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 Post subject: "Old-School" project: Remmy 11-48 UPDATE March 27
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 6:08 am 
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Apologies in advance for the quality of the photos. The wife is off at a wedding this weekend, and she took the camera. My cellphone will have to do for now. Additional apologies for making this so long. I wanted to get as much of it posted at once as possible.


Before I get to explaining the project in detail, I have to explain what my project is, and more importantly why I chose this particular make and model as a project gun:

The Browning long-recoil action is pretty famous as the A5 “Humpback” model shotgun, also produced by Remington as the “Model 11” from 1905 until 1947.

[img]http://www.remington.com/images/library/history/models/m11[1].jpg[/img]
Remington Model 11. Photo courtesy of Remington Arms Company

The design has a reputation for being stone-cold reliable, fairly soft shooting from a perceived recoil stand point, and damn near unbreakable.

The basic setup is a barrel that recoils into the receiver upon firing, driving the bolt and empty hull to the rear. The barrel rides in front of a HUGE flatwound spring around the mag tube, with a large split ring that is compressed to provide friction to the assembly. Here’s the whole setup:

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Makes an AK look complicated, don’t it?

When the bolt travels far enough to the rear, it is captured, and spring tension on the barrel pulls it forward. The empty stays with the bolt, held to the breechface by the extractor. As the barrel rides forward, a small projection on the tail of the barrel kicks the empty out, while the new round fed from the mag trips the bolt release. The bolt has its own “action spring” housed in a tube behind the receiver, and this drives the bolt home (with a new round). If there is no round on the carrier (i.e. the mag is empty), the bolt stays locked to the rear.

The process is entirely mechanical. No gas is bled from the system, and no lubrication is required for operation with standard ammunition. Read that last part again.

After WW2, the geniuses at Remington decided to streamline and update the ergonomics and looks of their Model 11. What they came up with is what we, today, instantly recognize as “that Remington shotgun” shape, and it was introduced to the world as the Model 11, 1948. They rounded the rear of the simplified breechblock and the receiver, gave the totally redesigned FCG a classic curved housing, and totally changed the face of shotguns forever:

[img]http://www.remington.com/images/library/history/models/m1148[1].jpg[/img]
Remington Model 11-48. Photo courtesy of Remington Arms Company

The Model 11-‘48 design actually pre-dates the 870 pump by a year. As a matter of fact, the 870 was a re-work of the 11-48 from the Browning long-recoil semi-auto action to a manually operated slide action. The 870 shares something like an 80% commonality in parts with the 11-48. This is an important consideration.

A decade after the introduction of the 11-48, the gun was redesigned for gas operation several times (unsuccessfully first with the Sportsman 58, the then 878) before the engineers got to the Model 1100 in 1963; a finicky but softer-shooting copy of the ’48, with identical ergonomics. Five years later the 11-48 was dropped from the lineup. It would be 20 more years before Remington made an attempt to fix the 1100’s issues (with the 11-87).

So here’s what we’ve got with the Remington Model 11-48:

Pros:

Reliable
There is no gas system to foul, and it’s actually intended to run DRY (NO lubrication except a bit on the frame rails and trigger group. Can you say “Glock”?)
Robust
Basically, this thing is a spring-driven 870, and I haven’t broken one of those (yet). No “o-rings” to lose, or get cracked with age. It’s rock solid.
Parts Availability
If it fits on, in, or around an 870, 1100, or 11-87, chances are I can make it work with a little tweaking. NOS small parts are also out there.
Ergonomics
I already have an 870, I want to run one type of shotgun – this lets me do it. Same trigger press, same safety location, same stock angle. I need to remember the bolt release is in a different position (can’t miss it – but that’s for later) and one gets a pump, while the other has a handle.
Recoil Mitigation
This is not a gas gun, so you do get the vast majority of the recoil impulse directed back at you. The primary difference is that the push is spread out over so many actions (barrel unlock, barrel recoil, extraction/ejection/barrel return, bolt return) and so much time that it is noticeably more pleasant to shoot than a pump. Instead of the single, sharp, “thwack” of a pump, the recoil impulse is “ka-thunk-chunk”. It feels similar to shooting an AK, or more accurately an HK G3/91.
Price!
And now we get to the best part:
I was able to pick up a serviceable 11-48 for the grand sum of exactly $180.00 off of the Equipment Exchange at AR15.com: http://ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=7&f=131&t=507167. These guns typically go in the $2-300 range, even at the local Gander or Cabela’s. Less initial price means more money for the project.

Cons:

Age
Remington stopped making the 11-48 over forty years ago. Most of the 12, 16, and 20 Gauge guns have seen lots of hunting/field use and have been bouncing around in the back of pickups during that time. I inherited a 1952 11-48 in 16G that looked beautiful, in fact, it’s what got me interested in the model. Unfortunately one trip duck hunting showed me that the beauty was only cosmetic. There are two aspects of the age I’d like to touch on:

1) Even though this is in the “con” column, age can be a plus. The fact of the matter is that Remington (or American manufacturers in general) don’t make things like they used to. When you consider that my project gun left the Remington factory before Ike started his second term, but is still functionally the same with little or no maintenance over half a century later, it should instill confidence in both the design and the execution.
2) While New-Old-Stock parts exist (at 150% of what a comparable 1100 or 870 parts would go for) some things are VERY expensive on these guns. Barrels typically sell for more than complete guns. Stocks are outrageous. Forends are insane. It’s a good thing that not many things break, and there are folks willing to part out entire weapons (driving the cost of NOS parts down).

