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Joined: Jul 2017
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bczrx Offline OP
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Hello,

I have a 1947 LC Smith Field in good shape. Yesterday I was in my LGS reviewing the shotguns for sale when I noticed a new consignment shotgun- another LC Smith Field, but slightly less than I paid for mine [around $600, plus all fees for this one].

I was looking it over and it seems to be on a regular frame, instead of a Featherweight frame- but both have the armor steel barrel.

I've read about how in the late 1930s the company introduced changes to improve the stock.

My question is: is there any great difference between a regular frame and a FW frame LC Smith Field?

My second question was whether the 1920s LC Smith Field would, all things being equal, be considered more or less desirable than a 1946/47 model? [At least, I think this is a regular frame from the 20s. It has an R stamped in front of the numbers, is marked Field on the Armor barrels- and the only other date that might line up with serial numbers would be somewhere around 1900- before Field grades and armor barrels.]

BTW, I am more of a shooter than an investor/collector.

I don't see LCs this inexpensive in my area, so I am very tempted. Yet, I don't need 2 that are essentially the same. I have enough other options. In fact, my wife would like me to sell half of my shotguns. Then I'd only have a bakers' dozen.

But, If there is some advantage of one over the other, maybe it would be worth getting the 20s production and selling my 47.

Then, she wouldn't hate me. grin

So, any advice about the differences in quality, reliability, handling?

Last edited by bczrx; 09/13/21 03:15 AM.

Classic 'field' SxS's are what draw me in- that way I can have more than one!
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Take a look at the LC Collectors web site. There are several diagrams detailing the differences between an R and FW frame.

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Stay with the devil you know-keep your current gun, if it fits, and you use proper loads in it, with reasonable care, your grandson can use it. And get another wife- one that knows how important guns and gunning are to a man. RWTF

Last edited by Run With The Fox; 09/13/21 05:09 PM. Reason: spelling error

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What susjwp said. Check out the "Design and Engineering" section of the FAQs
https://lcsca.clubexpress.com/content.aspx?page_id=274&club_id=43784

The very short version is that the FW frame was designed for the introduction of the 20g Smith in 1907. The shipping records do not establish when the first 16g and 12g guns were made with the FW frame; but definitely pre-1913. And BTW some R frame 12s and 16s are slightly lighter weight than FW.

The very short version of Smith perceived desirability/quality is the pre-1913 No. 00 probably had better fit and finish than post-1913 Field, which had better fit and finish than 1940s and Marlin era guns. Things were booming in the 20s after the Simmonds family, owners of Simonds Saw and Steel Co., acquired Hunter Arms and Stephen Gilles was named General Manager of the operation, and the guns produced then were very well made.
Marlin did thicken the head of the stock wood and bevel the lockplate to deal with the 'long cracked Smith' issue.

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I would suggest serious counselling first . A man cave to keep your stuff out of sight.

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I had a nice 1921 featherweight field 12 and I sold it for $600 so I don't think that is a wildly crazy steal. Usually the LGS will have them listed for much more though and they just sit. I don't see any point personally in owning 2 LC field grade 12's and I doubt you will make money on the one in the gun shop.

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As Drew noted, there would be no shooting advantages in one gun over the other assuming gun weight and stock dimensions are similar. The stock of the 20's era R framed gun will likely be slimmer in the wrist, and the Marlin era gun could have the Single Sighting Plane, or raised solid top rib (a feature not available in the 20's); but there are very few visual differences between early Smith guns and those produced by Marlin. As FYI regarding R and FW Smith gun frames, the R frame was phased out during the late 30's and there's no record of Marlin having ever shipped any Smith guns built on the R sized frame; although they did supply replacement R framed barrel sets and other service related parts.

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bczrx Offline OP
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Thanks all. I appreciate the suggestions- even those regarding my wife. grin

However, in her defense. She hasn't interfered in my passion so far, and I have a decent sized collection [for california]. She just didn't want a safe in a living room or library, or to lose space in 'her' walk in closet.

I do a lot of auto/motorcycle repair in the garage, as well as woodworking and house projects, so I don't want something blatant with the garage door up for 7 hours as I work.
My garage is a man cave, but a working/project cave with built-in shelving on 2 walls and the third full of cabinets, tool chest and work bench.
With the obligatory 32" tv, dvd player, wifi connection and stereo system connected.
Oh, and my rocking chair to hang out and watch a game if I choose.

We've found compromises. I just know she'd say 'why have 2 of the same thing?' but not mean I should buy another different thing.
[I don't want her to inspect my 5 win model 12s- they are all different honey! field, field with Cutts, Trap, Skeet HeavyDuck. that is NOT the same thing. whistle]



It sounds like I might be best off just keeping what I have as I really would want to shoot it- not just collect it. With proper loads, of course. I have some low noise low recoil ammo for it, the 1915 Parker Trojan and the 1970 Spanish SxS I own. The other stuff I have can take at least normal 'light' loads, I believe.

Last edited by bczrx; 09/14/21 01:52 AM.

Classic 'field' SxS's are what draw me in- that way I can have more than one!
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I would have no concern using standard 1 oz. at 1200 fps target loads in your 1947 Smith. Fiocchi makes a 7/8 oz. at 1200 fps target load which is easier on the shoulder and gun.
If the desire is to use turkey or heavy non-tox waterfowl loads, have the head of the stock glasbedded.

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For whatever this comment is worth, I shoot 1 1/8 oz 1150 fps handloads in my 1925 vintage FWE Hunter One-trigger Ideal Grade regularly with no issues. Stock head has not yet been glassed, but I'm knowledgeable enough to know that it should be. Maybe I'll get around to that detail someday; I'm just not as "gun-ho" as I was in my youth.

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