So I went to this gun auction

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by kingcuke, Oct 13, 2010.

  1. kingcuke

    kingcuke Member

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    Which is the last place I should of went given my current fiscal status, but then this pistol came up and I ended up giving $200 plus a $10 transfer fee which I think may be an Illinois oddity.
    Anyhow the pistol was listed as a Stevens 35 Target Model with 10" barrel. I believe it to be a plain 35 with a 12.25" barrel. I found conflicting information on the model 35s but since mine is blued, smooth grips, and stamped trigger guard I'm pretty sure it's a later model produced between 1923 and 1942. The pistol has a mid 36xxx serial# and if the 42K total production number I've seen is accurate mine should be closer to 42 than 23
    I've only shot a few Colibri powderless rounds through it and it's got a misfire problem. The cases look plenty dented, but the strike marks seem just a tad low. It will shoot a little less than half the time. Ran the once struck shells through another pistol and they all fired. e-gunparts shows the firing pin as sold out is there another source?
    Once I resolve the firing pin issue is it ok to use shorts or cb longs or should I stick with the Colibris?
    I so gotta get a stick with a bang flag for it.

    Attached Files:

    VintagePurple likes this.
  2. Bill DeShivs

    Bill DeShivs Well-Known Member

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    I would think it would be fine with standard velocity long rifles.
    Got a pic of the misfired casing?
  3. Big ugly

    Big ugly New Member

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    "Bang Flag" That is funny right there. That shure is an odd looking target pistol. Never seen such a thing but I want one. I bet that bugger would be heel on wheels to the tree rat population. If it shot right of course, I'll my pops in the morning and see what he has to say about it. It looks to me to be based of a Rifle action, or mabbe a 410 shot gun, Makes me wonder. I'll have to look around and see if there is a Stevens that share the same componetes
  4. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

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    King, i dunno that gun but low striking hammer could be worn hammer pin ( but most spring arraingments push up so it could be higher) or a hammer thats worn or chipped a tad on the face and reworked ( or not)

    so its swinging just that bit extra ( thereby lower on the round) before it connects , check for that its not a hard fix either way
  5. SGVictor

    SGVictor Member

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    I have the same gun (except for the front and rear sights) in .410 chambered for the 2.5" shells. I suspect you can shoot any .22 rimfire you want. Mine too requires a transfer fee but it is not an Indiana thing.
  6. 3/2 STA SS

    3/2 STA SS Active Member

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    I believe that these were once called parlor pistols-when people would actually get together and target shoot-strange concept eh. Great looking pistol.
  7. hrf

    hrf Well-Known Member

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    I don't recall if these were marked with caliber, but the 35 was also made in .22 WRF and .25 rimfire: Could this be your firing pin problem?
  8. Danny

    Danny Member

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    I had one of these years ago, but mine was nickle. These fine single shots were the favorite of Annie Oakley. So they dated back to the late 1800s. My pistol's bore was gone & the ejector was broke, but I made one for it. Just be carefull when opening the barrel that you do not use alot of force or yours will break also. You did very well on the price. Just my 2 cents worth.
    Danny
  9. wonderwhippet

    wonderwhippet Active Member

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    Just keep it the way it is and you have a fine single shot Russian roulette pistol.
  10. RJay

    RJay Well-Known Member

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    Looks to be a Stevens No# 40
  11. old semperfi

    old semperfi New Member

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    i live in southern indiana,old country boy at hear
    stevens made a number of these single shot pistols.the barrel lengths vaired greatly from year to year along with the quality,although they were fine pistols at their time.i have been trying for years to buy one in as good of shape as yours is but everytime i do its priced more than am willing to pay.congradulations on getting the one you have. old semperfi
  12. kingcuke

    kingcuke Member

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    Thanks for the replies all. The firing pin is definitely a bit mashed. The hammer has a half cock notch which is where it should be when the action is opened. The action will open and close with the hammer down, but the cartridge will drag the pin and I suspect that's happened more than once. I'm sure it's been dryfired a time or two in the past.
    I had much better luck with CCI CB long & shorts which fired just under 90% as compared to 30% for the Colibris.
    The firing pin doesn't look like it would be too hard to recreate and I may whine one of my machinist buddies into making one.
    Here's pics of shells and pin. The outlined cases were the misfires.

    Attached Files:

  13. armedandsafe

    armedandsafe Guest

    Looking at the picture of the block, I'd look at the firing pin hole. It looks as if it might be worn and allowing the pin to ride too low.

    Pops
  14. kingcuke

    kingcuke Member

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    Yeah, that's one of my thoughts too. The earlier version, the Model 35 Offhand Target made before 1916 had a firing pin bushing and reportedly was of higher quality.
    There is some up and down play in the pin and it seems to be a very near thing between fire and misfire.
    Other than finding or making a new pin is there anything to be done?
    I'm actually ok with a near 90% success rate even if I have to use the high priced spread CCI cartridges. The occasional misfire does wonders for identifying any anticipatory flinching.
    VintagePurple likes this.
  15. BillM

    BillM Active Member

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    How is the lockup? If you have any slack there, the barrel will be tipped down just a
    touch, which will change the relationship between the cartridge and firing pin and cause
    a low strike.
  16. kingcuke

    kingcuke Member

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    The lockup is pretty tight. The mechanism is a spring loaded wedge that fits a rectangular slot on the barrel. There's a slight bit of wiggle but not enough to throw off the firing pin. To double check I fired a few rounds putting pressure on the barrel and it had no effect on the misfiring.
    I'm pretty sure it's just a worn firing pin mostly from previous owners opening and closing the action without having the hammer at 1/2 cock.

    I put 40 rounds or so through it this afternoon and had 4 misfires with CCI CB shorts. The CCI cartridges seem to have a slightly thicker rim than the Colibris which is why they have fewer misfires. It shoots a bit high but groups nicely. It balances surprisingly well given the length of the barrel. The cap on the butt is solid steel and counterbalances some of the barrel weight. It's still nose heavy, but not as much as one would think by looking at it.

    All I know for sure is it's a fun pistol and I'm glad I was able to get it.
    VintagePurple likes this.
  17. wpage

    wpage Active Member

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    Strikes on the shells look dull. Hammer spring may be weak.
  18. Bill DeShivs

    Bill DeShivs Well-Known Member

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    It's quite obvious the firing pin is mushroomed from hammer strikes. Cut it back down to proper diameter. If this doen't help, the pin should be replaced.
    VintagePurple likes this.
  19. kingcuke

    kingcuke Member

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    Thanks Bill. I hadn't thought of trying that. I think I'm capable of cleaning up the mushroom and I'll see if it has an effect.

    Thanks again for all the replies, I do appreciate the interest.
  20. kingcuke

    kingcuke Member

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    The hammer spring is a long leaf spring and has plenty of snap. I generally don't disassemble guns as I have a tendency to lose tiny springs and what not but I took the hammer out yesterday and got to pinch my fingers on the hammer spring. The lock work is pretty much as simple as it can get with a bent spring for the trigger that fits into a slot on the hammer and the hammer spring resting on the back of the hammer.
    I think Mr. DeShivs maybe onto something with the mushroomed firing pin. It doesn't seem to have as much travel as it should given the notch in the firing pin. All that holds the firing pin in place is a threaded pin that goes through the notch in the firing pin.
    When I play with it again I'll see if the firing pin face will fit though the frame backwards to check if the mushrooming is restricting travel.
    I'm going to keep my eye on numrich and check a few other places to see if I can find a replacement.
    Seldom have I had as much fun for $200 as I've already gotten with this pistol.
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