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 Post subject: SKB XL 900 Questions
PostPosted: Tue Mar 23, 2010 2:54 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 02, 2008 12:02 pm
Posts: 473
Location: Tallahassee FL
I have purchased a 20 ga XL 900 for my daughter as her first shotgun. It is being shipped to my FFL now. I'm a fan of SKB guns and currently shoot a 505 Deluxe Trap O/U ( with tubeset) as my skeet gun. I bought her the SKB because my research revealed that the XL 900's are lighter weight because of the alloy receiver and soft shooting due to the gas operating system. I have never owned a semi auto, mostly because of the problems I saw other shooters have with Remington 1100's when I started shooting skeet. I have downloaded and read the SKB XL 900 manual from their website, but it lacks information. My questions are as follows:

If I have the fixed choke barrel cut down to 21-23 inches, will it effect the gas operating system ?
I know it will have no choke, but it's OK as a skeet gun. I may have choke tubes installed down the road.

How should I lubricate the gun ?
I'm planning on using Breakfree CLP on the magazine tube and rings and a light grease in the receiver/bolt, but should the gun be shot "wet" ( a little lubricant ) or "dry" (almost none) on the mag tube/rings ?

Most of the rings appear to me metal, but there are a couple plastic ones , Should I replace them with new ones ?
I suspect the originals are still in the gun. Do they break down like the rubber ones in an 1100 ?

Do you think it will function with a light 3/4 oz ( 1150 fps) load ?




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 Post subject: Re: SKB XL 900 Questions
PostPosted: Wed Mar 24, 2010 2:01 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 22, 2008 10:45 am
Posts: 1280
Location: Route 66 New Mexico
B 50

Not to spoil your plans with some custom work to the XL 900 but it appears you are going to turn a rather nice shotgun into a great trout line weight. I would consider cutting the stock to fit your daughter not the barrel. You could buy a spare stock to cut and save the origional for when your daughter grows into it.

I don't know the length down the barrel you will find the gas port which operates the action, should you cut the barrel before the gas port there will be no pressure to operate the action. Too short a barrel may not allow enough pressure to remain once the charge passes the port to operate the action. Cutting the barrel to 21" or so would pattern something like "cylinder" if you were lucky, it might shoot blown patterns as well. To install choke tubes a gunsmith would need to use the extra metal normally at the muzzle end of the barrel, it would allow for tapping new threads for the choke to screw into. I have an idea 21" from the breech the bore would be too large for proper threading for choke tubes.

Consider a youth gun for starters, I found several used when my son was starting at the age of 12, there is a good market for used youth models as your child out grows it another parent has a child ready to start shooting. However you go good luck, that first gun will be the deciding factor for a child, muff it up and the child looses intrest, start them out with the right equipment and you will see improvement every time you have a range session. And remember that 1st class is only 10%, you get what you pay for......


TM

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 Post subject: Re: SKB XL 900 Questions
PostPosted: Wed Mar 24, 2010 2:58 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 02, 2008 12:02 pm
Posts: 473
Location: Tallahassee FL
Tin Man,

The gas ports are on the bottom of the barrel where the ring goes over the mag tube, the same as an 1100. I know that 1100 Upland versions were made with 21" fixed choke and 23 " tubed choke versions. I am assuming the SKB will operate just as an 1100 does with the short barrel. I was just inquiring if anyone knows, for sure, that it won't. I will also contact SKB USA as to their opinion.

Unfortunately, replacement stocks for the 20 ga are not available from SKB. If the wood of the stock is exceptional, I'll hunt for another used rear stock from other sources to cut down. If not I'll cut it. I don't have alot of money in this gun, less than even a youth version of any other auto. I'm not concerned with being able to build it back up. If she is still intereted in skeet when she grows out of it, I'll get her an O/U.

I'll keep this gun to lend to other young shooters, or sell off as a youth gun.

I have always planned on cutting the stock and installing a limbsaver recoil pad. She may also need a Rapid Comb (neoprene comb wrap) to get it to fit her. I am comfortable doing that myself as I have done it on a few other of my own guns, as I need a shorter length of pull.

The gun has a fixed full 28" bbl. I'll consult my gunsmith as to the diameter of the bbl before the choke, but I suspect it will be standard 20 ga bore diameter. The older bbl should have plenty of "meat" to cut choke tubes into if I decide to install choke tubes.

Thank you for your input.


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 Post subject: Re: SKB XL 900 Questions
PostPosted: Wed Mar 24, 2010 3:46 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 22, 2008 10:45 am
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Location: Route 66 New Mexico
B 50

Ok, sounds like you are good to go. I have never owned that model semi-auto all my SKB types are O/U and my gas guns of course Beretta. I owned a Remington 1100 once, it was the biggest ( but it looked good ) POS I ever brought home. Notice I said once!!! This was back in the early 70's and not a thing has changed on the 1100 since then......

