These American-made smoothbores offered excellence in quality and prices that rivaled the best guns from Purdey or Holland and Holland of the time. Fitted with graceful sidelocks combined with a rotary locking bolt that gave L.C. Smith shotguns a well-deserved reputation for never "shooting loose," these guns were the first choice of collectors, shooters and sportsmen throughout the country. Selected by President Theodore Roosevelt, actors Humphrey Bogart and Clark Gable, bandmaster John Philip Sousa and many others, these shotguns were among the finest ever made.
This exhibit, consisting of loaned arms from members of the L.C. Smith Collectors Association, brings together fifteen of the finest L.C. Smith shotguns here at the National Firearms Museum. Included in this temporary exhibit in the nfm Orientation Theater are shotguns owned by Humphrey Bogart and Clark Gable, as well as the finest Deluxe Grade example made.
Premier, Crown, A-3, A-2, Monogram, Ideal and other grades of L.C. Smith doubles are part of this special exhibition, scheduled to run for one year in the museum's galleries. In addition to the guns themselves, part of the exhibit showcases the ephemera associated with the companies that made them - artwork that captures the era when America was moving into the 20th century, as well as a silver trophy awarded in 1904.
One of the more notable figures in L.C. Smith history, master engraver Albert E. Krause, who embellished arms for princes and presidents, is represented by the simple chest and tools that he utilized during his 55-year tenure.
Reprinted from America's 1st Freedom, June 2002.