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Previously, L.C. Smith shotguns were manufactured 1878-1889 by W.H. Baker & Company and L.C. Smith Maker located in Syracuse, NY, 1890-1946 by Hunter Arms Company, 1946-1950 by L.C. Smith Gun Company in Fulton, NY, and 1968-1971 by Marlin Firearms Company, in North Haven, CT. L.C. Smith trademarked shotguns were also manufactured in Italy and imported by Marlin Firearms Company, located in North Haven, CT between 2004-2009.
The L.C. Smith sidelock shotgun with its famous rotary locking bolt is considered an "American Best" and is recognized as one of America's most prestigious and collectible shotguns. Records indicate that L.C. Smith sold more medium to high grade models than Parker Bros., and collector interest remains high. The Blue Book of Gun Values strongly recommends an expert appraisal when contemplating a purchase of a higher grade L.C. Smith, particularly in 90%+ original condition. L.C. Smith shotguns with a second set of barrels (usually marked "2") and forend serial numbered to the gun (1 and 2) with matching serial numbers and forends are valued at 50% more if they were made at the factory when the shotgun was built. A second set of barrels will add 33% to the value if the shotgun was sent back to the factory to be fitted with the second set. Guns that are mechanically factory original, but have been expertly restored (barrels, receivers, and wood) are of less interest to collectors. Therefore, these expertly restored guns should be valued at about 80% of the highest value listed for a particular grade in this section, assuming the restored gun exhibits little, if any wear. Upgraded shotguns have little collector interest. Values are dependent upon grade and craftsmanship and are not included in these suggested values.
The L.C. Smith Collectors Association offers a variety of services as well as a quarterly collector's journal. Readers may reach the organization through the website: The L.C. Smith Collectors Association has records and can provide authentication/research letters for the following L.C. Smith and Hunter Arms Co. shotguns: Hunter Arms Company factory records 1890-1918, production and shipping records 1918-1946 (including Ranger, Fulton, Gladiator, and Hunter Special shotguns), L.C. Smith Gun Co. records 1946-1950 ("FWS" prefix), and Marlin records 1968-1971 ("FWM" prefix - Field Grade and Deluxe Model).
Additionally, factory L.C. Smith letters can be obtained from the Cody Firearms Musuem located in Cody, WY. The cost is $70 for non-members or $20-$40 for members, depending on the level of membership. These letters indicate the original configuration of the shotgun when it left the factory. However, they do not guaruntee originality. AlsoPlease contact the Cody Firearms Museum directly for more information on this service (refer to listing in Trademark Index).
A letter of authentication increases the value of any grade from any era by a minimum of $100. The price guide in this book is based on the remaining percentage of original case color finish. Original bold, vivid case colors will command a substantial premium on most grades.

From Blue Book Publications:

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