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Old January 12, 2018, 09:05 PM   #1
Cheapshooter
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Old bolt guns

I'm kind of developing an interest in these old guns. Not beautiful, usually not finely finished. Certainly not an object of envy.
But they are the Model T of repeating shotguns. A couple years back I found a Stevens 410 model 59A. An example of my very first "my very own" shotgun. Just a couple weeks ago I bought a Marlin Model 55 chambered in 12 gauge marked 2 3/4". It has a full choke, 36" barrel, and I guess even though it doesn't say " The Original Goose Gun" it is probably a more realistic version of the goose gun than the newer ones with the name on them.
I'm sure as more old bolt guns pop up at my evil gun shop locations I will end up with more. Maybe a 20 gauge, and 16 as well so I have at least one of each of the most common bores.
My interest, besides the obvious connection to my user name, is just thinking how many meals these old work horses put on the table of farmers, and outdoorsmen that couldn't justify the cost of a more "refined" sporting arm. Or how many young boys like myself learned how to put a dinner of fried squirrel, or rabbit on our family's table.
I have a few other old "meal tickets" also. A Winchester 97 12 Ga. similar to the one my Dad had, and the first shotgun I shot. An equally well worn, but completely functional 20 Ga. Model 12, A 12Ga. Remington Model 11, and a couple more "modern" examples like a Stevens 311 16 Ga. (My second "all my own" shotgun), and a Winchester Model 50.
What a feast all these tools would have collectively put on a table through their long, and useful life as hunting firearms.
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Old January 12, 2018, 10:17 PM   #2
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I like the way you talk Cheapshooter.

I've been interested in them as well. My father and uncle's very first shotguns were bolt actions. They were Glenfield ones, (made by Marlin but cheaper storebrand/mail-order catalog). That was around 1957 or so. Some of the most interesting and affordable guns today are the using guns of the common American man. Bolt action shotguns, break open single shots, old .22's.

Not exactly about a bolt action shotgun but,...
When my grandfather came out to Idaho after WWII to start a farm out in the southwest Idaho sagebrush he didn't have much. He had a new new bride with a new baby, a WWII army truck, a milk cow, and the only gun he had was a single shot Springfield break open shotgun (basically a store-brand Stevens I think) that had the top half of the stock cut off and glued to the bottom (to give more drop in the stock). Even though he didn't like that gun, particularly because the stock wanted to rest in his armpit, he had to use it those first lean years to take sage-grouse and pheasants. He didn't care much for eating birds so he was quite relieved when after a few years he was rich enough to have a herd of beef cows. My father still owns that shotgun, and I or my brother will probably have it someday.

I got lots of old 1940's - 1960's farm and hunting stories from my fathers childhood, but I'll save them for another time.
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Old January 12, 2018, 11:57 PM   #3
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Be careful with Sears 12 gauge bolt guns. They had a habit of breaking receivers behind the bolt. Sears had a recall on them for years. I think they were made by High Standard but don't quote me on it. AFAIK the problem was only with the Sears branded guns.
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Old January 13, 2018, 12:08 AM   #4
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I still have my bolt action Westernfield...16 ga, Full choke shotgun that my grandpa gave me about 57 yrs ago today ( since I just turned 67 today ....).

I killed a lot of Ruff and Blue grouse with that gun as a kid in Northwestern Montana....

I have not shot it much in last 20 yrs....but I have taken it out to a skeet field, once in a while...and its still "serviceable"...
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Old January 13, 2018, 12:08 AM   #5
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Probably when I buy more I'll stick with Mossys, Marlins, or Stevens.
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Old January 13, 2018, 08:12 AM   #6
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bolt shotguns are known to be the weakest actions out there. though interesting on the utility end of the gun world, there is a reason they were. proceed with caution. many may be worn out.
fyi...there was a time when bolt shotguns were offered to LEOs as a economic option for a dept. they were even cataloged. it never went over very well.
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Old January 13, 2018, 08:35 AM   #7
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Few months back browsing my LGS spotted Steven's 258B in 20 ga. stock had typical storied nicks, barrel in good shape, no rust, no pitting, missing mag tho.. Thoughtlessly I shot out a fifty dollar offer and was accepted. Brief research and $25 bucks later I had a mag and a piece of history in my gun case to go along with my dad's MonkeyWards side by side 16ga and the Higgins 12 ga that he raised his son's on. Just a nice little cheap historical collection of one break action, one pump,and bolt shotgun, all of which are at least 15- 25 yrs older than I. Thanks Cheapshooter for validating my urge that some at my range rolled their eyes at.
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Old January 13, 2018, 08:45 AM   #8
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Cheapshooter,
Your 36" gun sounds like a "turkey shoot" gun.
Turkey shoots are a locally organized event usually held in the evenings after work.
Known distance (20 yards i think) and shoot at a square of paper that has a small star printed in the center. Closest pellet to the star, or most pellets in the star wins. Usually a turkey.
Most clubs have you use their ammo, and usually 2 3/4".

