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LC Smith Project Gun Starting From Scratch

This is a discussion on LC Smith Project Gun Starting From Scratch within the High-End and Specialty Shotguns forums, part of the Shotgun Forum Discussions category; Hey all Just to prove older ain't smarter I recently bought a couple of LC Smith receivers online. One is a pre-1913 Roller Joint model-the ...



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Old 04-15-2020, 05:27 AM   #1
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LC Smith Project Gun Starting From Scratch

Hey all
Just to prove older ain't smarter I recently bought a couple of LC Smith receivers online. One is a pre-1913 Roller Joint model-the original LC Smith. That one will have to wait till I gain some more LC knowledge. The other, the current project, is a stripped featherweight 12 gauge receiver circa 1927. I have named her "Rusti". Anybody else starting a build like this that wants share information? This project eventually leads to assembling, fitting, jointing, stock work, etc. etc.
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Old 05-05-2020, 08:19 PM   #2
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The LC project has progressed a bit. I have researched and applied the electrolysis rust removal process to free up the remaining internals in the receiver. I don't know if other members have tried this out, but it works in spades. The LC Smith rotary lock, trip and spring are freed up now and removed. I scored the correct trigger plate in an ebay parts lot. This gives me the lower bearing point for the top snap lever, so I can now duplicate the carrier, carrier screw, and rotary bolt from Acralloy 4140 scraps. Once the top snap, trip, carrier assembly is in place and working I can begin roughing in the butt stock. I have also picked up a set of locks, equally rough, from another circa 1927 FWT receiver, they will go in next once they are refurbished, new screws made, and one mainspring replaced. When the locks are inletted and working, I can begin fitting in the cocking rods, triggers, and safety mechanism. Plenty to keep me busy for a long while, maybe I can get some pictures posted pretty soon.
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Old 05-06-2020, 04:21 AM   #3
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Pictures would be nice!

All the best and good luck.
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Old 05-06-2020, 07:13 AM   #4
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may i suggest going to...

www.doublegunshop.com to learn about your L.C?
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Old 05-06-2020, 07:20 PM   #5
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Just as soon as my computer technical advisor (daughter #1) arrives for a visit I will have her set me up with an online picture service and begin documenting the build. My wife forbids me to fool around much with her computer; I can get around a bit, but I am no techno. We will see how much interest we can rouse, most builds seem to involve rifles, but I am locked in shotgun mode for now. Who knows, perhaps we will gather a few more enthusiasts and begin a new forum. There are scads of parts out there, most from various manufacture's damascus doubles deemed unsafe in these modern times. The very first thing you learn about the LC Smith is how much they changed them without really editing the basic design over the years. I am learning at a good clip, but there is SO much more to know.

"Machinist by Trade
Gun Crank by Preference"--HM Pope
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Old 05-18-2020, 04:55 AM   #6
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You can post images directly by clicking the "Go Advanced" button at the bottom of the message box. Scroll down and click the "Manage Attachments" button.

It will allow you to choose up to 5 files. After you have picked the files click the Upload button. Wait for it to finish and then submit your reply.
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Old 05-19-2020, 04:58 AM   #7
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LC Smith Project-Electrolysis Part 1 Pic attempt #2

Here we go again. Thanks jwsmith1959 for the picture posting help. When "Rusti" arrived she had been poorly stored for many years in a very humid environment. The top lever, carrier and it's screw, the trip and it spring, and the rotary locking bolt were rusted in place. The LC Smith design does not allow easy access to any of these parts. Once this process was complete a few hundred very light taps with a brass hammer loosened the components enough for removal. Only the carrier screw was lost in the process. I will document the process 5 pics at a time.


#1 This is Oscar. AKA as "Shopcat" or "Donor of the Bucket"

#2 This is the Tidy Cats 27 lb. cat litter bucket. These are just about made to order for using the electrolysis derusting process on a shotgun receiver. The various you tube videos on setting up a regular 5 gallon bucket for electrolysis apply here also.

