View Full Version : Stiff cocking Stevens 311

January 1, 2010, 07:57 PM
I recently bought a Stevens 311 A 12 ga. (Sears marked gun) about 50 years old and in real nice shape. My issue is the gun is quite stiff when cocking. My 20 ga 311 pretty much cocks from the weight of the barrels when it is opened. The 12 ga. you have to pull down on the barrels to cock it. It was very stiff when I got it, I cleaned it and polished the mating surfaces between barrel assy. and receiver. It freed up quite a bit but is still quite stiff to cock.
I compared the engagement of the cocking plunger between the 12 ga and the 20 ga and they are quite different, the cocking plunger on the 20 ga. has far more leverage. There is probably .100 to .150 difference between the way the cocking plunger engages the cocking lever between the 2 guns.
I have had the 20 ga. since new, it has never been messed with. I bought the 12 ga. off of gunbroker so I don't know it's history.
I find the stiff cocking of the 12 to be annoying vs. the 20. It will also be a little slower to reload in the field. It does work fine.

I looked on Numrich and they list 2 different cocking plungers for the 311A one is 1.850 OAL and the other is 1.720 OAL. I am thinking I need the one that is 1.720 OAL as the 12 ga. has the one that is 1.850 OAL in it now.

Anyone have experience with this??

January 2, 2010, 02:07 AM
Hate to answer my own thread but perhaps the info will help someone. The cocking plunger on my 20 ga. is the same part but is 1.720 OAL. I swapped the cocking plungers between my 12 ga. and my 20 ga. and now the 20 ga. is stiff to cock and the 12 ga. is much improved.
Cool, I'll order a new one from Numrich. I think this must have been an improvement on the 311 over the years my 20 ga. is about 20 years newer than the 12 ga.

George R
January 2, 2010, 11:35 AM
Another approach is to change the hammer springs. Wolff has reduced power springs that will make cocking a lot easier. However, changing the hammer springs without a tool is tough. You need to be a gorilla. Brownell's Gunsmith Kinks has a couple of plans for homemade tools for this.