1903 Lewis

1902-1906

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Copper BB
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 10:17 pm
I just looked up my serial number 88816 and realized I have a 1903 Lewis model. I knew nothing about them so I've been looking up info. I have been shooting 1 1/8 loads for trap with clays powder, oops! The gun was given to me by an older friend of mine and he unfortunately had the gun blued not long ago. Anything I can do to get the original look back? How much damage could I have caused?
Any info would be appreciated.

.270 WIN
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 10:35 pm
Welcome to the forum.
First and foremost is to have the chamber length checked by a competent gunsmith.
Since you have been shooting modern loads in it already, it's probably 2 3/4, but it's better to be sure.
Next question, is it a Damascus barrel, or a fluid steel one? Since it has been blued, then I'm guessing steel. If is is steel, and if the chambers are the right length, you could have a real shooter on your hands. :D
Try and post some pictures. I'd love to see it!
A flash in the pan, a puff of smoke, and a prayer to the great Lord on high...

Copper BB
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2012 6:50 am
I tried to post pics but the file size is too big, even with just one pic. How do I resolve this?
It is a beautiful gun, the wood is in great condition.

.270 WIN
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2012 7:05 am
Try cropping the picture. Even a small reduction in size will change the file size. Also the format of the picture (JPEG, etc). I'm not a big computer guy, so I really can't help much.
A flash in the pan, a puff of smoke, and a prayer to the great Lord on high...
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2012 1:41 pm
BPskeeter wrote:Try cropping the picture. Even a small reduction in size will change the file size. Also the format of the picture (JPEG, etc). I'm not a big computer guy, so I really can't help much.



That can help a lot, Skeeter. Also, if you can reduce the size of the photo by using some sort of photo editor. (I use iPhoto, but you can use anything, really. Try to reduce it 50-33% and that outta do it.
--Jim

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2013 12:49 pm
[img][IMG]http://i1210.photobucket.com/albums/cc419/bkroll01/image_zps511ee2fb.jpg[/img][/img]

Copper BB
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2013 12:55 pm
I'll try this again, see if this works.
http://i1210.photobucket.com/albums/cc4 ... 1ee2fb.jpg

.270 WIN
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2013 2:19 pm
That's a beauty. :D
I can't really tell from the pictures, but it appears that someone has re-stocked it in the past, as all the ones that I'm familiar with have a more rounded pistol grip (I could be wrong on this. Walter Snyder could tell you better.)
To my way of thinking, you could actually do more damage trying to make it look like original. Just accept the fact that you have a beautiful gun the way it is now, and enjoy it on the range and in the field.
Try to find some vintage shotgunners in your area. We have a blast (yes, pun intended) with our SxS's, shooting skeet and 5-stand. It's not unusual for the wife and I to burn up 200 at a shoot. My Ithaca is Damascus, so I load it down a bit, about 2 1/2 drams and 7/8 oz of shot, but that breaks every bird that it hits - as long as I do my part. Also, the lighter recoil makes it easier on the wife's shoulder. ;)
I would still recommend having the chambers checked for length. Even though they are fluid steel barrels, there's no sense putting unnecessary stress on them. Also, I would tend to shy away from the heavier loads. Remington has a commercially available Gun Club loading that is 2 3/4 Dram, and 1 oz of shot that would work great.
Enjoy a great gun, and welcome to the forum!
A flash in the pan, a puff of smoke, and a prayer to the great Lord on high...
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2013 4:32 pm
Welcome to the Ithaca Owners Forum bkroll !!
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 7:45 am
+1 with skeeter on all counts. Modified or not, it is still a really nice example of a very old model.
I use RST shells in my antiques, but any light loads should be OK.
--Jim

Copper BB
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 6:50 pm
I have been reloading 7/8 oz loads for skeet for the last few years so light loads won't be an issue, just need to get the gun in to Bachelders to check it and give me the ok for 2 3/4 shells. Am disappointed I had to leave it behind for my last grouse hunt of the season, but I should have looked into this sooner. When it was given to me the previous owner thought it was from the 40's and with the blueing it looked new enough to me. Thanks for all the info, will update when it's cleared for first round of skeet.

Copper BB
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 7:06 pm
I just remembered, I need to draw from some more of your knowledge, the safety resets with opening the barrels but will not go back on once moved to fire. Is this normal or is something amiss? To get safety back on I have to reopen the barrels.
While I am at it let me ask another, is the barrel length the length minus the chamber or actual length of barrels when broke open?

.270 WIN
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 7:35 pm
You should be able to re-engage the safety. Might have them take a look at it.
Also, the length is the entire barrel when broken open.
A flash in the pan, a puff of smoke, and a prayer to the great Lord on high...
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 7:12 am
Skeeter, I've never worked on a lewis, but could the transfer bar be stuck? I know on some of those crazy Italian gun I have taken apart, the transfer bar is hooked into the safety and attached instead of riding into a follower..
--Jim

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 12:15 pm
Alright, I got the gun back now. Not real impressed with the fix. The safety has a definite click when switched off, but no feel whatsoever as to whether or not it engages when safety switched on. Also the square opening that should be centered over the marked safe on the gun when safety engaged is only covering half the safe. I do not feel any of this is right, let me know what you think. The gunsmith I brought it to has a great reputation and has had many refinished old doubles in double gun journal so he knows old side by sides, but I think he is very busy and has other people doing some of the repairs.

Copper BB
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 12:22 pm
Oh and the reason I was told the safety would not engage was the safety screw was binding on the stock inletting.

.270 WIN
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 1:40 pm
Sounds like there could be a whole bunch of crud built up in there over the years, or that the screw head is still hitting the inletting.
Try loosening the stock screw closest to the front of the safety about a 1/4 turn, and see if that helps it any.
A flash in the pan, a puff of smoke, and a prayer to the great Lord on high...

Copper BB
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Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2012 10:07 pm
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 10:19 pm
That didn't seem to make a difference.

.270 WIN
Posts: 233
Joined: Fri Sep 02, 2011 6:38 pm
Location: Dayton, OH
PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 8:10 pm
You may have to remove the stock and see where it is hitting, then relieve it a bit.
Also, check in the cut-out where the safety actually rides and see it there is built-up crud there. A good way to tell is if will completely engage when it is out of the stock.
A flash in the pan, a puff of smoke, and a prayer to the great Lord on high...

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