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Old October 1st, 2018, 11:34 PM #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doco Overboard View Post
How can we tell the lock up is bad on the Stevens shotgun from just looking at pictures?
What SxS said for the most part.

While we can't tell if it's truly off face, in my experience, when the lever is that far to the left (touching wood or well past) it's been shot with poor lockup long enough that it's usually worn down the pin or hook face enough that it'll rattle at the face of the breech with the forend off if you shake it by the barrels.

The steps to checking out old SxS shotguns are to:
  • Check the lever position. You want 6 o'clock to 5 o'clock. Later than 6 means it'll need work soon
  • Remove the forend, grab it by the barrels, and give it a wobble. If it rattles, it's off face.
  • Holding the barrels by the hook with one finger (resting the hook on the finger and letting the barrels dangle down) use your fingernail or a small mallet or piece of wood and ring the barrels like a bell. If they sound bright like bells, the soldering is good. If they clunk and sound muffled, the joining is bad and the barrels will need to be re-soldered. That's $$$$$
  • Now look on the ground and at the face of the hook. If there's a slip of paper that fell out when you took the forend off, or mashed into the hook, remove it, put the forend back on, and check the lever. It moved to the left most likely. This is an old dealer trick to make a shotgun look like it has more life in it than it actually does. The paper pushes the action together more making it seem on face and with proper lockup. It's not often you see this, but something to be aware of.
  • Look at the rib. Is there any solder missing? is it loose anywhere? Has the gun been cut down at some point and the rib is now lose at the muzzle end? If so, it's going to have to be re-laid. $$$$$$$
  • Check the stock for cracks or chips and poor fitting where it meets the action. This can be another sign of it being off face or out of lockup like SxS mentioned.

There's plenty more, but those are the basics and deal breakers for the most part (unless it's a LC Smith, Fox, Parker, etc. that would be worth spending restoration money on).

Midway USA had an interesting series on doubleguns a while back. All types of restorations.
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Old October 2nd, 2018, 01:24 AM #22
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What Tallen said .

In fairness to the criticisms of the 311 , consider the context of the era of its design . Pre WW II shotgun stocks commonly had more drop than we're accustomed today .In the era before plastic shot cups, and pre hard shot , Full & Modified were the common chokes for all around hunting use , giving patterns akin to modern M & IC performance .

It was very popular in its day , and hung on to be the last US made SxS at prices competive with pumps and autoloaders for the mass market .
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Old October 2nd, 2018, 07:38 AM #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Biggfoot44 View Post
What Tallen said .

In fairness to the criticisms of the 311 , consider the context of the era of its design . Pre WW II shotgun stocks commonly had more drop than we're accustomed today .In the era before plastic shot cups, and pre hard shot , Full & Modified were the common chokes for all around hunting use , giving patterns akin to modern M & IC performance .

It was very popular in its day , and hung on to be the last US made SxS at prices competive with pumps and autoloaders for the mass market .
I quite like the 311 myself (and its derivations along the Riverside Arms line and others). There was a fine example at Redding last year that looked like it had never been fired that went for way under real value (sold for $275. Should have fetched around 350). I've kicked myself ever since for not snapping it up. I still shoot trap and sporting clays as well as hunt with classic full-choke guns. If you let the birds get out a little, you don't run into issues of tearing up the meat. But I digress.
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Old October 2nd, 2018, 08:26 AM #24
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I have a Savage Stevens 311 in 20 gauge. Great gun although not valuable but it points quite well and I have killed a ton of doves over the years with it.
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Old October 2nd, 2018, 11:45 AM #25
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A lever that is not in line with the rib on a 311 doesn’t mean the hinge pin or lump on the barrel is worn. 311’s lock up on the barrel tang and the wedge shape of the lever itself.
If the lever is straight when the action is closed that would be an indication of excess wear either in the plunger or spring, tang or lever itself.
Usually the problem is found in the top snap plunger the spring or the trip or even in the top snap itself. Sometimes it just a problem with the screw but the plunger can be burred or bent and just lost spring pressure.
Check engagement of the lever by using layout Blue on the wedge and work the action a few times. The wedge should have drag marks on it indicating that the barrels are being pulled down.
A 311 usually needs both the wedge and the top ear of the tang adjusted to increase lockup. The indicator is the lever being straight.
On a 311 I check hinge pin wear by stripping the forearm and placeing the stock between my knees and pushing and pulling. Peening the semi circular cutout will give a little more use but do nothing for headspace.
The biggest problem I have run across lately with 311’s is poor extraction and trigger re-set from using cheap low brass shells.
Firing pin ports begin to droop and stock damage with pin wear from having to break the action across a knee to get it open.
Small cracks on a 311 are easy to fix with glass , micro bed or even dev-con because of a judicious amount of wood at the small of the buttstock. Most of them are from the stock bolt becoming loose or from oil degradation and slamming the action shut.
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Old October 2nd, 2018, 01:08 PM #26
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And for further detail -

1940-1948 - Three or Four capital letters within circle on bottom of frame behind hinge pin .

1948-1968 - Capital letter with 1 or 2 digits within circle as a date code .


1968- 1988 - Serial numbers
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Old October 2nd, 2018, 07:53 PM #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Biggfoot44 View Post
And for further detail -

1940-1948 - Three or Four capital letters within circle on bottom of frame behind hinge pin .

1948-1968 - Capital letter with 1 or 2 digits within circle as a date code .


1968- 1988 - Serial numbers

It has a W V and F The F is in a Circle
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