The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Skunkworks > The Harley Nolden Memorial Institute for Firearms Research

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old July 1, 2013, 07:40 PM   #1
higgscharger
Member
 
Join Date: February 26, 2013
Posts: 43
Help IDing an old shotgun

I have an old SxS, double trigger 12 gauge that I got in a trade.

I did some research and THOUGHT it was a Lefever Nitro Special, but I think I was wrong... trying to figure out the final answer.

Barrel reads:

[RIGHT]: Montgomery Ward & Co.
[LEFT]: Western Field-Deluxe-

Both sides of the receiver have one of the dog in the grass engravings.

Similar to this: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v3...lVol14Iss2.jpg

But it is definitely not identical. More grass, longer dog, head is a bit lower than that image.

Serial number is 293XX

There are a variety of other letters stamped all over the place:

W on the forend iron
G into the forend wood
PAT D on the right side of the receiver under the barrel (hidden when barrel is in place)
12 on the left side of the receiver under the barrel (hidden when barrel is in place)

I am sure there are more, but I am hoping that is enough info to ID the gun.

I know that Ithaca, Lefever, and Stevens all made some of the Western Fields shotguns, but I can't figure out how to narrow it to which one I actually have.

Any help is appreciated, thanks!
higgscharger is offline  
Old July 1, 2013, 08:25 PM   #2
Old Stony
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 31, 2013
Location: East Texas
Posts: 637
From the limited pic you posted, I would guess off the top of my head a Stevens 311. I don't remember seeing them with all that pretty case hardening though.
Old Stony is offline  
Old July 1, 2013, 09:35 PM   #3
higgscharger
Member
 
Join Date: February 26, 2013
Posts: 43
Sorry if that was not clear. The pic is NOT my gun (wish it were, that is pretty!). I was just trying to give an example of the dog engraving!

I'll try to post some pictures of it tomorrow.
higgscharger is offline  
Old July 1, 2013, 10:22 PM   #4
James K
Staff
 
Join Date: March 17, 1999
Posts: 19,522
A lot, possibly a majority, of those side-by-side doubles had some version of a dog on the sideplates. The difference would be that on expensive guns it was hand engraved by an artist; on cheap guns it was stamped or roll marked.

Pictures might help or a better description and an approximate age would be useful. The truth is that unless it is a high grade gun (and high grade guns were not sold under the "Monkey Ward" name), it is of only nominal dollar value and (if checked and shown to be safe) is a hunting gun.

Jim
__________________
Jim K
James K is online now  
Old July 2, 2013, 06:29 AM   #5
higgscharger
Member
 
Join Date: February 26, 2013
Posts: 43
Alright here are some pictures. Nothing great quality wise, but gives you the basics.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Post 2.jpg (86.1 KB, 44 views)
File Type: jpg post 3.jpg (92.3 KB, 42 views)
higgscharger is offline  
Old July 2, 2013, 06:34 AM   #6
higgscharger
Member
 
Join Date: February 26, 2013
Posts: 43
And a couple more....
Attached Images
File Type: jpg post 4.jpg (80.3 KB, 34 views)
File Type: jpg post 5.JPG (196.1 KB, 32 views)
higgscharger is offline  
Old July 2, 2013, 06:35 AM   #7
higgscharger
Member
 
Join Date: February 26, 2013
Posts: 43
hope those help.

As for age... no idea really, when I thought it was a Nitro (i must have miscounted serial number digits somewhere to think that), I thought it was 86 years old and believed it based on appearance, so it is old, but don't really know how old.

DOn't expect it is worth much, but I do like to know what things are!
higgscharger is offline  
Old July 2, 2013, 06:39 AM   #8
Hawg
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 8, 2007
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 11,727
Quote:
From the limited pic you posted, I would guess off the top of my head a Stevens 311. I don't remember seeing them with all that pretty case hardening though.
Stevens used to have some nice CCH.
Hawg is offline  
Old July 2, 2013, 09:38 AM   #9
PetahW
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 19, 2008
Posts: 4,679
.

IMO, You have a store branded Lefever Nitro Special - which was made, of course, by the Ithaca Gun Co.

It's ID'd by the rear straight line of the action body being more vertical than the Stevens action, smaller tumbler pin size(s) in a different alignment than a Stevens, and the extra pin protruding from the upper side of the watertable not existing on Stevens actions.

