My sons 20 guage only likes certain shells.

Discussion in 'Large-Bore/Small-Bore Rifle/Shotgun' started by ryan42, May 26, 2012.

  1. ryan42

    ryan42 New Member

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    Many of you know My boy bought a stevens shotgun.1960,s model.The first box of shells fired fine which were remington.The next box was winchester.Every other one ftf.I went back to the gun shop and he said some of the shells were thinner at the base and recess to much.He is out of the Remingtons so we went to walmart and they were out so we got some federals.we stopped real quick at dads and shot 3 for 3 so we should be good later when we go back to clay shootin.Anybody else ever have this problem?Seems like the ones with the wider band at the base work better.
  2. glens67

    glens67 Well-Known Member

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    Souns like you may have some thing guming up your fire pins. Try using some cleaner like Kroil. Remove the barrels and spray the cleaner into the fire pin holes, then turn the action down and let the cleaner drain out, let it soak for a couple of hours. Then reasemble and dry fire a couple of times, and try the Winchesters again. You did not mention if the primers on the Winchesters were marked. Also check for flatness on the Winchester shells, are they concave?
  3. ryan42

    ryan42 New Member

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    they have a dent in the primers,Ill clean it and see what it does
  4. bobski

    bobski Former Guest

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    clean the gun as suggested, and try the same dented shells again. see if it makes a deeper dent or goes off. if it goes off or ftf again but only with a deeper dent, then you know its the ammo.
    try this trick.
    take off the bbl. look at where it hinges. if that area wears, the bbl assy moves forward away from the face of the breech. take a small piece of cardboard from a matchbook. i mean real small. just enough to tighten the bbl assy, but not so tight to keep it from closing. see if that makes those shells fire. the paper pushes the bbl assy back.
    but the bad news is, your bbl to breech is worn to an unsafe level. a quick way to check it is if the bbl wiggles when closed in battery. it shouldnt. yet, a lot of those old single bbls get used a lot, wear fast, and will loosen.
    the correct long term fix is a trip to your gunsmith and have him solder in that area and file to fit.
    all of which is not worth the fix, because it will probably cost more than the guns value.worth it only if its a family heirloom.
    let me know what happens.

    now when you say wider band, do you mean the base lip of the hull? you mean the lip of metal around the base? the part that seats into the breech rim? if the hulls base is not consistant, and if its thinner, it will drop into the breech further, putting gap between the firing pins full stroke and the primer face. follow me?
    Last edited: May 26, 2012
  5. ryan42

    ryan42 New Member

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    yes thats correct and thats what the gunsmith told me its doing dropping further in the breech.I think im gonna trade it in on a pump.they have on at the gunshop hes wanting.Its a mossberg 20 guage.
  6. ryan42

    ryan42 New Member

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    I have a question.Still having trouble with ftf on this shotgun.If you hold it level or point it down it fires no problem but if you aim upwards it ftf.My question is there a spring behind the firing pin.with the action open im its pointed down the pen sticks out pretty far but with the action open and you hold it up the pen dont go out as far.Does any of this make since.Im going to buy another shotgun this week and im gonna drop this one off at the gunsmith.Its Stevensj(94a)20 guage break action.
  7. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    Sounds to me like it has a headspace issue. if it were the firing pin spring it would only fire when pointed upward as the broken spring would allow the pin to move forward and the hammer not hit it. IF the headspace on a shotgun is tight the rim variances between brands shouldnt be a problem. But if you have one on the cusp of being too much, then the thicker ones will be the only ones to function reliably.
  8. ryan42

    ryan42 New Member

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    im gonna go fire it after bit since I cleaned it good and if its not right ill just take it in.Im planning a trip to Bobskis clay pigeon farm so I got to get it fixed plus im gonna buy a pump shotgun this week.
  9. gvw3

    gvw3 Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Let us know if it works...
  10. ryan42

    ryan42 New Member

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    Well went and test fired it and 10 federal shells in a row went bang and then i put a remington and nothing.Im gonna take it to the gunsmith tommorrow
  11. 76Highboy

