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Thread: Sinsinati 14" Pump 20 Gauge - First impressions and take-down.

  1. #1
    GunNutz grelmar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013

    Sinsinati 14" Pump 20 Gauge - First impressions and take-down.

    You'd think I'd learn... Never talk to Martin at a gun show. Before you know it, you're heading home with guns you never realized you just had to have.

    So, I ran into Martin at the AACCA show this afternoon, and was primarily interested in grabbing one of the Sinsinati mag fed pump 123 gauges. I wasn't 100% sure he had any stock left, because the website showed sold out, but he sometimes holds back a few of any given gun for gun shows etc. My budget couldn't be lucky enough for him to be actually sold out (although I suspect he was by the end of the afternoon), so I ended up grabbing one.

    The surprise came when I discovered I also really needed a short barrel 20 gauge pump. Before today, I never knew I needed a 20 gauge shotgun.

    Anyway, on to pics and a take-down of the 20 gauge (the mag fed pumps have been well covered by others).

    This is what I came home with this afternoon:

    Depending on your tastes, a bit of a "Beauty and the Beast" pair. But I'm open minded. If it goes *bang* - I'm interested.

    The 20 gauge:

    This is a sharp looking little shotgun. Nice, well done walnut stock and forend. Deep finish on the metal that looks and feels nicely done (not the "chalky" feel you get on the Norinco guns). Externally, everything is well done, and cleanly finished. No tool marks on machining swirls to be found anywhere. And the wood is finished smooth as glass. The laser etched checkering is also very well done, and nice and grippy without any hint of the "cheese grater" effect. Nice even lines, and no overburn. A few closeups so you can judge for yourselves:

    Working the action and trigger, everything was smooth and solid. The trigger itself is a single stage trigger, reasonably crisp, and sitting around 6 or 7 lbs (bit of a guess here, couldn't find my trigger gauge this afternoon). If you concentrate hard, and really try and pull the trigger as slowly and deliberately as humanly possible, you will notice a slight bit of creep to it, but that disappears if you pull the trigger like a normal human being, and not a pinky extended teetotaller.

    Dis-assembly is straightforward, but I'm going to go into some detail, because it's in the details you can see that this is a really well made gun.

    Of course first you need to make sure the gun is cleared, and once this is done, drop the hammer to release the action.

    Like most pump guns, you start by unscrewing the end cap. And of course, this has a spring loaded ball bearing and detente system, to keep the end cap from walking itself loose during normal use. I say "of course" - but the truth is not every gun does this.

    The next part is slightly different from an 870 (if that's what you're used to), because this is not an 870 pattern gun. It's a Weatherby PA-08 pattern gun. With an 870, normally with the endcap off, you'd pull the barrel, and then pull the forend and draw out the action bars and bolt. On a PA-08 gun, while you can do this, it's actually smoother and easier if you just draw the pump forward, and pull off the pump, action bars, bolt and barrel as a single unit. There's a reason why you do the two guns slightly differently, which I'll get to in a minute.

    Once all this is out, you can separate the barrel first, and then lift the bolt from the action bars:

    And here's why you do the two types of gun differently: On an 870, the action bars are independent bars of metal after the forend and into the receiver. With the way the bolt rides on those tow metal bars, if you draw the whole assembly out as one piece, as soon as those bars clear the receiver, they start to spread apart. With a barrel applying weight to the bolt group, the bolt will start to ride back and peen the edges of the action bars.

    On a PA-08 action, the action bars are bridged, and the bolt rides on the bridge, not the action bars. While removing the barrel first won't risk any damage, it's actually just plain easier to pull the whole assembly out as a single unit. And it's WAY easier when re-assembling if you insert the bolt, barrel, and action bars into the receiver as a tied together unit.

    I really like the PA-08 style of action. It strikes me as an improved, heartier action compared to the 870 style. You're far less likely to bend and torque the action bars out of alignment, which is surprisingly easy to do on an 870 style action (ask me how I know). This doesn't mean I'm going to sell off all my 870 style guns - they're good guns - just that I appreciate the strength of this type of action.

    Also worth noting - look at the inside of the forend. Notice anything? Yes. Every surface of the wood, even on the interior, has been sanded silky smooth, polished, and finished. How often do you see that any more? There isn't a rough finish anywhere to be found on this wood. That's a level of detail I notice, because it has become lacking in a lot of American made guns (ahem, Remington, Ruger, are you reading this? )

    Anyway. To pull out the trigger pack, there are a couple of pins to push through the receiver (you can see them on either side of the Wolf logo). These are held in place with detentes, and are a nice beefy size for the limited amount of stress they're under. These two pins are both reversible and exchangeable - they both fit in either hole, and are direction independent. You just have to remember not to lose them, not which hole they came out of.

