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I just picked up a Model 11 in very good condition for it's advanced years.  Stripped her down and cleaned all internals, which looked like no one had attended to them since she rolled off the line in 1936!  She's squeaky clean and lubricated now.

The gun fires fine, however she is still cycling with low-power target stuff (2 1/4 Dram - 1 oz.) with the recoil system set for high-power 12 gauge fodder.  Recoil on the high power stuff is pretty stiff and the action return spring 'sings' in the stock after a shot.    These symptoms lead me to believe I need to replace the recoil spring, but I am having a hard time locating a 'new production' replacement. 

I have two questions for knowledgeable folks on the Model 11:

1) What is the uncompressed length on the 'factory' recoil spring? (since all I can locate are used parts, this would allow me to determine if the spring has 'collapsed' or if it's still useable.
2) Has anyone played around with manufacturing 'spacers' to provide more tension on a 'weakened' older spring?  This is not an ideal solution, I know, but I cannot find new stock.
 

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Maybe THREE questions... As the Model 11 is a essentially Browning A-5 'clone' manufactured in the good ol' USA, are Browning A-5 recoil springs compatible? 

Browning, you can buy better, but you can't pay more...

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I stopped shooting my Model 11 just because it is really difficult to find parts if anythings breaks.  I have not shot it in probably 15 years.  

I bet an A5 recoil spring would work but can't say for sure.

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9 minutes ago, DaveTN said:

Numrich has both a new reproduction and a used factory original spring.

https://www.gunpartscorp.com/gun-manufacturer/remington/shotguns-rem/11-2

 

 

Yep... Out of stock...  BUT!!!  They do have new factory friction rings, which might help tame the beast!!

https://www.gunpartscorp.com/products/1408630A

https://www.gunpartscorp.com/products/1408650A

 

Edited by Six &Twenty

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51 minutes ago, Six &Twenty said:

Yep... Out of stock...  BUT!!!  They do have new factory friction rings, which might help tame the beast!!

https://www.gunpartscorp.com/products/1408630A

https://www.gunpartscorp.com/products/1408650A

 

Just ordered a new friction ring.  I'll report on results! 

I am still noodling making a spacer from PVC pipe... this could stiffen things up and also add just a little 'give' to the entire system.  Naturally I'd need to keep a careful eye on it's condition as it will be subject to wear.  There is a lot of space between coils in the spring when fully compressed by the action, therefore I think this may work without pulling all of the 'spring', out of the spring.  I'd start 'long' and cut the spacer back until full power loads cycle.  Then reset the system for low-power and see where we're at.

BTW, this gun has a Cutts Commentator, and according to info I have found, she should not need the brake at all!  Interesting...

Edited by Six &Twenty

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Have you read up on how to use the friction rings to adjust to your load?  If not, do that first.

I can't think of how many folks do not realize that the Remington 11, Browning A5, and Savage 720 shotguns all need to have friction rings set correctly.

When someone complains about stiff recoil, or short cycling, it's almost always a bad set-up of the friction rings.

When Winchester refused to pay John Browning what he wanted for his shotgun design, he sold it to Remington, Savage, and FN.  Originally, most parts for all three were interchangeable.  As time went on, each manufacturer made changes that made their parts incompatible with the others.

I have a set of Remington 11s in 12, 16, and 20ga that we're my grandfather's.  They are pretty much the only shotguns I shoot any more.

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2 hours ago, 1gewehr said:

Have you read up on how to use the friction rings to adjust to your load?  If not, do that first.

I can't think of how many folks do not realize that the Remington 11, Browning A5, and Savage 720 shotguns all need to have friction rings set correctly. 

When someone complains about stiff recoil, or short cycling, it's almost always a bad set-up of the friction rings.

When Winchester refused to pay John Browning what he wanted for his shotgun design, he sold it to Remington, Savage, and FN.  Originally, most parts for all three were interchangeable.  As time went on, each manufacturer made changes that made their parts incompatible with the others.

I have a set of Remington 11s in 12, 16, and 20ga that we're my grandfather's.  They are pretty much the only shotguns I shoot any more.

I have studied up on setting the friction rings, and I have them correctly set for heavy loads.  This was a pretty good diagram I located on-line. 

Still puzzled on the 'suggestion' for running with NO brake with the Cutts Compensator... not on THIS gun!

