The Seasons, “They are a Changin”By Frank J. Finch, Jr.
E x e c u t i v e D i r e c t o r ’s P a g e
The nights are growing cooler, the heat of the mid-day sun is diminish- ing, fall is upon us and with it comes my favorite time of the year – bird hunting season. My setters dash out to the yard each morning with the expectation of finding a sleepy dove to point among the shrubbery. They know by the cool, crisp air that they will soon be in the field. It’s time to get Elsie out of the closet and go to the shooting range. Hunting season is just around the corner. Our club has planned some wonderful venues for sharpening your wing shooting skills along with other club members and double gun enthusiasts.
Our first opportunity to get together with Elsie friends is the Vintage Cup. On September 22 to 25, 2011, we will have an exhibit of extraordinary LC Smith guns at the 15th Annual Vintage Cup World Side by Side Championships and Exhibition to be held at Pintail Point in Queenstown, MD. The point man for the display is Frank Finch. I am inviting you to display your Elsie in our exhibit and help man the booth. Kindly contact me at (732-899-1498). Come join the fun with other LCSCA shooters and participate in the many shooting events.
The Friends of History, in Fulton, NY, have invited LCSCA to attend and participate in a three day event on September 30 through October 2, 2011. Three awards will be presented for the best displays of fine L.C. Smith shotguns and memorabilia at the Pratt House Museum in Fulton. On Saturday, an all-day shoot will be held at the Pathfinder Fish & Game Club with prizes awarded to the High Gun in each of the Trap, Skeet and Five Strand events, as well as, High Overall & Runner Up awards (5 awards total). On Saturday evening, an Awards Banquet will be held at the Lock Restaurant. On Sunday, there will be a Chicken Barbecue at Bullhead Point. Also, arrangements are being made to tour the Hunter Brothers Estate in near by Sterling Valley, NY. Please contact the Friends of History for details and reserva-tions (315-598-46160).
Prince George’s Trap and Skeet in Glen Dale, MD will host our Elsie Annual Turkey Shoot on Saturday, November 5, 2011, again this year. The contested events will be Sporting Clays, Trap and Five Stand with a turkey awarded to the top shooter in each event. Our defendable HOA trophy will be awarded to the shooter with the highest combined score of the three events. (Sporting Clays, Skeet, optional Trap, Five Stand and International Trap are also available.) A catered luncheon will be included. We request
reservations be made in advance to facilitate planning by contact-ing Roger Domer, our event point man at (301-953-1878). The event is open to all shooters enjoying shooting LC Smith guns. Bring your favorite LC for our display table to share with other Smith aficionados.
Our club will have two additional opportunities to share L.C. Smith experiences. For the collectors, LCSCA will have an exhibit at Wanemacher’s Tulsa Arms Show in Tulsa OK to be held November 12 - 13, 2011. Contact Jim Stubbendieck for additional information. For the shooters, the club will meet at Lehigh Valley Sporting Clays in Coplay, PA on December 29, 2011 for our annual informal Sporting Clays shoot and festive gathering at a local restaurant for lunch. Contact John Bleimaier for additional information.
As the By-laws state, our BOD terms are for a three year period. The terms of Frank Finch, Dr. Jim Stubbendieck, and Len Apple-gate end 12-31-2011. Frank and Jim have indicated the willingness to continue on the BOD, but Len, due to employment constraints, has chosen not to seek re-election. The nominating committee under the chairmanship of Tom Archer, reviewed the list of Life Members and presented a ballot for the Board of Directors, including Frank Finch, Dr. Jim Stubbendieck, and our current Web Master and Research Chairman and Jimmy Baker, from Alabama. A ballot and bois are included in this Journal. Vote for three and return your ballot to Chris Baumohl.
THANK YOU, LEN! Len’s generous donation of time, talent, and efforts as our Recording Secretary, Membership Chairman and past Newsletter Chairman as well as the point man for our yearly Ohio Displays. Len has served on the BOD since our club organized in 2003. Without his dedicated efforts during the founding years of our club, we probably wouldn’t have a club.
Mark your calendar. It is not too early to make plans to attend our LCSCA exhibit and reception at the Las Vegas Antique Arms Show at the Riviera Hotel, in Las Vegas, on January 20 - 22, 2012. Dean Rasmussen is the point man for this extravaganza. Members will be displaying LC Smith guns worthy of the gun show’s reputation. If you would like to display your LC at this event or help man the booth, please contact Dean at (805-581-2275).
As the seasons change, come join us for fun-filled Elsie shooting events!
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F r o m t h e R e c o r d s . . . .
L.C. Smith No. 4 Productionby Jim Stubbendieck
The Hunter Arms Company classified the No. 4 as a “medium high-priced” shotgun. It was one grade higher than the Pigeon Gun (see Volume 9, No. 2 of the L.C. Smith Journal, Summer 2011). The most common engraving was of dogs in the field in an oval on the lock plates. The oval was placed at the back of the lock plates of early production shotguns. Later, it was moved forward to provide a more balanced appearance. Barrels were Chainette Damascus or Nitro Steel. Stocks were English or French walnut and usually nicely figured. While advertised as an automatic ejector shotgun, extractors were fitted into about 20% of No. 4 shotguns. The selective Hunter One-Trigger was a
popular option, but the Hunter Arms Company ledgers do not include produc-tion information on trigger types. The ledgers do provide data on gauges and barrel lengths.
Recently, I went through all of the ledgers from 1890 through 1913 and summarized the production information for the No. 4 shotguns (Table 1). Those familiar with production information published by Col. William Brophy and John Houchins will notice a number of differences between the earlier published production data and the information presented here. I found records for 496 No. 4s, 45 more than previously published. I found additional 8, 10, 12, and 20 gauge
No. 4s but significantly fewer (30 vs. 43) 16 gauge shotguns.
Thirty-inches (359) was the most com- mon barrel length. While not advertised as being available, I found one with 24-inch barrels and one with 31-inch barrels.
Production began in 1894 (Table 2), rather than 1892 as previously published. Over 20 years, average annual production was fewer than 25. In 1910, a No. 4 retail- ed for $175. Extractors reduced the price by $10, and the selective Hunter One-Trigger increased the price by $25.
If you received a renewal notice with this Journal, your dues must be RECEIVED by November 19th in order for you to receive the December Journal. I process renewals daily so if you get your dues to me, I will get them processed. Please email me with any membership questions!
George Griscom Wins Bo Woop At Hausman’s Hidden Hollow June 4, 2011
Even though this was not an L.C. Smith shoot, congratulations go to George for another outstanding shoot.
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6 The Journal of the L.C. Smith6
The Crown & Pizza DietHunting North Dakota StylePreludeIn mid October of 2008 four long time hunting buddies, the young son of one, and a guy from VA Beach who had never shot at a flying thing any larger than a dove in his life, met out in North Dakota for a week of duck, goose, and pheasant hunting. Mike Harris has owned a farm in Ashley, ND for about the last ten years. Early on, he converted the conventional family farm house into a sleeping place for those who like to hunt waterfowl and pheasants, with accommodations for up to sixteen. Two years ago Mike was one of several members of the LCSCA kind enough to respond to the typical new guy questions I posed on the forum when I decided to resurrect an O grade that my Great Grandfather had purchased new in 1912. Turned out that he didn’t live too far from me, and invited me up to shoot sporting clays with him one Saturday at Old Forge in Providence Forge, VA. Mike and I met many times after that and he’s been a real inspiration in my efforts to become a somewhat proficient shotgunner. Also turns out he had been collecting LC Smith shotguns since he was a teenager, and was quite an authority on the care and feeding of same. Until that time I had zero experience bird hunting, and not much more in shotgun sports of any kind. I was more than just a little excited and appreciative when he extended and invitation for me to join him this year. The thought of shooting waterfowl and pheasants with Great Granddads Elsie, just as he must have done, was a real motivator.
In years past Mike has been somewhat of a cross between a cruise director and a professional hunter with friends coming and going at will during the course of his hunting visits in North Dakota. Much of his time and effort was expended assuring that his guests were spread out in productive hunting areas and securing permission from adjacent land owners toward that end.
