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Lloyd3 Offline OP
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My brother-in-law has somehow obtained an action and forend of a Crass Model Ithaca and hopes to find a stock and some barrels to use to reassemble this unit. Before I tell him that he may be on a fool's errand, is there someone or someplace I can consult to see if these resources actually exist?

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Lots of early Ithaca parts on ebay, who knows? might get lucky!


I learn something every day, and a lot of times it's that what I learned the day before was wrong

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With around 70,000 Crass Model Ithaca doubles produced, parts can certainly be found Lloyd. But just try to be certain about exactly what you are looking for... especially from sites like ebay, where many sellers tend to describe gun parts inaccurately. Just this morning, I was checking ebay for some Syracuse Lefever parts, and saw some items listed as Syracuse Lefever parts by a gun parts seller called "gun garage" that were absolutely positively not Lefever parts... not even close. Now, this is an ebay seller who specializes in gun parts, and who should know better, but messed up badly. There was a set of automatic ejector barrels with forend described as F Grade Lefever, but a quick cursory glance showed they had no dolls-head rib extension, they had a double underlug, and they had a six digit serial number. Any one of those things would immediately tell you that they were not from an F Grade Syracuse Lefever.

So at very least, check the return policy. And with Gun Parts Corp., formerly Numrich Arms Co., it pays to keep checking because they are always getting new stock in as fast as old stock gets sold.


A true sign of mental illness is any gun owner who would vote for an Anti-Gunner like Joe Biden.

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Lloyd3 Offline OP
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Keith: Thankyou! I wasn't certain about the numbers of Crass models produced. I had my brother-in-law call Mid-South guns to see if they had a low-dollar version he could use for the parts he needs. We'll see how that goes. eBay is most likely the best hope for finding what he needs but, as you mention, you really need to know what you're buying before you close the deal. Patience and persistence should solve most of his problems if (big if) he knows exactly what he's looking at.

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Lloyd, you can check the Home page of this site, under "Other Useful Information" to find serialization and production dates of many better brands of double shotguns.

https://www.doublegunshop.com/dgsnos.htm

Simply providing a link to these pages has proven useful to show some sellers that a particular gun is a pre-1899 Antique that does not require an FFL Transfer. Of course, some will never permit themselves to be confused by facts. Happy hunting for the Crass parts.


A true sign of mental illness is any gun owner who would vote for an Anti-Gunner like Joe Biden.

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Lloyd3 Offline OP
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Keith: Sure enough. I'm guilty of not digging into this as far as I could have otherwise. If it was my project then....watch out. I'd go granular and really know what I was looking for. Hopefully, he'll do the same.

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Lloyd3, first thing is to verify that the model is in fact a Crass. Many of the serial number tables are incorrect and list the Crass much later than the 55000 mark where the Lewis starts. If indeed a Crass, there were three distinct frame styles and several different barrel extensions. Also upland guns and waterfowl guns had different dimensions across the breechface. Lots of differences to consider, but I would not look at it as an impossible task.
The Lewis model has a top lever fastener as well as an underlug bolt.
Buttstock inletting is different on each of them also.


John

Last edited by John E; 10/08/20 01:26 PM.
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Might be easier to just find a Nitro. A better gun to actually use.

Best,
Ted

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Lloyd, warn your bro-in-law that the Crass is a very interesting model (with proportional addictive properties) and not nearly as numerous as is often thought.

Using Walt’s 2nd ed. numbers the first Crass is #7004 in January of 1888 with the last being #50,000 in 1901. (My own research turned up 49,999 as the last one but let’s work with Walt’s number.) That would leave us with 42,996 Crass guns. But like John mentions above that there are Crass examples into the Lewis era so there are also examples before #7004. Somewhere I saw Walt mention #6981 as the earliest known Crass and I have personally seen a letter reference in the Ithaca records in Cody to a “hammerless” 10 ga #6830.

So, how many Crass were made? We obviously don’t exactly know but it would seem that we could safely say somewhere a bit over 43,000. But - and that’s a very large BUT - there is a major caveat. And here it is. The production numbers that we often refer to as the Crass numbers actually also contain the NIG (hammer gun) production. We probably should more correctly refer to these numbers as the NIG numbers since the NIG predates the Crass and then postdates it by another 14 years ending in 1915 well into the Flues era. But we don’t. So taking this combined number of about 43,000 Crass, how many actually are? To my knowledge, no one knows but I’ve considered the question and considered doing the research because the records do exist and the answer could be known.

So, again, how many Crass were made? My best guess is based on something Walt wrote back in 2004. He was discussing a 1901 NIG and in the course of the article mentioned that “...hammerless models still had another year or two before gaining a significant majority of the production.” Since the Crass ended in 1901 that would be 1902 or 1903 before the hammerless Lewis model finally gained the majority of production over the hammer NIG. Thus during the entire 13 year run of the Crass (1888-1901) it would seem that its total numbers were likely less than half of the total production of about 43,000 i.e. 21,500.

Lloyd, I told you that the Crass is very interesting. It also likely could be more rare than we think because we often refer to the Minier as the rarest of Ithaca models with about 21,770 made. We may find out some day that the Crass has similar low production numbers. I hope your brother in law stays with the project. I think he’ll find it fascinating. And he could end up with a fine, and perhaps somewhat rare, piece of Ithaca history.

Last edited by FallCreekFan; 10/08/20 06:15 PM.
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