HD/”Tactical” Parts Compatibility
Everything must be tweaked. If you aren’t a handy person, don’t try this one at home. I got a great education on the internals doing a full refinish on the aforementioned 16 Gauge ’48. I’m now getting an education on what does and doesn’t fit on a 12G. There are slight differences in parts, angles, and dimensions between guns, let alone models. If you don’t own a bench grinder and dremel, and can’t use JB weld and Epoxy, a similar project is probably outside your scope.

=====================================

So why did I just type all that? It’s interesting history, and explains in a bit more depth why I’m working on a five decades old gun, rather than heading off and buying a 930 SPX like everyone else. :wink:

“But FMD, you said gear really doesn’t matter!” Exactly. Unfortunately, my wife also trains with me. One is none, two is one.

A year or so ago the benefits of the shotgun were expounded upon to me by an instructor I greatly respect. Up until that point, I was a pist0l/rifle only guy. Despite that, I had an 870. My wife wouldn’t touch it with a ten foot pole. While she isn’t particularly recoil-sensitive, she doesn’t enjoy shooting the shotty for long periods of time with high-volume round counts (tactical classes). I had decided to purchase another 870 in 20G for her use, but we bought a house instead. Plans for any new gun were put on hold.

Sometime over the summer, we inherited her dad’s collection of “Fudd” guns: a Pre-64 Win 94, an ancient Remington Model 12 (.22 pump), etc. Among them was a 16G Remmy 11-48. “AHA!” says I, “NOW I will get her to shoot a shotgun!” I set about to learn all I could, which led me here, funny enough.

Now the reality is that 16G ’48 barrels are more expensive than 12G guns ($250+), and suitable ammo for social purposes is scarce. This is where the thought to do an 11-48 as a HD shotty in 12G was born for me. I passed on several opportunities in the $250-$300 range, barely missed one at $225, and when I saw the ad linked above I had to jump on it.

Here’s the text and photos from the ad (as eventually the link above will go into the Archive at Arfcom):

Quote:
I have a Remington 11-48 12ga semi-auto 26'' full choke. The stock has a little bit of character to it but the the rest of it is really good shape. $200 shipped or $180 FTF in WI Madison area.

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Budget

My goal is to have everything done on this project (with the exception of a light/mount) for under $400, which is roughly the cost of a new 20G 870 Youth from Gander (what we’d have bought if I didn’t get on this 11-48 kick).

Current Progress: Mods

What you’ve all been waiting for, right? Here goes:

Barrel cut to 18.5”
Cost: $0.00

I marked and cut the original barrel down to 18 & 9/16” with a pipe cutter. Why the odd number? I wanted at least a 16th of an inch clearance so that I could grind down and clean up any flash left over from the cut and still end up at 18.5”.

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Original 28” barrel

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Cut barrel @ 18.5” with the leftover. Blue tape is the “under no freaking circumstances go beyond this line” mark at 18.125”

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11-48 barrel next to my 18” 870P barrel for comparison. As you can see, the blue tape is just beyond 18” (870P is exactly 18”). The new cut itself is well beyond that.

Stock work
Current cost: $0.00
Projected cost: $13.66-$46.03

The original stock has a bit more than “character” as described in the ad. In short, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to use it. 1) It fits weird on the gun, leaving a gap near the receiver. I have discovered that this is a gun problem, not a stock problem, but: 2) The damn thing is like six feet long (actually, closer to 16” LOP with a pad), and 3) The “character” part is the home-made finger grooves in the pist0l grip area. Unfortunately, I need more material there, not less if I run a short stock; so cutting down the original would be problematic.

First, I modified my 870’s Hogue “ShortShot” Youth stock (DIY instructions in a different thread) to play with:

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Hogue stock testfit.

The gun felt insanely good like this. By that I mean; “Measure the barrel a few more times because something that swings so well and points like that has GOT to be illegal!” good.

In the end, I don’t want to cannibalize parts from my “go to” 870, so I put on a spare 870 stock that I have. It is cut down to be the same LOP as the Hogue, only with a sling plate installed (which has since gone away). It also wears a Pachmayr Decelerator (poorly) ground down to a “skeet” profile.

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FMDs Remington 11-48 project, Mk1, Mod0

The gun will NOT stay this way, however. With the stock as short as it is, my hand tends to ride backward and my fingers wrap around and hit my cheek. The Hogue stock fixes this by making the pist0l grip area more vertical, unfortunately this stock is a cut down, so the angle is unacceptable to me.

Ultimately, I have two choices here: Buy another Hogue ShortShot ($45.47) and spacer ($0.56), or figure out a way to add wood to the grip area of a cut-down conventional stock, and then add a Pachmayr F-325 XS Youth Pad ($13.66).

