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Warden Callaway

Starting an active retirement home for abused and neglected old double shotguns.

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20161205_134049_zpshlgc9xvv.jpg

 

Most of the old shotguns I collect are loose or "off face". This condition contributes to misfires. One way I test an old gun is to set off a primed hull in each chamber. The above picture shows the distance between hull base and breech face. This one is not really a fair test as the gun does not have a forend. But I suspect I'll have to work at putting it back on face.

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Would also appear those particular hulls are dropping too far into the chambers. The gun should close up "on face" with or without a fore end. At the very least, the front lug will need serious attention. Atz what winter is for :)

 

Anybody know where I can find Main Springs for a Husqvarna M51?? Back Locks, w/floating side plates??

 

Coffinmaker

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20161211_133344_zpskecan8be.jpg

 

I got this old Stevens 235 off the bench today and out in the cold air. The old gun barked again. Hard to know how many years since it last served its purpose.

 

The buttstock is on loan from a Stevens 225 that needs a couple of parts.

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Cool Marshall!!!!!

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What ya doing with my 235 ????

 

I use one in matches when I shoot 12 ga.

 

I think my hammer springs came from a F-350 Super Duty ,,,,, just a little stiff ...

 

 

Jabez Cowboy

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Well, I guess I can't rescue them all.

 

Yesterday we did some last minute Christmas shopping and included in stops at four pawn and gun shops. At the last one I spotted an old double that wanted to come home with me. It needed my help real bad. It had a chunk missing out of the heel, a dent in one barrel, and looked like the barrels had been cut back about a half an inch. I could repair the dent and make a Dutchman repair on the heel or make new wood.

 

I drew Mary over and showed her the gun and told her to buy it. That's our normal operating procedure. She loves to bargain and good at it. She got the price down substantially and I was figuring it was bought. But she balked on me. We left without it. It wasn't something she thought interesting.

 

She said we may go back after the first of the year. I may not be able to sleep.

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What ya doing with my 235 ????I use one in matches when I shoot 12 ga.I think my hammer springs came from a F-350 Super Duty ,,,,, just a little stiff ...Jabez Cowboy

I missed this question until I made the above post. It was a $10 flea market find that I've went on a quest to get back into action on a tight budget. Kind of like a "rat rod" concept.

 

I found a 225 parts gun I bought for the buttstock. But the gun is also repairable - missing a extractor link, hammers and forend.

 

We have a special match we may attend on the New Year's Day (weather permitting) and I'm thinking of using the old 235.

 

Right now the buttstock is off and being used as a pattern to make another buttstock on a Dupli-Carver. I actually need two buttstocks having a 250 that needs one.

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20170306_162405.jpg.6a4e0854ee1556e16fa945c5cfccbef8.jpg20170305_160514_resized.jpg.4c0dce1ccbb215bd08fcfd7d451e3fda.jpg20170305_160717_resized.jpg.cd7a5ae8cb932def39f8d52e63698117.jpg58beb8c4ccf04_Stevens215.jpg.79a1e6652e84fb9e2f3e1ce01503f927.jpg

 

I love it!   Apparently old post can be added to.  Also,  you can reuse pictures you have already uploaded.

 

Above is my latest rescue project.  It's a Stevens Riverside model 215.  The odd feature is the triggers set one behind the other. I already know it has wood missing from the buttstock meets the receiver and one hammer spring plunger may be bad. I won't know what else until I get it.  Money was put in snail mail on Monday and FFL has been sent electronically.  

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11 hours ago, Warden Callaway said:

Above is my latest rescue project.  It's a Stevens Riverside model 215.  The odd feature is the triggers set one behind the other. I already know it has wood missing from the buttstock meets the receiver and one hammer spring plunger may be bad. I won't know what else until I get it.  Money was put in snail mail on Monday and FFL has been sent electronically.  

See this post for more details

 

Edited by Red Hooker

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58c1fc24f3fbc_Stevens225partsgunMarch2017.jpg.faadd6df8699848d92e77681693f8a91.jpg

I told Mary that I was not going to buy more old hammer shotguns.  Well,  I  couldn't help myself.  I have the Stevens 215 coming from Oregon.  And today I bought this 225 "wall hanger.".  

I had met a curmudgeon at a gun show a couple of weeks back that invited me to bring my Stevens project guns up to see if he had parts.  Today was the day.  He had a large shop filled with Keen Kutter tools of all kinds.  One end was a workshop area where he had hundreds of dead and dying old guns and parts. Cabinets full of them. Parts boxes full of parts. After a long search he didn't find specific parts I needed.  

He went to a room in the corner of the building and came out with the Stevens 225 pictured above.  It had been destroyed by sawing the receiver in two.  He brazed the receiver back together to complete a wall hanger out of it.  He removed the firing pins and placed them under the buttplate.

