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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I posted this on another board, but decided to repost here to get more traffic:

I've got a Winchester 101 which has been shot alot, but is otherwise in good condition in that the ribs are tight, the bores are bright and shiny, the barrels are dent-free, and the gun has some nice wood. The action is tight when closed and forearm attached. However, the lever is at 6:00 and the barrels are loose with the forearm removed.

How can the action be tightened? Is there is a right-way and wrong-way to tighten an action?

Thanks.

--twofer
 

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Twofer said:
How can the action be tightened? Is there is a right-way and wrong-way to tighten an action?
--twofer
The right way is to take it to a gunsmith. The wrong way is to try it yourself. This is not a job for an amateur.

I say this as an amateur who has had a lot of experience. In fact, I literally "wrote the book" on disassembly, reassembly, and modification of Beretta 391's. (See my signature below.) However, I would not attempt to tighten the action of an O/U myself. Back in the days when I was shooting Beretta O/U's, I sent them to Cole Gunsmithing to get them tightened up. However, he may not do Winchesters - I just don't know.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Seamus - Thanks for your reply. I wasn't planning on doing the work myself. I just wanted a little education on the subject so I would know the right questions to ask when talking to a gunsmith. For example, I've heard some people say that you can tighten an action by peening dimples somewhere on the action with a punch in order to make up for metal lost due to wear. I hope peening isn't the only way to tighten an action because it sounds like a shortcut to a damaged action.

Also, I've heard great things about Coles gunsmithing services, but I don't know if they work on Winchester 101s.

--twofer
 

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M!dwest Gunworks is a sponsor of this forum, and I'm sure they could answer your questions (636)475-7300:

Q: What is involved in a rebuild of an over and under or a side by side shotgun?
A: Simply put, it is a tightening of the action. The locking lug is refit to the barrel lugs. The forearm bracket is refit to the hinge area and some spring components may be replaced. The top lever is refit to the proper position which is angled slightly to the right.

Rebuild / Tighten Action of O/U & SxS Shotgun
-------------------
First Barrel Set $195
Each Additional Barrel Set $135 each
Note: 2, 3, and 4 Barrel set require all barrel set to be rebuilt at the same time.
[Two week guaranteed turnaround time on all rebuilds]
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
DrMike - Thanks for your input. I have a few guns right now at Midwest Gun Works that are being worked on for other issues. I've heard good things about MGW, but this is the first time I have used their services.

Reworded, I guess my basic questions is: What exactly does "refit" mean when they say "The locking lug is refit to the barrel lugs. The forearm bracket is refit to the hinge area and some spring components may be replaced. The top lever is refit to the proper position which is angled slightly to the right"?

--twofer
 

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By "refit", a gunsmith usually means one of two things. For guns with parts still available like your Win 101, they will obtain an oversized part (locking lug, forearm bracket, etc) and work it to fit with the mating parts (barrel lugs, hinge, etc) as the original part did when the gun was new. If parts aren't available, a skilled gunsmith can precision weld additional steel to the worn surfaces, then work it so that the part fits as it did when the gun was new. Once hardened, polished and blued, a quality repair by a skilled craftsman will be indistinguishable from the original.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
DrMike - Now I understand: The action is tightened either by replacing the worn parts (where replaceable and available) or by welding filler metal onto the worn surfaces. In each case the final step is hand fitting the parts back together for a tight fit. Plus, the welding method sounds like it would take alot of skill, and would be beyond the abilities is most gunsmiths!

BTW, is it possible to press in a new hinge pin on guns like a Browning Citori and Winchester 101?

Thanks!

--twofer
 

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I have no idea if the hinge pin is replaceable, but I see no reason why it wouldn't be with the proper tools and skills... although maybe not, since Brownell's doesn't list it as an available part. Might be best to call MGW for this one.
 

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If I'm reading your question right, you have concerns about the gun's current condition.

The assumption the gun needs work because the barrels are loose without a fore end may not be correct. Many O/Us are like this, and the old SxS test of shaking the gun with the fore end off may not mean a thing.

The lever at 6:00 is a good thing.
 

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I do this at simmons, in most cases it's weld and refit unless there is something broken.
With the amount of work we do on o/u and sxs's there is all ways a rehinge in there somewhere.
The good thing with weld and refit work is that it is done to the lug where there is little bluing damage and is in a hidden area, so the receiver bluing is not damaged.
In replacing a hinge pin, the receiver takes the damage if there is any.
As a rule, if it was installed when made, it can be replaced, it does not matter if the part is available as it can be made.
101's are worth rebuilding as are most other guns of this type, also as a rule if there is movement in the action in any direction it should be addressed before it gets worse.
Top levers vary in where they sit, all of them can be made to sit where wanted and it is done here quite alott.
In most cases, the only part that needs to be refit after the weld-up is the lug, if done properly the forend iron should fit where it was ment to unless there is damage.
3200's are a good one to look at for the forend iron damage, unless there has be the up-date done to reinforce it, most will have cracks in them. even the damaged ones can be fixed though.
 
