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WTB old double shotgun to restore


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#1 whatjeffhunts

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 08:55 AM

Nothing expensive, water damaged or old is fine. Looking for under $200.

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#2 TonyS

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 03:09 PM

Probably be pretty hard to find at that price but look on the auction sites for an Ithaca Western Long Range. They made them in .410, 20, 16 and 12. They have a cast iron lockup and were cyanide blued.

#3 dangerranger

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 04:39 PM

Before cowboy action shooting they were plentiful and cheap. Now not so much of either. I watch Gunbroker regularly, and there is a seller who puts up guns donated to a charity, and he has had quite a few SXS guns at reasonable prices. from his auctions I bid on but did not get a 1940s LC Smith that was rust damaged. It looked like it had layed on wet carpet. My top bid was $200 and it went for $225. If I find a link to his auctions Ill PM you. DR

#4 sxshooter

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Posted 14 July 2012 - 06:32 AM

I highly recommend dropping in on this site http://www.doublegun...ds.php?ubb=cfrm

Be careful about shooting modern loads in guns pre-1935 ish. The design pressures were about 2000 psi lower for these guns. Then there's another step in the design presssures around the teens of about another 2000 psi. There's some really helpful and knowledgeable folks at that site above to help you stay safe and get on a good path.

Also, doubles have soft soldered barrels that will either fall apart immediately when put in a modern hot salt blueing tank or fall apart later when shooting. Don't hot salt blue a double. They are what's called rust blued.
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#5 sxshooter

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Posted 14 July 2012 - 08:26 AM

Just a little more on what to look for...
The Lefever Nitro Special guns were made in all gauges and are cheap but strong guns capable of modern loads. Also the Hunter Arms "Fulton" model was a very strong gun and often found in very good mechanical shape. Both guns are near the bottom of pricing of American vintage doubles. Commonly called "hardware store guns" because they were often sold in local hardware stores. I have some of both models.

Avoid a gun that is loose when closed. It shouldn't wiggle at all when the gun is closed. A loose action is indicative of having either a lot of shooting thru it or unsafe (modern loads in a old low pressure rated gun) loads having been fired in it for many years. It's very common to find loose guns.
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#6 Bisley

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Posted 14 July 2012 - 08:48 AM

Be careful about shooting modern loads in guns pre-1935 ish. The design pressures were about 2000 psi lower for these guns. Then there's another step in the design presssures around the teens of about another 2000 psi.


You will find that almost all your factory loads are near the 9,000 to 10,000 psi range, which is just about 2,000 to 3,000 psi lower than max. Kind of like the .30-30 and 45LC, they have to load it lower for liability with older guns still around, even though modern guns can handle it. The real problem comes from some of those older 12ga guns being 2-1/2" chambers and not 2-3/4" chambers. That will add pressure in a hurry!!! Make sure you check the chamber length!

#7 sxshooter

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Posted 14 July 2012 - 09:59 AM

Bis,
While the lower pressures are common in the dove and quail loads, pheasant loads and especally the modern high velocity loads and steel loads will be near max. Remember, the proof pressures for a modern gun are well beyond the max SAAMI specification for ammo.

And, just for some insight into 2 1/2" chambers fired with 2 3/4" shells, Sherman Bell did some testing with a variety of ammo in a short chamber. The results showed that some loads didn't produce much if any more pressure and the highest bump in pressure was about 15%. Still, a 15% bump on a max pressure shell that may aleady be 25-33% higher than the gun was designed for, may be the coup-de-gra that kills the gun.

I have a pressure measuring device with transducer type instrumentation and have worked up handloads in my old damascus guns that are below the original specs for their ammo requirements and I'm using 2 3/4" paper hulls in 2 1/2" chambers. So, it can be done.

Just for level setting, 11,500 is the SAAMI spec in the U.S. for a 12g 2 3/4" shell.
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#8 Bisley

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Posted 14 July 2012 - 12:39 PM

Bis,
While the lower pressures are common in the dove and quail loads, pheasant loads and especally the modern high velocity loads and steel loads will be near max. Remember, the proof pressures for a modern gun are well beyond the max SAAMI specification for ammo.


Hence the word most B)
Most old guns are brought back to life strictly for CASS or dove hunts anyway. But yes, the H E A V Y pheasant and duck loads do get up there. And they also sell reduced loads just for those who know little about pressures and don't want any risks at all.

