to saw off, or not to saw off...that's the question

to saw off, or not to saw off...that's the question

This is a discussion on to saw off, or not to saw off...that's the question within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; hey everyone, need some input. my HD shotgun has a hunting barrel on it (28"). I was thinking that it'd be nice to have a ...

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Thread: to saw off, or not to saw off...that's the question

  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array pcon's Avatar
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    to saw off, or not to saw off...that's the question

    hey everyone, need some input. my HD shotgun has a hunting barrel on it (28"). I was thinking that it'd be nice to have a shorter barrel to take corners quicker. so...should I spring the extra $100 or so and buy a shorter barrel or should I just measure twice and cut once? Any advice would be helpful. I know about the 18.5" federal regulation, so it wouldn't be any shorter than that.
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    I'm all about avoiding home hack jobs. My suggestion is get a replacement barrel. If you have access to someone who can do good metal work, or if you have experience with it, I would vote for OK.
    eschew obfuscation

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    Senior Member Array bbqgrill's Avatar
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    Not to mention the headline if you ever have to use your HD shotgun "man murders intruder with a sawed off shotgun".
    "To believe that social reforms can eradicate evil altogether is to forget that evil is a protean creature, forever assuming a new shape when deprived of an old one." - SAT

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    The barrel as is has a choke. If you cut it you eliminate the choke and basically ruin a good barrel. Buy another barrel in the shorter length.
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    Got a rib on it? If so you'll want to cut it at the post where the rib is and make it even with the barrel. Most guns are around 19 inches.

    Have someone with a lathe cut it and crown it. Its really the only way to make it square and look proffesional. Its very difficult to hack one off straight. If you can pull that off you'll need to deburr the barrel.

    I just did one last week.
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  6. #6
    Distinguished Member Array pcon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbqgrill View Post
    Not to mention the headline if you ever have to use your HD shotgun "man murders intruder with a sawed off shotgun".
    yeah...I didn't even think about that...good point.
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  7. #7
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    A "sawed off" shotgun is generally thought to be less than 18".

    Shouldn't be an issue if its the legal minimum length.
    I would rather stand against the cannons of the wicked than against the prayers of the righteous.


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  8. #8
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    Federal regulations require that the barrel be no-less than 18"

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    I'd save the $100 and get a shorter barrel. You may want to try skeet or sporting clays some day.
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  10. #10
    VIP Member Array nedrgr21's Avatar
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    Get the shorter barrel. The money that you spend facing the end of the barrel (correctly) will decrease your savings to where it wouldn't make sense to cut down a perfectly good barrel - went thru this about 2 years ago.

  11. #11
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    If you do it just don't measure from the muzzle end!
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    What kind is it? If its a common brand like a Remington or Mossberg, just get a new barrel. They are not very expensive and its a lot less headache.
    "Just blame Sixto"

  13. #13
    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    Take a good look around the pawn shops in your area, or the next gun show. Years ago I bought a lone misfit 28" barrel for my former Mossberg 500 20ga at a pawn shop for $45 and took it to a gunsmith and had it cut to 18 1/4" and front bead re-tapped/installed, and blued the cut end for a total of around $65. I had my HD shotty, and could swap barrels back and do clays with the guys whenever.

  14. #14
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    No contest; buy a second barrel. For all the reasons cited and then some. Spare parts are good things. ;)

  15. #15
    Senior Member Array GreyGhost's Avatar
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    Since you can buy a short barrel, I would. Cutting a barrel isn't difficult but getting the end straight and square by hand is a slow procees. I know I've done it. Then you will want to install a sight. This is even more fun than squaring off the barrel.

    I did this to my pre 1968 Stevens 12 gauge pump. Since it has very little value I wasn't worried about wrecking it.

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