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Old August 20th, 2018, 11:22 AM #1
Derwood Derwood is offline
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Question 1948 LC Smith (Restored by Turnbull)

I've got a 1948 LC Smith Field 16 gauge that was restored by Turnbull last year. I got very lucky and won it in a raffle. Estimated value is ~$5-6k. Maybe a little more for some people, since it's engraved with some stuff that is specific to the club I won it through. https://www.turnbullrestoration.com/...grade-shotgun/

A few questions for anyone with a somewhat educated opinion:

*Would you use this shotgun as your primary upland hunting tool?*

--I have been and of course I'm extremely careful to always clean/oil it after every single use. But this means it's going to get a few dings here and there over the years. Literarally the first time I took it to the field last year, I banged it against a fence post as I climed over some barb wire. It left a small mark. I took it out 20-30 more times and never did any more damage. I'll never forget making that dent in it...but let's face it, things like that happen with tools you use in real life.

--I was in the market for a break open gun when I won this. I was going to get a Browning Citori but decided not to after winning the LC Smith. I ended up having to buy like $500 worth of stuff to go with the LC Smith (cleaning supplies, case, ammo) so I decided not to buy the Citori. Thus, this is my only break open gun.

*Would you ever shoot non-toxic shot out of it? If so, what kind?*
--I'm not crazy enough to take this to the duck blind every weekend. But I did take it out once--on a clear weather day--and shot a few ducks with Bismuth loads. It was really cool to use it for that, but those shots are almost $2/each. When I go out west to hunt in a couple months, some places require non-toxic shot even for pheasant/quail since the area becomes a wetland in the spring. So I need to pick some non-toxic loads to have with me on that trip.

*What kind of case would you get?*
--I got a $100 case that seemed good when I bought it. But the latches turned out to be made of really low grade brass and one of them already broke just from light jostling in the cargo area of my truck. I want to get a really solid, waterproof case. Do I need to get a Pellican or are there some other options out there?

*Would you ever shoot slugs out of it to hunt deer?*
--I've got a scoped Mossberg 500 that I usually use for deer hunting. But at one of my stands, I never get a shot that is over 20 yards. I was thinking it'd be cool to take the LC Smith out for that and maybe shoot some rifled slugs.

*Would you as a general rule, try to not use it for trap/skeet, and other activities like that?*
--I have been doing this because I want to be proficient with my hunting weapon. Some guys at the range think I'm crazy to be "wasting" it on skeet shoots.

*Would you wax it?*
--I hear so many conflicting opinions on this. One friend who is a major collector of antique shotguns takes his 19th century Charles Daily guns duck hunting in the rain and just waxes them to protect them. Good plan? Anything to be aware of if I wax it?

*Ballistol?*
--I use Ballistol exclusively for all of my guns. I don't really use any other products, except occassionally Hoppes #9 for a black rifle that has no wood on it. I got this idea from Hickok45. Do I need to be using another product at all? I use ballistol on the whole gun, wood and all, and it seems to be doing fine.

As you can tell, my philosophy is "guns are for shooting, not for sitting on the shelf." Some of my friends think it's unwise for me to be taking such a valuable gun out into the environment but to me, the gun has no value if I don't use it! What do you think?
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Old August 20th, 2018, 01:04 PM #2
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My answers are below:

I've got a 1948 LC Smith Field 16 gauge that was restored by Turnbull last year. I got very lucky and won it in a raffle. Estimated value is ~$5-6k. Maybe a little more for some people, since it's engraved with some stuff that is specific to the club I won it through. https://www.turnbullrestoration.com/...grade-shotgun/

A few questions for anyone with a somewhat educated opinion:

*Would you use this shotgun as your primary upland hunting tool?*

Yes, as long as the terrain is not ridiculously rough where you think youíre going to fall/trip.

--I have been and of course I'm extremely careful to always clean/oil it after every single use. But this means it's going to get a few dings here and there over the years. Literarally the first time I took it to the field last year, I banged it against a fence post as I climed over some barb wire. It left a small mark. I took it out 20-30 more times and never did any more damage. I'll never forget making that dent in it...but let's face it, things like that happen with tools you use in real life.

--I was in the market for a break open gun when I won this. I was going to get a Browning Citori but decided not to after winning the LC Smith. I ended up having to buy like $500 worth of stuff to go with the LC Smith (cleaning supplies, case, ammo) so I decided not to buy the Citori. Thus, this is my only break open gun.