This year was different. The program was scaled down a bit. Mike, his 1st cousin Robert “Cookie” Dillard, and family friend John Cronly lit out of Richmond with guns, dogs, and hunting trailer in tow on a Friday afternoon. The plan was for them to drive straight through and scout Sunday morning, pick me up at the Aberdeen, SD airport on Sunday afternoon, with duck hunting to commence immediately following the 70 mile drive from
Aberdeen to Mikes farm in Ashley. Johns father Jack, and younger brother Thomas, were to join us the following Wednesday.
That first afternoon, after hurriedly changing from my traveling clothes into my brand new Duck-Blind camo, and boots that would turn out to be just a little too short, Mike and I joined John and Cookie who had already staked a claim around a pothole not too far from the old homestead. Short of the Saturday morning hunting shows, I really had no idea what to expect. Prior to the trip, when I inquired of Mike as to whether we’d be hunting ponds, or fields, or pot-holes, he thought about it for a couple of seconds and answered “Yea”.
There I was crouching down among the reeds, water siphoning into my boots, Beretta 391 at the ready, with a pocket full of Expert steel shot # 4’s ready to lay waste to any thing unfortunate enough to fly in the vicinity of my Hi-Viz sight. After-all, I’m a pretty good shot at sporting clays, and ducks are a whole lot bigger than clay pigeons….. right?
It took maybe thirty minutes before Cookie whistled at me and motioned for me to squat down a little lower, so that the water was actually siphoning in around my wedding tackle. Mike and John began calling, and in just a few more seconds I could see them. They were coming right in to us, it was fix’n to be on! Fast forward a few more seconds, and after a mild scolding for shooting at ducks in a different zip code, (swear I thought they were closer than that) I resigned myself to watch the true experts have at it for a while. I also decided that no matter what, I’d not be the first to fire again! A few minutes later, there was a blur, just above the water off to my right, and I saw Cookie make an unnatural twisting motion. The duck saw Cookie, screamed right on across the pot-hole into the
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field behind, and Cookie folded him up at about 35 yards. Pretty work. Turned out to be a Green Winged Teal, and I was pleased to learn that not all ducks were that fast. As the sun was starting to set, the ducks really started to move in. I believe John, Cookie and Mike all got their limits, and me, I was proud as I could be of my single hen Gadwall. I believe I hit her three times with my top of the line Expert steel shot before she finally died of old age. We gathered up our quarry, decoys, and dogs and headed into town for supper, as we hadn’t had time for grocery shopping given the hectic pace of the day.
Ah yes, Supper. Mike and his merry band have become popular with many of the locals over the 10 years or so that they’ve been hunting in Ashley. It wasn’t a big surprise when we walked into a smokey little ordinary known as The Duck Inn on the outskirts of town to several smiling faces. First order of business was the mandatory Shake-of-the-Day. The Shake-of- the-Day involved handing the proprietor a dollar bill which was all it took for him to hand you a leather bound cup containing five dice. You were then entitled to only one throw of the dice, after thoroughly shaking them, of course. Three of a kind entitled you to 1 free beer or mixed libation of your choosing. Four of a kind was worth a six-pack. I’m not sure what five of a kind was worth, but it may have entitled you to the contents of the large glass jar where all of the dollar bills ended up. I never saw anyone hit 5 of a kind, and judging by the quantity of dollar bills in the jar, not many other folks ever saw it happen either. Immediately following the shake of the day, we retired to one of about four tables with our own personal leather bound cup for the first of many rounds of Crown Royal and the dice game 6-5-4. I’ll not get into the specifics of the game, but suffice it to say that I always went into The Duck Inn with a great deal more
one dollar bills than I ever left with. Long about the time the rest of the guys were running out of room in their pockets because of my dollar bills, someone would invariably suggest that we order supper. Supper at The Duck Inn consisted of your choice of any of approximately 6 varieties of Totinos Frozen Pizza. Yep, for eight dollars a piece you could have as many 2 dollar frozen Totinos Pizzas as you could stand. I may not have mentioned this earlier, but the hunting activities were so consuming of our waking hours, that we never did quite find the time for grocery shopping between duck hunting at sun-up, breakfast at the towns only diner afterward, pheasant hunting each afternoon, and duck hunting as the sun set each evening. Hence the title of this story, and so ended my first day of officially being a North Dakota Duck Hunter.
Winter WheatOn the way to supper the evening before we had scouted a large
winter wheat field adjacent to a reservoir that was covered up with ducks and snow geese. John suggested that we locate the owner and secure permission for an afternoon hunt the following day.
The next morning John, Cookie and myself hunted a pond with Johns dog Bentley. The ducks weren’t flying that well, but John and Cookie both managed a greenhead or two and I, apparently, was just along as an observer. Mike had told me that my Expert Steel shot was less than ideal and I was really starting to believe it.
By the time we met Mike at the diner for breakfast, he had already secured permission for us to hunt the winter wheat field we had scouted the evening before. The plan was for John and Cookie to scout around for a couple of hours, while Mike and I beat the bushes around the old homestead for a pheasant or two. We had brought our Elsies along for just this task, and I could hardly wait. We’d all meet up at the house around 2:00 pm and gather up our field hunting equipment so we’d have time to set up well in advance of the ducks and geese we were hoping for in the late afternoon.
My O Grade had originally come with 30 inch tubes choked full and fuller. Not the ideal pheasant weapon for a novice like myself. While waiting for the courage to re-solder a portion of the bottom rib, which had come loose about four months earlier, I had filed for days on a stray set of 28 inch ejector barrels from a 1902 gun. The barrels were choked a tight improved cylinder, and tight modified. All the hand work was performed on the stray barrels, so as not to have any effect on the fit of the original barrels, fore-end, and receiver. Just prior to the trip, I had found the courage to attempt the re-solder on the original tubes. Now we had us a two barrel set!
Mike, his lab Ranger, and I worked the perimeter of a bone dry pothole on his property in the hopes of flushing a pheasant or two. Mike was sporting his 1928 Long Range Wildfowl gun, and I was ready to give the 28 inch tubes on my O grade a try. Ranger flushed two hens and a rooster, but the rooster was out of range before either Mike or I could get a shot off. We left that area and eased on over to a hedgerow Mike had planted several years ago as a
pheasant runway between a large stand of hardwoods and an adjacent field. Mike had me squat down in a ditch near the end of the hedgerow, then he and Ranger started near the hardwoods and began working their way towards me. I saw several roosters and a hen or two launch out of the hedgerow, way out of range, and off they flew. Suddenly, off to my left, and only 20 yards or so away a rooster flushed and was coming straight at me. Heart pounding I stood up and got ready to smoke that rascal.
As soon as I stood up, the rooster flared further to the left, which was good because that put me between Mike and the rooster. Rooster was close enough now to resemble a Piper Cub and I got two shots off just fast enough to completely miss that bird and watch him fly happily away. Can’t quite remember just exactly what Mike said after he quit laughing, but it wasn’t very inspiring. Fortunately he remembers the moment well enough to tell the story to just about everyone who hasn’t already heard it each and every time we meet at Old Forge for a round of sporting clays. I was gonna need something to change my luck!
We met up with John and Cookie back at the Homestead. John reported that they had seen several promising duck hunting spots, and that they’d secured permission for us to hunt them at will. They had also seen quite a few pheasants, though pheasants were not on their agenda and none were hunted. They had scored one kill though. A fierce and intimidating Gopher! Yep, that bad boy was every bit of 11 inches long, tail extended, and John held it foreword with pride for all to see. I couldn’t help but think that maybe this little guy could be my good luck charm. John laid the gopher out in what would have been a comfortable position, under different circumstances, on the handrail of the deck, and we began loading the trailer for the afternoons field hunt.
John, Cookie, and Mike are all truly expert duck hunters. We had two trailers on the property, a flat deck trailer with a large tool box near the tongue for transporting Mikes Bad Boy Buggy, and an enclosed trailer set up like a mothership for a traveling gypsy show with all manner of decoys, layout blinds, synthetic grasses, dog blinds etc. etc, etc. In no time the Bad Boy was loaded on the flat deck trailer and its tool box was brimming with everything required for a field hunt of geese and ducks. The winter wheat field we intended to hunt consisted of an entire section. For those that don’t know, a section is one square mile. There was a slight rise right out in the middle of this section and according to Mike, that rise was the reason that the ducks and geese chose that spot to feed. Apparently they were more at ease given their better vantage point due to the higher elevation. It was beginning to occur to me that these ducks were, indeed, smarter than me.
