A Savage Attack On An Old Shotgun, Part One

A little careful work can turn an inexpensive gun into a prized possession.

By Paul Mazan

Nobody has ever called the Savage/Stevens 311 a pretty gun. Pretty cheap maybe, but not pretty as in graceful, beautiful or elegant. As it came from the factory, it certainly wasn’t. Although discontinued by Savage in 1989, the ruggedly built 311 had a long production run and is still readily available at a reasonable price . The advent of Cowboy Action shooting has revived interest in a lot of old shotguns and the Stevens 311 is no exception.. Rarely do I attend an event where there aren’t several ringing steel and doing it reliably. Inelegant they may be, but there is a certain beauty to a gun built this tough.

One of my favorite things is to take mine to a shoot and have people ask what kind of shotgun I’m shooting. When I say a 311 they take a second look and say, “That’s not a 311.” I smile and tell them it really is. Over the years I’ve customized mine a bit, both inside and out. Changing the 311 from a frumpy old lady into an attractive companion is relatively easy and very rewarding. Let’s take a look at what I’ve done to mine and use that as a guide as to what you may want to do to yours.

Read more in our November 2013 issue. Back issues are available.

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