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Savage-Stevens model 520 shotgun (USA)

The Savage-Stevens model 520 Shotgun was designed by the famous American gunmaker John Browning in 1903. Stevens Arms and Tool Co purchased his patent in 1904 and soon produced a new sporting gun, designated as the Stevens model 520. It was a successful design, one of the first “hammerless” (internal hammer) pump shotguns on the market. In 1917 Stevens Co developed a “trench gun” version for the US Expeditionary forces in Europe, but it came too late to see any action in WW1. The police version of the basic model however, known as the Stevens model 520 riot gun, enjoyed steady sales in US.


Savage-Stevens model 520 Riot gun
Savage-Stevens model 520 Riot gun


In 1920 Stevens was bought by Savage. Since that time and until the cessation of manufacture in the mid-1930’s, this gun was offered as the Savage-Stevens model 520 shotgun. By the start of WW2 Savage still possessed significant stocks of the Model 520 in its warehouses. Those were bought by the US government and issued to the military.

Due to a lack of spare parts, the Model 520 Trench gun was declared obsolete and withdrawn from service and put into storage in 1943. However, with the start of the Vietnam war, the remaining shotguns were again recalled into service and issued to troops in SE Asia, notably to Military Police. Military issue guns of WW2 era often bore the designation “mod.520-30” and “US” on the receiver.

Savage-Stevens model 520 Trench gun
Savage-Stevens model 520 Trench gun


Technical Description:

This weapon is a manually operated, slide (pump) action shotgun. It features sturdy construction with an all-steel receiver. The bolt is locked by a tilting lock which engages a cut in the roof of the receiver. Ammunition is fed from an underbarrel tubular magazine. Trigger and hammer unit are mounted on the removable trigger plate, made integral with the trigger guard.

Early (pre-Savage) models featured a manual safety inside the trigger guard. The Savage-Stevens guns had the safety on the tang of the receiver. All Model 520 shotguns also featured an easy ‘take-down’ (dissasemble) design.

Savage-Stevens model 520 Riot guns were equipped with 20-inch cylinder bore barrels. The trench guns were similar but also featured a ventilated steel handguard and a bayonet mount.


Specification Value
Full text name Savage-Stevens model 520 shotgun (USA)
Caliber cartridge 12 Gauge
Action type manual
Trigger type sa
Overall length, mm 991
Barrel length, mm 508
Weight empty, kg 3,4
Magazine capacity, rounds 5