It took two trips with the Bad Boy for us to transport our men and equipment to that rise. Mike, Cookie and John went right to work setting out the decoys and the lay-out blinds. There was a small stand of hardwoods about a quarter mile from that rise, and it was in that stand that the Bad Boy would hide during the hunt.
By the time I hoofed it back to the rise from the hardwood stand, Mike and Cookie had just about finished laying out 200 Texas Flag Snow Goose Decoys, and John was well into deploying about 5 dozen full body mallards. John had also positioned 4 lay-out blinds. I used the word positioned for a reason. It seems that the decoys were positioned as well. The snows were positioned in what I’d have to describe as six or seven variable length rows, three or four yards apart that when viewed from above made up a roughly rectangular shape with somewhat rounded ends. The full body mallards were positioned in two clusters approximately 15 yards downwind and at the outer extremes of the rectangle represented by the snows. Each cluster of mallards had a single battery operated MoJo flapping away right in the middle. Finally the lay-out blinds were positioned facing down wind about two yards apart in the central down wind third of the rectangle presented by the snows. The wind was pretty stiff and Mike indicated that it didn’t matter from what direction any ducks or geese saw our spread, that they would attempt to land into the wind, and would lock up and put down between the mallard clusters, which would have them right in our faces in the lay-out blinds. It was beginning to occur to me that John, Cookie, and Mike, were indeed smarter than the ducks!
Off in the distance John spied some ducks, and it was time to get in the blinds. Peering out through the synthetic grasses covering the lay-out blind, my heart was pounding as Mike and John began working their duck calls. Seconds later they were quiet, and high above us probably 50 ducks were sailing by down wind. Mike and John were at it again with the calls and the ducks started a slow spiral down ending with their heads pointing up-wind, their wings locked, zeroing in on the real estate between the mallard decoys. I lost sight of the ducks as they dipped below where I could see them through the window in my lay-out blind. It seemed like minutes, but it was only seconds before Mike yelled “Kill-Em”. I flipped up the canopy on my lay-out blind, ripped apart the Velcro attach-ment at my chest, and as I fumbled with the old Beretta, Cookie, John, and Mike were blazing away at the veritable swarm of ducks. By the time I had pulled the trigger enough times to remember the safety was on, it was over. Five ducks were laying in the dust. Not exactly sure who killed what, but I knew quite well who killed none. Damn safety!
Five ducks down, 15 to go for our limit. It was only a couple of minutes before Mike and John were working the calls again. This group of ducks dwarfed the first group in size. Many more ducks, many more opportunities. I’d learned a few things after that first missed opportunity. My finger was already on the safety, and the Velcro wasn’t attached as firmly as it had been. When Mike gave the order I was up as fast and on the ducks nearly as quickly as my three buddies. The sun was a little lower, and the colors on the individual ducks weren’t quite as apparent. Nonetheless I picked one out at about 20 yards and hit it three times before it finally fell. Six ducks fell that time, four greenheads , a hen mallard, and a hen
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gadwall. Yep, got me another hen gadwall! I wasn’t sure who had hit the hen mallard, but that brought us up to three hens for the day so far and was grounds for Mike to remind us of the law regarding hens. Seems that we were only allowed one more hen of any species before we’d be in violation. A few minutes later a smaller group of ducks were coming in. These ducks were moving a little faster than the last two groups, and there was an occasional whistling sound emanating from the group. When the order came, I was up with the boys, and when the smoke cleared six more ducks were on the ground. As usual it took all three of my Expert Steel shells to do the deed on just one duck. Mike had a pair, including a beautiful drake pintail and a greenhead. Cookie had killed two greenheads, John killed a greenhead, and me, I had killed prettiest hen pintail that you ever saw. With only three ducks left on our limit, and no hens, I regretfully sat out the next flight. The limit was reached, and it was time for Crown and Pizza. I fetched up the Bad Boy, and we left our spread in place for the following morning.
At some point between Crown and Pizza, and bed time, someone placed a cigarette butt in the gofers mouth. He was still reclining on the handrail leading into the old homestead.
It was then that we dubbed him “Smokie” and he officially became my good luck mascot. No more hens for me!
Elsie DayThe next day had been designated “Elsie Day” by Mike and
myself. I hadn’t intended to shoot my Elsie at any thing but pheasants, and consequently I hadn’t brought any low pressure vintage ammo for ducks. Mikes three inch chambers and rein-forced bottom rib would digest his three inch Hevi-Shot with no problem. My 2 ¾ inch chambers were a different animal. You’d think that with all the hunting that goes on in the area, one would be able to buy all sorts of ammo, but that’s just not the case. From somewhere in the Mother-Ship Mike came up with a single box of ten each 2 ¾ inch Hevi-Shot #4 standard loads. What the heck, right? I’d had the stock glass bedded by Dr. Bill Hambidge, and it seemed like a pretty good test of my rib soldering prowess.
The wind had laid back considerably overnight. The day before you could barely hear yourself think in the lay-out blinds due to the racket generated by the Texas Flag snow geese decoys. This morning there was enough breeze to orient the geese properly, but not enough to cause any background noise. As the sun came up, and we settled into the blinds, John gave the order to cover up and began to work his duck call. The ducks came in from high behind us. They made several passes above our spread before they committed, each time coming through a little closer than before. The sound, obscured yesterday by the decoy noise, was louder and
louder with each pass and was truly amazing. I’d liken it to standing off the firing line and observing an archery competition. The wind rushing through the fletching as it passes you and then tapering off to nothing as the arrow continues down range. The thought of that sound, even now as I write, causes my heart to race. Committed at last, the ducks were locked up and fixated on the spot we knew they would be. When the “Kill’em” call came, I was up with the boys and the most amazing thing happened. I picked out a green head at about
25 yards. I pulled the Hunter One Trigger one time, and the duck fell stone dead from the sky. The same thing happened with the next flight. Imagine that, two shells…two ducks. I felt like Luke Skywalker with his dreaded Light Saber. John and Cookie were on target as usual, dropping at least one duck from each flight. Mr. Harris was PETA’s worst night-mare with his Long Range Wildfowl Gun. He let the air out of two greenheads from the first flight, one at about 40 yards, and dropped one from at least 40 yards in the second flight. Pretty work! I ended the morning hunt with three male ducks having only expended the contents of 4 shotgun shells. Quite an improvement for me, business as usual for my three buddies. I’m pretty sure that my skill hadn’t improved very much, but between the Hevi-Shot, “Smokie”, and the fact that my Elsie fits me better than any other gun I own, my average was at least not embarrassing after that mornings hunt. On the way to breakfast that morning, Mike gave me some pretty good advice. “You know John, whenever you go to as much trouble as you have to, to come someplace like this, always bring your best gun, and save no money on shells.” As far as the Expert Steel Shot goes, I just didn’t know any better. I knew that lead was off the table, and the nice guy at Dicks Sporting Goods in Virginia Beach convinced me that Expert Steel was as good as anything else for duck hunting. And hell, you could get a hundred of those shells for what you’d spend on twenty of the Hevi-Shot shells. Lesson Learned. Fact is, it probably costs more per duck, for a novice like me, to shoot Expert Steel shells than it does to shoot Hevi-Shot. It probably also helps to have a Smoking Gopher.
Rooster PoopSince our afternoon decoy spread was already in place for the
day, it was decided that we’d have a dedicated pheasant hunt between our late breakfast at the diner and our afternoon return to the winter wheat field. We met at a young pine thicket on Mikes farm that was probably 150 yards long 20 yards wide and spilled out into a large barley field at the far end. John, Mike, and the dogs Ranger and Bentley volunteered to walk the thicket from the end away from the field, and Cookie and I would wait on opposite corners of the terminal end where the thicket spilled
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into the field. I had swapped the 30 inch tubes on my Elsie, which by the way had passed the soldering final exam earlier in the day, for the 28 inch stray tubes that I had fitted to the gun as mentioned earlier. After a few minutes we could hear Mike and John working the dogs in the distance. A few minutes later a shot rang out and I was hopeful that one of our beaters had scored a pheasant. Suddenly, from between Cookie and I, and dead in line with both of us, a hen pheasant broke from the knee high brush that separated the thicket from the field. That brush strip was probably only ten yards wide, and you’d think that I’d have heard or seen something as that bird slipped out of the pine thicket on the way out, but I was totally taken off guard. Pretty crafty jokers, these pheasant! Mike and John were probably only about 50 yards from us now. I could actually hear the dogs running back forth between them. Mike half yelled and half muttered something, and in a few seconds more a hearty laugh came from Johns side of the thicket. Turns out that Mike had stepped into an obscured badger hole, and had slid in all the way to his chest. Fortunately no one was home and Mike retained possession of all his toes. A soon as Mike was out of the hole, and progressing towards Cookie and I again, a large rooster exploded from the brush in exactly the same place that the hen had sailed out of a few minutes before. I swung on the rooster and I was thinking that he had gotten out of range. Then it pooped. If I could see the rooster poop, then surely it was in range, right?
