Bent top lever

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Re: Bent top lever

Postby Fox20obsessed » Fri Mar 06, 2020 4:22 pm

Frank,
After your last post I feel less hesitant to post on this forum. I don’t ever intend for any posts to seem arrogant or like I’m bragging in any way...I just get really excited about Fox shotguns like the rest of us and feel compelled to share some of my experiences. That being said I will do my best to make valuable posts that may help inspire others with their projects and give confidence to guys getting started out with the best shotgun in the world. If even one of my posts helps somebody out there the way you guys have helped me over the years through the sharing of knowledge via posting here then my goal will have been met.
I really appreciate any of the posts made on a thread started by me and try to thank everyone for their time. I just stepped out to the truck and fondled the new “to me” 16. It will need a new sear axle/pin, a new floor plate screw, possibly a new “hand pin” or rear tang screw, possibly a new stock as it may be split in the web but boy does it have a great set of barrels with one little rub on the rib matting as the only notable flaw. I have most if not all of those parts in my stash including a semi inlet or two with the exception of the two screws. I got two wet California grown english walnut blanks recently that I’d like to post here also. I’m having a hard time posting pics on here at home though and will get more pics up ASAP.
-Matt
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Re: Bent top lever

Postby Jeff S » Mon Mar 09, 2020 4:40 pm

I like reading posts like this because I learn things. I'm not a gunsmith and I don't work on my guns simply because I don't want to damage them (Primum non nocere). However, a thread like this teaches a rookie like me what to look for. I just noticed a Parker 16 ga. on Guns International and it appears like the lever is bent, slightly to the right. I'm sure it's a great gun, I'm just saying that now I have one more thing to inspect while looking at a gun. :)
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Re: Bent top lever

Postby Brian Dudley » Tue Mar 10, 2020 5:02 pm

I have seen levers on guns before that were clearly bent on purpose possibly due to an ergonomics issue or disability of the user. Does this appear to be purposely bent or "fishtailed" or does it appear like it is just a minor tweak that could have happened accidentally? If it was drastically bent, I would think that it may have been heated in order to do so in which case the surface appearance and temper of the metal would have been changed anyway.
,Brian Dudley
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Re: Bent top lever

Postby Stan Hillis » Tue Mar 10, 2020 6:42 pm

This is a good opportunity to thank Frank for the many times he has posted super-useful Fox information we could not have found anyplace else. First hand information is invaluable, and Frank supplies that without charge. I appreciate it more than a post can convey. If you agree please let him, and others who post similar help, know.

Best, SRH
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Re: Bent top lever

Postby Fox20obsessed » Wed Mar 11, 2020 9:14 am

Brian,
After going over the gun several times this past weekend I would have to say the lever was bent on purpose some years ago. My only guess was that perhaps the previous owner had large hands, a loose grip, or a combination of the two and maybe the top lever had been hitting the webbing between his thumb and pointer finger under recoil. I don’t see any signs of it having been heated, but if it was done many years ago I would surmise that all evidence of such would have since worn off in use.
Stan,
I agree with your post wholeheartedly. These techniques and suggestions are invaluable as you said and can’t be purchased. Thanks to Frank and any/all other members posting useful info. It is much appreciated and once again like you said Stan...a simple thank you cannot convey sufficient gratitude.
Have a nice Day Fox Nation.
-Matt
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Re: Bent top lever