Friction Settings.jpg

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Now I want to get my old Browning out and check how my set is.  Thanks for the chart!!! 🙂

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Looks like option #2 is a non starter.  I took some measurements and verified these by FULLY compressing the recoil spring on the action... there is next to NO space between coils when she's at full rearward travel.  Spacers are not a good idea.

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 There were early brass friction rings that did not have a beveled lip that mated with the steel "inward" bevel of the steel ring. The best resistance of the barrel is with the beveled brass edge into the barrel ring and the opposite beveled edge into a steel ring's matching inward bevel. The best way to gauge if its giving correct resistance ( IMO) is by the force of the spent shell leaving the gun.  If your in the 6-8 foot range standing, that's good. If its chucking them out past 10-12 feet with stiff field loads, I'd rough the tube up lightly a tad with 220 grit shoe shine way with a strip. Those tubes can get glazed to where they just cant give the resistance any more.

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12 hours ago, xtriggerman said:

 There were early brass friction rings that did not have a beveled lip that mated with the steel "inward" bevel of the steel ring. The best resistance of the barrel is with the beveled brass edge into the barrel ring and the opposite beveled edge into a steel ring's matching inward bevel. The best way to gauge if its giving correct resistance ( IMO) is by the force of the spent shell leaving the gun.  If your in the 6-8 foot range standing, that's good. If its chucking them out past 10-12 feet with stiff field loads, I'd rough the tube up lightly a tad with 220 grit shoe shine way with a strip. Those tubes can get glazed to where they just cant give the resistance any more.

That makes perfect sense.  The magazine tube on this gun is smooth as glass and putting just a bit of 'tooth' on it would make a big difference.  Instructions I have found on lubrication state not to run the friction system either 'dry' or 'over lubed'.  The suggested process is to wipe the tube with 30 weight engine oil, and then wipe the tube with a clean cloth, leaving a very light oil film.  I will report back when the new friction ring arrives.

Thanks for the suggestion!

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17 hours ago, Six &Twenty said:

That makes perfect sense.  The magazine tube on this gun is smooth as glass and putting just a bit of 'tooth' on it would make a big difference.  Instructions I have found on lubrication state not to run the friction system either 'dry' or 'over lubed'.  The suggested process is to wipe the tube with 30 weight engine oil, and then wipe the tube with a clean cloth, leaving a very light oil film.  I will report back when the new friction ring arrives.

Thanks for the suggestion!

When I ever worked on one, I would just use a couple drops or so of a good gun oil since its viscosity doesn't change with extreme temps. Just enough to barely smug the tube. Another thing I always looked for was some times the fiber buffer would be missing from the back of the receiver so it was a bear to get a new one peened in on the little rivet that's supposed to keep it in place. Over time, the pounding bolt would beat the snot out of them and then they would end up taking recoil metal to metal. Hope fully, your is still in place.  

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Here is a link to the Browning Auto 5, showing the placement of the friction rings.  Mine is set up for light loads.  These are basically the same gun.

http://www.browning.com/support/frequently-asked-questions/how-do-i-change-the-rings-on-my-auto-5.html

Mine was made in Belgium, by FN.  It was my grandfather's bird gun.  He purchased it back in the late 30's.  He worked as a mechanic in the coal mines of Eastern Kentucky and was paid better than most.  I expect that the Browning Auto 5 was not the average man's shotgun at that time, especially in Eastern Kentucky.

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12 hours ago, xtriggerman said:

When I ever worked on one, I would just use a couple drops or so of a good gun oil since its viscosity doesn't change with extreme temps. Just enough to barely smug the tube. Another thing I always looked for was some times the fiber buffer would be missing from the back of the receiver so it was a bear to get a new one peened in on the little rivet that's supposed to keep it in place. Over time, the pounding bolt would beat the snot out of them and then they would end up taking recoil metal to metal. Hope fully, your is still in place.  

Thanks!  I was relieved to find the fiber buffer still in place and it seems to be in pretty good shape, considering it's age.  

I was NOT looking forward to replacing that particular item!  The process looks like a total pain in the posterior!

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Lot's of 'bits' involved here...  I did not tear down the trigger group, I was able to clean it up without disassembly.  Very glad I went after the rest of it, it had not been opened up in a long, LONG time!!

