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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I took Armen's advice and removed the locks on my Montgomery Ward (basically a private label Baker Batavia Special). Locks were pristine but I did notice a couple of cracks in the left lock mortise. should I just leave these alone, or should I stabilize them? I took the gun out and it shoots well enough to enjoy it as a shooter and not as a safe queen or fireplace wallhanger. I've seen many photos of Batavias with hunks missing out of the stocks, and don't want this one to end up that way. The cracks or splits don't go through to the right side.

Thanks for any advice.

Doby

 

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If it was mine I would definitely do what I could to stabilize it. As you say, it would be a shame to end up with a piece missing from the wrist. Then you have a real problem.
 

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Repair or it'll eventually crack in a place you can see. The wood in back of the tang is already getting a bit hammered.

Just make sure its properly reinforced and cross pinned, not just glued or it'll come apart again. This is a weak spot on sidelocks.

Also, to prevent future problems shave a very small taper on the edges of the lock and tang inletting. That will allow for the inevitable wood shrinkage without cracking.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Repair or it'll eventually crack in a place you can see. The wood in back of the tang is already getting a bit hammered.

Just make sure its properly reinforced and cross pinned, not just glued or it'll come apart again. This is a weak spot on sidelocks.

Also, to prevent future problems shave a very small taper on the edges of the lock and tang inletting. That will allow for the inevitable wood shrinkage without cracking.
I'll repair and reinforce it before shooting it again. Taper should be a simple thing to do as well. Thanks! I am thinking of using clear JB Weld epoxy and the pins so that the repairs would be obvious and the original inletting would all still be visible. Would this work OK?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Is your shot gun a long version of the one I posted here:

http://forums.gunboards.com/showthr...eed-value-and-best-recommendation-for-selling

It looks very similar but I can't tell the length of the barrels or the stock.

grey

No, mine is a later version than yours, greyheadedguy. Yours is apparently Belgian and mine only has Belgian barrels.

Here is a photo of it full length. If mine were cut down like yours it would require at least a $200 stamp since it would be a sawed off shotgun under the NFA. Yours is fine as is since it is an antique.

 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you, mokus. I am glad I took it apart. It turns out that the left firing pin had been repaired improperly as well, and I have made a new one for it. Left barrel (rear trigger) must have been fired much more often than the right one during its lifetime. Also the return springs for the pins must have been lost at one point. I hope to get another lifetime of use out of it after these minor repairs.
 

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No, mine is a later version than yours, greyheadedguy. Yours is apparently Belgian and mine only has Belgian barrels.

Here is a photo of it full length. If mine were cut down like yours it would require at least a $200 stamp since it would be a sawed off shotgun under the NFA. Yours is fine as is since it is an antique.

View attachment 776443 View attachment 776444
You have a beautiful shot gun there. I wish I owned the one I posted. It is a beaut also, so ornate... I don't think it was cut down, but I don't want to steal your thread. I hope you get it up and fully usable, it is a nice shot gun I'd be proud to own.
Thanks for your input.

grey
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks, grey. I like it very much - especially for the price I got it for, lol. Shot only a few rounds through it right before sunset last nice, and it fits me well. length of pull is about 14 1/4" and the barrels are still 30 inches. Looks like a period repair to the left firing pin. It shot fine, but I am pretty sure it wasn't done by a gunsmith. The old repair was a bit crude, and a decent 'smith would not have left out the return springs on the firing pins. I'll have it back up and running by tomorrow, and then probably shoot a round of clays with it on Sunday.

It looks to me like Baker made fine guns, and actually deserved to be up there at least with LC Smith. I love LC's but have always thought them overpriced for a box lock gun. Sidelocks sure are easier for me to work on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks, gentlemen. Firing pin made and fitted. Wood is all pinned, glued, and repaired. I inlet a chip of walnut into the spot that was missing at the rear of the left lockplate. I had some leftover from a VZ24 stock that I had salvaged onto a Colombian Mauser. I think it came out OK. Truly I appreciate the advice here on this.

Doby

 

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Nice job. It looks great.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Lol, it is amazing what you can do with a razor blade, some super glue, and a couple of nails with the heads clipped off. My son came home as I was finishing it up and asked if I was doing a Bubba job on the shotgun. He didn't even know what a Bubba Job was until I subscribed here! I hope that repair on the wood around the lock holds up.

I have now fitted a Baker buttplate to it as well. (Ebay is good for finding stuff like this, isn't it?) So it's ready to go now.
 

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Thanks, gentlemen. Firing pin made and fitted. Wood is all pinned, glued, and repaired. I inlet a chip of walnut into the spot that was missing at the rear of the left lockplate. I had some leftover from a VZ24 stock that I had salvaged onto a Colombian Mauser. I think it came out OK. Truly I appreciate the advice here on this.

Doby



View attachment 776539 View attachment 776540

:)Good show. When I said open her up. I had no idea the wood line may be cracked. Glad you did. BTW While you can, see if the hammer springs need to be replaced. I think they all are interchangeable finding them should n't be an issue.
Armen.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hammer springs are very strong, Armen. I had 100% ignition on about 50 rounds the night I got it. I was going to by a spare set of firing pins, but they are so simple to make, I probably won't even do that. I'm fooling with the safety now. I hate automatic safeties, and this has one. I read in one of their early 1920s ads that the safety could be switched to non-automatic
instantly". Lol, I don't see how it could be instant. But it is fun to play with. Very simple inside - like a muzzle loader. I'm in my element with this gun. I may have a decent gunsmith in ABQ open up the chokes to Modified and Improved Cylinder though. It has a pretty tight full choke and even the Modified barrel shoots like a modern Full. I am only going to use it for Clays and upland hunting, so Mod and IC seem to make sense. The barrels aren't marked for the chokes anyway.
 

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Sounds like my automatic safety on Red label. That's sort of annoying if you ask me. I missed many shots by forgetting to set the safety off. That's why it is sitting on the BACK of the safe.;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I decided to just completely disable the safety. "Safe" is barrels open anyway. Most German guns and many English ones were made without a safety. The safety is just a little nib and a "z" shaped bar that goes to the lever on top. I moved the lever out of the way. I now have a feeling that is what was meant in the ads but not explicitly said.

When I was a kid, I hunted with a break-open single shot, and my dad had a double. We always walked with the shotguns broken open anyway. It was a good habit and I still do it.
 

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You have a beautiful shot gun there. I wish I owned the one I posted. It is a beaut also, so ornate... I don't think it was cut down, but I don't want to steal your thread. I hope you get it up and fully usable, it is a nice shot gun I'd be proud to own.
Thanks for your input.

grey
Had the opportunity to speak to the owner of it today and they still have it. They had it up for sale, but I think we need to document it some before it can be sold for what they want for it. It was their father's gun...

grey
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
What kind of money are they asking for it - also by chance have you noticed if the barrels are rifled?
 

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What kind of money are they asking for it - also by chance have you noticed if the barrels are rifled?
They look smooth in the pictures I have that I didn't post. There is no sign of rifling in my pictures, bore is smooth! And I do not know how much, I can't afford it so I've never asked...

grey
 
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