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New to me Stevens 311a, looking for info

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by 7mmsavage, Feb 15, 2020.

  1. 7mmsavage

    7mmsavage Member

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    Hey gang thought I’d share a new toy that my gem of a wife just gave me. I’ve been saying I wanted one for the last year or so and she popped this one on me out of the blue. She said my 12 year old son helped pick out which one to get. He like the condition of this one and the fact that he also shoots a 20 gauge.

    So it’s a basic Stevens model 311a 20ga. with double triggers. It’s got some honest wear but I think it’s really cool and not in bad shape for it’s age. Barrels look great inside and it locks up nice and tight. The hinge is also really tight. Almost feels like it still needs to be broken in.

    I’ve researched a little and know for sure it’s a pre 68 with no serial number. The date code wasn’t stamped very well and I can’t make out the letter to tell what year it was made. There are also all kinds of other letters and stampings on the frame under the barrels. Have any of you dealt with enough of these to tell what this date code might say? The letters S and T are on the frame under the barrels, just in front of the firing pins. I imagine these were to designate how each barrel was choked? Thanks for any help.

    FAJOwyJ.jpg
    XUBklyE.jpg
    S6uqCH2.jpg
     
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  2. Shanghai McCoy

    Shanghai McCoy Member

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    Classic... :thumbup:
     
  3. PapaG

    PapaG Member

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    Probably 98% of them were schooled m and f. Right and left respectively. If not, m and ic. I just sold the twin out yours last weekend. Nice catch. Nobody mass produces doubles in the u.s. anymore, at least at common man prices.
     
  4. EIB0879

    EIB0879 Member

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    I used a double 20 when I was a kid. It is on my bucket list to get one for my collection.
     
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  5. Ks5shooter
    • Contributing Member

    Ks5shooter Contributing Member

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    Love the 311s,affordable and good shooters.
     
  6. Cvans

    Cvans Member

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    Looks like the one I picked up recently. Mine is Mod. and C. Planning to use it for informal skeet and should work good. I think your going to like it a lot. Hunted over one for years.
    Get yourself a choke gauge. Not expensive and handy.
    20200216_145428.jpg
     
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  7. 7mmsavage

    7mmsavage Member

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    Thanks guys. My plan for this one is the same as yours Cvans. Just skeet and trap with the family and friends. No competitions and I don’t know if I’ll ever hunt with it or not. Who knows I may take up squirrel hunting, I keep talking about it just never do it.

    Really I just wanted one because I’ve always liked old side by sides. Most guys at the range shoot over unders and autos. I’m pretty excited to get it out and break some clays soon.
     
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  8. Charlie Martinez

    Charlie Martinez Member

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    Mine is a 12 Gauge I picked up while shopping for a CAS shotgun. It was (is) in such good shape that I decided to not shorten the barrels or make any modifications for CAS whatsoever. I used it as is for many years in CAS & I wasn't the fastest scattergunner in my league but I didn't care. It has hardwood stocks, no rubber recoil pad & 28-inch barrels marked M & F choke. I would like to know more about it so if there are any Steven 311 experts reading this any information you can offer on the 311 will be appreciated.
     
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  9. possumbelly220

    possumbelly220 Member

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    The first gun that I bought with my own hard-earned money was a 311. I was 14yrs. old at the time. Mine was a 12 gauge and I put many,many rounds through it in the south GA dove fields. Never had a problem with it except the day I got it. I put both of my fat fingers on the triggers and pulled the front one first.Yep, both barrels went off. I learned real quick to pull the back trigger first! If I remember correctly the choke markings was on the bottom of the barrels under the forearm, mine was mod. and i/c. I could be wrong, that was about 47 years ago.
     
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  10. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    Normally the right barrel will have the more open choke. Most with 26" barrels were IC in the right barrel, modified in the left. Longer barrels were modified and full. There are just enough exceptions that it wouldn't hurt to check. You can fire either barrel 1st depending on the situation. With most upland game where you are shooting flushing game you want the more open choke 1st. But for dove and some other shots the tighter choke might need to be fired 1st.
     
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  11. Mark1964

    Mark1964 Member

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    My first gun was a 311D in 20 gauge. I was 12.
    IIRC , and it was about 44 years ago, the ticket came to $175 for the new 311D, an inexpensive soft case, a Hoppe's cleaning kit, and a box of Win Super X high-brass game loads in No. 6.
    I was one happy kid.
     
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  12. wgp

    wgp Member

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    My first s/s was a 20 ga 311, bought in mid-80s (I think) because it was the least expensive way to see whether I'd like a double. I did like it, and I hope you do to -- but the barrels on mine were so poorly regulated that it did not shoot anywhere near point of aim. I wondered why I couldn't hit anything, then I patterned it it was plain to see. Sold it to a fellow who did not care. Hope you have better luck.
     
