Making a Stevens 311 Into A Coach Gun


October 27, 2012, 05:09 PM
I'm wanting to convert my old Stevens 311C 12 gauge into a 23" barreled coach gun to play with in some Cowboy matches. I didn't want to cut down my original 28" barrels, and lose its utility as a hunting gun, so I picked up a spare set of 28" barrels for a Savage/Fox Model B on eBay that fit the 311 frame nice and tight, after a bit of careful filing. This looks like the kind of home project I can handle with hand tools and a drill press, using a mill file and a machinist square to make sure the barrels are square and even. Anybody else tried this, and run across any problems I should know about before I start cutting anything?

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October 27, 2012, 05:13 PM
Nothing much.

Other then you will probably have two holes to fill between the barrel rib solder joints.

Look at the muzzles now and you will probably see where they soldered the fillers in next to the ribs & barrels.

I have soldered a few of them.

But it makes me VERY nervous getting the barrels & ribs hot enough to solder the fillers without them separating.

I might even consider using epoxy steel now days!

It would be better then having your barrels fall apart.


October 27, 2012, 06:21 PM
I have low-temp silver solder that flows at about 450 degrees, but it requires a very tight, clean joint, and isn't really suitable for filling major gaps. JB Weld would probably work for that.

35 Whelen
October 28, 2012, 02:32 AM
I think there's a stigma that says you "must" have short barreled shotguns for CAS. My wife and I just started the game and we're using an old Fox B in 16 ga. I left the barrels as-is at 28". Other than snide comments from fellow competitors, there's nothing wrong with the shotgun and it works perfectly. I'm sure in the future there may be some scenario where a shorter barrel would be beneficial, but until then, we'll keep using this one. I measured the barrel and chokes and to my surprise one barrel is choked about skeet, and the other I/C!
I have cut SxS barrel before and I simply fille the void between the barrels with AcraGlas. After nearly 20 years, it's still holding.


October 28, 2012, 08:53 AM
i had my smith do the same thing to my old 311
it shot great but if i were to do re do it i would cut
barrels to 24"

Red Cent
October 28, 2012, 12:25 PM

The Stevens lockup prevents a good reload. I made the long rectangular bar that locks up the lever into a V. Made safety select rather than auto. 20" and soldered holes. Lightened triggers, reduced spring on lever, and reduced hammer springs. With reducedd hammer springs barrels stay open.
Midway or Brownell sales a spring kit to keep barrels open.
Remove the forearm. As you open the action, look at the screw at the joint under the gun. Barrel stop. Mark the screw and file the screw flat at the mark. Now the barrels will stay open. If you do this you can skip the springs. You will need to practice the strong hand flip. Fire the shotgun. Keep shotgun in strong hand. Move strong hand down 6" and move up quickly. That cocks the gun and extracts the hulls but the barrels will stay down with the modded screw. As soon as you start this your weak hand should be going to get two rounds for the reload. And rounds and gun should be ready to go when they meet.

I am a 1897 shooter and did this just because.

October 28, 2012, 12:56 PM
tig weld it

October 28, 2012, 07:25 PM
Been here...done this....

The 311 is never going to be competitive in CAS. If you cut the barrels, they become too light to quickly "fall" and get the action open in a hurry. I changed out the hammer springs and did the modification to get it to open wider...still no match for a Stoeger coach gun.

With out the modifications, the action does not open far enough to simply drop the spent cartridges.

The hammer springs are very stiff. They can be replaced which makes opening the action easier, but now you might have light hits and misfires.

You can buy a brand new Stoeger coach gun for $300 -$400. Not worth messing with a 311.

Been there, done that!

October 28, 2012, 08:54 PM
The real serious competitors in CAS wouldn't use one like this, I know, but I'm shooting for fun against friends at the local range. That's why I use a pair of .45 Colt revolvers and a .45 Colt lever rifle, instead of the .32s or .38s with light loads the really fast shooters use.
I would have liked to get a set of original 23" cylinder-bore Model 311 barrels, which used to be an option from Stevens for police or security guard use; they had a lot of them issued to guards at the shipyards here, once upon a time. Unfortunately, they are impossible to find used, so I'm making do with what I've got. A spare set of used barrels was less than $150, which gives me one shotgun with two sets of interchangeable barrels, rather than having to buy a whole new gun. I'll probably make a case to hold the whole set, eventually.
I appreciate all the tips from those that have done this themselves.

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