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Stevens 59A .410

Old 02-22-2021, 12:30 PM
  #1  
Nontypical Buck
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Default Stevens 59A .410

I have a gap this afternoon between meetings so I thought Iíd ask a question I might not otherwise:

Anyone own or have worked on a Stevens 59A??

An acquaintance/friend I coach wrestling with on our Kidís Fed team - called me about a Stevens 59A. He said the bolt feels weird engaging, but he canít really otherwise explain whatís going on with it. Iím able to pick it up from him tonight, but thought Iíd ask around if folks have had common issues I can look into, whether itís the cause for what heís seeing or not...

Doing a bit of research, Iím finding conflicting reports it may be a cock-on-close action design, can anyone confirm or correct?

Iím also seeing reports of extractor issues and some ejector issues (which in reading donít seem to make much sense, but Iíll inspect nonetheless). At the end of the day, I expect Iíll be able to quickly identify what ails it once I have it in hand tonight, and whether itís a clean and return job, tweak and tune job, or scavenge for replacement parts job, Iím sure Iíll have a path soon enough - but are there any other ailments which youíve seen befall the 59Aís which I should look for and/or preemptively correct while I have it on my bench?
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Old 03-30-2021, 07:21 PM
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Updating for myself in this thread, I picked up the shotgun a few weeks ago and found it to have the worst bolt close feel of any firearm I have ever handled. Very inconsistent resistance from one close to the next, and ALMOST unclosable (for a relatively youngish, relatively strongish, 200lb man), and the trigger pull to be ridiculously heavy. I also observed the barrel to be significantly rusted and pitted just forward of a 2.5Ē cartridge length - which is unfortunate, considering itís 3Ē chamber length. The chamber is so rough, feeding dummy rounds nearly required a dowel and mallet to extract the unfired dimension dummies... the trigger pull is also absurdly heavy, however, considering the design - a highly positive sear angle and a LONG sear length - Iím not terribly willing to do much there to modify the trigger/sear beyond polishing the sear faces, and reducing the trigger reset spring.

The action was packed full of wood dust, so Iím comfortable claiming this shotgun had never been removed from its stock. It DOES also have some stock warp issues as well in which the single takedown screw can be easily overtightened to cause the action to bind in the stock. I did find a few reasons for the bolt binding issue in closing the bolt as well: 1) the bolt handle locking lug had sharp corners, as well as the action lug, so there was no cam-assist for closing. 2) The cartridge carrier was exceptionally fouled with decades of gun oil, congealed to grease, thickened by age and the ample wood dust present in the action. 3) The firing pin block safety which prevents the striker from being released without the bolt closed was poorly fit (so this shotgun has been hard to close since it was born). 4) The bolt shroud cocking cam had an excessively deep and steep sided retention detent which promoted excessive resistance when lifting the cocking piece out of the detent. All 4 of these were easily fixed, by hand fitting a new firing pin block safety, cleaning the cartridge carrier, reducing the peak of the cocking cam and smoothing the transition of the detent groove, and cutting a slight cam-assist closing bevel onto the bolt handle lug and the action lug. So the bolt close is easy now, albeit not terribly smooth, or without the expected binding and hitches of this class of bolt action shotgun.

I remain tonight to still need to lap the chamber back to an acceptably smooth finish, and will do so with a patch wrapped brush and lapping compound likely tomorrow evening.

I am also sustaining an internal debate as to whether I should epoxy bed the action to eliminate the potential for binding by over tightening the takedown screw. A shotgun like this isnít highly regarded, and expectations are low, so adding more work for myself doesnít make much sense - I canít hand my customer a labor bill which doubles or triples his original purchase price of the shotgun, in this case, so Iím trying to calibrate expectations a bit. ďDonít overtighten this screwĒ might be sufficient in this case, rather than a few hours of stock finish inletting and epoxy work... but wrestling season ended three weeks ago and my time previously committed to coaching is now free, and doing this job RIGHT might be worth more to my mental health than the extra charge tacked onto the customerís bill... We wonít be terribly busy Easter Sunday this year, so it may end up getting some epoxy Sunday evening after Church and lunch with family.

More to come.
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Old 03-31-2021, 03:56 AM
  #3  
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Thanks for the update.
I was wondering what you found.
It sounds like the shotgun sat in the corner of a wood shop for many years.
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Old 03-31-2021, 01:20 PM
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This was definitely one of those jobs most gunsmiths would turn down, NOT because of its complexity, but simply because the juice isnít worth the squeeze if much work needs to be done. The owner mentioned he had seen them online at $125-150, but was ok with the $165 he paid - doesnít take many labor hours to buy it again at that price.

Itís also pretty clear these really werenít made to be owner-serviced, despite the single thumbscrew for removing the barreled action from the stock. Almost all of the pins holding the carrier assembly and the bolt assembly together were staked, and the whole thing really only fits together if you hold your tongue just so... I canít imagine how many of these would have walked into gunsmith shops, disassembled in a box, after owners had attempted to tear them down. I ended up using a slave pin and a 3rd hand to reassemble the carrier assembly into the housing - I have to think thereís an easier way, but I sure couldnít come up with it.

I ended up lapping out the chamber last night, itís not perfect, but at least it seems to let go of dummy rounds freely. I also replaced the trigger reset spring last night, the factory spring was damaged, slightly, but worse, the spring itself promoted just under 3lbs of trigger pull, contributing to a 7lb trigger (extremely positive angle sear). Swapping to a ďmystery spring from the mystery spring drawer which happened to fitĒ reduced the trigger pull from the spring alone to just over a pound, cutting the total pull to right about 4.5lbs.

Examining the stock again yesterday as well, I decided to forego epoxy bedding. I ran the idea by the owner, and he is content with the idea of remembering to simply finger tighten the takedown screw, with the option of getting the shotgun back a few days earlier. The carrier assembly and recoil lug arrangement are relatively unique, such the action inlet is a gaping hole... my prep work to blind all of the necessary holes and crevices to prevent physical lock-in with the epoxy bedding was going to be substantial, with the end result likely being dubious at best. Better certainly, but not ďgoodĒ without doing considerable structural build up in the stock. So I skim bedded the recoil lug to hopefully prevent cracking of the stock with use, and will leave it be.
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