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Joined: Nov 2014
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Team,
I have inherited my Grandfather's LC Smith 20ga FeatherWeight SxS he bought in 1947 after he came back from the war. The stories of "We used to sit on the hood of the car and shoot Pheasants as they flushed from gravel roads in South Dakota" are amusing!

So,
I've had a small stock crack professionally fixed, checkering re-cut (it was worn smooth), stock refinished, and the chambers opened up to a true 2 3/4" (the gun is marked 20ga 2 3/4", but the chambers measured short).

SO, on to my quesiton:
when the gunsmith who opened the chambers inspected the gun, he said to me it is a good gun for hunting but suggested I not shoot 'a ton of clays' with it, as the old guns are just not made to take this kind of use.

I'm curious, what kind of use can I realistically give this gun if I want to shoot a few rounds of clays with it every now and then. I shot a 100 round of clays with it today and had a lot of fun. Enjoyed it, but don't want to abuse the girl.

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just my opinion, it is more important what shell/load you shoot than the qty. When I first got into doubles I traded a few LC's for an english boxlock. Because it was light I shot light loads, a lot of them. I think I averaged 5,000 a year for several years and saw absolutely no wear on that gun. Obviously if you put 20,000 rounds through it there will likely be wear on the lock up.


This ain't a dress rehearsal
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Mild 7/8 oz. loads. You can’t hurt it.
JR


Be strong, be of good courage.
God bless America, long live the Republic.
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bls Offline OP
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Good points... I am not about to go order a case of RSTs for this (that is, even if RSTs were available right now)>

I plan to stick with 7/8oz ..2 1/2Dram Eq. of Rem Gun Clubs, Federals at 7.5 or 8s. That will be the same for Woodcock, Grouse and Clays.
For the Pheasant season, it'll be a standard type hunting load (nothing crazy) and it wown't be more than 100 of those a year.

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and if the wood cracks, just glue her up an keep on shootin...


May The Christmas Spirit Infect Us All...
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Not so sure I agree with that approach, Eddie. I have 4 12 gauge L.C. Smiths, all graded and with ejectors and DT== Oldest is a 4E mfg. 1909, a pigeon grade made in 1911, a Ideal Longrange made in 1928, and a Ideal FWE made in 1945. I only shoot RST low velocity target loads in them- I have never shot a 3" or a steel load in my Longrange, nor do I ever plan too. The 4E is the main gun I use for SC's--28" Imp. Cyl & Mod. (sometimes the Pigeon, 28" Imp. Cyl. and Full) all have years of careful use, no cracks in the locks or grip areas-- If I were fortunate to own comparable London Bests-instead of these "Elsie"- I would also use RST exclusively in them as well. Pre-1913 Smiths have one other factor in their favor--Better American Walnut was available, once WW1 got rollin'-lotsa good crotch walnut in American timberlands got turned into rifle stocks and airplane propellers. RWTF


When The Man In Black Comes Around- Rev: 6-8
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Pre-1913 Elsies had French walnut stocks, not American walnut, RWTF.
JR


Be strong, be of good courage.
God bless America, long live the Republic.
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Use low pressure loads for all your shooting and that Elsie will outlast you. I think Elsies have an undeserved reputation on their quality. I have two, including my granddad’s 12GA. I’ve shot the sh!t out of them using low pressure loads and never had a problem. I think at one point, keith posted a thread showing what it took to get a set of Elsie barrels to fail. As I recall, it took a surprising amount of abuse, but I don’t recall the details. Maybe he’ll chime in on it. Your granddad’s 20 is a nice gun BTW.


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Interesting--even the OO grades? The Pigeon Grade 12 I own has almost an ebony look to the wood, both buttstock and forearm, fine even grain. Would it be fair to assume that France and other walnut producing European Countries saw their consumption of fine Bastogne walnut going into rifle stocks, Broomhandled C96 Mausers, and propellors for Spads, Nieports, and Sopwith Camels, instead of Purdey, Boss et al.?? RWTF


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"Interesting--even the OO grades?"

Yes according the pre-13 catalogs, the Grade OO gun was fitted with "English walnut stock; half pistol, checkered and well finished". In fact, and according to period catalogs, even the cheapest hammer gun model had an English walnut stock; but wood was obviously plain grained on lower end models. When the company changed their grades line-up in 1913 a decision was made to switch stock wood from English to the less expensive American black walnut.

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