Old school shotgun, reborn

Discussion in 'General Firearms Forum' started by mac66, Oct 3, 2012.

  1. mac66

    mac66 Huge Member
    Millennium Member

    I bought a Harrington & Richardson "Gamester" 12 ga bolt action shotgun at a police auction in 1984 for $10. It was kind of rough condition wise and has been sitting in my basement ever since.

    Here's what it is supposed to be...They were made from 1949-1954


    Here is what I got...


    The good is that it has a walnut stock. It is also a repeater having a two round tube mag. Yeah, that and it works.


    The bad is that originally it came with a 28" bbl with an adjustable choke. The end of the barrel was pretty buggered up where someone tried to get the choke off and then just cut the barrel. The barrel was actually squished where they had it clamped. It was also missing the rear "dome" sight.


    Decided to try and refurbish it earlier this summer. I sanded the finish off of the stock. I put a bunch of coats of polyurathane on it to give it a tough finish.

    The barrel was cut to 18". The bluing on the gun was spotted and faded and their were a bunch of dings, scratches and marks on it. I recently read about someone using high temp engine paint to finish a gun so being the cheapskate that I am I bought a can. Like some of the more expensive gun finishes the engine paint works better if you bake it on.

    The gun was stripped, cleaned and prepped. I then heated it slightly and then sprayed it with the paint. I built tent out of aluminum foil and fired up my gas grill in the back yard. You want to cover the grill parts with foil so the grease doesn't cook off and get onto the gun. I baked on low for about 40 minutes and let it cool. I then resprayed it, cooked it for 30 minutes and let cool and then repeated it one more time. I used a low gloss black. It takes about a week to fully set up and it gets to be a very hard surface after about a month. It has held up well so far.

    Turned out well I thought...



    The original rubber butt pad was rotted so it was replaced. After carrying it up at my hunting property last weekend I am probably going to add sling studs, and maybe a fiber optic front bead.

    Though not very light nor very handy to shoot what with the bolt action, it does shoot pretty well. I was keeping a decent pattern of bird shot on a target at 25 yards. Even through a few rounds of buck through it.

    Wanna kill these ads? We can help!
    #1 mac66, Oct 3, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2012
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  3. ilgunguygt

    ilgunguygt Enslaved in IL

    Fantastic work. I love seeing people take what they have and work with it. Great job!

  4. NeverMore1701

    NeverMore1701 Fear no Evil
    Platinum Member

    Looks good!
  5. Very nice rework! can't beat the price too, you bought it for $23.95 less than what is sold for 60+ years ago!!!:wow:
  6. Nice job redoing the H&R to a handier shotgun for you. Love the baked-on finish on the metal and the handrubbed finish on the stock. Congrats on a nice job.
  7. Looks like a pretty damn good job to me!
  8. Highspeedlane

    Highspeedlane NRA Life Member

    Great report and great job.

    Ever since my son got into trap this year I've reacquainted my self with the world of shotguns.

    Somewhere in the back of my closet is an old Sears store brand bolt action 12 gauge I don't even remember who I bought it off of it's been back there so long. I believe it's a 30 inch barrel full choke. Had to order a firing pin from Numrich decades ago because the original had been broken. To this day I've never shot it.

    This late summer I took an old, 1907 vintage Remington Model 11 12 gauge and replaced the fiber pad in the receiver, installed a new magazine tube and looking to get that out for a test shoot next week.

    I've got this itch to go buy a brand new Remington 1100 that's probably going to get scratched at some point.

    I still like looking at the oldies and the oddities too. Thanks for sharing.

    Below is pic of the Remington. Some time I'll get a pic of that old bolt gun.

  9. skeeter7

    skeeter7 Brass Vulture

    Looks really good! Heck, I'll even go crazy and double on your investment and actually offer you $20 for it. :whistling:
  10. Good job.

    "Back in the day" I used to drool over those things in the Sears catalog. I could dream about having one of them. The pumps and automatics were way to expensive (about 79.95 to $100.00) to even dream about.
  11. mac66

    mac66 Huge Member
    Millennium Member

    Apparently old bolt action shotguns are popular for turkey shoots. I don't mean turkey hunting (though that's what I took it to my property to do last weekend) I mean competitions where you win prizes. I learned this from someone who saw my shotgun and offered to buy it. Apparently they fix them up, put scopes and stuff on them and shoot them at long distance with slugs.

    Thanks for all the comments. It was fun bringing the old girl back to life.

    #10 mac66, Oct 4, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2012
  12. It's nice to have something unique

    Nice work man, proud of ya :cool:
  13. Nestor

    Nestor Lean & Mean

    Wow! Really, really nice job.
    Never tried a bolt action shotgun before.
  14. Great restoration!
    #14 method, Oct 4, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2012
  16. Turkey shoots use shot. Guns are modified to shoot very tight shot patterns. You shoot at a very small 'x' from 20 yards or so. Closest pellet to the 'x' wins.
  17. mac66

    mac66 Huge Member
    Millennium Member

    Thanks for that info. I didn't know, I was just guessing.
  18. Very nice indeed :cool:
  19. mac66

    mac66 Huge Member
    Millennium Member

    I am thinking that an old wood and steel bolt action needs a leather sling to keep it old school. I will be looking around for a basic leather sling for it. Might even make one. Nothing fancy, nothing too wide, nothing synthetic.
    #18 mac66, Oct 4, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2012
  20. Nice job, looks good.

  21. Highspeedlane

    Highspeedlane NRA Life Member

    After seeing your restoration, thought I'd throw up a few pics of this old bolt action scatter gun that's been buried in the closet for years.

    I bought this close to 25 years ago and IIRC it was missing the magazine and had a broken firing pin. I was able to find both at Numrich and got it functional again, though I've never fired it.

    It's a 12 gauge, 28" bbl, full choke Kessler Westchester "Buffalo Bill Cody" model. There is limited info on this model but from what I've scrounged up it was made by a firm in the years 1951-1953 in NY, targeted at the hardware store market. It was definitely a budget model shotgun.

    The stock appears to be some type of hardwood (I've read on the web it was walnut but hard to judge on that), with a stamped trigger guard and stamped, laminated trigger and 2 shot magazine. Interestingly, it has no serial number, which I understand was not uncommon with certain arms makers in the pre-1968 GCA era.

    The butt pad is hard rubber with no flex at all, and coupled with its relative light weight, I imagine this guy wouldn't be pleasant on the shoulder with high velocity hunting ammo.




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