We all have one, that derelict old firearm sitting partially assembled in the back of the safe or closet. This is the story of mine. No, it is not a full on restoration project. I also realize it is not as impressive as David Fey’s Ithaca project, but it may spur some of us on to tackle our forgotten friends lying in the deep recesses of our gun safes.
My poor forgotten friend is a Springfield model 67F .410 pump shotgun. Quite honestly I wish I knew more about the history of this old shotgun. I know they are not anything spectacular, but this particular shotgun is the first pump action I learned to shoot. Like most older commercial Springfields it is the cousin to a similar Savage shotgun. It is nearly identical to the Savage 67, and that is where my knowledge of the model’s history abruptly ends.
I can tell you that family legend has it; my grandfather won the shotgun in a raffle. My great grandfather apparently carried it hunting in his later years. He (my great grandfather) thought that three inch .410 shells were plenty good medicine on the small game he, my grandfather, and father hunted. Fast forward a few decades and there happens to be a new hunter entering the fray, yours truly. After I mastered the single shots my dad had for us to learn on he taught me how to operate a pump. As a kid a pump shotgun held a kind of mystique with me. My dad owned only one firearm for hunting, and it was the Winchester model 12 16 gauge my grandfather bought after returning from World War II. Hunting with a pump meant you were becoming one of the big guys! You could handle your own, hit your targets, and operate and maintain your firearm safely in the hunting party. So though this Springfield is nothing special from a technical or firearms development point of view, it symbolizes a rite of passage and brings back all sorts of fond memories for me.
I do not recall what turn of events relegated my old friend to a pile of parts in the back of the safe. I believe it happened over a period of time. Sometime shortly before my father passed away, ten years ago, I remember the recoil pad had rotted off of the shotgun. I believe dad’s remedy was to put one of those slip on pads on the shotgun. I seem to remember a few years ago having an issue disassembling it to clean it. I finally got it all apart but in doing so the receiver pin was damaged. After this incident the shotgun sat partially assembled in the gun safe. I had every intention of replacing the mushroomed pin and installing a new recoil pad; but, quite honestly, life got busy and I forgot about my old friend.
A couple of months ago, I was hunting parts for another project; and I got the wild hair to locate the pin I needed for my old friend. I did not find the pin on my usual parts sites. At this point, I guess, I could have just gotten some pin stock and fitted a pin to the receiver and trigger group, or gone to Harbor Freight and bought a set of drill bits and made one. Just when I was going to give up I came across Outback Gun Parts. They specialize in older parts. They do not have an online catalog, but they do orders through email and phone inquiries. I emailed them and described the parts, and they said they had them. A phone call later and my pin was on its way. I would most certainly recommend Outback to any of you hunting something a little old and a little out of the ordinary.
I received my pin and fitted it to the receiver and trigger group. I had a slight fitment issue still even with the new pin. I removed everything from the receiver and placed the trigger group aside. I attempted to simply install the pin in the receiver. I found it passed very well through one side of the receiver, yet it would not fit in the hole on the opposite side. I measured the pin and found it was the same size on both ends. I figured out that the hole on the opposite side of the receiver had somehow become undersized. I never really figured out how. I do not know if there were splines in the hole that corroded, and the corrosion build up made the opening undersized. I suppose that is a possibility, or maybe disassembly over the years caused some sort of peening of the opening. I never really figured out why or what or how, but I pressed on. I found a router bit in my box-o-dremel attachments that passed cleanly through the opening that was proper sized. I tried the bit in the opening that was undersized, and the bit only went part the way into the opening. My plan was to simply ream the undersized opening until the pin fit properly. I took my handy blue painter’s tape and placed two layers of tape over the opening. I then used an exacto knife to cut the tape covering the opening. I used the tape to protect the receiver finish in case my reamer bit ran wild on me. I then took my dremel and reamer bit and cautiously opened up the receiver pin opening. I did this until the proper friction fit was attained when installing the pin into the receiver without the trigger group. When the proper fit was obtained I removed my blue painter’s tape, installed the trigger group, and function checked the shotgun. Assembly and function all sorted I disassembled the shotgun, cleaned, lubricated, and reassembled the firearm.
I now had a functioning shotgun again, but it was still missing a proper recoil pad. This slip on foolishness had to go. I removed the slip on pad to find nothing at all on the butt of the stock. I rummaged in my box of random parts and was shocked to find a recoil pad that had holes in the correct spots to use the factory holes. I put the pad on and scribed the pad and marked it with chalk. I do not; however own a belt sander, so I got creative with fitting the pad. I grabbed my trusty blue painter’s tape and masked off the stock where the pad and stock meet. I used two layers of tape. The tape was to protect my stock as I used my hand sander to fit the pad. This method is not for the faint of heart, and it is quite crude yet effective. The key is to go slow removing a small amount of material at a time and keep an eye on the condition of the tape. Once you burn through the first layer of tape and the second layer begins to take a little chewing you are probably really close to the proper pad contour. This is how I did my pad fitting in lieu a belt sander and jig like Jack showed us a few months ago. I could not see buying the tooling just to do a single recoil pad on one of my personal firearms. Maybe one day I can justify that cost, and hopefully it will not be simply for a single recoil pad job. The pad may not be perfect, but considering the tooling used I think it turned out well enough.
Again I know it is not as impressive as David Fey’s Ithaca project, but an old forgotten pile of parts is now a functional firearm again. My aim is to challenge all of us out there who have an old derelict pile of parts to get those parts all reacquainted and running again! As one can see from this little write up with minimal tools and a little brain power one could have that old forgotten firearm in shooting shape once more. I know I am glad I did not completely forget or give up on my old shotgun. Hopefully it is ready to shoot and hunt for a few more decades. I could not be happier with the results. All it took was a five dollar pin and a little bit of time. Now I am ready for fall to come to do some small game hunting. I may have to sneak away in the meantime and do a little trap shooting! Stay safe and good luck getting your derelict parts piles running again.