Sold for $2275.00
Make: L.C. Smith
Model: Ideal Grade Featherweight
Serial Number: FWE9538
Year of Manufacture: 1919 (“L.C. Smith Production Records” by Stubbendieck)
Gauge: 16 GA with 2 9/16” Shells
Action Type: Top Lever Opening Sidelock Double Barreled Shotgun With Ejectors
Markings: The top of the right barrel is marked “-L.C. SMITH Ideal GRADE-”, the top of the left is marked “HUNTER ARMS CO. INC. M’F’R’S FULTON, N.Y., U.S.A”. The bottom of each barrel is marked “LONDON STEEL”. The left barrel flat is marked “FWE9539 / I” and each barrel flat has a nitro proof. The inside of the forend iron is marked “FWE / 9539 / I”. Each side plate is marked “L.C. SMITH”. The right of the water table is marked “FWE 9538 / I”. The receiver and sideplates have Ideal Grade oak-leaf engraving. The bottom tang is marked “FWE 9539”. It is not clear why the water table serial marking is one digit off from the others, it is possible that this was a factory error.
Barrel Length: 32″
Choke: Both Full, Both Fixed
Sights / Optics: There is a white bead fixed to the front of the rib and a smaller white mid-bead. The top of the rib is finely checkered for glare reduction.
Weight: 6 lb., 10.0 oz.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The stocks are two-piece checkered walnut with a splinter forend with triangular ebony tip, straight grip, straight comb and brown rubber Old English buttpad. The stocks have a few light nicks, scuffs and scratches, most toward the rear of the buttstock. The checkering is well defined. There are no chips or cracks The LOP measures 14 1/2” and 13 1/2” from the fronts of the triggers to the back of the buttpad, 13 1/2″ and 12 1/2″ to the back of the wood. The pad has some discoloration and light wear around the edges, it is still fairly supple. The drop at comb is 1 5/8″ and the drop at heel is 2 3/4″. The stocks rate in Fine condition as refinished or replaced.
Type of Finish: Blue & Case Color
Finish Originality: Professionally Restored
Bore Condition: The bores are bright. There is no erosion in the bores.
Overall Condition: This shotgun retains about 96% of its current metal finish. The finish is generally strong throughout with some slight muting in the case color toward the bottom-front of the receiver and a few scattered minor marks. The screw heads range from sharp to tool marked with strong slots. The markings are clear. Overall, this shotgun is in Fine condition as restored.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The barrels lock solidly to the frame. The safety is three-position. The middle “safe” and both front and rear for “fire”. The safety does not engage automatically when the action is opened from either “fire” position, but functions properly when engaged manually. We have not fired this shotgun. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: None.
Our Assessment: The history of the L.C. Smith firearms is quite interesting. L. C. Smith formed a partnership with L. H. Smith and W.H. Baker to manufacture a three-barrel gun in 1879. L. C. Smith took over the company in 1880 and in 1884 began manufacturing hammer shotguns. Smith became interested in a new-fangled invention called the typewriter, and sold the company in 1888 to John Hunter. Smith went on to form the Smith-Corona company and became a world leader in the manufacture of typewriters. The L. C. Smith shotguns manufactured by Hunter Arms went on to become some of the highest quality shotguns made in the United States.
This is an L. C. Smith Ideal Grade Featherweight shotgun made in 1919, chambered in 16 gauge with 32″ barrels. The gun has been quite skillfully restored and doesn’t appear to have seen much use since. This would make a great addition to any L.C. Smith, double-barrel, American, or really any shotgun collection and would also be a good candidate for returning to the field. Please see our photos and good luck!