I work with several youth groups, I have seen young shooters arrive at the range for introduction to clay shooting having fears of shooting the gun because good'ole Uncle Bob let them shoot his shotgun more often than not a 10 ga. doubble with magnum express loads. I am a firm believer in the right tool for the right job, and usually start a new youth shooter out with a 28 ga. heavy, short stocked stack barrel if he is recoil shy, otherwise a Beretta youth model 20 ga. semi-auto.

I as well like to perform some of my own gunsmithing tasks, trust me when I tell you I have turned some fairly nice shoot'in tools into SPARE PARTS. Oh well, that's how we learn I guess. Shoot well............

TM

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 Post subject: Re: SKB XL 900 Questions
PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2010 12:06 am 
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Joined: Fri Nov 14, 2008 1:51 pm
Posts: 94
Location: Buckley, WA
Bulldog50,

I own a 26 inch SKB XL900 20 gauge shotgun that I bought in 1981. I consider it to be better designed and manufactured than Remington 1100's, of which it is basically an improved copy.

Not only is it lighter due to the alloy receiver, (6.25 lbs) but the magazine tube is stainless steel, something they did long before Remington started making some of their semi-autos that way. So no rust problems from combustion residue dampness like on the old blued steel 1100 magazine tubes.

Second, examine the way the aft end of the forearm of the XL900 has "tenons" that index in to "mortises" within the front of the receiver to keep the rear of the forearm from moving about. Much better design than what Remington designed. I don't think they have anything that keeps the aft end of their forearm from moving around.

The SKB link that goes from the back of the bolt into the action spring appears to be a forging instead of a stamping as on the Remington.

And the SKB designed valve that enables shooting light 2 3/4 inch target loads or heavy 3 inch magnums was ahead of its time.

The plastic rings you mention are part of the SKB recoil absorption mechanism, not part of the gas mechanism. They are there so if the gun if fired without the gas valve properly set, the back of the action weight will strike the 1st metal ring and then the force is absorbed in the following sandwich of the plastic, then metal, then plastic then metal rings. I don't think they need replacing, unless they've been shattered.

The gas mechanism is very different from the Remington design. Instead of having piston rings slide inside a hollow housing and transmit force to the action weight and bars, the SKB has the hollow cylinder attached to the action bars. The hollow cylinder fits over the stationary "piston" which is welded to the barrel and appears to have beryllium copper piston rings. So instead of the piston rings moving as on the Remington, the SKB cylinder actually moves. Instead of a rubber O-ring, SKB uses a nylon collar to seal the barrel to the magazine tube.

I run mine dry but do clean the magazine tube, the weight and gas cylinder/piston surfaces with Hoppes #9 to remove the carbon fouling.

Every once in a great while, I will disassemble the trigger group, clean and lightly lubricate the parts that move around the various small hinge pins in the trigger group. They do get crudded up over time and the gun will not cycle as reliably due to the increased friction, once it really gets dirty.

I have never tried 3/4 ounce loads in it, but it ejects the standard 7/8's ounce skeet load with authority, so the lighter one might work.

Mine came with an improved cylinder choke, but I had it fitted with screw in chokes long ago by Skeet's Gunshop in Oklahoma.

The gunsmith had to cut one inch off of the barrel to get enough wall thickness to fit his thin-wall chokes, so now the bbl is 25 inches long.

I have shot a lot of skeet and grouse with it over the years. It is my go to shotgun for high country grouse hunts or rough country chukar hunts where one covers a lot of ground, due to it's light weight and 3 shot capacity.

It is a jewel of a semi-auto.


John


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 Post subject: Re: SKB XL 900 Questions
PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2010 10:27 am 
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Joined: Thu Oct 02, 2008 12:02 pm
Posts: 473
Location: Tallahassee FL
John,

Thank you for the information !! It is very helpful.

I did shoot one round of skeet with the gun (w/ full choke) before I gave the barrel to my gunsmith to shorten. The gun functioned well, but I had 2 failures to chamber the second shell. I suspect it is a cleaning issue. There is some old grease in the magazine tube and receiver that is now more sticky than slippery.

Once I get the barrel back, I'll tear the whole thing down to clean out what appears to be 30 years worth of gunk. It may be original grease. The gun appearers to have been shot very little. The original duck plug was in the magazine tube and may never have been removed.

I have obtained a 5/8" thick Limbsaver pad for it. Once I cut the stock it will have a LOP of 13" with the new pad. I'll post pics of the finished project and results of trying 3/4 oz loads.