I pulled the trigger and Elsie spoke the last words that that rooster ever heard. A good 25 yard shot, more of a trap shot than anything else. Man was I exited! I ran out in the field, afraid that he might have hobbled away from the crash site, but no, there he was, right where I’d seen him fall, stone dead. Now I’d have a good supply of salt water fly tying feathers for the winter Striped Bass season in the Chesapeake Bay. A definite bonus! By the time I got back to my post, Mike and John were nearly to the end of the hedgerow. Just as they were coming into sight, another rooster cut loose between Cookie and I. Cookie swung on him and the rooster fell pretty close to where I had just fetched up mine. By the time he got back with the bird, Mike and John were listening to my story about the poop, and rolling their eyes. Nothing special to them, just a damn Ditch Parrot! My first pheasant though, and I’ll never forget it! We ended up with three pheasants on that drive. The single shot we had heard earlier was Mike swatting one that Ranger had flushed early on in the thicket. What a great hunt!
Time to hit the wheat field for ducks at sun set. The wind had come around 180 degrees since our morning hunt. No big deal, we hopped the mallards over the snows, spun the snows on their
shafts, and rotated the layout blinds 180 degrees. Ten minutes at most and we were settled into the blinds. Not as many ducks as the morning hunt, but we limited easily and were even a little early for the Shake-of-the-Day. What an epic day! A personal limit with no hens for me, and a beautiful pheasant to boot. More than I had even hoped for in the weeks leading up to the trip, what a lucky guy.
That evening after supper, while standing on the deck with Smokey, the stars were out in force. There are no city lights, street lights, or sources of metropolitan haze outside of Ashley,
North Dakota. The only trace of man-made light visible from the old homestead after lights out would be the red warning beacons mounted on the tops of wind turbine generators some fifteen miles away. Even at that distance the red strobes look like sequential runway lighting screaming across the horizon. Shift your gaze upward and the stars look even closer. Crystal clear and more of them than you’d ever believe. I’ve only been two other places where the night sky was as beautiful. One is Cape Point in Buxton, NC while fishing for red drum in the fall, and the other was from a sleeping bag in the bottom of the Grand Canyon during a rafting trip a few years ago. Down side of Cape Point were the mosquitos, down side of the Grand Canyon were the scorpions. No down side to Ashley! I understand that at certain times of the year The Aurora Borealis is visible in the Ashley’s night sky. What a breathtaking spectacle that must surely be.
Wednesday morning started as usual with the alarm sounding at 4:30 AM. I got up a little earlier than the rest of the gang, as I needed a shower in order to get moving each morning. The boys gave me hell on a regular basis for this practice. Apparently there’s some unwritten rule prohibiting personal hygiene of any sort beyond tooth brushing while duck hunting in North Dakota. Oh well, sue me!
We were back in the lay-out blinds as the sun came up that morning, and nearly to our limit again when it was time for breakfast. My hunting prowess was once again up for debate as I had expended the single ten round box of Hevi-Shot the day before, and Elsie was replaced by the 391 and Expert Steel Shot. Have I mentioned that Expert Steel Shot sucks? That they should be sued for false advertisement? That they should rename it Stevie Wonder Shot, or Ray Charles Shot? Because I’d shoot just as well with my eyes closed. But I digress.
The mid day pheasant hunt was forsaken so that we could travel to the game processor in Kulm, (sounds like “Kill ‘em” except with a ‘u’), North Dakota. The law stated that we could only be in possession of a limited number of waterfowl or pheasant limits at any given time. We had reached that milestone and needed to have the ducks processed and shipped home and into another
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persons possession. The most economical way to have the ducks processed was for us to breast them out in the presence of the processor, who was then able to legally vouch for the sex and species of the ducks for reporting purposes. I’d never breasted a duck before, but John and Cookie set a fine example and were good instructors. John was quick to point out a duck that I had obviously killed. When the skin was peeled back to reveal the breast meat, a half dozen or so shiny steel shot were lodged between the skin and the actual breast meat. It would just roll off the breast, then roll off the cleaning table and then bounce on the floor. I witnessed this phenomenon several more times while we were breasting ducks that day. In any event, we would soon have lots of pressed duck jerky and smoked pheasant breast to show for our first couple of days on the new diet.
Johns father Jack, and brother, Thomas found their way to the house at around midnight on Wednesday evening. As the sun rose the next morning we had two more occupied lay-out blinds in the winter wheat field line-up. The hunting was much the same as we had been experiencing all along, except that now I was the least effective of 6 hunters instead of the usual 4. No problem though, because I was highly qualified to be the least effective hunter, after all, it was my first time!
We had great hunts every day for the rest of the week. The evening temps were in the low to mid 30’s and the afternoon highs actually climbed to 50 or so a couple of times. Nothing but sunshine and clear nights from Sunday through the following Saturday, though it rained the entire week before we arrived and it was drizzling again as I boarded the airplane to come home.
We actually fell off the wagon for supper a couple of times. After
Friday afternoons duck hunt, we had a wonderful steak dinner at the farm home of one of Mikes local Ashley friends. By this time “Steak of the Day” sounded a hell of a lot better than “Shake of the Day”. After Saturdays hunt, everyone showered, (not just me!) and we drove back to the game processor to surrender our final delivery of ducks, pheasant, and one unfortunate goose that had gotten a little to close to John while he and Cookie had been hunting a pond that morning. In all we had turned in 86 ducks, a dozen or so pheasant, and one Canada goose. As soon as we were finished at the processor, we washed our hands and walked across the street to the lodge where the Pheasants Forever supper was being held that evening. Mike had secured tickets for the whole gang earlier in the week and we’d all been looking forward to the gathering. I actually received a small stainless steel flask as a door prize, not that I had any earthly idea what one actually does with a flask. After a great prime rib dinner, and after everyone in our group won exactly none of the 15 guns being raffled that evening, it was time to call it a trip.
Mike, John, Cookie, and the two retrievers hopped into Mikes truck and they began the long journey back to Richmond. It was anticipated to take about 25 hours, and John had work obligations on Monday morning. Jack, Thomas, and I hopped into Jacks rental vehicle and headed back to the old homestead for one last evenings rest. With no need for the 4:30 AM alarm setting, we awoke at a reasonable time. We then secured the house for Mikes scheduled return in about three weeks time, set “Smokie” free, and headed for the Aberdeen airport. The ducks were safe for at least a couple of weeks.
It is with great pleasure that the Friends of History In Fulton, N.Y., Inc. invite the L.C. Smith Collectors Association to participate in the Hunter Arms Homecoming to be held in, and around, Fulton, N.Y. on September 30, October 1, and October 2,2011. The Friends of History take great pride in preserving the long, rich history of the Fulton community for both current and future generations. Part of that history is, of course, the Hunter Arms facility which produced the L.C. Smith shotgun. We know that you, as an organization and as individuals, have a deep respect and regard for these shotguns. We also know that you would like to make sure the history of these guns is preserved. We have created a Hunter Arms Gallery within the J.W. Pratt House Museum, which is the headquarters of the Friends of History.
We are looking forward to our first experience with a shoot. We are quite experienced with fundraisers, as most non-profit organizations are, and are confident you will have a rewarding weekend. We do hope you will join us that weekend for the various activities.
We look forward to meeting you and sharing with you our mutual desire to keep the memory of Hunter Arms and L.C. Smith alive.
Sincerely,Sharon D. SantoroCorresponding Secretary Friends of History In Fulton, N.Y., Inc.
