How to Install a Pistol Grip on a Savage Arms Stevens 320 – 12 Gauge Shotgun
For less than $200, you can have a decent home defense shotgun that will get the job done. The Stevens 320 has caught some backlash online as being a cheap Chinese knock-off, or not being made of good quality, but after playing around with it I don’t find that to be true.
By no means am I even close to being an expert on any sort of firearm, but I think with pump-action shotguns they’re pretty hard to screw up. I mean it’s a tube with a trigger. As long as you don’t try to get too complex with the design, it’s a simple configuration – just my $.02.
That’s what the Savage Arms Stevens 320 is – a 12 gauge pump action shotgun that fires when you pull the trigger. Again, not an expert here, but this is from personal experience. I purchased mine from Academy, where they were able to price match Cabela’s, at if I remember correctly was about $165 out the door.
I planned on using this shotgun for home defense, so the first modification was to replace the factory stock with a pistol grip. Unfortunately, there isn’t a manufacturer that produces pistol grips for the Stevens 320. I had read online some people had made modifications to various Winchester and Remington 870 grips, so that’s the path I planned on taking.
The guide below modifies a TacStar Remington 870 pistol grip. Since the Remington 870’s receiving end is the same, I imagine that any grip that is model specific for the Remington 870 will work. If I’m wrong on this, please correct me.
Materials and Tools Needed
- Philips Head Screwdriver
- Ratchet with 10” Extension and ½” Socket
- Dremel 7200 Tool
- Remington 870 Pistol Grip (or another of your choosing)
- Metric M8-1.25 80-90MM Machine Screw
Remove the Factory Stock
The stock is easy to remove. All you need is a Philips head screwdriver, a ½” socket, and ratchet with at least a 10” extension on it. Remove the two screws in the butt plate and then use the socket wrench to reach into the stock until it is on the bolt.
Fit the Pistol Grip
This is the difficult part. The Remington 870 grip is almost a match, but is still a little too big. So what we’re going to do is to use a Dremel tool to thin it out and bring it in. As you can see in the video it’s a matter of taking off thin layers and not removing too much. There are two tricks you can use here.
Nickel trick – Using your standard United States Nickel, use the edge to mark the depth on the Remington 870 pistol grip with a silver or gold Sharpie. The Stevens 320’s receiving end had a depth that is exactly the width of Nickel, so you can use this as your guide.
Template – Attached in this article is a downloadable template of an *almost* exact fit of the factory stock that we removed. You can cut this out and lay it over the pistol grip you buy. This will give you an idea of how much you need to remove. Download the Template Here!
This step takes some patience since you’ll be shaving a little bit off, checking the fit, and repeating about a gazillion times. You may also need to make the hole in the rear of the pistol grip a little bit bigger with either the Dremel tool or a drill bit.
Attach the Grip and Test
Once you think you have a good flush fit, you’ll need a metric machine screw to attach it. Specifically, you will need this METRIC size: M8-1.25. For the grip I used, you’ll need an 80mm screw in length, however if you’re using a different grip it may be a little less or a little more. To save you a few trips to the hardware store, pick up a couple different sizes, maybe the 70mm or the 90mm as well. Not all Lowe’s or Home Depot’s carry these screws, so if yours doesn’t you can pick these up on Amazon.
Lastly, once you have the screw in and everything feels solid, test it out!
I ran about 50+ Remington 2 ¾” target loads through it the first day and didn’t run into a single problem.
Did you modify your Stevens 320? Run into any problems? Find a better fit? Feel free to let me know in the comments below!
10/7/2017 UPDATE: After receiving a few different requests for more detailed photos of the pistol grip, here they are! The only Photoshop done on these was to erase the serial number on the second and third photo down. I do not mind if other people use these photos, however I would ask you provide credit to me if you do use them.