Novice Question About Bending Steel ... On A Gun That Means A Lot To Me
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  1. #1
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    Question Novice Question About Bending Steel ... On A Gun That Means A Lot To Me

    Hello,

    My name is Pat and I have a Remington Model 11 Shotgun that has been passed down through my family for about 75 years. Means a lot to me.

    Well, I have a little bit of money and I'm trying to have it totally re-built ... so it's still around in another 75 years. I really love this gun.

    The Model 11 is a Remington gun ... made in the USA ... but, under a Browning patent.

    The corresponding Browning shotgun is called the "Automatic 5" ... or "A-5".

    Well, the A-5 is VERY popular ... lots of parts available for it. The Remington Model 11 ... not so much. I can get A-5 parts ... but they don't always work ... or line-up exactly.

    Here's my problem: I have a very nice modern synthetic stock for an A-5 that does not quite fit my Model 11. The "tang" on the rear stock is about 3 millimeters "off". The "arc" of the steel needs to be bent a little bit. I'm terrified to try and just get a hammer ... this gun means too much to me. What is the smart way to do this?

    I have a picture at this link:

    http://flandersland.tzo.com/bogus/shotgun.jpg

    Once I get this problem taken care of, I'm going to have the whole gun re-blued ... every replaceable part swapped ... etc.shotgun.jpg

    Thank you,

    Pat

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    I am not a gunsmith, my specialty has been production machining. That said I would be inclined to modify the stock instead. The screw hole could be moved by boring out the existing one and epoxying a screw insert in place. At the same time the channel for the tang of the receiver could be deepened so it is not sitting proud. In doing the stock modification you could close the gap between the stock and the receiver.

    For better help you might try down a couple sections on this website there is a Gunsmithing section under "Open Discussion".

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    On anything that means anything to you, modify with caution.

    A few minutes with a dremel on the stock will make that protrusion disappear, but it might make other fit problems.

    But you won't be damaging something you care about

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    Definitely make the stock fit the shotgun, not the other way around.

    Trace the outline of the tang and make some clearance. Dremel, round files, etc.

    May have to deepen the pocket 1/8" or so to get the stock to butt up to the receiver properly.

    I prefer the wood furniture on heirlooms- you don't want to modify the receiver so the wood doesn't fit.

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    I have a suggestion if you don't mind marring the steel a tiny bit in an area that doesn't show.

    Take a small fine file and try it on the inside of the tang at the curved bit farthest from the receiver. If it cuts the tang is probably bendable.

    Don't try hitting it with a hammer. You'll need to clamp the receiver in a padded vise and GENTLY bend it with something like a large adjustable wrench, preferably with tape on the jaws to protect the finish.

    It's a slow process, bend a bit, try it in the stock, bend a bit more. you'll need to use something to restrain the middle of the tang so it bends only at the end. I've used a second adjustable wrench crosswise for that, with the receiver held in the vise so the sides of the wrench hit the top of the rear jaw to resist the bending force.

    I've bent a few tangs on stuff including a partially finished black powder pistol kit that I bought from a guy and the amount you need looks to be in the safe range.

    PS: It looks like you'll also have to adjust the inletting to close that gap at the rear of the receiver.

    Jancolic has a good point about the wood. I also have a Remington 11 and I bought a semifinished Boyd's butt stock that I'll SOMEDAY take the time to fit and finish. In the meantime my ugly but serviceable glued walnut patch keeps the gun usable.

    So many projects, so little time.

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    Why would you put a synthetic stock on a family heirloom? In 75 years your descendants will have a 150 year old plastic shotgun. makes no sense. Keep it original and get yourself something else to play with.

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    Not to be a jerk, but your question indicates that you are a novice when it comes to working with steel, and when it comes to certain modifications to firearms. The path from novice to expert involves making mistakes. One definition of experience is "mistakes repeated many times". So, are you willing to become experienced by making mistakes on this shotgun? Is breaking part of the metal off the thing acceptable? If not, don't bend it.

    Wood is easier to shape and modify than steel, and a new replacement stock will not be vintage. So you are safer modifying the stock.

    Here's what I'd do (because I'm not a gunsmith, either):
    1) Get a replacement stock for that fits the Remington..
    2) As others have indicated, for heaven's sake, get a wood stock for a 75 year old vintage firearm.
    3) As others have suggested, modify the new stock to get it to fit. Do not touch the metal on the firearm with any file, saw, cutting too, or vise.
    4) Unless you have pretty good experience gunsmithing, take the thing to an experienced smith to do any involved parts replacement.