Friends of History In Fulton, N.Y. Inc.177 S. First Street. P.O. Box 157 • Fulton, NY 13069 • 315.598.4616. 315.598.6992fax. [email protected]
The John Wells Pratt House, housing the museum of the Friends of History in Fulton,is listed on the State and National Register of Historic Sites
Dear Mr. Finch,
April 16, 2011
12 The Journal of the L.C. Smith12
H u n t e r O n e T r i g g e r, C h a p t e r f r o m V i c Ve n t e r s
Gun Craft Fine Guns and Gunmakers in the 21st CenturyThis article was excerpted with permission from Gun Craft: Fine Guns & Gunmakers in the 21st Century, by Vic Venters (Shooting Sportsman Books, 2010). For more information, contact www.ShootingSportsmanBooks.com; 800-685-7962 . The author will send signed, personal-ized bookplates gratis to L.C. Smith Collectors Association members. For more information, contact Vic Venters, PO Box 4213, Wilming-ton, NC 28406; e-mail: [email protected].
Poor Allan Lard. His single trigger—best known in America as the Hunter One-Trigger—is arguably the most reviled in history.
So loathsome is the Lard’s latter-day reputation that only a handful of American gunsmiths will now tackle its regulation or repair.
A century ago, however, it was one of the most popular single triggers on either side of the Atlantic. Britain’s Westley Richards embraced it first, in the late 1890s, at the height of the firm’s fame and influence, with Westley’s not only adopting the “Reliable One Trigger” but also actively and avidly promoting it over standard double triggers, especially for the firm’s high-quality hand-detachable “droplocks.”
In autumn 1904 New York’s Hunter Arms Co.—maker of the L.C. Smith—announced it had purchased Lard’s American manufacturing rights after three years of “the most exhaustive possible tests,” dubbing the design the “absolutely perfect Hunter One-Trigger” (or “HOT” in Elsie-speak).
According to the company’s catalogs, Westley’s fit at least 1,500 of its guns with the Lard trigger before superseding it with its own in-house design around 1909. L.C. Smiths, on the other hand, bore the Hunter One-Trigger until production ceased in 1950. As far as I know, no one has yet tabulated how many Smiths were fitted with HOTs, but they surely number in the thousands—thus making it one of the most commonly encountered single triggers from the Golden Age of double guns.
All of which begs a question: If Lard’s triggers were so awful, why did two of the world’s greatest gunmakers use so many of them?
Lard’s single triggers are, in fact, ubiquitous because they were a success—they worked and worked well. Lard was an American with a fertile, inventive mind who took out a half-dozen or more trigger patents in the US and UK from 1898 to 1915 before turning his attentions to golf clubs and currency counters. L.C. Smith research-ers have discovered numerous variations or refinements in the design but, in the words of Pennsylvania gunsmith Dewey Vicknair, one of America’s specialists in HOT repairs, “If you know your way around one variant, you can understand any other.”
The Lard was just one of many single-trigger designs to emerge at the end of the 19th Century. John Robertson, of London’s Boss &
Co., patented the first truly successful one in 1894. Dozens and dozens of competing designs followed in Britain and America; many never made it past the patent or prototype stage, while others proved popular initially, only to sputter away as their shortcomings became evident.
To defeat double-discharge, all single triggers on double guns must in some way either obviate or use the phenomenon of “involuntary pull”—that is, the subconscious, recoil-induced reflexive pull that occurs between the first deliberate trigger pull and the second deliberate pull. Depending on the design, involuntary pull can be harnessed to shift a single-trigger mechanism into contact with the second sear, or it can be blocked for long enough to prevent it from tripping the second sear until the shooter is ready to discharge barrel two. The Lard works by the latter principle, and it employs an inertia-driven pendulous bob-weight to help it do so.
The Lard’s bob-weight is unusual in that it is balanced to swing forward under recoil—most operate in the opposite direction—and by containing the involuntary pull within the safety post, it prevents doubling, as well as helping maintain the lifting plate in a correct position to engage the second lock’s sear after the first shot is taken. That said, a Lard is best described as a “mechanical” trigger—nei-ther involuntary pull nor recoil-induced inertia is necessary to shift the mechanism from one sear to the other, and should a misfire occur on the first shot the second sear will still engage.
For this reason—and for its reliability—the One-Trigger was used on the dangerous-game double rifles Westley’s was famous for, as well as the firm’s big-bore fowlers. Westley’s noted of the Lard in its Centennial catalog: “The only one-trigger with an established reputation in actual use on double rifles.” (It’s worth noting that at the time Westley Richards was highly innovative in its own right, and the firm’s reputation was in large part built on its big-bore rifles—a reputation it would have hardly risked by installing a substandard trigger design.)
Given this, why is the Lard today considered a pariah among single triggers? To many gunwriters—many of whose mechanical aptitude extends barely beyond tapping keyboards (myself included)—it is undeniably fearsome to the eye. A profusion of pins, hooked and recessed components, a barrel-selector slide,
bridge-like linkages, tiny springs—its sheer number of bits—all conspire to make it appear more a contraption than a construc-tion of sound engineering. Many American gunsmiths, as noted, seem likewise intimidated.
This is a mistake, say craftsmen familiar with the design. “Usually the gunsmiths who pooh-pooh the Hunter One-Trigger are those who have the least experience with, or least understanding of, the mechanism,” said HOT-repair specialist Vicknair. “The best aspects of the L.C. Smith are its rotary bolt and the Hunter trigger—and the One-Trigger is one of the best single-trigger designs around.”
Abe Chaber, a Connecticut-based gunsmith with a reputation for single-trigger wizardry, broadly concurs. “When they are built correctly and have not been serviced improperly, they are very sound,” he said.
Which is not to gloss over the fact that many guns fitted with Lard/Hunters today have problems—they do, and they can be difficult, frustrating and painfully dear to fix. But the majority of problems stem not from the trigger’s intrinsic design; rather they are from larger design and manufacturing issues with the guns they were built in or often from simply poor gunsmithing.
Correct spatial relationships between the sears and the trigger mechanism are fundamental in keeping a Lard running reliably (as is the case with most vintage single-trigger designs). In particular, there must be proper clearances between the tails of the sears and the sear-lifters for the gun to successfully shift to the second shot: too close, and the gun can double; too far apart, and it will balk.
Unfortunately, L.C. Smiths provide plenty of oppor- tunities for critical spatial relationships to go awry. One
might fill a book chapter with what can go wrong, but stocking issues are most commonly at fault. In original Elsie manufacture, for example, relatively crude machining removed much of the wood from the head of the stock, leaving scanty bearing surfaces between the frame and lockplates and the wood. Subsequent stock cracking over time, typically behind the lockplates, and consequent shifting of component
The Hunter Arms Co. actively promoted the merits of the One-Trigger throughout its half-century in production.
In the 1930s, Hunter Arms introduced a simpler and somewhat-less-expensive non-selective One-Trigger variant.
One-Trigger parts: a) lifting plate, b) barrel selector/sear lifter, c) safety spur lever, d) safety spur post, e) lifting plate pin, f) bob-weight, g) bob-weight stud, h) serrated elevated stud, i) barrel-selector slide.
Despite its numerous parts, A.E. Lard’s One-Trigger works on a simple principle. When the trigger is pulled, the lifting plate (a) trips the first lock via its sear lifter (b). Simultaneously, the hooked safety spur (c) is elevated to engage the recess on the spur post (d), which prevents involuntary pull from further raising the lifting plate to inadvertently fire the second barrel. Recoil drives the pendulous bob-weight (f) forward, and its integral stud (g) rotates backward and is driven up against the safetly spur, thereby ensuring the latter is securely engaged in the post during the process of involuntary pull. As recoil subsides and the bobweight returns to its former position, a slight relaxation of pressure on the trigger allows the spur to come forward with its underside resting on the triggerplate’s serrated elevated stud (h). The lifting plate’s second sear is consequently positioned directly under the second sear, ready to fire barrel two with the next deliberate pull. The trigger’s selective feature is activated by the shooter moving the selector slide (i) forward or backward, which changes the height of the respective sear lifters and determines which barrel fires first.
14 The Journal of the L.C. Smith
tolerances are well-known problems and can play havoc with HOT reliability.
