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steve j
May 22, 2000, 10:46 AM
Can anyone tell me the differences between the following models of older steven's sxs double barrels-311, 335, 530 (I think), and 5100? I looking to buy a 16 gauge sxs shooter to hunt with next fall and have been referred to the older steven's line up for good quality and reasonable cost. Also, the blue book of gun values only lists the model 311. Any information about the different models and ballpark cost is appreciated.

fal308
May 23, 2000, 08:17 AM
According to Side by Sides of the World by Charles E. Carder Stevens made several different sxs models. Most were listed by model numbers;
Models 215, 235 & 250 - 12 or 16 gauge, boxlock, outside hammers, double triggers, laminated barrels, checkered wood, semi-pistolgrip and splinter forearm
Models 255 & 260 - 12 or 16 gauge, sidelock, outside hammers, double triggers, laminated barrels, checkered wood, pistolgrip, splinter forearm, crossbolt
Model 265 - as above with Krupp steel barrels
Model 270 - as above with Nitro steel barrels
Model 311 - various gauges, boxlock, double or single trigger(s), steel barrels, plain or checkered wood, semipistolgrip, splinter forearm
Model 315 - various gauges, boxlock, double triggers steel barrels, semi-pistolgrip, splinter forearm
Model 3151 - various gauges, boxlock, double triggers, steel barrels, checkered wood, pistolgrip, splinter forearm, recoil pad, bead sights front and rear
Model 330 - 12, 16 or 20 gauge, boxlock, double triggers, steel barrels, pistolgrip
Model 331 - as above except with single trigger
Model 335 - 12 or 16 gauge, boxlock, double triggers, laminated barrels, checkered wood, pistolgrip,splinter forearm
Model 342 - as above
Model 345 - 20 gauge version of M 335
Model 355 - as above with rotary bolt system
Model 365 - 12 or 16 gauge, boxlock, double triggers, Krupp barrel, fancy checkered wood, pistolgrip, slinter forearm (Rotary bolt system)
Model 375 - as above with light engraving
Model 385 - as above with fancy engraving and fancy checkered wood
Model 515 - various gauges, double triggers steel barrels, checkered wood, pistolgrip
Model 5100 - as above
Model 5151 - as above
Model 530 - various gauges, boxlock, double or single triggers, steel barrels, pistolgrip, splinter forearm (Tenite plastic stocks)

Also Stevens made shotguns under many private label names. This reference lists 38 names and states that it is only a partial listing.

So if you learn to recognize a 311 or whichever you prefer, you may want to look for an off-brand private label version. It will most likely be less expensive.

Pricing varies quite a bit depending upon region. Your best bet would be to haunt shows and pick up a copy or Shotgun News or Gun List.

steve j
May 25, 2000, 08:58 PM
fal308,

Thanks very much for your informative reply. I was away from the computer for a couple days or I would have thanked you quicker. I'm going to amazon.com and see if I can get a copy of the book you reference. Thanks again.

Steve

Jart
July 5, 2005, 06:36 PM
How's this for a thread bump?

Anyhow, a local gun store is in the process of relocating the business, and all manner of odd stuff is coming out of the woodwork.

In addition to a rather ill-used Leader/Crescent that I asked about on the sister forum (that I'll be taking a pass on), a SxS Stevens, marked 335 surfaced.

However, it doesn't match the description above - barrels appear not to be laminated and wood is not checkered. Receiver markings are faint on the left side of reciever but still plainly "Stevens"; right side markings are better but I still can't make out a model number.

I'm guessing it's more likely the hang tag is mis-marked than that the above posting has the barrel and wood types mis-listed for the 335.

Anybody know offhand where on the piece I should be looking for the real model number?

Edited to add: Any other means to verify that it's actually a 311 (or any other Stevens that's safe to shoot) would work as well - my concern is that 335 = laminated which I assume is the kind of barrel that I would blow my ash up if I shot it. They look like any other steel barrels, if that helps at all. They're brown rather than blue but look sound.

fal308
July 6, 2005, 10:35 AM
Have you tried a pencil rubbing? That seems to help sometimes when trying to make out faint lettering.

