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Found a 20 Gauge
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Henn28
Sideplate


Joined: 30 Aug 2015
Posts: 23
Location: New Orleans

PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2016 4:04 pm    Post subject: Found a 20 Gauge Reply with quote

After looking far and wide for a reasonably priced 20 gauge, I was surprised to find one right here at home, being sold at a very fair price by a nice local gent at the New Orleans gun show this last weekend. He had picked it up some time ago at a more rural Louisiana show where, as he put it, "stuff comes out of the woods".

Later vintage DS grade (SN 69,xxx), 28" bbls that are in nice shape, but could be re-blued and cleaned up; choked full/full with 2 1/2" chambers; small frame; 13 7/8" lop to the plastic butt (not sure if it is the original pad, but I need to have a softer pad put on anyway).

I haven't shot it yet, but it seems well taken care of. I've sent the SN to Mr. Noble to either add to his list, or send my any info he's got on the gun, should it be listed already.

Images to follow.

[img][/img]

[img][/img]
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Mills
Sideplate


Joined: 05 May 2014
Posts: 39
Location: Savannah, GA / Hardeeville, SC

PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2016 1:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice catch you got there
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sidebyside16
Optimus


Joined: 31 Oct 2007
Posts: 561

PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2016 4:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, nice catch. I did notice that you mentioned now having a 20 ga. in your thread on grip styles. Some states just seem to have a higher concentration of Lefever's than others, and Louisiana is one of them. The original buttplate would most likely have looked like this;



But some DS grades are also found with the LAC Monogram style buttplate. The one pictured above is commonly referred to as a ring grooved buttplate. This style was also adopted by Ithaca for use on the Nitro Special. If you do have the original buttplate, it would be very wise to keep it with the gun should you decide to install a recoil pad. Just that small nod toward originality will make a difference in value if you ever decide to sell it. Note also that it is difficult to install a recoil pad on a Lefever without altering the buttstock, because the butt has a slight curvature that many gunsmiths will sand flat. It is better to make a thin black spacer that has a curvature to match the existing curve of the butt, and a flat opposite surface to mate with the pad.
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Henn28
Sideplate


Joined: 30 Aug 2015
Posts: 23
Location: New Orleans

PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2016 8:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great advice Sidebyside, thank you. The butt stock is of the grooved variety and is on the gun currently. It has a small chunk missing on the very bottom of the butt end, but other than that is in good shape.

I'll make sure that the gunsmith knows not to mess with the curve of the stock, and I'll hang on to the original plate.

On that note, I had a pad installed 20+ years ago on my DS grade 12 gauge and I certainly didn't know anything about keeping the curve in the butt end of the stock. I have the original LAC Monogram plate, but will need to see if the curve was sanded out of the wood.
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CableguyJJS3
Sideplate


Joined: 17 Feb 2014
Posts: 22

PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2016 10:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Both my DS 20's, my DS 16 and my DS 12 all have this plate on them



I know anything goes with the Lefever brand though!! Nice little gun for sure, enjoy shooting it!!
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sidebyside16
Optimus


Joined: 31 Oct 2007
Posts: 561

PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2016 2:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is very interesting CableguyJJS3. Are all four of those DS grade guns very close in serial number range? I have never seen a Lefever of any grade with that particular style of buttplate. I'm asking about a narrow serial number range as a possible explanation, such as, perhaps they used that style for a very short time due to a shortage of the usual style. The style you pictured is commonly found on Fox and later L.C. Smith guns.

It seems to be somewhat of a mystery as to who the manufacturers of buttplates and grip caps used by U.S. gun makers were. I assume they outsourced them because I've never seen any mention by gun makers of actually making them in house.
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Marks_21
Optimus


Joined: 24 Mar 2007
Posts: 290
Location: Crockett VA

PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2016 9:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm with cable guy. The majority of small bore Lefevers I have seen have had the straight lined plate. I have NEVER owned one with the ring groove plate. This includes at least 2 DS 20 and 2 DS 16s that didn't have pads as well as H, G, and F grades. Here is a picture of a 16 and a 20


Last edited by Marks_21 on Fri Feb 05, 2016 11:48 am; edited 1 time in total
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Henn28
Sideplate


Joined: 30 Aug 2015
Posts: 23
Location: New Orleans

PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2016 10:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I checked my three Lefevers and found:
- My DS 12 gauge has the monogram plate (not on the gun currently). Fortunately the old texas gunsmith in Kingsville who put the rubber pad on 25 years ago kept the curve to the stock when he put the rubber pad on. I wasn't smart enough then to ask him to do so.
[img][/img]

- My 16 gauge didn't have a butt plate at all, but based on this discussion it sounds like the groved one is more appropriate if I were looking to have one fitted ever. The stock has been cut straight across, but the LOP is pretty long so when I have the rubber pad replaced (its quite deteriorated) I'll see if the curve can be put back into the stock. Luckily the LOP is pretty decent.

