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Lefever Nitro Special

Old 03-24-2014, 07:08 AM
  #1  
Fork Horn
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Default Lefever Nitro Special

I just picked up a LeFever Nitro Special 12 ga. recently and was wondering a couple things.
1. When I look at where it says LeFever Nitro Special I notice that the L is completely missing from LeFever. Am wondering if this was common among LeFever shotguns or a rare deal ?
2. I did some research and from serial number says that it was made in 1922. I plan on using it for shooting clays and bird hunting (pheasant and grouse)using light field loads and target loads (7 & 8's). The barrels are clean with no pitting and had some surface rust that clean up nicely. The wood is in real good shape. My question here is with 30 in barrels and 1 choke and other modified, would it be better to have a gunsmith cut barrels back to 28 in. or would it hurt the value of the gun ?
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Old 03-24-2014, 07:32 AM
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How much did you give for it? I have one that my Grandpa on my Dad's side of the family bought new for $26 before I was born in 1947. It has the L in the name in every spot and also has 30" full/mod chokes that shoot very tight for their designation. The action is very tight and the entire gun is in great shape, other than due to it's age the bluing is all gone, so I don't take it out in other than perfect weather conditions. They are worth over $1000 now, so I certainly wouldn't recommend having the barrels shortened or you'll ruin it's value. The gun really is more for pheasants and you'll have to let grouse get out there a ways and you definitely don't want to shoot steel shot through it. My Dad took a ton of mallards back in the 40s and 50s with this one when lead shot was the norm and he also shot quite a few roosters with it too. It will still do the job on upland game, but I'm keeping it mostly as a family heirloom now.

Last edited by Topgun 3006; 03-24-2014 at 07:36 AM.
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Old 03-24-2014, 03:26 PM
  #3  
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A nice Nitro Special can be had any day for $400.00. The L missing from your lettering is very unusual, all mine have been fully lettered. These are utilitarian basic sxs guns, comparable to the Stevens 311 line. I would have the chokes opened up if desired. Please do not have the barrels cut!
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Old 03-25-2014, 09:59 AM
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Gunbroker search for "Nitro Special" came up with lots of hits. Prices ranged anywhere from $100 to $1500, only bids right now are on the $100-300 pieces.
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Old 03-25-2014, 10:03 AM
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Online cabelas has them in their fine gun room from $500-2200. Depending on gauge and grade. Seen the cheaper grade on their used gun rack from $300-450.
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Old 03-25-2014, 01:43 PM
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Lefever made a lot of different grades of shotguns and some are going for just a few hundred dollars on into the thousands depending on their age, grade, shape, etc. The Nitro Special was on the lower end of their guns, but they are still worth a lot of money compared to what they originally sold for when new and that's what I was trying to get across and wasn't quite as specific as I probably should have been.
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Old 03-29-2014, 05:48 PM
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Thanks guys. Paid 225.00 for it and like I said the missing L made me think would be worth more. Local gun dealer says it worth about 500.00 as it sits. So is a good deal for me. He says he has seen a few of them but never with missing L. Will try to get some photos posted the next couple days.
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Old 03-30-2014, 12:51 AM
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Not having a good basis for how these would have been stamp labled, is it possible that the name badging was roll stamped on these? Might explain the missing L.

How clean cut is the lettering on the steel? Could it have been a refinish job that was sanded to remove pitting that sacrificially sanded off the L? Just trying to see more of the picture as to why the L was missing. Dollars to doughnuts says it wasn't intentional, but whether it's "rare and valuable" vs just a "rare screw up" is open-ended at this point. Not all mis-prints are worth anything just for the simple fact they are misprinted.
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