miller/TN
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Daryl, since this one is the forerunner of all L.C. Smith hammerless guns, it is possible that it is a prototype.
In a 1888 Syracuse catalog you can see where the arrow is pointing that they did do away with the sear spring. I have a few Syracuse L.C. Smith hammerless guns but nothing in the 16000 range.

Miller, from what I understand from one of our L.C. Smith members is that this lock configuration is what the early Baker's had. The trigger pull was said to be very smooth because of this type of sear layout. You can see in the bottom picture that there are 3 pins at the top of the lock. The far left one is the sear spring screw post, the center one is the side plate connecting screw and the right one is the axle for the sear. This gun was made in August 1886 and it would be nice to know when Baker came out with their hammerless side lock.


David


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Well, it is a fun search. Just read your story in the Smith Newsletter. Keep up the good work. Daryl

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David;
As I read the 1888 catalog description I get the feeling the elimination of the sear spring is not in reference to earlier Smith guns, but to those of other makes. This gun does have a lot of Smith looking features. It may well be a prototype which never actually made it into production. Actually from my perspective I like the setup of the sear here better than on their production guns. I have always felt the sear should engages the hammer as far away from its axis of rotation as possible. "Uncle Dan" Lefever used this concept on his sears consequently they have separate sear springs. Separate sear springs are not really a big deal IMHO.
Does this gun have the Alexander Brown designed Rotary bolt?. As I recall this came into being around 1884. W H Baker had left the company about 1880, though this design could have been a hangover from his designs.
Whatever it proves to be it is a very desirable & interesting gun.You should feel fortunate indeed to own it.
Later Baker guns incidentally did not use this design either.


Miller/TN
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Miller, that is hard to say. The L.C. Smith side lock was a patent of Brown's also, November 27, 1883 for hammer guns. This incorporated a sear spring and I wonder if they used this sear spring in their early hammerless guns. The early hammer guns used a bar action mainspring, so some thought had to be put in to making a hammerless guns that utilized a back action lock now.

Baker and Lyman's older brother Leroy left Syracuse in 1880 and went to Ithaca to start the Ithaca Gun Company.

I do have some serial numbers in the low 16000 in my records, but they were from auctions and no pictures of locks.


David



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