In fact, anything that affects sear clearances—such as springy, oil-soaked wood that allows components to move, alterations to the inletting, or restocking that doesn’t duplicate the original tolerances—can create reliability problems. “Overall, 90 percent of problems I see with the Hunter have something to do with the stock,” Chaber said. Lest you think I’m picking solely on Smiths, Lard triggers in hand-detachable Westleys are not immune to sear-clearance issues either. W.W. Greener gunmaker Richard Tandy—also one of England’s acknowledged single-trigger experts— reports that when the lock-locating stud on the inside of a drop-lock’s action wall becomes worn “after hundreds of thousands of rounds,” the detachable lock (and its sear tail) can “flop around” under recoil, making trigger regulation “a nightmare.”
Rogue gunsmithing and unskilled tinkering round out other culprits in the Hunter’s fall from grace. On an Elsie, even minor mistakes can produce unintended consequences—such as over- or under-tightening the breech pins fore and aft of the trigger unit;
again, this alters sear clearance. Ditto for a Smith’s lockplates, the pins for which can be over-tightened to similar effect. These are issues easily enough remedied by competent hands. However, when a gunsmith unfamiliar with the trigger’s operating principles has physically altered components, it takes a skilled craftsman to sort out the mess—and the remedy often isn’t cheap.
For all the craft skill needed to service a Lard, this trigger is not the frail, delicate gizmo that some have claimed. The reliability of many single triggers suffers when their mechanisms become dirty or clogged with hardened oil. According to both Chaber and Vicknair, Hunters will keep ticking even when dirty. And aside from the trigger’s springs, Lard components are robust and not particularly prone to wear, fatigue or damage from recoil. “Despite the number of parts,” Vicknair said, “it has a simple operating design. Lard was a very, very clever man, and when someone hasn’t ruined his trigger, it is absolutely reliable.”
It may come as some surprise to learn that a lot of today’s shooters agree with this assessment. With the assistance of Jim Stubbendieck of the L.C. Smith Collectors Association, I posted a poll on the organization’s Website forum. I asked: “How reliable is your L.C. Smith fitted with the Hunter Single Trigger?” The poll remained online for three weeks, during which 100 posters responded as follows:
Perfect—41%Very reliable—22%Somewhat reliable—11%Not reliable, it balks at a second shot—2%Not reliable, it doubles—3%Not reliable (other reason)—6%Reliability unknown, never/rarely shoot it—15%Though I would not want to generalize about the poll’s broader
statistical validity, the responses reveal a startlingly low incidence of failure, especially given the toll that time has no doubt taken on many vintage Smiths. I thought one participant’s response was par-ticularly pertinent: “I think part of the problem is that gunsmiths only see [Hunter] triggers that don’t work properly. It’s a little like cancer doctors who only treats cancer patients—according to them, people don’t die of anything else.”
Judged by modern streamlined designs, the One-Trigger is indeed imperfect. But as an example of guncraft from an age when craftsmanship counted, Allan Lard’s design was an admirable one—and it remains so today.
Britain’s Westley Richards adopted the Lard design in the late 1890s and used it until about 1909, when it introduced its own house trigger.
Pennsylvania gunsmith Dewey Vicknair is one of the few craftsmen in North America who will tackle One-Trigger regulation and repair.
15 www.lcsmith.orgFall 2011
Las Vegas Antique Arms ShowHOLD THE DATE
Las Vegas is rolling out the red carpet for the members of the L. C. Smith Collectors Association so mark your calendars to attend The Las Vegas Antique Arms Show, at the Riviera Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada January 19th - 22nd, 2012. Details are being worked out, but we will have a booth for the entire event and a very special g un display. Remember "What happens in Las Vegas, stays in Las Vegas."
Preliminary Schedule:Thursday, January 19th Set Up - Dinner on your own
Friday, January 20th Show - Group Dinner & Show
Saturday, January 21st Show - Presidents Reception
Sunday, January 22nd Show - Tear down - Farewell Party
If you would like to display your LC at this event or help man the booth, please contact Dean at (805-581-2275).
My First Elsie 2011by Cliff Hudgins
What got me started on this was an article in Sporting Clays magazine recently about a guy who took a tired old Smith and built it up into a custom gun. It caused me to look in the safe and realize that I only had one American shotgun there, and I’d never owned a side by side. My Dad owned a Model B Fox and a Winchester 37A many moons ago, but most of his hunting was done with a rifle. So I resolved to correct that deficiency. From other collecting activities, I developed a philosophy to focus on one or two brands, and know them well. Trouble was, which brand would be best for me?
To help with that discernment, I started buying books and magazines, reading all I could. I think I bought all of the major titles on US Double Guns, but mainly used Michael McIntosh’s The Best Shotguns Ever Made in America as a guide. From this
I decided that Ithaca’s just weren’t attractive to me. Parkers certainly appeared to be nice guns, but something about them just didn’t ‘click’ for me, and I decided to continue my search. Prices for Winchester 21’s seemed nattily over the top. Lefevers and Bakers seemed to be scarce, hard to find.
I’ve always had a soft spot for Remington thanks to my Dad, and I bought a Model 32, but of course that’s an O/U.
So it came down to Fox and Smith. I decided to go with the first good one of these I found, and let Fate have her say. Fate chose a Field Grade 12 ga.,
30 inch barrels choked full and fuller, of 1928 vintage.
A plain but original gun, case colors gone to white but very solid mechanically. She was quickly followed by a 16 ga. Hunter Special that I think is as nice an original gun as I’ve seen.
I then joined the LCSCA, and attended my first Southern SxS Championship last month. I shot terribly, but had a great time and met many of the fine people in this club. Fate chose well for me, and I’m looking forward to learning more about these old guns.
The Championship Trap Guns of Mr. Royall and MR. Pugh By Townsend Breeden
In March of 2010 I posted a note on our forum about two LC Smith single barrel trap (SBT) guns that had been used in winning matches at the Amateur Trapshooting Association’s annual Grand American. Since it is not often that a particular gun can be connected to a specific prestigious event and shooter I felt it warranted a revisit.
Specialty grade SBT gun Serial Number S73982 was finished in January 1925 and sold to Key Hardware eighteen months later in June 1926. It eventually found its way into the hands of Jordan B. Royall of Tallahassee, Florida. Mr. Royall, who served a few years as a state game warden, seldom participated in shoots outside Florida. But at the urging of a friend he attended the 1935 Grand American in Vandalia, Ohio. The outcome of the final event, the Grand American Handicap, found Mr. Royall in a tie with another 20 yard shooter. The subsequent two shoot offs
resulted in Royall declared as the winner. The loser of the shoot offs, Mr. Sam Vance, continued to gain fame on the tournament circuit and was inducted into the Trapshooting Hall of Fame in 1971. It is noteworthy that Mr. Vance, according to the reports at the time, was shooting a double barrel LC Smith. Mr. Royall appears to have experienced that flash of glory that comes with winning a big shoot as he faded from the scene.
Mr. Royall’s gun appearing in the figure has a small plate attached to the right side of the stock that reads, “Winner GAH Championship August 23 1935 98 x 100-20 yards” There is space left for a name to be engraved though it was never done. Unfortu-nately, the gun has been refinished (not restored) but remains in shooting condition.
Specialty grade SBT gun Serial Number S13337 was finished in August 1919 and shipped a month later to E. C. Hall and Son. The gun was used by Mr. E. T. Pugh, of Morris Illinois, to win the 1945 Clay Target Championship, a major event at the Grand American. Evidently Mr. Pugh thought a lot of his Smith single barrel because he scratched the inscription “MADE BY E T PUGH” on the fore end iron as shown nearby. Years later as we admire these guns we wouldn’t dream of scrawling a personal message such as Mr. Pugh left us, but in 1945 his gun was just a tool for him to use to seek glory and, perhaps, monetary rewards.
I haven’t been able to find any information about E. T. Pugh which is ashame because I shoot occasionally with another Mr. Pugh who is the grand nephew of John Phillip Sousa. It would be nice to make the connection between the two Mr. Pugh’s.
Last year I made contact with a Canadian shooter who had an Eagle grade SBT gun for sale. After some discussions about price and shipping over the border I acquired my first Eagle grade SBT. In August of this year I obtained a research letter and much to my pleasant surprise the letter stated that the gun, serial number 2165, was shipped to S. A. Vance in April 1919, address unknown. I connect the rare name of Vance and Canada with the S. G. Vance that competed with Mr. Royall although the middle initial is different. While none of these three guns has been subjected to a DNA match with the owners it seems likely that they were the guns used by them in their competitive matches. I don’t own either championship gun but I am sure they are still being used to break clay birds as is the Eagle.