Carrier Release Button
Current cost: $1.24

Unlike the 1100 & 11-87 (thank God), the 11-48 has a bolt/carrier release button on the side of the receiver like all the rest of the “normal” Semi-auto shotguns, including the 9x Mossys, M-series Benellis, Berettas, Brownings, and FNs. Sadly, 50 years of design improvements have left the latter with larger and easier to use buttons. By way of example:

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Carrier release buttons: Original 16G and 12G (16 in rear and is the darker of the two)

This is unacceptably small, at 9/32” diameter. I went to the hardware store today to see what I could come up with, and I purchased

1) 10/32 x 1” set screw/stud @ $0.31
2) 10/32 threaded & knurled thumbnut (brass) @ $0.93

I took the grindstone on the Dremel tool to the original button, and shaved it down to the wear mark, in essence making it exactly as tall as the receiver when depressed. Since it is hollow, and the correct size for the stud, I threaded it for 10/32. Next, I ground down the base of the thumbnut from this profile to something approaching flat. I left enough of the taper so that when placed atop the button, the two match up. A couple of test fits, grinding to remove excess stud at the back of the button (to make the stud even with the top of the nut) and here’s what we’re left with:

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Button lying flat (bolt/breechblock closed)

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Button standing “proud” (bolt/breechblock open, spring pressure pressing up on the button).

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Before/After comparison shot: Button surface area is increased by >200%

One can now find the carrier release button in the dark, and depress it even with gloved fingers. The stud will eventually be silver-soldered to the button base, and the thumbnut installed with blue locktite (so that it stays put, but can still be removed during a detail strip).

So where does that leave me?

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Old School & New School

Right now the project stands functional, shown above next to my 870. There’s a long way to go, as I haven’t even cleaned the damn thing yet. [shock] :shock:

Future Mods:

Sights
Projected cost: $25.46

I am not a fan of Ghost Rings. Beads are faster up close, and can be just as accurate out to 100 Yards. I like XS BigDots, but can’t justify the cost. What I will probably do is install the following:

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Colonial Arms Bead Sight Base + Marbles/Trijicon Bead Sight

This is not set in stone, as the possibility exists that I’ll be getting a different (and much cooler) FSB. I don’t want to let the cat out of the bag, so we’ll leave it as above.

Saftey
Projected cost: $8.40

I currently use a Scattergun Technologies “Tactical Response” safety on my 870. While it is better than the stock unit, I’m thinking I’m going to replace it with the VCS big button:

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Vang-Comp Safety

Stock Bearing Plate
Projected cost: $3.68

This small part will go a long way to help with making the stock more secure, no matter which way I decide to go. If anyone happens to have one floating around in their parts box they’d like to donate, I’d be more than happy to pay for shipping.

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Remington Stock Bearing Plate

Speedfeed Synthetic/Repair Refinish Forend
Projected cost: $17.07

This one is truly optional. Since no one makes a synthetic forend for an 11-48, my thought is to modify an 1100 forend to fit. Speedfeed just happens to be the cheapest out there. I have no clue what will be involved if I do this, but the experiment will most likely be worth the pricetag. This is the only way to get a true match to the synthetic stock.

The current wood is slightly swelled and pulling away from the metal liner in places. My other option would be to epoxy and clamp everything back tight, and then refinish to match whatever stock I choose. I’m betting that after all that work + the refinish to the wood, the cost will come out almost even.

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Speedfeed Forend

Extended Magazine
Projected cost: $42.00

Scattergun/Wilson “+1” extension, spring, and follower. I’m not sure if I’d use the follower, as the existing old style metal unit is in good shape and pretty much bombproof. The mag extension isn’t necessarily for the extra capacity, rather it will serve as a forward mount for a sling, and allow for easier “slug select” operation without a bunch of added weight up front.

It also doesn’t require a clamp, which is a huge consideration due to the reciprocating barrel on the 11-48.

Note that in order to get this to fit, I will have to shorten the mag tube by roughly ¼”. It’s easier to do than modifying the extension, and then allows for all sorts of 870-based options.

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Scattergun Tech +1 Extension

Oversize Bolt Handle
Projected cost: $8.00

I live in Wisconsin. We wear gloves here. Choate ‘cause I can’t justify the cost of the DMW unit. I think Max100’s SPX model would rock if he made one to fit an 1100/11-87. *cough*hint hint*cough*

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Choate “Tactical” bolt handle

Refinish
Projected cost: $12.00-$20.00

I’m intrigued by Max100’s exhaust manifold/BBQ paint method. Since I have access to a blasting cabinet and an oven (don’t tell my wife), that looks like a potential option. I also have a friend who does Duracoat. I can probably get use of his paint booth at the cost of materials.

Projected Total Cost

On the high end, with the Hogue stock, Speedfeed forend, and Duracoat; it looks like $171.88 + $180.00 for the gun. Total would then be $351.88 + shipping on the parts*.

If I just work on the wood and go with the BBQ paint, it looks like $131.51 in parts + 180 for the gun. Total would then be $311.51 + shipping on the parts*.

At this point, I might even be able to sneak a sling and light mount into the mix and still come in under the $400 mark*. Not too shabby, for a dead-nuts reliable and almost maintenance-free alternative to a 930 Tactical, M2 Tactical, FN SLP, or 11-87 Police/1100 Tac2. :D

*Brownell's "Gunsmith Discount" pricing on all of this, FWIW.

Questions, comments, and constructive criticism are welcome. Please feel free to post, as it will be a bit before I can acquire the parts and continue on with updates to the project.





Edits to fix stuff.
Latest update on page 4.


Last edited by FMD on Thu Mar 27, 2008 10:02 pm, edited 6 times in total.

