"The Gun That Speaks for Itself"

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Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
   by Dr. Drew Hause


What's the difference between L.C. Smith, Fulton, and Hunter Special shotguns?

Fulton, Fulton Special, and Hunter Special shotguns were manufactured by the Hunter Arms Company. They were box lock shotguns, did not carry the L.C. Smith name, and are not classified as L.C. Smith shotguns. The Fulton was introduced in 1915 to meet a market demand for inexpensive shotguns created by poor quality imported shotguns and was priced at $18. The Fulton Special was introduced in 1916 and had border engraving with a quail on the receiver, full pistol grip (capped) stock, with checkered stock cheeks, and "The Fulton Special" on the barrels. It sold for $25 the year it was introduced.

Fulton shotgun

In the 1929 Stoeger Catalog (No. 10) the Fulton was $29, and the Fulton Special was $35. By 1932, the depression had taken its toll, and the Stoeger Catalog (No. 18) listed the Fulton at $22.50 and the Fulton Special at $28.35. In 1935 a non-selective single trigger was added as an option for the Fulton gun. The Hunter Special introduced in 1937 and it had a rotary bolt locking mechanism that was identical to the one used in L.C. Smith shotguns. The Hunter Special retailed for $30 in 1937 when the Fulton was $25, the Fulton Special was $31, and the L.C. Smith Field Grade was $43. In 1938 a .410 was added to the Fulton line and production of the Fulton Special was discontinued. The Fulton and Hunter Special were discontinued in 1945. Additional information regarding the Hunter Arms Co. boxlock Fulton guns may be found at http://www.picturetrail.com/sfx/album/view/17126039  and in John Houchin’s L.C. Smith – The Legend Lives.

Fulton shotgun

The barrels of the box lock guns have a cocking catch that can hang up requiring special disassembly instructions:

  1. With the forend on (completely assembled gun) ensure the gun is cocked by opening and closing the action. Do this with the muzzles down, nearly vertical. This will unload the cocking catch in the barrels from the receiver mechanism.
  2. Give the gun a rap on the butt or bump the muzzles on a carpeted floor (muzzles down still).
  3. Pull the forend off, while keeping the muzzles down. (keep the hammers cocked)
  4. Push the top lever to the right all the way and remove the barrels. If it starts to hang on the catch, ease up on the breaking open and push the barrels back a bit then pull them forward against the hinge pin again and continue to break it open. This last action tends to push the cocking catch in the barrels forward and releases it from the mechanism in the frame. KEEP THE MUZZLES DOWN DURING THIS STEP.

L.C. Smith Collectors Association 2015

Updated 02/17/2015


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