Cartridge length question, old antique shotgun

Welcome to the Leverguns.Com Forum. This is a high-class place so act respectable. We discuss most anything here ... politely.

Moderators: Hobie, AmBraCol

Forum rules
Welcome to the Leverguns.Com General Discussions Forum. This is a high-class place so act respectable. We discuss most anything here other than politics... politely.

Please post political post in the new Politics forum.
Post Reply
wecsoger
Senior Levergunner
Posts: 1168
Joined: Sun Jun 08, 2008 8:40 am

Cartridge length question, old antique shotgun

Post by wecsoger »

Inherited a Sears Ranger model 30, re-labeled Stevens model 520, designed by our holy man John Moses Browning. (praise to his name)

Researching, this one was built 1938-1939 - crossbolt safety behind trigger guard. So says the internez.

Found an old Sears ad for the Rangers from 1933, it states 'chambered for for all shells up to 2 1/4" long.

There is *nothing* stamped on the barrel other than 'proof tested - 12 gauge'

I see nothing in the chamber to limit length and of course a 2 3/4 new round drops right in.

I've no interest in pounding out dragon killing rounds in this thing, but it would be nice to have an old functional antique.

It's been setting in my dad's gun locker for no one knows how long, and no one in family knows where it came from.

It's broken, single bar transfer and the end was snapped off. Slide flops back and forth.

Got a new assembly on the way from Numrich. $60, but worth it to me to get it running again.

I did throw some MIG weld metal on end of the old transfer bar to make it work, but I don't think it will hold.

Safe for 2 3/4? And yes, I do know about the Stevens slam-fire capability.
User avatar
marlinman93
Advanced Levergunner
Posts: 5045
Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2007 3:40 pm
Location: Oregon

Re: Cartridge length question, old antique shotgun

Post by marlinman93 »

Provided the gun checks out as a safe firearm, a low base light trap, or small upland game shell should be fine in it. I'd also stay with 1 oz. loads in low base shells. I've shot a lot of my light trap loads in older exposed hammer Marlin shotguns, and they work well. My load is 18.0 grs. of Red Dot, with 1 oz. of #7 1/2 shot. Pretty mild, but takes chukars, quail, and doves just fine, along with clay pigeons.
Pre WWI Marlins and Singleshot rifles!
http://members.tripod.com/~OregonArmsCollectors/
33wcfshooter
Levergunner
Posts: 46
Joined: Thu Mar 26, 2009 3:13 pm

Re: Cartridge length question, old antique shotgun

Post by 33wcfshooter »

Might be worth it to have a gunsmith measure the chamber or get or make a gauge yourself (can be made from an old credit card). The 2 3/4 shell will fit in a 2 5/8 chamber but isn't good for the old gun if the chamber is for the 2 5/8" because the folded crimp blows out and the chamber/forcing cone doesn't let it open fully. If it's a older short chamber RST makes shells that will fit.
piller
Posting leader...
Posts: 12652
Joined: Sat Sep 29, 2007 9:49 pm
Location: South of Dallas

Re: Cartridge length question, old antique shotgun

Post by piller »

I am certainly not an expert. What 33wcfshooter already said is what I have heard from the people I know who know about such things. It does make sense to me.
D. Brian Casady
Quid Llatine Dictum Sit, Altum Viditur.
Advanced is being able to do the basics while your leg is on fire---Bill Jeans
Don't ever take a fence down until you know why it was put up---Robert Frost
User avatar
Shasta
Senior Levergunner
Posts: 1481
Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2007 10:50 pm
Location: Shasta County in far Northern California

Re: Cartridge length question, old antique shotgun

Post by Shasta »

You could make a chamber cast very inexpensively:

https://www.levergunscommunity.org/view ... =1&t=35095

Shasta
California Rifle & Pistol Association LIFE Member
National Rifle Association BENEFACTOR LIFE Member


http://www.hcrpclub.org/schedule.html

avatar pic is Shasta Dam, Shasta Lake, & Mt. Shasta
User avatar
GunnyMack
Advanced Levergunner
Posts: 6478
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2016 7:57 am
Location: Not where I want to be!

Re: Cartridge length question, old antique shotgun

Post by GunnyMack »

I've heard of 2" , 2&1/2", 2&3/4 & 3" but never a 2 &1/4"- me thinks it was a typo at 2&1/4.