Reduced Res.jpg

Edited by Six &Twenty
Edit

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That's still in pretty nice shape! I had one that was an early one with the forward safety like a mini 14.  The only real weakness of the design is the forend wood. Browning ended up putting a swath of fiberglass glued around the inside at the rear. That's where the work horses would get cracked visibly and also in the thin bridge between the barrel and mag bore.  Finding an old original "not cracked" there is impossible but there are newer ones but they vary to different models so they are not one fits all VIA gauge of gun. If I were you, I would cut & fit a Pachmyr 325 to the butt to your pull length. It will be monumental in recoil management. No matter what you do with the recoil system, the Auto 5 is a shoulder pounder, plain & simple. I like the Franchi AL48 20g guns that are basically a modern alloy receivered Auto 5 with a manageable all day kick. I have an old Rem 11/48 in 20 that is also a pleasure to shoot. Brownings recoiling barrel design some how has an appealing effect on throwing shot.....  Not any words for it really!  ;)

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A few years ago I bought a Remington Model 11 (16 gauge) from an older fellow who claimed he didn't hunt anymore.  Since he didn't need the shotgun he decided to sell it.  Th shotgun looked very nice, like it had been carried and used only very little.  When I removed the forend to start the clean and lube process I got a very nice surprise.  The factory paper bearing the instructions on how to position the steel and bronze friction rings for various loads was still attached to the forend.  That paper was crisp and the printing was sharp and legible.  This was the only time I have ever found that document inside a Remington #11.

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Range Update:

Took the Rem to Florida for a couple of rounds of trap & skeet.  Three shooters on the gun (me, daughter & son) Federal Field & Target 1 1/8 oz #8s (3 Dram equiv) This worked out to around 150 rounds through the gun.  Not one problem all afternoon! (other than the front bead getting shot off... could not find it!)   Still mildly concerned that the recoil setup is for high-power and the gun cycles the light stuff, but it is what it is.

New friction ring arrived while I was in FL and I installed this part today... no change.  Wiped off all the oil from the magazine tube to see if this would slow her down a bit,  nope!  She still shucks low-brass perfectly when set for high and slams HARD with high-power rounds.

Searching for a NEW recoil spring.  If anyone finds one please let me know.

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Information I've managed to sort through indicates that the spring in the Browning and Remington should be identical... you can get NEW Browning springs.  So... I'll let you know if we're being lied to.   Made sure to order the Browning 'light' version, which is for 2 3/4 inch chambers and not the 3 inch mag A-5.

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OK!!

The Browning "Light 12" spring arrived.  This is round in section (the original Rem spring was square) and perhaps 5 INCHES longer when compared to the old Rem spring.  I was concerned that it would bottom out so I chucked it on leaving the fore-end wood off so I could see what we've got.  Pushing the barrel all the way back with the bolt to the rear limit, there was still just a little 'light' remaining between coils.  It also required a LOT more pressure to get the action compressed fully.

This is good!

Set for HEAVY, 3 3/4 Dram 1 1/4 oz #4 loads cycle (and seemed amazingly mild).  Better yet, the 3 Dram 1 1/8 oz #8 'lights' did NOT cycle!!  Changed the friction rings for LIGHT loads and the #8s cycled as designed!  Recoil remained quite mild as 12 gauge guns go. 

I am totally thrilled with this 80 year old shotgun, and anyone who tells you that they kick the #### out of you, probably has not addressed the weakened recoil springs in these old guns. The mass of the recoiling barrel and the tension of the spring really take the bite out of the total recoil energy.  Set correctly, they are a real pleasure to shoot!

 

 

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I have been hunting doves with A5's for fifty plus years (Light 12's, Sweet 16's and Light 20's).  To this day I hunt 20 to 25 days straight in Oklahoma (at 70 years old)  with no recoil issues.  All the A5's I use have springs in good condition and the friction rings are always properly set for the loads I am using.  I also set up each of my regular hunting A5's with a good quality recoil pad set at the proper length of pull (original Browning A5 recoil pads were very poor). 

My favorite Light-12 to hunt with is a Browning Light-12 Stalker with a replaced recoil pad and a replaced Belgian 26-inch plain (no rib) Improved Cylinder barrel (I grew up when you could still buy shotguns with no ribs on them).  The Belgian barrels are known for patterning tighter than their barrel markings indicate.  The Belgian barrel shoots anywhere from Improved Cylinder to Modified depending on the loads used.

If I ever hunt waterfowl again, I will take an A5 Mag12.  Killed many ducks and geese with them.

I have seen a lot of split forends but have never split one myself.  Just set the gun up properly and tighten the magazine cap properly.

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You wouldn't be interested in selling your Model 11 would you ? I have been looking for one for a while. Preferably a 16 gauge, but whichever. I am in Tennessee

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