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View Full Version : Considering a Stevens 311R: what should I look at?


Balog
March 18, 2011, 12:19 PM
Ok, considering making a deal on a good condition Stevens 311R series J, and I have a couple questions.

First, is $275 a fair price?

Second, I've never bought a double before, what should I look for? I remember reading something about taking it apart and testing the barrel to ensure they're still soldered together well, but I think that was for old British double rifles.

Hawg
March 18, 2011, 01:50 PM
The 311 R is the riot version made for law enforcement. Barrel length should be 18 1/4.

DPris
March 18, 2011, 02:20 PM
$275 is a great price, if in good condition.
I paid $300 for mine some time back & was delighted to do it.

No need to have the barrel solder checked. You can visually check the solidity of the joins along the rib on both barrels (never heard of a Stevens double coming apart).

Take a look inside the bores for rust or pitting, don't confuse lead or plastic buildup there for corrosion.
The safety should be automatic, goes on by itself when the action's opened. If it's not, it's been altered. Something else may have been done internally, too. Check for safety function by manually operating it, if it doesn't activate automatically. If it doesn't function at all, you may want to pass.

Using snap caps or once or twice fired empty shells in the chambers, close the action & make sure both triggers operate correctly. DO NOT DRY-FIRE IT WITHOUT SOME SORT OF FIRING PIN CUSHION! You can get away with it for a while, it'll eventually catch up with you. Parts are no longer made for those guns.

Note the barrel latch lever's position, it should be to the right of dead center (or to the right of the safety). If it's not, it's worn & should be replaced. The closer it is to dead center, the more wear's indicated. (General principle, some currently made guns come with levers pretty close to the centerline.)
Finding a replacement may be a problem.

Check for splits or cracks in the wood. Stock replacement may be a problem.
Check for a loose fore-end. That can be tightened up, but it'll cost you money to do it.

Good luck.
Denis

Hawg
March 18, 2011, 02:26 PM
Check for splits or cracks in the wood. Stock replacement may be a problem.

Numrich has stocks. I just got one for my 311.

DPris
March 18, 2011, 03:15 PM
I know there are spare parts out there, but whether or not you can find what you need when you need it is unpredictable. What Numrich has today may be gone tomorrow.
That's why I said "may be" a problem. :) Point being that you can't just walk into any gunsmith & expect to find replacements for that long out-of-production gun.

You & I may know sources, Balog may not. :)

I've replaced a worn latch lever on my 311, and a worn latch lever on my Fox Model B. Took a while to find those parts, though.

The cowboy shooters have also snapped up a bunch of spares for 311 models, which has further affected availability.
Denis

Hawg
March 18, 2011, 03:18 PM
I know there are spare parts out there, but whether or not you can find what you need when you need it is unpredictable. What Numrich has today may be gone tomorrow.

That's true. I've been trying to find a set of barrels for mine for what seems like forever.

DPris
March 18, 2011, 03:28 PM
Had "new" firing pins & springs put in my 311 six or seven years ago, along with that latch.
Hopefully mine'll continue on as long as I need it to with nothing else going out on it.
Good luck on your search.
Denis

Hawg
March 18, 2011, 03:45 PM
Thanks, I need it.

DPris
March 19, 2011, 01:22 AM
Well, Balog.....? :)
Denis

Balog
March 19, 2011, 01:06 PM
Told the lady I'd take it, haven't heard back yet. :/

DPris
March 19, 2011, 01:53 PM
Hope it comes together for you.
I remember thinking the 311R would be quite handy on the job when they first came out, but my PD wouldn't go for the idea.

You might consider, later on down the road, having a gunsmith reverse the triggers. I find it makes the quick second shot more convenient if needed.
Otherwise, if already in good shape, a good recoil pad is strongly advised.
Denis

Balog
March 23, 2011, 05:19 PM
Deal is done, and I'm pleased as punch. Haven't had a chance to get to the reange yet, but I love the way it feels so far. Never owned a short SxS though, it's so much tinier than my old Mossberg 500 was the first thing I did was measure it to make sure it's legal!