16 The Journal of the L.C. Smith
Fall 2011 17 www.lcsmith.orgFall 2011
Nominations for upcoming BODAs head the nominating committee, I have been charged with the responsibility of submitting to the membership of this organization names of qualified individuals to fill the vacancies to be created by the expiration of the terms of Len Applegate, James Stubbendieck, and Frank Finch effective December 31, 2011. For the newer members of this fraternity who are not fully aware of the management policies of the LCSCA, all affairs of LC Smith Collectors Association are managed by a Board of Directors, which is composed of seven (7) life members. At the founding of the LCSCA, Charter Members established by-laws whereby the tenure of two actively serving Board members (three board members every third year) expire each year, so that an annual election must be held to either elect a new life member to the Board, or for active Board members who wish to continue their service; stand for re-election to new three-year term. At the inception of the LCSCA, this organization had a very limit ed pool of life members from which to select Board members, with the result that a member in good standing needed only two qualification to satisfactorily fill that position; a lifetime member-ship in the LCSCA, and a willing to serve (as in to WORK!).
Thankfully, the LCSCA has grown to the point that we now enjoy a large pool of life members from which to select members to the Board of Directors. And since we now have the added benefit of nine years experience upon which to reflect, realize that there are certain other KEY factors besides the two noted above that should certainly be considered for any member standing for election to the Board, and as members vote to select those who will fill these leadership positions.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEMBER QUALIFICATIONS 1) Must be a member in good standing and possess a life
membership in the LC Smith Collectors Association.
2) Possess a strong concern for the continued success of the LCSCA and a willingness to serve the organization in whatever capacity is assigned to the best of one’s ability.
3) The willingness and ability to attend the LCSCA Annual Members Meeting, unless prohibited by health or other unavoidable circumstance; and the willingness to attend other LCSCA sponsored functions as opportuni-ties are presented.
4) A solid knowledge base for all things Smith related, and/or a willingness to work expand that knowledge base.
5) A spirit of enthusiasm for all things Smith related and the willingness to share that enthusiasm with other LCSCA members, in the recruiting of potential new LCSCA members; and whenever possible with the general public.
6) A willingness to accept functional responsibilities necessary for the day to day operations of the organization, and the ability to complete project assignments associated with LCSCA sponsored events.
7) Possess good interpersonal communications skills; and, since much of the day to day operations of the LCSCA utilize the web, be computer literate.
8) Be a Good Will Ambassador at all times when representing the LCSCA.
The three individuals rotating off the Board this year have been instrumental to the success of the LCSCA; from the actual founding of the LCSCA itself, to the growth and the respect this organization enjoys today. Frank Finch and Jim Stubbendieck have agreed to continue their excellent service to the LCSCA; but sadly, Len’s job responsibilities and commitments have forced him to step down. We collectively offer a huge vote of thanks to Len, but hope this is not the last time we see Len at LCSCA sponsored events! To fill Len’s spot on the Board of Directors, I am recommending Jimmy Baker in whose ability I have full faith and confidence. If you are in agreement with this slate of nominees, please signify that fact by returning your ballot to Chris Baumohl in the enclosed envelope. In the event you disagree with my recommendation and wish to vote for another member you feel meets the above qualifications, you may cast your ballot for that individual by writing-in that life member’s name in the space provided below and returning that vote to Chris. Finally, for those life members who which to consider a position on the Board of Directors in the future, the deadline for name submission is August 1st each year. In closing, I thank you in advance for your careful consideration and prompt attention to this important matter; and remember that, to be counted, ballots must be received by November 1, 2011.
19 www.lcsmith.orgFall 2011
Jim Stubbendieck Jim Stubbendieck is perhaps the most
unassuming and easy-going gentleman one could ever be privileged to meet; but don’t be deceived by his quiet nature, as under-neath that now white shock of hair is a brilliant academician with undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Nebraska; and a Ph.D. from Texas A & M University. I’ve heard conflicting accounts as whether Jim is, or is not officially retired; but professionally Jim has served for many years as the Director of the Center for Great Plains Studies and a Professor of Grassland Ecology at the University of Nebraska. In this professional capacity, Jim has authored no less than 13 books, published more than 100 scientific articles; and has earned personal and professional awards, credits, and accomplishments too numerous to recount in this limited space.
As regards the LCSCA, Jim is a life and founding member; and has served as a member of the Board of Directors since the inception of the organization approximately nine years ago. Jim’s roots are in rural Nebraska, and it was there that Jim developed a great love for upland bird and waterfowl hunting; and where, from the age of 13, used and developed his fondness for the L.C. Smith gun. It was Jim’s sincere interest in the Smith gun that lead to his involvement with the LCSCA; and in his capacity as a Director, Jim’s contributions have been invaluable. Because of his unassuming nature, few members realize the extent of Jim’s contributions; but for starters, Jim serves as the LCSCA Web-master (www.lcsmith.org). But the title of Webmaster only scratches the surface, as Jim first had to create the site; and has since devoted countless hours to site maintenance, monitoring, and continuing efforts to update and modernize the site as technologies improved; and at the risk of
embarrassing Jim, donated all the associ-ated costs of website development and maintenance to the organization. Jim also serves in another vitally important capacity, Chairman of the LCSCA Research Division; and in assuming that role, maintains the invaluable Hunter Arms Company and L.C. Smith Gun Company records. Yes folks, Jim is the gentleman who prepares the LCSCA research letters; responding to hundreds of requests thus far, and which have generated significant and important income to be used for the operations of the LCSCA. And although this research takes many hours of his personal time, Jim uses; and continues to utilize these records for the purpose of providing the most accurate data base yet created pertaining to L.C. Smith gun and model production, which information is then made available to members thru the L.C. Smith Journal; and to the shooting fraternity via the Double Gun Journal. Whenever possible, Jim personally attends sanctioned LCSCA exhibits and events; and has genuinely done his best to promote the LCSCA at every opportunity, and in the most professional manner.
Jim is pleased to have been a part of the LCSCA these past nine years; and has graciously accepted an invitation to continue his service. If re-elected, Jim is committed to continue his excellent and enthusiastic support of this organization’s goals and objectives; and to support the LCSCA to the absolute best of his ability.
Jimmy BakerJimmy is a relative newcomer to the
LCSCA; but it would be difficult to find a more enthusiastic and energetic candidate as he stands before the membership for selection to the Board of Directors. Originally hailing from Detroit, Michigan; Jimmy moved with his parents to the Heart of Dixie in the early years of his youth where he spent his formative years growing up in and around Fort Payne. It was there
he met and married his bride, where he earned his college degree; and where his children were raised. By profession Jimmy is an entrepreneur; and in 1978 opened his own business, a hosiery mill, where he manufactures men’s, women’s, and chil-dren’s socks. The fact that his is still a viable manufacturing concern, given the intensity of current foreign import competi-tion, is a tribute to Jimmy’s skill and managerial ability; and today, his is one of only a handful of surviving privately owned and operated fully vertical hosiery mills remaining in the entire United States.
It was also among the rolling hills, cotton fields, and creek bottoms of northeast Alabama that Jimmy developed his love for the great outdoors; especially upland bird hunting. And it was from this passion for wing shooting that Jimmy developed a great appreciation and fascination for the classic American double gun; and especially the LC Smith. And although Jimmy refuses to take full credit for the elimination of the Bob White quail population from his portion of Alabama, other than to say “We all know what happened”; his passion for wing shooting was so great that he shifted that passion into the world of sporting clays, so that sporting clays has become his “addiction”. Jimmy is a superb clays shooter and is currently classified by the National Sporting Clays Association as a Master Class shooter. His contributions to the development of sporting clays competition within the State of Alabama has not gone unnoticed, as Jimmy was recently elected P resident of the Alabama Sporting Clays Association; and in that regard, has successfully managed the last two Alabama Sporting Clays State Championships. In fact Jimmy’s passion for sporting clays has grown to the point that he actually owns a sporting clays facility which has become his “office away from the office”! But of greatest significance to LCSCA members is the fact that Jimmy’s passion and apprecia-tion of the LC Smith gun actually exceeds his passion for sporting clays; so much so that, over the past three years Jimmy has
20 The Journal of the L.C. Smith
accumulated a most impressive collection of rare, unusual, and high-grade Smith guns; guns which, as a shooter, Jimmy has no reservations about shooting! Having worked with Jimmy personally, I can attest to the fact that his eye for the rare and unique in Smith guns is only equaled by his marks-manship; and that I have never met anyone more interested in learning all he can absorb about Smith guns, the gun works, and the master craftsmen who created this amazing article we enjoy so much.
