The Winchester 370 That Beat a Snake to Death

The Winchester 370 That Beat a Snake to Death

Budd's Gunsmith Shop
Budd's Gunsmith Shop

Lily, Kentucky – -( A snake attacked a Kentucky woman out in a field. She shot at the snake with her shotgun and it did not stop.

She then started to beat the snake to death with the shotgun. She was successful but the shotgun suffered severe damage. Both upper and lower tangs were bent sideways and twisted down, and the rear section where the stock bolt screws in was shattered.

She called me and asked if I would take on this repair job. This was both a Gunsmith and Blacksmithing nightmare, to reshape and rebuild the frame.

From the calls I get I might be the only one that would tackle this type of job. People tell me no one wants to touch these old jobs. Truthfully I enjoy the work as they are a challenge to overcome.  This is the case with many guns I get in the shop.

First Thing First
I very slowly started to heat the frame to the point where I could start moving steel.  Not regular steel but previously case hardened steel.  With a lot of very respectful heat application and pressure, I got the frame moved into position.  I had to get the lower tang back to where the trigger lined up at the correct angle.  Then the top tang had to raised up and right of center and leave just enough air gap to put the remaining steel section at the thread hole.

Needles to say the first attempt did not hold so back to the bench I went where I fitted a steel reinforcing strip to hold everything and add strength to the joints.

The Devil is in Details
Next the bolt hole had to have threads re-done to clean out the brass as well as the bolt had to be restored.  I cleaned up the barrel, polished and buffed out all the pits and scratches and Hot Blued it very nice.  I also spent some time redoing the stock and forend.

At the end of this wild operation the owner got a great looking and working gun back. This is a gun that is could have been thrown away or lost in the back of a closet or gun case to be forgotten forever. It is back in use. And I am very proud of my work.

Budd Gardstein of Budd's Gunsmith Shop
Budd Gardstein of Budd's Gunsmith Shop

About Budd “Gun Doc” Gardstein:
Budd’s Gunsmith Shop is the only full service shop in Southeastern and Central Kentucky.

Budd is a gunsmith that works on all types of guns.

Budd’s Gun Smith Shop is an experienced restoration shop specializing in the repair of fire and flood damaged firearms.

Budd will take on many jobs others wont touch give him a call.

Got a gun repair question?  Email Budd and see what he thinks.


Budd’s Gunsmith Shop
132 Bill Karr Rd.
Lily, Kentucky 40740
1 (606) 864-1170
[email protected]
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Well, my Winchester 370 (16 ga.) didn't beat a snake to death, but it could still use some TLC. It has sentimental value, but that's not much use to my son who would prefer to shoot it. Briefly: 1. The action intermittently tends to pop open after firing, presumably from the recoil overpowering a worn latch. Not dangerous, just annoying. I note that if I wanted an auto loader I will take out one of my A-5s 😀 2. The safety v. fully cocked hammer distinction has dulled over the years. Also annoying rather than dangerous. I NEVER rely on… Read more »