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A Little LeFever Christmas Eye Candy
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Pine Creek/Dave
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2016 3:35 pm    Post subject: A Little LeFever Christmas Eye Candy Reply with quote

Gentlemen,

This is one of my 1st posts on the LeFever Forum, I do a lot of Grouse/Woodcock and Pheasant hunting here in our Potter/Tioga, Pa mountains.
Recently my wonder wife presented me with an early Christmas present, so I could use her this 2nd part of Grouse Season. I thought you gentlemen might appreciate some pictures of her. I also want to thank Kirk (kgb) for telling me about this LeFever Forum.

We hope that Christmas at your home is every bit as nice as at ours.

Merry Christmas!
Pine Creek/Dave

My one of a kind 12 Gauge 1916 LeFever/Ithaca Cross Over Double Gun. With SpredR's shells, she is one deadly Pheasant, Grouse & Woodcock Gun.
Very few of these high grade cross over guns were produced, I am very proud to own one.







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bmdgunstocks
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2016 11:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am not sure what you mean by Cross-over gun. Never heard of such a thing.

This gun is actually just a "upgraded" or custom embellished Lefever Nitro Special. I put the upgraded in quotes because technically it is not an upgrade since it is not accurately emulating any higher grade, it is just simply someones idea of a custom embellished gun.
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B. Dudley
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2-Piper
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2016 3:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Serial number would be interesting. Ithaca is not supposed to have introduced the Nitro Special until 1921. Obviously this is not one of the side plated Lefever Arms Co guns which is what was being built in 1916.
It does look like a fancied up NS, but should be later than 1916 if that's what it is.
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Miller
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Sentry44
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2016 9:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pine Creek/Dave,

That's some very interesting engraving! What you have there is a Nitro Special, made by Ithaca Gun Co. When the Lefever Arms Co. folded around 1916, Ithaca bought the assets, most important of which was the rights to the name "Lefever Arms Co." Then starting in the early 1920's, Ithaca put the name to work when they introduced a mid-quality line of guns.

If you add up the Nitro Special, A Grade, and single barrel trap guns that Ithaca produced labeled "Lefever Arms," its quite a sum. In fact, as such, its an oddity of history that 80% of all the guns ever made which bear the name Lefever on them...have nothing to do with Dan Lefever. Ithaca very shrewdly capitalized upon his name decades after he was dead.

This is why you will sometimes see people refer to "real Lefevers" on this and other forums. Or alternatively, to "Syracuse Lefevers."

This isnt a put down on your gun! Nitros are good guns. But if you ever get your hands on an actual Lefever you will understand its a different animal entirely.

- Sentry
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Pine Creek/Dave
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2016 3:29 pm    Post subject: LeFever Christmas Eye Candy Reply with quote

Gentlemen,
Thanks much for the comments on my post, having owned my Grandfathers 5B LeFever double gun, I know the difference between the guns.
The Ithaca made LeFever guns seem to run the full spectrum of Quality, which is why I posted the pictures of my LeFever Arms Company, Ithaca double gun. Ithaca just after purchasing the LeFever in 1916 made some darn fine double guns with the LeFever Arms company name on them, both with the original parts and their new Nitro Special engineering design, this one of a kind LeFever/Ithaca double gun, made at the LeFever Arms Company, Ithaca, NY happens to be one of those few high grade guns. Bill Brophy owned one of these particular high grade guns, and called it a LeFever Cross over gun. I liked his reasoning on identifying these few guns, and identified this LeFever/Ithaca made gun in that manner. You will probably never hear or see the term anywhere else. For those people who believe that the original LeFever double guns were much higher quality guns than the LeFever/Ithaca guns, for the most part I agree that the engineering is different, however in no way is it lower in quality, nobody knows however what Uncle Dan would have done as he moved on in his never ending advancement of Master Gun Making. Ithaca after purchasing LeFever, and with L.C. Smith's older brother's background and knowledge, Leroy Smith used an altered engineering version, of the Brown Rotary Bolt in the LeFever/Ithaca Nitro Special, making them a serious Boxlock double gun in their own right. Hunter Arms Legend has it that the underpinning design/engineering, of the LeFever/Ithaca Nitro Special, that matches the LeFever Nitro Special Rotary Bolt, was actually Uncle Dan's new engineering work left behind at the LeFever when he passed away, and the main reason Hunter Arms did not bring Patent Infringement legal action against the Ithaca Arms Company (Leroy Smith & Baker). Of course this is all Legend, however one thing is for sure, Hunter Arms did not file legal action against Ithaca Arms, and the underpinned Rotary Bolt design. Could it be that Uncle Dan was about to one up, Alexander T. Brown with his own completely different, Rotary Bolt Engineering/Design work, which included underpinning. Unfortunately because of his death the world will never know.


44,
Having had to sell my Grandfathers 5B LeFever double gun to pay for my deaf daughters college education, I willingly admit to one of the biggest mistakes of my life, and would love to have the gun back in our gun safe. Further I would like to talk to Walt Snyder some day and see if he might know anything about this particular LeFever/Ithaca Double Gun.