As for the pressures form 2-1/2" shells, I don't care who did the testing or if only certain loads added 15-20% boost in pressures, don't do it! It's like shooting a .357 mag out of a .38 and saying nothing will probably happen. Probably not, but you don't want to be there when it does :smiley-outta-here: Having a transducer type pressure gauge is great for making your own reduced 2-3/4" loads, but I will bet a year's salary that not two of the several thousands members on here have one, so I would have to suggest saying don't use 2-3/4" in a 2-1/2" chamber period <_<


Just for level setting, 11.500 is the SAAMI spec in the U.S. for a 12g 2 3/4" shell.


Haha, yeah, that's my skeet loads right there, don't even ask about the upland loads :rofl2: :rofl2: :rofl2:

#9 sxshooter

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Posted 14 July 2012 - 04:26 PM

What a fountain of knowledge. Vintage double shotgun expert, internal ballistics expert, bird dog expert without ever owning one ... your expertise is truly unbelieveable.
It's not about how many, it's about how.
Life is too short to hunt with an ugly dog or gun

Maintain a balance of nature, use a beautiful gun when shooting a beautiful bird

#10 Bisley

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Posted 14 July 2012 - 07:22 PM

Yep, and almost as smart the man saying it's OK to shoot wrong size shells in a gun even though only some of them make pressures exceed their limits :rolleyes: :doh[1]: Really???

#11 sxshooter

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Posted 14 July 2012 - 07:36 PM

Your reading comprehension is impressive...too.
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#12 clampdaddy

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 08:33 PM

My base of interest in old doubles is centered mainly on Ithacas. I did alot of research when I got into them and this is what I got out of it. The first model Ithaca built that is stout enough to digest full power modern 2 3/4 inch loads was the NID which came out in 1926. The older ones must be kept to loads making no more than 8000 psi.......not 8000 cup. There aren't very many widely available factory loads that will qualify. A standard modern load runs around 10,000 cup so it is already a minimum of being 25% more pressure than the max the gun should run at. It will do it for a while but the gun will suffer for it. It probably won't be catastrophic but the gun will loosen up much faster. The low recoil Win-lite loads work well for these older guns. The chamber lengths on the Ithacas seem to have been 2 5/8ths rather than 2 1/2 and changed to 2 3/4 when the star crimped shells started hitting the market. Overall loaded length of the cartridges didn't change but it took an extra 1/8 inch of hull length to make everything meet in the middle of the crimp. For this reason many guys will use standard 2 3/4 load data in a shorter 2 5/8 hull and use an over shot card and a roll crimp. It also seems like most pressure related frame failures happened back when Winchester came out with their the thick paper hulled 3" Nitro loads which were actually designed around Ithacas brand new NID 3" magnum waterfowl gun. Other pressure tests I had read seemed to point to the thickness of the hull itself causing most of the pressure problems when they opened into the forcing cone. The thin modern plastic hulls seem to cause no problems as long as the shell length to chamber length difference isn't rediculous.


And to the original poster, if you decide to spend some more money I have two very shootable NID Ithacas with cocking indicators and would be willing to part with one.
My guns are mine, they aren't for sale, and I only give guns to people that I really like. So I guess the government is **** out of luck.

#13 stephen722

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Posted 17 July 2012 - 01:43 AM

What a fountain of knowledge. Vintage double shotgun expert, internal ballistics expert, bird dog expert without ever owning one ... your expertise is truly unbelieveable.

:pot: ever try long shot? very low pressures and still make your shoulder sore! got a few box's of blue steak and nitro cards in my garage if you need some, 12 guage, have fun stephen

#14 sxshooter

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Posted 17 July 2012 - 05:42 AM

Steve,
I have used Long Shot. Great stuff for some high velocity loads, but I use faster powders for low pressure loads to ensure complete burning and consistant pressures in cold weather. My damascus loads are with Clays powder and paper hulls. As Chief noted, many American guns were 2 5/8" chambered. There's even published literature from the makers that specified 2 3/4" hulls in 2 5/8" chambers. There's a lot of speculation about the reasons for this, but nothing conclusive.

Chief,
I have a number of Ithaca doubles. I have a rare 28" (28" barrels are very rare in .410 according to Walt Snyder) NID .410 ejector, field model (star), a somewhat rare 20ga NID 3E, factory single trigger, ejector, and a 1892 grade 2 Crass damascus 12g. Probably another one or two around somewhere, plus a couple .410 Lefever Nitro's, and a Mario Beschi (Ithaca Classic Doubles reject) .410 grade 4E.

