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 Post subject: Nitro Hunter Disassembly
PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2012 11:34 am 
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Joined: Fri May 04, 2012 11:17 am
Posts: 3
I have a Nitro Hunter 12 ga (essentially a Crescent Single Barrel Coil Mainspring.) It has a broken bolt lock and I have ordered the part. Looks like the rest of the gun is in great shape and all four serial numbers match. I have it primarily disassemble, except the trigger guard and the trigger. I am wanting to thoroughly clean, polish, and refinish the gun. I am not worried about value, since they don't have high value. I want to make it a shooter.

The trigger guard is similar to the one pictured here: http://shotgunworld.com/bbs/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=265886&start=0

Can anyone tell me how to remove the trigger guard? I have not removed the pin to the trigger yet. That pin is actually stuck a bit and isn't moving.

I welcome any ideas.

(For the record, I am proficient with gun repair and I have no doubts it will fire safely with the right load)


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 Post subject: Re: Nitro Hunter Disassembly
PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2012 1:02 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2008 10:42 pm
Posts: 3466
The gun is of course a "Trade Brand Name" shotgun. A "Trade Brand Name" shotgun is an inexpensive shotgun made by a major maker (and before 1940) for and sold by a wholesale sporting goods dealer. a retail chain store or an independent seller who chose the name to go on the gun. Guns with the name NITRO HUNTER were made by Crescent Fire Arms Company of Norwich,CT (1892 to 1930) for and were sold at wholesale by the Belknap Hardware Company of St. Louis.MO. The gun named SPORTSMAN LONG RANGE was also made by Crescent. I had no information on the Sportsman Gun Company but I do now. The SPORTSMAN LONG RANGE was made in 1915. Post the serial number of the NITRO HUNTER and I can tell you when it was made. To remove the trigger guard, remove the screw at the rear of the guard, then either unscrew the entire trigger guard or pull down and back and it will come loose and out of the frame. To remove the other internal parts, remove the pins driving them from left to right (put them back just the opposite). Pins are tight and will require a sharp blow with a pin punch to come out. The break open lever can be removed by removing an internal screw from underneath. Of course you have to remove the butt stock to access these parts. Yes, the gun can be fired with appropriate ammunition if in good mechanical condition. These guns were designed for a 2 1/2 inch shot shell loaded with either black powder or early low pressure smokeless powder. The were not designed for longer shells loaded with high pressure smokeless powder and certainly not 3 inch or magnum shells loadef with modern high pressure smokeless powder and steel shot.


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 Post subject: Re: Nitro Hunter Disassembly
PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2012 6:57 pm 
Utility Grade

Joined: Fri May 04, 2012 11:17 am
Posts: 3
There is no rear screw. I did hit the pin fairly strong with a pin punch and it came loose. First time I had seen a pin stick that hard.

The serial number on the Nitro Hunter is A54356. The last three are stamped on the trigger guard, barrel, and fore end, in addition to the receiver.

It is stamped 12 ga choke. I cant find anything about 2 1/2" shells. A dummy 2 3/4" shell fit without issue. I think with a very low powder load and lead shot this gun should fire no issue. The breach end of the barrel is very thick and is not damascus.


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 Post subject: Re: Nitro Hunter Disassembly
PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2012 7:55 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2008 10:42 pm
Posts: 3466
Good afternoon
You are the proud owner of a one hundred and twenty three year old single barrel, single shot break open breech loading shotgun.According to the serial number-year made table contained in my reference book "The Breech Loading Shotgun In America 1865 to 1940" written by Joseph T. Vorisek the gun was made in 1899. No wonder the pins were difficult to remove, they've been in there for 123 years. I've had screw that were stuck so badly with rust that I had to soak them in 3 in 1 oil for several days before I could break them loose. Information picked up from the internet states that shotgun shells were 2 1/2 inches long from about 1880 to 1920 when the 2 9/16 inch shells were introduced. Now, chambers in a shotgun barrel were cut longer that the stated length to allow for the shell mouth crimp to unfold when the gun was fires and there is also a forcing cone just in front of the chamber. The only sure way to check the chamber length is to make a casting of it and then measure the casting. But I'm pretty sure you have a 2 1/2 inch chamber and such shells are still available. Just surf the internet or ask at gun shops and gunsmiths in your area and yes they were still loading black powder in 1899. I looked at a parts break down in the Jack First parts catalog and it shows a screw through the rear of the trigger guard and screwing into the frame. All my guns are in storage at the moment so I can't get to them to check. There may be a screw going from inside the frame into the trigger guard but I doubt it. I collect and restore these old "Trade Brand Name" single barrels and have about 175 in my collection. I got pretty good at making replacement butt stocks and forearms and some small metal parts. Never had any success at making springs however. I did my own blueing and wood refinishing. Good luck with your gun.


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 Post subject: Re: Nitro Hunter Disassembly
PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2012 10:35 pm 
Utility Grade

Joined: Fri May 04, 2012 11:17 am
Posts: 3
Thank you very much for reply. Once I got the last pin out the trigger guard popped out. The trigger guard has the trigger spring attached (a lief spring). The trigger has a groove that the spring fits into and then the pin goes through the trigger and trigger guard.

Thank you for dating the shotgun. That is one book I wish I could get my hands on. Seems it was self published and no longer made.

The fore end was in great shape. Very surprising. The stock had some screws holding it together where it cracked, but otherwise in good shape. Nothing a little Gorilla wood glue and lacquer couldnt fix.

Waiting on the lock to arrive (ordered from Numerich and should be here any day) and then I can start reassembling.


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 Post subject: Re: Nitro Hunter Disassembly
PostPosted: Sat May 05, 2012 11:54 am 
Crown Grade

Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2008 10:42 pm
Posts: 3466
Thanks for the come back. I'm glad that you got the trigger guard off. Can't say that I remember any being held on by pins through the frame. Yes, the book was self published until Joseph T. Vorisek died in 2006. His wife authorized Cornell Publications to publish and print his books. However the book "The Breech Loading Shotgun In America 1865 to 1940" may be a bit more than you want. It comes in three volumes and lists almost every shotgun sold in America, both domestic and foreign during that time period. The three volumes cost about $125. I got my copy (set) as a birthday present from my rich daughter.


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