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  13. entropy

    entropy Member

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    Nice! I had 2, the first a 12 ga. with the Tenite (plastic stock) that kicked like a mule! It was my first 12 ga. duck gun and the one I quadded on bluebills with. Got rid of it when my Dad gave me his old 1100 when he bought an 1100 Mag. The second was a 16 ga. that my Dad sold to me when he bought a A-5 Sweet Sixteen. He had cut it down to 20" for grouse. It was a great little woods gun, bagged lots of squirrels, grouse, even a woodcock or two with it.
    My pheasant hunting buddy (and occasionally guide, on the days he has to work at the game farm) has a 20 ga. 311 and drops his share of pheasants with it.
     
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  14. Macchina

    Macchina Member

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    Love these guns! There is some serious beauty in the utility that was designed into these. Great stuff!
     
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  15. 7mmsavage

    7mmsavage Member

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    Anyone have any guess as to what that date code says in the last picture? I’ve tried looking at it sideways, upside down, I just can’t make it out. I’d love to know what year it was built.
     
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  16. John Joseph

    John Joseph Member

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    Beautiful gun! I hunted with the Model B flavored Stevens for decades---it's been my favorite until CA outlawed lead shot.:(
     
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  17. ApacheCoTodd

    ApacheCoTodd Member

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    What are samples of the date-coding?

    Todd.
     
  18. Taurus 617 CCW

    Taurus 617 CCW Member

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    I have a 311 in 12 ga that I turkey hunt with. It is a solid shotgun that has never let me down.
     
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  19. 7mmsavage

    7mmsavage Member

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    got the following info from another sight,

    “You should find a date code stamped on every double-barrel shotgun in the Stevens brands, produced between March 1949 and December 1968.
    Usually, it is behind the hinge pin or ahead of the trigger guard on the bottom of the frame.
    It will appear as a small circle containing a number and a letter.
    The letters correspond to the years shown in the following table.

    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 X1970”

    Seems like lots of people mistakenly believe that their gun was made in 1950. For some reason a lot of these have a capital B in a circle on the top of the frame, under the barrels. Mine has that too, but the date code is actually that small stamp in front of the trigger guard.

    Thanks
     
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  20. ApacheCoTodd

    ApacheCoTodd Member

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    Tough to imagine a single letter inside your circle - which looks a bit oval in the picture.

    Possibly an *F* partially struck and on its back?

    Todd.
     
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  21. 7mmsavage

    7mmsavage Member

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    I know. It’s supposed to be a letter and a number. I thought maybe a P ? I don’t know. I was really hoping someone here was familiar enough with Stevens shotguns that they’d seen these poorly struck numbers before and might know what mine says.

    Thanks again
     
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  22. bangswitch

    bangswitch Member

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    You could look at half a dozen different shotguns with the same date stamp and the quality of the stamp will be different on every one. I had a 311B in 12 gauge, 30" barrels, right was modified, left was full. I traded it for a 12 gauge Fox Model B, which is the same shotgun, but has a nicer stock and stamped "engraving" on the underside and sides of the receiver, and has a ventilated rib. Internally, Fox B and 311 parts will interchange. The date code has a letter and number, but the letter is what determines the year made, as stated by several others. I have Fox B's in 12, 16 and 20 gauge, but my 20 is the only one old enough that it has a date code and no serial number. Mine is a 1950 manufacture, and the code was almost as difficult to make out as yours.

    Parts can be difficult to find, Numrich gun parts has quite a few, but hammers can be difficult, especially the right side. SxS's generally get more use from the right barrel, so you're more likely to see issues with failure to fire on the right as the firing pin and hammer wear. The good thing is, the Anson and Deely action is relatively easy to work on, and these guns are very reliable. I shoot skeet, clays and trap with my 12 gauge. I never fail to get comments about having a side-by-side, there's only a couple of other guys in our wildlife club who shoot them. If you shoot skeet with yours, there is a learning curve, and while you might feel handicapped using closed chokes, once you get practiced, you'll actually be a better shot because of it. There's nothing more satisfying than a shot past the mid-post that turns the bird to a puff of "smoke" from a tight packed shot column, and getting that hit at stations 8 and 9 is totally awesome.

    Numrich Gun Parts website: https://www.gunpartscorp.com/

    stevens-311a parts view.jpg
     
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  23. Charlie Martinez

    Charlie Martinez Member

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    While following this thread I pulled my "Stevens 311" 12 gauge out of the safe & noticed that it is not a Stevens but a Sears. Then I recall the guy that sold it to me telling me that the gun was a 311 made by Stevens especially for Sears. I tried to confirm the barrel chokes but I could not make out the tiny stampings on the back of each barrel near the receiver. Ive read up on these guns and they are in fact Stevens 311's but with some slight cosmetic differences.
     
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  24. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Member

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    They also made them under the Savage and Springfield brands, Model 5100. They're basically the same gun, possibly differing in wood and either no checkering, or pressed or cut checkering.

    Some 311's also had plastic or "tenite", as Stevens called it, stocks.
     
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  25. John Joseph

    John Joseph Member

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    I hunted with a "B" for many decades until CA forced steel shot on us. A ruggedly beautiful shotgun that point (for me) like a dream and double triggers provide a faster follow up than singles.:thumbup:
     
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