The Research Division of the L.C. Smith Collectors Association will search the production records to gather information about specific shotguns and provide an accurate, attractive, high quality research certificate in the form of a letter. The available records include:
- Hunter Arms Company factory records,1890-1919 Hunter Arms Company shipping records, 1918-1946
- L.C. Smith Gun Company factory records, 1946-1950 (FWS prefix)
- Marlin Firearms Company factory records, 1969-71 (FWM prefix)
Please Note Research letters cannot be written for the following pre-1913 serial numbers because they are missing from the records:
46000 to 49999
58001 to 58999
70000 to 78999
90000 to 99999
Members may fill out the form and mail along with a $50 check
To order a letter as a Non-member, please complete as much of the information as possible on the research letter request form. (Your may fill out the information and then print the form, or print the form and fill it out by hand.) Non-members must mail the completed form and a check payable to the LCSCA for $75 to the address provided on the form.
You will receive a letter containing ALL of the information in the records about the shotgun printed on a reproduction of an early Hunter Arms Company letterhead. The heavy-weight letterhead is 100% cotton rag and acid-free. The letter will be placed in an archival plastic slip cover that will fit into a 3-ring binder. It will be mailed flat and protected from being bent.
If you are not a member of the L.C. Smith Collectors Association, we suggest that you click on the Member Signup tab and fill out a Membership (you can pay online or get an invoice sent for payment). An annual membership is only $40. Therefore, a research letter AND a membership will cost $90, while a letter alone for a nonmember is $75. The new Blue Book of Gun Values coming out this year specifies that a research letter adds an additional $100 to the value of any L.C. Smith. See the Membership Page for other membership benefits.
Griffin & Howe has begun an ongoing project to provide access to the sporting firearms sales records of Abercrombie & Fitch and Von Lengerke & Detmold. To date, they have indexed over 56,000 serial numbers of firearms in inventory between the year of 1901 and 1967. Most of these are sales of 'new' firearms. Over 2600 L.C. Smith serial numbers have been indexed. A more detailed description of the process and the information they can provide may be found on their Webpage