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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
:?: Recently I traded for a clean, vintage Stevens 311A 12 GA 30" SXS 2-3/4 inch choked M&F, made in Chicopee Falls. Other than refinishing the stock with shellac or linseed oil and not cleaning it properly, the previous owner(s) maintained the gun in relatively good shape. The breech locks up tightly against the face and barrels sit flat against the water table. Case colors on the receiver rate about 90% and the wood appears to be original. My question has to do with the barrel contours about 4-6 inches down from the breech. After cleaning and oiling the barrels inside and out I noticed some ?waviness? in the area mentioned on the exterior. I can feel a slight undulation by running my finger across the area. But it's similar on both barrels although more pronounced on the right one. Bores of both barrels appear pristine inside without any hint of a bulge, ring or dent. And the rib is cleanly attached in the aforementioned area and throughout its entire length. Since the barrels show no signs of having been fired with an overload or 3 inch shells, what gives? I can't believe that the previous owner would have fired 3 inch shells in both barrels. Or for that matter overloaded both the same way. Only a complete dufus would do a thing like that. Is this where/how Stevens regulated the barrels to converge to point of aim, or am I looking at a problem? Is this a usual contour for a Stevens in the area described? Any of you experts out there care to comment, or even better to check the barrels on your own Stevens doubles and compare notes? The date code inside the tiny circle stamped on the frame in front of the trigger guard says 20F. Does that help? Both barrels have markings, but no dates. The left says : Proof Tested -- 12 Gauge; the right says: SELECTED FORGED STEEL. Also, after carefully viewing the inside of both bores again from the breech under a brighter flashlight, still can't detect any hint of a ring or bulge in front of the chambers. Your comments and advice will be much appreciated before I fire the gun.
(By the way, I posted this question on the Vintage Savage, Fox and Stevens forum first and after researching quite a bit, they suggested I try another forum.)
 

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DoubleGun,
I have an older Stevens / Springfield 20 ga from the 20's most likely made in Chicopee Falls as well. My barrels are also "rippled" and for lack of a better term wvwy. I know that this gun passed down thru many generations and now to me has never been abused or used over powered loads. It's certainly not the nicest peice our family has but it is always the next boys "first bird gun". Anyhow, I believe it is this way simply due to the manufacturing process of the barrels, I've nevr had a problem with mine, had the barrells chopped and chokes screwed in it though, it had a ding toward the end of the 28" barrels, nothing big, just bothered me and like I said, it's not the nicest gun I've got by a long shot, but it is a good reliable old shotgun and I still love to take it out. Hope this helps and safe shooting.
-danny
 

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Don't worry about it. My 311A is identical to your description, and the barrels do the exact same thing. That is simply where in the manufacturing process, I gather, they began tapering the barrels down to the desired choke. Look at any older fixed choke gun. My dad's Mossy 500, my Ithaca M-37, and my dad's Winchester Model 12 ALL have the same "pattern." It's just more noticeable on my Stevens because it bulges more on the side. It is especially noticeable when looking down the barrel from muzzle to breach. (With the barrels detached, of course. :wink: )
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
:D :D :D Aimless - Thanks for answering my specific question. I appreciate your reassuring response all the more because you speak from experience and because you took the time to examine the barrels on your own 311. (To put your mind at ease, I did remove the barrels from the frame before looking from the muzzle toward the breech. Your caution to remove the barrels before looking down them is sage advice for me or anyone else who might want to safely repeat this process. It also helped to have a strong light source directly behind the breech.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Danny - Many thanks for your response to my question about 'ripples' in the barrels in the vicinity of the breech. I appreciate your examining and comparing the barrels on your own similar Stevens double. It is reassuring to know that the waves on the barrels of my 311A are not an anomaly I should worry about. You're probably right that the waves are the result of a step in the manufacturing process as the barrels are slimmed down. By the way, I've searched for reference books on Stevens shotguns but not yet found anything still in print that might tell us more about the manufacturing processes.
 
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