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Couple of questions about an inherited shotgun

Discussion in 'Rifle Discussion' started by Angie, Jul 10, 2013.

  1. Angie

    Angie Reno, NV Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    So I inherited this beautiful Iver Johnson double barreled shotgun. Doing some research, I found it's pretty valuable if you can find the right buyer and that there isn't a whole lot of information on them. I found a book online written by W.E. Goforth that is out of print and ranges from $150-$350 :wow: The serial numbers are S 3303 E . Best I can tell, it was made in the 30s. Anyone here know anything about them?


    Let me preface the following question with the fact that I've never shot a shotgun before, only pistols: I'm not sure if it's a 16 gauge or 20. I've cleaned it up, as it hadn't been cleaned since last used, but it was in a very cool leather luggage case. I bought some 20 gauge shells today, and while they hold at the top of the barrels, if I pull them out, say 1/2 inch, there is extra space on the sides. Should there be "wiggle room" or should they fit fairly snug? Should I just go get some 16 shells and see if they fit better? Please excuse my ignorance :bluelaugh:

    edit: I have now shot a shotgun. .410 that we have had for a while
     
  2. Sgt Nambu

    Sgt Nambu Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I can't believe its gauge isn't stamped or engraved on the bbl. shells should slide in easily but no wiggle. Have it checked! Don't experiment!

    Wait! Here are the Standred bore diameters listed on the web
    16ga - 0.732"
    20ga - 0.685"
    Got a dial caliper or adjustable bore gage available? Lots of people have dial calipers, reloaders, machinists, mechicanics etc. you probably know someone who has one. Good luck!!!
     
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  3. Angie

    Angie Reno, NV Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    It doesn't. I've been all through it cleaning it. Extractors and firing pins were so gummed up we had to use a tool to move them. Just has a patent date of 1915 and the serial number on all three pieces. No gauge. Hoping it's a 20 because I'm pretty small and want to feel comfortable with it.
     
  4. xlsbob

    xlsbob coos county Platinum Supporter Platinum Supporter

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    Research before putting in a shell that sorta fits, don't ask how I know..... Wait a bit and someone will have definitive answers. For modern stuff a 16 wont chamber in a 20 but will in a 12. Know anybody with a 16?
     
  5. Gaucho Gringo

    Gaucho Gringo Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    If it is that old it is most likely a 16 ga. 20 ga really wasn't popular until the advent of plastic shells and wads. If the shell wiggles in the bore, IT IS THE WRONG SIZE. Be safe-not sorry. Guns are not toys.
     
  6. Spitpatch

    Spitpatch Forest Grove, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Grab shells. Put 'em in. Don't shoot unless they fit just fine. Then: shoot your eyeballs out. You have one of the finest, early good shotgun makers in America. Go kill a Pheasant. Fine gun. I envy you. Don't EVER sell it, except to me who killed my first Pheasant 50 years ago with an Iver Johnson 16ga. My guess is your gun is 16 ga, available at WalMart at last check.

    No charge for this service, Drive Safely.
     
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  7. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Photos would be nice.

    Open the action.


    A US Dime (.705") will not fit into a 20ga chamber (approx. .693-694"

    A US Penny (.750") will not fit into a 16ga chamber (approx. .738-.740")

    A US Nickel will not fit into a 12ga chamber

    So if you can fit a dime but not a penny you have a 16ga if a dime won't fit you have a 20ga. If a Penny will fit you have a 12ga.

    Also being as old as the gun is you also have to deal with chamber length as 16ga started out with a 2 9/16" chamber length and then in about 1930-31 Remington and some of the other makers went to a 2 3/4" chamber which all shells are made in now.

    If your gun is really that old it would be best to run it by a gunsmith and have them measure the chamber to be sure. Not worth messing up a nice gun.
     
  8. Angie

    Angie Reno, NV Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Thanks, guys. I think I'm just going to take it back to SoCal with me next weekend (I've been in Reno since Mud-June) and have my gunsmith friend look at it and make sure it's all up to snuff before I pull the trigger. I will try to post pictures tomorrow.

    I was trying to avoid taking it back to Kalifornia since they seem to come up with new gun laws everyday, I cant keep track of them, and there aren't many places to shoot anyway.
     
  9. Angie

    Angie Reno, NV Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Here are the pics. I didn't realize the one of the whole gun put together was so blurry until I already had it broken back down and put away.

    photo-31.jpg photo-30.jpg photo-29.jpg photo-28.jpg

    photo-31.jpg

    photo-30.jpg

    photo-29.jpg

    photo-28.jpg
     
  10. Angie

    Angie Reno, NV Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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  11. Ben Beckerich

    Ben Beckerich NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Last pic didn't work.

    You should hack the barrel down to the foregrip, cut off the stock, tap for a rail piece and mount a m68 to the top. Load with slugs. You could kill armies of lions with it. Well, at least two lions, if they were really close, and not actively charging at you.
     
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  12. Angie

    Angie Reno, NV Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Interesting. I'll try again. Now the picture of the barrel pitting is in the second picture.

    And I found your post humorous ;)

    photo-27.jpg

    photo-26.jpg

    photo-25.jpg
     
  13. Gaucho Gringo

    Gaucho Gringo Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    Nice example of an old double shotgun. You should be proud to own it.
     
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  14. xlsbob

    xlsbob coos county Platinum Supporter Platinum Supporter

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    A little pitting at end of the barrel is no big deal. Once you figure out the gauge shoot it and enjoy an heirloom. At least for me it's kind of fun to shoot the old family guns, a little connection to the past