Pine Creek/Dave






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bmdgunstocks
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2016 9:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Ithaca Lefevers do NOt use any sort of rotory bolting. Or underlug
Bolting for that matter. They (and the original syracuse lefevers) are single bolted through the rib extension by means of a wedge extension on the top lever.

What i, and others, are trying to communicate to you, which may be difficult to grasp, is that your gun is not any sort of factory built high grade gun. But instead a custom gun that started out as a Lefever Nitro Special. And one that could have been executed a little better, in my opinion.

And, what was the serial number again?
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B. Dudley
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Pine Creek/Dave
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2017 2:53 pm    Post subject: Ithaca made Lefever do us a modified Rotary type Bolt. Reply with quote

bmdgunstocks,
Having heard about the LeFever owners who will not recognize any of the LeFever/Ithaca guns as "true LeFever Guns" it always amazes me especially after owning my Grandfather's 5B LeFever, how these people/collectors want to down play the LeFever/Ithaca guns. Especially after Ithaca saving what was left of the old LeFever Company from complete extinction. The Nitro Special I own was in fact made in the LeFever Arms Plant in Ithaca, NY. Yes and like all other LeFever guns, from all the different LeFever companies, the High Grade Custom engraving was done as an individual contract, LeFever never employed his own engravers for high grade engraving, even in his original companies. I have a lot to learn about the LeFever companies and the history of the guns, however I do know this, very few of these LeFever/Ithaca custom engraved guns, especially with hand carved stocks were made. Further only because of Leroy Smith's personal contact thru L.C. Smith his younger brother, who was close friends with John Hunter Sr, of The Hunter Arms Co. was legal action averted, against the Ithaca Gun Company, by the Hunter Arms, for infringement on the modified Brown Rotary Bolt, that the LeFever Arms Company, owned by Ithaca, used on their LeFever/Ithaca Nitro Special Double guns. Even further I would like to hear more about the supposed "executed a little better" in your opinion. The LeFever Arms Company owned by Ithaca, used most of the same Master Engravers as Hunter Arms & LeFever, until their passing. In fact they most all, engraved for The Hunter Arms Company, one employed directly by Hunter Arms, Al Kraus. Both his Gold & Silver flying & walking Pheasants and Woodcock engravings, were his personal identifying trade marks. If you look on page 87 of the Uncle Dan Master Gun Maker Book, you will see his Woodcock Engaging on the Special Order 10 Gauge LeFever gun. His deep relief flying & walking Pheasant's are Elsie double gun hi grade engraving trade marks. A. E. Spangler's Pointing Dog heads and bodies are his personal identifying engraving trade marks, his engravings are all over the Hunter Arms high grade guns & LeFever high grades also, and both appear on this particular one of a kind LeFever/Ithaca Nitro Special double gun. Further all you need to know about the SN of this LeFever/Ithaca is that the SN is above 100,000, making it a LeFever Arms Co made gun, owned by the Ithaca Gun company, produced between 1919-1922, I post no SN#'s of my good double guns on the internet. As I indicated before, I would very much like to talk with Walt Snyder about these particular guns, I was hoping he would know something about them.
As Larry Brown indicated he maybe the only one who might have knowledge of these particular hi grade LeFever/Ithaca made double guns, with Special Order Engravings.

Pine Creek/Dave


Kraus's signature Woodcock engraving as seen on both Elsie and LeFever graded double guns.

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Last edited by Pine Creek/Dave on Sun Jan 01, 2017 5:41 pm; edited 1 time in total
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sidebyside16
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2017 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with you Pine Creek/Dave. You do have a lot to learn about Lefever guns.

You can start by listening to Mr. Dudley, Sentry 44, and others who have politely and correctly informed you that what you have here is nothing more than an Ithaca Lefever Nitro Special that has been embellished with added engraving and stock carving after it left the factory.
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Pine Creek/Dave
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2017 6:15 pm    Post subject: Some how you missed the point also Reply with quote

SxS 16,
You completely missed the point, all LeFever guns were individually contacted for high grade engraving, how is this LeFever/Ithaca any different than the embellishment of the originals, all were contracted individually. You have no idea as to how this gun was ordered, and that is exactly why I wish to talk to Walt Snyder, or somebody who actually knows, who might actually be able to guide me to the original owner, to acquire that real information. Unfortunately I have not been able to find the original 1st owner of this LeFever double gun, the gun was acquired thru a blind purchase with more than a few other high grade double guns. You are just guessing as to how this gun was originally ordered, form the LeFever Arms Company. You and the others are trying your best to make this gun an individual embellished upgrade, however this is now the 2nd LeFever Nitro Special I have seen with this type high grade engraving. Myself I am trying to learn how this gun was actually ordered and engraved, so far I have no proof of any embellishment by original purchaser or special order documents either. If you happen to actually know the history of this particular gun, please produce it. Other wise you and the others are just guessing, no matter how learned the group happens to be on LeFever guns. For some unknown reason you all want it to be a certain way very badly, without actual proof.