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 Post subject: re: "Old-School" project gun: Remmy 11-48 Semi (56
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 8:24 am 
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Very Cool

I never knew the 11-48 was still a Rem 11 / A5 under the hood so to speak until now. The gun shop were I used to live had a 11-48 Sportsman that someone had added a Choate pistol-gripped stock, and a +2 extension. I would have bought it knowing it was a Browning A5 action in disguise.

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 Post subject: re: "Old-School" project gun: Remmy 11-48 Semi (56
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 10:05 am 
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I can't believe I just read all that.

But, it looks like you have a good idea of what you want and if you take your time and do things right you could end up with a functional and custom gun. Plus, from what I read I would imagine you will enjoy the work it will take to get to the finished product.

I would recommend going with synthetic furniture. The cost is minimal, and the look, weight difference, and durability are all superior to the already old wood.

I'm curious, are you going to do the same modifications to the 16ga so that your wife has matching tactical autoloader?


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 Post subject: Re: re: "Old-School" project gun: Remmy 11-48 Semi
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 11:13 am 
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556A2 wrote:
Very Cool

...I would have bought it knowing it was a Browning A5 action in disguise.


The 11-48 is sort of a "sleeper". Interesting concept, huh?

Until we inherited my FIL's gun and I started doing research, I had no clue.

DTakas wrote:
I can't believe I just read all that.


:lol: It was long, wasn't it?

Quote:
I'm curious, are you going to do the same modifications to the 16ga so that your wife has matching tactical autoloader?


This gun is for her. It's mate is the 870.

Doing a full "tactical" conversion on a 16G 11-48 would be a sin. Really. The Lightweight 16 above (aka "Cheryl") is middle-of-the road as far as rarity, but it's her dad's "game getting" gun that he had as a teenager. Propriety demands that she stay as close to original as possible, and yet still retain function.

For more info on Cheryl, click here.

As far as the wood vs. synthetic: I love the look of "Old School" wood and metal badassness, but the stockwork to make it function as well as it looks will be difficult. At the same time, converting the forearm will also be a bear if I go the synthetic route.

It's kind of a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" situation. :?

Thanks for the comments guys, keep 'em coming!


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 Post subject: re: "Old-School" project gun: Remmy 11-48 Semi (no
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 11:32 am 
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Nice project. Very nicely done.
I've always had a nostalgic bent after seeing some of the shotguns that Bonnie and Clyde used in Austin and Waco. And it's nice to see shotguns from back before tactical was invented that are more than capable of getting the job done.
Is this what the SPX release button question is for?

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 Post subject: Re: re: "Old-School" project gun: Remmy 11-48 Semi
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 11:57 am 
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m24shooter wrote:
Nice project. Very nicely done.
...I've always had a nostalgic bent after seeing some of the shotguns that Bonnie and Clyde used in Austin and Waco. And it's nice to see shotguns from back before tactical was invented that are more than capable of getting the job done.


Thank you. I actually referenced those Mod 11 photos a few thousand times befre I started to tackle the project. :wink:

Quote:
Is this what the SPX release button question is for?


Yup. I posted the Q before the trip to the hardware store, but would still love to know. I'm not 100% positive on how well the assembly above will hold up, so I'd like a backup plan.

The SPX button looks to be about half-again as large as the stock 11-48 button, but not so large as the thumbnut mod I came up with. Unobtrusive yet big enough not to miss.


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 Post subject: re: "Old-School" project gun: Remmy 11-48 Semi (no
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 4:38 pm 
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Okay, I might have a solution to the stock problem:

I just played around with some cardboard templates, and it seems that if I move the original stock 1/4" or so towards the receiver, I will get the front pist0l grip profile and forward extended comb that I am looking for.

This will shorten up the stock by 1/4", but I have about 4" to play with, :o

The grip cap area won't be an exact match to the Hogue, but I think I can deal with that.

If I can pull this off and then do the repairs the forend, I'll save myself quite a bit of money, and maintain the "Old School" look.

The more I think about it, the more I like it.


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 Post subject: re: "Old-School" project gun: Remmy 11-48 Semi (no
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 6:09 pm 
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neat project, creative!! {RO

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 Post subject: re: "Old-School" project gun: Remmy 11-48 Semi (no
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 6:34 pm 
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I shaved about 3/8" off on the receiver end, and extended the stock inlet the same amount. That brings the pist0l grip and comb right about inline with the Hogue "Short Shot". I'll need to face the stock/reciever mating surfaces and cut down the stock to length, but I really like how this is shaping up.

By doing it this way, I also have more butt end to add a pad to. This is a pretty important thing, since a larger surface area spreads the recoil out more, and pads are easier to fit (just try to find a pad that will fit a stock 3.75" tall). :?

I've taken crappy cellphone pics, but uploading them will have to wait until I get back from the airport. Since my wife is bringing the camera back, maybe I'll just take better photos of everything.

Also, this will be the first time she gets to see her new shotty. If y'all don't hear from me tonight, it could be very good, or very bad. :shock:


Quick Edit @10:32. She likes it. A lot. :wink:


Last edited by FMD on Mon Feb 18, 2008 11:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: re: "Old-School" project gun: Remmy 11-48 Semi (no
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 9:26 pm 
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Cool project. The 11-48 was the first shotgun I used for deer hunting when I was young like 13-14 years old, it was borrowed from a friend of a friend.


