View Full Version : Interesting time at the pawn the shop

February 19, 2002, 01:19 AM
I was in the area of a local pawn shop so I desided to see what they had in the gun department. This was by far the most interesting time I had in a bit.

I had a bit to look around before anyone was free to come and help me. The first thing I asked for was a very new Moss. 590 they had.

Me: "What gun is that?"
Worker: "It is a preban military mossberg." (I never knew that the 94 laws on semi-auto's affected a pump)
Me: "Is it overbored?"
Worker: "No, the barrel is the exact same size as the 500's." (I forgot they beefed up the 590 barrel)
Me: "Can I see it?"
Worker: "Are you 21?"
Me: "No, but I don't have to be to handle a shotgun, only 18."
Worker: "Sorry, can't let you handle that gun, the law says that you have to be 21 to handle a shotgun that is sold with a pistol grip" and by pistol grip he didn't even mean installed. It just came along with the deal.

He then pointed to 2 Moss. 500's and told me I could handle the one on the left if I wanted to, because it wasn't being sold with a pistol grip add-on. Have any of you guys heard of that law before? I haven't.

I handled some other guns for a bit, and came across a fairly nice but old Rem 1100 in 16 ga. The price way high IMO, approx $450. I commented on that and thought it was because 16 ga. 1100's probably aren't that easy to come by. He said that it had nothing to do with the gauge, but this was the "super premium" version of the 1100. Looked normal enough to me. Semi-gloss stock, polished blue and chrome plated bolt. I figured there was no point in asking him why it was "super premium" because he seemed fairly confident about his opinion. Plus from my experiance at work, people who argue with me suddenly have very bad service. So I went on to the next gun.

They had some wingmasters there that looked a few decades old. He pointed to one and asked me if I wanted to handle the 870 Express. I asked "Isn't that a wingmaster?" And he told me, "Yeah, this one is a wingmaster." while still pointing at the exact same shotgun he was 10 seconds ago. express wingmaster maybe? I bet it had a plastic aluminum trigger gaurd also :).

One interesting gun they did have though was a Savage version of a Browning A5. The finish was shot but no major damage. Looked to be relatively unused even though it looked like I feel after drinking a gallon of my own puke then jumping into a dumpster filled with broken glass, razor blades and rubbing alcohol. The price was $123 and I am interested in buying it. The stock was way cut down but I'd just add a slip on recoil pad to it to lengthen it because I've heard these guns kick like mules. And it was a very light and easy handling gun. Anyone have any experiance with these? How durable are they, and when I go back there and look at it again what should I look for to see if this is worth buying? I'm not concearned about the finish because I'll just redo it eventually. I do that with most of my other guns anyway. I think I remember it being fixed choke, but I can't remember which constriction. It also had a vent rib and aftermarket recoil pad on it.


Dave McC
February 19, 2002, 06:08 AM
Wear your high boots if you go back, the Caca Del Toro is pretty deep in there. Plenty of gun laws are silly, that employee beats most of them.

The Savage had the same rep as the A-5 or the Remington 11, tough, reliable and heavy. For a shooter, the price is right, but if it needs parts you may be SOL. And I doubt that pawnshop would be very co-operative if that thing glitched...

February 19, 2002, 08:21 AM
You should be able to find a 590 without a pistol grip included mine didn't come with one. Not sure about that law doesn't sound true to me but ya can probably check the ATF website and find out. Tell him he can keep the pistol grip they are for hollywood in my opinion anyway!

February 19, 2002, 12:56 PM
Adamantium, you are off to a good start. That pawn person probably effectively snows folks twice your age and more on a daily basis.

Dave gave you straight scoop on the Savage. He does that regularly.


February 19, 2002, 01:47 PM
Yeah I thought of making the offer to let them keep the pistol grip if I bought it, thus putting the shotgun into a new class of laws so i could handle it. But I just had a feeling that the person might take that totally out of context and think I was smarting off to him.

Back to the savage. It looks ever more hopeful that I might be buying that gun. I found that gunpartscorp.com has a variety of replacement parts for it if something needs to be replaced. Hopefully nothing major because I'd not want to spend $75 on a $125 shotgun right off the bat. I also called a local gunsmith to see his price on just running over the gun and making sure it works. He told me that it would cost $17.50 if there are no complications that take extra time than normal. The price seems fair to me, what do you guys think? Also, how compareable is the Savage to the browning? I can't find any manuals on the savage, but Browning has an PDF owners manual for the A-5 on there website. Is it much like an AR15, the almost exact same gun but made by a handful of campanies?


February 19, 2002, 02:27 PM
The important thing is that you know what you're looking at.
When I went shopping with a buddy for a Marine Magnum, the one he bought was, according to the sales dude, a "pre-ban".
The price was good so we did not argue but the sales guy just did not have a clue. I have seen this a lot in gun stores in general. The best gun to buy is always whatever they have in stock or are a dealer for. (I'm the prepostion king today!).
I remember a couple years ago when I was shopping for my G26 I went to a shop where the guy was trying really hard to sell me a S&W semi. He didn't seem to care which one. He was just anxious to unload them as no one would buy them.
It just does not pay to argue. Just politely pretend to listen to his sage advise and get the gun you want.
Thank goodness for the experts on this board, eh? They've saved me a few times from buying a clunker.

Disclaimer - Not ALL gunshops are like this, just all the ones I frequent.

Dave McC
February 19, 2002, 04:10 PM
$17.50's a good price, if he's a good smith.