I say again all LeFever guns from all eras were individually contracted for high grade engraving, including this LeFever/Ithaca Nitro Special. How it was actually done, is the investigative work I want to accomplish. It very well maybe a LeFever/Ithaca Special Ordered gun, if so I want to know, the 1st owners identity, and I would love to have the original purchasing documents, whether the gun was upgraded by the purchaser, or contracted by the LeFever Arms Ithaca Company, makes no difference to me. I would like to acquire the guns real documentation.

Pine Creek/Dave
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Last edited by Pine Creek/Dave on Sun Jan 01, 2017 6:55 pm; edited 1 time in total
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bmdgunstocks
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2017 6:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok... i will say this in maybe a little more direct and maybe a little less politely.

Your Lefever was built at the Ithaca Factory as a standard Lefever Nitro Special. And after it was shipped to the sporting goods store that sold it, the gun likely never again saw the inside of the Ithaca factory.

Then at some time in its life, it fell into the hands of an Amatuer engraver and an Amatuer wood carver that may or may not have been using sharp gouges. And the subject poorly exectuted custom Nitro Special was created. And then sold any number of times looking for the buyer who would think it was more than it was.

As they say, acceptance is the first step towards recovery.

I wont say anything else about the topic since I woukd be better off just banging my head against the wall.
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B. Dudley
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Pine Creek/Dave
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2017 7:07 pm    Post subject: Amateur engraving - please say no more. Reply with quote

bmd,
Please keep banging your head, my back ground with L.C. Smith guns is vast and I know the engraving by sight, having been taught what to look for by Bill Brophy, and others, of the Hunter Arms Company, along with John Houchins. The stock carving is definitely not any kind simple amateur either, this is why I want actual proof of how this particular gun was made, you definitely have no idea what you are actually talking about. You definitely do way to much guessing. Please do not damage the wall to badly.

Your input was amusing however,
Pine Creek/Dave
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2-Piper
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2017 7:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Show us a close up of the "Rotary Bolt". I have never seen a Lefever with a rotary bolt or a bolt which in any way infringed upon Alexander Browns patent. In fact Lefever was using the wedge bolt in a slotted rib extension prior to the introduction of Brown's rotary bolt by L C Smith.
PS; Would still like to see the Serial Number. Haave never heard of any Ithaca Lefever, other than the ones they built/assembled on the Original LAC design with a number below 100,000. This put the dates starting in 1921 as I recall.
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Sentry44
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2017 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pine Creek/Dave,

Lets just step back and have a breath here, as there are several different issues at play in this dialogue.

1. Is it possible your engraving waa actually done by Ithaca? I guess perhaps as a "lunchtime special" by one of the Ithaca guys making it for himself. But as to it being done for a customer, my belief is no, and for 2 reasons. Firstly, out of the 260,000 or so Nitro Specials that Ithaca ever produced, this is the first that I have ever seen embellished so. And secondly, remember that Ithaca marketed the Nitro Special as a mid-line gun, sitting between their Western Arms line, and the NID. So considering the price points, it seems highly unlikely that Ithaca would sell a gun from its mid-line which essentially superceded an NID.

Consider that GM simply NEVER would allow an Oldsmobile to go out the door with more options than a Cadillac, becase they needed to protect their own brand and pricing integrity.

2. While Ithaca did form a new "Lefever" entity there, there NEVER EVER was a distinct Lefever Arms Co. FACTORY in Ithaca, NY that was in any way a continuation of the old company. It was just a trade name at that point, and those guns were made in the same place as Ithaca amd Western Arms gums were. You see, there's a big distinction between operating under a trade name, and having anything to do with the original company.
Thus is the same today with so many great old American manufacturing names...which are now nothing more than a logo that a Chinese factory slaps on a tool. Vwrmont Castings wood stoves are NOT made in Vermont anymore.

3. Ithaca did not own Dan Lefever's patents. As such, if Ithaca had ever incorporated any of Dan's designs onto a gun, they'd have had to declare it RIGHT ON the gun. This too, I have never seen.

We respect anyone who wants to contribute, but please consider that you arent going to stroll into the very center of the Lefever knowledge universe and blow everone away with some previously unknown major facts. The collective number of research years on this forum is...sizable.

- Sentry
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2-Piper
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2017 8:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SN's of Lefever Arms Co, Ithaca New York guns;
Nitro Special #'s 100,000 - 299,999 = 1921 through 1935
Nitro Special #'s 325,000 - 361,199 = 1935 through 1947.
Lefever A Grade #'s 300,000 - 302,486 = 1934 through 1939.
There is no indication that any guns were built under the "Ithaca" design prior to 1921.
It appears that all guns built or assembled between 1916 & 1921 by Ithaca #At Ithaca NY" were of the original Lefever Arms Co Design.
As to engraving when one ordered a high Lefever the engraving was handled by LAC, regardless of who did it or where. The engraving was not the last step prior to the gun leaving the factory. While it was possible to order custom engraving there were standard catalog patterns of engraving for the different grades of guns which one could simply order that grade of gun from the factory or a dealer & that was what they would receive.
This gun does not fit any description of anything ever offered by either Lefever or Ithaca.
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Joe Stromski
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2017 10:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

See also:Guns International item #100689722
No connection here.
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