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Thread: Scope or Sights On Old Shotgun

  1. #1
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    Default Scope or Sights On Old Shotgun

    This is one of the better gunsmithing forums that I have found so I hope you don't mind this Virginian asking a question here.

    I still have and use my 60s vintage Stevens 940 16ga single shot shotgun for deer on the military bases here in VA. I had the Full choke bored out years ago to Improved Cylinder. I also had a machinist friend straighten the barrel since I discovered at 50 yards it has been shooting a slug, 24” low and 18” left. It has been this way since I had it new at age 14 (1964). I never remember Dad sighting in our guns.

    I have a vintage Bushnell 1.5-5 power shotgun scope with the retractable command post that has been overhauled by Bushnell and is in great shape. My Dad took two nice, western NY whitetails bucks with his 20ga Browning B-80 and this scope. My son has the his Grandpa’s Browning with him in Eagle River, AK.

    I measured the chamber wall at just a tad less than .200” wall thickness. It is a 2 ¾” chamber so looks like three screws would fit. Seems like H&R mounts Weaver rails on there single shot NEF rifles and slug guns, so is .200” enough metal to have a smith drill and tap my barrel and mount the Weaver rail?


    My other thought was to have a smith silver solder on a set of rifle sights instead.

  2. #2

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    I have been killing deer for several years with an old Stevens 67 pump 20 gauge. The iron sights on it came off a 50 caliber muzzleloader. They are held in place by Brownells Acra-glass compound intended for bedding. I masked off (with aluminum tape) the barrel leaving the location of the sights bare. I then scuffed the bare metal and the bottom of the sights with a coarse emery cloth. Johnsons paste wax was used as a release agent and smeared on the sides of the sights where excess glass was likely to make contact as it oozed out when pressure was applied to the top of the sight.

    I just used a straight edge/scribe and my eyeball to center the sights.

    Just for the heck of it I took an old Remington 700 take off barrel and glassed a set of Remington factory sights to this barrel. The purpose was to see how strong the Acra-glass would hold compared to the screwed on sights. I then clamped the barrel in a vise and clamped vise grips onto the sights. The amount of pressure that it took to break the sight loose was impressive. I tried this same test with comparable screwed on sight on an old CVA inline and it twisted right off.

    My son and I have drug this old Stevens through all of normal nasties encountered whilst deer hunting and have killed a dozen or so deer with it. The sights are still intact and probably will be for years to come!

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    So then the next question is, do you think the Brownells Acra-glass compound would hold the Weaver rail in place with the scope mounted? I think the inside radius of the weaver rail and 16ga chamber outside radius are very close. It's a lot more total weight.

  4. #4

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    Sit base on barrel where you want it, mask off around it, scuff up the area with emery cloth, wipe clean with acetone, do same to bottom of base, get a tube of HEAVY DUTY Liquid Nails construction adhesive and stick it in place, let it sit in a warm place for 5 days, it'll be there forever! I have a old junker/truck gun H&R single 12ga that sheared the forend lug off the barrel many years ago, I threw away the lug and liquid nailed the forend right to the barrel, been there for years! still solid as a rock! and its weatherproof!

  5. #5

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    I know of a 98 mauser that wears a scope and the bases are held on by Accra-glass. That is not the right way to do it on a 98 but this old gun has had a lot of rounds through it and the scope is still there. I don't know what would happen if it were dropped in extreme cold!

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    I know there is no real collector value to a basic gun like this but it is the gun my father bought for my when I was 14. But it is about 90-95% and in great shape.
    So back to doing it the right way. Is .200" chamber thickness enough to drill and tap to mount the rail??




  7. #7

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    If it were mine I would drill and tap it and not worry about it. I would drill the holes to .15 and cut threads clear to the bottom of the hole. Thats as deep as they are on a lot of rifles!

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    Thank you Sir. You are the first one to answer if I even had enough depth.

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    I also think your fine if you use an end mill to bottom the hole flat at .150" and tap it with a bottoming tap. Don't drill .150" with a normal 90* pointed drill bit since the point of the drill will be very close to or into the chamber.
    Andy
    On the web= C-lazy-F.co
    Email= Andy@C-lazy-F.co
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    Phoenix Arizona

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    I appreciate all the comments.

    One more question. I tye wrapped the scope in place and measured the eye relief as 3". The only scope I have ever used is on my Ruger 10/22 which has no recoil. Will 3" relief be enough??

  11. #11

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    Probably not! I like 4-5 inches of eye relief on anything that gives the kind of recoil that your single shot must produce! Have you considered one of the many red dot scopes? Lots of folk are using them on slug guns in these parts with great success!

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    Very interesting question. H&R says their 12 ga cannot be tapped, but some others say it can. I've read about several doing a silver solder job to hold the scope rail on. I've seen pics of scope rails on 12 and 20 ga single shots, but not on 16 ga. I would take it in to a local gunsmith and ask them.

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    Well I have re-thought my project. The local Gander Mountain sells the H&R NEF Ultra-lite 20 ga slug gun with the rail already mounted for $199.99.
    It's going on my birthday wish list. I'll leave my original 16 ga as is.

    Thanks

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