Premier Firearms Auction
May 12, 13 & 14, 2023
SCARCE & DESIRABLE EARLY L.C. SMITH 5E GRADE SHOTGUN.
Cal. 12 Ga. 2 3/4″
S# 2195 (1897)
The #5 grade was offered between 1892 & 1913; only 414 were made in 12 ga. After 1913, the quality 5 became the crown grade. This gun has 30″ crown steel barrels. (per factory letter) engraved “MADE TO ORDER BY THE HUNTER ARMS CO. FULTON N.Y. CROWN STEEL” on matted game rib. 1″ Triangles of scroll are at breech ends & narrow geometric bands are engraved around muzzles. Barrel flats are stamped with serial number. “5E” is stamped on splinter. Case hardened early type action features non-automatic safety, bushed firing pins, & double triggers. Water table is stamped with patent dates & serial number. Action has nicely filed beads around fences & is engraved with about 50% coverage nicely cut sprays of scroll within line & geometric borders. Lockplates are near fully engraved with scroll, flowers & acanthus leaves. Geometric bordering continues; all surrounding central oval vignettes of semi relief engraved dogs in nicely detailed settings. A pair of setters are on left side, front one is pointing to an unseen bird under a large tree. Right side depicts a pair of pointers on edge of meadow, one to rear is pointing. Trigger guard has oval on bow with 3 partridge at center framed by “GH VINEYARD” at top & “ST. JOSEPH MO.” at bottom (Possibly George Hoagland Vineyard, born 1880, St. Joseph MO. The 1940s census lists their home value at $20,000 & that he owned a real estate business. He was the father of George Hoagland Vineyard (no Jr. given), a solid state physicist who was appointed Chairman of the Department of Physics of the Brookhaven National Labratory. However, seeing as the elder G. H. Vineyard would have been 17 years old when this gun was delivered, the most likely recipient was his father. Further research should reveal more about this family). Serial number is on trigger guard tang. Capped long pistol grip buttstock of well marbled & nicely figurd European walnut measures 14 1/4″ over ribbed hard rubber buttplate. Point pattern checkering with slight flare toward comb wraps over top of grip. Matching splinter ejector forend with inlet hard rubber tip has J-spring release with early type secondary sliding button release in circular escutcheon.
MEASUREMENTS: BBLS: Bore Diameter: R .723″, L 725″. Restriction: R .038 (EXTRA FULL), L .040″ (EXTRA FULL). Min. Wall Thickness: R .030″, L .032″. STOCK: DAH: 3 3/8″. DAC: 2″. LOP: 14 1/4″. CAST: neutral. WEIGHT: 7 lb. 13 oz.
UNATTACHED ACCESSORIES: aforementioned factory letter which confirms specifications & states gun was shipped December 17, 1897 to the Akhurt Eberly Arms Company (also of St. Josephs, MO).