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STEVENS 311 SIDE BY SIDE 12G SHOTGUN INFOMATION

Discussion in 'Rifle Discussion' started by james83, Aug 5, 2012.

  1. james83

    james83 beaverton oregon I'am feeling fat and sassy

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    Hi, Everyone

    I was checking out the local pawnshops this morning seeing if there was any interesting guns and i found a very nice looking old side by side shotgun in 12 gauge, Its a Stevens model 311 with 26'' barrels and double triggers with internal hammers and very nice finish and the receiver and the stock and fore end are in pretty decent shape (a few little scratches but nothing bad and no cracks).

    A couple of things i found unusual about the gun is it has no serial number and the fore end has no takedown button/lever, They were asking $250 dollars for the gun and as im a little short on cash at the moment (rent and bills are due) and as i swore i was only looking not buying i passed on the gun. I was thinking about the gun while grocery shopping with my wife and the gun reminded me so much of the old russian baikal shotgun my grandfather gave me as a child I decided to go back to the pawnshop and put the gun on layaway until i get paid on friday.

    Anyways I have been looking for infomation about the Stevens 311 shotgun online and cant find much, Theres a few videos on youtube but they are not very informative, So im just wondering if any forum members own one of these 311 shotguns and what your opinions are of this model, Are they good shotguns? Is $250 dollars a fair price? why is there no serial number on the gun? and how the heck do you remove the fore end?

    Also how will they run the OSP background check if the gun has no serial number?

    Any and all infomation is appreciated, Thanks for reading

    -james83
     
  2. ogre

    ogre Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    I like 'em. They don't seem to get a lot of respect anymore but they are good hard working shotguns. Apparently yours was made prior to the Gun Control Act of 1968 and so did not require a serial number. My own has 28" barrels and has a serial number. Check the left side of the receiver between the trigger guard and the hinge pin. Is there a letter within a circle stamped there? The letter will tell you in which year it was manufactured. If the weapon is as you describe it I think you got good deal.
     
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  3. james83

    james83 beaverton oregon I'am feeling fat and sassy

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    Good info Ogre. I collected the gun from the dealer today and just got it home, I only looked at the gun quickly in the store before i put it on layaway last week, and on closer inspection the fore end and stock have some pretty good scratches and bumps on them, theres a little rust on the barrels but nothing major and the bores look clean and shiny, There is a lot of dust on the gun around the trigger guard and along the rib, I think im going to clean it really well and see how it looks.
    The marking with the number has an 'A' prefix and from what i found online it means the gun was made between 1949 and 1962 ?

    Im hoping this gun is ok to fire but im wondering if i should have a gunsmith look it over before i try and fire it, everything locks up tight although the top release lever is over to the left when closed.

    heres some pics of it -

    010-6.jpg
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    008-7.jpg
    007-2.jpg
    006-2.jpg
    005-3.jpg
    004-4.jpg
     
  4. M67

    M67 NW Oregon Active Member

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    I have a Stevens 5100 20 gauge SXS that has no serial # or date code which, is a letter and # in a circle. Mine has the letter but no number, which means it was made between 1931-1941, from what the experts have told me.

    Here is a photograph of the receiver where the date code can be found, if you have one. Notice mine does not have a # next to the letter in the circle.

    th_1-001.jpg

    If your action locks up tight and the barrels have no bulges or cracks, etc, it should be safe to fire.
    My Pre WWII 20g is a lot of fun to shoot.

    You might check the underneath the barrels of the shotgun for a date code. If it has one it should have a number and letter in a small circle, the letter reflects manufacture date from 1949 to 1970.

    Stevens Date Codes. It must have a number and letter within the circle, or it is pre 1949.

    A 1949
    B 1950
    C 1951
    D 1952
    E 1953
    F 1954
    G 1955
    H 1956
    I 1957
    J 1958
    K 1959
    L 1960
    M 1961
    N 1962
    P 1963
    R 1964
    S 1965
    T 1966
    U 1967
    V 1968
    W 1969
    X 1970 ?
     
