LeFever history


March 30, 2006, 10:31 AM
I've been trying to find information on the history of LeFever Arms Co. and/or Daniel LeFever, but I haven't had much luck. I'm Daniel LeFever's great-great-great granddaughter, and my family only knows bits and pieces of the history.
So, I was wondering if anyone here can help me out?

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Dave McCracken
March 30, 2006, 10:50 AM
Welcome aboard,LeFever. "Uncle Dan" LeFever made some of the best shotguns ever made. Many are still in use today. Some of his designs were built to compensate for wear. So, they are as tight today as they were when new.

He also pioneered some some barrel technology, including choke tapers, overboring, long forcing cones and other esoterics.

He was involved with a series of partnerships and companies. While a genius at design and manufacture, he doesn't seem to have been as good at business.

Upland Almanac had an article in a recent issue about him and them. You may want to call them and ask for a copy. They give out free copies to get new subscribers. Unfortunately I gave my copy to a friend.

You have a great shotgun heritage.

Harley's forum on this site may be a good place to ask about your ancestor.


There's a forum for Shooting Sportsman Magazine at shootingsportsman.com. Some historians hang out there who may be able to give you more input.

HTH, Dave....

March 30, 2006, 11:05 AM
Dave -

Thank you for the information, I'm going to look into getting that Upland Almanac issue.

My grandfather bought a LeFever gun at least fifty years ago, and he fired it back then and it worked fine. However, it's been on the wall in his home since then, and we don't know too much about it (I don't think it's an Ithaca). My brother may be the one to inherit it, since he'll be the one carrying on the name.

Thanks once again for the suggestions, hopefully I'll be able to round up enough information to get the full picture of everything.

March 30, 2006, 11:19 AM
I have one of your fore-fathers smoothbores. Its as good now as, I suspect, it was then.


Larry Ashcraft
March 30, 2006, 11:36 AM
There's a pretty good history of LeFever in The Blue Book of Gun Values, by S.P. Fjestad.

A friend of mine has a 16 ga LeFever made in 1921. Its a sweet handling and shooting piece.

March 30, 2006, 12:33 PM
http://www.glocktalk.com/images/smilies/bowdown.gif Uncle Dan

If I remember my history correctly, he took his revolutionary shotguns to a World's Fair and beat the best the world had to offer. Really, the entire world was there including the London gun makers.

There's a book available that runs $69.95, although some dealers have it for ten dollars less and some charge more.



224 pages, hardbound. Illustrated with loads of black and white and color photos. ISBN 0-9616575-0-1, 2001

This book is the definitive reference to date on Daniel M. Lefever and the guns his genius produced. It is well illustrated with patent and line drawings as well as photographs of virtually every model of Lever shotgun produced. The author gives a very comprehensive history of the company and clearly describes each of the grades and models.

And here's a short article that mentions Daniel Lefever


"Back in 1878, when other gunmakers were still of the old-style, external-hammer mind-set, Lefever introduced the first hammerless break-open shotgun to be made in the U.S. This revolutionary concept was quickly adapted by other gunmakers and it is not unreasonable to say that other Lefever innovations such as the doll's head breech interlock and automatic ejectors made the Parkers, Foxes and Smiths of that era better guns than they would have been without his showing them how."

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