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Forearm Escutcheons
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sidebyside16
Optimus


Joined: 31 Oct 2007
Posts: 579

PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2013 1:21 am    Post subject: Forearm Escutcheons Reply with quote

Recently, in another thread, someone asked about the Dogs Head forearm escutcheon that was used on mostly G grades for a short time. I offered an answer that I think might have been at least partially wrong when I stated that the Dogs Head is often found worn or sanded perfectly smooth. While it is hard to find one that is pristine, and many are worn badly, I noticed that some round escutcheons which are smooth are perfectly flush with the surface although the checkering is still relatively sharp and obviously original.

I have now seen 5 of these 7/8" round escutcheons personally, all on G or H grades, and all in the 27,xxx to 28,xxx serial number range, and all perfectly flush with the surface of the wood on guns that have fair to strong original checkering. I have noticed several others in pictures of guns for sale over the years, and I always assumed they were worn Dogs Heads. But worn Dogs Head escutcheons in the same serial number range all have areas which are well below the surface of the wood, and have at least some trace or outline of the dogs head and the round border. You can see these lower areas in the link to the CSMC reproduction below: http://www.csmcspecials.com/Lefever_Forend_Escutcheon_p/pg151.htm

At first, I thought that these smooth black round escutcheons might be some type of plastic or hard rubber plug that gunsmiths used to replace damaged or missing Dogs Heads. But all 5 that I have examined personally appear identical, something that would be unlikely unless the same gunsmith replaced them all with the same material. I have another forearm on a parts gun that has the round escutcheon completely missing and the mortise is also 7/8" diameter with no evidence of how these were attached to the wood.

I know 5 guns is not a very large universe on which to base an assumption, but it seems possible that a 7/8" round smooth black hard rubber escutcheon is yet another option that was used by the factory. Has anyone else seen these?
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Jack K
Optimus


Joined: 01 Mar 2007
Posts: 132
Location: Delaware

PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2013 12:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've seen them as well. Like you, at first I thought they were some sort of replacement for the dogs head insert that had broken. But after seeing several I realized that the wood was in very good condition and that these were probably not replacements but a "different" insert that no-one talked about; the interesting ones having the dogs head.

Jack K
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RichardBrewster
Optimus


Joined: 01 Mar 2007
Posts: 499
Location: New York

PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2013 1:32 pm    Post subject: forend inserts/escutcheons Reply with quote

I saw one bone/ivory escutcheon, a bit larger than the dog's head escutcheon. I don't remember the grade.
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sidebyside16
Optimus


Joined: 31 Oct 2007
Posts: 579

PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2013 1:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

These plain smooth round escutcheons caught my attention again several days ago when I looked at one on a very overpriced H grade at a local shop that was in the 27xxx serial no. range. The next day, I was looking over a 10 Ga. H grade I bought last year with a stock broken through the wrist at the rear tang screw hole. As I was contemplating attempting to repair it or replace it, I noted that it was also in the 27xxx range and had the same smooth round escutcheon. Another interesting thing about this gun is its' light weight for a 10 ga. I weighed the gun along with the broken butt and it is only 7 lbs. 11 oz. with uncut 28" barrels.

I checked another two guns with the same forearm escutcheon, and checked my notes on one I sold a few years ago. All were in the 27xxx serial no. range except one that was a low 28xxx gun. If anyone else has one of these, it would be interesting to hear if they are in this same serial number range.
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2-Piper
Optimus


Joined: 01 Mar 2007
Posts: 647
Location: Lynchburg, TN

PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2013 2:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Theoretically" the lowest grade available in the 27k SN range was G. We are of course talking about Lefevers. Always getting little surprises.
Maybe these were Pre-Production H guns or Maybe they were old actions in stock & finished by Ithaca.
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sidebyside16
Optimus