    76Highboy Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    What does ftf mean? Sorry, I'm a little slow in Idaho.
  12. ryan42

    ryan42 New Member

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    Fail to fire,I took it in to the gunshop,Im sure he will get it fixed up.He always stands behind his work.Hes only 3 miles from me and usually $20 higher than internet prices but I would have that in shipping.Plus I buy local if I can.He cant beat the box stores prices but he beats there service all day long.:)
  13. ryan42

    ryan42 New Member

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    Picked my boys shotgun today,gunsmith said it was pretty gummed up inside where the hammer spring is.He put in a new spring and give it a good cleaning.I went and test fired it and it fired the federal shells perfecltly,but it still didnt like the remingtons.The federal has a wider medal band on them with the remingon being alot smaller band.So i guess ill stick with what works.
  14. soundguy

    soundguy Well-Known Member

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    the only 2 scatter guns I've had that had problems with ammo was a browning a-5 12g that absolutely haded the plastic sleeved cartridges you could get? 20-30 ys ago.. had just a metal thin disc base.. and no brass. that gun also wasn't fond of low brass.. but USUALLY cycled it. on the plastic full case ones.. it almost never cycled..

    also have a stevens double that was having a fire problem on one bbl.. breaking it over did not always cock one side. took it apart. studdied both sides carefully.. measured alot with calipers.. then finally gave it a calibrated grunt with a pair of needle nose at a semi-scientic arrived spot.. put it back together and it fires perfect and always cocks.

    I got theat gun cheap from a pawn shop due to that issue.. think I paid less than 100$ tax tag and call in. wood is perfect.. not a mark on it. bbls are perfect. in fact one looks to have not really been fired thru ;)

    IMHO.. it may have been like that since new.

    oh well.. good deal for me.

    only cheaper scattergun i ever got was a 10$ bolt action 20g mossberg/new haven.. got it out of the broke gun can at a local pawnshop during spring cleaning sale. had a 3 round detachable mag.. was marked 25$.. i asked what was wrong. they said mag fell out when you fired it.. I offered 5$.. they came back with 5$ plus the 5$ call in.. done deal.

    i looked in the mag well.. one of the tabs was bent over a lil. on the way out the door I noticed they had a 'candy dish' of randon 1-of and mismatched ammo at the register.. marked 10cents each.. i grabbed 3 20g mismatched shells and went to dig for the 30 ents and the owner said to just take em.

    on the way to the truck I use my ignition key to bend the tab straight.

    stopped by my dads place ont he way home.. loaded all 3 shells and fired them off.. no mag detach.. was just that bent tang.

    makes a good snake gun to throw in the truck when going fishing... and if it ever goes overboard. who cares.. it cost 10$.. :) though I do have a habit of using paracord to lanyard my guns to a 2litre soda bottle. if one does go in the drink.. i don't feel like swimming for it.. :) I knew a guy that tied his guns to the johnboat.. till the boat went down one time.. that's where I got the soda bottle idea. at least we can fish them out even if the boat goes under.. :)
    Last edited: May 31, 2012
  15. bobski

    bobski Former Guest

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    hmmm, ask your smith if there is a chance someone filed down the firing pin. another thing that happens is from lots of use, the firing pin hole gets crushed smaller, which doesnt allow the pin to reach its full travel. sometimes the hole needs to be re-bored, or the pin needs to be thinned.
    if it persists, sell it and be done with it. take the money and put it into a good gun. some problems never go away on lemons. if you stick with it, it becomes a personal quest to 'show that gun whos boss,' and you never give up until it works and your bank is emptied.
    and in light of it being a 50.00 single shot hammergun.....find it a new home ryan, or mount it on the wall as a family heirloom.
    you can only get 1 or 2 reloads out of federals.
    you really got to get a gun that fires remingtons.
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2012
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