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1929 Ithaca Made Lefever 12 Gauge

 
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mpars0032
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Joined: 27 Jun 2009
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2009 4:02 pm    Post subject: 1929 Ithaca Made Lefever 12 Gauge Reply with quote

I inherited a 1929 Ithaca made Lefever, Nitro Special, 12 gauge double barrel shotgun. The barrel length is 30 inches and appears to be “fluid steel”. I don’t think it’s a Damascus. Serial number is 290458, which puts its production in 1929.

This piece I know is not worth a lot of money, but as my grandfather’s shotgun and a family heirloom it’s priceless in my eyes. I would like to know the approximate value of this shotgun. I got most of the history off the internet.

I would like to know if it would be safe to shoot. I know that a gunsmith would be the best option to determine its safety, but have read that the “Nitro Special” of this era is a heavy duty barrel and should be safe to shoot. Does anyone think shooting “magnum” loads through the barrels is a good idea? I do know not to run “steel shot” through it. I’ve made an attempt to upload numerous pictures to give everyone an idea of its condition. I do not know how to classify bluing on this piece. It looks like it has none.

There is a dent on each barrel’s exterior of which I’ve taken a picture of. Would this in itself preclude this gun from being fired?
When I was cleaning the gun, I noticed what appears to be a “patch” on the left side of the stock in front of the safety lever. If it is a patch, it was a very good one as I cannot feel the separation or joint between the patch and the stock.

The recoil butt plate is an after market piece and would reduce the price of this shotgun as I have read. I know where I can pick up an original Lefever butt plate to increase the value, but would leave the recoil pad on it as it was how my grandfather used it.

I hope I have given enough attention to detail to give the reader an accurate assessment. I can take more pictures of any area of the gun that anyone needs. I have taken several shots of the “stampings” on the shotgun. Thanks for any help.







Dent on left barrel:



Dent on right barrel:





Patch on stock:























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DrBob
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Joined: 04 Mar 2007
Posts: 529
Location: Fairview, NC

PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2009 7:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The dents in the barrels are a little worrisome. They can be esily taken care of but I woiuld'nt advise shooting it until you do.

The best idea you can get as to its worth is by checking GunsAmerica.com and search for Lefever. There are usually several Nirtospecials on there. To be honest, since this is not a collector's item replacing the pad isn't going to make much difference.

If the barrels are repaired I would advise against magnum loads. I would only shoot standard 2 1/2 inch lead field loads. You can still get a pretty good bang out of those.

If you want to se what you can really do with it check out the Nitro in the photo section of this forum.
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mpars0032
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Joined: 27 Jun 2009
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2009 8:31 pm    Post subject: Dents in Barrel Reply with quote

Thanks for the info.

I didn't think the dents could be taken out. How is that done? No doubt by a gunsmith, but how do they do it?
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DrBob
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2009 8:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You've got me. You send them some money along with the barrels and they come back without dents in them.
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2-Piper
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Location: Lynchburg, TN

PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2009 8:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are several methods of doing this. The oldest is to use various sizes of plugs which are pushed down the bbl beneath the dent. Using the tight fitting plug as an anvil one then taps around the dent with a small hammer, raising it. As it raises larger plugs are used until it comes up flush.
2nd method is very similar except an expanding plug is used rather than a series of solid ones.
3rd is to use a plug which is expanded hydrauliclly & the dent is simply pushed out from inside. These hydraulic expanders are rather expensive & great care has to be excerized in their use or one can "Bulge" the bbl.
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ssjim
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Joined: 07 Dec 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2009 8:40 pm    Post subject: Raising dents Reply with quote

I have used the mechanical device to raise dents. It was an English made device that worked on the wedge principle. The operater places the expanding portion of the plug under the dent and tightens the screw until it raised the dent. Brownells carries them . I think they're around a hundred bucks or so. It might be cheaper to buy the tool than have a smith do it. I borrowed one from a smith friend.
I thought most Nitros were 2 3/4 " chambers. I have a 1929 vintage Model 3 Trap Gun and shoot 2 3/4 " Dove and quail loads all day long. You are correct about no steel.
Jim
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2-Piper
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 12:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not absolutely certain, but I also believe all the 12ga nitro's were chambered for the 2 3/4" shell. Early 16ga's were still chambered in the 2 9/16" length I believe.
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