Stevens 520
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Old 08-11-2014, 12:21 AM   #1
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Default Stevens 520

I have an old 520 with what I think is a 30 inch barrel -- I'm not sure where to measure... from the firing pin out?

I am shooting 40 yards at a stationary target about 1&1/2 inches wide by 6 inches tall using a very old box of 2 &3/4 inch magnum 4 and 6 shot shells. I need more shot in the target pattern, and I would like to reach out to 50 yards or more.

Will a 9 shot shell get me there or do I need a different gun with a longer barrel or maybe one with a turkey choke? or both? or all three? A longer shell? or what?
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Old 08-11-2014, 12:32 AM   #2
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You want something that is very hard for any shotgun to deliver. The shot starts to spread as soon as it leaves the barrel. The farther away the greater the spread. The greater the spread the the fewer bb impacts will be on that small target. Smaller shot size will likely increase the number of impacts but they will contain much less energy at that distance. A shotgun with screw in chokes could change to a super tight turkey choke. A longer shell like a 3" or a 3-1/2" usually has a bigger payload so you have more BB's so the odds of more hits on that small target.
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Old 08-11-2014, 12:48 AM   #3
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Barrel length doesn't matter when it comes to pattern, that's the choke's job. You measure from the front of the bolt on a closed breech. Drop a tape measure down the barrel. When you start trying to optimize the pattern at longer ranges, with larger shot sizes, very subtle differences in choke can make a lot of difference, as can the shell makeup.
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Old 08-11-2014, 01:37 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigtiller View Post
I have an old 520 with what I think is a 30 inch barrel -- I'm not sure where to measure... from the firing pin out?

I am shooting 40 yards at a stationary target about 1&1/2 inches wide by 6 inches tall using a very old box of 2 &3/4 inch magnum 4 and 6 shot shells. I need more shot in the target pattern, and I would like to reach out to 50 yards or more.

Will a 9 shot shell get me there or do I need a different gun with a longer barrel or maybe one with a turkey choke? or both? or all three? A longer shell? or what?
Old humpback, fine old shotguns.........Can we see some pictures ?............
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Old 08-11-2014, 02:52 AM   #5
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Old humpback, fine old shotguns.........Can we see some pictures ?............
This is the only one i could find of it.

I know i have more but i can't find them now.
File Type: jpg P8020002.jpg (30.2 KB, 33 views)
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Old 08-12-2014, 12:07 AM   #6
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I guess i'll have to buy another gun. The barrel isn't threaded for a choke and there is no markings indicating the size of shell so I guess the only size shell it will take is 2&3/4.
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Old 08-12-2014, 04:24 AM   #7
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Unless you plan on using steel shot 2 3/4" ammo will get the job done. Modern birdshot holds a better pattern due to better wads and high antimony shot. Back in the day almost all shot was pure chilled lead and only AA wads had the cupped bottom that almost all quality wads have today.

50 yards is a stretch for most birdshot. If I can't see the birds feet or eyes I don't shoot at passing birds. Looking for feet and eyes keeps my shots under 40 yards.

This article explains how birdshot patterns. You might not reload or shoot pheasants but the information applies to all wingshooting. Read to the end of the article. At the end of the article it shows how shot load, velocity and wad type can effect patterns.
http://www.americanrifleman.org/articles/pheasant-loads-on-a-budget

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Old 08-12-2014, 05:21 AM   #8
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I guess i'll have to buy another gun. The barrel isn't threaded for a choke and there is no markings indicating the size of shell so I guess the only size shell it will take is 2&3/4.
I`ll tell you what you do, chance`s are it shoots 2 & 3/4 inch shells, now take a Dime & put it in the muzzle, if it don`t go in it is Full Choke, if it does it`s Mod.................Hope this helps !..........
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Old 08-12-2014, 05:03 PM   #9
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That's one of those bits of information that I think I forgot that I knew it. So I tried fitting a dime and it didn't fit.... so much for shopping for a gun with a threaded barrel to choke down.
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Old 08-12-2014, 06:09 PM   #10
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You can get tighter screw-in chokes than the normal full choke that you have.
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