Some Ithaca eye candy for you Chief.
The old Crass 2
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The gussied up Lefever Nitro .410 (one is original and this one is upgraded with suedo grade 5 engraving and new wood)
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This is the NID field .410 ejector
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The 20g 3E was saved from the brink. It had a broken stock and some mechanical problems and no finish on it when I got it. Gunter Pfrommer of Ithaca Classic Doubles fame, now a independent smith, did the work. It's been a real treat to hunt this gun.
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It's not about how many, it's about how.
Life is too short to hunt with an ugly dog or gun

Maintain a balance of nature, use a beautiful gun when shooting a beautiful bird

#15 TonyS

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Posted 17 July 2012 - 01:53 PM

Wow! I sure love doubles.

#16 stephen722

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Posted 17 July 2012 - 03:57 PM

wow is right! them some very nice bird gun's where in the heck do you find paper 410 case's?

#17 sxshooter

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Posted 17 July 2012 - 05:15 PM

Stephenj

I load 12ga papers only for my damascus gun

Thanks for the complements. Maybe some of you have enough interest to drop by the doublegunshop.com forum. Great b
unch
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Life is too short to hunt with an ugly dog or gun

Maintain a balance of nature, use a beautiful gun when shooting a beautiful bird

#18 whatjeffhunts

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Posted 18 July 2012 - 05:16 PM

Man this is my longest thread and I was only looking for double to restore. I think I found one. What do you guys think? A little more then I wanted to spend.

http://www.turnbullm...e.asp?pid=36508

http://www.turnbullm...e.asp?pid=36493

There is also this one

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#19 sxshooter

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Posted 18 July 2012 - 06:01 PM

We had to keep the thread going while you were looking for a gun.

Doug Turnbull is a nice guy and an expert restoration house with prestige. However, just because he's selling these, it doesn't mean they won't have hidden problems. So, all the standard buyer beware stuff applies.

My opinion on the gun is that I'd spend twice that on a guns without a broken stock or other stock issues. The broken stock will continue to be a problem with that poor repair job. You won't have good wood fit and glue joints. That second gun looks to have had some hack replace the stock with one off of another gun of same model but of a different fit. All the guns back then were not exactly the same as the machining of the frames was with manually controlled machines and the stocks were hand fitted. A gun with a sound stock and good barrels that are on-face should be a standard you go by. There are countless examples like those out there than have stock problems. A double gun stock replacement is a very expensive thing to do if done right. It's not like replacing a Mossberg or 870 stock. No two are identical.

I've made my share of mistakes buying broken stocked guns and spent thousands upon thousands replacing them or hundreds of hours making new ones myself.

If you still insist on pursueing those guns, (or with any gun) ask these questions:
is the gun damascus barreled? as it's nearly impossible to tell one way or another from those pictures. Damascus is ok if you learn a bit and will only shoot appropriate pressure loads in them. That means reloading to low pressures or finding appropriately low pressure loads from specialty ammo makers and paying a premium for them.
are the barrels are "on-face"?
are the ribs are tight with no delamination?
are there any bulges in the barrels?
what are the minimum wallthicknesses of the barrels? (don't buy it if they are less than around .025")
Is the top lever to the right on closing the gun?
is the gun fully functional? (broken firing pins? internal springs? etc.)


When you said you were looking for a gun to "restore", it conjures up many past memories of some messed up attempts at this kind of work on doubles. I really urge you to look into buying a book from this fellow we knew in England that recently passed away. His passion was what you are considering doing. You can learn a lot of what it takes to do restoration work on doubles from his book. ...and what not to do. Besides, the cost goes toward supporting his widow and kids.
http://www.doublegun...2376#Post272376
It's not about how many, it's about how.
Life is too short to hunt with an ugly dog or gun

Maintain a balance of nature, use a beautiful gun when shooting a beautiful bird

#20 clampdaddy

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Posted 18 July 2012 - 06:19 PM

The fact that Turnbull is selling them kind of makes me think that he figured that there was enough wrong with them to make it cost prohibitive for him to do one of his beautiful rebuilds.