Pour a chamber cast, make a length gauge but I'd bet dollars to doughnuts its a 2&3/4" chamber.
BROWN LABS MATTER !!
hfcable
Advanced Levergunner
Posts: 2264
Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2007 1:24 pm
Location: anchorage alaska

Re: Cartridge length question, old antique shotgun

Post by hfcable »

most shotguns from that vintage are chambered 2 3/4". parker shotguns were deliberately chambered 2 5/8" for use with 2 3/4" as they thought or found that this gave better patterns.

many'shotgun authorities' say 2 5/8" chambers are okay with 2 3/4" shells but as has already been said, any gun of that vintage deserves to be used with lighter , gentler loads. if nothing else, the wood stock itself is old, the wood more dry, and it may well crack with a steady diet of heavier loads.
cable
hfcable
Advanced Levergunner
Posts: 2264
Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2007 1:24 pm
Location: anchorage alaska

Re: Cartridge length question, old antique shotgun

Post by hfcable »

GunnyMack wrote:
Thu Apr 01, 2021 1:33 pm
I've heard of 2" , 2&1/2", 2&3/4 & 3" but never a 2 &1/4"- me thinks it was a typo at 2&1/4.

Pour a chamber cast, make a length gauge but I'd bet dollars to doughnuts its a 2&3/4" chamber.
i think you are right, a typo. after the late 1920s most all american made shotguns had 2 3/4" chambers.

i have a Galazan chamber and choke guage, that is really handy and quick to measure these things.... covers everything from 10 ga to 410 gauge.

here is a link to one at midway

https://www.midwayusa.com/product/1007065086?pid=834592
cable
User avatar
GunnyMack
Advanced Levergunner
Posts: 6478
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2016 7:57 am
Location: Not where I want to be!

Re: Cartridge length question, old antique shotgun

Post by GunnyMack »

Yep, my guess was the proof reader wasn't a gun person and didn't know any better.
BROWN LABS MATTER !!
User avatar
gamekeeper
Spambot Zapper
Posts: 13973
Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2007 3:32 pm
Location: Across the pond but visible from a tall tree in Maine.

Re: Cartridge length question, old antique shotgun

Post by gamekeeper »

GunnyMack wrote:
Thu Apr 01, 2021 1:33 pm
I've heard of 2" , 2&1/2", 2&3/4 & 3" but never a 2 &1/4"- me thinks it was a typo at 2&1/4.

Pour a chamber cast, make a length gauge but I'd bet dollars to doughnuts its a 2&3/4" chamber.
I have never heard of a 2 1/4 " shotgun shell. Gunny is correct to assume a typo mistake.
.
.
To anger a Conservative lie to him, to anger a Liberal tell him the truth.
Theodore Roosevelt.
wecsoger
Senior Levergunner
Posts: 1168
Joined: Sun Jun 08, 2008 8:40 am

Re: Cartridge length question, old antique shotgun

Post by wecsoger »

Wow, what a lot of good comments. Thanks, folks.

Hadn't even thought of the credit card 'gauge'. I'll whack something up and give it a try.

As far as the typo, I apologize for not including a link to the original image that got me confused.

http://www.searsarchives.com/products/q ... hotgun.htm

The picture is the top one. I saved it for reference and blew it up, still looks like 2 1/4 to me.

Oh. Didn't mention this one is a take-down. Oddly enough, everything looks factory, but it's a 24" barrel. All the ads I see were for 28 and 30's.

Again, thanks.
hfcable
Advanced Levergunner
Posts: 2264
Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2007 1:24 pm
Location: anchorage alaska

Re: Cartridge length question, old antique shotgun

Post by hfcable »

barrel likely would be stamped with cartridge length

the ad looks like it says 2 3/4" to me

i have only had one pump that was chambered for 2.5" and that was a Union Arms ,, made about 1910- 1911[ Union arms subsequently was bought out and shotgun was then produced by
Stevens ]

glad you are fixing it and using it !
cable
User avatar
marlinman93
Advanced Levergunner
Posts: 5045
Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2007 3:40 pm
Location: Oregon

Re: Cartridge length question, old antique shotgun

Post by marlinman93 »

Doing a little research yesterday, and found out all of these made by Stevens for themselves, or Sears were 2 3/4" chambers.
Pre WWI Marlins and Singleshot rifles!
http://members.tripod.com/~OregonArmsCollectors/
Post Reply