Myself i have a Hawthorne bolt 410. Has a very light weight cherry stained stock.
The lines are actually quite pleasing.
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Old January 13, 2018, 08:52 AM   #9
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Old bolt guns

I killed a lot of ducks with a Mossberg 185k not because of its handling capabilities but because of the c- choke.

Growing up in the 70’s old cheap shotguns was what I had, Winchester md 37 in 20&16 gauge and latter Fulton SXS in 16 was my go to upland bird gun.

I still carry the Old man’s md 50 for turkey every year.


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Old January 13, 2018, 11:04 AM   #10
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I still wow people on doubles skeet with my moss-183k 410 bolt. smooth gun.
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Old January 13, 2018, 01:56 PM   #11
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I owned a Stevens bolt action 16 gauge for a time. It balanced poorly and swinging on moving game was less than ideal. But it fired buckshot into very pleasing patterns out to about 30 yards or so.

Jack
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Old January 13, 2018, 02:47 PM   #12
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std7mag A sportsmans club I belong to holds two meat shoots every year. Modern card guns are custom built with all kinds of refinement. However they are built to shoot the veey tight patterns with small shot. We use #6 which negates most of their advantage. The long barreled Marlins were thought to add some distance to a tight pattern for waterfowl hunting. Thus the "goose gun" name that eventually was engraved on thr barrel of later models of the long barreled Model 55 Marlins.
The long barrels don't really give and advantage now. Don't know if they ever did. Possibly in the days before plastic shot cups were used they did.
But our meat shoots did enter my mind when I saw this long barreled Marlin for sale.
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Old January 13, 2018, 05:52 PM   #13
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36" goose bbls were for aiming precise shots at high up geese on vertical shots.
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Old January 14, 2018, 11:45 AM   #14
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The first gun I ever fired was a .410 bolt action. My LGS has a few used ones sitting on the racks begging me to take one home every time I walk in. Maybe soon.
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Old January 14, 2018, 12:22 PM   #15
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Clunky

I can't think of a better definition for a bolt action shotgun.

Someone mentioned the Sears bolt actions. Lots of them out there W/O the bolt.
I think Sears still pays for the bolt from those guns, maybe not.
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Old January 14, 2018, 05:30 PM   #16
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I can't deny that I've been intrigued by a few bolt action shot guns on the used market recently. They've mostly been Mossbergs including a couple that looked like bolt actions, but we're actually pump action.
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Old January 14, 2018, 05:37 PM   #17
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Those odd looking pumps were 200k's
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Old January 14, 2018, 06:13 PM   #18
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sears no longer pays for bolt returns.
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Old January 14, 2018, 10:08 PM   #19
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Quote:
sears no longer pays for bolt returns.
I doubt Sears pays for anything these days.

I think my next bolt gun quest might be one of those 16Ga. Mossberg Model 190s. Was always a bit intrigued with that tacky long trigger guard running down the grip with finger grooves in it.
But oh boy. of the Evil Gun Shop Lady up North ever gets her hands on one of those goofy looking pump guns, it's mine!
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Old January 14, 2018, 10:17 PM   #20
stuckinthe60s
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hmmmm...I got some old 60's 70's gun guides showing bolt gun models from each company in the day.
I was going to auction it off but.....if you hit that pm button, maybe we can deal! ;>
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Old January 14, 2018, 10:19 PM   #21
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hey cheaps...I gotta warn ya. it starts with bolt guns....then it turns into lever action shotguns next. I warned ya!
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Old January 15, 2018, 05:21 PM   #22
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Being an old codger, in my mind, lever action, bolt actions and semi-automatics are rifles in my mind and break barrel, double barrel and pump actions are shotguns. That is what I saw and used when I was a kid in the 60s and we get set in our ways.
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Old January 15, 2018, 07:21 PM   #23
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Quote:
Being an old codger, in my mind, lever action, bolt actions and semi-automatics are rifles in my mind and break barrel, double barrel and pump actions are shotguns. That is what I saw and used when I was a kid in the 60s and we get set in our ways.
I've got a lever action 12 gauge that's a lot older than you are. I've been shooting it since I was a kid in the 60's.
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Old January 16, 2018, 12:42 PM   #24
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You can't escape your youth no matter how hard you try. As a boy on the farm (in the late 1940's Hawg and osbornk) I always wanted a bolt action shotgun but never got one. When I became an old codger, and after many other guns, I found a J.C.Higgins (Sears) 20 gauge bolt at my LGS and had to have it. It was almost new condition with well finished walnut stock and great blued steel. The tube magazine loads through a port in the bottom of the action, just like a Browning BPS and many other respected scatterguns. The action is smooth (sort of) and it handles well (sort of). I like to shoot it.

The knock on bolt actions has always been they are too slow with the second shot. That's true for birds but I think they are fast enough for squirrel hunting and rabbit hunting, especially if using a dog on bunnies. Actually, I never tried it, but a bolt might not be too bad for ducks over decoys.

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Old January 16, 2018, 03:22 PM   #25
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Well osbornk, I may have a couple years of codgerness on you. Born in 1947 that first "all my own" Stevens bolt gun came to me arounf 1958, or 59. So to me, bolt guns were shotguns as much as rifles.
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