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 Post subject: re: "Old-School" project gun: Remmy 11-48 Semi (no
PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2008 3:20 pm 
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11-48 Project Update:

I've had a couple of folks stop by and "play" with the gun in it's semi-finished state. After the shouldering the 11-48, the grin on their face spreads, but then quickly fades with a wide-eyed look of horror. Every one of them says: "This cant be legal - either the barrel is under 18", or the OAL is under 26". You've got a stamp for this, right?"

The bbl length and OAL are quite a bit more than required. No tax stamp needed, the gun just feels that good. :twisted:

Now that I have our camera back, I took a bunch of photos of the current progress on the stock, and some better photos of the carrier release. Some of the work was done before I got the camera back, so those photos are less than stellar. Apologies.

Carrier Release Button

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Here's a better photo, showing the cut down Carrier release button with the stud threaded into it, along with the thumbnut threaded onto the stud.

Mag Tube Cut-Down

The 11-48 mag tube is slightly longer than an 870. In order to fit an extended mag, I'd either have to mod the extension, or shave down the tube. I've elected to shave down the tube.

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Standard 870 mag cap on the 11-48 tube.

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Standard mag cap comparison (870 on the right, 11-48 on the left).

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Cut line on the magazine tube.

Stock Work Update

I left off on the last post explaining that I had decided to modify the factory stock rather than go synthetic. The following photos show what I did, and (hopefully) explain why:

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First, I traced the Hogue "Short Shot" stock profile onto some cardboard.

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Then, I played with the positioning of the factory stock that came with the gun, and marked out where the pistol grip and comb came closest to matching up.

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Finally, I marked out where the wood stock would have to be relieved to fit the receiver.

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The initial relief cut, showing how much I was going to remove.

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Comparison shots next to an 870 stock.

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Initial cut, before relieving for the FCG.

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Initial cut, after relieving for the FCG.

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Hopefully these photos illustrate how much the PG and comb have moved forward, compared to a factory stock.

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PGs compared to a factory stock (left) and Hogue Youth (right).

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Top to bottom: “Project 11-48” stock, the wife’s 16G 11-48 with factory wood, the Project 11-48 with the way-short cut-down 870 stock, and my HD 870 with the Hogue OM youth “ShortShot” stock.

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LOP comparison, the uncut project stock (top) and Hogue Youth (bottom).

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So how much was taken off the front? Compare a factory stock to the new "project" stock.

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Between final fitting, and shaving the receiver contact area to allow for the bearing plate, the receiver “stands proud” against the stock. While I would have liked to keep everything beautiful and flush, the sacrifice for a stock that fits is worth the slight inconvenience.

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The trio of Remmys, showing the differences in where the PGs end up. 870/Hogue combo top, 11-48 12G project middle, 11-48 16G with factory wood (aka “Cheryl”) bottom.

Now at this point, I still had yet to cut the stock to length, and decide exactly how I was going to refinish it. First-things-first:

While my wife likes a short LOP (reference the super-shorty 870 stock above), making it that short renders the gun almost unusable for everyone else who touches it. The Hogue Youth stock (@ 12-12.5” LOP) is a nice compromise, so that’s what I’ve been working towards.

The finish on the stock set will be slightly problematic. 1) It needs to look decent. 2) It needs to be super-tough. 3) I’d like to keep it looking old-school (for now at least). In the end, I’ve decided that a good soak in Tru-oil, a cross-grain wet sand with the same (to fill in what pores are left open after the initial coat), 3 coats of thinned TO after a 400 grit wet sand with mineral spirits, and a final couple of coats of ValSpar will do the trick.

I have stripped the stock and forearm, but will not be raising dents, filling scratches, or staining anything to even up the colors (see point #3 above).

If it ends up that the gun needs (read: the wife wants) to look “modern tactical”, a coat of black Duracoat (maybe with some rhino-liner/undercoat for the checkering) will do the trick. At this point (the next-to-last thinned coat of TO is drying as I type), it would be a shame to cover up such a nice chunk of wood.

The following photos show the stock after the wet sand/pore-filling step with TO.

Image Image
Comb comparison between the project stock and the Hogue ShortShot, LOP comparison on the right.

Image Image
Image Image
LOP and PG angle comparisons between the project stock and the Hogue ShortShot,

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Project forearm (foreground) compared to "Cheryl"'s forearm (background).

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Photo of the stock and forearm in an almost finished state.

Well, that's it for now. Sorry for the long, boring details about stock refinishing, but things are progressing nicely, I think. I wanted to share. :wink:


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 Post subject: re: "Old-School" project gun: Remmy 11-48 UPDATED
PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2008 11:26 am 
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UPDATE #2

I've added a few more coats of Tru-Oil to the furniture. Damn things are coming out so nice it'll almost be a shame to use the gun. :cry:

Here's a comparison shot next to the beater 870 stock that just has a coat of ValSpar Poly:

Image

While the Poly has more shine, it's quite a bit less likely to dent, ding, and scratch, so I'll probably be smearing a coat on before too long.

