View Full Version : Stevens shotgun, hard to cock

March 3, 2009, 03:15 PM
Well, I picked up an old Stevens single shot at a pawn shop for 60 bucks. Its intention is to be thrown in the canoe when I hit the river this spring and summer.

At any rate, Ive had it for about a month, and it seems like its getting hard to cock. It wasnt that bad when I bought it, Ive put maybe 10 rounds through it. Other than that I just pick it up from time to time, break the action open, pull the hammer back (unloaded) and just make sure things are in good working order.

But anyway, its getting hard to cock, I took a can of compressed air and sprayed everywhere I could reach, that seemed to help. It made it where I could cock it with one hand instead of two.

Im thinking maybe its just dirty on the inside, the thing is probably 40 years old or better.

Im wondering how hard it would be to take apart? I honestly dont know what model # it is, as the whole gun is wrapped in camo tape, somebody had evidently used it as a turkey gun, as it seems to have a full choke, and holds a pattern quite well for an old gun.

So basically, how hard would it be to take apart, or is there anything else you folks can think of?

March 3, 2009, 08:11 PM
Well, the gun eventually got to where it wouldnt cock at all, not matter what, so I got bored and decided to tear into it. The gun was easy to take apart.

I found the problem as well, although Im not sure of the terminology.

When you pull back the hammer, it puts pressure on a spring that has a rod through the center of it. The end of this rod slides into a hole toward the back the of assembly.

Somehow, the spring had gotten off center, and seemed to be kind of bound up, so as the rod tried to come back, it couldn't slide into the hole properly.

I managed to get it back in place, but there isnt really anything to keep it from sliding back where it was. One of the screws from the trigger guard does come up and does touch the spring slightly, though I honestly dont know if its supposed too.

Ill keep an eye on it, Im almost afraid that as I keep firing the gun, it might slide back over. I should have taken some pictures, so I could get some better advice.

Thanks for reading, and if you have any input, feel free to share. The gun still doesnt cock easily, but I think its just a stiff spring.

James K
March 3, 2009, 11:05 PM
IIRC, the arms of the locking bolt assembly, plus friction, keep the mainspring plunger from drifting off to the side. Some shotguns with that kind of system have the top of the plunger shaped like a half-moon with a corresponding concave half-moon in the hammer. If you have some skill with a Dremel tool, you might be able to do that in yours Be careful not to reshape the plunger so the hammer does not rebound.


March 4, 2009, 04:24 AM
Little: It sounds like your missing the main spring plunger seat. There should be a small cone shaped piece that is between the spring and the hole that the rod goes through. More that likely someone didn't know how to install it and just left it out.

James K
March 4, 2009, 11:20 AM
Hmmm. I didn't think of that, but it is a possibility.


March 4, 2009, 09:22 PM
sadsack would you be able to tell if it was missing that piece if I took it apart again and snapped a bunch of pictures?

Ive put a few more rounds through it since I put it back together. I went for a quick float today and squeezed off a few. Then a racoon showed up in my yard at 4 in the afternoon which is odd in itself, it also showed no fear of me and was displaying other rabies-like symptoms, so I put it down as well. Gotta love living in the country!

I said that to say that it is still working, and is still hard to cock, but I can cock it now with one hand, it takes some effort with the gun shouldered, but I can do it, Im not as strong as the average man, so I cant complain too much. I dont have much experience with hammer guns besides two single action revolvers my dad has, but they both cock very easily.


I found this pic online, and I believe its the same gun I have, pics looks the same as what Ive got anyway. Or awfully close, I took all the camo tape of mine, and it still doesnt have a model # printed on it anywhere. There are some letters on the bottom of the barrel but thats about it.


Im going solely off memory, but I seem to recall part # 13, the plunger seat that sadsack was referring as being on the opposite end on my gun as opposed to that picture. The spring itself is butted up against the metal on my gun, not that plunger seat. Ill have to tear back into it and snap some pics to share. But at this moment I dont have access to the long screwdriver necessary to take the stock off.

March 5, 2009, 03:16 AM
Little: That's it. Most of the Stevens/Savage singleshots use this same system. Post the pictures and we'll take a look.

March 6, 2009, 12:29 PM
Alright here's the pics. Pardon the quality, I have an older digi cam, and havent found much of a good excuse to plop the cash down for a new one.


If you need more pics to help diagnose just holler, its still taken apart, which sucks because its the only gun I have to my name besides my scoped Rem 700 in .243. Which is a poor choice for a lot of things haha.

I guess if need be, I can pop the barrel back on and shoot it without the stock, sort of like a 12 gauge pistol...that would be fun!

March 6, 2009, 12:35 PM
at this moment I dont have access to the long screwdriver necessary to take the stock off.

If you have one of those old jack handle/lug wrenches, the long straight, round type with the flat point it'll work.

March 8, 2009, 12:11 AM
Little: Someone has put the plunger seat in the wrong place. The seat is suppost to be installed in back of the spring with the tapered end against the frame. There is an indentation in the frame to keep it in place.

March 8, 2009, 01:03 AM
Well, that figures, the more I looked at the part diagram, the more I was afraid of that.

Sooo, how hard is it to take this thing apart and put it in the right place? More importantly, how do I even take it apart?

Also, it looks as if Im missing a piece on the end of that guide rod that makes a connection with the hammer itself, am I correct in that? According to that picture it would be part #15 the hammer spring guide? At least thats what that website names the part. You think I could order that part and re-use the spring and plunger seat and make it work?

Would it work if I swapped ends and put the plunger in the right place and left it as is? Or would that spring slip off the hammer?

Sorry for all the questions, I bought this thing because it was cheap, and although it does work, its not up to my liking just yet. Looks like I might have to invest a little more money into it haha.

EDIT: Nevermind that last part, I see that the piece I was referring too is there, I thought it was part of the hammer, but its not. But that means the rod goes through the plunger seat.....making it hollow...is it supposed to be hollow?

Anyway, so do I need to order some parts? Or do I need to take it apart and put it back together properly. I consider myself pretty handy, Im just used to working on cars and computers, not guns haha. I usually just shoot those.

March 8, 2009, 11:44 AM
Little: All the parts are there, and you'll need to reinstall them. It shouldn't be hard to slide the spring out, but be sure to contain the spring when it clears the frame. If you hold the frame in a vice it makes things a lot easier. The main spring plunger has two cam surfaces so you can put it in upside down. The longer cam goes on top, and the short cam is for the hammer rebound. The seat has a hole all the way through for the plunger and you should check to make sure it doesn't bind. When you install all of it you can use a flat screwdriver to pry the seat into the frame. It can be a bugger sometimes but it will go in there( it just looks like there is no way).

March 8, 2009, 11:44 PM
Is there a particular trick to getting everything back in? Getting it out is a matter of just brute force more or less right? I might dive in here in a few minutes, so it might end up being a "to be continued" if I cant figure it out. Hopefully I can get it all back together right.

Thank you so much for all your help sadsack, I really appreciate it.

Edit: Awesome, I fixed it, seems to work better now, even if its only in my head! Plus I have the confidence in knowing the gun is put back together right, that would have always bugged me if I didnt haha.

Thanks to all who helped!