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Discussion Starter #1



Won by J.G. Messner using a Parker


Guns used: Greener – 17; Capt. “Jack” Brewer, Capt. A.W. Money, E.D. Fulford, J.A.R. Elliott

Smith – 11; Apgar & Lindsley

Parker – 6; O.R. Dickey, Noel Money, A.W. DuBray

Winchester Repeater – 2; Rolla Heikes

Francotte – 7, Scott – 3, Lefever – 2, Purdey - 2
 
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Discussion Starter #2
April 6, 1895
Some Facts About the Retail Gun Trade - The Mania For Foreign-Made Guns
Parker Bros., of Meridan, Conn., are producing a Special high grade pigeon gun which is certainly equal to an imported gun in every way, and best of all, the shooting quality is not lacking.

The Hunter Arms Co., of Fulton, N. Y., also make a special gun which is finely finished, perfectly balanced and contains the best workmanship.

The Lefever Arms Co., of Syracuse are also catering to this better class of trade, and have already filled many orders for guns costing $300 to $400 which were equal in material, finish design of engraving and general workmanship to any foreign gun costing much more money.


Early Parker AAH guns were marked "Pigeon Gun" on the top barrel rib. The first AAH Pigeon Gun SN 79964 was delivered to Capt. Du Bray in 1894 and at that time, it was Parkers highest grade selling for $400.

 
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Discussion Starter #3
Hunter Arms made the first run of 10 Pigeon Grade guns (SNs 37209 to 37218) in May 1893 and in 1894 it cost $150 with AE

"Our Pigeon Gun is an innovation. Appreciating that there is a demand for a very quick shooting gun, we deliver this grade. The straight grip admits the most rapid work possible and supplies a want long felt by many sportsmen. They are specially adapted to stand the tremendous strain of many heavy loads of nitro powder."






The L.C. Smith Pigeon Gun was made in 10, 12, 16, and 20 gauges. Recent research by Dr. Jim Stubbendieck has revealed that total production was 1,395, about 15% more than the 1,214 reported by Col William S. Brophy in L.C. Smith Shotguns (1977). The majority (1,349) were made in 12 gauge. Only four were made in 10 gauge, 22 in 16 gauge, and 20 in 20 gauge. The most common barrel length was 30 inches. Nineteen were made with a second set of barrels.

Of note is the relatively few Pigeon Guns manufactured with 32” barrels. Harvey McMurchy received his 32" Pigeon SN 4524 September 8, 1900. The great Fred Gilbert used a Smith with 30” barrels to win the DuPont World’s Pigeon Shooting Championship in 1895 and the "E. C." Inanimate Target Championship Cup in 1896. Following the 1899 Grand American Handicap at Live Birds he changed to a 30” barrel Parker BH, but toward the end of 1901 received a new Parker DH with 32” barrels. The longer barrels appeared at the traps with increasing frequency thereafter.


Compared to many grades of L.C. Smith shotguns, the Pigeon Gun was never a top-seller. The period of highest production was 1895 to 1898 when 565, or over 40%, of the Pigeon Guns were made.
 
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Discussion Starter #4
Lefever Optimus





 
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Sporting Life March 7, 1896
Regarding The 2nd Sportsman’s Exposition at the Madison Square Garden
"The Hunter Arms company will show samples of their pigeon gun, made expressly for the use of trap shooters. Their exhibit will be worth seeing, and every sportsman who visits the exposition should find time to examine the different grades of guns which this enterprising and progressive firm will have to show. Guns costing from $50 to $500 can be seen, and after examining one at the latter price you will not wonder that a gun can cost so much money."


 
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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
More on "Prince Mac" and the Smith Pigeon Gun at the link
McMurchy & Pigeon Gun

Lenox trophy vase and Osthaus print. From the collection of Chris Lien, and found on p. 268 of L.C. Smith "The Legend Lives"


 
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Discussion Starter #8
There were several variants







 
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It was the top one, 8 1/2" tall. Dog on one side and Hunter One 1st Place Trophy in gold on the other.

I know of another one which was about 18" tall that went for huge money. One of 2 made????
 

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Drew I have a Pigeon Grade 12 gauge that letters as ordered on September 22nd 1895 and shipped on November 27th 1895 to the Laflin & Rand Powder Company New York City.
Who was their shooter at that time?
 

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Beautiful guns.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
twoatlow8 (are you Bill?) This guy :)



The L&R trade rep at the 1897 GAH was L. D. Thomas, based in Pittsburg. Ed Taylor was apparently a shooting rep in 97' - see the link
 
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Discussion Starter #14
No one at the big 1895 DuPont shoot used both a Smith and L&R.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
BINGO :) W.A. Callender at the 1896 "E.C." Cup used a Smith and L&R
 

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Thank you Drew That gives me some good leads! I also am interested in Ed Taylor.
He announced he was getting back into shooting in the September 25th 1895. My gun was ordered by Lafin & Rand on September 22nd 1895. Did Ed Taylor shoot a Smith?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
1895 (3rd) Grand American Handicap at Live Birds

Page 1




April 20, 1895 Sporting Life
Page 14

Capt. DuBray on Messner’s victory
Recreation
 
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Never shot a "Pigeon" shoot, never been to one.
They were popular at a few places in my time, couple of big ones in KY for sure.
They still exist in some states but also do not have the money to shoot in them either, big money.
 
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