Marlin Firearms Company, North Haven, Connecticut
1968 to 1971 Grades
The Marlin Firearms Company reintroduced the L.C. Smith shotgun in 1968. It was only produced until 1971, although it was listed in the 1972 and 1973 Marlin catalogs. Information from the 1968 and 1972 catalogs and from L.C. Smith Shotguns (1977) by Brophy was used for these descriptions. Frank Finch is acknowledged for furnishing his 1972 catalog for the photographs used in this presentation. The 1968 catalog said that “The original L.C. Smith was developed in 1880; it enjoyed immediate and lasting popularity. Fact is, many original ‘Elsies’ are still giving great service. Marlin acquired L.C. Smith many years ago and has studied manufacturing renewal ever since. Thanks to a manufacturing breakthrough, Marlin now re-introduces the Smith – a true and faithful presentation of the original great L.C. Smith.”
Only the Field Grade Model and Deluxe Model (note: model, not grade) featherweights were offered. They had the same specifications which were listed in the catalog as “12-gauge; 28” barrels, modified and full choke; full length ventilated rib serated [sic] on top with front and middle sights; double triggers; extractors raise shells for withdrawal by hand; hand-fitted American walnut stock – full pistol grip with cap – stock and forend handsomely checkered by hand; 14 x 1-1/2 – 2-1/2 stock dimensions; frame is case-hardened in deep, rich blended colors; auto top tang safety goes on when gun is opened; about 6-3/4 lbs., depending on density of wood. Same as original L.C. Smith standard Field Grade double and guaranteed for life.”
The Field Grade had no engraving or markings on the lock plates. The water table of the receiver was stamped “L C SMITH FIELD GRADE”. The wood was relatively straight-grained. It had a splinter forend. The rib was roll-stamped “L.C. Smith 12 Ga.” in script and the letters were filled with a gold colored material that was not permanent. The barrels had two brass bead sights. The trigger plate was stamped “THE MARLIN FIREARMS CO. NORTH HAVEN, CONN.” The Field Grade was initially priced at $300. Serial numbers started at 56,801 and ended with production totaling of 2,038 shotguns. Serial number prefix was FWM.
The Deluxe Model had no engraving or markings on the lock plates. The water table was stamped “L C SMITH DELUXE MODEL”. The stocks were made from selected walnut, usually with good figure. It had a beavertail forend, and the aluminum ventilated rib was made by Simmons. The serrations on the top of the rib were different than those on the Field Grade rib. The rib was roll-stamped “L.C. Smith 12 Ga.” in script and the letters were filled with a gold colored material that was not permanent. The barrels had one white bullet-shaped sight and one white bead sight. The trigger plate was stamped “THE MARLIN FIREARMS CO. NORTH HAVEN, CONN.” The Deluxe Model was initially priced at $400. The serial number prefix was FWM. The serial number range is 100,000 to 100,188 indicating that 189 were manufactured. Additional shotguns may have been assembled from remaining parts in the 1990s.