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Old July 30, 2011, 11:13 PM   #1
Murrdock
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Savage 311

I have the chance to buy a Savage/Stevens model 311 SxS.

I've wanted a double barrel for quite some time now and it's exactly what I want.

It's been used, it's not very pretty so I won't care about taking it out through the swamp deer/partridge/turkey hunting, it's a 12 Ga., and I should get it for under $250.

Is there anything specific I should look for that these guns have had problems with? Also, the stock has most of the varnish wore off, but the metal good with no pitting, is about $250 a good deal or should I offer less?

Thanks in advance.
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Old July 31, 2011, 07:10 AM   #2
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Those were budget guns designed to last a hunter who shot a box or 2 of ammo a year a lifetime. Many of them have just about used up that lifetime. I've had a couple. Both had issues but were OK for occasional light duty use.
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Old July 31, 2011, 07:45 AM   #3
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They're good guns, inexpensive but not cheap. They will last several lifetimes. Just make sure the barrels aren't loose. I've never seen a 311 with loose barrels but it's a good idea to check them on any older double. The stocks are bad about cracking where it joins the receiver because the wood is so thin there so look that over real good. New stocks are available at Numrich so don't let a bad stock prevent you from getting it. 250 isn't a bad price. I wouldn't take that for mine but I'd try to get it for 200 if it was me.
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Old July 31, 2011, 09:08 AM   #4
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keep scouring the websites...

especially GunBroker. They always have a number of them and many in good condition. A 12 or 20 can be found at reasonable prices, but not the 410 which goes for an extremely high premium.

Here's my 50's vintage 311 with the 5100 action and nice black walnut furniture!

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Old July 31, 2011, 09:40 AM   #5
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BTW, I'll be taking the 311 out and shooting it at a faux Vintage Cup event at one of the local clubs I belong to. Should be fun!!
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Old July 31, 2011, 10:26 AM   #6
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Here's my 50's vintage 311 with the 5100 action
The 5100 was discontinued in 48.
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Old July 31, 2011, 10:29 AM   #7
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there are no records to prove that...

at least that is what I was told in a phone conversation with Savage Arms...
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Old July 31, 2011, 12:24 PM   #8
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$250 seems on the low side for current pricing but it sounds like the one you're looking at is pretty well used. I'd shoot low and see if it flies. If they'll let you run a pair of snap caps in it to make sure the firing pins are making good contact it might save you alot of trouble. You do not want to have to replace springs or pins in one of these. The oldest of mine has thousands upon thousands of rounds thru it and still runs like a top. Admittedly I did have to replace the springs and pins a few years back.
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Old July 31, 2011, 12:27 PM   #9
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Great utility, no frills side by side. I had a 16 Ga. Stevens 311 as one of my first guns when I was a kid. I wish I had it now. Getting rid of it years ago is one of the things that led to my rule #1 below!!!
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Old July 31, 2011, 12:32 PM   #10
Hawg
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at least that is what I was told in a phone conversation with Savage Arms...
Aren't any to disprove it either.
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Old July 31, 2011, 02:23 PM   #11
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Hehehe, I guess not. I'd love to think the 5100 action guns were iced in 48. That's the year I pooped up!!
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Old July 31, 2011, 02:33 PM   #12
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Take it for what it's worth, they were. The 5100 was dropped in 48 and was morphed into the 311 in 49. There were a few early 311 receivers marked with both 311 and 5100. I have a 5100 and have done a lot of online research and that's been my findings. I haven't found any reports of a 5100 with a date code which wasn't used until 49. If yours has a date code it will blow me out of the water. I'm betting it doesn't.
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Old July 31, 2011, 04:18 PM   #13
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thanks Hawg...

that's very good information. The guy I talked with at Savage was a bit of a pea brain! Here's are the markings on my gun...



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Old July 31, 2011, 04:59 PM   #14
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If it had a date code it would be a number and a letter in an oval on the bottom of the receiver right behind the hinge.
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Old July 31, 2011, 05:14 PM   #15
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I'll go look...

just a circle with the letter 'B' in it with no number...
http://www.wisnersinc.com/additional..._date_code.htm
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Old July 31, 2011, 05:21 PM   #16
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I'm talking about the underside of the gun not the water table when it's opened up. Here's the one on my 311A made in 57.


