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nitro special
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paulbeerman48
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 10:37 am    Post subject: nitro special Reply with quote

I have a Lefever Arms Co. Nitro Special. Iwould like to find out how old it is and how much it is worth. The serial number is something like TOC1TT or TOOZTT.

Thanks,
Paulbeerman48
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Roy
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Joined: 06 Mar 2007
Posts: 59

PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 12:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

First of all, that is not the serial number. The serial number, which ia necessary to determine date, consists of six digits, all numbers, no letters.

In order to estimate value, much more information is needed including, but not limited to, gauge, barrel length, number of triggers, ejectors or extractors, and fairly detailed description of condition. Pictures are very helpful.
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Desdinova
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Joined: 04 May 2008
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PostPosted: Sun May 04, 2008 11:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a similar Question.

I too have a Nitro Special. I believe it's a .410. It does not have a serial number that I can find. It seems to be all original. I'm a newbie, so I don't know what aspects of the piece are more important for a rating. Nothing is broken or damaged, just some tarnish, needs a good cleaning, and well.... age. It's been used, but not much. Two triggers, one behind the other. Everything fits like it's new. Barrels lock into place, saftey, triggers, all feel very sturdy and well fit. I found it in my dads closet when I cleaned it out years ago, and I never knew he had it, so it could have been there for 40+ years for all I know (that's how old I was then).

Anyway, I'm trying to gather data on it. I can't find a serial. It does have the flying goose or whatever on the sides. It has two 26" barrels side by side. I'd like to know roughly when it was made. It's a .410 and the only markings besides the birds are very clear on the top of each barrel.. "Lefever Nitro Special" on one and "Lefever Arms Company, Ithaca, N.Y." on the other.

I am involved in Vintage Guitars, so I know better than to ask "what's it worth"... but if someone could point me in a direction to figure that out, it would be helpful. Normally, I just look up similar sold items on eBay, but that's not going to help me with this.

Actually any additional info would be helpful. I have seen others post in other forums on these and others have stated no serial number. Is it hidden somewhere?

Thanks in advance.
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Roy
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PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2008 9:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The 410 is the scarcest of the Nitro Specials and commands a significant premium over other guages. You should find the serial number on the metal under the forend and on the water table. You can check price history in auctions for the past 10 years at this site:

http://doublegunshop.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=postlist&Board=6&page=1&PHPSESSID=c2f6cb5528a097c6946741398397713c

Roy
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Desdinova
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PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2008 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the info Roy.

I found the serial, or what I believe to be the serial. As I said, I'm a newbie to this (but it seems not for long) and found a number stamped under the Barrels that you can only see when you open up the rifle to load the shells.

Can I assume that's the "Water Table" ?

I searched for serial information, and it appears Ithica was like so many other companies.... serial numbers were used, but not necessarily in order.

The number is 280215. Any thoughts on when it was manufactured?

Thanks
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Roy
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PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2008 4:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You got it! 1929

The serial number "issue" relates to Lefevers produced primarily at Syracuse, before acquisition by Ithaca. The Nitro Specials are, as far as I know, in sequence.

Roy
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Desdinova
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PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2008 8:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well it's certainly in great condition for being nearly 80 years old.

Thanks for the info.
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Desdinova
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PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2008 1:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I realize judging condition is subjective at best, especially with photos, but wondered if someone could help me weigh in on my .410.

Here is a link to the pictures. The only thing the pictures can't really show is that everything feels like it fits properly. Barrels lock into place, trigger actions are smooth, safety, latch etc. etc..

It "looks" to me, to be all original, and needs nothing more than a really really good cleaning. But, as stated earlier, this is the only one I have ever seen and I know very little about these guns.

Thanks in advance.

click http://www.baronaudio.com/lefever/
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Desdinova
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PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 12:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was hoping someone could tell me if all the parts looked original and if in fact all of the parts were there that are supposed to be, and any possible plus or minus factors.

Thanks in advance.
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Desdinova
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2008 12:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chamber size..

