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Old January 25, 2018, 10:33 PM   #1
deerslayer303
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H&R Topper M48

Hey Guys,
I was given an old Topper M48 16ga. It was made in 1947. It has a broken firing pin. But other than that the old gun seems to be in good shape. Do you guys think it is safe to shoot? After I get a firing pin for it of course. It won't get anything but #8's and maybe the heaviest a #6 to shoot a bunny or two. Thanks for any input.

Last edited by deerslayer303; January 26, 2018 at 05:20 PM.
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Old January 28, 2018, 11:06 AM   #2
Goatwhiskers
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Thousands of those old guns still in service, repair it and use it. I will point out that the size of shot used has nothing to do with anything. That single shot is pretty lightweight, so I suggest that you use trap loads rather than "heavy game" loads loads to keep recoil down. Also remember that "high brass" and "low brass" mean nothing, it's the weight of the shot load and the amount of the powder charge that count. GW
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Old January 28, 2018, 12:50 PM   #3
Ricklin
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Agreed

I too would start with light trap loads, 7/8 or 1 oz. of 8s. 1050 FPS or thereabouts.
My point is start off with light loads both in deference to the age of the old gun, plus these old lightweight single shots will get your attention, recoil wise.

If you plan on shooting it much keep your eyes open for a 16 ga. reloader. Shooting 16 ga. gets pricey.

Shotshell reloading is a good place to start reloading. No load work ups, it's pretty much a cookbook procedure.

I keep a lookout for a 16 ga. model 12 to add to the herd. Not hard to find a 16 ga. cheap, vs. the 20 ga. which goes for much more.

The 16 ga. Model 12 has a wonderful feel, light and lithe, but has more punch than the 20.
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Old January 28, 2018, 01:12 PM   #4
T. O'Heir
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"...get a firing pin..." That might be an issue. Gunparts shows 2 types of FP. I'm guessing(very big guess at that) your's is an "Old Model" that's out of stock. The newer type has a longer pin and its body is square.
https://www.gunpartscorp.com/gun-man...-topper?page=2
In any case, unless the thing is badly rusted or otherwise clearly unsafe to shoot(doesn't lock properly, etc.) there's no reason to assume it is unsafe.
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Old January 28, 2018, 09:37 PM   #5
deerslayer303
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Thanks for the Replies guys! Yes I meant light low brass payloads when I said #6 and #8's.
T. O'Heir,
The firing pin that came out of this gun looks different than anything listed on gunparts.com. My pin doesn't have a flat side for the set screw to ride in. Which the whole thing puzzles me. I did find a pin from a Topper M48 on ebay that looks identical to mine so I ordered it. I am going to have a machinist make me a new pin for it when I get the new one in.
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Old January 28, 2018, 09:38 PM   #6
deerslayer303
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Here is a pic of the pin that came out of my gun.

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Old January 29, 2018, 11:56 AM   #7
Pahoo
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Quote:
Do you guys think it is safe to shoot?
Slayer,
Based on your description, I don't see why not. However, if in doubt why not take it to a smith or test fire it, using the old tire method? When I was a kid, I took a lot of chances that I would no longer take. .....

These actions were great at popping firing pins when dry-fired. I guess one of my first "smithing" project, was making firing pins out of old screwdrivers. I did not have a lath so I used a drill press and files. Learned the hard way to put a radius where the pin meets the body. .....

Be Safe !!!
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Old January 29, 2018, 01:28 PM   #8
deerslayer303
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Thanks Pahoo! I think I will proof test it with the Caldwell LOL. It's such a cool old shotgun. It looks cool to me with its 30" barrel. Has a nice steel trigger guard too. The inside of the barrel is nice and shiny chrome. When it was offered I just couldn't pass it up. And I just CAN'T not fix it up. Not worth a whole lot monetarily but I don't care

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Old January 29, 2018, 01:32 PM   #9
hdbiker
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Years ago I was given and old Stevens .410 single shot with a broken firing pin but otherwise in nice shape.I started with a hardware store grade 8 bolt and a Dermal tool. While watching a football game I made my own firing pin that's still working today. hdbiker
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