- The 20 gauge that started this thread has the straight grooved pad and has the nice curve to the stock. The pad has a small piece missing from the bottom as the pic below shows.
[img][/img]
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sidebyside16
Optimus


Joined: 31 Oct 2007
Posts: 561

PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2016 1:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I made not one, but two errors in my last post when I questioned CableguyJJS3 about the buttplates on his DS grade guns. Yesterday, I looked at several DS and I grade Lefevers that belong to me and another collector. 5 DS grade guns had LAC monogram buttplates. 3 had buttplates with the straight grooves as CableguyJJS3 pictured here. 2 of them had the ring groove style. Of the two that had the ring groove style, one was on a DS grade that has the twist dolls head barrels and cocking indicators. Another DS gun with the twist dolls head barrels and cocking indicators had the LAC monogram buttplate, and both of these guns had capped pistol grips. One other DS gun I looked at had a recoil pad installed. So out of 11 DS grades that I checked, only two had the ring groove buttplate. I thought they were much more common.

I had also stated that I never saw an I grade with the LAC monogram buttplate. I looked at 6 different I grades and 3 had the LAC monogram buttplate. Two had the buttplate with straight grooves and one had a recoil pad.

It appears that the ring groove buttplate was used on DS grade guns, but based upon the observations here, it was likely the least used variety. Of course, our collective observations are of less than a few dozen out of the total number produced. It might make for an interesting survey topic in the Lefever Firearms Forum sometime when things are slow. I don't know how I got it in my mind that I hadn't seen any Lefevers with the straight grooved style when I myself own several of them. I even have a 16 ga. G grade with a straight grip stock that has that style buttplate.
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Marks_21
Optimus


Joined: 24 Mar 2007
Posts: 290
Location: Crockett VA

PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2016 2:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is my contention that the straight groove plate has more to do with small bore guns than DS guns. Coincidentally the majority of smalbore guns are DS grade guns. Again in my small sample I have never owned a 12 ga with a plate other than the monogram and only two small ores have had the monogram, a 13k 16F and a 35K 16E.
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CableguyJJS3
Sideplate


Joined: 17 Feb 2014
Posts: 22

PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2016 7:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting that you ask about the serial number range, as all my guns are very close. 16H, 16G, 16DS, 2 20DS's, 12H, 20H are all 69xxx. My 12G's are 50xxx and 27xxx with my 16F 10xxx All the graded stuff has the LAC monogram plate except the 16g, someone added a pad long before I got it, and the 20H was a project when I bought it and had no plate. Also someone mentioned capped grips on a DS, that's not anything I'd ever seen, all my DS have that half round knob. And from what I can tell the straight grooved plate is identical to the L.C. Smiths, but just a touch different than my Sterlingworths. I like the poll idea, the varieties in these things is fascinating to me, love the discussion fellas!!! Jim
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Henn28
Sideplate


Joined: 30 Aug 2015
Posts: 23
Location: New Orleans

PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2016 3:58 am    Post subject: Butt plate size Reply with quote

Gents,
On the same general topic of buttplates...are there different sizes or does the gunsmith have to work some sizing magic? Specifically I'm thinking of my 16 gauge H grade with a slimmer stock that only had a disintegrating rubber pad. When I get a new rubber pad put on perhaps I'll get a plastic one to keep with it, authenticity sake.

I'd be interested in seeing the results of a poll to see if there may have been any logic to the types and styles of factory plates on the guns.
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sidebyside16
Optimus


Joined: 31 Oct 2007
Posts: 561

PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2016 6:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

At least with the LAC monogram buttplate, it appears there were different sizes and styles. Thus, a larger one could be used on a stock with a longer wider butt end. There was a style of LAC monogram buttplate that was about 3/4" thick that was used on a few earlier guns. I also have one of these thicker buttplates that has a spur or widows peak at the top or heel.

Here's one that I haven't seen before:

http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=541461135

Look at pictures 21 and 28. Here we have an H grade with a buttplate with straight incised lines. But the lines extend past the lower screw hole, and the buttplate has the spur or widows peak inlet into the heel of the stock. Photo # 3 does appear to show the correct curvature to the wood at the butt end. I suppose it's possible that this is a non-original replacement. The screw slots aren't timed at 12:00 and 6:00, but most of the other screws on the rest of the gun are also timed incorrectly. Has anyone else seen this style of buttplate used on a Lefever?
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terry buffum
Optimus


Joined: 03 Jul 2008
Posts: 328
Location: Bend, OR

PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2016 6:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lower screw in plate looks to be about 1" higher than normal. My guess is it is a replacement plate very similar to the factory plates shown above.
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sidebyside16
Optimus


Joined: 31 Oct 2007
Posts: 561

PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2016 12:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's an HE grade Lefever that has the ring groove style buttplate:

http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=539566325

See photo number 41. I don't recall ever seeing the ring groove buttplate on any sideplate Lefevers other than the DS grade. This gun looks unmolested, and the buttplate sure looks well fitted and original to the gun.

I e-mailed the seller of that H grade I mentioned earlier, with the spur type buttplate, to ask him if he would be so kind as to unscrew that buttplate to see if there was more than two screw holes. Told him some very curious Lefever nuts are dying to know. I also reminded him that some guys have been known to hide money behind buttplates, so we'll see if he responds. No, I have never found any cash behind a buttplate. Yet. Stay tuned.
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