I have been asked if the chamber size is 2.5 or 3". I've done some searching and found a bit of info on every gauge except .410.

Can someone shed some light?

Thanks in advance.

Also fwiw, here are some better pictures.
http://www.baronaudio.com/lefever/
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cableologist
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Joined: 06 Mar 2009
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Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 2:04 pm    Post subject: LeFever 12 gauge Reply with quote

I too have a LeFever 12 gauge (double trigger), serial number 241119. Can anyone tell me how old it is and how to determine the grade on it? There is a "D" on the bottom of the barrels but I don't see any other markings.
Next obvious question: is it worth having it refubished? looks like it would cost about $1000+ to get it reworked top to bottom and I believe that they are only worth about $200 or so....any thoughts?
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2-Piper
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Joined: 01 Mar 2007
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Location: Lynchburg, TN

PostPosted: Sat Mar 07, 2009 12:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Did you get one extra digit in that SN? If the D precedes or follows the SN then that should be the grade. This would appear to make it one of the original Lefever Arms Co guns of Syracuse NY, not an Ithaca built gun of different design. However if one of these it should have no more than 5 digits in the SN. It will also be a side plated gun.
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Ilovebeer
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 08, 2009 2:25 pm    Post subject: .410 nitro special Reply with quote

Is it safe to shoot mondern 3 inch shells in a .410 nitro special, 26inch barrel?
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Ilovebeer
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2009 9:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Lefever Nitro Special was introduced in 1921 and discontinued in 1948, making it the oldest gun included in this article. It was not a true Dan Lefever design; rather it was an Ithaca boxlock design, the precursor of the famous Ithaca NID that appeared four years later. Ithaca had bought Lefever in 1916 and wanted to capitalize on the famous name. The earlier Lefever double guns manufactured by the Lefever Arms Company and D.M. Lefever and Sons were highly regarded and are mostly collectors' items today.

The Nitro Special was not a fancy gun, but it was hell for strong. Nitro Specials were designed for modern smokeless powder shells (but not steel shot) and any Nitro Special that has not been abused should be safe to use today, which is why the model is included here.

Most Nitro Specials have color case hardened receivers, double triggers, plain extractors, a low solid rib, and semi-pistol grip walnut stocks and splinter forearms checkered about 16 lpi. However, there were variations, including beavertail forearms and a single selective trigger. Gauges were 12, 16, 20, and .410 bore.

My Nitro Special was a 12 gauge made in 1929, and it was a solid and reliable performer as long as I remembered not to press my cheek too firmly against the stock, which had a lot of drop. If I got my face in too tight against that stock the shot would go low.
The above was written by and Pasted from Chuck Hawks website.
I notice he states this gun is safe for todays loads? Is this true and was this gun only chambered for 2 1/2 inch shells only?

What gets my couriosity is that on Desdinova .410 post above ,wich is indentical almost to mine is that the gooses mouth is closed but mine is open and another I found for sale the mouth is open. I would thinks since they were stamped that this would have represented a difference in the year it was produced or something?

Also I have shot 3 inch magnum loads like a dumb a** through this gun when I was younger. Lucky I still have both eyes and had no problems with damaging the gun I guess. Would this continue to be a stupid thing shooting these type magnum loads through this gun?
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2-Piper
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Joined: 01 Mar 2007
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Location: Lynchburg, TN

PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2009 1:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is my personal opinion only, the final decision is ultimately up to the "Shooter". I firmly believe any Nitro Special .410 in good condition is perfectly capable of handling the 3" shell, "IF" it has a 3" chamber. I do not recall the dates of introduction of either the NS in .410 chambering or that of the 3" shell. The 3" .410 was introduced with the Winchester model 42 pump, but don't remember exact dates. I "Think" Ithaca began chambering the NS in .410 prior to this date though & thus early ones may just have a 2½" chamber. Also I do not think when they began chambering to 3" anything was changed about the gun except the chamber itself. The gun was not "Beefed" up, or steels &/or heat-treatment changed, they just cut the chambers deeper showing the gun itself was adequate for the purpose.
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