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Detective344

Now that is pretty funning that you just pick up a 16 ga Lefever. I also just bought one from an old family friend two weeks ago. Every time I ran into him I ask about the gun. He started taking me pheasant hunting when I was around 13. My dad quit hunting In Illinois in 1968 when they came out with the FOID card & my brother was in the service at that time. Will anyway he used the 16 S x S & I used my dad old 20 ga single shot. We stop at a couple of gun shop because I wanted something different than the single shot. The one shop had a 12 ga Lefever Nitro Special like his in the rack for $60.00; anyway he said if I didn’t buy it he would so he could have a pair. I was too young at the time, I believe 13 & I had the money & my dad couldn’t buy it because of the Foid card. So my friend had his wife buy it for me, that was over 40 years ago & I still have the receipt & the gun. I made a mistake quite a few years ago & had the gun re blued & redone the stock (should have left alone). The stock looks better than the bluing job. I still shoot it from time to time. I have 4 boys, every once & awhile were able to get together to fill up a squad & shoot S x S. I like shooting my Damascus barrel shot guns with black powder. Going to try the 16 ga this Sunday morning.

The guy that I bought the gun from gave me 6 boxes of extra shells that he shot through it. They included heavy pheasant & magnum duck loads. I was just up in Spooner WI. last weekend at the Ace hardware store & I looked in there ammo display. They had 1 box of Fed 7 ½ shot for $2.79, I ask if this was the right price, they sold it to me for $2.79. I wished they had more.

Tom Jewell
 

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Nitro Specials are solid utility grade guns. Please be aware that Ithaca did not lengthen the chambers of their 16s from 2 9/16 until the mid-1930s. You can look up the date of production at the link above. More information about chamber length here

http://www.16ga.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1983

and an easy way to measure the chamber

http://www.lcsmith.org/faq/chamlgth.html

A gun with "mirror" bores but trace case colors and a stock that needs refinishing suggests the possibility of honing. It would be wise to measure the bores, wall thickness, and choke constriction.

If the barrels are sound and the gun is mechanically solid, it would be reasonable to limit your shells to 1 oz. such as the Federal Game Shok at 1165 fps. The Remington Game Load runs 1200 fps and has a bit more recoil.
 

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The best way I have found to keep finish out of the checkering is to carefully mask the checkering with masking tape. Some may still creep under into the checkering and that can be removed by recutting the checkering. It is not difficult to do if you work carefully. Once the checkering is recut brush a very light coat of finishing oil such as TruOil into the checkering with a tooth brush.
 

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I bought a gun like yours for the SASS game and shot quite a few rounds of modern 16 gauge ammo out of it. The one I had required some chamber polishing to get the hulls to drop out effortlessly (the chambers were 2 3/4"). All and all I thought it was a very nice shotgun and I wish I would have kept it. Unfortunatley I traded it off for a six gun that I just had to have. The guy that ended up with the shotgun still has it and uses it for upland bird hunting several times each season.

Good luck with your stock refinishing job, remember it is a labor of love ... take your time.
 

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I agree with ou.3200. I recut the checkering after I remove the old finish. I then put masking tape on the checkering and cut the edges of the tape with a very new and sharp razor blade, making sure I do not cut into the wood. I then spray the stock with finish, (tru-oil, polyurethane, etc.). When I have one or two coats left I remove the tape and clean out the perimeter of the checkering with a checkering file(Brownell's). Then I spray over the entire stock one or two more times just to seal the checkering without to much build-up. You can do the same if you choose the oil rub finish. Remember to stain the stock first if you choose, and also fill the pores if you desire the smooth finish. Good luck. Jon
 

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I have an early Nitro Special 12 and have fired the heaviest 2 3/4" loads with no issues. I've owned it for nearly thirty years. Got it for christmas when I was 13. My first shotgun is an H&R 1940's Topper 16ga. that I got when I was 9. I would love to get a sxs in 16. I would not worry about shooting any factory loads. I've even shot trap with my Nitro. With no recoil pad and its light weight it starts to hurt pretty quick. Not to mention the cheek bruise I get. Have fun with yours.
 

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If Nitro Specials have a weak point it is the tendency to crack at the end of the top tang

 
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