#3 Notice the "racks" cast in for the corners and the small "flat spot" where you would drill through to attach the 3\8 rebar. The rebar pieces are sold at Home Depot in 12" lengths, they will need cut down a few inches to fit. Then solid copper wire leads attached at the top of each rebar, and wired together outside the bucket in series to form a circuit.

#5 The receiver is attached with soft iron wire looped through the front trigger plate hole.

#4 It is then suspended into the solution with a "flat" pointed toward each corner rebar because the the electrolysis process works pretty much line of sight between the anode and the cathode.

to be continued. . . .
Attached Thumbnails
LC Smith Project Gun Starting From Scratch-dsc03299-1-.jpg   LC Smith Project Gun Starting From Scratch-dsc03300-1-.jpg   LC Smith Project Gun Starting From Scratch-dsc03301-1-.jpg   LC Smith Project Gun Starting From Scratch-dsc03304-1-.jpg   LC Smith Project Gun Starting From Scratch-dsc03305-1-.jpg  


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Old 05-19-2020, 06:41 PM   #8
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LC Smith Project-Electrolysis Part 2

Okay, let's wrap up this write up on the electrolysis part of this project. Not the most exciting topic, I know, but the kitty litter box idea worked so splendidly with so little modification that I definitely wanted to pass that idea along. Even If you don't have a cat, the stuff works great to soak up spills in the shop. Also we got the pictures posting from the PC. That was the other goal.

Pic #1 Here are the ingredients for the solution. About a quarter cup of the Super Soda and enough water to just reach the first set of holes where we drilled though the bucket is about right. I dug out my old battery charger I have had for years and it still worked great. I used the 2 AMP manual setting.

Pic #2 Here is the whole set up. The red positive connector is attached to the wire that runs around the top of the bucket and connects to all four pieces of rebar, and the black negative connector is hooked to the wire that suspends the receiver in the solution. If you look closely at the bucket you will see that I cut a couple of grooves in the top with a medium rat tail file to accept the dowel that holds the receiver in place. That keeps stuff from moving around too much. Of course in actual service the bucket would be full of solution at this point.

Pic #3 The whole receiver is surrounded by a pretty impressive cloud of small bubbles in a really short time. I left it going under the porch and went to work on our small farm, checking on it occasionally. I gotta admit, I thought the thing might be dissolving from the amount of junk coming off in the solution, but nothing of the sort happened. I gave it 8 hours the first day, and then 8 more the next day before I was satisfied with the results. Here is Rusti and the removed parts. The trip spring came out as a solid block rather than a coil. In the background is the roller joint LC Smith receiver from 1892 that was ordered with Rusti. That is a very impressive piece of ordnance made just three years after LC himself sold the line out to the Hunter Arms Company. A few shotguns down the line I would like to tackle it.

Next up--Lapping the LC Smith rotary bolt and it's seat.
Attached Thumbnails
LC Smith Project Gun Starting From Scratch-dsc03306-1-.jpg   LC Smith Project Gun Starting From Scratch-dsc03308-1-.jpg   LC Smith Project Gun Starting From Scratch-dsc03309-1-.jpg  

Last edited by 4575wcf; 05-19-2020 at 07:20 PM.
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Old 05-22-2020, 07:47 PM   #9
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LC Smith Project-Part One-Lapping the Rotary Bolt and it's Seat

