The next review on firearms is on my Riverside Arms single shot 12 gauge shotgun. This latest acquisition was also
picked up at a gun show for a low price. It looked kinda rough but was still functional for a gun that was apparently
made in 1913, or at least thats what the patent stamp on the barrel says. I had some plans for this gun too.
The gun had something like a 28" barrel, which was ridiculously long by my standards. While this would make
the gun good for popping flying birds or maybe sending buckshot out to ranges beyond what a shotgun would normally be used
for, in my line of interests, a super long barreled shotgun won't work. So the first thing I did was lop down the barrel
of the shotgun to 19", which is an inch more than the legal length.
At first I thought about shortening the stock a little while still keeping the overall length legal, but then after thinking
about it I left it alone for the simple fact that after taking a few test shots with the thing and finding that it kicked
like a mule on steroids, I determined that a short stock will only make this thing inconvenient to use.
The next thing that I noticed about this gun when I disassembled it was that it had a spring loaded ejector that launches
spent shells out upon opening. The only problem was that the sliver of metal inside the receiver that catches the ejector
lever was worn completely away. In order to remedy this problem I drilled a hole in the side where the sliver of metal
used to be and put a small screw in place, then took my dremel rotary tool and ground it down to where the barrel will still
close properly. With that little patch, the shotgun is now able to launch shells out after opening, making it a quick
reloading field gun.
The last addition to this gun was a sling, so I can carry this gun on my back when in the field. I bought one of
those sling kits from Walmart and attached the loop bolts in their respective locations fore and aft and hooked the sling
up. Because the forestock merely snaps in place versus bolting in place, I had to use a wire tie to further secure the
forestock to the barrel so it won't pull loose when the gun is hanging from my back.
While I had a good time practice shooting this shotgun with the different shells, the main reason for getting this shotgun
was so I can use it with the different 12 gauge adapters available that allow you to shoot different pistol and smaller shotgun
cartridges. The adapters are typically in the $20 ish range and come in a wide range of calibers. My plan was
to get every adapter thats available, which would then effectively turn this simple shotgun into many guns.
The cartridge adapters available are .22 LR, 9mm, 357/38 spl, 45 acp, 44 mag/spl, 410/ 45 LC, 20 GA, and even 16 and
28 GA in older models. It wouldn't matter what ammo you run across, you can still be in the game with these adapters
and a simple single shot or double barrel shotgun. While pump or other magazine guns can still use these adapters, its
more of a pain to reload fast when you gotta cycle out the adapter, reload the pistol cartridge, then load the adapter into
the magazine and cycle the action to chamber the adapter. With the single/double, just break the barrel, put the adapter
in and close, cock the hammer if open hammered, and shoot.
Another thing about the adapters too is that depending on the manufacturer, you can get pistol cartridge adapters with
rifled barrels in them for increased accuracy. One manufacturer even makes two adapters, one in .22 LR and one in 9mm,
in a 9" length insert specifically for break action shotguns where the barrel is rifled, effectively turning the shotgun into
an accurate long range pistol caliber rifle.
While I dont have all the adapters yet, I already have the 9mm, 357, and 45 acp adapters. I have pistols in the
first two calibers, but didn't have any pistols in the 45 acp, but had plenty of shells after I did have one gun a while back
that I ended up selling after I couldn't get it to work right. This shotgun along with the adapters would make a good
bug out gun as you would be able to shoot whatever ammo you can acquire based on the adapters you have. Under some circumstances,
this would probably be one of the only guns I would take with me if I could only take one gun, just because of this versatility.