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  5. M67

    M67 NW Oregon Active Member

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    I also forgot to mention that it is normal for the barrel release lever to be offset to the left. My barrel release lever is offset to the left and so have the other stevens SXS's i have seen.

    I was told, that the barrel release lever is offset, so you don't keep hitting your thumb on it while working the safety.
     
  6. james83

    james83 beaverton oregon I'am feeling fat and sassy

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    I just checked the receiver on my 311 and there is a letter D in a circle followed by the letters MO so with the infomation you kindly provided i guess that means my 311 was made in 1952?

    I think im going to give this old gun a really good cleaning this afternoon, Its got alot of dust allover it and some tiny bits of rust on the barrels in a couple of spots.

    The only major concerns i have about the gun are that i have noticed when the gun is closed if i push upwards against the fore end/grip there is a tiny amount of play in the area where the barrels meet the reciever, Its a tiny amount of play but its there. Also while pulling the triggers with snapcaps in the barrels the strike marks left by the firingpins look very messy so im thinking the firingpins could be worn out.

    Still im trying to be optimistic about the gun, Im really hoping its a shooter as i have no use for a wallhanger. Im hoping to use this 311 for some pheasant hunting in september and maybe some claytarget shooting every now and then.

    Thanks for the infomation
     
  7. M67

    M67 NW Oregon Active Member

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    If it does not have a "number and letter in the circle", it would be a pre 1949 model. Just a letter in the circle does not give you the manufacture date.

    Records for Stevens guns were lost by various causes, including a fire that destroyed many of the records. Dating the shotguns without the number and letter in the circle is very difficult, since those are about the only records left.

    The good news is, that if you ever need replacement parts, they can be found online from places like, Numrich gun parts.
     
  8. james83

    james83 beaverton oregon I'am feeling fat and sassy

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    Thanks M67

    Just looked over the old gun again and the letter D in a circle on the receiver is the only marking i can find, On the bottom of the receiver there is an oval with a number and what im sure is a letter A but its so worn down i cannot be 100% sure its an A.

    If this gun is a pre-1949 its in pretty good shape, Good to know that Numrich have spare parts for these, the slight movement in the barrels is a concern to me but i think it will fire ok, I got a new set of snapcaps out the toolbox and the firingpin strikes look better now (pair of snapcaps i was using have been used alot so i couldnt see the strikes from these firingpins to good)

    Its a very nice old gun although it is pretty heavy for a side by side, Im pretty rough when handling guns in the field so im thinking i might have a gunsmith look this one over and see if any forum members are interested in this 311, It would be a shame if i end up beating up this gun alot in the field if it is so old.

    After reading as much as i can find online about these old 311's im really surprised they are not more popular, I mean they are 100% American made and built like tanks!

    Thanks again for all the infomation
     
  9. DeanMk

    DeanMk Poulsbo, Wa. Active Member

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    Does this date coding also apply to the single shot model 94?
    I've been trying to date my brother's 94C for several years, with no success.
    All I know about it, really, is that my dad got it for my brother around 1965-1966, as a used gun, through a private sale (possibly a garage sale).
    Its 16 ga., 28" barrel, full choke (fixed) and it came with a rubber butt pad and a Leader Gun Sight.



    Dean
     
  10. Bozz

    Bozz Bellingham, Wa New Member

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    Hello,

    I regards to the date code I have found a Stevens 311 (5100) that has a date stamp of an A & B both next to each other and both letters are circled. These markings are on both the barrel and the main part of the gun. Any idea on what year this is?
     
  11. TCOV

    TCOV OLYMPIC PENINSULA Active Member

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    I believe if the barrel release lever is offset very far to the left it is a sign of wear in the lock-up. I have a 12ga and had a 20ga and the lever stayed at center on both. These were decent quality shotguns priced for the working man and at your price would be worth a gunsmiths opinion on a little work.