Jimmy tells me that he was once heavily involved with the Colt Collectors Associa-tion, and that perhaps the single most significant aspect he has observed between that organization and the LCSCA has been the difference in the members themselves. With Colt collectors, it seems members are content just to “collect and show”; and although members of the LCSCA also enjoy showing their collections, LCSCA members wish to take things to the next level and actually use their collections for hunting and clays competitions! Jimmy believes strongly that providing venues and opportunities for members to shoot their vintage Smith gun/s is one of the greatest appeals the organization can provide; and also an excellent avenue in which to attract new members. If selected to the BOD, Jimmy will seek new opportunities to expand the number, and the quality of LCSCA sponsored shooting events and venues to areas of the country where such opportunities have been limited, or non-exist ent; and to seek new avenues for attracting a younger generation of shooters and collectors to our ranks, as Jimmy feels strongly that doing so is imperative to the long-term success and preservation of the LCSCA and LC Smith legacies. As an individual Jimmy is truly a gentleman in the finest sense of the word; and he is extremely pleased to be associated with the LCSCA. If elected to the BOD, Jimmy is committed to fully support the goals and objectives of the organization; and to uphold the high standards already established by his predecessors.
Frank Finch Frank is a life-long resident of New
Jersey where he grew up on the family farm waaaaaaay back when New Jersey was still rural. Frank attended Rutgers and Rider Universities where he earned his degree. After graduation Frank pursued a career in the pharmaceuticals industry; eventually retiring after a distinguished 30-year career where he served as a Vice-President for Bristol-Meyers Squibb. Afterwards, Frank a virtual dynamo and not content with retirement; formed his own management consulting firm specializing in strategic systems planning for the pharmaceutical industry, FJF Associates, Inc, and devel-oped that venture into a tremendously successful business before officially retiring from the industry.
Growing up on the family farm, Frank spent many memorable days afield with his dad; and in the process, developed a keen interest in shotguns and shooting. In 1965 Frank purchased his first Elsie, a restored 12 gauge Field Grade, and hasn’t stopped collecting since. Frank now has an extensive collection of Smith guns, advertising materials, and interesting company artifacts. Always full of enthusi-asm, Frank’s collecting goal became the acquisition of one high quality 20-bore in every grade; and finally, after years of searching, Frank found one of his “missing links” just this year, the elusive 1E Grade (although he’s still looking for the A3 20-bore!). Frank still manages the family farm, except that the acreage once used for food crops now produces wildlife forage and cover crops for deer, turkey, pheasant, and other small game/non- game birds and animals; but he’s never happier that when on the farm with his English Setters and a 20 -bore Elsie. But Frank’s sporting efforts are not limited solely to the LCSCA, as Frank is also very active in the Middlebush Rod and Gun Club; and Gobblers Knob Rod Associa-tion. He is also a Life Member of the NRA, member of Ohio Gun Collectors
Association, and Forks of the Delaware Gun Collectors Association.
Frank is a Founding and Charter Member of the LCSCA; and has served as the Executive Director of the LCSCA since October, 2003. Frank, with his white handle-bar mustache, has become the “face” of the LCSCA, and has been an invaluable promoter and spokesperson for the organization. Frank and his bride Mary Anne seem to be on the road constantly in their efforts to attend and promote as many LCSCA sanctioned events and exhibits as possible; and Mary Anne’s support of Frank’s efforts on behalf of the LCSCA cannot be under estimated. Under Frank’s leadership, the LCSCA continues to grow as an organization and increase its member base. And although it’s difficult to conceive at this point, given the success of the LCSCA in recent years; few members realize that when Frank assumed the Directorship of the LCSCA, the wonderful things we now take for granted such as our web site, quarterly publication of the LCSCA Journal, the acquisition of t he Hunter Arms factory records, LCSCA Research Letters, myriad LCSCA sanctioned events and exhibits, the LC Smith vs. Parker Challenge Event and annual meeting, LCSCA logo hats and shirts; and numerous other achieve-ments were only dreams still to be realized. And having been directly involved with the BOD in those early years I can personally attest that Frank’s leadership was instrumental in these organizational accomplishments and milestones.
Frank is a man committed to excellence in every challenge he undertakes; and is whole-heartedly committed to the con- tinued growth and success of the LCSCA. Under Frank’s leadership the LCSCA has become one of the most envied organiza-tions of it type, earning a reputation as an organization which encourages member fellowship; and as an organization dedi- cated to the increased knowledge of the Smith gun. Frank has for nine year now, demonstrated his devotion.
21 www.lcsmith.orgFall 2011
A t t e n t i o n L . C . S m i t h S h o o t e r s
Eighth Annual Turkey Shootby Roger Domer
PLACE: Prince Georges Trap and Skeet Center 10400 Good Luck Road Glen Dale, MD 20769 301 577-7178
TIME: 9:00 AM to about 4:00 PM
DATE: Saturday, November 5, 2011
VENUE: Sporting clays, skeet, trap, five-stand, International trap
LUNCH: 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM Three Brothers Italian caterer
COST: Approximately $70, includes lunch, 50 targets sporting clays, 25 targets 5-stand, 25 targets trap
INFO: Guests are welcome but we ask that only LC Smith guns be shot. The PG Trap and Skeet Center is a public shooting facility.
RESERVATIONS: Are required by November 1, 2011. You may contact me at 301 953-1878 or [email protected]
2011 Events DATE EVENT LOCATION ARRIVAL POINT PERSON ACTION
9/22/-9/25/11 15th Vintage Cup Pintail Point 9/22/11 Skip & Chris Dunlap Attend Queenstown, MD
9/30-10/2/11 Hunter Arms Homecoming Fulton, NY 9/30/11 Bill Winter Awaiting Details
11/5/11 8th Annual Turkey Shoot Prince George Trap & Skt 11/5/11 Roger Domer Attend Glenn Dale, MD
11/12-11/13/11 Tulsa Gun Show Tulsa, OK 11/11/11 Jim & Don Attend
12/29/11 Post Christmas Shoot Lehigh Valley Sporting 12/29/119:00 AM John Bleimaier Attend Clays Coplay, PA
1/20-1/22/12 Las Vegas Antique Arms Show Riviera Hotel & Casio 1/19/12 Dean Attend Las Vegas, NV
22 The Journal of the L.C. Smith
L.C. Smith ClassifiedsThe L.C. Smith Collectors Association
accepts no responsibility for the accuracy
of the seller’s description. All negotia-
tions are strictly between the buyer and
seller. The buyer and seller are respon-
sible for complying with all applicable
state and federal laws.
NOTE: Ads are only run for one issue
unless the advertiser contacts the publisher
(David Williamson) to continue to run
the ad by the cut-off fotr the next issue.
Several high grade L.C. Smiths. Call Cliff for details (404)626-2501
1 LC Smith Grade 5E 12 ga single trigger. auto ejectors, 30" barrels, splinter fore end, Prince of Wales butt stock with leather covered pad. This gun is also known as the Adm. Robert Peary Gun.
2 LC Smith Crown Grade 12 ga single trigger, auto ejectors 26’ barrels splin-ter fore end, pistol grip stock. This gun was built for Mr. G. K. Simonds Pres. & CEO of Hunter Arms Co. in 1923 and has his signature inlaid in gold on the trigger guard.
3 LC Smith Eagle Grade 20 ga single trigger, auto ejectors, 28" barrels, splinter fore end, English stock. This gun was built in 1934 two years after the Eagle Grade was discontinued by Hunter Arms and is the only Known Eagle Grade to have been built with swamp ribbed barrels. It also has the initials P H in raised Gold on the trigger guard.
4. LC Smith Ideal Grade 20 ga two bar-rel set,single trigger, auto ejectors, 1 set of 26" & 1 set of 28" barrels each having their own beavertail fore end, pistol grip stock with a gold shield engraved MRK. This gun was special ordered by Mr. Frank Kenna, Pres. & CEO of the LC Smith Gun Co. for his wife Mavis as a 25th wedding anniversary present.
POR (Price on Request) The specifics of all guns will be discussed with serious inquires only. Thanks, Skip Dunlap