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#93622 05/05/08 10:33 PM
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As we seem to be in Lefever mode perhaps someone can give me some info on a recent acquisition.My knowledge on Lefevers is pretty sad.The gun appears to be 100% original with most C.C. about 50-60% blue. 28" steel barrels that are full & full, 13 3/4" LOP over buttplate.1 1/2" x 2 5/8" drop @ comb/heel. Serial # 69208. Date of manufacture and a price check would be much appreciated. Thanks.
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It is a "DS Grade" which was an economy/basic grade, but a very good gun. Mechanically it is almost identical to the higher grades, except it lacks the cocking indicators. There were more DS grades made than any other.

It was probably manufactured about 1913, and the original price was around $40 - a hefty sum in those days.

20 gauge guns are usualy worth more than 12's.

Perhaps someone else may be better qualified to value your gun.

It is a very nice piece. I hope you will enjoy using it.

JERRY

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Thanks for the info Jerry. The chambers appear to be about 2 1/2"
so I guess I'll have to get some English loads or do a little case trimming and reload.Do you know during what time period this style of gun was made?
Terry


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Terry:

The DS appeared about 1899 in the Lefever offerings.

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If the bores are good, $1500 to $1700.You don't see many in nice original condition.. MDC

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You might want to go a little lighter than "English loads,"(some are punchy) ol'pip as the wood looks ragged right where the recoil counts.

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Terry: A DS was my first Lefever, and the gun that convinced me Syracuse Lefevers are the most graceful (and rarest) of the major American doubles. Others here know a ton more than I do, but since you're new to Lefevers and curious about them, here's a couple of facts.

The two boxlike X's stamped in the left-hand side of the water table are the factory's designation for their lightest frame; certainly appropriate for a 20-gauge (maybe all DS 20s would have used this frame ... I'm not sure about that), but definitely considered a bonus on 16s and a very rare find on a 12.

Guns like yours would have been built for, at most, about 15 years, between the turn of the century and the start of the First World War, when Lefever production ended forever.

I think almost all Lefevers you'll find with the rounded, open pistol grip are DS grades. A capped pistol grip is much more common on all other grades.

DS stands for "Durston Special." Durston was the name of someone affiliated with the Lefever company, but I can't remember who. All other grades were ranked and designated by letters of the alphabet, from A to H.

Finally, some advice. Be kind to that 100-year-old lady. Her barrels and stock will serve you well if you use the kind of loads that were available when the gun was built. Yes, your new gun was built for 2.5-in. shells and that's what you should use, but even more important is to feed it low recoil loads designed for old guns like yours. RST and others can help you with that.

It's a nice gun. Enjoy it, and welcome to the Lefever club. You are obvious a discriminating shotgunner! TT


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Terry:

Great find. Lefever sideplates in 20 ga. are scarce as hen's teeth in any grade. If you can find a 20, they are most often a DS grade. They are universally sought after by everyone, especially with 28" bbls. I looked for years to find one.

TT gave some great info. A few other notes: The Durston family took over Lefever Arms in 1901 when Uncle Dan departed, and introduced the DS and I grades shortly thereafter. All DS grades had fluid steel barrels.

I would suggest getting a copy of the book, "Uncle Dan Lefever, Master Gunmaker" by Bob Elliot. It's a great book and will add to your enjoyment and appreciation of the gun. According to the s/n chart your gun dates about 1912.

Congratulations!

Bill

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TT,

You forgot the Optimus grade. My favorite, sure wish I could afford one.


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I would like to posse a question to the experts and the general people on this site. If this were your gun and these were the only to options what would you do? I have fought this question over and over with myself. I am intrested to here what the majority thing.

1) Keep it as is and shoot it.

2) Have it professonally redone and shoot it.


For those who have fought for it Freedom has a sweetness the protected will never know.
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