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Shortning a Shotgun Barrel

drjincdrjinc Member Posts: 256 ✭✭✭
edited April 2003 in Ask the Experts
I was wondering if it is legal to cut down the barrel on a shotgun as long as you keep it at least 18" long.Also is there anything that I would need to no about cutting it down.
Thanks

Comments

  • ranger37ranger37 Member Posts: 182 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    As long as it is not shorter than 18" your safe, the best way to do it, as I do it in my shop is on a Kallamazue(it is a horizontal metal saw)

    DO RIGHT GUNSMITH, INC.
  • ranger37ranger37 Member Posts: 182 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    sorry I didn`t finish, pc froze. the saw has a clamp on it that allows you to keep the BBL perfectly staight when cutting once you cut it you`ll have to finish the muzzle, kida like putting a crown on it, you have to smooth the edges out, also, this is very important, you measure from the chamber tward the muzzle.

    DO RIGHT GUNSMITH, INC.
  • mark christianmark christian Forums Admins, Member, Moderator Posts: 22,715 ******
    edited November -1
    Please keep in mind that the shotgun must still have an over all length of at least 26", even with the legal 18" barrel. While this is never a problem with shotguns having shoulder stocks, you can sometimes get into trouble with pistol grip shotguns ending up too short.

    Mark T. Christian
  • bambihunterbambihunter Member Posts: 10,378 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Some shotgun barrels are chrome-lined and sometimes the chroming will splinter back into the barrel if not cut properly. If this is the case I'd have a 'smith do it for you. If not you should be fine. You might want to go ahead and have it threaded for screw-in chokes unless you are fairly sure you just want cylinder bore.
    Fanatic collector of the 10mm auto.
  • GHSGHS Member Posts: 67 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    I recently cut one by hand, came out great. I used a wood miter (sp?) box with a hacksaw and a good blade to do the initial cut. I did it at 18.5" to be on the safe side. Then I used sandpaper and emery cloth to finish the muzzle/crown. I put the sandpaper in the palm of my hand, then jammed the cut end of the barrel into my palm twisting the barrel for a few hours. Wife thought I was nuts, but it put a very nice crown and finish on the muzzle. A little cold blue, I drilled and tapped it for a new bead and I was done. Just an example of what I did. Not the most "high tech", but it only cost me an evening and some weird looks from the Mrs.
  • select-fireselect-fire Member Posts: 62,604 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Your measurement will be from a closed bolt. MAKE SURE THE GUN IS UNLOADED. Stick a dowel rod down the barrel and measure.
  • king999king999 Member Posts: 450 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    A very easy way on a simple (no rib, etc) single is to use a pipe cutter. Makes a smoothe, square cut requiring little hand finishing.
    Have fun, be careful!!
    Morty
  • drobsdrobs Member Posts: 21,789 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I recall hearing stories of I think Randy Weaver or Koresh being busted for cutting shotguns down to 18" barrels. Basically the chicken snit ATF agent would bang the barrel on the concrete causing a dent in the barrel, making it less that 18", & therefore sawed off. Most gunsmiths I know only cut down to 18.5" because of this rumor.

    Regards,

    FREE IRAQ
  • Tailgunner1954Tailgunner1954 Member Posts: 7,815
    edited November -1
    The sawed off shotgun charge was thrown out, the judge (a very wise man) decided that the informent paying Randy $2,000 (it was somthing close to that figgure) to cut it at 17.5" when he had offered to cut it to 18.5 for no charge, was intrapment (sp) on the part of the FBI.

    Some guys like a mag full of lead, I still prefer one round to the head.
  • taperloctaperloc Member Posts: 420 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I used a pipe cutter to mark a barrel that I wanted to cut off, but only to scribe a line around the barrel. I then used a hack saw and cut it off about a 1/16" forward of the scribe line and carefully filed the barrel down to the line. Cleaned it up with fine wet-dry 240 grit sand paper then 600. Looked good and shot well. 30" full to 26" cylinder.
  • Supreme OneSupreme One Member Posts: 1,423 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Hello, first off, the total length must be 28 inches, NOT 26 inches. What I do is mark where you want to cut it, use a good pipe cutter, slowly, with oil, a little bit at a time, until it is through. Then use a file to clean up the crown. Once the majority of the burr is gone, use a half-round file and clean up the inside of the berrel. But now you still have a little lip on the outside, from the pipe cutter. What I do is sit on the end of a chair and with the barrel in my left hand I roll it against the file at about a 45 degree angle. Roll the barrel until you reach your hip, then, without taking the file off the barrel and being sure to keep the same spot, move the barrel back to your knee. Keep doing this until the lip is gone, then reblue the end. I have done this several times, works very well. Remember, 28 inches total, 18 inches for the barrel.

    Michael

    Paranoid keeps you alive, worry just gives you stomach problems.

    Politics- From the words poly, meaning many, and tics, which are just little blood suckers.

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  • select-fireselect-fire Member Posts: 62,604 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Supreme, The OAL ( over all lenght ) of a shotgun cannot be under 26". Barrel length may not be under 18".
  • Supreme OneSupreme One Member Posts: 1,423 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Hello, I did some checking and all I can find is the 26 inch limit too, but my GCA 1968 book that my father got when he started being a police officer says 28 inches. I have not found a date that it was changed or ammended.
    I stand corrected.

    Michael

    Paranoid keeps you alive, worry just gives you stomach problems.

    Politics- From the words poly, meaning many, and tics, which are just little blood suckers.

    If "con" is the opposite of "pro," then what is the opposite of progress?
  • select-fireselect-fire Member Posts: 62,604 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    It hasn't been amended and FEDERAL LAW is 26". I would go by it not some book. Any questions on this call BATF in Washington. I have a brick of .22's that says I am right. Any call on that ?
  • kingjoeykingjoey Member Posts: 8,636
    edited November -1
    Michael, I believe they changed it back in the 80's some time, I had remembered it being 28" and when I checked the ATF regs a few years ago it was 26" OAL.[:D]

    Love them Beavers
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  • SunraySunray Member Posts: 773 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Before you do anything you should check you State law. Some places think this is evil. The best way to fix an excessively long shotgun barrel is an engine lathe. No lathe? Then use the pipe cutter. Hack saws do just that. Hack. They never get the cut even close to square. Takes too much time with a file to get it right. If your barrel has a rib, stop altogether. It'll take a smithy with the right tools to take off the rib, shorten both the rib and the barrel and put it back on. It's less trouble to just go buy a shorter barrel.
  • drjincdrjinc Member Posts: 256 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    When I measure the barrel can't I just take it off and hook the tape measure on the back end of the barrel? Also which part do I measure from there is that little extension that goes into the receiver.I do not have to measure from that do I?
  • Tailgunner1954Tailgunner1954 Member Posts: 7,815
    edited November -1
    Measure down the inside with the chamber empty, and the action closed, to the end of the barrel (IE: 26 3/4"). Now, on the outside of your barrel place that point (26 3/4) even with the end of the barrel. Where the 18" measurement is, is your minimum barrel length.
    The first part should be done with the gun assembled, the second part can be done with the barrel off.
    You can use a cleaning rod to measure your barrel, by marking where the barrel ends on the rod, and measuring from that mark to the end of the rod.


    Some guys like a mag full of lead, I still prefer one round to the head.
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