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#622089 11/16/22 08:38 AM
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Howdy, been a while since I posted here, but lurk all the time. Working on a deal for a R17 20ga Darne that the owner says " intermittently fails to fire the left barrel". Thinking worst case is replacing the firing pin, a big deal. Thanks Tom

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Look at page 5 of the Darne compilation in the FAQ forum of this site. In the percussion section, note that the fp is coil spring driven. That could also be an issue giving rise to intermittent firing if the spring is broken. I'd take a chance on the gun and getting it repaired if the price is right. Gil

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If it is only intermittent might just need a strip, clean and lube.

Often worth trying a different brand of cartridges.

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Thanks, the price will probably allow for a repair as long as any needed parts can be made. Just how difficult is it to take the Action apart?

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Ted ought to be chiming in before sundown. He knows more about Darne shotguns than anyone on this side of France. (Excluding gunsmiths Geoffroy Gournet and JJ Perideaux who now live on this side of France) Gil

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Originally Posted by Tom-Meyer
Thanks, the price will probably allow for a repair as long as any needed parts can be made. Just how difficult is it to take the Action apart?

Not difficult at all if you follow all the steps and have good fitting tools, a padded vise, etc. Darne guru Ted Schefelbein tutored me on the process.

I agree, it might just need to be cleaned. Usually if the coil springs are broken, they’ll still function. Might just be a case of soaking the breech block in some diesel or solvent. That auto parts solvent in a bucket like “Chem-dip” would probably get it clean enough. I’d try that first.
You don’t have to disassemble the breech block for that and it’s pretty much what the factory recommended.

GLS #622126 11/16/22 04:30 PM
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“Intermittent failure to fire” is WAY better than “sometimes doubles”. Working on Darne R model triggers is a time consuming, difficult task, and most gunsmiths I know have walked away from it. When you are close to finished, you are REALLY close to having a gun that doubles.
Fair warning.
I’d be willing to bet it has crud in it, but, the springs that drive the strikers in an R don’t typically take no for an answer-they are stout, and as Dustin says, keep right on functioning even if broken. I have been hearing more chatter from the Ithaca 37 guys on FTF on ammunition with hard primers. Try a couple different kinds of ammunition. I’ve never done it, but, know a couple guys who boiled an old Darne breech block, dripped some oil into it when it dried (almost instantly) and reported everything was good. Not my style, but, if you have screwdrivers that have pink handles that were your wife’s before you were married (you know if that is you) it might be worth a shot. The striker has a stout little pin at the front, that was peened in when the gun was built. They are easily repaired if they break or wear too short.
Last point, the 17 grade is typically NOT an R, but, a P. Exceptions exist, but, almost always. A P, of course, is not an R. It is hard to believe how different two guns that feature a sliding breech can be.
When you get closer, let us know. Dustin is going to end up as a gunsmith ( he just doesn’t realize it just yet, I do) and I have no problem helping a guy like him or gunsmiths that have gotten stuck, out. I tend to not be too free with disassembly advice on a Darne, as not just anybody should tear into an old gun, any gun.

A guy with pink screwdrivers, for example.

Good luck.

Best,
Ted

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Thanks Ted, and GLS. I am not a stranger to working on guns, just never worked on a Darne. I have all the tools and equipment, and have rebuilt several older Marlin and Winchester rifles. That being said I also know my limitations. Ted I took the seller at his word on the grade and have not received a clear enough picture to identify it for sure. Yes, It does have some condition issues. I will certainly seek the advice of the members here when the deal gets closer, might not happen until Jan. No pink screwdrivers here, but I do have a ball peen hammer with a blue handle. Thanks Tom

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Tom,
Cool. If you want, email me some photos, and we can figure out exactly what you have, or, will be getting.

tedjs@usfamily.net

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Ted

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Thanks Ted, I will certainly do that. The seller is in Alaska for a couple of months and the gun is in Alabama. He did send a couple of fuzzy phone pics, but too far away for any detail.

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