Author Topic: Dating a Savage Model 220 shotgun with no serial number and few markings  (Read 752 times)

AKJERM

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Hello  :)
I am new to this site but it has been very informative and helpful. I am trying to figure out a rough year of manufacture for a shotgun.
Growing up my dads shotgun was (still is) a Savage Model 220 20 gauge. I really love this old gun as it fits my hands better than the much newer shotguns. I can still remember the distinctive "Clonk" of the old gun ejecting an empty shell. It has taken quite a few grouse which chose to hide first, fly later (we never were wing shooters) and its fair share of farmyard skunks. He bought it used back in the 70's but I know that it is quite a bit older than that. It has a weathered patina on it - not the rich brown that some guns have. I have been researching quite a bit on it but still cannot pin down an approximate year of manufacture. I will post what I have now and then add a few more details and hopefully some pics if I can get them.

It is a Savage, Model 220, 20 gauge, stamped "Proof Tested" on the barrel, 2 3/4" chamber with the action break open lever on top. The wooden stock and fore end are narrower than the vast majority of Model 220 pics I have seen on the internet. The fore end has no attaching screw, has always been loose and can be removed fairly easily. Dad said something about a spring or hook in it. I have never seen it off though. It has a scene of ducks or quail on the bottom of the receiver. No marks on the exterior sides of the receiver. I do not recall if the trigger guard is the stamped steel or die cast. He initially said that there were no other markings on the shotgun but I asked that they look under the fore end and in the action. The only other stamp marks they could find so far were under the fore end. They are the letter K, the letters BP and what appears to be a sideways zero. No ovals or circles with numbers or letters in them or other markings yet.

I will ask if they can email me some good pics of it as I know that it would be most helpful. My recollection is that it has a hard, black plastic like butt plate. Based off what I have seen so far on the internet my guess is that it may be pre WWII due to the narrow stock and fore end but my recollection is that the trigger guard is die cast which would indicate a 1953 or later? I can find out about the trigger guard for sure. Maybe my recollection is incorrect  ;)


Garnett

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Re: Dating a Savage Model 220 shotgun with no serial number and few markings
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2018, 08:22:41 AM »
Welcome to this forum!  Some pictures will be needed to get close to a year of manufacture.  The absence of any markings on the sides of the receiver would be a good indication that it was made before 1947.  Another indication of an early gun is the engraving on the bottom of the frame.  About that time the factory was moved to Chicopee Fallls and the left side of the frames were marked "220A" or a later suffix of "B" when the internal mechanism was changed.  There may be a circle on the left side of the frame and barrel (above the chamber) that has a number and a letter in it.  The number, supposedly is for the inspector, and the letter is a year date.  However, this was on later guns, and may not be on the early ones.  If your gun has this circle, please send a close up picture of it, or tell me what the letter is.  I will be happy to help, but please send pictures if you can. 

AKJERM

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Re: Dating a Savage Model 220 shotgun with no serial number and few markings
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2018, 01:18:49 AM »
Here are the pics I currently have of it. Let me know if these will work. Thank You.











Garnett

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Re: Dating a Savage Model 220 shotgun with no serial number and few markings
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2018, 09:44:43 AM »
Thanks for the pictures!  You have an early Utica gun with a flanged barrel.  This feature was discontinued on later models.  You pictures do not show the symbol that would have a date code.  It is normally stamped at the rear of the left side of the chamber on the barrel, and on the left side of the receiver.  It will be some times with a number and a letter in a circle or just a letter in a circle.  I don't think it will be on your gun as it most likely was made from 1937 to 1946 at Utica.  The game scene on the bottom of the action is a nice addition and was on a number of early actions.  I do believe the butt plate is a replacement, but it is an early Stevens, and could have been original to the gun, but I have never encountered this before.  Does your gun have a steel, gracefully curved and tapered to the rear, or does it have an alloy thick trigger guard that is painted black.  This would help in determining the age also.  It does not mean 1953 or later.  Lots of the Utica guns have that alloy guard.  Production stopped at Utica about 1946 and began at Chicopee in 1947.  I hope this helps.  Best wishes, Garnett

AKJERM

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Re: Dating a Savage Model 220 shotgun with no serial number and few markings
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2018, 11:15:25 PM »
What do you mean by a "flanged barrel"?

Here are a few more pics. No oval or # on the LH side of the receiver but it does have an interesting stamp of some sort there. Maybe these pics will help.







Garnett

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Re: Dating a Savage Model 220 shotgun with no serial number and few markings
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2018, 05:04:18 PM »
Here are 4 images.  The first is blurred.  The second and third show the protrusion along the outside of the bottom of the chamber area.  This fits flush with the top of the receiver.  The 4th picture shows the round barrel with no flange on both sides of the bottom.  I believe it was a cosmetic item only, as it was later dropped from all barrel models.  I hope I have made this clear to you.  I cannot find the pictures I really want in my files, and my guns are in safe storage as I have been away from home for about a week.  That is why it took me so long to answer your question.  If you still don't understand, let me know, and I will get the two different barrels and take pictures for you that are better. 








AKJERM

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Thank You for describing what constitutes a "flanged barrel" in this case.

Have you seen the "#" stamp mark before as shown in the pics?

Based off the pictures do you still believe that this shotgun was most likely made from 1937 to 1946 as you mentioned previously?
 
« Last Edit: March 01, 2018, 03:48:58 PM by AKJERM »

Garnett

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I have a gun with this "#" mark on it.  I have been unable to identify the various marks like this.  When a retired Savage employee, Mr. J.T. Callahan, had all the R&D records, I asked him if he would translate a list of marks I had recorded.  I was willing to pay him for this info.  He answered me with "NO"!  He has since donated all those records to the Savage Museum.  Yes, with your barrel marked Utica, I do believe it was made from '37 to '46.  The early guns came with a steel curved guard and are so pictured in the early catalogs.  However, I have known of one gun that the owner says his father purchased new in 1939 that has an alloy guard.  Before I knew better (altering an original gun), I had my gunsmith install one of the early steel guards on a later Utica gun. :-[  To save time explaining, I have named the early Utica guns with the steel curved trigger guard as "First Model Uticas".   Those with the alloy guard, I named them "Second Model Uticas".  Please understand, this was my way of describing the two Utica guns without the long explanation of "early curved, gracefully tapered to the rear, steel guard" or "fitted with the late alloy guard".  These terms are in no way used by the Savage Arms to describe these two guns.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2018, 10:06:03 AM by Garnett »

AKJERM

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Well, I am sure that he had his reasons for saying no. Maybe someday the meaning of the stamps will become public.
Yes, I understand your terms of "First" and "Second" model Utica's. It makes sense to me.
I very much appreciate all of your help dating my Dad's 220. I will pass on everything I have learned from this research to him as I know that he will find it interesting.
Thanks again for everything. Regards :)