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Old May 2, 2011, 10:17 AM   #1
Hardcase
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Grandpa's SxS Shotgun

Now that I've finished every project that I ever attempted (that's a joke, there, son), I thought that I'd take a gander at my grandfather's old side by side shotgun.

It's a turn of the century Janssen and Sons 12 gauge model with external hammers and a "Belgian Laminated Steel" barrel. Now, I know what laminated steel is and I know what sort of problems are inherent in those relatively cheap barrels. A few years ago, I had it magnafluxed and we couldn't find any problems, so I've been shooting it off and on with fairly mild black powder loads. It's a peach, really, but it has some cosmetic issues and one functional problem.

Here's the deal: the hammers are mismatched and the front of the triggerguard is not attached. Also, now and then, both barrels go off at once (ouch).

So I have some questions, in my typical long-winded way. In the world of shotguns, is a hammer a hammer? In other words, can I reasonably expect that I can go to someplace like Dixie and buy a pair of hammers and expect them to fit (with some fiddling - I'm not asking for the world here)?

Does the same hold true of triggerguards? What's happened is that there appears to be a threaded piece at the front of the triggerguard that has broken off. The triggerguard looks like every other sxs triggerguard of the era that I've ever seen. One size fits all?

Oh, also, the external firing pins haven't mushroomed, but one of the collars looks like it's starting to get a split in it. Is that something that's a standard part?

Finally, regarding the dual barrel shoulder busting feature, it seems pretty obvious that a part has worn, but I haven't taken the lock apart to see what it is. I'd appreciate any pointers on what to expect (aside from filthy sludge).

Now, I know that this is a pretty cheap shotgun, from the very beginning up to today. But its value to me is immeasurable, so I'm not looking at this as an investment or from an economic standpoint. It's still functional, but there are degrees of functionality and I'd kind of like to up this one a few notches.




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Old May 2, 2011, 01:09 PM   #2
orangello
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I can't answer any of your questions, sorry.

That is a beautiful shotgun!
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Old May 2, 2011, 04:12 PM   #3
Magnum Wheel Man
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I've only played with a couple... "most" of the hammers I've seen fit on a square shaft of what seems like close to the same size... there may be an actual "length" difference between .410, 20 ga, 12 ga, & 10 ga ( of course the others I skipped ) so as long as the shaft shape matches & the length is correct, you should be able to "fit" a matching pair of new hammers...

the trigger guard may be different, & Ihonestly haven't had to futz with any I played with... you may need to find bran specific or model specific to correct that problem... ( you may just be missing the nut that draws the front of the trigger guard into the reciever ??? )

try looking a Numeric / Gun Parts Corp or...
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Old May 2, 2011, 11:24 PM   #4
arcticap
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardcase
Finally, regarding the dual barrel shoulder busting feature, it seems pretty obvious that a part has worn, but I haven't taken the lock apart to see what it is. I'd appreciate any pointers on what to expect (aside from filthy sludge).
I would think that the lock problem should be looked at before devoting much time or money into fixing anything else. That seems to be most important issue to fix or else it won't work right no matter what you have done to the rest of it.
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Old May 2, 2011, 11:32 PM   #5
Hawg Haggen
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The trigger guard doesn't appear to be broken. The short stud at the front is threaded. It's installed by turning the whole guard until its as close as you can get it without over torquing it, then securing the back part with screws. What's probably happened is someone thought it wasn't tight enough and tried to get one more turn and stripped the threads. SXS trigger guards are not one size fits all.
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Old May 3, 2011, 11:10 AM   #6
Tanker6
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While I've never had the need to use them, some of my fellow SASS shooters say that they've found "hard to find" parts for SXS shotguns at www.e-gunparts.com and www.thegunrack.net (pulled these from SASS web forum).

While I'm also not a shotgun expert, I agree with Arcticap that the lock-up should be addressed first before the other issues. If it no lockie, it no workie.

Nice lookin' old shotgun!
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Old May 3, 2011, 11:18 AM   #7
Jim Watson
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Caution, I am not a gunsmith...

Hawg has the trigger guard figured out.

Hammers are not hammers.
The distance from tumbler axle to firing pin matters.
The square hole in the hammer must match up with the square tumbler axle so that down is down on the firing pin and up is at full cock.

Firing pin bushings don't necessarily have the same thread and I.D.

