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Joined: May 2005
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grogel Offline OP
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I have been reading here since before the move and love the info.

Ive been talking to a fellow gun nut who wants to buy his first double. He wants a Fox C grade and has been looking around. I have passed on some of what Ive learned here about tight actions and ringing barrels but would like to see him get a good lesson in Doubles 101.

Im looking for the kind of info that doesnt get covered here all of the time because its just common knowledge. Like Why the lever should be left of center or how to tell if a gun is off face. The simple stuff.

Can you share the things you look for in a gun and the things that make you put it back on the rack.

Thanks, Gary


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books by michael mcintosh are an excellent introduction to the world of sxs shotguns. see amazon.com for listings of new and used titles.


keep it simple and keep it safe...
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The top lever is right of center to factor in wear that normally occurs on a double. With that said I have never shot any double enough to get the lever to the left of center. A gun with the top lever left of center has seen excessive use, or more likely been abused with high power loads that it was not designed for. On face means that the barrels are right against the breech (i.e. face of the action). One can tell if a gun is off face usually by visual inspection. See if there is a gap between the barrel and the breech. One can also try to slip paper, or use a feeler gauge to determine how badly a gun is off face. Some gun problems are not visible. I bought a double that looked perfect, but one barrel shot 6" low at 16 yards. There have been numerous posts over the last year about people being stung by double gun dealers, many of them prominent gun dealers. Unless your friend is looking for a fox, it might be better to get a new double that comes with a warranty. Nothing will get a guy out of double collecting faster than a bad experience.


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grogel Offline OP
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Thanks IM, you just did a much better job than I can when it comes to putting some of the little points to words.

I had told him that the gun being on face is the first place to start.

What Questions should be asked about barrels?


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How does it pattern, or do they know......?
Are the chokes factory original or have they been changed/opened ?
Is there any sign that the barrels have been cut or rejoined ?
Are there any dents, dings, gouges or rust including pits ?
Does the serial number on the barrels match the receiver ?

If your friend is a first time buyer, I agree with IM that a new double would be wise...that way he can choose barrel length, choke and gauge based on what he will use the gun for, not to mention the warranty as IM stated.

Last edited by PA24; 01/02/09 07:08 PM.

Doug



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The Double Shotgun by Don Zutz is a good place to start.

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Note that the lever starting right of center & weraing-in to the left is not universal. This seems to be most prominent on American guns but any number of British & Europen guns were not built with this feature. The lever started centered & stayed that way. On many of the cheaper guns the bolting surface were fairly rough machined & initial wearing in came pretty fast. Beyond that I highly suspect more of the wear came from friction in simply opening & closing the gun with un-lubricated surfaces.


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Barrel should be inspected for any obvious defects such as dent, dings and rust. Dents can act as a barrel obstruction, so they are to be taken seroiously. I dropped my CZ Ringneck on the concrete this Summer and it only received minor scratches. I am of the onpinion that dings and dents do not constitute normal wear, but abuse. The bore should be shinny and have "rings" when viewed.

Ringing of the barrels is a good indication that they are properly joined. Also tip the barrels up and down and listen for "sand" sliding. this is solder. Some sliding is o.k., but excessive sliding or if you hear chuncks of solder clanging down the joint you proably have a problem barrel.

ejectors (if any) should be checked. Insert snap caps and see if the ejectors work individually and together. Both snap caps should fly out at the same time. If not the ejectors are not timed.
Barrel thickness is also important. a lot of old doubles have seen better days. Barrels should have some "meat" to them and not appear paper thin at the muzzles. In Michael McIntosh's book SHOTGUN TECHNICANA, Chaper 27, it is stated that a 12 gauge with a nominal bore diameter of .729" is out of proof, "unsafe" at .740" there is more to it and it is rather, well...Technical, but use your best judgement and look for barrels that appear unusually thin.

I use a powerful flashlight to check a gun out. bright light lets you see things that might have skipped your attention, or that someone has tried to cover up. A good inspection of a shotgun should take a 1/2 hour at the least.


Hope this helps


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Quote:
In Michael McIntosh's book SHOTGUN TECHNICANA, Chaper 27, it is stated that a 12 gauge with a nominal bore diameter of .729" is out of proof, "unsafe" at .740" there is more to it and it is rather, well...Technical


I can't argue with McIntosh, but do be careful of generalizations when it comes to older guns. A lot of early 12 gauge Parkers came from the factory with bores at .750 or larger. Barrel wall thickness is more important than bore diameter, but much harder to measure accurately.

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Thanks Replacement, you are right. As I said there is more to it than meets the eye and with limited space, (and time) can't go over everything.

Grogel, another thing I look for is the tightness of the gun. Check for loose wood with the gun closed and open. try wiggling the wood with hand and see if any play is evident. With the barrels open, wiggle the barrels in the same way. The gun should be tight and not move around.


-Shoot Straight, IM
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