Dewey: could you please explain your animus toward Smith guns; in language a gentleman could understand and appreciate.
Were you not responsible for restoration of the Peary gun in the DGJ article "The Robert E. Peary Gun" by Tom Archer, Volume 21, Issue 3, Page 78?
Is it entirely the gun, or a Smith owner that riled you?
And I'm simply asking, not challenging, and very glad you have returned to gunsmithing/gunbuilding.
I am responsible for the restoration of the Peary gun (as well as a Gifford Simonds owned Crown grade) and numerous other Smiths as well as countless repairs to others, but this in no way constitutes an endorsement of the design. The commissions were taken because I had (have) expenses to meet, and the level of workmanship that I put into those was to the same standards that I hold for myself regardless of what I'm working on. Many people mistakenly assume that my finished work is the result of some "passion" for a particular gun. What many mistake for passion is probably really just OCD.
It is entirely the gun.
No one has me "riled". My thoughts about any individual would never color my analysis of a mechanical device (the reverse might be true, however).
I have many years working on shotguns from every industrialized nation on Earth and I can tell you that there is nothing impressive about any classic-era American shotguns. Once one has seen actual high quality, it becomes difficult to make excuses for guns like the Smith.
Once one disassembles an L.C. Smith for the first time, the level of Rube-Goldbergian design readily becomes apparent. To wit,
- a toplever spindle that is supported by the removable triggerplate at the bottom and held in place by a wholly inadequately sized screw
- wood that the gun simply can not spare is removed to make room for the toplever spindle, leaving two narrow vertical webs to transmit all recoil forces through the stock, this entire area is solid in any Holland-pattern sidelock
- both iterations of the safety mechanism are poorly thought-out and sloppily made
- the cocking system is an answer to a question that nobody asked, and it's not a good one
- the first-type ejectors must have seemed like a clever idea at the time
- the agri-locks, I'm sure that someone will post a photo of the lock from and A2 or some such and say how they're the equal of anything English, German, etc….. they're not, not even with the jeweling and "fancy" bridle
- the use of corrosive flux during barrel assembly that invariably leads to the need to strip and relay the ribs, when you're making more guns than everyone else ya gotta cut some corners to keep production up
- the late (single spring) hammergun lock is an abomination with its single-legged and single-screwed bridle which can ( by design) never serve its primary function of stabilizing the tumbler and sear pivots
Ironically, the best single trigger that was ever available in a classic-era American double came in the Smith. Given the overall average level of gunsmithng competence in America, this is unsurprisingly the most maligned feature of the gun.