Budget update:

Here's my recent order from Brownell's:

Quote:
The following merchandise was shipped 02/29/2008:

100-000-569 REM 870/1100/11-87 BIG SPEED SAFETY $8.40
100-000-829 69906 REM 870 LIGHT ADAPTER $16.50
159-101-112 01-10-02 CHOATE COMBAT BOLT HANDLE $8.00
579-000-079 6X48 OS TRITIUM SHOTGUN SIGHT $21.49
690-110-100 06406 F-325B-YP-BL BLACK XS YOUTH PAD $13.66
767-152-520 F15252 ACTION SPRING $4.33
767-199-930 F19993 STOCK BEARING PLATE $3.68
800-710-990 SGET-RH1 1-ROUND MAGAZINE EXTENSION $42.00

YOUR PRODUCT TOTAL IS: $118.06
UPS - GROUND: $9.95
ORDER TOTAL: $128.01


I added a Streamlight mount for the TLR1, and will be playing with adapting an 1100 action spring to work on the 11-48. Neither appeared on the original budget, but will be very useful.

Also while I was out, I picked up a can of Duplicolor High-Heat Engine Enamel in semi-gloss black, as well as some Birchwood-Casey "Super Blue". The thought was to blue the small parts after blasting, and hit the receiver, barrel, and triggerguard with the paint.

The "Super Blue" was $7.37 and the paint was $5.79 (both with tax), so the additional cost there is $13.16.

Late last night I ran out to a buddy's place and used his blasting cabinet. The results below are from 360 Grit Aluminum Oxide media:

Image

Besides the obvious parts, I blasted the recvr pins, my custom carrier release button, the carrier, action spring follower and endcap (both of which were VERY rusty), the trigger, and the entire breechblock assembly.

I got kinda exited to see how things would turn out with the bluing, so I went ahead and did the parts well after midnight last night:

Image

'Most everything look pretty darn good, with the finish ranging from a silvery-blue-black on the breechblock itself, to an abyss-like black on the pins.

There were a few spots that were "blotchy" on the carrier, and I'm not sure if it was some contamination that I introduced, or residual flaws in the metal that I just missed.

The trigger wouldn't take the blue hardly at all. It turned black just fine, but when burnished, most everything sloughed off.

Anyhow, the receiver, barrel, and trigger group are currently preheating in the oven, awaiting their final degreasing, coating, and baking. I'll post again with photos when I can.

For those of you scoring at home, the current project expenditure total is $322.41


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 Post subject: re: "Old-School" project gun: Remmy 11-48 UPDATED
PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2008 12:01 pm 
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Outstanding work, FMD. While the first notion by many is to look askance, I understand why you're doing it; on several planes. Primarily, your mate backing you up with a shotgun that she knows how to use is very comforting.

I hear you on the barrel prices. I have one of these in 20 gauge that my grandfather bought to hunt squirrels with. The 28" full choke barrel is okay for trap, but useless for skeet or SC.

A 26" IC barrel is $300; haven't been able to justify spending that on a gun that will be shot very little.

Anyway, good luck with your project. It is quite interesting.

.


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 Post subject: re: "Old-School" project gun: Remmy 11-48 UPDATED
PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2008 5:49 pm 
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Thanks, Steve!

I left off with parts preheating in a ~150* oven...

Image

...after which they were degreased again, and then coated.

Notes from coating: Use a heat gun to keep things warm, as well as "set" the coats. Did the barrel first, and learned the hard way how close is too close, and how much is too much when it comes to the spray. {F* A fix ensued, and it's difficult to tell where I screwed up. Getting into every nook and cranny is difficult, so use a misting action with multiple coats, setting what you've done with the heat gun. After you've let it rest for a bit (10 min or so in my case), bake at ~400* for 90 minutes:

Image

I used Duplicolor's "Semi-Gloss", as I thought it would be a close match to Cheryl. It's almost, but not quite right. Instead, it's a bit glossier, which makes it look even more black:

Image

On a completely unrelated note, it's actually scary when you can completely reassemble every part on this gun correctly the first time, and in order. I've done it twice today. :shock:

Here’s the assembled product, the project gun top, Cheryl below:

Image
Image

You can see that the carrier appears dark due to the bluing. Here it is in detail:

Image

It's a nice matte gray, and it quite a bit lighter than some of the other stuff I blued (like the trigger group pins). The trigger itself never really "took" the bluing, and is a similar matte gray:

Image

Both the Carrier and the Breechblock are quite a bit darker than the stock polished units:

Image

Here are a few random shots, again with Cheryl:

Image
"Bear" wondering what the big deal is.

Image
Quite a bit shorter in both the rear...

Image
...and the front.

So here is where we are at:

Image
FMD’s 11-48 Project Mk1 Mod1.

Things left to do:

Take the project to the range tomorrow for a live-fire function check.
Wait patiently for the big Brown truck (scheduled to arrive on Tuesday).
Install front sight, safety, mag assy, and light mount.
Check action spring length, and use whichever is the longer of the two.
Manufacture rear sling plate (whoops, forgot to tell y'all bout that), and grind Pachmayr youth pad to fit.
Finish stocks, epoxy/clamp anywhere the wood has swelled, and then bolt the furniture all together with the bearing plate.

I think that's about it (for now).

Today's been a productive day. Time for a beer. {P^


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 Post subject: Re: re: "Old-School" project gun: Remmy 11-48 Semi
PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2008 3:20 pm 
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Update: March 3, 2008

FMD wrote:
Things left to do:

Take the project to the range tomorrow for a live-fire function check.


Done.