Some parts may interchange with the A-5. The Remington 11 I had as a family gun(still is, but a cousin has it) took new springs and friction rings, total less than $20 worth to make what was in effect a new gun. The smith called it a 10K round rebuild.

A couple things to look for...

First, check the ring brazed to the bbl for cracks at the joint.

Second, I'd stick to loads of 3 1/4 dram, 1 1/8 oz or less for starters.

Third, have the smith check chamber length while he's in there. It may be a short chamber. He might as well clean and lube, too. That action is not friendly to tyros.

John Browning held the patent, and took it to Belgium for FN to make. Remington and Savage both bought the rights to the design, and were in serious competition over it. You see 10 Model 11s for every Savage, so I guess Big Green won.


February 19, 2002, 04:26 PM
A word about gunpartscorp.com. They list a LOT of parts on their web site, but from my experience, they're not sure what they have and what they don't have. Their system isn't computerized, so you have to send in your order and then wait for a card that tells you whether or not they can fill it. Basically, some guy goes back into the warehouse of parts and checks to see if they have what you want. They WILL NOT do this while you wait on the phone. At least, not to my knowledge.

I wanted to know if they had a Stevens receiver in stock before I sent in my order because receivers, like guns, require transfer through an FFL. I didn't want to arrange a transfer (have my FFL send in his license) only to find out that they didn't have the part. After much hemming and hawing, one rep told me that they checked and were out of stock. I sort of doubt they ever really checked.

They are in the process of computerizing inventory, I'm told. Maybe things will get better.

February 19, 2002, 05:06 PM
I bought a Mossberg 500 with a pistol grip in the box, but not attached to the gun at the time. I was 18 and bought it a Galyans(sp?) in Fairfax co. VA. I think if it was attached it is a no go, but if the full stock is on it at the time of sale, then it is ok. Thats what the guys there told me, because I asked them about the pistol grip being ok for me to own. Now I have a rem 870 and love it. Mossbergs are good shotguns, but I just perfer the 870, cause it looks nicer to me, but I wouldn't mind either.

February 20, 2002, 01:13 AM
Well I went back and looked at the gun again. This time I got the owner and he was a nice and knowledgable guy. I looked it over more closely this time and learned some new thing. For starters the gun is in bad need of a cleaning, but there is no signs of serious rust. The barrel is fouled but nothing worse than I've seen on my shotguns after alot of dirty S&B buckshot. The chamber is also 2 3/4 only, but that is no big deal. I don't think I've ever even fired a 3 inch shell before and have no plans of starting now. It also turns out I was mistaken on the vent rib, it is just a plain barrel. The one thing I could no find though was the constriction of the barrel or the barrel length. As long as it is between IC and F I'll be happy, but preferably IC or Mod. Full would work for target practice but I wouldn't want to hunt with it.

The gunsmith looks to be creditable. In his yellow pages ad he syas he graduated from the colorado school of trades and is a factory certified armorer in Colt, Beretta and Glock. Plus he is the only one I can find that doesn't just specialize in stock repair or refinishing within an hours drive. Another important thing going for him. He seemed very nice on the phone too.

But alas, when I went there this morning the place was in a minor state of chaos. NICS just changed their paperwork background check system, and they nor any other associates of theirs giving the new form. Plus there is no grace period for using the old forms either, yesterday they worked fine but today they don't. Luckily the owner was nice enough to put the gun on hold for me with no money down for a week. Even if he didn't I don't suppose it would be going anywhere anyway, now would it :).


February 20, 2002, 04:04 PM
Adam, I have one of these old Savage humpbacks. It is actually a good gun. I have no idea what age mine is. It has an aftermarket stock on it that is gorgeous. Checkering is outstanding. The metalwork needs bluing, but the gun is otherwise fine. I expect it will give you good service. Concerning the choke. Short of patterning the gun, you can get a pretty good idea of the choke by measuring the constriction. I use an inside dial caliper that allows me to zero the gage on the bore diameter and the slide it up into the choke to measure that and get a direct comparison. If you don't have one of these tools, you can get a pretty good idea using a regular dial (or vernier) caliper and measuring the inside diameter of the muzzle. The bore will be very close to 0.729 inches in a 12 gauge. Subtract the muzzle ID from .729 to find the constriction. For rule-of-thumb purposes, .005" is about right for skeet, .010 is Improved cylinder, .020 is Modified, and .030 is full choke.

February 28, 2002, 07:33 PM
Well, here is the end to my tale. I got the gun back from the gunsmith, and he said it was safe. The total cost was $29 including tax, the $17.50 saftey check, and he went out and test fired it to check feeding and funtion for $10 which seems fair enough.

He didn't discover any more damage then I did, which was a small crack in the forend and a chip in the back part of the stock. Plus some retainer screws were missing, and he noted that I should get some new ones because the larger screws they retain aren't meant to be tight for the gun to function. The real surprize was the choke, it turns out that it is skeet, at .724, a .005 constriction unless I've gotten mixed up on 12 ga. bore diamiter. By the looks of it he also doesn't think any parts are close to wearing out either.

Looks like a great buy in my opinion. Total overall cost was $170 for the gun, saftey check and a slip-on recoil pad to lengthen the stock more to my liking. Now I've just got to figue out how to shoot skeet :).


February 28, 2002, 07:42 PM
And the fun is just beginning................:D

February 28, 2002, 10:45 PM
:eek: Well I'll be...

I guess I broke the law back when I was 18, cause I bought a Pistol Grip Winchester 1300 Defender the week after my birthday. As far as I know, a shotgun is a shotgun.