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I made what I think is going to be the final tweaks and additions to my Stevens 320 Security build. Yesterday I received the Choate +1 magazine tube extension.





Installation consisted of removing the magazine cap and pulling the barrel. I also removed the trigger group in order to have clearer access to the receiver end of the mag tube. After removing the spring and follower, I drilled out the dimples with a 1/4" drill bit.

At this point things went a little wonky. After I deburred the mag tube from the de-dimpling process I discovered that, when they punched the dimples at the factory, they slightly deformed the mag tube. Consequently the follower would still not slide past the location where the dimples were. I ended up taking a wooden dowel, wrapping it in 100 grit sandpaper, and polishing the inside of the tube right at the end until the follower would slip freely by. Once that was complete I used Birchwood Casey Perma-Blue to re-finish the de-dimpling holes and the polished areas inside the tube.

Purebred on this forum mentioned that he had to shorten the new mag tube spring when he installed one of these mag extensions, however I found that the spring that came with mine seemed fine. I have some dummy 2-3/4" shells, and I was able to easily load the expanded tube to its 6-round capacity, and could cycle the dummies through without issues.

I have been experimenting with the final installation of the ESSTAC cards, and had originally installed one 4-round card on the left side of the receiver and a 6-round card on the right side of the buttstock. I found that I did not like the card on the buttstock - it interfered too much with manipulating the weapon during tactical reloads - so I removed it and added a second 4-round card on the right side of the receiver. I have to make sure that the right side card is positioned somewhat high on the receiver as it otherwise interferes with the shooting hand.

My "philosophy of use" with this shotgun is that it will be kept in "cruiser ready" condition with the hammer down on an empty chamber, and only three rounds in the magazine. To bring it to readiness one merely has to work the slide to chamber one shell. This will leave two shells in the magazine with room for four more. The magazine will be brought to full capacity by loading four shells from one of the on-board ESSTAC cards, then replacing the empty ESSTAC card with an additional full one from ready storage.

I have a MOLLE panel that has its MOLLE straps covered with velcro that holds additional 4-round ESSTAC cards. This MOLLE panel is equipped with a simple shoulder strap so that it can be quickly grabbed and slung over the shoulder. There is also a zipper pouch that is equipped with MOLLE straps hung on this panel that contains some loose slug rounds for introduction to the gun if appropriate.
 
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