Jart
July 6, 2005, 12:44 PM
I'm going to miss that shop being three blocks from where I work. Although, lunch time should average out cheaper in the long run.

Anyhow, no joy. Bottom of receiver served up a pretty legible "Model 335".

Based on this 5 year old thread (bless the search function), it has laminated barrels which, I gather, == no shoot.

Rats. Looked like a perfectly servicable workingman's SxS.

:(

Jart
July 6, 2005, 09:28 PM
Well, I've never done well questioning published resources, but I'm getting really confused - no big surprise there. :)

Anyhow, I can't see any obvious reason to distrust scanned images of "The Tech" newspaper of Boston Mass from November 15 and 16 of 1910.

Link to 11/16/10 page 2 here: PDF_link01 (http://www-tech.mit.edu/archives/VOL_030/TECH_V030_S0143_P002.pdf)

Link to 11/15/10 page 2 here: PDF_link02 (http://www-tech.mit.edu/archives/VOL_030/TECH_V030_S0139_P002.pdf)

On each we have an ad from the J. Stevens Arms and Tool Company of Chicopee Falls, Mass for a model 335 with "..high pressure steel... for nitro powder", which would seem to contradict the Carder listing for "laminated steel".

I'm not sure the "have it checked by a gunsmith" dealio is the alpha and omega either as the 'smith at the shop said I was FoS about the laminated barrels. Bear in mind this is the same dude that was implying the Leader sidelock was an L.C. Smith trade gun rather than a Crescent. So I'm disinclined to slip his advice in between Mark, Luke and John as gospel.

I'm no expert - maybe the 20.00 in 1910 doesn't wash as the L.C. Smith was only around 30.00 and I have no clue if they really were in Chicopee or if "nitro proofed" means what I think it does. Or, for that matter, that this 335 wasn't made well before 1910 when it had "nitro proofed" barrels.

I am, however, growing convinced that I've beaten the thing to death and wore of all of y'all out. So how 'bout I just buy the thing (it's only 200 OTD), tie it to a tire, tie a string to the triggers, back up 10 yards and let fly?

So the question then becomes: What makes a good proof load? Heaviest 2-3/4" hi-brass hevi-shot goose load I can find? :D

Any other ideas? :eek:

Thanks
And sorry about confusing the issue so much.
:p

fal308
July 7, 2005, 08:05 AM
Are there any proof marks on the water table (the area the breechblock rests on when closed. Take the gun apart to view)?
If any proofmarks it COULD help date it. The USA did, and does, not have official proofmarks. Any proofs on a US-made firearm are there by manufacturer's choice.

johnbt
July 7, 2005, 08:16 AM
The '99 Standard Catalog of Firearms lists 2 Stevens...

"Model 335 (Early)-Hammerless Boxlock"

"Model 335 (Late)-Hammerless Boxlock"

No descriptions at all. Prices are the same: NIB=$800, Exc=$400, VG=$350.

John

P.S. - My uncle has my grandfather's Model 220 12ga hammer gun that he shot up until the 1960s.

Jart
July 7, 2005, 12:06 PM
Re: marks on watertable - I'll check this evening. Which brings up another question: how does one break down this beast? A poster on THR noted that the model 311 did not require removal of the fore stock.

However, "Pulling down on front" doesn't seem to be getting it for me, but I'm sure I'm missing something simple (assuming the takedown is the same 335 to 311 - the screw applied fore stock sounds the same).

Cory Stevens publishing has a book on Stevens and I've located somebody advertising a 1912 Stevens catalog repro - I may just pop for one or both as I'm getting curious.

Elsewhere online, I've found a reference to production being from 1910 to 1940 which seems plausible given the newspaper scan.

Someone on Gunbroker, citing 16th edition, Bluebook 101 says 67,500 manufactured 1912 through 1931. This would be plausible if Stevens marketing was a prototype of Ruger's on the Gold Label :)

An American Hunter article from 1999 opined:
your Remington Model 10 and Stevens 335 should be appropriate for shooting bismuth and tungsten-polymer shot, but due to their age, you might want to run them by a gunsmith just to be sure all is well.

I find it oddly gratifying that there's a degree of mystery on this old warhorse. Reminds me that these "fowling peeces" were once so common and unregulated that serial numbers, if used, were optional.