In this room he had I'm estimating 100 old long guns.  He called them his "junk" guns.  Said his good guns he kept in the house. Among the junk guns were old Winchester lever guns, Parker shotgun, Spencer rifles,  even an Evens rifle.  Thousands of boxes of old Winchester ammo.  Had a milk crate full of antique shotgun reloading tools.  It was like a treasure ship! 

I just got one old clunker out of dozens of old hammer doubles he had - most needed some help to helpless.

I intend to use parts from the wall hanger to restore the solid one I have that is missing a forend and a couple of impossible to get parts. 

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58c86eaf1e9df_Stevens225done72640March2017.jpg.98cf53044358ad4a988a625cddd4c2b5.jpg

Another old shotgun made noise again this afternoon.   I rescued this Stevens 225 from a gun junkyard in Minnesota about this time last year.   It had been robbed of its forend, hammers,  and extractor link.  The wall hanger above donated these parts to make a complete gun. Some fitting required. 

The old gun shoots good.  I can even shuck the fired hulls.  But the hammer springs are too heavy for easy or fast cocking.   

I have the barrels from the wall hanger.   I'm contemplating cropping them to 18 or 20" and fitting them to this frame. 

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58d1b193eccb5_ButtstockbustoutMarch2017.jpg.75ad0dab50eef55a77bf69369ce19039.jpg

 

Sometimes when working on old guns you end up causing damage.  This morning I was taking the buttstock off a Stevens 235 when I heard a crack sound.  The big screwdriver had slipped off the screw head and wedged between the screw head and wall of hole.  I've taken the buttstocks off many shotgun with through bolt and not had this happen.  I plan to find a section of rubber hose to slide over the screwdriver to assure it will center in the hole.

 

To repair this damage,  my plan is to mix up some Acraglas and let it run down the bolt hole and let it seep through the cracks.  When I'm satisfied the cracks have been saturation,  I'll clamped the split out back down.  Maybe it'll work. 

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I think the Warden needs to be acclaimed the official SASS "Old Shotgun Rescue Guru" of the year. I wish I lived just down the road from him so I could drop by from time to time & watch him work on the grand old scatter guns ..........
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

'

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58d3f5eec0e5b_ButtstockrepairMarch2017.jpg.78459d516f751144b0b6963256262eef.jpg

 

I think I have achieved a good functional repair - even if less than perfect.  Most will never notice unless pointed out.  I don't try to make the old guns look new.  I just repair them back to working order and clean up to look the best they can with what they have.  

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what a great specialized area of collecting , if i was not so far into 22cal rifles and handguns i might be tempted , they display/photograph so well and represent a huge span of american history let alone the european roots of it all , how cool , thanks for the photos too , 

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58e0309e9c179_Stevens215April2017.jpg.5fd3248498be39e2b84107a391a8b542.jpg

 

I got this old Stevens Riverside 215 repaired, cleaned up and back together today.  It's unusual as the triggers are one behind the other. 

 

It needed some minor stock repair and the left trigger replaced.  I was luck Numrich Arms actually had a trigger for it.

 

Bores are perfect,  lockup tight,  and matching numbers.  Hard to ask for more from a 100 year old gun.

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58f696ed78153_Remington188210gaugeApril2017.jpg.a9241f3bef2e3566a217b4ac846d804c.jpg

 

I was going to swear off rescuing old doubles.  But what can you do?  We were in a gunshop this morning.   I thought I was safe.  I didn't see any old doubles.  But then I had to ask. The first answer was no.  Then he said wait and disappeared in back.  He returned with a Remington 1882 in just my gauge 10.  

 

Matching numbers,  solid wood and action,  Demascas barrels in pretty fair shape.   The only problem is ...  there is nothing it really needs.  Well, except shooting. 

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I put up a video of my collection of Remington hammer doubles including the latest 1882.

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Howdy Warden, nice work. I myself am a huge fan of old hammer guns and use a 1920s Husqvarna in my shoots. Always looking for more especially under and sidelevers.  Best of luck!

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15 hours ago, Nate Kiowa Jones #6765 said:

Warden,

you still need colt 1878 parts?

 

 

I had to make 3 small parts with nothing to really go by but where they had to fit and how they worked.  But it's complete and working.  

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On 5/24/2016 at 2:37 AM, Warden Callaway said:

20160523_173651_zpsgmb1oyzw.jpg

 

I know I've not invented anything new but it was my first experience at raising dents. I went slow and easy but it was amazing how well it worked.

