JumpShootin, I talked to a friend of mine that said he is pretty sure the letter designations has to do with the grade of the wood, engraving and even the blueing or case hardening of the metals. I am going to look into some of his books and see if I can find anything. I will post it if I come across the actual letter designations. Good luck in your search. i just found this on wikianswers.com
Where can you find information about a Stevens Savage model 311 D?
In: Savage Arms and J Stevens
Well I to am Interested in the answer I have a side by side 12 gauge stevens Model 311 made by Savage Arms Corp. I know nothing about the gun and interested in its age and possible value!
I have the same question on a double barrell 20 gauge with a tenite stock.
I'm also looking for info. on the 16 side by side. Needs a forarm. been in the family at least from 1949
If you need parts, contact Numrich Gunparts at the Related Link >>> For information about the model, you can look up The Standard Catalog of Firearms and browse through the other books on the same shelf in the library. The 311 started as the Springfield 5000 about 1920 and the model designation changed to 5100 in 1931 and about 1940 it became the 311. In 1948 the Springfield line was dropped and it became the Stevens 311 until it was discontinued in 1989.
If it was manufactured between 1949 and 1968 there will be a small circle with a number and a letter stamped between the trigger and the hinge pin. The letter indicates the year of manufacture.
A thru N > 1949 thru 1962
P > 1963
R thru V > 1964 thru 1968