    Pic and URL below for one option

    Replacement Walnut Gun Stock for Remington Model 11 Shotgun
    remington.jpg

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    I wonder how this would look with a plastic stock? That is me over fifty years back when I could see good enough to make such things from scratch (well, Bill Large made the barrel)
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails smoke-pole.jpg  

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    If worried that you might snag the sides you can glue in a .005 shim with a little (couple spots ) Elmers school glue glue. A dremel grinding with the end of perhaps a 1/4 to 3/8 nib will make the stock right with the shim keeping you center off the wood.Sharpie mark it and take away the mark to make it .060 or what need at the rear and with watching the sharpie mark take out the center areas matching the steel. . Yes someone said how to plug and re drill the screw hole.

    *Yes you can hold the shim with just a wedge in the forward of the groove, so not need the glue...might even use two shims one on each side with the wedge holding. (the wheel rotation will pull you to the high side and the shim keeps you safe.)

    I have the same gun but the barrel rib solder is coming lose ..need to get that fixed someday.likely have a smith do that..

    OT: Shot a big 9 point buck this year with a borrowed rifled barrel 12 gauge. Owner said it was dead on at 100. Smack it was, and went right through…like it could have gone 200 yds.

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    Always modify the cheaper replaceable parts.

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    Pat, We have a .22 rifle my grandfather bought in 1926 or 28, so similar age, and I wouldn't contemplate modifications. This isn't your question and you didn't ask for our opinions, but I suspect your grandkids would rather have an original gun. Same parts, same stock, same finish. Refinishing some old guns ruins their value. Put it back together with a light coat of oil and tuck it in the safe.

    Maybe pick up a $100 shotgun from the local pawn shop to refinish?

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    Look at the picture you showed us. There is a gap that appears to be almost 1/8" at the receiver face. If that gap is closed by moving the plastic POS forward the rest of the issues almost disappear. It appears that your plastic eyesore is "semi-inleted" as it should be. Firearms of that age had a lot of hand work and even the machined surfaces varied much more than we would imagine in our wildest dreams today. If the finish inleting was done properly that eyesore might be a perfect fit. Wood, even easier. But why not the original stock? Unless shattered to splinters, that is what you want.

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    Quote Originally Posted by magic-rat View Post
    Here's my problem: I have a very nice modern synthetic stock for an A-5 that does not quite fit my Model 11. The "tang" on the rear stock is about 3 millimeters "off". The "arc" of the steel needs to be bent a little bit. I'm terrified to try and just get a hammer ... this gun means too much to me. What is the smart way to do this?
    Can you show a picture of the "tang" with the stock removed. How thick is that "tang".

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    OK, having fit a bunch of stocks to actions and re-stocked a bunch of long arms, blah, blah, here's my read:

    1. Don't go bending the tang. It sounds as tho you're not familiar with metal or gunwork, and while I've bent some pieces on guns, it would be irresponsible of me to direct or encourage you how to bend that tang.

    2. The Model 11 is an A5, but with American threads & screw sizes. It also had a recoil buffer at the back inside of the receiver that by now has probably disintegrated and needs to be replaced. If it is completely gone, you'll see a rivet on the rear inside of the receiver.

    3. Inexpensive synthetic stocks aren't well known for fitting gun actions properly, and a synthetic stock on an old Model 11 looks, well, like crap. I would get some 90% inlet stocks, learn how to use inletting black and get some proper wood on the shotgun.

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    A plastic stock on a model 11 would look like a tight leather skirt on a quarterback. Boyd’s makes stocks for the model 11 if you want new, if not there’s lots of good used stuff out there for model 11’s , even NOS parts. Good news is the most common worn out parts are the recoil spring and friction ring and band which are the same as the a5. They are smooth shooting shotguns though.

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    If it were mine I'd go with a nice used stock set; might even buy a donor gun since these are not usually expensive. Looking around a little it appears there might even be more than one "size" depending on age.

    Guns that era sometimes had the wood fit up before final bluing/wood finishing because of variation in the final product.

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    I also have a Remington Model 11 that has been handed down, in my case from my grandfather. I'm pretty sure he bought it new in the 1930s. I treasure mine, also. All I have to say is please, please do NOT bend the tang, and do NOT put that ugly plastic stock on yours. You would someday regret it.

