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Discussion Starter #1
My deer hunting buddy inherited a single-shot break-action Stevens .410 shotgun and would like to know more about it. On the left side of the gun (action, I presume, but could be barrel) it says:

Springfield
J. STEVENS ARMS COMPANY
Chicopee Fall, MA

Right side of the gun has 94A stamped on it. On top of the barrel is stamped: Proof 7. Nothing in the way of a serial # visible. Gun feels tight in terms of the hinge and lockup.

My bud is wondering:

1) Is there any way to tell when it was made, even a range?
2) How can you tell if it's the old-style Damascus twist barrel?
3) Is it safe to use modern .410 shells in this gun?

Any and all help appreciated. Here's a photo:

 

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No idea of date, but it's older than the date they started requiring serial numbers. Google may reveal more info. It is NOT Damascus. Damascus barrels are usually brownish and you can physically see the steel is kinda spiraled. Don't think I've ever seen a 410 with Damascus barrel? Or a single shot Damascus for that matter. The proof 7 tells me it's capable of handling standard ammo.

It's a model 94A and if I remember I might look it up in the blue book to find mfg dates.
 

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Found this on google...

The Savage/Stevens date code is as 1/4" diameter circle located between the trigger guard and hinge pin on the bottom of the receiver or on the barrel which contains one or two numbers and a letter. The letter is the date code which began in 1949; A = 1949, B = 1950, C = 1951, D = 1952, etc.
 

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If the gun is real old it will have the 2-1/2 chamber. I been told that the 3 inch chamber came in 1930.
I’ve seen several sold at auctions for $250 to over $300. I certainly would pay that for one, myself.
It looks like a nice gun though, tell him to enjoy it. If he inherited it there may well be some good yarns to go with it.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Good feedback so far, thanks. It does not have the circle + letter to indicate a year, so I assume from that it's older than 1946. Also, my bud says he slid a 3-inch shell into it and that shell went in smooth, indicating a 3-inch chamber. So, if those longer chambers started in 1930, the gun has to be from that year or newer. That gets our range from 1930-1946. From stories told about the gun, my buddy thought it was considerably older, like near the turn of the century, but that may not be right.

Keep 'em coming if you know of other clues or websites I might check.
 

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I have 2 of them, a 20 gauge made before 68 and a 12 g. made in 1974, 49 is the oldest it will be. These guns were the mainstays at Savage/Steven's for many decades. They never made one in Damascus steel. Tell him max value is around $200, real world prices.
 

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**Also, my bud says he slid a 3-inch shell into it and that shell went in smooth, indicating a 3-inch chamber.
NOT NECESSARILY SO, Mikey! there is at least 1/4" of chamber dimension diameter in shotguns to allow room for the crimp before the forcing cone tapers to barrel diameter.

A friend of my dad had a 12 ga double with 2-1/2" chambers, indicated but the crimp of fired hulls being sheared off.

I made him aware of it, and he said he didn't know that and was going to take it to a smith to have the chamber reamed for 2-3/4" shells.

I never heard from him again after that day. But, he finished the day of pheasant hunting, shooting that damn thing with 2-3/4" shells; just NOT with me walking near him!

Simple mater of having a smith check it for you, or you chould do it yourself with a dowel rod or a Stony Point headspace gauge. Reaming it for 3" shells shouldn't be a problem.

Good luck. Nice piece you have there! Would make a nice deer slayer!
 

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I have one of these that was a gift to my son when he was born (in 1992). It has a slimmer forend and a rounded pistol grip. It for certain is 2 1/2 inch chambered. The barrel is marked "Patented August 12 1913, 410 bore, and 12 M-M. I assume it is pre 1930.
thanks
 
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