When I first pulled it out, the president of the rifle club (no stranger to the NFA regs) asked “How long did your Form1 take?”

:twisted:

Good news and (really) bad news:

First, the good news:

Ran about 50 rounds through the gun, both as a function check, and to break the 11-48 in after coating. Dry, it would not cycle the light target loads. This was not unexpected, as the gun shouldn't cycle these rounds without lube. Afterward (still un-lubed), it ate a variety of heavy field, RR Buck, and magnum duck loads. It choked once (FTFeed) on an OLD RR Buck round.

This has been chalked up to corrosion on the brass & hull, along with coating build up on the inside of the mag-tube (uncleaned since coating), as well as use of the stock follower and 50+ year old mag spring.

I then sprayed down the mag tube, friction ring, and recoil spring with CLP, and then left them wet.

The light target loads functioned just fine in a *cough* quite rapid *cough* semi-auto fashion. ^77

Took a rag and wiped off all excess lube. Light target loads would not cycle through reliably (one of the three of us shooting was able to go through a mag without problems, the other two of us each had at least one FTEj). This was again an expected (and desirable) result.

Back to the hunting rounds (Remington NitroSteel, 2&3/4" Magnums), at which point the gun ran flawlessly: Feeding, firing, extracting, ejecting, and running 'till the mag was empty and the breechblock locked back each time.

The gun was run as last pictured above, sans front sight, and minus the recoil pad. Which brings us to the bad news:

Neither the gun nor I escaped the session without injury.

Going through 20+ magnum rounds, even though this is a very smooth auto, can be a little hard on the shoulder if there is no recoil pad. I was wearing a Carhart hoodie, a polo, and T shirt under that. I still ended up with a bit of a bruise:

Image

While your initial reaction might be “Wuss!” :roll: , my collarbone doesn’t normally bruise like that after a thousand or so rounds of .223 wearing nothing but a t-shirt. However, this is a minor annoyance, and no where near the worst of what happened.

I first must quote myself, and highlight a seemingly small and insignificant detail from my previous work on the existing wood stock:

FMD wrote:
...Between final fitting, and shaving the receiver contact area to allow for the bearing plate, the receiver “stands proud” against the stock...


My Brownell’s order with the bearing plate won’t arrive until tomorrow. What that means is that the stock’s bearing surface against the receiver during testing yesterday was the very small area around the edge of where wood meets metal, since I had already relieved the front of the stock the 1/32” or so to allow for the plate.

Here is the aftermath:

Image Image
Image

:cry:

At first I shrugged it off as a lesson learned. Then I started thinking about how I would repair it. Then I thought about just getting the synthetic stocks listed in my first post. Then I started thinking about how much effort already went into this piece of wood. The more I thought about it, the more disappointed I got.

It really sucks when you have no one to blame but yourself. :(

Ultimately the decision on how to proceed was dictated by the end-user. My wife vetoed the idea of replacing everything with synthetics, opting to stick with the wood; ugly and functional, or as aesthetic as I can make it.

To that end, I picked up a rattle-can of Duplicolor spray-on bedliner. I will be filling the voids with epoxy, making sure everything matches up after I get the stock bearing plate installed, and then masking off the areas her hand has contact with to coat with a grippy, rubbery, and textured black finish.

I’m not sure how it will turn out, but rest assured that y’all will know about an hour after I do. :wink:


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 Post subject: re: "Old-School" project: Remmy 11-48 UPDATE March
PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2008 9:59 am 
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Location: OH
You seem more than competent. I’m sure you can fix it. “Lesson learned” that’s all you can say.

I've been in your position before with stock projects AND other work. You put all that time and effort into it and then something goes wrong and now all that work is for nothing. Once I spent hours and hours refinishing a set of furniture for an AK in dark ebony. Soon after I replaced the upper handguard with an Ultimak rail. After that I replaced the lower handguard with a Romanian vertical grip and wound up throwing out the old lower and having to refinish the new one to make it match. Then after using that for a while I discovered it was very un-ergonomic and uncomfortable so I did a grip reduction on part of it and put in finger groves. That meant I had to refinish it again. After that I liked the finger groves so much I decided to put them on the buttstock too, that meant refinishing that as well. So I did all that work and after a relatively short period of time It all got replaced or had to be redone. Yes it's frustrating to have all that work be for nothing but when it gets to the point you aren't satisfied with how its turned out the only solution is to make it right.

Keep your chin up you're doing good, and the fact you aren't satisfied with second best when something goes wrong is a sign of a good craftsman.


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 Post subject: re: "Old-School" project: Remmy 11-48 UPDATE March
PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 8:11 pm 
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Update 3/11/08

Well, a week has past since I got my order from Brownells, so I suppose I should update this thread. :wink:

For brevity, I will be splitting off my stock repair photos and narrative into a parallel thread over in the “Gunsmithing & Restoration” forum here at SGW. Bottom line, we’re sticking with the wood, and after a bit of consternation, a whole lot of work, and a bit of luck: I have a reasonably aesthetic buttstock to use on this project.

On to my WECSOG* modified gear porn:

This shotgun is for my wife. She is a woman. Women have boobs. Boobs are (evidently) incompatible with single-point slings.

Google is now going to have a field day with the indexing of this post, since I have now mentioned “wood, wife, boobs, women, single” together.