Joined: 31 Oct 2007
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2013 9:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Miller, Robert Elliot's books show the introduction of the H grade probably occurring in 1897 between S.N. 25556 and 27180. The earliest H I've seen was S.N. 26548. Just my personal opinion, but I think Ithaca gets credit for assembling a lot more sideplate Lefevers than they actually did. After all, they had their own flagship Flues model at the time, and the production numbers of Flues did not have any remarkable jump or decline in the years between 1916 and 1919. Nor were they advertising sideplate Lefevers at fire sale prices. I'd be surprised if Ithaca assembled much more than 5 or 6 thousand sideplate Lefevers total between 1916 and 1919... if that.
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Butcher Shop Lefever
Sideplate


Joined: 07 Oct 2012
Posts: 6
Location: Chicago

PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2013 1:09 pm    Post subject: plain escutcheon Reply with quote

My H grade has the plain escutcheon and is serial # 27986




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Last edited by Butcher Shop Lefever on Sun Jul 07, 2013 2:48 pm; edited 3 times in total
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2-Piper
Optimus


Joined: 01 Mar 2007
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Location: Lynchburg, TN

PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2013 1:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SxS16;
You are right. I was operating from memory & was thinking it was into the 3x,xxx range before the H grade appeared. I do have records of a good number in the mid 2x,xxx range. Even have a list of one with a 24,xxx SN & it has a large hook, obviously built out of sequence.
Elliot also included some Newspaper publishing's indicating the H was not generally made available until 1898 or 99. Possibly a few were made up & put out for trial in 1897.
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sidebyside16
Optimus


Joined: 31 Oct 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2014 7:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's another one that is currently listed on Gunbroker, and it is also in that same 27,000 serial number range. Take a look at picture no. 17.

http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=446736554

I also saw another earlier this year and didn't get around to posting a link for it. I'll have to see if I saved a link to a photo. I think it's time to acknowledge another forend escutcheon type that Robert Elliot did not cover in his books. Since these all seem to be very close in serial number range, perhaps the dogs head escutcheons became unavailable for a short time and these smooth flush fitting types were substituted.
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Chris Teigland
Sideplate


Joined: 07 Mar 2009
Posts: 13
Location: Charlotte,NC

PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2014 10:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a very nice 12 ga. Grade F that has an original dogs head estcutcheon that also has excellent engraving. It is serial number 251xx. My point is the dogs head was also used on guns of higher grade than G and H.
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Marks_21
Optimus


Joined: 24 Mar 2007
Posts: 299
Location: Crockett VA

PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2014 11:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have seen a 3x,xxx. c grade in original condition with a dog head.
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sidebyside16
Optimus


Joined: 31 Oct 2007
Posts: 579

PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2014 12:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, I've seen the Dogs Head escutcheons on grades as high as D, but what I was talking about was the plain smooth round type that is seen far less often than the Dogs Head, yet often enough that it surely must have been factory, if only for a short while. And these, I have not yet seen in any grades other than G and H.
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StubTwist
Sideplate


Joined: 03 Dec 2010
Posts: 57

PostPosted: Sun Oct 12, 2014 10:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My H serial# 25,9XX also has the smooth blank escutcheon. It is in nice original condition large hook design.





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Marks_21
Optimus


Joined: 24 Mar 2007
Posts: 299
Location: Crockett VA

PostPosted: Sun Oct 12, 2014 11:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Borrowing from sxs16's idea above, "dogs head not being available" perhaps for whatever reason the dog head production was stopped, they may have run out of estucheons before they ran out of forends inletted for them and horn or ebony or whatever was the fill in?
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sidebyside16
Optimus


Joined: 31 Oct 2007
Posts: 579

PostPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2014 11:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, Stub Twist's H grade pictured above kind of blows up my theory that the plain smooth forearm escutcheon may have only been used for a very short period of time due to the Dog's Heads type being temporarily unavailable, since his is in the 25xxx serial number range. This is the first I have seen that was outside the 27xxx to 28xxx range. Unless, of course, his H Grade was finished out of sequence. That could also explain why it has the large cocking hook. It certainly is in very nice original condition which indicates that the plain smooth escutcheon is almost 100% certain to be original to the gun.

It's kind of cool to see these interesting variations which appear even in the lower field grade guns.
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