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Old shotgun. Safe to shoot?

Old 04-05-2019, 12:59 AM
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Default Old shotgun. Safe to shoot?

Saw the side by side thread and figured I'd throw this out there. Selling (for BIL's estate) an L.C. Smith Specialty grade 12 ga sxs from 1927. Last week I thought about taking it to a get together to shoot but started thinking putting modern shells might cause problems.

It's a pricey item I don't want to destroy it. What says the THT?

EDIT: NOT Damascus
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Old 04-05-2019, 02:45 AM
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There are some specialty ammo suppliers for old shotguns. Need to verify what length the chambers are before buying shells and shooting, some of these old guns had 2-1/2", 2-5/8" chambers.

rstshells.com is one source
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Old 04-05-2019, 03:06 AM
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Originally Posted by STIPulation View Post
There are some specialty ammo suppliers for old shotguns. Need to verify what length the chambers are before buying shells and shooting, some of these old guns had 2-1/2", 2-5/8" chambers.

rstshells.com is one source

This
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Old 04-05-2019, 03:26 AM
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I have a couple Winchester Model 12, 12 ga pump shotguns. A glorious duck gun. I can only shoot lead -- steel will ruing the choke.
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Old 04-05-2019, 03:40 AM
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Probably OK to shoot it but I would not risk it since it is being sold.
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Old 04-05-2019, 03:59 AM
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Hunted with friends 20ga L.C. Smith few weeks ago its over 100 years old, very well made gun.



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Old 04-05-2019, 04:18 AM
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I have re built a number of old “hardware store” shot guns. Most were single barrel 12 and 20 gage. Use lead shot and light loads. No issues.
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Old 04-05-2019, 04:29 AM
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My wife shoots a 1920’s Damascus barreled Parker ( among other weaponry) and runs light RST’s through it no problem.


You can look and feel for weird bulges on the barrel and make sure it locks up tight. Take it to a gunsmith if you are worried...

I would run it by a gunsmith prior to selling anyway... Plenty of guys around that evaluate older shotguns.. Maybe get an appraisal at the same time so you can price it with confidence.

Condition and provenance tell tell the tale on pricing these....



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Old 04-05-2019, 06:32 AM
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I personally would not trust a damascus barrel. I have a LC Smith that has damascus and a 1905 Remington that has std steel barrels.

I took the Remington to a sporting clay shoot once, it didn't go well. I could not get used to shooting with 2 triggers LOL
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Old 04-05-2019, 06:54 AM
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I would have it checked by a professional gunsmith who has experience with that type of shotgun. He should be able to tell you if it's safe to fire and what shell to use. I would not want to risk it exploding in my face.
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Old 04-05-2019, 07:53 AM
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Originally Posted by mikefloyd View Post
I would have it checked by a professional gunsmith who has experience with that type of shotgun. He should be able to tell you if it's safe to fire and what shell to use. I would not want to risk it exploding in my face.
Don't shoot it. I let one get away from me when I was young. The barrel had a slight crack at the muzzle from me shooting the thing a lot.. I sold it for cheap and had no idea what it was worth at the time. I found out later that it was worth more than I was.
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Old 04-05-2019, 07:56 AM
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Originally Posted by fritz423 View Post
Saw the side by side thread and figured I'd throw this out there. Selling (for BIL's estate) an L.C. Smith Specialty grade 12 ga sxs from 1927. Last week I thought about taking it to a get together to shoot but started thinking putting modern shells might cause problems.

It's a pricey item I don't want to destroy it. What says the THT?

EDIT: NOT Damascus
Gramps gave me his when I was 12.
killed many tridge w that fine gun.
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Last edited by gofastsandman; 04-05-2019 at 05:45 PM. Reason: 20 ga. Sweet swing.
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Old 04-05-2019, 08:00 AM
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Only one way to find out.....
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Old 04-05-2019, 08:10 AM
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I would probably take it by a good gunsmith for piece of mind before shooting modern loads out of it. American made side by sides of that quality were very well made. I would probably avoid mag or high velocity rounds but I think you should be fine otherwise.
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Old 04-05-2019, 08:15 AM
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If you are going to shoot it (with any load) I would proof it first with the old tire and string test firing, also used frequently for old muzzleloaders.
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Old 04-05-2019, 08:52 AM
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If you are selling it regardless, I wouldn't risk it. I would not be fundamentally opposed to shooting it at all. Doing so in this case has little benefit unless you are doing so to evaluate purchasing it yourself. In that case, RST all the way.

Re: Damascus. I wouldn't shoot them at all unless from a well known, well regarded builder, and again with speciality ammo such as RST. I wouldn't hesitate with a Parker.
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Old 04-05-2019, 10:27 AM
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I don’t know that I could sell an old family gun like that. I’d hope I’d never be in such need of money. Just too cool.
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Old 04-05-2019, 11:07 AM
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make it a wall hanger and tell stories about it - thats what I did with one I bought at a estate sale - 22 inch dbl barrel -
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Old 04-05-2019, 12:15 PM
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Sorry, but why would you even want to shoot this gun? Anyone with an interest in buying it will not require a test fire, so there is nothing to be gained by firing it.
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Old 04-05-2019, 05:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Freeebird View Post
Sorry, but why would you even want to shoot this gun? Anyone with an interest in buying it will not require a test fire, so there is nothing to be gained by firing it.
Anyone who might have interest in this gun will absolutely want to crack n snap it.
That tells you everything.
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