*Would you ever shoot non-toxic shot out of it? If so, what kind?*

Non toxic should be fine. Bismuth over steel.

--I'm not crazy enough to take this to the duck blind every weekend. But I did take it out once--on a clear weather day--and shot a few ducks with Bismuth loads. It was really cool to use it for that, but those shots are almost $2/each. When I go out west to hunt in a couple months, some places require non-toxic shot even for pheasant/quail since the area becomes a wetland in the spring. So I need to pick some non-toxic loads to have with me on that trip.

*What kind of case would you get?

Check out Americase or Negrini. I donít think Negrini is waterproofed but should be fine for car transport.

--I got a $100 case that seemed good when I bought it. But the latches turned out to be made of really low grade brass and one of them already broke just from light jostling in the cargo area of my truck. I want to get a really solid, waterproof case. Do I need to get a Pellican or are there some other options out there?

*Would you ever shoot slugs out of it to hunt deer?*
No. Use your scoped 500.

--I've got a scoped Mossberg 500 that I usually use for deer hunting. But at one of my stands, I never get a shot that is over 20 yards. I was thinking it'd be cool to take the LC Smith out for that and maybe shoot some rifled slugs.

*Would you as a general rule, try to not use it for trap/skeet, and other activities like that?*

The gun is meant to be enjoyed. It will be subject to a lot less abuse on the Skeet/Sporting field than the hunting field if youíre careful with it.
--I have been doing this because I want to be proficient with my hunting weapon. Some guys at the range think I'm crazy to be "wasting" it on skeet shoots.

Youíre not wasting it.

*Would you wax it?*
--I hear so many conflicting opinions on this. One friend who is a major collector of antique shotguns takes his 19th century Charles Daily guns duck hunting in the rain and just waxes them to protect them. Good plan? Anything to be aware of if I wax it?
No opinion. Never heard of this.

*Ballistol?*
--I use Ballistol exclusively for all of my guns. I don't really use any other products, except occassionally Hoppes #9 for a black rifle that has no wood on it. I got this idea from Hickok45. Do I need to be using another product at all? I use ballistol on the whole gun, wood and all, and it seems to be doing fine.

Either should be fine. When the gun was new they were probably using Hoppes on it then.

As you can tell, my philosophy is "guns are for shooting, not for sitting on the shelf." Some of my friends think it's unwise for me to be taking such a valuable gun out into the environment but to me, the gun has no value if I don't use it! What do you think?


I wholeheartedly agree about using the gun. It could be that Iím around a lot of guns that are +$10,000 on a regular basis with some approaching $50,000. These are high grade Skeet/Trap/Sporting Clay guns that are meant to be used like a set of golf clubs or a bowling ball. They just happen to have gold inlays and engraving on them too!
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Old August 20th, 2018, 01:35 PM #3
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If that's yours in the link, that's a gorgeous gun. I definitely woudn't be afraid to shoot it. Sure, I'd be careful, but I'd shoot it.

Wax, like Turtle Wax (notice I said wax, not polish) is fine for guns.
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Old August 20th, 2018, 02:17 PM #4
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1st remember it is still 80 or so years old and I don't know if the wood is original and refinished or a new blank. The weak point on a Smith is the wood, the design removes alot of wood at the head of the stock and they often crack. If it was inletted well it should be fine and even better if the locks were glass bedded by Turnbull.
No Tox is fine but not steel and not 3" unless it is one of the Long Range or Wildfowlers models that were made for 3" shells. I would stick to Bismuth or Tungsten Matrix for non Tox. I would avoid slugs, more recoil and hard on the wood.
I would also try to shoot low pressure shells in general, either hand load or buy RST's or Poly Wad shells
All that said it should make a great upland gun and be fine for anything else.
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Old August 20th, 2018, 02:37 PM #5
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Thanks for the feedback!

@skeetshooter, thanks for all the helpful comments. Good point on the fact that an owner decades ago probably used some solvent on it before the common wisdom became to not do that.

@Dutch, I'm not sure if that's my gun in the picture or not, but mine looks exactly like that, with some added engraving related to the raffle I won. I love the rainbow colors on the steel. Thanks for the turtle wax suggestion. I've got some Hoppes branded wax but I bet it's basically just auto wax in a tiny bottle!