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 Post subject: Re: SKB XL 900 Questions
PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2010 7:50 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 08, 2009 8:15 pm
Posts: 183
Location: Twin Cities
I thought I read somewhere that the SKB 1900, etc. would actually accept invector chokes? I am in the process of buying a 1991 DU 900xl, and am hoping these chokes will work....


Thanks.


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 Post subject: Re: SKB XL 900 Questions
PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2010 10:47 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 02, 2008 12:02 pm
Posts: 473
Location: Tallahassee FL
mjk,

I believe you are correct. All of the older skb's use the standard invector chokes. I have some Browning Invector ( not plus style) chokes that work in my 505. The older Winchokes are the same also.


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 Post subject: Re: SKB XL 900 Questions
PostPosted: Sat Jul 03, 2010 7:39 am 
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Joined: Sun Apr 18, 2010 10:04 am
Posts: 4
Good Morning Everyone,
I recently purchased a SKB/Ithaca XL900, as I don't have a semi auto 20GA Shotgun. In part, my decision was based on the great feedback and objective opinion from vision976, who sold me on getting another SKB. I own a SKB/Ithaca 600 12GA already which is the strongest O/U I've seen, so getting another SKB was an easy decision. I also owned a Remington 1100 for a while in 28GA, but it was never altogether satisfactory, hence it got sold and the proceeds went towards a Ithaca Model 37 28GA.
My new gun is coming with a full choke and I wanted to use it for Skeet, so I suspect I will have to get some work done on getting the choke opened to Skeet, any thought from the forum would be most appreciated.
Finally, I purchased a users manual for the XL900, in which it stated the the deluxe version is finished with a highlight process applied by hand. Is this marketing-speak for painted on?
Thanks in advance for comment and opinion


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 Post subject: Re: SKB XL 900 Questions
PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2010 12:10 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 02, 2008 12:02 pm
Posts: 473
Location: Tallahassee FL
Rossa1,

Wellcome to the very small club that appreciates these fun semi autos. I just wanted to post a short update on my original thread.

My daughters gun turned out really well. After the bbl was cut down to approx. 22 inches, but before I cut the stock, I took the gun out on the skeet range again. It function perfectly, and I was able to run a 25 strait. As I stated before, I have never owned a veg-o-matic , but this little gun is just fun to shoot. It's certainly a field gun with a narrow rib, lots of drop in the stock, and very light weight.

I did cut the stock down and it now has a 13" LOP over a 5/8" limbsaver pad. My daughter has yet to use it, because of being busy with Softball / All Stars Tournaments, but she has handled/shouldered it and is excited to use it.

After running the strait, my squad mates kidded that my daughter would never get the gun. They weren't too far off. I finished the gun for her, but I did buy an SKB model 1300 in 12 ga for me. The 1300 is almost the same as the XL 900. Same action, but has screw in choke tubes, a plain blued receiver, and some variance in the barrel where it meets the receiver. I got this for $ 200 off gunbroker. The first time I took it out, I ran another 25 strait. I bought this as a skeet doubles gun, but I may vary well shoot it in the 12 ga events as well. It function perfectly with my mild 1 oz, and even 7/8 oz reloads. I may add some weight to the stock and possibly have the stock cut for an adjustable comb, because of the large amount of drop .

I am obvioulsy very pleased with my 2 SKB autos.


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 Post subject: Re: SKB XL 900 Questions
PostPosted: Sun Aug 15, 2010 12:35 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Fri Aug 13, 2010 10:15 am
Posts: 51
Location: Ada, MI and U.P. MI
I've had my XL900 for many years and have NEVER had any problems with it And never had a failure to feedback. It has fixed choke 28" barrels: I have a full and IC barrels. My only complaint is it kicks like hell with 3" loads, but I assume that's due to it's light weight. Stock seems to be some kind of poly finish and still looks good.

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 Post subject: Re: SKB XL 900 Questions
PostPosted: Mon Aug 16, 2010 3:55 pm 
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Location: Coastal NC
Rossa, I am a very happy owner of a SKB 900, the old recoil operated system. The wood grain is factory painted and looks great. I sold my XL 900 and regret it.
Image

It is 40 years old and still going strong.

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Help Wanted: Chicken needed immediately at chicken soup factory to replace retired rooster that waded through the chicken soup. Hip boots will be furnished.


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 Post subject: Re: SKB XL 900 Questions
PostPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2010 3:30 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Thu Nov 18, 2010 4:42 pm
Posts: 40
Beautiful gun and probably one of the best pheasant and quail guns ever built. Guaranteed to fire in the most brutal weather, and worth a kings ransom at the end of a long field.




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