:twisted:

Back on topic:

My wife has trained with 3-point/2-point convertible slings on AR15 long guns. Since the 11-48 is a semi, I don’t have the same concerns about 3-point slings getting hung up in the pump. For consistency in training, the project needed to be adaptable to the 3/2-point platform. The SGT +1 extension I ordered has a sling loop on the left side (for right-hand shooters). While I could have ordered a webbing-based sling adapter for a fixed stock from Specter or GearSector, I happened upon the following item from Sage International while browsing the intarweb: Offset Buttstock Adapter

Being the DIYer I am, I decided I could easily (uh huh :roll: )accomplish the same end with a piece of 1/8” steel plate I liberated from a buddy’s scrap pile.

Image
I laid out a pattern against the stock profile…

Image
…cut the pattern to size…

Image
…and then placed it against the recoil pad for hole spacing.

Image
The plate was cut out of the steel…

Image
…and matched to the wood.

Image
I then assembled the Pachmayr recoil pad, the plate, and the stock…

Image
…and ground everything to fit.

Image
The plate was then blued (poorly).

Image
Here’s the final fit (the flash makes it appear brighter than it is)...

Image
…and how it looks with sandwiched between the pad and the stock, with a Specter sling attached.

Not too shabby for getting it done with a Dremel and a bench grinder.

The Choate extended bolt handle is a little disappointing. The finish is quite rough and it did not fit right off the bat. It was a bit thicker in the breechblock area than the stock handle, which meant that while it fit in the slot, it would not allow the bolt to unlock. I shaved it down, at which point the bolt unlocked, but there was still an issue with the handle’s security.

I’m not sure why, but the “dimple” for the 1100 detent ball retainer was tiny. REALLY tiny. I’ve heard of folks having to open up the detent, so I wasn’t super-surprised there. What I was surprised at was exactly how hard the steel used is (RTFM here – it says “hardened tool steel”, and Choate means it).

In the end (after ruining two non-hardened ¼” ball-end mill bits for the Dremel tool), I ended up using several different sized carbide drill bits to open up the detent. It’s currently “okay”, but isn’t nearly as secure as the stock handle.

Any of you guys running an 1100/11-87 with a Choate handle having similar issues?

Anyhow, here are the pics of the handle thinned (flashing removed), the detent opened up, and everything touched-up and reblued:

Image
Image

I also installed a VangComp Systems safety.

I must now go and buy one for my 870 (currently wearing the SGT “Tactical Response Jumbo-Head”). I’m not quite sure how I functioned without one of these for this long.

Seriously. If you own any Remington for HD, go buy one.

Now.

Really.

Here’s what the new and improved control interface looks like:

Image
Vang safety, Choate bolt handle, FMD’s oversize carrier release button.

If she can’t find those three items in the dark, there’s no hope.

On to an item that I added to my Brownell’s order because

1) It was needed.
2) It was cheap.
3) I am lazy.

The Wilson +1 extension was going to be just shy of tight against the forend, according to my preliminary measurements. I could have extended some threads on the mag tube, added a spacer, or any number of other (kind of dumb) options.

In the end, I need a light mount anyway, so I figured I’d use Streamlight’s 870 adapter for the TLR1 as a spacer. When it arrived, I noticed right away that it had to be modified. Here’s what the forend on the 11-48 looks like:

Image
Magazine cap detent ball and barrel extension highlighted in red.

Now I knew about the detent ball, but figured that Streamlight would have put a spot for the detent on their mount. No such luck. The extended part of the barrel was a surprise to me. It isn’t an issue with just the magazine cap, but the light mount had to be modified:

Image
My trusty Dremel tool saved the day again!

Image
Back side showing the relief I tried before the slot was cut (wasn’t enough), the hole for the ball detent (the bit “walked”), and the re-blue.

Here is the light mount installed with the Scattergun Tech/Wilson “+1” extended magazine:

Image
Image

Also included with the magazine extension was an extra-power spring, and a high visibility follower:

Image

The Marbles/Trijicon bead is kind of hard to miss as well:

Image
Image

So here is how things stand right this minute:

Image
His and hers (870 unavailable for photo when I took the pic).

ImageImageImage
FMD’s 11-48 Project Mk1,Mod2

I’ve added $11.11 in cost to the project for stain, sandpaper, a brass rod and a bunch of split-lock washers for work on the stock. That brings the current total to $333.51

If I go with a remote switch for the TLR1, I’m going to be pretty close to the $400 mark. The nice thing is that the project, as it stands now, is functional, if not quite final.


















*For those unfamiliar with the term, WECSOG = “Wile E. Coyote School of Gunsmithing”.


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 Post subject: re: "Old-School" project: Remmy 11-48 UPDATE March
PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 8:24 pm 
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Nice job. That was a cool trick with the recoil pad.

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 Post subject: re: "Old-School" project: Remmy 11-48 UPDATE March
PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 8:24 pm 
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EDIT: Double post, sorry.

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Last edited by soonerpgh on Tue Mar 11, 2008 10:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: re: "Old-School" project: Remmy 11-48 UPDATE March
PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 8:46 pm 
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Wow! It has been a couple of years since the last time I was on this board, but it looks like I came back at the right time!

FMD, you are a great gunsmith and have done a Fan-Damn-tabulous job on that Remmy! You sir, are an artist!

Mike :mrgreen:

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