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Old side by side, modify it or let it R.I.P.

1817 Views 11 Replies 1 Participant Last post by  ShotgunPro
I would like to get some ideas from you guys about an old family hand me down. When my Dad died one of the weapons he left me in his will is an old coach gun he hunted doves with when I was a kid (I'm far from being a kid these days). It is an old Stevens Model 311, side by side 20 gauge, chambered for 2 ¾, with a 28 inch barrel, probably full and modified chokes.

It still shoots well but cosmetically is in poor shape. It is ugly and needs work. It is not worth much and I would never sell it because it was my Dads. Here is the thing, it is in my closet calling my name. I'm having this strange urge to cut it down and modify it into some strange side by side 20 Ga. with a flashlight mounted on it, 00 buck shot, and any other tactical mods I see fit. Just to help me stop someone coming down my hallway in the middle of the night.

The problem is I would not know where to start because I do realize what I'm asking here. This is not a 870 worthy of being sent to Wilson Combat and returning a fully functional tactical killer. This old Savage Arms 20 will be a cross between something from Ghost Busters and the Beverly Hill Billys.

I don't hunt birds anymore so does anyone have any suggestions for cool mods I could employ to give this old gun a second purpose in life.
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Refinish it and keep it for a traditional hand down weapon.
Refinish it and keep it for a traditional hand down weapon.
I agree. I would not cut it down.
Heck, I wouldnt even refinish it...those are your dad's character marks!

definately dont start hacking away at that thing! If you want something to practice your metal shop skills on go out and buy a cheapie pump shotgun...
You just inspired me to take my grandpaws old 12 pump and chop it to 18" and put a chainsaw grip on it.

I thought enjoying it on a couple hunts a year the way it is was enough. I think I will put a door breecher on the front of it too...... Should still be fine for pheasants.......

All funnin' aside. Keep it the way it is and shoot a few rounds for memory sake every year. FWIW it can still be used as a HD shotgun. Keep it propped up in the corner and use it for static defence in your room. Clearing your house by yourself is inane at best and is useless without ninjasmoke anyway. And we all know it takes years of training to learn how to use ninjasmoke proper........
I recently received my grandfathers Winchester Model 12 (circa 1948) and thought (albeit fleetingly) about having it refinished.

Ultimately I came to the conclusion that the marks and its condition are the result of many years of use by my family members and that it should stay in the condition it is in to honor that lineage.

I would vote to NOT refinish your family hand me down.

If you really want a tactical home clearing 'weapon', go pick up an inexpensive coach gun and mod it out!
You can buy a side by side with rails etc for $300 if that is what ya for this SxS I'd leave it just as is... clean it up and call it good... I wouldn't go all out refinishing the stock etc but a little time with some oil and a rag would do it wonders.
Oh yeah...and lets see some picts of this old family heirloom!
Yea don't do it. You'll regret it
It stays the way it is.

You guys are absolutely correct. It would be a shame to modify it. I am not even going to restore it. It is still safe to shoot, I will keep it that way.
Im gonna go with the others. get it appraised as is. in its original condition, your probably looking at a nice chunk of change and would just be doing damage having it refinished. As long as its in safe operating condition, run it like it is and go chase dove like your dad.
clean it up and make sure it's serviceable and enjoy it. Sounds like a good dove gun waiting to be back out in a field.
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