J Stevens sxs .410 question

OlderFossilOlderFossil Member Posts: 7 ✭✭
edited January 2015 in Ask the Experts
One of the firearms I have inherited is a .410 side-by-side shotgun made by J Stevens. On one side of the receiver is STEVENS and a retriever logo. On the other side of the receiver is J. Stevens Arms Company, Chicopee Falls Mass. U.S.A. and a faint 5100. On the top of the barrels is SELECTED FORGED STEEL and PROOF TESTED .410 BORE, 3 INCH CHAMBER. When the breech is open, on one side on both the receiver and barrels is stamped G O (E) (E inside a circle). On the other side is stamped the letter P only on the receiver.

When the model name was changed to 311, were the markings changed, or did they still stamp them with 5100?

Was this a 311 mfg. in 1953?


  • Old hickoryOld hickory Member Posts: 1,368 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    First of all, the 5100/311 .410 Stevens are really great shotguns. The weight and size of the small frames is excellent. when you get into 20,16, and 12 they are about a pound too heavy. I have 2 early 311's in .410 with no serial # and they are just marked 311. the 5100 I have is in 20 guage and it is marked on the right side of the receiver - 5100 in 1/4 inch print. I imagine they used up all the 5100 parts on 311's until they were gone and then had pure 311 since all the parts are interchangeable and the savage doubles were real good sellers well into the 1960's. They made well over a million of the 2 models and were very popular in rural areas because of their price and durability. The above is a little speculation.....
  • Old hickoryOld hickory Member Posts: 1,368 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I forgot 1953 production has an "E" behind the hinge pin.
  • OlderFossilOlderFossil Member Posts: 7 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    What really confuses me is reading things like this from another gun forum:

    "3. From 1940 to 1948 no serial numbers were used on doubles, only capital letters, usually in groups of three or four, the letter(s) sometimes enclosed in a circle, along with an inspector's symbol ( a heart , a diamond, a spade or some such `shape', on the bottom of the frame behind the hinge pin.
    4. From 1948 to 1968 the letter symbols under the frame were changed to a `Capital letter with a one or two digit number' in a 1/4#8243; circle. This was a date code which you will find illustrated in the Savage-Stevens-Fox pages of your Standard Catalog of Firearms."

    Case 3 seems to fit my gun best.
  • OlderFossilOlderFossil Member Posts: 7 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Can anyone else back up the following claim found elsewhere?

    Quick and dirty rule of thumb for (approximately)dating Stevens shotguns:
    J Stevens Arms &Tool Co Before 1915
    J Stevens Arms Co Roughly 1916 to 1947, but few produced before 1919
    Stevens-Savage Arms, Chicopee Falls, Mass Roughly 1947-48 to 1960-61
    Stevens-Savage Arms, Westfield, Mass 1960-61 and later

    I'm starting to believe that the stamped markings on this gun are just production identification marks used to keep the correct parts together and that this gun is pre-1949. It seems that when a production year was added, it was always both a letter and number in an oval.
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