Cutting down a Shotgun barrel

This is a discussion on Cutting down a Shotgun barrel within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I just purchased a used Mossberg 500 for $60 bucks at the local pawn shop. I want to cut down the barrel down to make ...

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Thread: Cutting down a Shotgun barrel

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    Distinguished Member Array skysoldier29's Avatar
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    Cutting down a Shotgun barrel

    I just purchased a used Mossberg 500 for $60 bucks at the local pawn shop. I want to cut down the barrel down to make it a HD weapon. What tools will I need to cut it down? Will a hack saw and a file do the job or will I need something stronger? I'm going to keep the barrel long enough so I don't have to deal with NFA rules.

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    Personally, I'd pay for a gunsmith to do it properly.
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    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    Yep either a hacksaw,or a chop saw(powered metal cutting rotary saw)then you can use a square or eyeball and even up the cut if need be,then run a 1/2 round file along the inner edge to remove any burrs,make sure you cut 18 1/2" measured from the back of the chamber forward,in other wards if you inserted a shell in the chamber measure from the back of the brass where the extractor grabs it
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    Quote Originally Posted by dukalmighty View Post
    Yep either a hacksaw,or a chop saw(powered metal cutting rotary saw)then you can use a square or eyeball and even up the cut if need be,then run a 1/2 round file along the inner edge to remove any burrs,make sure you cut 18 1/2" measured from the back of the chamber forward,in other wards if you inserted a shell in the chamber measure from the back of the brass where the extractor grabs it


    That will do it!

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    You can never cut anything straight with a hack saw. Try to find a band saw.
    It is surely true that you can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink. Nor can you make them grateful for your efforts.

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    There are 2 ways to do it. If it is a non tapered straight barrel then you can buy a new pipe cutter - They are not expensive use a brand new one - You need a virgin cutter. The same one used for Copper plumbing.
    BUT, take it slow - barely tighten the knob and then go 'round a few times...then barely tighten it again...take your time since you don't want to roll-tighten the barrel diameter. Make sure you stay on your cutter score line. Don't "walk" the cutter. Just take it real slow and you'll end up with a great job & you'll only need to slightly deburr the cut.

    Or the other way is to wrap the barrel with masking tape and get a perfect tape line around the circumference of the barrel. Take your time. get the tape perfect.

    Then use a FINE blade in a hacksaw and do not make a straight through cut. Hacksaw the barrel of slightly ahead of the final tape line. Saw with the hacksaw - turn the barrel - saw some more - turn and saw some more - keep going all the way around.

    Keep doing that until you cut through the barrel all the way around. You want to hacksaw close to the tape line but, NOT touching it.

    That way you can avoid endless final filing.

    Then use a flat file and file the cut end of the barrel exactly up to and just touching your tape line. Remove the tape. Viola! a perfect cut job.

    Then just use your fingers and a folded up piece of 3M Wet or Dry paper and take the sharp edge off the inside and outside edges of your cut. Then Cold Blue touch it up.

    Those are the two ways I know of to do it where you won't mess up.
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    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    Plenty of good advice here. Just remember to cut long in case you come up short. Coming up short means an illegal weapon. A gunsmith will cut it down to within 1/4" to be on the safe side. If you mess up the minimum, you're screwed. Word to the wise. Hacksaws are for the movies and derelicts. At least do a decent job and be within the law when you hack your shotty into a shorty.

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    Member Array kmagnuss's Avatar
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    I've used QKShooter's 2nd method (tape and hacksaw) with good results.

    At the end is't s $60 shotgun... who cares what it looks like? Tape a mag light on there and call it a day. :)

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    Be sure you get the cut perpendicular to the barrel otherwise it will through the pattern way off.
    When you have to shoot, shoot. Don't talk.
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    Senior Member Array Crescentstar's Avatar
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    What about relocating a bead sight after cutting?
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    Quote Originally Posted by atctimmy View Post
    You can never cut anything straight with a hack saw. Try to find a band saw.
    You sure can, but you have to go SLOW. I measured, and measured, and did I mention measured? I taped off where the cut was going all the way around the barrel. Then pinned the barrel in a miter box I have. I cut very slowly, constantly checking the cut. Once it was done I cleaned up the muzzle and added some cold blue to it. The first time I shot it, I put the wad through the dot I drew on the cardboard. Measure, mark, and cut slow.

    Quote Originally Posted by Crescentstar View Post
    What about relocating a bead sight after cutting?
    I put on a high vis turkey sight. Aftermarket stick on kind. Mainly just to teach my wife how to shoot it, but it works great.


    And finally, in bold, MAKE SURE YOU CUT THROUGH A RIB. Otherwise the end of the vent rib is just hanging there. Not good.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crescentstar View Post
    What about relocating a bead sight after cutting?
    Unless you have the proper jig and tap that would be a job best left to a gunsmith.
    When you have to shoot, shoot. Don't talk.
    "Don't forget, incoming fire has the right of way."

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    Unless you have the proper jig and tap that would be a job best left to a gunsmith.
    There are bead sights that are "press fit" into a hole drilled into the barrel. If you can drill a straight hole the appropriate diameter, then you simply tap the bead into the barrel. They work are easy to install.
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    Pay for a gunsmith to do it. Also, if the barrel has a fixed choke, it won't after the cut down. You may want to consider looking for a replacement barrel in the length you want. I know there are many options for Remington, and I would imagine there are options for Mossberg as well.

  16. #15
    Senior Member Array Rigrat's Avatar
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    Do it yourself, unless you just don't feel up to the task. It's easy to do with a hacksaw and a file, just like others said using tape to mark the barrel. I've done several .22 barrel with a hacksaw and a crowning tool after the cut. All have come out great, just go slow and check often.

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