Your LeFever 16 in good shape is worth about $300. In excellent shape about $450. It is hard to grade a shotgun without seeing it. Most of the ones I have were good to poor.
Your Lefever Nitro Special was actually mfg'd by Ithaca Arms Co about late 1921 or 1922. Ithaca Arms purchased the assets of Lefever Arms in 1916 and started Mfg Nitro Special in 1921. A friend of mine recently purch'd a 12 GA in fair to good condtion for $150.
The original Lefever Arms Co. was located in Syracuse, NY.Lefever Arms began as an 1861 partnership between DM Lefever and James Ellis, and was named Lefever and Ellis. The Canandaigua, NY manufacturer primarily made muzzle-loading rifles, including the ones used by the New York State Sharpshooters during the Civil War.Ellis left the business in 1867, but Lefever continued to run the company until he moved to Auburn, NY in 1869, where he established himself as an independent gun maker.In 1871 or 1872, he joined with Francis Dangerfield to found F.S. Dangerfield and Co., in Auburn. Guns from this manufacture were stamped Dangerfield and Lefever, and were based on a breech-loading patent originally filed under Dangerfield's name. This later became known as the "Lefever Patent."DM Lefever moved to Syracuse, NY in 1874 and partnered with Lorenzo Barber to form L. Barber & Co., which manufactured breech-loading shotguns and rifles. These were stamped "Barber and Lefever."In 1876, John Nichols bought out Lorenzo Barber's share of the company, and the two men changed the name to Nichols & Lefever. While the partnership was short-lived, it was productive. Lefever invented a hammerless system with a side lever that cocked the firing pins, incorporated it into his breach-loading shotgun, won first prize for the best breech-loading shotgun in America at the St. Louis Bench show and Sportsman's Association in 1878.Nichols left the company in 1879, but Lefever and his new partner, JW Livingston continued to run the Syracuse factory under the name Nichols & Lefever until the building burned in 1883.Lefever lost controlling interest in the company due to the losses sustained in the fire. A. Ames Howlett took over as President of the rebuilt Syracuse factory, and renamed it The Lefever Arms Co. in 1884.DM Lefever left the company bearing his name in 1901, and begins manufacturing side-bolt shotguns under the name DM Lefever Arms Co. He relocated from Syracuse, NY to Defiance, Ohio in 1904.Meanwhile, the Lefever Arms Co. continued making guns under Lefever's name and patents. Lefever Arms was sold to the Ithaca Gun Company (of Ithaca, NY) in 1916. The Syracuse factory was abandoned after the sale, but Ithaca continued offering the Lefever brand until the original inventory was exhausted in 1921.Ithaca manufactured the double-barrel Lefever Nitro Special from 1921 until 1935, and the Lefever A Grade from 1934 until 1947.
I have a Rodgers Arms Co. Double barrel 12 gauge shot gun. The patten date stamped in frame under the barrels Nov 25' 90 with March 12' 95 stamped below the first. The barrels are made of Damascus steel. Their guns are very similar to the ones manufactured by Stevens / Savage just a few years later. I have also had a hard time finding any information about the company.
This goes back to the beginning of the auto 5 production in 1903. John Cockerill was a British Industrialist whose company supplied high quality steel to Fabrique Nationale (FN) which was the maker of the A-5. The Cockerill name was first used on Browning barrels stamped "cockerill steel". The steel was a very strong quality that met the proofing requirements of guns that were shooting smokeless powder. Eventually the Cockerill name was dropped from the barrels and "special steel" was used instead. The FN guns that were not sold to Browning in the US, uses the barrel stamp of "acier special" which means special steel in the French language.
It depends on who built the gun. If it was by Lindner it could be woth alot more than some other makers. Does the gun have Diamond Quaility Damascus engraved on the rib,does the gun have crossed pistols stamped on the bottom of barrels with maybe HAL under them. Do the barrels have a number stamped by the forarm lug under the barrels about one hundred higher than the serial number. If so and the gun is in exclent shape it may be worth many thousands of dollars
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