    The pin style is notable, because it's far from universal. I've see straight pins with no detentes used, and these have a tendency to "walk out" over time under use (sometimes quite quickly), or roll pins, which can deform under use, and will almost certainly deform after repeated dis-assembly. It's a small thing, but straight pins or roll pins have given me a lot of grief on other guns, so I appreciate it when it's "done right."

    Once these pins are out, you can remove the trigger pack and lifter by pulling on the trigger guard. At first, I was concerned I missed something, because it took a bit of a tug to get the pack out, instead of sliding easily. But nope, it's just a tight fit. This gun is built to tight tolerances from top to bottom.

    The trigger housing is polymer, but everything else is metal. There are even two metal bushings in the trigger housing where the pins hold it in place to the receiver. The trigger assembly is, again, a PA-08 style, and everything is nice and open for ease of inspection and lubrication. No hidden fiddly bits to worry about. Really, there should be no need to dis-assemble the trigger group beyond this, but if you really want to, I don't picture it as being challenging. This is simple, straightforward, and rugged design.

    The bolt group itself is quite open and easy to inspect. Again, this is something that should require no further dis-assembly under normal use. You can easily inspect/lubricrate all the moving parts without doing so. The underside even gives a good window into the firing pin channel. Again, simple, rugged, by design.

    And you'll also note that at no point, either internally or externally, are machining and toolmarks noticeable. The fit and finish is sterling, across the board. I have a pic of the interior of the receiver, and the shadows make it hard to tell, but this level of detail follows through to the interior of the detail. Even where the tang of the trigger pack slides into the rear of the receiver, there are no tool marks, and this is a place where I'm just used to seeing "swirl" marks of machining.

    And that's really it. That's all you should ever have to do in terms of take-down, for even the most thorough maintenance. Realistically, you should only have to take out the trigger pack every few years for cleaning and lubrication, if that.

    It's a surprisingly small number of parts, well thought out and well made. The Turkish guns have given me an appreciation for the PA-08 design.

    Oh, and unlike the Norinco short barrel guns, this comes threaded for chokes, and comes included with 3. Not sure of the pattern, but I'm certain it's a standard pattern (like all the 12 gauge Turkish internal choke guns tend to be), and it does add to the versatility of the gun.

    I haven't had it out shooting yet, and sadly, I'm not likely to for weeks, or possibly not this season. I'm slowed down with an injury to my left arm that I need to be a bit cautious with, so I'm on the reserve list at the moment.

    But I'm not worried. Dry cycling this gun, and the take-down inspection, and my past experience with Sinsinati shotguns, gives me confidence that this gun is going to work when I need it to.

    Cheers, and hope this gives a bit of useful information for anyone who needs it.
    If you believe in gun control, then you trust the government more than you trust your neighbour, and if that's the case, then maybe you're the one that needs to think about moving somewhere else.

    Excuses have an effective range of exactly 0 meters.

  2. #2
    CGN Regular
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Grelmar, you forgot to mention mag tube aluminum follower�� You won't find an 870 with one, got one of early ones with sights that rib barrel looks good might have to see if Martin has one.
    I have about 400 rounds through mine and it just gets smoother, only thing I did was take and cut three coils off hammer spring, made quite a difference in stroke ease, have fun when ya get to it��

  3. #3
    CGN Regular
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Parts Unknown
    Nice review. Well done sir.

  4. #4
    Big Mouth dand883's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    I've been told they are Browning Invector style chokes, so there's lots of choice out there for different chokes to fit it

  5. #5
    CGN Regular
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    I have two, for the grandson and I, of the previous run in 18" with sights and have nothing but good things to say. That and they will poke a turkey to 35yds no issues, shoot slugs or lite loads and have even shot a round of trap and done well. The 14,26" combo looks a little to tempting.

  6. #6
    HELP! I sold my soul to the internet
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Nova Scotia
    Wouldn't mind a review/takedown of the mag fed sinsinatti, I just got one, I think it is going to be a great rig, need to take it down and smooth out the trigger a bit and decide what sights to put on it!
    Thanks for the review on the 20gauge pump, now I have to sell some other guns to finance one of those!

    The Secret to accuracy in shooting sports, is to shoot first, then call whatever you hit, "The Target"!!!
    Hot and smoking, from my cold dead hands!

  7. #7
    CGN Regular hawkmp9's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Great review.

  8. #8
    CGN Regular
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    Jun 2014
    Thanks, very nice review. I'm hoping to add one of these soon but wanted to see a review or 2 first.

  9. #9
    CGN Regular SKS Bitten's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Always good to see Martin at the gun shows and you never leave empty handed.

  10. #10
    CGN Regular Astute Observer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    What type of chokes does it take?

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