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Do what I do: Take the foil wrapper from your chewing gum (it must be JuicyFruit brand foil) and shim the half-round concave barrel lug where it mates to the reciever pin. That will tighten up the action. Fold and replace as needed every few sessions. Your top lever positioning has several wear issues the most significant of which is metal peening in the mechanism's mechanical joints themselves, tho it could be the spring. There is nothing handy to be done for this peening business without disasembly and application of serious talent, but replacing the lever spring is child's play. You will have to substantially live with the slop. Secondary wear is occuring on the barrel side of the locking mechanism in the lock slot itself. You can get by with a properly functioning and safe gun with a good bit of slop in the lever. If it becomes a real nusance shim under the lever by wedging and breaking off toothpicks under the seam like setting a door frame. Or heck, just used the chewed gum. Gob it right in there.
That 101 is safe to shoot until the thing wobbles in your hands locked up or you can slip a twice-folded piece of typing paper between the receiver face and the flats of the barrel chambers. Or see your dog looking at you from the daylight between same looking sideways at the crack.

Remember: A stick of Juicyfruit each day keeps the gunsmith at bay.
 

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If the locking bolt is fited properly and applying sufficient pressure to the bbl's lugs, there shouldn't be any movement with the forend off.

Rebuilding the existing locking bolt is not to big a deal. I do 2-3 every week and have been doing them for 25yrs. I started when Browning told me that they did not replace the locking bolts but just welded them and recut the angle.

Well I don't cut the angles but regrind them on my surface grinder to match the existing angle on the bbl. Most of the guns I do are Perazzi's because a new bolt is $130 plus fitting. Refitting the original is $125.

Tightening the forend requires running a bead of weld down the backside of the forend lug on the bbl and refitting the forend.

The better the weld, the nicer everything cleans up. I'm lucky that near by is a welding perfectionist. He could weld up an edge of a razor blade without washing anything away. He does my welding.
 

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On my older Miroku the lever is a little over 6:00 but otherwise the gun is tight with forearm on or off. Is that a bad thing?

Herb S.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
GunDr - Thanks for the detailed explanation. Is there ever a need to weld the part of the hook that engages the hinge pin? It seems like it would be very hard to uniformly build up metal on that curved surface.

--twofer
 

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Twofer,

If the bbl was originally fitted to the receiver, and done correctly, it is very highly unlikely that any work would be needed on the joint roll pin or the "hooks" on the bbl.

When a bbl is fitted properly, the breech face of the bbl should make as close to 100% contact with the face of the receiver. This should leave a very small gap in the water tables. This small gap during the fit, allows for the set back of material around the joint roll pin and the breech face.

When fitting a bbl I like leaving a .005" gap in the water table, near the receiver. After a few thousand rounds and opening and closing the gun just as many times, the metal in the above areas will have compressed, to close that gap to about .003". This should give the live of this fit, into hundreds of thousands of rounds.

There are a few things that can affect this longevity. Not keeping everything clean, and closing the gun with too much muscle. Closing any break-open firearms by slamming them shut, is akin to beating on the above areas with a hammer. This is likely the case on most guns that develop breech face problems.

Correcting a problem with a breech face gap can be as simple as replacing the joint roll pin/screws, ie..Beretta, Krieghoff, with larger diameter pins. Sometimes others may need a larger pin pressed into the reciever.

Welding the hooks can be a tricky situation. It best to have fixtures made ahead of the welding procedure, to ensure the correct location during the remachining. This can be somewhat costly. I have also silver solder round bushing into the hook areas, then remachined. This sometimes works out much better. less heat is needed, and some bbl just don't take to welding well. Also using a round bushing allows picking up the center of the hooks radius without too much guess work. Of course, having the correct tooling to do all of this is very essential.

Herb S.,

As long as the bbl's are locked tight, there's no problem. You can remove the bbl's, and take note at where the top lever sits with the bbl's. Compare with and without, and this will give you an indication on how much further it can go. The Miroku, like most Brownings, Winchesters, Perazzis, and such, all have a locking bolt that slide into a slotted lug area on the bbl., all can be corrected.

I should note that a lot of guns that have their top levers "wore" to the point that yours has, may develop a problem of "top lever jump". This is likely because the top lever springs may have never been replaced and have weakened.

A few guns like the Merkel, SKB, Weatherby and a few others, use a different locking system. This cross bolt locking system kind of has a "catch-22" when it comes to fitting. If you're wanting the top lever positioned anywhere before that 6:00 positition, the locking bolt will stick out of the left side of the receiver. This will lead to catching on your clothing or cutting your hand. So the end of the bolt will be fitted flush with the receiver. The top levers tend to be at the 6:00 position. As the bolt and bbl lugs wear, the bolt will continue into the receiver and the top lever will move further to the left.

The "catch-22" is that some guns do not allow the bolt to go any further into the receiver, it may be stopped by the top lever, or someplace in the bolt's location. This leaves the door open for the gun getting loose in a few thousand rounds.

I figure every manufacturer has their explaination on the proper fit of this locking system. I guess my option for this fit would be to have the top lever at the 5:00 position and the locking bolt flush with the left side, but alowing the bolt to continue to move as it wears deeper into the receiver, maybe another .025", and the top lever bottoming out at about 6:30.

Anyway, I've rambled on long enough.
 

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Thanks GunDr.

I checked the lever with the bbl off and on. There is a difference if 1/8 of an inch. I wont worry too much about it then. I don't shoot it too much any more and use it mostly as a back up gun on my hunting trips.

Herb S.
 
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