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New to me Beretta 686

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by jpalusk, Aug 31, 2013.

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  1. jpalusk

    jpalusk Member

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    For quite a while now I have been looking for an over/under for when I shoot sporting clays or everynow and then trap and hunting. I have researched all the different budget O/U's to see which would be best. Then after shooting an older beretta 686 I decided that is what I had to have. So I set out to find a deal on an older 686 field model. I didnt want anything fancy, just a nice blued gun and wood stocks. After looking and passing up on guns because they were $50 or $100 more than I wanted to spend, I decided that I was just going to go for it. I found one I liked on gunbroker and bought it. So I am the proud new owner of a Beretta 686 Onyx.

    There are a few questions I was hoping someone could help me out with. First, the serial number on the barrel and the reciever dont match. Is this something beretta did or did I get a gun that has different barrels than originally came on it? Also, is this a big deal? It seems to lock up tight and I dont plan on ever selling it. I also looked both number up and the were manufactured the same year. Second, the lever is pretty much straight up and down, and not way to the right like everyone talks about. Is this just an indication of being shot a lot? That was my initial thought, but I also remembered reading somewhere that berettas dont work like that.

    Thank you in advance for the reply's. I will post a picture when I get a chance to take one.
     
  2. eastbank

    eastbank Member

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    i have several friends who shoot the clay games with them and they like them. i shot a round of trap with one and i think i could use one with no problems at all.eastbank.
     
  3. MattShlock

    MattShlock Member

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    Great (maybe the best) "budget" guns.

    Barrels being swapped, sometimes bought new from a menu where you select a stock configuration from Column Aand it was matched with a barrel from Column B was not unusual. The lever? I never heard or noticed.

    Others will be expert on both thise points here...
     
  4. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    The only serial number that matters is the one on the receiver - that is considered the actual "firearm"; never saw a serial number on a barrel before

    Top lever needs to be right of center, not necessarily at 4 or 5 o'çlock, but definitely right of 6 o'clock.

    The oynx is a good basic entry-level O/U that should last you for a long time with minimum care. Use grease on rotating parts like the hinge pin, and oil on sliding parts. Field versions tend to be a little lighter than target versions as they are meant more for the "carry a lot, shoot a little" crowd versus target gun that get shot a lot. As long as there is no looseness or end shake, the gun should be good to go.

    Enjoy it!
     
  5. sappyg

    sappyg Member

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    I have a 686 white onyx in 20 gage. A clays gun it ain't. At 6 lbs or less this one will smack your shoulder right quick but it makes a great quail gun equal to or better than most any other gun in it's class.
    The lever on mine is now in the 5 o'clock position and I think this is due to not breaking it down and storing it assembled. The gun still locks up fine.
    I don't care so much for the enertia trigger. Lost a bird once when I was unable to get a shell in the first barrel before a flush and snapped on an empty chamber. The second barrel wouldn't fire because there was no recoil to set the second barrel's trigger.
    Regardless, these would not be my 1st choice for clays. These are hunting guns 1st and foremost.
     
  6. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    Storage assembled has nothing to do with it -opening and closing the action is what accelerates the wear on those parts

    Bump the butt with the heel of your hand - that will reset the trigger
     
  7. sappyg

    sappyg Member

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    Ahhhh that's good to know.

    As I watched my bird fly away the Last thing on my mind was bumping the butt stock to set the trigger.
     
  8. John3921

    John3921 Member

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    Or just flick the bbl selector switch on the safety.

    If the lever starts going past 6:00 the gun may fall open on recoil. I've never seen one do this - but I have heard it can happen. The locking lugs in the receiver are available in +0.015 and +0.030 sizes (IIRC) It isn't difficult to change out the lugs to the next size up. Then you'll be good for another 100,000 rounds or so. Once you've loosened up the +0.030 lugs, they can sleeve the holes in the bbl and start back with the original sized lugs.

    Keep a dab of grease on the forearm lug under the bbl, a dab of grease on the knuckles, and on the pins.

    I periodically remove the ejectors,clean them, and then put a touch of grease on the ways where the ejectors slide. Ejectors are simple to remove - push them in about 1/2 way and twist them out of their ways. Keep your thumb hanging over the edge to block the spring and plunger from launching across the room.
     
  9. jpalusk

    jpalusk Member

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    The lever is basically right at 6 oclock. It still locks up tight, with no looseness. I took it out and shot a box of shells through it yesterday and it shot like a dream. Im glad you reminded me of bumping it to reset the triggers. I knew there was a trick, but I couldn't remember it. I will pick up some gun grease today. I was going to dab some bearing grease on it but figured I should probably just pick up some intended for this purpose.

    John3921, thank you for the tip on the over size locking lugs. I am fairly handy so I think I may give this a try. Would you start with +.015 first or since it is already at 6 o'clock would you just go straight to +.030? I broke it down and gave it a good cleaning, but didnt remove the ejectors. I'll do that next round. The trigger assembly looked brand new when I pulled it apart.