 

I found that the tapered quill shank from the lathe drill chuck would drop into the bore until it hit a dent. I would bump it with dowl stick to get it under dent. Then take the brass hammer and lightly tap around the dent. The shank would loosen and I'd tap it a little further down and repeat. I went through both barrels like this and substantially removed the dents on first pass. I added one layer of tape to one side and repeated. I think I ended with four layers of tape.

 

Perfect not but a vast improvement and adequate. I hadn't bothered to clean the bores and I should have. After cleaning, I found that the bores are in remarkably good shape with no rust or pitting.

 

You can see a series of dark spots along the side of the barrels. These spots are where the dents were. Someone had taken steel wool and scrubbed of rust and any bluing that was left on the barrels and left the dark spots. I'll clean up these spots and cold blue or brown the barrels.

 

On test firing, I discovered the left firing pin was broken off. I'll likely repair it rather than try finding a replacement. I have both firing pins out so I have one to reference.

 

Investigation leads me to think the gun is a Hunter Arms Gladiator - an upgraded model sold through Sears.

You've inspired me.  I found a double barrel 20 gauge Crescent mule ear shotgun.  It's stamped "American Arms Co".  I am struggling finding the front and rear tang screws as well as a trigger guard screw to put it together to make a wallhanger OR I may talk a friend into trying to remove the dents as described by you here.  Any help would be appreciated.

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I'm not sure that following some of the crazy things I do is wise.  

Here is how Larry Potterfield raises a dent with proper tools.

 

The exact factory replacement tang screws may be impossible to find.  You may try taking the reciever to a Fastenall store and have them try to determine the thread and screw size.  (Many of these old guns don't have standard thread sizes.)  If they can determine the thread, they can probably find a screw that can be made to work even if you have to shorten it and change the head size and shape. 

 

The next option would be to use a screw the next standard size larger and retap the threads in tang. 

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Just bought a Remington 1889 10 Gauge Shotgun (Grade 3 - Damascus barrel). What do you do to safety test an antique shotgun before use? Use test load and sandbag with a long string behind a barricade?

1889-Remington-SandS-Hammer_101045240_84309_370EAFA36001347F.thumb.jpeg.c538dddf62876512b12c8dc0db3b6fda.jpeg

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You went way back to find this post.

 

I've done a lot of research on the topic of proofing old shotguns and the answer is,  there is no answer.   In Europe there are government proof houses that proof every gun in a scientific manor.  

 

Proofing is not done to any extent or regulated standards here in the US.

 

Here is the only old shotgun that I went to any effort to test.  

 

 

I had taken this shotgun to a professional gunsmith that builds custom guns and has an affinity for old shotguns to get his opinion of its safety and how much he'd charge to proof it.  He would not advise on the safety of shooting the gun because he had no control over what I may use for loads.   He did advise against proofing it as proofing it may introduce damage that hadn't been there before proofing.  At the end of the conversation,  he leaned closer and said, "I can't advise that you shoot this gun.  But if it were mine, I'd shoot it with black powder loads.".

 

I did make up some heavy loads and fire it strapped in a tire.  Then I shot maybe 20 rounds of lighter loads and wore a heavy leather welding gauntlet glove on my left hand.  Then I shot it in a match.  I talked it over with the Match Director before the match and got his approval. 

 

Since then,  I have collected around a couple dozen old shotguns and have shot them all - with a couple of exceptions. . I have learned to trust my judgement of the guns condition and take my own risks. 

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Sage advice  - I can't imagine any gunsmith in this lawyer-soggy day clearing any antique gun(no matter how safe) to shoot. 

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Some additional comments;

 

Your shotgun is a Remington and that's a big plus as they are strong, well made guns.  I don't collect shotguns made in Europe with the exception of a couple that had British proof marks and of a known maker. There were a massive amount of Belgian made shotguns imported and sold in hardware stores with thousands of brand names.  Many names were close of the names of quality gun makers.

 

First thing I look for is the gun tight or loose? By tight I mean does the barrels close and no moving around once shut. An old test is to close A dollar bill in the action and see if you can pull it out.  If it can't be pulled out, that's plenty tight.   A tight gun with an overall good condition is a good thing. 

 

Take the forend off and visually inspect the ribs to see if they are tight. Check the forend hanger lug to see if it looks unmolested or damaged.  Take the barrels off and check the hinge to see if it had been shimmed.  That is a piece of some thin metal or card stock put between barrel hook and hinge to tighten the gun up long enough to sale.

 

Visually inspect the bores.  Most every old Damascus barrel has some pits and are usually dark.  A good cleaning and brushing will bring out more detail.  Deep pits inside or out of the barrels is bad.  Also look for dents and dings.  Damascus barrels are thick and don't dent easily. 

