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Joined: Oct 2021
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Hello - I recently purchased what seems to be a lightly used 12 gauge LC Smith Ideal Grade from an auction house. The action locks up nice and tight, and doesn't seem to have a lot of wear. Overall, the gun is in great condition. However, it has an issue where the action will not close with a shell in the left barrel. The issue is the rim of the shell is too large to fit in the chamber cut rim. I put a micrometer on it and it is tighter than SAAMI specs, which I understand may not be totally relevant given the age of the gun. However, I wanted to understand the measurements. I've tried several types of shells in the chamber to see if that would make a difference. My reload Win AA are too large, so are factory Federal Top Gun and factory Win AA. Remington STS is the smallest diameter of the 4 I tried and could be pushed into the chamber rim allowing the action to close, but are still way too tight and not consistent enough in dimensions to be repeatable. Note, in case you are questioning my ammo choices, I don't plan on shooting factory ammo in this particular gun. Going to stick with same reloads I shoot in my Flues. Gun is chambered 2 3/4" and the shells I've used are regular 2 3/4".

What I'd like to understand from those in the group are is anyone run into this before and am I correct in thinking its the cut rim diameter, or could it possibly be something with the extractor? Is it a simple fix for a competent gunsmith? Is this a common issue with LC Smith shotguns, or did I win the lottery with this one? Thanks in advance

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Remove the extractor and see if the gun will close properly.

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When you pull the extractor look for buggers where the screw goes in relation to the slot on the extractor.remove the screw on the bottom of the lump

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I had the same issue with an early Fox Sterlingworth. Very difficult to close when loaded. I took the barrels off and the shells hung up on the rims when the shells were dropped in the chambers. I had some assorted pre-WW II shells and they dropped right in. Modern shells seem to have slightly larger rim diameters. Perhaps to function better in repeaters.

I took the gun to a gunsmith who had the proper rim cutter and he did the job for 30 bucks. Brownells sells the cutter but it's probably cheaper to find a 'smith. This was 12 ga. Fox but I know this is also an issue on early 28 ga. Parkers.

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People complain constantly about the euro hulls being too small at the rim.

Maybe try some of those...

Or, you could always just work the rims over with an abrasive.

That would seem pretty simple and might beat grinding on the barrel.


"The price of good shotgunnery is constant practice" - Fred Kimble
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You might see if someone has a Mec Super Sizer, it does a great job of sizing not only the head but the rim also. One of my Husqvarnas is tight and the sizer takes care of the problem..

Last edited by oskar; 12/14/21 09:41 AM.

After the first shot the rest are just noise.
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You have one of the finest doublegun smiths, Dennis Potter, in the US in Big Bend, WI that is an easy drive for you. Why don't you contact Dennis and let him sort it out for you? It's not rocket science.


Doug Mann
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Be sure to check behind the extractor for "trash", I have had an unburned powder flake stop a gun from closing on more than one occasion.
Mike

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I removed extractor and double checked for anything that would interfere with action closing. No obstructions found. Without the extractor, the action will close, but the rim is still tight and shells have to be pushed in. They don't fall out of the left barrel when I open the action. The rim actually looks a bit out of round. Going to find a gunsmith. Thanks for all of the input gentlemen!

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I'm surprised nobody suggested simply using a digital vernier caliper to measure the diameter of the rims of the ammunition you are attempting to use, and to also measure the diameter of the rim recesses of your barrels. You mentioned measuring with a micrometer, but that would not be the measuring instrument to use to measure the diameter of a rim recess. The caliper would also show you if your rim recess is "out of round", which seems unlikely unless the gun was used as a club to finish off a wounded game animal. I have two L.C. Smith Ideal Grade guns in 12 and 20 gauge, and never had any issues with use of factory ammunition in either.

Here's a link to a chart with shotgun chamber dimensions.

http://www.dave-cushman.net/shot/shotshellloads.html


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

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