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Old June 29, 2012, 04:40 PM   #1
BillyBeards
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Is it safe?

So my father has an old side by side that's about 70 years old that he hasn't shot in about forty years. It looks to be in pretty good shape.
I don't remember the brand off hand but it was something that I'd never heard of (that's not saying much), but with a little research I was able to get a ball park date of the early 1920s.
If I do a good cleaning on it do we think it would be safe to shoot?

Thanks
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Old June 29, 2012, 04:53 PM   #2
jaguarxk120
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Since you have absolutely no idea what you have, take it to your gunsmith for cleaning and have him check it.

He can tell you if it is safe to shoot.
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Old June 29, 2012, 05:11 PM   #3
TheKlawMan
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Take it to a reputable gun smith that can see what you hve and tell you what it can safely shoot, if anything.

One issue is what type of ammunition may safely be used in it and your post gives us no idea of its gauge (12, 16, 20 and etceta) or the length of shot shell for which it is chambered (2-1/2", 2-9/16", or 2-3/4"). The old a gun may be a 2-1/2" or 2-9/16" when sold, but someone may have reemed out the chamber to take a larger shell.

Just because the round fits do not assume that it is safe to shoot. Chambers are machined to allow the petals of the shell to open within the length of the chamber. If they open beyond the chamber barrrel pressure may rise to an unsafe level.

Since you seem to be guessing about its age, it is possible that it has a Damascus barrel and they really need to be checked by a competet gun smith for safety.

You should also be careful using modern loads, such as magnum loads.

Then, given the passage of time who knows what may be wrong with it!

Like jaguar says, take it to a competent gunsmith.

Last edited by TheKlawMan; June 29, 2012 at 05:17 PM.
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Old June 29, 2012, 05:17 PM   #4
PetahW
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Many shotguns, especially those made before 1926, were "short chambered", i.e. made for the shorter 2-1/2" & 2-9/16" (fired length) shotshells of the day.

In 1926, the ammo companies "improved" ALL shotshell loads, and incidently made the shells longer (2-3/4" fired length) while upping the pressure, etc.

IF a qualified double gunsmith (NOT some AR parts-changer) checks the gun out as tight & OK to shoot, and it happens to be short-chambered (a double gunsmith has the proper measuring tool) - modern, low pressure 2-1/2" shells are available from companies like RST, PolyWad, Kent, GameBore & others.

If it's a short chamber, in no circumstances should ANY modern ammo be fired in it - even so-called "low brass" or "target loads".

.
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Old June 29, 2012, 06:00 PM   #5
BillyBeards
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Thanks for the posts fellas. Letting my gunsmith look at it was the obvious thought but the extra info is very helpful thanks.
It's a 26" 12g but that's as much as I know at this point.

Thanks
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Old June 29, 2012, 08:00 PM   #6
zippy13
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Quote:
...that's about 70 years old that he hasn't shot in about forty years
...I was able to get a ball park date of the early 1920s.
Doesn't that make it about 90-years old?
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Old June 29, 2012, 08:15 PM   #7
TheKlawMan
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Seriously. I came here to learn how to fix a hand me down made in 1908 to shoot. After these guys convinced me it was unsafe for anything but hanging on a wall, I bought a Remington 870. Acquiring shotguns is dangerous. and kmown to lead to a disease recently identified as acquirousshotgunus or AS.
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Old June 30, 2012, 10:02 AM   #8
PetahW
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OR, fastideousacquirousshotgunustechnis (F.A.S.T.) .

I'm glad to hear you got a real shotgun (the 870), and not one of those Turkish clones.

.
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Old June 30, 2012, 10:19 AM   #9
BillyBeards
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Personally I currently have whatever disease is related to pistols. Maybe I should just get dad a late fathers day gift of a new shotgun. Maybe a nice 20g SxS and the old one can go on the wall.
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Old June 30, 2012, 01:26 PM   #10
TheKlawMan
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Quote:
OR, fastideousacquirousshotgunustechnis (F.A.S.T.) .

I'm glad to hear you got a real shotgun (the 870), and not one of those Turkish clones.
I was tempted to get a Chinese clone until I was clued in by the guys on TFL. I love my 870 and cannot imagine ever getting rid of it, but since then and shooting a few hundred clays I broke down and got a Citori XS Skeet. The stalwart 870 does HD duty and my son loves to use it for trap.

Talking about Turkish guns, this ass was showing off his $2,000 Huglu last week.
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Old June 30, 2012, 02:37 PM   #11
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Light load shotgun ammo ???

I totally agree with initially taking it to a GunSmith. ...

Not to hi-jack this post but related. Is there any recommended low power ammo oiut there, for these old shotguns. For some reason, lately I have been asked this question quite a bit. I certanly don't want to give these folks some bad info so instead, have refered this question to their GunSmith, as well ..

Be Safe !!!
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Old June 30, 2012, 03:04 PM   #12
jaguarxk120
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Try www.polywad.com for the low pressure loadings. Look under vintage shells.
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Old June 30, 2012, 03:12 PM   #13
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Excellent !!

Quote:
Try www.polywad.com for the low pressure loadings. Look under vintage shells.
Excellent and I thank you,Sir !! ...

Be Safe !!!
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Old June 30, 2012, 09:23 PM   #14
PetahW
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Low pressure, 2-1/2" shells in several gauges & shot sizes, suitable for any of these old guns that a qualified double gunsmith has checked out as OK to shoot, are available not only from PolyWad, but also from RST, Kent Cartridge, and GameBore to name a few more I've tried.

They work perfectly in the various 2-1/2", 2-5/8" & 2-9/16" chambers found in these guns.

I've settled on RST for my 1911 Ithaca 28ga Flues Model, mostly due to it's ready availability in my area.
The pro shop @ a nearby game/shooting farm stocks them, meaning I can buy a box or three ILO having to buy an entire flat online.

.
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Old June 30, 2012, 11:08 PM   #15
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Take it to a gunsmith if you have any doubt about a firearm.
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