 

Another test is the ring test.  Take the barrels off and hang them by the extractor with a string or wire and use something of metal and tap up and down both barrels.  They should ring like a wind chime.  If they make a dull thunk sound, the ribs are loose somewhere near that spot.  You may not see it but they are.  That's real bad.  The gun may not blow up but will come apart and it's a repair that will generally cost more than the gun is worth.

 

If I feel the gun is safe to shoot,  I shoot only black powder or BlackMZ loads.  No matter how light you load smokeless shells, the peak pressure will be greater than what the gun made for.

 

 

I have a Remington 1889 in 10 gauge with stub twist barrels. Also one in 12 gauge with steel barrels that was made about 1900 and approved for nitro loads.  Also a Remington 1882 in 10 gauge.   

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Great tips, I am very appreciative to receive them! These Remington shotguns are really nice. Can’t wait to reload some BP shells.

 

I also picked up a trade name Belgian coach in 10g. Will treat much more cautiously when it’s delivered.

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On 6/2/2018 at 3:15 PM, Warden Callaway said:

  I don't collect shotguns made in Europe with the exception of a couple that had British proof marks and of a known maker. There were a massive amount of Belgian made shotguns imported and sold in hardware stores with thousands of brand names.  Many names were close of the names of quality gun makers.

 

 

 

I just got back from the Tri-State (CT, RI & MA State Championships) and I used a Charles Boswell hammered 12 gauge under lever for the 4 stages today.  Slow to shoot, but a lot of fun.

I dabble in British shotguns as the budget allows and have read a fair amount about English shotguns proof laws.  British and French proof laws were (and are in England) fairly strict and British and French shotguns should still be shootable with what they were originally proofed for barring subsequent & substantial damage to the barrels.  Since I am not a lawyer or gunsmith and have not seen the gun in question, you are on your own.

 

Some other observations regarding European shotguns:  Be careful of Belgian Damascus shotguns, Belgian proof laws were not nearly as strict as British proof laws.  Gunsmiths who specialize in restoring British and other high end antique & high value shotguns are NOT inexpensive and often have a significant backlog.  If you decide to venture into this area of gun collecting make sure to do your research.  For example there are many Belgian made guns that were marked in a manner to make a prospective buyer believe they were buying a gun from one of the better British makers. 

 

A useful link with a lot of knowledge is:  http://www.doublegunshop.com/forums/ubbthreads.php

 

Edited by Chantry

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A great  post with plenty of info  & very enjoyable reading...thanks Warden

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I shot video of many of my projects just to share with friends and family. Buy last winter I took parts of this videos and added pictures and editing and then uploaded them to the Owl Creek Raiders YouTube channel that is open to the public. 

 

 

Here is a playlist of 9 videos - mostly of the old shotguns I have worked on.

 

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i envy your efforts they are commendable , so many great shotguns are being lost to neglect and commies 

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Something to keep in the back of your mind when considering Damascus barrels.  A Damascus barrel has had a LONG time to sit in the back of a closet or ever a fireplace forming rust in the laminations.  A lesser Damascus barrel could well cost you your left hand (or right, depending).  There does not exist in the United States a "Proof House."  And try to consider, Firing one of these old guns with a "proof" load only confirms the gun survived and overload ONCE.  No promise it won't come apart violently the next time fired.  Vorsicht!!  Minen!!

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The best source of info on old double barrel shotguns is on double guns shop forum.  Lots of expert contributors.  

 

http://www.doublegunshop.com/forums/ubbthreads.php

 

When considering the condition and safe shooting of one of these old doubles,  keep in mind they are just one step newer than muzzle loaders and made to shoot the only powder that existed at that time - black powder.  What's worse,  they will chamber and fire modern ammunition.   Nobody would consider loading a 100+ year old muzzle loader with smokeless powder.  But for some reason think because the hull fits,  it's safe to shoot smokeless loads.  Not so. Not even "low brass" loads as I often hear.   

 

Consider the Winchester 1893 is a black powder gun.  Winchester introduced the 1897 approved for nitro to replace it.  And the 1901 to replace the 1887.   I understand Winchester offered to replace any 1893 with a new 1897.  

 

Even early shotguns produced between 1900 and 1960 with strong steel barrels to shoot "nitro" ammo is not likely safe to shoot with modern star crimped ammo due to short chambers and almost no forcing cone.  No wonder grandpa's old Stevens kicks like a mule and shoots loose.  Modern 2-3/4" star crimp shells will chamber and fire in the shorter chamber but fold will open up into the reduced diameter of the barrel and will be an obstruction. 

 

I've had the chambers of several early steel barreled shotguns recut to modern 2-3/4" dimentins with longer forcing cones and the reduction in recoil is noticeable. 

 

The reproduction shotguns are better suited to Cowboy Action Shooting all the way around. No need to butcher up an old classic shotgun and put it to the stress.   

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