making the barrel shorter

This is a discussion on making the barrel shorter within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I was told at the local pawn shop i went and checked out today for a cheap 12 gauge to make my HD gun that ...

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Thread: making the barrel shorter

  1. #1
    Member Array dbraves8's Avatar
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    making the barrel shorter

    I was told at the local pawn shop i went and checked out today for a cheap 12 gauge to make my HD gun that I could just take a sawzall and cut the barrel to short as I wanted within legal limits. Is that true and will it hurt anything or change the way the gun shoots??

    Thanks

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    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    Make sure the barrel is at least 18" long most SD barrels are 18 1/2",It will cause the pattern to open up quicker so you need to pattern it afterwards,I personally would find somebody with a pipe cutting tool to get an even cut and then make sure and remove any burrs after cutting by either running a small file or emery cloth around the cut.Measure the barrel from the front of breech face on the bolt when it's closed IOW the chamber is part of the overall barrel length
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    Member Array dbraves8's Avatar
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    how would i pattern it

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    Quote Originally Posted by dbraves8 View Post
    how would i pattern it
    Just fire it into a large piece of paper to see what the patten is with your chosen ammo. If you cut down the barrel it will open up a lot quicker. A gunsmith will cut down , then smooth out muzzle.
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    Senior Member Array 2ndsupporter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rocky View Post
    Just fire it into a large piece of paper to see what the patten is with your chosen ammo. If you cut down the barrel it will open up a lot quicker. A gunsmith will cut down , then smooth out muzzle.
    +1 Take several different loads and find the one that will work the best.

    I think you would want to pattern it at 10 to 15 feet for a HD gun. Correct me if I'm wrong!
    [One Nation Under God]

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    Member Array dbraves8's Avatar
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    What would a gunsmith charge to do that to shorten the barrel and smooth out the muzzle?

    what is the legal limit in FL for the length of the barrel or is it total length of the gun?

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    Member Array gumaro's Avatar
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    18" for shotguns 16" for rifles that is barrel length. you measure from the bolt face to end of barrel. You can use a cleaning rod to check the length, insert it in the barrel until it touches the bolt then mark the rod at the end of the muzzle take a tape measure and check the length. You can then know how much to remove, you can then mark the barrel usually add 1/16 or more to the final length of 18 1/16+ inches..

  9. #8
    Distinguished Member Array PastorPack's Avatar
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    Most go 18 and 1/2" with the extra 1/2" there just to be on the safe side.
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    VIP Member Array automatic slim's Avatar
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    When I was an LEO I cut down several barrels for other dept. members. Whatever you do, don't use a hack saw, it's almost impossible to get a straight cut. Definitely use a pipe cutter.
    Measure as other posters have explained. Cut the barrel no shorter than 18.25".
    After cutting, you will find that the pipe cutter will have left a ridge on the inside of the muzzle. Using a round file, file around the inside, working your way around the barrel a couple of strokes at a time to keep the inside as true as possible. I follow this up with several grits of emory paper. Usually 150, 600 and 1000 or 1500, until the edge is glass smooth.
    You will find that the outside of the barrel is very sharp. I follow pretty much the same procedure, but instead of the file, I start with 60 grit paper.
    When you're done, cold blue or whatever. I did everything from parkerizing to bake on enamal.
    If you're patient and work slowly, you'll find the end result almost as good as factory.
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    Senior Member Array 1911PKR's Avatar
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    A pipe cutter obviously won't work if you have a vent rib. If you sandwich the barrel in a vice (level) and use the slowest speed on a sawzaw, you can get a nice cut. Keep the base of the sawzaw tight against the barrel.
    "Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom" Gen. George Patton

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    Member Array mjmoore's Avatar
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    Locked mine down in the power hacksaw at work and got a nice straight clean cut .
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    Good advice to go with 18 and 1/2 inches to give some margin for error.

    17.99" without the proper tax stamp = 10 years or so in a charming federal prison.

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    VIP Member Array Superhouse 15's Avatar
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    Where in FL? We charge between $20 and $30 depending on a few options. It's a common gunsmithing task, takes about an hour. PM me if you get near Daytona for the DC Discount price.

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    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    I agree on some things. Do it with a hacksaw or bandsaw and be sure to make a straight cut. A tubing cutter will leave you filing or reaming forever. As suggested, leave plenty of room for error. Even your gunsmith would be cutting at the least, 18 1/4", refinishing or re-blueing the cut end and reinstalling the front post. Of course cutting a game or hunting barrel will affect the pattern and most of those are full choke and 26-28". It's going to be a lot different than a HD shotgun/barrel made from the factory. Modified choke, improved choke, and open (cylinder bore) choke should be listed on the barrels for shotguns. Use a hunting barrel and cut it down and you'll have a hybrid choke.
    Here's some quick reading on chokes: Shotgun Chokes

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    Important!
    Also remember that even though your barrel is cut down to a legal length there is ALSO an overall length restriction fot your shotgun.

    Some say it is 26" OAL but, I have also heard 28" OAL - I think I remember it as being 26" but, call your local ATF and make sure.

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