Stevens 520 (Browning Patent) - Pistolsmith

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Old 08-26-2003, 08:45 PM   #1
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 443
Stevens 520 (Browning Patent)

I posted this on several 'shotgun' forums with NO replies. I guess only me is interested in obscure Browning patent shotguns with the locking lug coming up thru hole in reciever top! I first became interested in this when I bought , for $100 , a 90% condition 'Westernfield/Browning' Model 30. I was intriqued by the 'bump forward to release ' action and the quality materials. My gun was made in 31 when they made thing RIGHT! Nice checkering and forge/milled squarish reciever has a wierd ridge across top which centers eye. These sold for $26 in Monkey Wards , almost the same as a 1911 or Peacemaker! I guess it was a decent action as Savage/Stevens made the 520 for military in WW1 & WW2 ! Anyone like quality around here? Then we can talk Model 31 Remington "ball bearing cornshucker" lore.
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Old 08-27-2003, 08:59 AM   #2
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Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 1,559
Yeah, those are pretty neat shotguns. When I was going through gunsmithing school, I worked on a friend's 520 that needed the barrel replaced (fortunately I found one at Gunparts Inc.) so I refinished the stock and reblued it as well since I needed some projects for school assignments. I was able to find some diagrams and repair info in a book that Brownells sells. It was sold by Sears or Monkey Wards and I forget the brand name that was actually on the gun.

It was his grandfather's shotgun and he was thrilled that I restored it. You're right - it is a great, simple design. I like the way you can take the gun down and carry it in a case about 1/2 the length of the gun.
Old 08-31-2003, 01:50 PM   #3
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 951

Guess we're the sole survivors of those that have have used the 520 - 620 - first one I remember seein' in the early 50's was in Daddy's shop- 1st look . . . thought it was an A5 or model 11- never could shoot birds as good with the hump back guns . . . Can't pick em up fast enough lookin' over that hump. Sent a real nice 520 home from southeast Asia . . . Hand guard, ordinance bomb stamp. Real clean. Sold it to a lawyer at the Memphis Gun Show (MAWA) 1980 or so. Still remember his name. . . Sometime think of tryin' to buy it back. Late '50s, got a 620, same lock up no hump, shot it better.

Most know J.M.B. invented -designed (Whatever term you choose to use.) the 1911-A5-BMG, so forth, Not many know of the 520/620. Can't help but wonder how many weapons he designed and/or improved on, How many patents did he get?

When you get ready to talk 31's . . . .there might be 3 or more layin' in the horizontal safe. I looked at Daddy's 16 ga. the other day. The one he called his Hacksaw hole gun. . . (Small pond, ducks droppin' right in on top of you. ) Barrel's been shortened, no choke. I seen him hit 5 quail with 5 shots out of one covey.

Bill Caldwell
Wild Bill Caldwell Tactical Weaponry
Old 09-05-2003, 06:55 AM   #4
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 687
What you have there is a great old gun made they way guns were supposed to be made, back when it mattered more doing the job right, and before the philosophy changed to making a product that was a minimal representation of what it was supposed to be. Before planned obsolescence, stamped steel and birch stocks with pressed-in checkering. That gun will still be around and functional 75 years and 50,000 rounds from now, when many of today's models are holding up landfills.

Not that everything made today is junk, but some of it is and much of the rest is pushing the envelope.
Old 09-05-2003, 07:51 PM   #5
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 443
Wow, Ned , Bill and Dave! Well then I detail stripped my 2 Model 31 Remingtons(along with the Savage 520) last month for a hoot and to clean out the grunge of the past 50-80 years. The Loomis patented Model 31's(one 12 , one 20LW) is what impressed me . Besides the forged and POLISHED parts quality were simple, interlocking and robust in design. I think the double action bars of the 870 design(which I think is the best current design) was put there to ensure that the rougher stamped parts didn't bind up! The 20 gauge LWmod 31 is one of the last and weighs 5 3/4 pounds. The Anodized reciever still gleams like an Allison aircraft valve cover! These guns were too good for the po folks of the depression, they sure could of used Mossy 500's then! IMHO the 31 Rem is the slickest action ever in a pump shotgun!
Old 09-06-2003, 08:24 AM   #6
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 687
I have a serious attraction to that old stuff and the days they came from. I have a phone and a fan from the late '30's. Both work every time I need them. I use the phone about every 2-4 years when the latest wunderfone craps out-- I bring in the '37 Bell until I can waste more money on a new, better phone. As a bonus you could bludgeon a rhino with it and it would still work. I'd use it full time but I need the cordless/touchtone features.

The GE fan continues to work and has outlasted 4 or 5 dimestore fans just in my lifetime. The old fridge in Dad's basement quietly keeps Cokes and Buds cold decade after decade while his front-line fridge in the kitchen expires and is replaced at regular 6-8 year intervals.

What can you say but, truly, men were men in those days! They took pride in their product and it showed. They knew it was dishonest to design its demise right into it.
Old 09-07-2003, 06:05 PM   #7
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 951
I agree with ya'll. Sometime there's no rhyme or reason - shotguns that cost more than the 520s, 620s, 31s sold more and stayed in production. Great ones were dropped.

Ned, add to your list. . . The Monarch EE10 lathe . . . 992B Hamilton. . . B.W. Raymond lever sets. . . New Yorker guitars. . . Parker shotguns. . . Colt Model P.s . . .no demise designed into these.

Wild Bill
Old 09-11-2003, 06:29 PM   #8
Posts: n/a
:P Thanks for bringing back great memories............I learned on a 31L. 12 gauge, 30" full choke with Simmons rib and Pachmayr pad. Dad won the gun at Ford for selling the most cars. It was one of the last ones made. Still tight after 20K rounds through it. :P
Old 09-07-2017, 10:20 AM   #9
Junior Member
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Virginia
Posts: 1
Stevens Model 620 Poly-choke

I too am a Stevens shooter. I have a 620, 16 gauge poly-choke and it is the best shotgun I have ever owned! I am looking for some replacement parts though!!!

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