@Cochise, any reason to use RST or Poly Wad rather than Remington? The reason I ask is I can find those RST shells occasionally, or order them online, but I frequently see the #8 and #6 Remington game loads in 16 gauge on the shelf at Dicks, Bass Pro, other gun shops, etc. The Remington are low brass so I figure the pressure profile is fine for it. They're much cheaper than RST. https://www.sportsmansguide.com/prod...unds?a=1595919
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Old August 20th, 2018, 07:14 PM #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derwood View Post
Thanks for the feedback!

@skeetshooter, thanks for all the helpful comments. Good point on the fact that an owner decades ago probably used some solvent on it before the common wisdom became to not do that.

@Dutch, I'm not sure if that's my gun in the picture or not, but mine looks exactly like that, with some added engraving related to the raffle I won. I love the rainbow colors on the steel. Thanks for the turtle wax suggestion. I've got some Hoppes branded wax but I bet it's basically just auto wax in a tiny bottle!

@Cochise, any reason to use RST or Poly Wad rather than Remington? The reason I ask is I can find those RST shells occasionally, or order them online, but I frequently see the #8 and #6 Remington game loads in 16 gauge on the shelf at Dicks, Bass Pro, other gun shops, etc. The Remington are low brass so I figure the pressure profile is fine for it. They're much cheaper than RST. https://www.sportsmansguide.com/prod...unds?a=1595919
Any place but Dickís. Theyíve hired lobbyists to push gun control.
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Old August 22nd, 2018, 06:57 AM #7
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I can’t imagine owning that gun and not experiencing what it was made to do. Its just too nice. I’d go with low brass but suspect a few hi brass from time to time wont hurt.
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Old August 22nd, 2018, 08:32 AM #8
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As others stated the weak part of the LC design is the stock, because of the side plates there is not much wood there so low pressure shells are recommended, some appropriate hunting loads occasionally will be Ok and no steel shot ever. I store all my shotguns barrel down so oil does not run into the action or the head of the stock.
I use Renaissance wax on all my high grade guns and also use Ballistol for cleaning and protection.
I use my SxS's all the time for sporting clays, some days going through 150 rounds or so, as long as the appropriate ammo is used the gun will be fine, I reload 12 gauge, 1oz, 1200 fps and never feel that I'm missing that other 1/8 oz of shot that a standard target load uses. Recoil is relatively light with my 1oz loads and does not beat the gun up.
Enjoy, vintage SxS shooting is fun, both hunting and the clay sports.
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Old August 22nd, 2018, 12:14 PM #9
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Augie - Can you share a little more about how you store your shotguns barrel down? That's a new idea for me but it sounds smart. Do you just put them in a safe like that? Any padding or cover for the muzzle?

Also, can you recommend a particular case? I'm going to replace mine asap. I'm willing to spend a reasonable amount on it but certainly don't need to carry around Ft. Knox. https://www.americase.com/product/UL-3017-Blk This one looks pretty good...compact size is important for me since I like to lay it across the floorboard in the back seat (my dog's crate takes up a lot of the cargo room in my vehicle).

I clean the LC Smith literally every time I shoot it. As soon as I get back to my truck, I give it a spray down with ballistol, use a rag on the outside and action and then run a snake through each barrel. Is that overkill? I hate the idea of putting it back in the case with any moisture or fouling on it. But now that you mention the oil build up concern, I wonder if I'm overdoing it.

Thanks!
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Old August 22nd, 2018, 06:23 PM #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derwood View Post
Augie - Can you share a little more about how you store your shotguns barrel down? That's a new idea for me but it sounds smart. Do you just put them in a safe like that? Any padding or cover for the muzzle?

Also, can you recommend a particular case? I'm going to replace mine asap. I'm willing to spend a reasonable amount on it but certainly don't need to carry around Ft. Knox. https://www.americase.com/product/UL-3017-Blk This one looks pretty good...compact size is important for me since I like to lay it across the floorboard in the back seat (my dog's crate takes up a lot of the cargo room in my vehicle).

I clean the LC Smith literally every time I shoot it. As soon as I get back to my truck, I give it a spray down with ballistol, use a rag on the outside and action and then run a snake through each barrel. Is that overkill? I hate the idea of putting it back in the case with any moisture or fouling on it. But now that you mention the oil build up concern, I wonder if I'm overdoing it.

Thanks!
The Americase is a nice case. Another accessory to keep the case clean is to use gun/barrel socks. Here are examples from Beretta.

http://www.berettausa.com/en-us/bere...k-sock/c60395/

http://www.berettausa.com/en-us/bere...l-sock/c60391/

Hereís a cheaper alternative.

https://www.ebay.com/i/253812172904?...366e52ffec83ce
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