Pricing is a pleasant surprise. Admittedly, it's apparent excellent condition will decline some as I intend to shoot the wangers out of it, if it doesn't blow up.
:eek:

Jart
July 7, 2005, 09:05 PM
Marks on watertable:

Looks like a serial number in there. Won't be able to be more specific until I can find out how to take it down...

I'll pop the fore end soon just out of general principals: to make sure there's no rust growing under the wood. Not likely given the shape the rest of it is in.

OkieCruffler
July 8, 2005, 02:36 AM
Geez, I haven't been over here in a dog's age.
I'm pretty sure the "Laminated Barrels" is a typo, it should read Laminated Stock. Not sure what a Laminated Barrel would be. If it's in good working order the barrels should be okay for any lead load (not steel) that will chamber. As with all older guns, beware of short chambers.
I reposted instructions on how to get the forend off of a 311 over on THR, but they may not help you. I've never looked at 335 closely.

Jart
July 8, 2005, 05:50 AM
It's always dangerous when an amateur like me gets tangled up in terminology but laminated, if not synonomous with "damascus", still is of the type where internal "sandwich" rusting can reduce strength...

From Briley:
Made largely with Damascus, twist or laminated-steel barrels, virtually none are safe to shoot as they are.

From DoubleGun:
Belgian laminated steel barrels were nothing more than plain twist barrels and should not be compared or likened to the British laminated steel. British barrels that were labeled laminated steel were, by law, required to have a minimum of 60 % steel in the composite. High quality British laminated steel barrels did NOT look like twist barrels or have a twist pattern

L.C. Smith also used the term "damascus" interchangeably with "laminated" in certain grades.

I gather that "laminated" may imply all the weakness of damascus but not have the pattern that would make it recognizable. Thus the tire and string apparatus. Although I'm beginning to think Carder is in the minority on the margarine vs. butter... I mean laminated vs plain... debate.

Also, the stock isn't laminated - isn't checkered either, so there's another area where Carder varies from observation.

Thanks for the help with takedown - the fore end seems rock solid with the action closed, but it's kinda early here and my muscles may not have woken up yet. I'll try it again this evening. The 335 may differ from the 311 or it may be a bit stiff from not being taken down since 1910 (!).

Jart
July 8, 2005, 11:24 PM
Update: Takedown by fore stock removal, just like a modern day Beretta O/U, except that the forearm is held on with a screw rather than a latch.

The screw on the forearm sounded like how the 311 is rigged but I can't be sure as I've never seen a 311. No corrosion under the the barrels at watertable.

Next up is the "proof" fire. I anticipate no drama. I'm betting the Carder listing got this one crossed up.

Thanks to all.

Johnny Guest
July 18, 2005, 12:50 AM
Hey, Jart - - Don't keep us in suspense. It's been ten days. Have you been able to test it yet? :p

Best,
Johnny

Jart
August 11, 2005, 09:21 AM
My apologies, JG. I got distracted by an Elsie "project gun" that I got at auction. Thanks to the fine folks at McClellend's the Elsie lives.

Both the 335 and Elsie have been to the indoor range for patterning but so far only the Elsie has gotten any exercise. Range dude thinks it'd be nice if there were vacant lanes on both sides when the 335 got proofed - seems like a reasonable idea but I just haven't hit the place at the right time.

"Tie it to a tire" seemed like a nice idea but I don't really have a place to do it. Time seems to fly these days.

Anyhow, I did manage to get the digicam working. Here's the twins. I went my whole life without a SxS then got two inside of a month. I think the old birds make a charming couple - rather like a ballarina and a lumberjack.

T. O'Heir
August 19, 2005, 09:38 PM
I'm not sure buying an out of production shotgun in an odd guage(ammo may be difficult to find) is a good idea. Especially if the barrels are damascus/laminates. No shooting either.
This may be an option though. Baikal's are Russian made. Cheap, ugly, but solid. http://www.gun-tests.com/pub/14_9/features/5034-1.html

OkieCruffler
August 20, 2005, 05:43 AM
Man, those are purdy!
You get tired of that 335, or just scared of it, drop me a line. I know a fella with a soft spot for 311's who'd take real good care of her. :D