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Joined: Oct 2006
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Sidelock
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The model 400 was made from approximately 1900 to 1946. W&S made a shit load of 400’s in every gauge and in few different grades.
The 700 was produced post WW2, with production starting around 1947.

I’d venture to say that there were more 400’s produced for the trade than there were 700’s….by the time the 7 hundy came along, the trade was really starting on its downward slide.

I guess the answer to your question Ted is not many people have run into catastrophic problems with their guns and for the most part, probably don’t feel the need to carry spare parts and special tools with them. I think it’s safe to say that the majority of shooters of vintage guns arent as diligent as you are in making sure they’re prepared for a failure in the field by stocking up on fitted pins, springs and tooling. You’re a well prepared guy, pretty mechanically inclined, where a good many vintage shotgun shooters are not.

The only time I see gunsmiths messing with the disc is during complete strip and cleans and or repairing a wonky striker. I see alot of strip and cleans….and that’s where I see the problems with removing the disk. More often than not…a tool must be made and fitted to the disk for proper removal. There is no one tool fits all for those things.

I think W&S figured that there was no longer a reason to incorporate disk set strikers in their actions because they weren’t worried about integral strikers breaking very much at all, which they don’t. That was probably a pretty good cost saving feature eliminating the extra machining and fitting of those disk.
Same with the screw grip extension. Over 50+ years of making them…they probably figured that the screw grip didn’t add much of anything to the function or strength of the gun and therefore eliminated that feature as well, thus reducing cost of the action again.

1 member likes this: Ted Schefelbein
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Reading about the hardships involved in minor repairs on the Anson and Deeley type boxlock brings to mind the ease of maintenance and repair of the Beretta 626 action which technically can be defined as a boxlock since the lockwork is housed in the action body.

The stock is pulled in seconds due to its bolt. Every single part can be replaced with a simple punch, no screws. Parts drop in and work with no fitting. And it has secondary tumbler bents to prevent accidental discharge. IF a firing pin breaks the tumbler is a fairly inexpensive part to replace. Our local Beretta dealer has a bunch of them, never sold one because none broke apparently. Actually he did sell one that I turned into a key fob.

1 member likes this: Ted Schefelbein
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Give me a hand made A&D quality Brummy boxlock over the Berretta any day. I do not find owning or working on them a hardship. I already own plenty of screwdrivers, no issue there. Good guns that require very little to keep going like the Energizer Bunny. What is not to like?


http://www.bertramandco.com/

ACGG Professional metalsmith, firearms import services.
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Yep and the pink ribbon you tie on your gun to make sure you pick up the correct gun .cookie cutter smile

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I was expecting gunman to chime in though he may feel that each of us has posted a good number of postings on W & S though I do have some things to say that I have not covered regarding the 700 series. As other folks have said that the 400 series was a more up market gun the reason being it was built and sold before ww2 with the 700 coming after ww 2 at a time when things in Britain was a lot of hand to mouth with rashoning that went on until 1954. Because of this people did not have a lot of disposable income so W & S still had to produce a home market range of shot guns so the 700 series side by side was produced as a cost cut 400 series. There where cost limitations removal of screw grip disk set strikers and back to basic wood, though on the working parts that mattered quality stayed the same with very little alterations. One benefit of the war that a lot of good quality steel was available at low prices. The first guns that came out of the factory where real plain Jane's and that name did stick for many years though the kinder name was a keepers gun with no frills but with ejectors the ability to work well in all situations with very little service if any.
This is my 1950 700 what you see is what you get. But what you cant see is the handling and balance being slightly lighter and is far superior to the models that followed along later.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Also with 21/2 inch chambers

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Just for comparison two actions one very early and a later offering of the 700 the bottom action in the photograph is the oldest

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Finally a mid 70's version but by then w & S would make many barrel lengths and different wood and engraving qualities, including some two barrel sets

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

All with 23/4 inch chambers though the later versions do not handle like their first offerings but as they say what cant speak cant lie a vast am mount of the factory's 700 output is still with us and working well some 60 years later.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Engraving is not generous but it is hand engraved with the engravers having a little personal flexibility on how they engraved the guns as you will see from the action photograph. Could say a lot more but it has already been said a number of times though one thing that is starting to grate with me is the much rolled out fixed hinge pin with you have to do work on the barrel hook if the gun comes off face. From what I have found there are mot many gunsmiths want to go to all the work of removing the hinge pin and making a larger replacement when they could just weld the barrel hook and that goes for many guns.


The only lessons in my life I truly did learn from where the ones I paid for!
3 members like this: eeb, Tim Cartmell, LeFusil
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Damascus,
How many strikers have you broke on your 400’s & 700’s?

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Le Fusil I have owned 3 400's when I sold them they all had their original strikers, these two 700 both have the original strikers and all their original internal parts still this is not unusual as the guns are practically bomb proof they work on the absolute minimum of parts.


The only lessons in my life I truly did learn from where the ones I paid for!
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Whilst 700s may be practically bomb proof, there are 2 faults I have experienced on several guns and have heard of others with the same problem....loose ribs and off face. Possibly previous neglect is one contributing factor, but these faults arise in 700s none the less. As gunman has stated previously, the later 700s may not have been built to stringent standards. Regards


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Guns go off the face only with use the size of load used is also a contributing factor so no make of gun is immune from this. I have repaired nearly new guns with loose ribs and more Spanish offerings than I care to remember. Of course gunman's opinion is just his a opinion the same as mine just opinion, he cant have seen every gun built by w & S over the years." having heard of" as far as I see does not carry any weight for a convincing argument as they say talk is cheap fact is costly. For so many guns to be out there and working their reliability must be high enough for the thousands sold around the world. Finally all the working parts of a 700 can be made by hand with a file occasionally a lathe if necessary I do know this because over the years I have done it they are internally so basic.


The only lessons in my life I truly did learn from where the ones I paid for!
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Those faults can arise on any gun, they aren’t exclusive to 700’s, that’s for certain. I mentioned earlier the hook design on the 4 & 700’s being a weak point of the gun. They’re smaller than normal and tend to wear in rather quickly, especially with heavy use. I’ve seen many many 400’s with dovetailed and welded up hooks, and a few 700’s with the same treatment. Don’t see too many dovetailed 700’s, that method being somewhat obsolete with the advent of spray welding, tig and laser.
1 very nice 400 I owned had a dovetailed hook. 2 other of my 400’s sported welded hooks. My lone 700 actioned gun has a tig welded hook (JJ Perodeau) and after a few thousand rounds it is still tight and on the face.

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