View Full Version : Old stevens s/s wallhanger or not

April 23, 2009, 04:51 PM
I got this from my deceased FIL,said it belonged to his grandfather. It shows a little rust on the outside. The breakaway is very tight and smooth. Would this old beast handle 2 3/4" light loads. Or should it use only BP loads. I would like to fire it occasionally of just let it hang and look pretty. The inside of the barrel is very clean. I have not a clue how old it is?
Any input? Joe

April 23, 2009, 05:57 PM
That's a nice looking old shotgun...but it does look old. It might be risky with modern ammo. Does the barrel say "nitro proofed" or "nickel steel"... anything that indicates it was proofed for smokeless powder?

April 23, 2009, 07:14 PM
as far at I am concerned if it is old and has hammers then it is a wall hanger.

April 23, 2009, 07:59 PM
if the barrels not damascus steal or a twist barrel u can shoot it. if u clean the inside of the barrel ull find out if its black powder (itll probly be dirty) and i suggest some very very fine steal wool and gun oil rubbed all over the barrel to remove rust.

April 23, 2009, 07:59 PM
That is a nice old shotgun and certainly worth cleaning up and preserving as best possible. It doesn't appear to be Damascus barreled so it may be early smokeless era. I would have it checked out by a QUALIFIED gunsmith as to if it is still a shooter. If so, I would personally stick with light loads. I bet it would be a hoot to shoot.

April 23, 2009, 08:08 PM
It was made between 1920 and 1948 so it is made from good steel. However since it's a side hammer it probably has short chambers since 2 3/4 shells didn't come about till the 30's. It would be safe to shoot with 2 1/2 inch shells or 2 3/4 if it has the long chambers but the forcing cone will be cut wrong for modern star crimped shells to pattern well. I'd most definitely clean it up with some brass wool no matter what you decide to do with it. Don't see too many that old still showing case colors.

April 24, 2009, 04:16 PM
That gun is a Stevens is a Model 215, and was made from 1914 to 1932. I have one that was made by Riverside Arms which was one of many names that Stevens used for their guns during that time. It has 2 3/4" chambers, and I have actually shot modern reloads through mine. I would suggest light loads, if you shoot any, because the wood of the stock may have become brittle, and could crack or chip.

April 24, 2009, 05:15 PM
I would not shoot it.

I would clean it up and mount it on the wall / or just keep it .... its nice to have guns that have come down thru the family.

April 24, 2009, 06:30 PM
It has 2 3/4" chambers,

Just because your does doesn't mean his does. Best to measure the chambers. 2 3/4 shells didn't come about till the 30's. Also it wasn't J. Stevens Arms co. until 1920. Riverside are very good guns but there was actually a Riverside Arms Co. before Stevens bought them out at the turn of the century and kept the name.

May 13, 2009, 10:15 AM
I would almost be willing to bet money that it has 2 3/4" chambers, because by 1930 most all US guns had 2 3/4" chambers. By the end of WWII most US guns were either 2 3/4" or 3".

Dave McC
May 13, 2009, 08:04 PM
Stevens made good guns.


As with all guns made before WWII, a trip to a smith is mandatory. Have him/her look it over and see if it is true on face, has 2 3/4" chambers, and will handle modern light lead loads.

If so, take out out and shoot it a bit. Probably a hoot, but get the inspection first.

If chambers are short, Polywad carries 2 1/2", low pressure loads.

I have shot a couple old Stevens SxS guns, thought they were hammerless.

Good pointing and shooting guns.

Let us know how this turns out.

May 13, 2009, 08:11 PM
Guns made before the 30's did not always have 2-3/4" chambers - most had 2-1/2".....

OP - your best bet is to take it to a QUALIFIED gunsmith and have him check it out and let you know whether it is safe to shoot or not...no one here is qualified to make that determination without a serious close inspection....

May 13, 2009, 08:18 PM
Absolutely a stunner of an heirloom in the well used category IMHO! If it were handed down to me 20 years ago I would have wrongly assumed (always wrong to assume) it was safe to fire dove loads. And with the safety in ignorance clause I love to use I would likely been fine. But today I would do no more than the requisite full bore and exterior cleaning. Followed by a nice even coat of this MPHD
which does leave a noticeable dry film but is easier to remove than cosmoline. Then I would hang it on the wall and admire it every single day! If the person who handed it down to me were close (likely) I would have deep felt fond memories over my morning coffee daily!
Man I could do some mean things to the thief who broke in and stole my father's .410 mossberg bolt and dead gradfather's Winchester model 94:mad:
Both were still modern enuff shooters...

May 20, 2009, 11:57 AM
Just returned from WNC where this is hanging over my front door. Went to a gun/hardware store in town and explained to the owner what I had. He suggested using 3M synthetic steel wool and remoil. I spent a long time wiping oiling and rubbing the metal. All exterior rust came off without a lot of elbow grease. I just applied oil several times,let it sit then reapplied. The gun came apart very well into three pieces and went back together without a problem. On the bottom of the reciever it definitly was stamped Model 215. I was never able to see these markings before the cleanup. It looks much better now:) I could not bring it home to be checked out because it would be to difficult to strap it on a Harley. Maybe next time I will bring it back:cool:


May 20, 2009, 04:55 PM
because it would be to difficult to strap it on a Harley

Broken down, it will work - saw a guy Sunday in Ft. Lauderdale toting a surfboard on his motorcycle.........:eek:

August 9, 2009, 09:52 AM
Got the old SxS stevens home. I took 2 #7 2 3/4 shells and placed them in the chamber. No problem. Took both shells and removed shot and powder. Placed shells and both went bang. Good hits on both primers. I took it to a smith and he gave it the onceover. He recommended using light load 2 3/4 shot. It is nice to know I can fire this old relic once in a while. But it will remain over my door in NC. A fitting place to be admired and occasionally shot:cool:. Joe

August 9, 2009, 10:55 AM
It,s nice to see others wanting these old stevans to remain
shooters i just recently went through this same process
with an old stevans 410 22lr o/u same deal clean it real good
but not to much on the exterior im not trying to make it look
brand new .but the internals got a very good cleaning
and serius lubing multiple times. It seamed to soak up the oil.
Shoots great ,im going to use it to teach my kids to shoot.
That will make grandpa very happy it was his boyhood gun.