    This may be a dumb question, but can this gun be switched between ejectors and extractors. When I was first playing around with it the ejectors (or extractors) seemed to pop out quickly like ejectors would, but then when I shot it they acted like extractors. I didnt know if I accidently hit a button, or if I was just seeing things at first.

    Here is a crappy picture. I will get a better one soon. berett686.jpg
     
  10. John3921

    John3921 Member

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    It isn't difficult to redo the lugs - but it takes a couple tools as you have to take out the return lever spring and it is difficult to compress without a clamp. I built my own clamp for this.

    I'd go up one size - but I wouldn't do it until it comes past 6:00. Then I'd go to J&P springs and order a spring kit for it and respring it. This is not difficult - but unless you're pretty mechanically inclined I would not do it. I learned by taking mine apart in stages and putting it back together until I understood how it all worked and comparing notes with a couple other folks I know who have learned how to work on them.

    No there is no button for extractors/ejectors. It should work as an extractor if unfired, then as an ejector when fired. What controls this is the hammer springs and the forearm levers. When you open the gun the forearm levers push the cocking rods into the receiver and cock the hammers. If the hammers are already cocked then the cocking rods don't have any resistance to cocking and the forearm levers allow the tips of the ejectors to clear and follow the action open. If the cocking rods have to cock the hammers, there is a fair amount of force there and it changes how the forearm levers move when the gun is opened. Basically they keep the ejectors fully seated until they clear the receiver and, when timed properly, release them as the gun becomes fully opened.

    If you want extractors - you call Coles Gunsmithing in Maine and buy new forearm levers and pay Coles something around and additional $50 to reprofile them to act as extractors. Do not mess with grinding off the tips of the ejectors - They are about $200 plus each to replace.

    This is a short description on dropping the trigger group to get to the cocking rods etc. http://www.shotgunworld.com/bbs/viewtopic.php?f=57&t=278811
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2013
  11. jpalusk

    jpalusk Member

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    Once again thank you John. I am pretty mechanically inclined and making the required tools hasn't ever been a problem in the past. I appreciate you walking me through how everything functions. I like to know how all the parts in my guns work so the info you are giving me is right up my alley. Is this the spring kit you were talking about? https://www.jnpgunsprings.com/product_info.php?cPath=14&products_id=241
    I think this may be a winter project when I have some time to do like you and take my time and really study it. I figured while I am at it I might as well go all the way and do the firing pins too. I am happy with how the extractors/ejectors work, I just thought I was crazy. For some reason I am having trouble finding the oversize lugs. Do you have a recomendation where I can look?
     
  12. John3921

    John3921 Member

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    Yes, thats the set. Firing pins are easy. Well, the bottom pin is easy. The upper pin requires the removal of the center lever release pin. Not difficult - but putting it back together requires getting a couple things lined up and a really small spring and pin in the right place and compressed. The upper and lower firing pins are slightly different also - so you don't want to get them mixed up. Using a slave pin helps immensely.

    Brownells is the US parts distributor for Beretta parts. Open the schematic and click on part #29 and you get several options - including a +0.015 and a plus 0.030 pin.

    http://www.brownells.com/schematics/Beretta-/686-Silver-Pigeon-Competition-sid894.aspx#r29sid894
     
  13. jpalusk

    jpalusk Member

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    I went ahead and ordered the spring kit and oversized lug so that when I'm ready for the project I will have the parts. I'm looking forward to becoming more familiar with this gun, and more importantly shooting it. I would imagine if I change these parts they won't need changed anytime soon, especially for the amount I shoot. I bought some snap caps today. Do you guys recommend storing with the gun uncocked or does it really matter?
     
  14. John3921

    John3921 Member

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    I don't think it matters one way or the other. I store my Dt-10 with the springs relaxed - but it is a different type of hammer spring.

    I wouldn't be in a big hurry to change the lugs. You might have 10,000 or 20,000 shells left in it before you need to do anything. The lugs are tapered and wear in, as they wear the lever moves further to the left. Eventually they will get to the point that they have gone as far as they can go. When that happens, it's time to change the lugs. Until the gun starts to open on recoil you don't have a problem.

    Springs are a maintenance item. The guys that shoot 20 or 30 thousand rounds a year will have an 'annual' done - which amounts to a thorough cleaning and re-springing. There is one spring in there that does physically break on occasion and thats the inertia pawl block spring. It's a 15-20 minute deal to change.

    I take my 686 apart a couple times a year, pull the trigger group out, drop the firing pins out, pull the cocking rods and cocking levers out - throw the whole works into a jar of mineral spirits and let it soak for a bit. Clean everything, dry it out, lubricate it, and reassemble it. I have been using it as a waterfowl gun so it gets used hard in all kinds of weather, so I like to be fairly thorough about cleaning it - especially after a particularly bad weather stretch or the end of the season.