Last edited by Hawg; July 31, 2011 at 05:34 PM.
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Old July 31, 2011, 06:23 PM   #17
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there's a circle on the bottom with nothing in it. Damn!!
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Old July 31, 2011, 06:50 PM   #18
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As someone who has the 311 more upscale cousin - the Savage/Fox BSE - I can say that for the same money, there are better choices out there - having seen the insides which are poor, the triggers which are gritty and creepy, and the balance which is the same as a pig on a shovel - the Savage/Fox/Stevens guns are crude and really not worth the trouble
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Old July 31, 2011, 07:24 PM   #19
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having seen the insides which are poor, the triggers which are gritty and creepy, and the balance which is the same as a pig on a shovel -
I haven't seen that with any of mine. They're not L.C. Smith's by any means but they're not trash either.
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Old July 31, 2011, 08:53 PM   #20
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For $250-350 I'd like to know what better choices there are. Been swinging my pig on a shovel for about 30 years now so I can hit more than miss with it. I keep buying other scatter guns but end up gong back to the 311.
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Old July 31, 2011, 09:07 PM   #21
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There is nothing in its price range that will hold up as well. They are blue collar working guns. Ive got one in 410 that I use to shoot marsh hens. (Rails). There is no way in hell Im going to put my AYA in the boat to get covered in mud and salt water and possibly go overboard. Gun snobbery shouldnt get in the way of common sense...
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Old August 1, 2011, 12:53 PM   #22
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Quote:
the Savage/Fox/Stevens guns are crude and really not worth the trouble
Exactly my experience and why I made the comments above. The internal parts are poorly made and with cheap metal. Like I said earlier they are good for a lifetime of shooting, as long as you are one of those guys who only shoot a box or 2 a year. Any more than that and the internal parts start failing quickly. Once that happens you have a gun suitable for hanging over the fireplace because repair is more costly (if possible) than they are worth.

The BSE is even worse from a mechanical standpoint. The more complex ejectors vs extractors give lots of problems.

I've owned 2. My first ever gun purchased in 1974, a BSE. I kept it 10 years and it literally spent more time at a gunsmith's shop than in my home. After I got it working for about the 6th time I sold it at a Flea market cheap. The other was thrown as part of a trade (a 311) and it never worked right either. Sold it cheap at a gunshow.

If you only have a $250 budget, there are lots of pumps in that price range that will actually work.
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Old August 1, 2011, 01:41 PM   #23
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Quote:
For $250-350 I'd like to know what better choices there are.
The best ones that come to mind are the AyAs that they made for Sears - GunsInternational.com, Cabela's Gun Library and other places routinely have them in that price range. These were well built in the 50s and 60s and, IMO, are the sleeper deal for a decent SxS that will last

If you truly believe that the 311 swings well and is well balanced, I can only surmise that you have not used the AyA #2, an Arrietta, Webley and Scott, or even an Ugartechea, most of them - if you are willing to go used and really look around, can be found in what I will call a reasonable price point for their quality. It might not seem reasonable to many here, especially if you think 2-300 is a lot for a gun, let alone a SxS, but there deals to be found
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Old August 1, 2011, 01:46 PM   #24
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jmr40, I beg to differ...

cheap shotguns from a price point, yes. But compared to some of the plastic junk produced today, the 311's proved to be fine little shotguns. My 40's vintage 5100 has no plastic or pot metal parts in it...
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Old August 1, 2011, 02:09 PM   #25
Dave McC
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I had two 311s. No probs with either, but shell counts ran under 1K while they were mine.

One was a 12 gauge family gun I worked into a Lupara. Barrels shortened to 25" and jug choked by a smith friend. Stock redone with Tung oil and given a straight grip. Solid Pachmyer pad. A cousin on the Sicilian side has it now. He shoots a little skeet with it and hunts rabbits over his beagles carrying it.He's quite fond of it. It was marked Ranger but made by Stevens Pre WWII. The relative who gave it to me had bought it in the early 40s then lost interest in hunting after D Day.

The other was a Stevens 20 Mom bought as a farm sale for $10. Good price, but since it was shortened at both ends to an illegal length, the barrels ended up under a manure pile before the Feds could cart Mom off. The action was taken to a smith friend who found new barrels and a stock. I ended up with a nice little bird gun for less than $200.

I doubt any 311 will hold up well as a dedicated clays gun, but for general use they have lots of happy owners....
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