Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 447: Hunter Arms/L. C. Smith A3 Grade Double Barrel Ejector Shotgun

Auction Date: December 3, 2021

Rare, Documented, Factory Game Scene Engraved, and Gold Inlaid Hunter Arms/L. C. Smith A3 Grade Double Barrel Ejector Shotgun Owned by American Industrialist and Philanthropist John Lee Pratt

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Estimated Price: $80,000 - $130,000

Rare, Documented, Factory Game Scene Engraved, and Gold Inlaid Hunter Arms/L. C. Smith A3 Grade Double Barrel Ejector Shotgun Owned by American Industrialist and Philanthropist John Lee Pratt

Manufacturer: Hunter Arms Company
Model: Double Barrel
Type: Shotgun
Gauge: 12
Barrel: 30 inch solid rib
Finish: blue
Grip:
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 860
Item Interest: Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 267
Class: Curio & Relic Long Gun
Description:

Blued steel barrels with single brass bead sight on the matted, solid rib, marked "SIR JOSEPH WHITWORTH FLUID COMPRESSED STEEL." and "MADE TO ORDER BY HUNTER ARMS Co. FULTON N.Y." on the right and left barrels respectively, and chambers measured 2 3/4 inches with automatic ejectors. The barrels show single bands of engraving at either muzzle with 1 1/2 inch wedges of floral scroll, a gold inlaid pigeon in an oval scene surrounded by floral work on the rear of the rib, and 2 1/2 inch wedges of scroll at the breeches with gold inlaid lightning bolt arrows. The casehardened, hammerless, sidelock action displays near full coverage floral scroll engraving surrounding five separate game scenes. The left lockplate shows a setter on point in relief, the top left and right sides each show a setter and spaniel, respectively each holding a bird in his mouth, the right lockplate shows a pointer in relief, and the triggerplate has four quail along a fence line. The triggerguard shows a hunter shooting a pair of quail over a trio of setters in a field flanked by a quail on either side of the scene. The gun features double triggers and an automatic tang mounted safety switch with gold inlaid "SAFE". Beautifully figured, fancy fleur-de-lis checkered splinter forend with engraved fittings, rotary latch release, and ebony tip inlay. The round knob pistol grip stock is of the same exceptional quality with matching checkering and a serrated hard rubber buttplate. Per the chart on page 209 of William Brophy's "L. C. Smith Shotgun", this gun is one of only 17 A3 Grade shotguns ever completed, making this the rarest 12 gauge L. C. Smith produced. This shotgun was owned by philanthropist and the first executive vice president of the General Motors Corporation, John Lee Pratt. Pratt was an avid outdoorsman and a generous supporter of many causes, most of which was done anonymously. Included with the gun is a copy of the "The Double Gun Journal" from winter 1995 validating this information and showing beautiful photographs of this rare shotgun. Barrel and stock measurements (R/L): bore diameter nine inches from the breech .730/.734 inches; choke constriction .035/.047 inches; minimum wall thickness .025/.030 inches; 1 15/16 inch drop at comb; 3 1/16 inch drop at heel; 14 3/8 inch length of pull; weight 7 lbs 9 oz.

Rating Definition:

Excellent, retaining 97% original blue finish on the barrels with 50% on the triggerguard, the action and lockplates show 60% original case colors with the balance an attractive silver patina, and light handling evidence. The wood is also excellent with a few minor scratches, a brown coloration to the buttplate, and sharp checkering. Mechanically excellent. These shotguns are rarely seen for sale, ever less frequently in this exceptional condition, don't miss your chance to own this excellent piece owned by American industrialist and philanthropist John Lee Pratt!



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