    ETA: with the gun closed, note where the lever is, Then take the bbls off, move the lever slightly to the right to take pressure off of the release pin and push the release pin in, then let the lever off. Note how much further to the left it is able to travel. That should give you some idea of how much wear is left before the lugs bottom out.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2013
  15. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    It supposedly does not really matter as coil springs weaken through "work" not setting cocked, but I still release mine with snap caps, because I just always have, and that doesn't hurt anything either. I do not dry fire my shotguns - while OK for some, it is not for others, so just playing it safe and making that the habit prevents me from doing it with one of my guns I shouldn't.

    That's only those guys with the $12k Kreighoffs....... :D
    Us folks who use Brownings and Beretta tend to wait a few years until we get towards 100K. I replaced my springs and pins at 90K; now almost 300K and still going strong - same ejectors/extractors, etc.
     
  16. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    Yes, and the folks shooting competition with their megabuck Kreighoffs have a bit more money on the line than most of us. Springs are pretty cheap and might as well be replaced when the firearm is opened up for service.

    Spring steel made these days is infinitely better than spring steel made a century ago. Also the design of springs is better understood. But, old habits seem to die hard in the firearm arena.

    I find it interesting the number of replacement items done by competitors on a regular basis for competitive performance and reliability that get transferred into the general use market as gospel replacement intervals.

    It is kind of like grandma replacing the pistons and rings in her Crown Vic every day just because Don "Big Daddy" Garlits rebuilds his drag race motors after every run.:)

    Oh, and I have a 28 ga 686 that I enjoy very much.
     
  17. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    Not any more than me - I shoot against them in the same competitions. K gun triggers, while nice and crisp, are very complicated with lots of little parts that need more attention than most after a year. My lever still well to the right after replacement, ejectors still going strong, firing pins hitting hard - my springs are fine and don't need replacement, so doing that every year seems silly for my gun.
     
  18. eastbank

    eastbank Member

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    i have been shooting the clay games 2-3 times a week weather permiting( about 300-400 rounds a week), for the last three years useing a remington TB 870 a browning BT-100 a browning citori and a old winchester model 12 set up as a trap gun. with out any repairs and with only cleaning as needed. eastbank.
     
  19. jpalusk

    jpalusk Member

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    I figured changing the springs would be like changing the oil after you buy a car. I'll do it now then ill know. I would imagine it doesn't need it but I plan on pulling it apart to clean it and get a better understanding about how things work so I might as well. Does anybody have a picture of the holes that the locking lugs go into? I would like to compare mine to others. If not I can always go to Scheels and look at a new one.
     
  20. jpalusk

    jpalusk Member

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    So I had some time today and I decided to go ahead and do all the springs and the locking lug. So far disassembly has gone well and to this point I know I can get it all back together.

    I am running into a problem getting the screw that holds the return lever on, out. I have tried holding the return spring back as to take the pressure off the screw but the thing won't come loose. I don't want to get too aggressive and strip it. Is there a trick to this or did I just get a stuck one? Any help would be appreciated.

    Edit: I ended up getting the screw out and the lug changed. It all went back together very smoothly and I am glad I took time to get to know my gun. The only thing that bothers me is that my lever is still in the same spot as it was before. I am starting to think that it already had .15 over lugs in it. I can't decide whether to put the originals back in and get my money back in or exchange them for .3 over.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2013
  21. John3921

    John3921 Member

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    Please take a picture of the lever and post it. You'll need a photobucket/picasa/some sort of online photo storage site to host the photo.

    you should be able to measure the lugs with a set of calipers and note the difference.
     
  22. jpalusk

    jpalusk Member

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    Here is a picture of the lever. I need to get my dad's digital caliper and check the two.

    a033669a-b72f-402d-a81b-c4d7ecd1bc3d_zps270550e7.jpg
     
  23. John3921

    John3921 Member

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    Looks reasonable to me. I would not fool with it at that point.

    I'd be interested in the measurement's though if you get time to take a couple.
     
  24. sappyg

    sappyg Member

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    That lever looks like mine did when it was new. I think you got a good gun there.
     
  25. jpalusk

    jpalusk Member

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    Okay, so curiosity got the better of me and I ordered a +.30 lug along with a couple other little things I needed. I figured I'd put it in and if I saw results I'd leave it, if not I could just return it with the first lug that I ordered and put the original back in. First off it was visiually larger than the one I removed. I put it in and the lever is now well to the right. I put a caliper on the first one I ordered (the+.15) and it was the same size as the original that I took out. That tells me that it must have been replaced once already. Anyway here is a picture of the lever now. My guess is that I wont shoot it enough in my life to have to have to worry about this again. Thanks for all the help along the way. I tried to leave well enough alone, but it just kept nagging at me.

    e8a371a0-a5be-48e1-80c7-eed24add9dff_zps1c9eab96.jpg
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2013
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