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In my other post, I showed the handful of shotguns I was given, some of which needed repair. Thanks again to csspecs for pointing me in the direction of the Midway repair video. 

 Now I need a little more assistance. Much like in the video, the first gun I'm undertaking has a loose barrel/receiver problem. I need some shim stock and loc-tite. I tried a local fastener/hardware store and they had NOTHING I needed, next I looked here on the web and was somewhat surprised with the prices. I completely understand that nothing is free, but the smallest piece of shim stock I could find was $11and about 8 FEET longer than I need... I only need a piece about 1/4 the size of a business card and it will be MORE than enough. Anyone know of a good place to get a Small quantity of steel shim stock? (Maybe I should buy some second-hand feeler gauges to chop apart? Not sure if the metal-type would be right or matter.)

 Next, the video recommended using 680 green loc-tite, but again the smallest bottle I can find is $20. I'm pretty sure I can see myself only using it this once, the rest going to waste. Any recommendations on a replacement adhesive or location for a smaller quantity?

 Third: there are some small screws (somewhat inside the receiver) that I need to remove so I can repair/re-tighten the barrel release lever. Any ideas on how to get to them? I tried using a small 1/4" drive bit with a wrench on it, but there isn't enough clearance to get the bit into the receiver. 



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For the loctite I'd suggest amazon, they are great for small parts.. If you have prime you can get this listing, if not off to the right you can buy it from another seller with free shipping.



I'd guess a feeler gauge would probably work. Normally they are made from hardened spring steel. In the shop we use the harbor freight ones for shim stock all the time. I'm not exactly sure if the HF ones are high carbon steel or hardened.


As for the screw maybe something like this. 








I think I actually own each of the ones above... They do seem to generate an incredible amount of swearing in use.

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You can get green loctite at auto parts stores, as well as the permatex equivalent. I think I paid $6 for my little bottle. A tiny tube lasts a long time, and it doesn't sound like you would use it much. Just get the smallest package they have. Get blue paste style while you are there too. Handy stuff. Green is for very small fasteners, blue for almost everything else you come across with any frequency.

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I'm not even sure if the screws are stuck, I couldn't get anything on them to even try. I'll keep the soldering iron in mind though.

The loc-tite was actually recommended in the midway video to keep the shim adhered to the hinge pin. Personally I don't know the differences between the stuff made specifically for fasteners/threaded applications vs. a somewhat flat use. I guess I never even considered looking at an auto parts store... if they don't work out, I'll hit the amazon link (thanks again csspecs). 

The harbor freight link: I have some of those small bits, and planned on using those with a wrench. My problem is that there isn't even enough clearance to get those little bits in there. (although, now thinking about it I could probably attack the base on one of those cheap bits with a grinder to shorten it).

The home depot link: looks like it may have the same problem.

The amazon link: that might be my saving grace if grinding a bit down doesn't work. 


Thanks for all the tips guys. I'll try to keep this thread updated with my progress.

So far I've only (somewhat) disassembled this first 12, and sanded down the rear stock. It looks as if someone (without a steady hand at all) chopped it shorter, erratically hacking with a handsaw and having it jump out of the cutting groove. Then at some point in time added a homemade buttplate to re-lengthen the stock, but evened the seam out with a thick round file. I'm not a woodworker of any sort, but this stock was abused. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Update: First shotgun disassembled (grinded a 1/4" drive flat-bit down to remove the screws). Sanded and retained the stocks, now they match a lot better (pics to come). Planning on shimming the hinge sometime this week. I found a permatex equivalent and some inexpensive feeler gauges to re-purpose at the local auto parts store. 


Started on the second 12 as well. It locked up tight so I think no shimming will be required. The barrel had a lot of surface rust in the breech, as well as some pitting down the barrel. I decided this one would be the sacrificial lamb of the bunch. I hacked the barrel back to 18.5" with a pipe-cutter and cleaned up the cut with a file. It looks like the pitting was deeper in some spots than I thought. The raw end looks like the pitting goes fairly deep into the barrel walls, or I could just be mistaking the grain of the metal. (pictures of that to follow as well). I swabbed out the rest of the barrel with an oil soaked rag, and the breech cleaned up pretty nicely. I'm still debating on if I plan on shooting this thing or just having it as an evil looking conversation piece in my safe. It feels solid but I value the shape of my face, number of teeth I have, and brain-in-skull ratio, more than wanting to shoot an old single-shot.

Any advice on safety checks or specific things to look for if I decided to actually shoot this one? 


Another problem is that the lamb is missing the foregrip. I've checked all the usual places (eBay, gunbroker, numrich, and brownells) with no luck. From my little bit of research I've found It's an obscure store brand from the Savage/Stevens company called "Riverside Arms Co." The only schematics and parts I could find were for their double barrel models. 

