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Aug 5th, 2016
Thread Like Summary
gunut, John Roberts, LeFusil, mergus, Saskbooknut, Stanton Hillis, Ted Schefelbein
Total Likes: 17
Original Post (Thread Starter)
by Ted Schefelbein
Ted Schefelbein
I inherited a gun that was designed in the era of lead shot. Francis Sell was a proponent of the 20 gauge 3” magnum for ducks and geese, adjusting his loads to suit the situation. He had a hand in marketing the wares that the Prandelli and Gasperini company produced to his specs, circa mid to late 1960s.

[Linked Image from jpgbox.com]

These are well made Italian boxlock non ejector guns, produced with 3” chambers and requisite Italian proof, long chokes, extended forcing cones, a bit of a back bore, and well polished tubes. My version is choked Mod and Imp Mod.
Let me be frank. The gun was free, and they are not expensive guns to this day, priced far less as used guns then a new gun built by guys who kneel and pray five time a day are at the moment. I think they are all double trigger and extractor, a plus to me. Nice cut scroll engraving, bone charcoal color case hardening, and well cut checkering. The rib is flat, fairly wide for a 20, and file cut.

Catalog page from the era the gun was produced, shown.


[Linked Image from jpgbox.com]


I don’t hunt ducks or geese. I killed my last duck, a mallard, with a Remington model 17 when I was about 18, using lead 6s ( I turned 60 yesterday, and lead was legal) and walked away from waterfowl shortly after that, when steel came along, and my pops was leaving a perfectly good Irish Setter show dog, that would hunt, at home to pursue geese in western Minnesota. If I was a waterfowler, then or now, I’d use a 12. To my thinking, the 20 gauge waterfowl gun was made obsolete when steel was legislated as mandatory. Even with some other, expensive, non toxic shot, I’d still use a 12 before a 20.

The 20 is pretty much unused, and as I hunt grouse and pheasants, the 3” part of the gun won’t be a huge factor. The gun weighs just over 6 1/2 pounds, and since I have been learning to shoot off my right shoulder, I have come to the conclusion that for hunting, I still prefer a straight stock and a splinter, versus the full pistol grip and beavertail the gun came with. I wouldn’t miss the chance to eliminate the white line spacers, but, the recoil pad could stay, as it is still pliable after all these years. Maybe replace it with a plate. Not sure on that just yet.

My thought would be new front wood, a splinter, elimination of the pistol grip, disabling the auto safety, refinish the wood to match and a rechecker of both pieces of wood. Yes, the white line spacers would go, lest I throw up a bit in my mouth every time I look at it.
I’d have the ‘Smith inspect, debur, clean and lube the innards. I know everyone gets all dewey eyed over oil finishes, but, I’m going to use it, and would specify poly of some sort. Chokes would be left as is. The barrels are 28”, good 20 gauge bird gun length.

Then I’d use it in the uplands. Not concerned about resale or originality, obviously. The previous owner never got around to shooting it. I’m thinking I want to correct that, and use it in his memory.

What say ye?

Gun on the scale. I’d expect about 6 1/4 lbs when the job was done.

[Linked Image from jpgbox.com]

Nice old gun picture. Of late, I’ve been practicing on a trap field with a M1 safety Browning A5. My clay guns are typically 12s, as well.


[Linked Image from jpgbox.com]




Best,
Ted
Liked Replies
by John Roberts
John Roberts
Jmo, but that gun deserves to be left as is. It has a very nice pistol grip shape, and the beavertail is well-executed also. I just like it as-is. Terrific dove gun.
2 members like this
by Ted Schefelbein
Ted Schefelbein
Originally Posted by craigd
Hey Ted, I've followed along for fun. If it's going off to a top smith, why not take a rasp to it?

I have talent, just not with a rasp.

A man has got to know his limitations.

JR, you are the second to cast that vote. Might end up being the plan, although I have never killed a dove in my life. Grouse, pheasants and woodcock, although I usually let the little russet fellows go, unless the dog handles one superbly.

Lloyd, the gun fits pretty well off the right shoulder. But, you already know what stock configuration feels “right” for lack of a better term. I can play with ammunition to get the Mod right barrel to open up a bit, I’m sure of that.

I have talent, there.

Best,
Ted
2 members like this
by ClapperZapper
ClapperZapper
I would say, since you are transitioning from left-handed to right handed, to shoot it a bit.

You may find, that the extra beef in your left hand helps you adapt.

If after a few outings, you decide it needs to go, then whack away.

