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Old Coach Gun, need advice


El CupAJoe
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Hey All, 

    I have a hardware store branded hammerless 20 gauge sxs manufactured by Crescent I think.  It's manufactured sometime in the early 1900's and it's main quality is that It has no value so I can do whatever I want with it.  Also, it has a very cool brown finish which I like because you don't see anything finished that way these days.  Picked it up for about $200 shipped and transferred a few years back.  I've used it sparingly for a few years as a trap skeet and hunting gun.

 

I'd like to get it running better as I won't be upgrading it for some time and it is sometimes a pain to break open after firing and factory shells don't just fall out.  do you know of any resources in slicking up these guns and what's the preferred method for polishing chambers?  I will likely be replacing the stocks as well as the originals are starting to strip where the wood screws hold things together and the 100+ year old wood is soft.

 

Thanks in advance for your help!

Edited by El CupAJoe
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May try brass hulls. They are heavier and may come out better.

 

I know I'm bucking the known world here but I'm convinced polishing the chambers is the wrong way to go. Instead get some 100 grit sandpaper and put swirls in them. 

 

Screw holes can be easy to repair and a lot less costly than a new stock.  

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For the chambers, get a 20ga Flexhone chamber hone and Flex hone oil.  I found the at Midway, Brownells, and even Amazon.  
also check out Murauder’s page on shotguns.  A lot of these look like the old Stevens 311’s inside and are a bear to open just due to the hammer springs that you are cocking when breaking it open.  http://marauder.homestead.com/shotgun.html
 

before you try things that are too radical, make sure you have replacement parts on hand, and mod the replacement parts.  If you take the hammer springs out, make sure you look at some Stevens 311 YouTube videos before you try.   They are a bit tricky to get back together and you might need to fab up some tools and help to make it go together again…. Otherwise your shipping a box of parts to your favorite gunsmith.   
hope this helps….  

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2 hours ago, Warden Callaway said:

try brass hulls. They are heavier and may come out better.

They're on my shopping list

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5 hours ago, Warden Callaway said:

I know I'm bucking the known world here but I'm convinced polishing the chambers is the wrong way to go. Instead get some 100 grit sandpaper and put swirls in them. 

what's the theory on this?  just curious.

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  • El CupAJoe changed the title to Old Coach Gun, need advice

 

Here's a vid of the action, same gun and hardware store branding as mine, this one is just in 12, mine's in 20.

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1 hour ago, El CupAJoe said:

what's the theory on this?  just curious.

 

Not theory. Practice. 

 

My CZ-USA hammer coach gun came with rough chambers. Considering the rest of the gun is beautifully finished with mirror bright bores, there must be a reason they scored the chambers. Although I struggle to place middle of the pack, I can shuck hulls. 

 

 

 

Sawmill Mary's Stoeger Uplander is box stock - including the scored chambers.  She turns and tips and hulls fall out. She shoots Fiocchi loads with steel bases. 

 

We bought a Library hammer double and she complained that the hull on one side was sticking.  I found a bright spot in that chamber.  Took some corse sandpaper and roughed up the chamber.  Went out and tested several brands of factory shells. They all shucked. 

 

 

Edited by Warden Callaway
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If you think about it, actually polishing the chambers will make the smoother, and smoother means MORE contact with the sides of smooth hulls.

More contact=more friction... harder to shuck. No one said to mirror polish the chambers and honing is not polishing. Flex hones are used in machining engine cylinders; if they didn't work to reduce friction, they would not be used. Flex Hone makes a couple different grits; I'd go with the 400. It has worked great on my .45 chambers. You can even get 180, if ya want. No, I don't work for them. Haha

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8 minutes ago, The Rainmaker, SASS #11631 said:

If you think about it, actually polishing the chambers will make the smoother, and smoother means MORE contact with the sides of smooth hulls.

More contact=more friction... harder to shuck. No one said to mirror polish the chambers and honing is not polishing. Flex hones are used in machining engine cylinders; if they didn't work to reduce friction, they would not be used. Flex Hone makes a couple different grits; I'd go with the 400. It has worked great on my .45 chambers. You can even get 180, if ya want. No, I don't work for them. Haha

Friction though isn’t just contact.  The key factor of the equation is the friction coefficient.  Both our scenarios have the exact same contact surface area.  A rough surface does not reduce friction, it increases it.  (Think black ice on the highway, versus concrete)so polishing has a lower CoF.   If you want smaller contact surface then you’d need a chamber surface that looks like a spline connection.  (Decreased contact surface) That isn’t feasible and hulls deform and expand in the chamber, so we would increase surface area In actuality, and then we have gas blow by, erosion, etc..  
The Friction force equation is F=uN integrated around the cylindrical surface of the chamber, and vectored in the direction of the force of gravity too, so horizontal shucking would, in theory, take more force than a completely vertical shucking (but then we break the 170 handling rule).  u (mu) is our coefficient of sliding friction. So, bottom line, the smoother the better….  (Sorry for the lengthy reply, but this is mechanical engineering 200 level stuff). 

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Thanks guys for the reply, one last thing, I think in addition to having to cock the strikers/hammers on opening, I believe the firing pins are sticking and dragging in the primers and they are the primary problem with opening hard.  any suggestions to correct this issue?

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2 hours ago, The Rainmaker, SASS #11631 said:

Whoa! Too brainy for me. Not an engineer, but big difference between a car (person) on black ice and the light weight of a hull in a chamber.

El CupAJoe... I say go with what works.

The physics is still the same regardless of weight….  If it’s slick on the sidewalk, you slip, slide and land on your butt.   If it’s slick in the chamber it’ll slip slide and fall out….  
it why you wax snow skis and don’t line them with sandpaper….  

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image.png.c211a5640c1dddbfe31c91271ba934bc.png

 

Looking at the old Crescent models, I couldn't find a box lock that looked like mine, but I did notice that mine looks like a stevens boxlock of 311, 315 or some variation therof, guess I'm going to have to do some more research and figure out what action mine actually is.  this comment was on the movie I posted earlier

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It is pretty common for the old firing pins to slightly "mushroom" or spread out at the end - so they get stuck. 

You should be able to use some sand paper and get them back to the proper shape so they will not have.

Also, if you can get replacements using harder steel, that helps, but is not absolutely required.  You could also refit them then find someone temper them to improve hardness.

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Got it tore down enough to confirm it's a 315 variant.  Found out how to decock it without dry firing which allowed me to inspect the firing pins.  They seem to stick out pretty far but don't seem to be mushroomed. Maybe if I can figure out how to take the pins out and put them back in easy, I'll throw in some lighter springs and put a washer in the stop so the firing pins don't protrude so much.  I may also get an extra opening lever guide rod so I can shorten it so that it doesn't always re-engage the safety when I open it up. 

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