Edited by XdamagedX
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Set up a standing ebay search that emails you with matches. You will probably get a bunch of irrelevant hits. Go through those for common phrases for red herrings. Revise your search terms to something on the order of "Lamb Model 12 forend -redherring -blueherring -maryhadalittle" under $35.... email daily. This is your best bet for finding what you want. do the same on gunbroker.

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p.s. make sure you are in sporting goods>hunting>firearms>parts and accessories. ebay will try to broaden the search each time you narrow it and draw blanks. You will have to click [show me my actual search results, don't divert me to a generic broad search you bastards] or something to that effect a few times before you get to a search worth saving and getting emails on.

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  • 2 weeks later...

So on the first shotgun, I bonded the shim to the barrel. I clamped a drill bit into the recess to hold the shape of the shim tight against the barrel. This seemed like a good idea until I let it dry and realized I had also bonded the drill bit to the barrel. beaten.gif  I cleaned everything off and got a good clean surface again, and re-bonded, this time with a dowel filling the gap. I let it dry a few days, then filed away the excess. After cleaning up my new pivot point, I started fitting the barrel to the receiver and it was loose again. I'm not sure if it wasn't prepped/cleaned thoroughly enough, or the shim wasn't bent quite round enough before I clamped it, but it popped off during my fitting of the barrel. Once again I took a piece of the .008 feeler gauge, rolled it into a similar shape, cleaned the hell out of it, cleaned the barrel, repeated cleaning AGAIN just to be sure, and clamped into place. Not wanting to take any chances, I let it dry for 2 days, unclamped and allowed another 2 days before I started working on it again. Finally I have that taken care of. 



Then I went on to fitting the breech. No pictures taken, but there was a gap at the top of the breech of the barrel letting me know the bottom was hitting first. I grabbed a red Sharpie to coat the contact surface, briskly closed the barrel and was able to see the contact points. Disassemble, file, sand, re-paint and start over. I filed and test-fit the breech until there was no gap and no high spots.

So I had to move on to the locking lug (which wasn't engaging by now). The .008 that the barrel was pushed back was enough that the lug wasn't making enough contact, and with a bump from the heel of my hand I could break the action open. 



Gotta take a break, crack open another beer with your homemade bottle opener and then resume. 



Pictures start getting fuzzy, I wonder if that's a coincidence?

The lug was contacting enough to not be "bumped" open anymore and left a good print when I checked the marking surface. Next I emptied out a bulk bird shell I had and made sure I hadn't removed too much material... looks good by me. I got nervous about having to also file the ejector because it was slightly raised above the breech. I cleaned the (probably) 50+ years of gunk built up on it with the wire wheel on my bench grinder, and it fit with no issue. (not pictured, it goes it the hole between the red markings)



I tried re-assembling the gun to see how everything looked and felt, but I couldn't get the foregrip to lock into place. I disassembled the hardware from the wood so I could see exactly what was going on. I realized that the shim affected ANOTHER part that I hadn't considered. The forearm lug was also moved back and would have to be trimmed. 



File and fit, file and fit, file and fit. 

This is going to require another beer. Another homemade bottle-opener... broken crescent wrench.



File and test a few times and then I realized that the top of the lug (closest to the barrel) would have to be relieved also (duh), not just the lower "ramp". After a few more passes and test fits, everything snapped into place as expected. 



All I've got left to do is seal the stocks, and re-fit the foregrip. Whoever made the replacement foregrip mis-drilled the holes and used mismatching screws that didn't even fit very well. Toothpicks filled the holes with a bit of wood glue.  I planned on using regular wood sealer for the job, but I've read a few reviews of the Birchwood Casey "Tru-Oil" and people seem to swear by it. Even though this thing is probably twice as old as I am, and a VERY plain single-shot, I'm excited to get it out in the field. It's like building a car, it might not be the best, fastest, or most popular model, but the time and effort put into it makes it worth more than that. More pics to come, including a "before and after" shot. 


Edit: spelling

Edited by XdamagedX
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  • 1 month later...


Heres the first before and after. The far right was missing parts, had a bent muzzle, and lots of pitting towards the muzzle. I managed to find the obscure parts, and hack the barrel back. Seems to be a good shooter. So far I've managed to get a lucky shot (downed a crow), and ran up on a squirrel. Not the best tool for the job, but it goes bang and looks cool for a nearly 100 year old gun. 






This is the re-finished version of the top gun in the second picture. As seen earlier in the thread, I had to shim the barrel. It also had mismatching stock colors. I fixed and cleaned the internals, as well as stain and seal the wood. Now it doesn't break open on it's own, and matches itself a little better. In the buttstock there's a spot of light coloring in the wood, I considered adding more stain, but I like how it's got a little "natural imperfection" to it. I thought about refinishing the barrel and receiver, but I kinda dig the "aged" oxidized look it's got. 2 free guns that probably still aren't worth much more than that, but they were a good learning experience and have a cool story attached to them now. Thanks for looking. 

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