Sold For: $1,460
Make: L. C. Smith
Model: Ideal Grade
Serial Number: 353306
Year of Manufacture: 1916
Gauge: 12 Gauge, 2 ¾” Shells
Action Type: Top Lever Break, Side by Side (SxS) with Double Triggers and Extractor
Markings: The top of the right barrel is marked “L.C. SMITH Ideal GRADE” with “Ideal” in script. The top of the left barrel is marked “HUNTER ARMS CO. M’F’R’S FULTON, N.Y.” The undersides of both barrels are marked “C” with a very faint “4” over “4” and a clear ‘LONDON STEEL”. The left barrel flat is marked “353306” over an upside down “1” (or more likely an incompletely stamped “I”.) The front of the lug that retains the forearm is marked with an “R” and the rear is marked with an “S”. The inside of the forearm hardware is marked “3533206” and “PAT. APLD. FOR”. The right barrel flat is marked “353306” over an upside down “1” (or more likely an incompletely stamped “I”.) Both side plates are marked “L. C. SMITH” and engraved with oak leaves. The lower tang is marked “353306”.
Barrel Length: 30”
Choke: The right barrel has about .027” constriction, roughly Improved Modified. The left barrel has about .030” constriction, roughly Full choke.
Sights / Optics: This shotgun is mounted with a small white mid-rib bead and a larger white bead front sight. Both beads have taken on a slightly yellow cast with age.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The stocks are checkered walnut. The forearm has an inlet ebony tip, some handling and compression marks with some thinning of the varnish at the very rear. There are no chips, cracks or scratches in the forearm. The buttstock has a checkered pistol grip with a finely checkered black grip cap. The grip cap is missing a few small chips, but from so long ago that they have smoothed at the edges. There are perhaps two checkered points damaged on the right lower rear of the pistol grip, otherwise the checkering in unmarred. The buttstock has some light handling and compression marks with some thinning of the varnish scattered towards the rear. The right side of the buttstock shows two tight cracks leaving the rear of the right sideplate. The top one turns back and connects with the right side rear of the upper tang. Please see the photos for a detailed look, it reads much worse than it looks. The LOP measures 13 7/8” from the front of the forward trigger to the back of the serrated black buttplate. The LOP from the rear trigger is about 1” less. The buttplate shows fine scratches and light compression marks, the most notable of which is about midway on the right edge. Both the forearm and the buttstock appear to have been refinished. The stocks rate in about Very Good Plus overall condition for a hundred year old field gun.
Type of Finish: Blue Barrels and Case Colored Receiver
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bores are bright. There is no erosion.
Overall Condition: This shotgun retains about 98% of its metal finish. The balance of the finish shows some fine small light marks through the finish on the rib and the barrels near the front sight. The underside of the receiver has an about 1 ½” long scratch that can barely be felt with a fingernail. The case coloring and engraving of the receiver is surprisingly strong for its age. The screw heads are mildly distressed showing marks of a screwdriver. The markings are clear except as discussed. Overall, this shotgun rates in about Fine condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The safety works as an auto safety if left in the forward position and as a manual safety if left in the rearward position. We have not fired this shotgun.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: None
Our Assessment: This is an Ideal grade 12 gauge L.C. Smith made in 1916. It has been well maintained and stored properly. It has 30” barrels with Improved Modified and Full chokes, double triggers and an auto extractor. The stock has two tight cracks on the right side of the buttstock at the side plate and the wood has been refinished, but is quite good for a field gun that is approaching its one hundredth birthday. The oak leaf engraving on the side plates is still sharp and their case coloring is still strong. This is a great find for you Elsie fans.