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    Bending the gun makes it odd and so the proper stock wont fit.

    Likely there is a gun stock store where you might buy a proper fitting stock. My grandfather hand made a stock out of some kind of reddish color wood for a nice old double barrel 12..That might be a hand or machining project.

    The plastic stock may not have enough meat to deepen the needed place..I could hand scrape that stock with a wood chisel and with about an hour worth of time. The screw hole would be odd angle but might work/or fill that hole and re drill it. Still it would be off weight and off feel of being proper.

    Good to sell that stock for what you have into it and buy the proper stock..

    Where is the old stock? You can glue a crack so it cant be noticed...

    You might find a local Amish guy who would make you a stock. A retired cabinet maker could make one,except for the checkering..

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    Hi, Pat! I'm new here myself but registered in order to add my two cents to this discussion. I don't have a lot of trigger time with Remington 11's or Browning Auto-5's but I've seen some of the road you're on.

    I had an uncle-by-marriage who died, whereupon his wife and kids embarked on some housecleaning and found some guns in the attic. Apparently they didn't know he owned any guns and having no interest in them, they gave them to me. One was a Remington 11. (I had never heard anything about Uncle hunting or shooting, and so I don't think he personally could have been responsible for the use that was apparent on those guns. They weren't at all "like new".)

    The shotgun's wood was in sad shape but the metal seemed pretty good. No rust, though the blue was rubbed and faded. I decided to put it back into shape for my nephews, who at that time had had no shooting experience.

    As I remember, the barrel was full-choked so I bought a Poly-Choke and had it installed by a local gunsmith. (He shortened the barrel just enough to remove the original choke. The Poly-Choke had its own front bead.)

    I took the gun completely apart to examine it and clean it. If you've had yours apart you're familiar with the locking bolt and the bolt carrier it rides in; you will have noticed the unique "rotary T and T-slot" engagement. The male part of the T, on the bolt, was broken. I got a used replacement from Numrich Gun Parts and luckily it fit very well: smooth operation and no apparent slop.

    I did replace the washer-like buffer inside the receiver, behind the bolt. I also equipped the gun with a plastic stock and fore-end. The fore-end fit fine, though I did add a spring-plunger (like this: Short Spring Plungers | Carr Lane) in the fore-end under the magazine cap, in order to keep the mag cap from unscrewing.

    My stock had fit issues somewhat similar to yours. I think I had to carve some plastic away around the lower tang, where it joins the receiver. The stock ended up a little proud of the metal around the front of the lower tang, but I accepted that. I didn't modify the tangs in any way, and agree with other posters who recommend against that. If you bent the tang I'm certain you would have trouble installing the tang screw, since the hole in the lower tang would no longer be co-linear and furthermore would also be at the wrong angle. (People who suggested methods of correcting the screw hole through the wood are not wrong, but that's not where the serious problem lies.) Even without altering this arrangement I found that my gun was sensitive to how tightly that screw was installed. "Too tight" distorted the upper tang, and that interfered with functioning because it bound up the action spring and related parts, which ride in a tunnel which is part of the upper tang. So I only tightened it just-enough, and used Loctite to hold its position.

    Having done this work, the gun lived in the safe for some years, for one reason and another. When I finally got around to test-firing it the first shot blew the Poly-Choke off the muzzle, because the d--n gunsmith installed it with Loctite instead of solder. I sent the barrel and choke to Poly-Choke and they installed it correctly. Sadly, testing didn't go well even after that. This time the female part of the rotary T-slot broke. (The recess in the bolt carrier, instead of the male feature on the bolt itself.)

    At that point I was done with the gun, and sold it for parts.

    As to philosophy, I see nothing wrong with putting such a stock on the gun. The only problem was that it was designed and made for an Auto-5, and that's not exactly the same as a Rem 11.

    This was the least expensive, quick-and-dirty way of setting up a workable gun for my newbie nephews. We weren't dishonoring a family heirloom, or a rare and historically important firearm. This was not the sort of artifact that needed to be preserved for future generations. (I do believe in respecting machinery and for many of my own guns, I have as much affection for them as I would for a pet. In a case like this . . . your property, do as you please - even if that means pounding it into the ground for beans to grow on.) In any case, anybody who wanted to could install nice wood in the future, if that floated their boat.

    Bottom line: A plastic stock is a good no-harm/no-foul concept, but the execution is problematic. In this case, I agree with those who recommend wood, though not for all of the same reasons.

    Good luck!


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