I have an 1920 Ithaca flues 16 gauge that I got with a junk barrel. It's not in the greatest shape now as it sat in my garage for the past 12 years and gained a bit of rust on the metal work. I'm certain I can bring the metal back to an acceptable state but there is nothing I can do to bring back the once blown up and shortened barrels (I shortened them years ago but they are out of regulation.)
On gunbroker there is a 1924 flues than is in fairly poor?? condition but it does have what appears to be a decent set of barrels. My question is, do you think it to be good idea to purchase something like this, look for a good set of barrels, or just scrap the idea or restoration and wait for a complete gun in good nick?
Good question. I would not pay $250 for a parts gun, simply because it's not worth $250. It's worth maybe $100 as a parts gun.
The problem with the Flues you have would be properly remediable by sleeving the barrels, but that would cost you several times what the gun is worth.
The problem with trying to switch barrels from the gunbroker gun to your gun is several-fold.
First, the seller has no idea whether the gun is actually a Flues. He just thinks it is. I'm not educated well enough on the variations of Ithacas to know whether it's a late Flues, an early NID, or might even be a Lefever Nitro Special. (The dog roll engraved on the receiver is a hallmark of the Lefever Nitro Specials.) Only a Flues should come close to fitting another Flues.
Second, there were changes in the design of Flues guns between the pre-WWI and post-WWI guns, to meet the developments in gun technology that came about during the war and also to remedy deficiencies in the early Flues design. AFAIK, one cannot mix early and late Flues parts with any degree of confidence.
Third, the kind of work involved in fitting a new set of barrels to a gun is something a home gunsmith might be able to undertake with proper instruction. It would likely involve smoking and filing, but the problem would be if something were undersize. In that case some TIG welding to build up metal might be required. Doing that on barrels or the locking parts of the barrels is something best reserved for professionals.
Fourth, that blob of brazing holding the fore-end hook onto the barrels gives me pause as a potential safety hazard. It may have been done correctly, or it may have weakened the barrels in that spot. Are you willing to risk your hands and/or eyes on the work of someone who you've never met, let alone whose work you know nothing about?
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I have the utmost faith in my ability to repair the loose piece on the underside of the barrels as my ability to smoke in a new set for proper fitment. Others may differ in their opinion of me but I think that is within my abilities. Please understand I'm not a gunsmith by any means but I can weld.
When I cut down the previously damaged barrels I had to make a new bottom rib that I made from an old broom handle, a new bridge piece at the front between booth barrels then I silver soldered the whole shebang together. it worked out well except I would have had to bend the left barrel in order to regulate it correctly and then resolder everything again. It just wasn't worth all the extra work in my opinion for a hacked on set of barrels.
From what I can see, that bottom tang was just soldered in place so reattaching it "shouldn't" be too much of an issue. Locating it in the correct position to maintain proper clearance between the barrels and the receiver could give a bit of an issue but I figure as long as I properly locate and fixture it in place the rest is easy. As usual I could be way off base so more research will be needed, starting with examining how the piece on mine is retained.
Thanks for the valuation on the gun in question, that is what I was needing to hear.
I guess the real question here is whether or not that gun is even worth this much effort. Unless there is a sentimental attachment to the firearm, another one can usually be found for fairly cheap. When I was looking for my last 16 ga. I noticed several Flues guns for well under $500. Solid "shooter" condition guns can be found as low as $300.
Or is the gun you are working on a high grade?
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When I was looking for my last 16 ga. I noticed several Flues guns for well under $500. Solid "shooter" condition guns can be found as low as $300.
Or is the gun you are working on a high grade?
It's not a high grade nor does it have any sentimental value to me. What it is to me is a light weight 16 in the style I'm looking for (splinter forearm) and the one that I do have, I know the mechanics are good as I've shot it in the past so it could also be used for parts.
There is a flues 16ga gun broker for $300 currently but it has been refinished in a much lighter stain and who knows how much of the original checkering is still intact. I'll keep my eyes open for the right gun or gun parts to fix what I have. I'm thinking it might be best not to have a so called 'mutt'.
Thanks for your opinion, it really does help with what I'm trying to accomplish.
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