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#10047 11/13/06 06:59 PM
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Boxlock

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Are they built on a true 16 Gauge frame?

Thanks,
Chris

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My understanding is that there were two basic frames (of the hammerless guns), standard and featherweight. Featherweight frames were used on 12g, 16g, 20g and .410 guns and very likely the one 28g gun they allegedly built. I'm not sure which gauges the standard frame was used on other than the 12g and probably the 10g. I had a 16g LC built on a featherweight frame. While the featherweight frame is lighter than the standard frame, it doesn't necessarily make a feather weight gun.

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Hunter Arms built 16 guage guns on both "Featherweight" and "Regular" weight frames. Early catalogs promoted 16 guage guns as light as 6 1/4 pounds before the Featherweight frame was introduced in 1907. Even after the Featherweight frame was introduced, ads still promoted lightweight 16-bore guns at 6 1/4 pounds; so, as previously noted, Smith frame type was not an accurate indicator of finished gun weight. I don't recall seeing a 16-bore on a Regular frame dated post-1920, and the early 16-bore guns build on a Regular frame are not common; but, in my mind, those models have better lines than the later Featherweight framed models in the lower grades. The lightest 16-bore Smith gun I have ever seen was built on a Featherweight frame and weighed in at 6 lbs/3 oz. That gun featured additional milling cuts and drilled holes beneath the lockplates (along with very plain wood) in a further effort to reduce final weight as much as possible.

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Chris
My L.C Smith 16ga Featherweight (28 in barrrels) weighs 7lbs and 5 ozs. It does have a 1 1/2 inch Galazan period type pad on the back to lenghthen the LOP.
Regards, Gordon


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The only L.C. Smith I've ever owned was a totally "stock" 1947-vintage Field Grade 16-gauge on the Featherweight frame with 28-inch barrels, and it weighed 7 pounds 3.2 ounces!!

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In Brophys Book, the frame drawings show that from the water table down the farmes were the same. Above the water table the pin spacing and fences are(of course) different.


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FWIW regarding a 28 bore Smith, Hunter Executive and Hunter Family member Waddy Wadsworth reported owning a 28 gauge L.C. Smith to me in 1966. In his Gun Digest article critiquing the then new Marlin reintroduced L.C. Smith Gun many years ago, Gerald Hunter briefly noted Waddy's 28 bore Smith. Its probably in Brophy's, but have yet to own this fine book.

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Don is correct in that the basic frames are the same. Weights will vary with earlier guns tending to the lighter side (though not always). My mid '30s, FW, 16ga., 26in is 6lbs. 8oz. with eng. style solid pad added to original stock length. My mid '20s, FWE, 20ga., 28in. is an identical weight with a pad. To my eye, the FW Smith and small frame Fox are both visually most balanced as 16s. Same goes for the M12.

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Outdoorlvr, in the Gun Digest 1970, the article about the new L.C. Smith by Gerald Hunter, it shows a picture of Waddy Wadsworth holding the only 28 ga. L.C. ever made. Serial number 100. There is no picture in Brophy's book, just states that there was only one made and serial numbered 100.


David


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Regarding the Wadsworth 28-bore, I have talked with a couple of Smith collectors who have handled that gun; and, according to their account, is not very photogenic. It is described as a plain and well-used beater with little finish remaining; and also as a gun that was intended to be a 20-bore and then got a set of 28-bore barrels, mainly as a fun/interesting/project/gift to a family member.
Regarding Smith Featherweight frames, Don is correct. The identical Featherweight frame was used to manufacture the 12,16,20, and 410 bore guns; the differences between bore sizes being primarily in the size of the breech balls and locations of firing pin holes.
I also agree that the FW frame seemed just about perfect for the 16-bore proportionally; and I also failed to note that the lightweight 16-bore FW framed Smith gun I referenced earlier was featured in the LCSCA newsletter. That was a very interesting gun in that it is unusual to find a special order Field Grade; but a 6lb. 3oz. 28" 16-bore Smith ejector gun in any grade is not a common item. Most examples seen will be near/in the 7 lb. range, and many are over 7 lbs.
We will forever miss Russ Ruppel; but Russ owned a 16-bore A2 Grade with two sets of barrels (one Whitworth, one Krupp) built on the Regular frame that weighed in a 6lbs/8oz. with either set attached.

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