It’s really quite well-made, it looks good, other than that Beavertail.
1 member likes this
by Lloyd3
Lloyd3
Happy Birthday Ted. Welcome to the 60s.
1 member likes this
by Remington40x
Remington40x
Go for it. It would be a wonderful pheasant gun with the modifications you describe. And you'd be putting a gun back into use which would otherwise continue to age in the vault, unused and unloved.
1 member likes this
by LeFusil
LeFusil
Sell it and buy something that fits the bill without going through all the expenses of the wanted/needed conversions. Seems like an expensive project to fill a niche that you more than likely already have covered by guns you probably currently own. Just a thought.
1 member likes this
by Ted Schefelbein
Ted Schefelbein
Thanks, Lloyd. I bow to your seniority.


I will shoot the gun some more, for some reason I have plenty of 20 gauge target loads. The single thing that hasn’t changed in my shooting since the eye disaster and subsequent surgery, is, what feels best in hand.


Although I haven’t done it of late, pretty sure I managed with some fiber wad 20 gauge loads to get a Mod pattern to open right up to an IC pattern, or, at least close enough for the birds I hunt. I’d prefer to change my loads, over changing the guns chokes.


Best,
Ted
1 member likes this
by John Roberts
John Roberts
Ted,
Another possibility if you decide you don't want to do a project with it: perhaps give it to a young person who could enjoy it. Maybe there is a member here who knows a good candidate. I don't at present. Just a suggestion. Hasn't been that long ago I would have gladly bought it from you, but I'm no longer in the acquisition phase...
JR
1 member likes this
by ChiefAmungum
ChiefAmungum
Hey Ted, looks like plenty of wood there to create the English grip and splinter. If there is a gap between the barrels there are a couple ways to close it. If the wood is proud, which it looks to be then inlet the forend iron a bit deeper, (preferred) or get some walnut veneer,(thin, like paper) and build the barrel channels up. Heck, your going it to hunt with it, right? As to finish you could use Formby's Tung oil low gloss, it's really not pure Tung oil, but it is tough and looks like an oil finish even if it's mostly poly? Looking forward to seeing the result!
Chief
1 member likes this
by gunut
gunut
If you are going to have new wood all around tell the stock maker you want to keep the old wood....
1 member likes this
by Lloyd3
Lloyd3
Ted: I get it, no comparison to that old 10 of mine. But....not nearly the utility it could have if left in it's current configuration. I suspect that when it's done (properly, of course) it should be the better way to honor your friend by carrying it afield (and not leaving it behind, which is why it's still so nice). And...since you are no-longer a "southpaw" (because of your recent retinal challenges), you can make it truly fit your new circumstances. For me, that would include opening the right choke tube up a smidgen (IC & IM are nearly perfection IMHO). In for a penny, in for a pound, eh?" Actually, it sounds like it could be a fun (and reasonable) project.
1 member likes this
by craigd
craigd
Hey Ted, I've followed along for fun. If it's going off to a top smith, why not take a rasp to it?
1 member likes this
by Saskbooknut
Saskbooknut
I can't think of a single reason why you shouldn't make the gun suit your needs. A slender forend would be nice. I'd open the choke a bit in the right barrel, if I found patterns too tight.
I bought an AyA Model 106 in 16 gauge, and the first thing to go were the white line spacers.
Enjoy the journey with your "new" gun.
1 member likes this
by Carl46
Carl46
Since you asked . . .

I took a gun refinishing class some years ago, and took my grandfather's rifle with me as a possible project. This is the rifle he taught me to shoot with, and left to me when he died. It looks like it spend its life outdoors, sun bleached lighter on the right side from lying bolt-handle up on the package shelf of a Ford coupe. The teacher persuaded me to leave it alone, because it wouldn't remind me of my grandfather if I made it look new. So, I left it as is and take it hunting a few times a year.

If your friend had hunted that gun, especially with you, I would have to vote to leave it alone. Since he didn't like it the way it is either, I see no reason not to make it the way you want it.
1 member likes this
by Ted Schefelbein
Ted Schefelbein
Originally Posted by mergus
Ted, I like that gun just the way it is. I like using a 20 for jump shooting ducks, and light as that one is, it would be perfect for me. Should you ever decide you wish to sell it, keep me in mind. I would ask that if that happens, that you write a note with a few details about your friend, stick it in a baggie and if there is a bolt hole in the stock under the recoil pad, place it in there. That's one way to remember a good man...

Mergus

Tell you what. You are first in line. You are also a guy who could certainly put it to use, and, it honestly would be a bit strange (for me) taking it grouse or woodcock hunting.

I’ll even do the bag thing, but, will allow you to put it in the stock.

Thanks.

Best,
Ted
1 member likes this

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