Postby Fox20obsessed » Sun Mar 15, 2020 3:53 pm

Pulled what I’m going to refer to as the “economy” 16 gauge pheasant gun out of the safe today...this is the gun with the bent top lever...As you’ll see in the pics the gun has a split through the web and will get a new stock. The original forend is still decent and will be refinished with the new stock. I just won an auction for a semi-inlet that should work for this today. In addition to the stock, I’ll fit a new grip cap, and possibly a buttplate if needed. For those with good eyes, at some point someone over tightened the rear tang screw and then filed it down “poorly” so as not to be proud of the tang, that will get a new screw and be re-fitted. Also, the trigger plate screw is roached so I will need that...if anyone has a usable floor plate screw for this gun with a decent slot please PM me...if not I will have to acquire and fit a new one...no biggy. Gun will be pretty much just freshened up and made into a great shooter again, nothing crazy. Factory checkering pattern on the new stock and pretty much the exact same dimensions. Bores on this gun are mirror but there is one tiny ding that will be ironed out and the muzzles have flat spots on both tubes where it appears the barrels or gun was dropped at some point....that will receive some TLC too. Note that the gun has marked #3 wt 28” barrels this is the first 16 ga sterly I have owned with barrels in relatively unmolested condition that are so clearly marked. I thought the barrel marking was pretty neat. Anyway, this gun will sit idle for a while until I get my other projects completed, but I wanted to post pics of it “as found” and then will update as the gun is returned to useable condition. I’m hoping this project will reflect the fact that I don’t always feel the need to add a modification to a particular gun during a resto, and that I have a great deal of respect for these pieces. This was just one of those “right place, right time” buys that I lucked into...I had no intentions of even buying another 16....the sickness is real.
-Matt
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Re: Bent top lever

Postby OH Osthaus » Sun Mar 15, 2020 4:33 pm

what a bend

good luck with the project

each project I get is going to be the last - or at least the next to last
"If there is a heaven it must have thinning aspen gold, and flighting woodcock, and a bird dog" GBE
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Re: Bent top lever

Postby Fox20obsessed » Sun Mar 15, 2020 5:18 pm

Thanks for wishing me luck and very well said, same goes for me about each project being the last.
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Re: Bent top lever

Postby Silvers » Sun Mar 15, 2020 6:12 pm

Matt, I second Rick's reply: what a bend! When I offered up earlier comments here I expected to see a slight bend to the right as done to make it look like the bolting system still has plenty of takeup. But now on seeing the angle of the lever I'm afraid that "cold" bending to straighten may cause the lever to crack. Read that as increased risk. If that 16 Sterly was mine I'd use oxy/acetylene and a small brazing tip to quickly play over the lever in the bend area while it's clamped in aluminum stock in the vice, not hardwood which will char. It won't take much to straighten it once heated; you might try light taps with a miniature brass hammer. Later you can polish off the heat colors and faux color the lever to match the frame. Good luck.

frank
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Re: Bent top lever

Postby hihaven » Sun Mar 15, 2020 8:53 pm

Matt, Congratulation on the 16 ga. if I get the chance to buy another fox it will be a 16. Jeff
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Re: Bent top lever

Postby Fox20obsessed » Sun Mar 15, 2020 10:39 pm

Frank and Rick, I will be thinking long and hard about bending that lever back straight and exactly what methods I will employ to do so over the next few months as I wrap up my other projects. Jeff, hard to go wrong with a Fox in 16 or 20, and while I prefer a 20 I still feel that the 16’s have the best handling quality pound for pound.
-Matt
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Re: Bent top lever

Postby jolly bill » Mon Mar 16, 2020 12:07 am

Hey Matt,

Good for you and your projects.

They should keep you off the street for a while.
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Re: Bent top lever

Postby Fox20obsessed » Mon Mar 16, 2020 10:52 am

Bill,
Yes the projects are definitely keeping me busy...couldn’t ask for a better time to have things at home to do.
-Matt
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Re: Bent top lever

Postby Brian Dudley » Tue Mar 17, 2020 9:41 am

I would have kind of thought it to be bent the other way. Huh... I wonder what the purpose of that was.

It should fix up fine though. If you carry on carefully and slowly.
,Brian Dudley
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Re: Bent top lever

Postby terc » Tue Mar 17, 2020 2:45 pm

Just a thought as to why the lever was bent.
At times while hunting, I find my hand rides pretty far forward on the grip. This puts the safety button under the first joint of my thumb. If I don't slide my thumb rearward before sliding the safety forward my thumb is pushing into the back of the top lever, not allowing the safety to move. The bend would solve the problem.
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