Hello All
Here in pictures #1, #2, and #3, we see three different views of the rotary locking bolt from an LC Smith. This mechanical detail is what sets the LC apart from many other designs. I am currently working on a mechanical drawing of the bolt, which I will be posting soon. It is a pretty involved little piece of hardware, and will take 3 views on my blueprint\shop sketch before I have a complete enough drawing to make a part from scratch. As can be clearly seen in picture #5 the bolt engages the barrel rib extension when rotated counterclockwise (from the shooters position). The rib extension drops through the slot when the barrels are placed into battery, and the "tooth", that section of the bolt nearest the receiver, rotates through a matching cutout in the barrel rib extension. Pressure is applied from a heavy spring located in the action under the trigger plate. The spring acts on a lug integral with the top snap lever. Some cam action is accomplished by inclined surfaces applying pressure to hold the rib extension down and back against the force of firing. We will go into more detail on this later when the bolt drawing is complete. The small front facing notch in picture #3 is the catch for the trip. It holds the top snap hard to the right, and holds the notches in the upper receiver and bolt lined up when the top snap is pushed to the right to open the action. When the action is closed, the spring loaded trip is pushed down by the rib extension, freeing the bolt to rotate to the locked position, and the top lever to return to center.
Now that I have given a bit of background on the locking system, you can understand why these shotguns have the reputation for strength and staying tight after years of use that they do. It is a bit of a fussy mechanism, but a strong one and not crazy complicated. Even when you can see clearly what you are doing during assembly, it seems you have to jiggle the top snap, carrier, and locking bolt parts a bit to find the correct relationship to get them working together.
Picture #5 shows the rotary bolt from Rusti as far into it's seat (Picture #4) as it will go. The correct position is flush with the back of the receiver
Coming up on the next post--lapping the seat and rotary bolt to get free movement.
Attached Thumbnails
LC Smith Project Gun Starting From Scratch-dsc03279.jpg   LC Smith Project Gun Starting From Scratch-dsc03281.jpg   LC Smith Project Gun Starting From Scratch-dsc03280.jpg   LC Smith Project Gun Starting From Scratch-dsc03283-1-.jpg   LC Smith Project Gun Starting From Scratch-dsc03284-1-.jpg  


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Old 05-24-2020, 07:51 AM   #10
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LC Smith Project-Part Two-Lapping the Bolt and Seat

Hello All
This post catches up the LC build as far as I have gotten.
The milled pocket for the LC Smith rotary bolt was put in at the factory, I believe, by a separate special milling machine utilizing a separate milling process. The cutter was a right angle one, working similar to a 90 degree die grinder. The pocket was plunged into the back of the receiver, tight up under the tang. The cutter was fed into the tang a bit to gain some clearance, side cutting, and then backed off a bit and plunged straight in, end cutting. The position of the top tang absolutely prevents cutting the pocket vertically so the operation had to be carried out horizontally. Probably two cutters were utilized, a rougher to get the bulk of the material out, and a finish reamer to bring the pocket to size. To get that blind pocket cut in right and on size within the extremely limited area to access it, which they pulled off repeatedly; well all I can say is that those old boys knew their business, knew their machine tools and knew how to use 'em.

In order to lap the bolt back into the seat, some sort of wrench had to be improvised to turn the thing while I applied light thumb pressure to advance it straight into the seat. I did not wish to remove any actual metal, just the surface rust that had formed between the two surfaces, so I chose Clover Brand 1200 grit lapping compound. This is grease based abrasive compound that will imbed into the surfaces. There are lapping compounds available now that do not, but this is what I had on hand. A light polish given to the seat with fine emery paper will remove the bulk of the leftover grit from that surface, and the bolt will be newly made.

Pics #1-4 Here is the wrench I came up with. I hand sawed and filed it out of flat stock mild steel here at home and then hardened it with Casenite carburizing compound after work

Pics #5 The lapping operation being carried out. The wrench allowed me to rock the bolt while pressing it gently into place. The grease based lapping compound was applied lightly to both surfaces with a Q tip. After a few minutes work, the surface rust was converted to a fine reddish slurry. This was washed and wiped out of the seat with plenty of WD40. A couple of repeats of the operation and we were there. About .002 clearance exists between the bolt and the seat, which is right where I would have fitted it.

Next up-Draw the rotary bolt, and machine a new one (gulp)
Attached Thumbnails
LC Smith Project Gun Starting From Scratch-dsc03287.jpg   LC Smith Project Gun Starting From Scratch-dsc03289.jpg   LC Smith Project Gun Starting From Scratch-dsc03291.jpg   LC Smith Project Gun Starting From Scratch-dsc03298.jpg   LC Smith Project Gun Starting From Scratch-dsc03310.jpg  


Last edited by 4575wcf; 05-24-2020 at 08:11 AM. Reason: touch up
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