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Joined: Dec 2016
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Boxlock
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Boxlock

Joined: Dec 2016
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Looking for any and all info on SxS shotguns built by he Hunter Arms Co. but without L.C. Smith brand. I'm considering a 16 gauge that a local shop is selling. It is choked Mod and Full which I will need to have opened up.
What can anyone tell me about these guns? Anything to be wary of? Any links to info? All my internet and forum searches only turn up info on L.C. Smith guns.

Thanks

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Sidelock
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Sidelock
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Are you referring to the Hunter Arms Co. Hunter and Fulton boxlocks?
http://www.lcsmith.org/faq/fulton.html
http://www.picturetrail.com/sfx/album/view/17126039

Be aware that the chambers are likely 2 9/16"
http://www.lcsmith.org/faq/chambers.html

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Sidelock
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The Hunter Arms box lock shotguns were made very well.
Hunter Arms made these shotguns for keeping up with other companies that made lower priced box locks. These guns were about $100 cheaper than the side lock L.C. Smiths made by Hunter Arms Co.
The earlier ones up until around 1930 had a 3 screws on the receiver, the top screw held the sears in place. Later they made a 2 screw receiver that was in my opinion a much better design.
The early 20's and 16 gauges were short chambered and this changed in the 1930's to 2 3/4" chambers.
The Hunter Special has the rotary locking bolt like the side lock L.C. Smiths. They are all well built guns.

This is a Gladiator Field grade circa 1920 that was made for Sears Roebuck & Co. showing the 3 pin receiver.

This is a Ranger circa 1937 identical to The Fulton. This was also made for Sears Roebuck & Co.

This is a 2 pin receiver and shows how the parts were fitted.

The Hunter Arms Co. box locks were made for many companies and if you know what to look for they are easy to identify that they were made by Hunter Arms Co. Also the serial numbers for many of these box locks made for other companies are listed in the L.C. Smith Records.


David


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Sidelock
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I'm not sure about when the 20's had the 2 3/4" standard. But Hunter Arms didn't switch over to 2 3/4" for the 16ga until very late in the 30's. Maybe not until 1940. Someone may have a more exact date. But Brophy's LC Smith book (p. 228, Appendix C) shows a schematic for Elsie barrels, and the 16 is shown to have a short chamber. Date of that drawing is April 1938.

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Sidelock
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Sidelock

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My Sears Ranger Model 104.3 (Hunter Arms Fulton) built 1937-39 has chambers that measure 2 3/4in. Nice gun with twin beads and some figure to the wood. Being a Sears Ranger, I got it for a song at an auction.

Jeff

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Sidelock
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I ?? your math, Sir. $100.00 cheaper? If you could buy a field grade Smith sidelock with std. DT and extractors in 1927 for $45.00 retail, does that mean you could buy the cheaper Fulton series boxlock, also with DT and EXT for a negative $52.00 figure? Doesn't add up-- Now same scenario, I'd look to see the Fulton retailing at arond $21.00, and the "fancier" fulton special for maybe $23.50- just a guess, I only own and collect graded Smith guns, both pre-1913 and pre-1936 mfg. mainly ejector equipped-- The Fultons were good guns, so were the Parker Trojans, and the Ithaca LeFever brand Nitro Specials- You pays your money and you takes your choice--


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Boxlock
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Boxlock

Joined: Dec 2016
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Thanks to all responders.
I looked at the gun I'm considering a couple times a few months ago. I'm hoping it's still there. It's a bit of a drive to get there. It's been lurking in the back of my mind ever since. I like SxS shotguns and have a thing for the 16 gauge.
I have been concerned about the chamber length issue as of late. Didn't think to check it out last time I was there. I read recently that the L.C. Smith guns were not marked for chamber length until late in production. Same for the Non L.C. Hunter's? Can they be safely lengthened if short? How about the chokes, not being an L.C. okay to open them up? Do they usually have enough metal to them to be able to open them up?
I will mostly use the gun for upland game hinting and an occasional round of skeet.

Thanks again for the help.

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Sidelock
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Check the chokes as they may have already been opened. For as much as you intend to shoot it just buy a couple flats of short RST shells and no worries. If you really want to shoot full power 2 3/4 in. shells have the wall thickness at the chamber, checked and maybe lengthen the forcing cones. Likely in it's past. it was fed long shells as that was all there was after the ammo companies stopped making short ones.

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Sidelock
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The $100 difference was a little high, but it was at least a 1/3 cheaper than the side lock.

Both 16 gauge Rangers I have from 1937 have 2 9/16" chambers. The one 20 gauge Fulton from 1919 has 2 1/2" chambers. Hunter Arms Co. changed the chamber length for 20 gauges in the early 1930's and the 16 gauge in the late 1930's early 1940's to 2 3/4". I have a 1939 Field Grade 16 ga., the first year for the optional Single Sighting rib that still has 2 9/16" chambers.
The bore sizes also changed in the 16's from .650 to .662 in the 1930's as well.


David


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Boxlock
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Boxlock

Joined: Dec 2016
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Thanks. What is the "go to" source for these "RST" brand shells? I seriously doubt any shop locally, from central to N.W. Connecticut, will have them on the shelf.

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