Doubling is probably due to a worn tumbler notch or sear nose.
I guess it might be possible for one trigger to rub the other and drag it back to fire both barrels but have not seen it happen.
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Old May 3, 2011, 11:29 AM   #8
Hawg Haggen
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It's worth a try but parts for his are going to be a little harder than merely hard to find. Dixie Gun Works has a lot of parts that might can be used or modified to use. http://www.dixiegunworks.com/ The lock that fires out of turn may be from a worn sear or hammer notch. A lot of those guns didn't have hardened internal parts and wore quickly. I have filed the hammer notches and got them working correctly again. Don't take the lock screws all the way out and try to pry the lock out of the wood. All you'll do is scar the wood. Take them almost all the way out and then bump the screw heads to push the off side lock out of it's mortise then remove the screws and the lock. Then go through the screw holes to push the other lock out.
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Old May 3, 2011, 02:40 PM   #9
Hardcase
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Thanks for the advice, guys. I'll start with the locks first and see what's going on inside. Heck, I'll even take pictures, just in case anyone is interested in what's going on inside there.
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Old May 3, 2011, 02:53 PM   #10
Magnum Wheel Man
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I'd just about bet your "sear" is filled with laquered oil residue... cleaning that will probably fix your problem... if once clean, the notch is somewhat rounded... squaring it up a bit with a file might be all that's needed... I wouldn't write of the shotgun as a parts gun just yet...
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Old May 3, 2011, 03:39 PM   #11
Hardcase
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Oh, it'll never be a parts gun - the worst fate that awaits it is as a wall hanger (which isn't so bad - sort of like retirement).
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Old May 3, 2011, 06:06 PM   #12
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a wall hanger...sort of like retirement
Now there's a concept. Sure hope my wife doesn't see that.
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Old May 5, 2011, 11:14 AM   #13
Hardcase
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I took the locks off last night. I also took pictures, but I left the memory card at home, so I'll have to post them tonight.

As predicted, there was an accumulation of many years worth of gunk in there. Now, I'm not sure exactly of what part is what in the lock, but the hammer connects to a square bar, which goes inside the lock. There's another part that connects to what I would call the sear. The sear has two notches, one for full cock and one for all the way down. The full cock notch is definitely worn on the left side, so I can see that, in combination with all the nasty gunk, the hammer could easily slip off that notch and fire when the right side goes.

The right side is nice and crisp, just very dirty.

Looking closely at the triggerguard, a couple of things are evident. First is that the threaded attachment at the front is completely worn down. That explains much. Also, there are two screws at the rear that secure the triggerguard to the wood stock. The front screw is almost stripped - or I should say that the wood is, from somebody overtightening it. I think that the best approach there may be to drill the screw hole out a bit in the wood, then epoxy in a walnut dowel. That will give the screw something to bite into and it won't be a visible repair.

Now, back to the locks. One of the hammers (I'm assuming that it was the one that was replaced however long ago) doesn't have the square hole that you'd expect. It appears that the "gunsmith" who did the operation just drilled a hole in the hammer, then rounded off the corners of the piece that it slides onto, then either welded or soldered the hammer to that. So it looks like I will not be replacing hammers because that is a piece of work that I'm pretty sure that I could make much, much worse if I mess with it.

So, here's my plan: I'm going to carefully file a sharper notch in the left-side sear (and possibly square up the hammer's part, too) and I'm going to drill out the stripped hole in the stock and epoxy in a dowel. As far as the front of the triggerguard, it looks like maybe I can bend it slightly so that it goes back into the hole in the bottom of the gun. Perhaps some Locktite or something similar would keep it there.

Pictures later tonight. What do you guys think?
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Old May 5, 2011, 11:54 AM   #14
Hawg Haggen
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Sounds like a plan. One thing you might can do with the trigger guard is remove the stock and see if you have room inside the receiver to install a screw and lock washer if you drilled and tapped the threaded post.
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Old May 5, 2011, 07:37 PM   #15
Hardcase
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Here are the pictures - my apologies for the size of them...they're kind of big.

Here's the right side lock. Everything is in pretty good shape. The screw heads have been messed with a bit, but not horribly abused.



The two locks together.



I'm not sure if you can see it very well, but this is the left lock. It's cocked and you can see the two pieces that fit together are worn. The notch isn't square and the point is rounded. This is what's causing both barrels to fire. My wife, in her infinite wisdom, said that I should just fire the left side first. Probably not bad advice, actually.



And the right side, just for contrast.



Here's the issue with the right side hammer (I think I said it was the left, earlier, so that's a warning to any of you who trust my memory).



Finally, the triggerguard issue.

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Old May 9, 2011, 09:48 AM   #16
Hardcase
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I think that my work is pretty much complete. It just took a few light strokes with a small file to dress up the notch and point on the left lock parts. The triggerguard was actually an easy fix - I sandwiched it between a couple of pieces of wood in my vice and very, very carefully bent it just a tad until the front fit where it was supposed to go. Now everything fits together quite nicely, other than that strange work on the right side hammer. I'm not going to do anything with that.

I can tell a big difference with the left lock now. When I cock that hammer, it gives a much more authoritative "click", much like the right side. I'm going to take it out to the skeet range on Thursday to give it a try.

It also ought to scare the dickens out of my partners when the cloud of smoke comes out. They're used to me showing up with oddball guns, but I don't think that they've ever experienced the shock and awe of black powder. I expect that with a full choke I won't hit much, but I also figure that I can use the cloud of darkness as an excuse.
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Old May 9, 2011, 03:33 PM   #17
Hawg Haggen
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Make sure you cut your shells back to 2 1/2 inches.
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Old May 9, 2011, 04:05 PM   #18
Hardcase
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Quote:
Make sure you cut your shells back to 2 1/2 inches.
Absolutely! Actually, I have about 75 brass 2 1/2 inch shells that I'm in the process of loading, so I'm almost ready to rumble!
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