Aircraft / Aviation Vehicles & Artillery Infantry Arms Warships & Submarines Military Pay Chart (2023) Military Ranks

Infantry Small Arms / The Warfighter

Stevens M520 (Model 520)

Pump-Action Slide Shotgun [ 1910 ]

The Stevens M520 was yet another design in the storied career of American gunsmith John Browning.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 06/02/2017 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

The Stevens Model 520 (M520) was a pump-action slide shotgun appearing around 1910. Its general form and function were highly conventional while reliability and construction held in generally high regard for the time - though some questioned the type's overall complexity. The M520 name designated an entire line of shotguns from Stevens that included the standard 12-gauge take-down form. Barrels were of high pressure compressed steel with full choke in lengths of 28- (standard) and 30-inches. The action utilized a hammerless arrangement with locking block and side ejection of empty shells. A firing pin safety was coupled with an independent safety. The receiver was of drop-forged manufacture and covered in a matte finish. The guns arrived with a wooden stock/grip unit and wooden slide. The stock was of checkered walnut with the pistol grip integrated and a rubber butt plate fitted as standard. The slide handle was also checkered for a sure grip. The M520 utilized a tubular magazine housing five total shells - a shell could be chambered, ready-to-fire, for six shell total capacity.

"Slam-firing" - the unintentional discharge of the weapon - was possible with the M520 as disconnects were not en vogue with such guns at the time. Such action could result in the user losing control of the gun or catastrophic breech explosions. This was a "quality" seen in other shotguns of the period and generally viewed as highly dangerous to the operator.

Stevens shotguns were utilized by American forces in World War 1 (1914-1918) and World War 2 (1939-1945) with some models showcasing U.S. military stamping. Militarized versions were known as "Trench Guns" for their perforated heat-shields and bayonet support. "Riot Guns" were a derivation of the norm by not featuring the bayonet lugs and shortened barrels. Other long-barreled forms were purchased as training guns for aerial gunnery (essentially "skeet shooting"). Some 35,306 Stevens M520 guns were purchased by the American government during World War 2 from 1942 into 1945.©MilitaryFactory.com
Indeed, no other fighting force in the world went to war quite like the Americans and their deadly, short-ranged shotguns. In fact, the German Army of World War 1 directly threatened any American infantry shotgun user with immediate execution should they be captured alive. Additional wartime service covered the Korean War (1950-1953) and the Vietnam War (1955-1975).

Design of the M520 was attributed to John Moses Browning and later refined in the Stevens M620 pump-action shotgun of 1927 (detailed elsewhere on this site).©MilitaryFactory.com
Note: The above text is EXCLUSIVE to the site www.MilitaryFactory.com. It is the product of many hours of research and work made possible with the help of contributors, veterans, insiders, and topic specialists. If you happen upon this text anywhere else on the internet or in print, please let us know at MilitaryFactory AT gmail DOT com so that we may take appropriate action against the offender / offending site and continue to protect this original work.


Service Year

United States national flag graphic
United States


Pump-Action Slide Shotgun

J. Stevens Arms Company - USA
(View other Arms-Related Manufacturers)
National flag of the United States United States
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Close Support
Extreme close quarters use; trench-clearing; doorbuster; security.


Manually-Actuated Pump Slide

(Material presented above is for historical and entertainment value and should not be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation - always consult official manufacturer sources for such information)


12-, 16- or 20-gauge

Rounds / Feed

5-round tubular magazine
Cartridge relative size chart
*May not represent an exhuastive list; calibers are model-specific dependent, always consult official manufacturer sources.
**Graphics not to actual size; not all cartridges may be represented visually; graphics intended for general reference only.
M520-30 - Base Series Designation
M520 "Trench Gun" - Militarized Form; heat shield over barrel; bayonet lugs.

Military lapel ribbon for the American Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for pioneering aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon representing modern aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Ukranian-Russian War
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2

Ribbon graphics not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns / operations.


Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Cookies

2023 Military Pay Chart Military Ranks DoD Dictionary Conversion Calculators Military Alphabet Code Military Map Symbols

The "Military Factory" name and MilitaryFactory.com logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT gmail.com. No A.I. was used in the generation of this content; site is 100% curated by humans.

Part of a network of sites that includes GlobalFirepower, a data-driven property used in ranking the top military powers of the world, WDMMA.org (World Directory of Modern Military Aircraft), WDMMW.org (World Directory of Modern Military Warships), SR71blackbird.org, detailing the history of the world's most iconic spyplane, and MilitaryRibbons.info, cataloguing military medals and ribbons.

View day-by-day actions of the American Civil War with CivilWarTimeline.net. View day-by-day actions of World War II with SecondWorldWarHistory.com.

©2023 www.MilitaryFactory.com • All Rights Reserved • Content ©2003-2023 (20yrs)