I love the way my Flues handles but they aren't known to be very strong so I would suggest that you start with a gun that doesn't have special diet requirements. If you want a strong American built gun that are cheap, easy to come by, and still have many parts and brand new stocks available them is suggest a Stevens/Savage 311. They are very plain but I have seen some that had been converted to straight gripped, splinter forend stocks and they looked like a totally different animal.
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#21 StoneTower

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Posted 21 July 2012 - 10:13 PM

Why would you shoot 2 3/4" paper hulls in 2 1/2" chambers? There are tools to cut down the hulls to any custom length you like. You can make a simple tool with a piece of 3/4" schedule 40 pvc and a tapered wooden peg. The pvc is cut to your desired length and the tapered peg is pushed into the hull after the hull is inserted into the pvc. A utility knife is used to trim the hull.

When I load a custom 3 1/2 steel duck load I cut all my 3 1/2 Remington hulls down to a standard length. Remington makes their 12g 3 1/2 hulls in about 4 lengths depending on the particular load that was originally loaded in the hull. This really makes crimping them a problem as well as getting a good snug fit on the load. By uniforming all the shells I solve the problem.
Around the beginning of October each year you can find me in the evening watching Fox News, drinking diet Pepsi and trimming hulls :D

I have heard of guys shooting 3" duck loads in 2 3/4" chambers but I would not want to be sitting in a duck blind with anyone who would even consider doing it.


Bis,
While the lower pressures are common in the dove and quail loads, pheasant loads and especally the modern high velocity loads and steel loads will be near max. Remember, the proof pressures for a modern gun are well beyond the max SAAMI specification for ammo.

And, just for some insight into 2 1/2" chambers fired with 2 3/4" shells, Sherman Bell did some testing with a variety of ammo in a short chamber. The results showed that some loads didn't produce much if any more pressure and the highest bump in pressure was about 15%. Still, a 15% bump on a max pressure shell that may aleady be 25-33% higher than the gun was designed for, may be the coup-de-gra that kills the gun.

I have a pressure measuring device with transducer type instrumentation and have worked up handloads in my old damascus guns that are below the original specs for their ammo requirements and I'm using 2 3/4" paper hulls in 2 1/2" chambers. So, it can be done.

Just for level setting, 11,500 is the SAAMI spec in the U.S. for a 12g 2 3/4" shell.



#22 sxshooter

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 07:04 AM

ST,
I dont shoot 2 3/4" shells in a 2 1/2" chambered gun. My guns are U.S. made and have 2 5/8" chambers.

The reason I shoot 2 3/4" hulls in my U.S. guns with 2 5/8" chambers is:
1) A hull protruding 1/8" into the forcing cone will be restricted about .010" per side from full openning straight.
2) tests firing 2 3/4" hulls of various makes, with a chamber of 2 1/2" with a short English gun type forcing cone (worse case) vs. a modern 2 3/4" SAAMI chamber showed that the highest pressure increase was 15%, but the distribution of scatter went as low as no measureable increase in pressure. These tests included paper and plastic hulls.
3) I have pressure test equipment that I worked up my personal loads with using an instrumented 2 5/8" chamber with 2 3/4" paper hulls. My average pressures are about 6500 psi which is well under the 7500 psi standard for the oldest gun I have.
4) I have a P-W turret press that is setup for 2 3/4" hulls which I used during my heavy skeet shooting days and wanted to load in high volume for my old guns with this machine if possible.
5) during the period these guns were made and the 2 3/4" shell came into common use and availability, the makers themselves made the guns with 2 5/8" chambers and recommended shooting 2 3/4" hulls. Over on our double board, members have revealed conclusive evidence of this for most of the big makers.

So in the end, within a specific gauge, the single most important thing about the ammo you shoot in a vintage gun is the pressure of the cartridge, then appropriateness of the length. Given the small difference in length between my 2 5/8" chambers (or a 2 1/2" chamber) and 2 3/4" hull and the fact that the forcing cone is about twice the length of the portion of the hull that would extend into the forcing cone, the effect on pressure increase is small and that fact has been validated by testing. Other combinations are likely to have much more severe pressure increases.

There are many English guns out there and continental guns as well, that are 12ga with 2" chambers. Some are still produced today. When ordering a bespoke (custom) gun from a sxs maker, a 2 1/2" chamber is an option. 2" and 2 1/2" low pressure factory ammo is common in the U.K. and Europe. You can buy it here in the U.S. by ordering it from one of a couple makers and it will be available at any of the big vintage side by side shoots.

There's a thread over on the doublegun forum the touches on this subject. The subject comes up about once a year over there. http://www.doublegun...r=285462&page=1
It's not about how many, it's about how.
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