The only oddity I see is that the action bottom contour on your SxS is forward on the action body, like a Stevens, and not further towards the rear, like a NS - but that might have been a production shortcut for store brand guns (IDK - I could be all wet, too)

Compare:

A Lefever NS:



A Stevens:




.




.

Last edited by PetahW; July 2, 2013 at 09:53 AM.
PetahW is offline  
Old July 2, 2013, 11:16 AM   #10
higgscharger
Member
 
Join Date: February 26, 2013
Posts: 43
PetahW, that is exactly what I thought. But, I am really confused now because...

http://www.ithacagun.com/pdfs/serialnumbers.pdf

That document lists serial numbers for the Lefever Nitro Special. They are all SIX digit serial numbers. My gun has a FIVE digit serial number.

The only note I see to explain this is this, at the bottom right of the second page of that document:

"Lefever guns numbered under 100000 are guns built by the old Lefever Arms Company once located in Syracuse, NY. This company went out of business around 1916. "

Does this mean that this is a 100 year old gun?
higgscharger is offline  
Old July 2, 2013, 05:03 PM   #11
Old Stony
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 31, 2013
Location: East Texas
Posts: 637
I would vote for the Lefever also, from the current pic.
Old Stony is offline  
Old July 2, 2013, 06:37 PM   #12
PetahW
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 19, 2008
Posts: 4,679
.

It's entirely reasonable, that your gun's 100 years old - I'm currently hunting with a 102 year old (1911) Ithaca Flues 28ga SxS, AFAIK the 1st year for the 28ga for the Ithaca Flues Model.

(I use RST specialty low-power loads in it, exclusively)



.

Last edited by PetahW; July 3, 2013 at 04:51 PM.
PetahW is offline  
Old July 2, 2013, 06:40 PM   #13
RJay
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 2, 2005
Location: Arizona
Posts: 1,656
The names of different Makers, the trade names used, and the stores that they were sold in are not complete ano do I believe they will ever be complete. Does anyone have a listing for LeFever amd Monkey Wards? In my limited collection of books, I can find no listing of the LeFever ever being sold under Ward's trade name of Western Field. Just curious.
__________________
Ron James
RJay is offline  
Old July 2, 2013, 08:10 PM   #14
James K
Staff
 
Join Date: March 17, 1999
Posts: 19,522
Check out this site for more info and some good pictures:

http://www.shotgunworld.com/bbs/view...0065&view=next

Jim
__________________
Jim K
James K is online now  
Old July 2, 2013, 08:45 PM   #15
RJay
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 2, 2005
Location: Arizona
Posts: 1,656
Well, live and learn
__________________
Ron James
RJay is offline  
Old July 3, 2013, 11:38 AM   #16
higgscharger
Member
 
Join Date: February 26, 2013
Posts: 43
James K-

You know, I had seen that discussion before trying to do research, but for some reason it all made a lot more sense this time.

Based on that discussion, it appears I have a Western Arms Long Range Double manufactured in 1936, trade branded for Mongomery Ward. So, 77 years old, hasn't hit 100 years just yet.

Apparently these look almost identical to the Nitro Specials, but the frame is iron instead of steel.

Value is probably somewhere between... uh... $100 and $500 based on condition?? Mine probably comes in on the lower end of condition, although it locks up tight, shoots fine, and extracts reliably.

Thanks for the help everyone, I think we figured this one out!
higgscharger is offline  
Old July 3, 2013, 07:01 PM   #17
James K
Staff
 
Join Date: March 17, 1999
Posts: 19,522
I can only say again that, with a few notable exceptions, those old single and double barrel guns are at best shooters, and at worst highly dangerous. While any gun made in 1936 would be OK with smokeless powder, I would have the chamber length checked as some guns even that late were still made for 2 9/16" shells. (Of course if it is marked for 2 3/4" shells, it should be OK with them.)

Most of the questions about shotguns involve inheritance, and it is like the "Rembrandt found in the attic" stories. Sure, once in a while someone will turn up a Sousa grade Ithaca or an A No.1 Special Parker gathering dust in the attic, but 99.9999% of the old guns are utilitarian hunting guns, often in poor shape and of low, near zero, value.

Jim
__________________
Jim K
James K is online now  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:50 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.10686 seconds with 10 queries