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Anyone shoot a really old 12 ga


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#1 tonyd

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 08:53 AM

I recently got my grandfathers old Henry arms side by side 12ga , it was stored well and seems to be in good shape. It is a smooth bore, around 90 yrs old or so. Hasn't had a round go thru it in about 40 years. I would love to take it out to the range. Anyone ever shot one this old, or should I just hang it on the wall by my gradfathers photo???? Tony

#2 Yodel Dog

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 09:48 AM

I would love to take it out to the range.

There were a couple of Henry Arms companies. If the barrels are damascus, I would just hang it on the wall as a great old gun that Grandpa had.If the barrels are not damascus, you may be able to shoot the old SxS. If the barrels are tight to the receiver, have the chambers measured for length, you need 2 3/4" as a minimum. With the gun empty, try the safety to see if it functions correctly and close the action hard to see if the hammers hold "cock". Your local gunsmith should be able to give it a quick once over and give you an opinion. I'd still recommend light loads.

#3 tonyd

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 09:55 AM

There were a couple of Henry Arms companies. If the barrels are damascus, I would just hang it on the wall as a great old gun that Grandpa had.If the barrels are not damascus, you may be able to shoot the old SxS. If the barrels are tight to the receiver, have the chambers measured for length, you need 2 3/4" as a minimum. With the gun empty, try the safety to see if it functions correctly and close the action hard to see if the hammers hold "cock". Your local gunsmith should be able to give it a quick once over and give you an opinion. I'd still recommend light loads.

Thanks Hammers work fine, everything looks in operating condition, the barrrels are smooth bore, how do I know if it is a Damascus barrel?

#4 Jason

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 10:04 AM

We have an old side by side that was my grandfather's. Has double triggers. We do shoot it on occassion but nothing hot. We like to bring it out when someone who talks a lot of trash wants to shoot clay pigeons with us. You got to be pretty tough to take both barrels at once with no butt pad.

#5 Yodel Dog

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 10:05 AM

...how do I know if it is a Damascus barrel?

Here are some images...damascus barrels

#6 tonyd

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 10:31 AM

Here are some images...damascus barrels

Thanks, The pic's helped, I do not have the Damascus barrel, I'll have it checked out. I already have a Mossberg 500, 12 Ga, Just looking for a second gun for son to do some small game hunting. I can see my gradfather smiling as I type this.

#7 Yodel Dog

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 10:35 AM

I can see my grandfather smiling as I type this.

Sounds like you may have an American made gun. I think you will enjoy taking this one into the field. Cheers to you using Grandfathers double. :signs1180lq:

#8 A17Shooter

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 11:59 AM

Hope your son kills a raqbbit for Grandpa!

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#9 Old timer

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 12:58 PM

I have my grandfathers old duble 12 guage made in 1930 it has fluid steel barrels and works great ,used it to hunt ducks untill had to go to steel shot..
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#10 lilwes278

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Posted 24 March 2009 - 07:27 AM

Clampdaddy shoots an old Ithaca, think he told me that he found some specialty ammo that's made for shooting through the older shotguns...you might want to PM him and ask or maybe he'll chime in here pretty soon.
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#11 D-Man

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Posted 24 March 2009 - 07:59 AM

Hevi-Shot makes a load in 2 3/4" for older guns. I have an older bolt action 12 gauge that I use those loads in. Also, my gunsmith said I could use Dead Coyote, but have the choke as open as possible to avoid problems with the barrel.Darren
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#12 Racink6

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Posted 25 March 2009 - 08:22 AM

Is this the same TonyD from CVC? :signlol2iu: How have you been?

#13 tonyd

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Posted 26 March 2009 - 06:22 AM

Nice to hear from you as well, anymore Bobcats since the last one you bagged?Going to try some Turkey hunting Saturday, hopefully one will be my dinner that night also. It will be my first attempt at the big bird, but you have to start somewhere, I have the son and I set up pretty well equipment wise, just hope we can spot a few? Hopefully I will post a few pic's on Monday. Happy Hunting.

#14 clampdaddy

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Posted 28 March 2009 - 07:01 AM

Congrats on the old double! I had to do alot of research about old Ithacas when I got mine. Around 1925 (give or take a year or two) American gun makers lengthened the standard chamber length from 2 5/8 to 2 3/4. Probably beacuse that is about the time ammo manufacturers started to switch from a roll crimped shell to a star crimp. To achieve the same loaded length with both crimp styles the star crimped load requires a longer hull. You wouldn't want to shoot a papper hull 2 3/4 shell in a short chamber but plastic is thin enough that it doesn't cause any pressure problems. Back then the standard working pressure for a 12ga was 8,000 psi. Modern ammo runs up to about 12,000 so be carefull about what you feed that gun. Even low base shells can run at high pressures. In my gun I use the winchester win-lite skeet loads. I can't remember what remington called their light skeet load but I used them in my Ithaca as well. I do shoot the cheapo reminton bulk packed stuff they sell at wal-mart thru my gun and haven't had any problems or signs that my gun was being over pressured. I "string tested" the three major brands in my gun but the winchester and federal loads gave signs of being a bit to much pressure. If you want to take that gun hunting for bigger birds get out you wallet, say good by to a few twenties and get some Heavi shot "Classic Doubles" ammo. They run about $3 a shot but they work great for an occasional pheasant or duck hunt.
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