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J Stevens Arms & Tool Company Chicopee Falls MA Model 235

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  • J Stevens Arms & Tool Company Chicopee Falls MA Model 235

    This is a family gun. I just picked this gun up from my father (originally owned by my grandfather) and have a few questions as I am not much of a gun guy. This shotgun is a 12g Side by Side and it is in pretty good condition. It hasn't been used much over the last 75 years (like twice), but has been fairly carefully stored. Other than a few knicks in the stock, I would say it is in good condition.

    1) Would you use this gun? As I said, I am not much of a gun guy, but have a couple of times a year when I might be invited to shoot. (ie a pheasant hunt)

    2) Who would you take this shotgun to in order to have it checked out? I live in Duluth and work in Midtown, so anywhere in town is fine.

    3) Any pointers to where I might find out more about this gun? It appears from at least one source on the interwebs that this gun may have been manufactured between 1912 and 1915. I don't know much more than that.

    Anything you might be willing to help me with on this would be great.

    Thanks

  • #2
    Chuck's Firearms next to the Fish Hawk might be a good start.
    The Drifter

    The contents of this message might be totally inaccurate, misguided or otherwise perverse. If you are stupid enough to follow any of the tips listed here and mess up yourself or your equipment, I am absolved of all responsibility. The information contained herein is based on my personal experience and by no means constitutes the correct way to do it. Your mileage may vary.

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    • #3
      I have my grandfather's 12 gauge LC Smith double that was built in 1915 and I shoot it all the time. They say you should shoot low pressure shells out of these old guns, but I shoot standard target rounds in mine without any concern.

      Having said that, you should get the gun checked out by someone who knows what they are looking at to be on the safe side. But as long as the barrels are solid with no stress cracking (which I am betting they are), then you should be fine. On the other hand, old Damascus steel barrel guns should be hung on the wall for good; too risky to shoot IMO.

      Drifter's recommendation of Chuck's down in Buckhead is a good one. I also know a guy up in Ellijay that repairs and restores antique shotguns and is considered a world class expert when it comes to old shotguns. If the gun needs any sort of repair, he is your guy. He has no website, in fact he does not even own a computer so calling him is the only way to arrange to see him. PM me if you want his phone number. I also know a guy out in Oklahoma that can hone the cylinder walls to like new condition if the gun has a decent amount of pitting.
      Last edited by Buck Henry; 09-01-14, 09:27 AM.
      Message sent from your mom's bedroom during pillow talk

      Buck Henry
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      Former NGTO President
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      • #4
        Look up "The Gun Pro Shop", Ellijay website. It's on 515 south of Ellijay. Certified Gunsmith Shop with lathes, milling machines and welding. Very interesting game mount room there also. They can build you a gun, repair your gun or make parts no longer available.

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        • #5
          Shells for old guns

          Depending on the age and what the gunsmith says, if you plan to shoot the gun, some low pressure loads designed for older guns are out there.

          An example is the Vintager from Poly-Wad in Macon GA.

          I cannot speak from direct experience with the Vintagers, but I use their Spred-R loads for quail hunting, and have had great experience with both the shells and the company.

          There are some guys on GON upland forum who are old double aficionados. You might post on there and raise up some more options in terms of how/where to check the gun out.
          KCFO

          I am sorry to disappoint you all, but the awesome mullet in my avatar is not real.

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          • #6
            Wow. Good stuff guys. Thanks.
            Looks like I have a trip to Chuck's in my future.

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            • #7
              I would suggest a taking it up to Georgia Gun club. It is a new shop up here in the Lawrenceville\Hamilton Mill area. There is an in house gun smith, as well as a very knowledgeable staff. They are quickly becoming my favorite gun shop for those and multiple other reasons.
              Thank you, dear God, for this good life and forgive us if we do not love it enough. Thank you for the rain. And for the chance to wake up in three hours and go fishing: I thank you for that now, because I won't feel so thankful then. - Garrison Keillor

              Team Georgia, Competitive Fly Fishing
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              • #8
                Originally posted by Blueridgeflies View Post
                I would suggest a taking it up to Georgia Gun club. It is a new shop up here in the Lawrenceville\Hamilton Mill area. There is an in house gun smith, as well as a very knowledgeable staff. They are quickly becoming my favorite gun shop for those and multiple other reasons.
                Thank you! I needed that!

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                • #9
                  My dad left us a .20 and a .12, though not as old as yours, and they shoot fine. I just cant hit a dove with a side by side as I proved again last year. I'd get it checked out, and the mysterious guy up in Ellijay appeals to me.
                  sigpicAKA oldandtreacherous
                  "Good things come to those who wade." John 6:37

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Windknot View Post
                    Thank you! I needed that!
                    Don,
                    You work there? I'm about to get a membership when I come off this Carrollton project.

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                    • #11
                      Around here, I also recommend Chucks. Now before you start shooting it, check the shell size. I've got a few older 12's that take 2.5 inch not 2.75 inch shells.

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                      • #12
                        I know this is an old thread, but I never followed up.

                        I took my shotgun into Chucks and Jack was very helpful. My gun is not really valuable from a monetary standpoint, but he said it was in extremely good shape for that model. Most are apparently found in the corner of a barn somewhere and unusable. Having said that, Jack felt like it was quite serviceable and suggested I could use it with no problem.

                        So, I took it on a company outing where we entertained some brokers. Everyone really enjoyed shooting clays with it. Not so much kick due to its significant weight (and the lighter shells Jack sold me).

                        When it came time for the hunt, I left it in the truck, thinking a gun with a safety might be a little smarter.

                        Not bad for a 100 year old

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by hikingjay View Post
                          I know this is an old thread, but I never followed up.

                          I took my shotgun into Chucks and Jack was very helpful. My gun is not really valuable from a monetary standpoint, but he said it was in extremely good shape for that model. Most are apparently found in the corner of a barn somewhere and unusable. Having said that, Jack felt like it was quite serviceable and suggested I could use it with no problem.

                          So, I took it on a company outing where we entertained some brokers. Everyone really enjoyed shooting clays with it. Not so much kick due to its significant weight (and the lighter shells Jack sold me).

                          When it came time for the hunt, I left it in the truck, thinking a gun with a safety might be a little smarter.

                          Not bad for a 100 year old
                          Glad you were able to enjoy it.

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                          • #14
                            I've got an old J Stevens bolt action single shot 20 guage from 1897 that's been handed down. I was always told that they started out being sold at Sears in their bargain bins.
                            Check out my personal Facebook page Tight Lines Joe of North Georgia and my Instagram Page Tightlinesjoe where I give tips on different tactics, stream reports and pictures of Georgia trout!

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                            • #15
                              ...have an Uncle in SC who owns a Savage-Stevens 410 over / under...model 240...his son, my cousin, will own it one day...he's shot lots of birds with it...

                              ...he used to raise Brittany Spaniels...


                              Blessings!

                              Jimmy

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