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PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2019 5:33 pm 
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Sort of along the lines of this thread about '97's and Rem 11's:

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=268

Recently a second Remington Model 11 came into my, um, my sphere of influence. Going through it with the excited new owner has rekindled my interest in my own. Mine is a 1928 vintage one. There is so much going on inside these things and yet-- not terribly complicated to get apart and put back together. And although anything by JMB is very American, if you buy a Browning Auto 5, well..... they were never made here. If you want that design and American made, it has to be a Rem 11 or a Savage 720. BUT.... now the Jones has be reawakened and I must have an Auto 5.

I recently snagged a beautiful Stevens 520 for well under $200. Guess who?! John Moses Browning! These things were made in such numbers and under so many names that they seem to have been treated almost as a commodity. It seems to me they were considered pedestrian because of the sheer numbers and perhaps not appreciated as the rock solid quality arm they are. Now, they are still cheap but man they are good. I encourage people to buy guns like this even though they are maybe 100 years old because ya know what? Given reasonable care they will still be around another 100 years hence and another hundred after that.

I'd love to see some good pics of JMB walnut and steel 12 gages... or 16's or 20's for that matter. That would include--
Winchester 1887's
Winchester 97's
Stevens 520's
Rem 11's or Savage 720's.... or Auto 5's
Remington Model 17's which became the Ithaca Model 37.
Browning Superposed

Recently saw a pic of a Rem 11 doctored up to look like an M2 .50 cal machinegun (JMB strikes again) for training waist gunners in WWII.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2019 11:38 am 
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Rem 11's as trainers:

http://www.lsbauctions.com/9407/remingt ... adle-1944/


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2019 7:23 am 
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2019 4:04 am 
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I was wrong about Browning Auto 5's never having been made in the US. They were made here during WWII when Belgium was held by the Germans. Browning made an arrangement with Remington to make them since Rem was already making the Model 11, essentially the same gun.

I think a case can be made to support this statement: the best shotgun designs are from before WWI and largely better than anything since, . And, to say "pre-war" here in some cases means before the turn of the century. Both the Model 97 and the Browning Auto 5 are designs from before 1900 and the 520 was not far behind.

And I don't think it's too far off to say that many of the more recent designs could not exist as they do without incorporating features from earlier designs either by JMB or his contemporaries. It's just that ergos and quality are so much better on some of the old stuff, or maybe that's just what I'm accustomed to.

What I love about '97's, first and foremost, seldom discussed but a biggie for me-- no lifter to contend with when loading the magazine. What serves as the shell lifter is up out of the way with the bolt closed. Not only do I not have to mess with a lifter, the carrier is a cradle for rounds going in, a guide. If I fumble one on the way into the mag, it just lays on the carrier awaiting my next move. The ultimate advantage here is what I call the twofer load. Just drop a round into that cradle, and put another round in right behind it-- and push them in. You just loaded two rounds with one motion! With minishells I can get a threefer!

Also-- the slender wrist of the stock. This is seldom seen in more modern guns. My impression is that it's because more modern guns are using beech or birch or some other wood that is not as strong as walnut (which in some guns even walnut seems like a bare minimum). Birch, pine, whatever it is they're using these days has to be thick to compensate-- again, my impression.

Overall quality. This is simply not present in so much of what we get these days. I have much to say about that with regards to the gun industry, but it is of course, every industry, and that is a book unto itself. On these older guns you know quality must be there if the gun is still here and working after 120 years (one of my 97's) or 77 years (the other). Fill in the blank here, how many of today's pump shotguns will take a lifetime or three of use? When people tell me they want a simple shotgun or maybe a .22 for their kid, my standard advice is, "go the the gun store, used department, and get something at least 60 years old".


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2019 8:07 am 
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I've been following this thread. Gotta say I agree with you on most/maybe all of what you have said. For ease of repair, spare parts availability, and aftermarket support I have pretty much standardized on the 870 with a sprinkling of others. but I do love the Browning Auto 5 and Winchester Model 12. Never could develop a taste for the Mossy 500 series. They may be fine, but just seem... unsubstantial to me, Like they may fall apart at any time.
Now about that home defense/tacticool Auto 5 above - Did you modify an extended mag tube or is there one around that will fit without a bunch of work? I would gladly pick up another one (probably pick a cosmetically challenged piece) to modify like that. I have Scattergun Tech sights on a couple of my 870s with my own barrel porting. Adding an auto would be a fun exercise in smiffin'.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2019 12:06 pm 
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OK, stretching my brain cells here, but I recall that the trick was to use a (assuming you can find one) Remington magazine tube screwed into the receiver.

The Remington and the Brownings have the same thread pitch for the receiver end of things. But the magazine cap on the Browning is different. The trick? the Remington pattern for the mag cap on the Model 11 is the same as.....the 870. And why not? they were already making the Model 11 when they designed the 870, so why wouldn't they have used the same thread pitch? Ditto for the 1100 and 11-87, etc.

This matters because you can get 870 extension tubes but not Browning A5 extension tubes. Not all is sweetness and light, however. The threaded portion of tube on the M-11 is longer than on the 870. so you have to either file back the mag tube, to get the mag extension to tighten down on the forearm, or make a spacer to fill the gap when the mag extension bottoms out on the inside. Shortening the tube can cause a capacity problem, if it means you've removed the last fraction needed for the final round.

work on this system is definitely a gunmithing situation, not just an armorers parts swap.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2019 12:33 pm 
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An issue, but not insurmountable for a real smith or a skilled amateur.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2019 2:40 pm 
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Patrick, I have found that there actually are extended tubes for the Auto 5-- but they won't work on Rem 11 or Savage 720 (Savage's version of the Rem 11). The Rem 11 and Savage 720 use a coarser pitch than the Browning Auto 5 and you are quite right that it is the same as the 870's and right again that the 870 cap, or extended tubes, need a spacer as they are not threaded as deeply as a Rem 11 cap. I've never tried the spacer route, I have always just made my own extension.

Makes sense that the Rem 11 et al would want to have a lot of thread engagement at the mag cap-- it not only holds the spring in the mag, it holds the whole gun together and takes a real hammering when the gun returns to battery each shot.


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