Texas Ranger Single Shot Info


March 29, 2004, 07:16 AM
I know this is a long way from a fine double, but a friend gave me an old single barrel shotgun that I believe to be a Stevens, but I'm not sure. All the markings on the gun say are Texas Ranger and the barrel says: "barrel and lug forged one piece". I don't know anything about this gun, it has a casehardened receiver, and a very long, though I don't know how long, barrel and it's 12 guage. The gun is tight and the bore is excellent. My only interest in this gun, aside from the fact that it was free, was that I started out hunting with a single shot 12 guage and I wouldn't mind taking this out this fall for old times sake. Any idea how old it is? I'm guessing 40's or 50's.

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March 29, 2004, 09:13 AM
I don't have a referance for Texas Ranger, but the Ranger was Stevens and I bet yours is the same. If there's a letter in front of the serial number I can tell you when it was made.

March 29, 2004, 09:45 AM
Thanks for the info, there is no serial number visable now, when I break it down I'm sure I'll find one, thanks for the info.

Dave McCracken
March 29, 2004, 05:38 PM
I've seen a couple of these. They looked more like I Johnson's than Stevens', but it's been a long time and I could be wrong.

Many old singles have no serial number, a 3 or 4 digit number on the water table is likely an assembly number.

Also, Texas Ranger handguns were cheap imported pistols, the $2 pistol in the old metaphor. These may be Belgian also.

Many of these have been cursed by The Demon Of Short Chambers and should not be used without a good smith's imprimatur. Short, low pressure shells are out there but neither cheap nor common. If it does accept modern ammo, a 1 oz load will kill lots of game but will spare the shoulder.

There's a strange and common fascination among us about these old singles. Maybe it's the memories. Maybe it's the fact that it's the minimal shotgun possible. Maybe simple fun has an appeal in these complex and dark times.

Whatever it is, everyone should take Uncle Zeb's Long Tom or similar out once in a while, provided it passeth the smith's scrutiny. A walk through game habitat with a pocketful of shells and one of these is stress management at its finest....

March 29, 2004, 10:15 PM
I took it apart this evening and the serial number is 5XX KV, there aren't any other markings. I checked a 1927 Sears Roebuck catalog at the library and the stevens shotguns listed there did not look like this one, they looked like they might have been a newer style so I'm not sure about the vintage. The barrel is the full 36" so I guess it might be a knockoff on the long tom guns.

March 29, 2004, 10:56 PM
Or at the very least I'm wrong. That isn't a Savage serial number. My cross reference doesn't mention Johnsons, guess the guy was on lunch break. There really is something about those single shots. All of us, wether we prefer doubles, pumps or autos, still seem to have an old single hidden away somewhere.

March 29, 2004, 11:42 PM

What's a "water table" on a shotgun? That's a new one on me.


Dave McCracken
March 30, 2004, 06:24 AM
On a double or single, Steve, it's the flat of the action part forward of the standing breech and out to the hinge pin.

Sorry, I get technical sometimes...

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