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Old October 6, 2012, 10:53 AM   #1
Join Date: July 6, 2012
Location: Omaha, NE
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Repair Question and Small Venting

Okay...I purchased a competition target gun in late May. It was used and purchased through a reputable national chain. The shotgun has worked very well throughout the summer, having approximately 3500 rounds put through it between practice and competition (about a 80/20 split between original factory loads and reloads respectively). Anyway, I went to practice yesterday, and just before finishing my first box, the forearm breaks on me (picture attached). The damage is not bad, and none of the mechanical elements of the forearm have broken. Regardless...I have to wonder if I got taken to the cleaners if my used gun breaks after just barely four months of solid use.

A stock fitter who recently installed my adjustable butt-plate said that it appear to be an extremely solid gun and that the iron should last for a while (iron is figurative...I realize I'm not shooting an actual iron weapon). That being said, I'm wondering if it's worth keeping if I get the forearm replaced. I was going to send this to Briley or Kolar this winter to get sub-guage tubes for skeet. Now I'm wondering if I need to unload this ASAP and just get a new, or at least a used gun that is of a higher quality (Blaser, Kolar, Krieghoff, etc.) and designed for skeet/trap/sporting clays?

I'm looking for any advice on what to do. I'm relatively new to gun ownership, but I assume that any malfunction like this needs to be fixed ASAP, and that we can never look at a break like this a no bid deal. I assume that firing the weapon in the current condition is inadvisable for safety reasons or the potential of doing more damage.

Regardless...I'm a little upset and wonder if I got screwed on this purchase. I don't blame the retailer...but should I?
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Old October 6, 2012, 11:07 AM   #2
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Call the mfgr and talk to a service rep. I'm sure the mfgr. will make things right for you.

You did not say who made the gun.

The retailer just sells things, any service or replacement parts still have to come from the mfgr.
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Old October 6, 2012, 11:10 AM   #3
Join Date: July 6, 2012
Location: Omaha, NE
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It's a Winchester Select Energy Sporting. They are no longer in production (as of about 2007) and can only by found on the website by checking the "historic products" page.

Additional question...if I've been using too much oil when cleaning/storing my firearm, might that have softened the wood to the point that this type of breakage is actually my doing?

I always make sure that I do a complete wipedown using a cleaning cloth every time I clean the gun or place it back in it's case.
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Old October 6, 2012, 05:46 PM   #4
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Do you know if the gun was the gun shop's gun or on consignment? It wouldn't be the first time a gun with a problem was sold to the expecting. The wood may have been damaged, but you failed to notice it -- what the seller was hoping.
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Old October 6, 2012, 06:49 PM   #5
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I'm assuming you know that Browning owns Winchester - and that FN Corp is the parent for both..../ I don't know if you can still call Winchester for service or if it all goes to Browning now - but on a used gun I don't know they're going to help you or not anyway. The question on an older forend like that - is do they still have that style of forend stock on hand / if you want to replace it. Even if you replace just the forend / it won't match the stock its usually better to replace both if you want to go down that path.

I've been around a lot of shotguns - and I've never seen a forend fail like that....but I doubt its any oil that might have weakend that spot on the forend.

What I would consider doing - is find a knowledgeable woodworker or stock maker - and let them take a look at it / see if they can tell if its been repaired before or if it may be long term damage. They might also be able to repair it / by inserting a piece of new wood into the forend where it failed ...maybe come up with something close to what is there now - so the repair looks almost seamless - but that will mean a fair amount of labor in refinishing as well - unless you can do some of the work yourself.

You could always go to a stock maker and have the gun restocked / probably for around $ 1,500 for something relatively plain.

There is a big leap in quality from an older Winchester model ...even to a current Browning Citori model in target grade guns ...let alone to a Blaser, Perazzi, Kolar, etc..and maybe a much bigger investment. I don't want to be unkind ...but the Winchester model you're shooting has never been very popular - and its certainly not a higher end gun / not a gun that most of us would ever consider having a full length set of tubes made for.
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Old October 6, 2012, 10:35 PM   #6
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BigJimP and others:

Thanks for the advice. The gun was as much as I could afford at the time, given that I was not 100% sure I'd really enjoy skeet shooting or competition.

After my first summer though, I've fallen hard. Getting something like a Blaser, Kolar, or Krieghoff is an exceptional investment...but for a lifetime of worry free shooting and top-notch competition I think it will be worth it for me.

I'll check with a local stock maker to see what a repair or a new fore-arm will cost. I'd like to avoid getting the an entirely new stock and forearm since that will probably cost more than the gun is worth. In the end, I think I might make the minimum repairs and then sell the gun (which I will honestly be able to say is in much better condition than when I bought it). Even if saving up means I spend a summer or two out of competition, I'm starting to think that it may be worth saving up until I can purchase something that will last me a lifetime. I may also look for a used quality gun with tubes and a case already in the package.

Based on quality, I'm starting to see exactly why the serious skeet competitors are all shooting the same very high quality brands.

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Old October 6, 2012, 11:12 PM   #7
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That small piece off to the side looks like it may have three fasteners the tips of which are similar to impressions in the forearm. They may be part of the original manufacturer or I may be seeing things, but it looks to me like a prior repair job blew out.
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Old October 7, 2012, 07:21 AM   #8
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Wood cracks, and does other things, too.
That's why synthetic stocks were invented.
If you like the gun, just replace the piece and keep going.
The rest of the gun isn't affected, is it?
Walt Kelly, alias Pogo, sez:
“Don't take life so serious, son, it ain't nohow permanent.”
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Old October 7, 2012, 10:56 AM   #9
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If the repair is done right .../ so its basically transparent - it would be fine. But if you can see the crack or the repair ...for most of us it would aggravate us every time we picked up the gun....

However, to repair it ....and keep it as a backup gun / maybe a training gun for young shooters, etc is fine too. Or if you sell it - just disclose what happened and how you repaired it ...if you're honest it'll still be attractive to someone / at some kind of a fair price.

We all have budgets...don't ever apologize for doing what you thought was right at the time !!

Having said that - yes, I think its probably time to save some money and consider moving on. A "pedestrian" level competition gun - very capable of going 500,000 to a million shells with no issues a Browning Citori XS Skeet 12ga available in both 28" and 30" barrels and with an adjustable comb - I think its a gun that will fit 99.9% of the shooters out there ( it has a parallel comb / they're listing for around $ 3,500 right now / but I've seen them new in a box in my area for around $3K.

Tube sets are a different issue ....and while I like the idea / tubes add at least 10oz to the weight of a gun if you tube a 12ga - then in 20ga, etc its 10oz heavier..../ the better option is to have a 2nd barrel bored out - to become a Carrier Barrel ...and carrier barrel is only shot with the tubes in it the 12ga and the 20ga tube set weighs the same. But that option will add another $2K or so to the issue.../ but its a way better option.

Browning XS Skeet model / or Beretta DT-10 ...are both production guns ...a lot less money than Perazzi, Blaser...let alone Kolar or Krieghoff...and both of those guns will last for many generations. There are of course other Browning and Beretta options / depending on what fits you ...but unless you really know what stock dimensions you need...a gun with a parallel comb is probably your best option.

In competition guns...don't overlook some of the semi-autos from Beretta / they have a lot of nice guns out now ...or the Benelli Super Sport model as well with the comfort tech system for about $2K. It isn't just about O/U's - although I prefer them / the Super Sport is my travel gun - one gun that does everything...and its my foul weather gun since its synthetic. So the point is do have other options. ( you can't tube a semi-auto of course)...

and good luck...with whatever you decide...
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