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Ted,

I have an 1899 5E 12g. that originally weighed 7 lbs. 3 oz. and it still has no cracks behind the lockplates. I have several that have no cracks in lower grades but I certainly do not disagree that they are very prone to that problem and many other problems. Most are old and not very well taken care of as typical of the way Americans took care of their guns.


So many guns, so little time!
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Originally Posted By: Drew Hause
Re: Sir Dig's sense of humor; whilst recognizing the inherent challenge of appearing humble when addressing one’s Colonial inferiors, it might be prudent for an English iron monger to be slightly less condescending toward potential purchasers of his wares.





I wish I could have said it as well. Thank you.

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Something we're forgetting to look at here; what are the comparable values (in the current market) for those guns produced in the 1890s? Compare British and American "bests" and tell me why there is a difference?

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Originally Posted By: Lloyd3
Dr. Drew: I'm a great fan of your work, but we're comparing competition guns (essentially, pigeon guns) to game guns here. Apples and oranges. There is a difference between a 6 1/2 pound gun and an 8-pound gun, and you darn-well know it.


Lloyd, the "dictionary" you're using to judge the merits of each country's guns is from this century for applications today. Go back to that period and then compare products. The American market was primarily made up of shooters who could only afford one gun and it had to serve from the goose pits to grouse covers to prairie chickens to waylaying that old gobbler. Ninety-nine percent of the hunters here had no use whatsoever for the gun you're trying to compare it to. Your "idea gun" would not have made one season in this rough and tumble country. The other one percent? I own two DH Parker's from that era with 28" tubes coming in at 6 lbs 8 oz and are balanced as well if not better than almost all English guns.

And Lloyd, a "best gun" in America at that time was one that could stay in one piece after all the hammering it endured (remember the dictionary).



If we feed our faith our fears will starve, if we feed our fears our faith will starve.
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"We're comparing competition guns (essentially, pigeon guns) to game guns here."
Here, as in the 1901 match, or as in the superiority of British guns?

The English team knew the rules of the competition, and were allowed TWO 1 1/8 oz. shots to the American team's ONE shot of 1 1/4 oz. Could they possibly have chosen to be under/outgunned????

I always enjoy this Baker Gunner cover, and only wish I had a full size image smile


Last edited by Drew Hause; 04/14/13 08:53 PM.
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Hey this is fun! I love arguing about stuff that only blondes and brunettes would understand.

For the edification of our poor brethren across the raging Atlantic (y'all like to say pond, don't you.....it sounds so much more sophisticated) and for those on this side who would like to go back, I present a glimpse of 99% of the American market of 1895:



If we feed our faith our fears will starve, if we feed our fears our faith will starve.
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Mr. Wood: You make my point for me. This thread started out with someone taking umbrage at Mr. Hadoke's assessment of the quality of American guns at the turn of the last Century. For all of the various reasons you state above, the need and use for a shotgun was different here than in England. In many ways, that situation hasn't really changed much. The vast majority of guns sold here today are to sportsmen that can really only afford one good gun. That is where many of us start our shooting careers. I am a huge fan of our early double guns and their history. They were both affordable and enduring. I grew up in an LC Smith household and think of them fondly still. But.....when I'm going to be walking all day in pursuit of game, my nostalgia doesn't overwhelm my need for a lighter & better balanced gun. We all like what we like for our own reasons. With that said however, English game guns were, indeed, more highly evolved in the 1890s than our own domestically produced products. Ignoring that reality because we so blindly love our own historic products simply isn't rational. The reason that your DH Parkers are so enjoyable is that they are fairly close copies of basic English game gun designs.

Last edited by Lloyd3; 04/14/13 11:43 PM.
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Originally Posted By: Ted Schefelbein
The only people I know who claim an LC Smith is as good or better than an English gun are those who are unfamiliar with a Lefever.

Best,
Ted


Ted, you probably don't know Nick Makinson then, tho' you may well have heard of him. Ontario based now, he apprenticed in the English gun trade with B. Wild & Sons, I believe. For years, later, his company supplied barrels, actions and other parts to the trade, including Churchill and Atkin, Grant & Lang.

Nick did a video many years ago, in VHS format, on the L.C. Smith gun, giving it extremely high praise while disassembling one and showing the proper cleaning and maintenance techniques. I called him to talk after buying and watching it. During our conversation I asked him why Smiths were more prone to cracking behind the lockplates than other sidelocks. He replied, rather pointedly, that they are not. He said that any sidelock that the owner allows the pins (screws) to become slack on is just as prone to cracking as the Smith, implying that maybe, just maybe, that problem arose from the lack of maintenance attention given American field guns as compared to the average British sidelock gun.(?)

Do you suppose that Nick, with his vast knowledge of the British gun, is somehow able to rise above the condescending attitude of many Britishers (and Americans obsessed with anything Brit) toward American built guns? Or, is it simply that he spent all that time in the British gun trade and just doesn't know anything about a Lefever?

Hmmmm?

SRH


"With one foot in the grave ..........and one foot on the pedal, I was born a Rebel" T.P.
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I think if I had a buck for every 'Smith I've ever seen that was cracked, I could fund a pretty nice English boxlock purchase.

I also think if the screws came loose on THAT MANY guns of the same design, you have a bigger problem than lack of maintenance. How many cracked English boxlocks have graced the pages of TDJ?

There have been PLENTY of cracked "Smiths in there for all the world to see.

An LC Smith is to gunmaking what Grandma Moses is to art.

Primitive.

Best,
Ted

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Originally Posted By: Ted Schefelbein
There have been PLENTY of cracked "Smiths in there for all the world to see.
Best,
Ted


I've seen quite a few myself, Ted. And, according to Nick, he has seen quite a few English sidelocks crack for the same reason. Don't let that interfere with your personal assessment, though. It's just an English gunmaker's opinion, not mine.

SRH


"With one foot in the grave ..........and one foot on the pedal, I was born a Rebel" T.P.
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