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Thread: Shortening a shotgun barrel...

  1. #1
    Member schmidty_dog's Avatar
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    Default Shortening a shotgun barrel...

    I have a Mossberg 500 with a 30'' fixed full choke barrel that I want to chop down to somewhere between 19-21 inches. Should I just send it to a gunsmith and have him do it or is it really that hard? I want to put the bead back on the end of it when I'm done, so maybe I should just have a smith do it.

    Also, since its a fixed full choke, what would the spread be comparable to if I cut it back that far, cylinder or would it be tightening down the pattern already?

    Thanks, schmidty

  2. #2
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    Default Check Midway USA

    The choke on a shotgun barrel (non-choke tubed) is usually in the last 4-6" of the barrel, so if you cut it that far back it will definitely be cylinder bore.

    Did a quick search on Midway USA and you can get a 18.5" cylinder choked barrel for $75.

    And if you want to use choke tubes you can get a 20" vent rib that takes choke tubes (don't know if it comes with any) for $128.

    All you would pay on the above items is shipping. No FFL required.


    I have to imagine that just cutting the barrel back, recrowning, and installation of a bead will run you more than the $75 option above.

    Good luck on your project.

  3. #3
    Member schmidty_dog's Avatar
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    Thanks Deathray, I have seen those barrels for sale also. I guess I figured it might be cheaper to make my barrel shorter and then if I wanted to I could always buy a 28 or 26'' barrel with the mossberg choke tubes if I wanted to. I doubt I'll ever use the 30'' full choke barrel since I can't shoot steel shot through it.

  4. #4

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    Here is my idea, use a thread borrowed from wife to tie on existing bead and pull to rear sight area and mark the new bead location you want. I would then wrap a wide tape around the tube carefully to a perfect overlap, use a hacksaw to cut tube a little ahead of the tape. Cut carefully and file finish to the edge of the tape then smouth sharp edges and attach bead to drilled hole or a little silver low temp solder with small torch then apply oil while it is still warm. You can help your pattern out by polishing a little jug choke in the bore, a wood dowell and emery cloth + drill moter will do fine .I am sure some Lib will have a riot with this but it's fun to do something for yourself and enjoy the rewards. You can also send it to someone else and have it done right and enjoy paying for it. I do hope this shows another option. It has always worked well for me. I woulden't us a pipe cutter

  5. #5
    Member KRS's Avatar
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    With my luck... I'd chop the barrel and then instantly find a need for a longer barrel.

    I'd drop the $75 and keep the stock one on a shelf.

    KRS

  6. #6
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    I actually did this one when I was in middle school or high school. I grew up in WI, and we had to use shotguns for deer. I had bought what I could afford, but someone had removed the original front sight with a propane torch, leaving a monster band of ugliness at the end of the barrel. I just stuck it in the vise, and took the hacksaw to it, trying to keep it straight.

    Fortunately, it worked out, and i was able to remount the sight on the barrel without much problem. But if I did it again, i would definitely cut it off on the lathe. Just my two cents, if you ever get adventurous and decide to try. getting the front sight centered was the real challenge for me. never did get it quiet right. still killed enough deer, though.

  7. #7
    Member schmidty_dog's Avatar
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    Yeah, I really would like to do it myself. I have been falling into these little hobby projects lately, and it seems like it would be a fun adventure. I wonder if there is a foolproof way to center the bead on the barrel? That is the part I am most concerned with too. I guess I could get one of those cheap fiber optic ones that sticks to the barrel with adhesive. That sounds durable doesn't it? Haha, yeah, well I guess I'll figure it out.

  8. #8

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    Way to go Schmidty, If you don't like the way it turns out just send it off, but at least you tried. As far as finding center for the sight Just use the thread and mark the spot you want the bead to be. I myself would put a sight like a Williams 5D on the receiver and a sourdough front and your gun would be even more useful. Putting a jug choke in gives a nice pattern and makes the gun have a better range and it's something you can do. Have fun...

  9. #9

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    I'm with the old guy on this one. You can either cut it off with a hacksaw or a pipe cutter. A little file work and your set.

    As for the bead, I have used Loctite Black Max Adhesive ( www.brownells.com) to glue beads back on when the hole is stripped out and have never had one come off.

    Go for it Schmidty Dog...you can do it!

  10. #10
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    Have done several by using a pipe cutter. Then a flat file to even out the end and a round file to clear the end of the inside of the bbl. A bluing pencil to touch up the end . Sweat solder a bead, or put one of the fancy colored plastic sights on it. Have done about 15 with the pipe cutter. Has to be a plain bbl. (ie..no vent rib).

    Gun Runner

  11. #11
    Member schmidty_dog's Avatar
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    Mine is a plain old round barrel with no rib Gun runner, so I guess I'll have to give the pipecutter a try. Good thing is the darn barrel is 30'' long and I'm thinking I'm gonna go down to about 21'' or even 19''. No shorter than 19'' though. Maybe I'll take it down to 27 or 26 as an experiment.

  12. #12
    Member Daveintheburbs's Avatar
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    Go for it. I hack sawed off the end of an old duck gun years ago for a camp gun. Still using it. I use a clip on bead but was told drilling and tapping a bead hole was easy . After you're done you hit the end of the bead shank with a file to get it to bore diameter. If you ever want to go back, then buy another barrel, It's a Mossberg, not a Browning.

  13. #13
    Member schmidty_dog's Avatar
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    Default Well here are the pics...


    Its 19.5'' from the outside, actually 20'' if measured with action closed from inside of barrel. I figured I could always make it a little shorter but still legal.

  14. #14
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    Default Improvised Front Sight Installation

    I had a shotgun bbl cut back years ago at a gun shop and the pressed in front sight didn't last past the second shot. The hole was just about right for an 8-32 tap so I tapped it, turned down the end of a long 8-32 screw to the shape of a round front post (using a hand held drill), cut it to fit and inserted it using watchmakers glue on the threads. A few careful strokes with a file and some cold blue finished the job. It's still quite functional some 35 years later.

  15. #15
    Member schmidty_dog's Avatar
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    Well I ended up using a hacksaw to cut the barrel, then had a friend with table sander even up the end... it looks almost professional now. I still have to file down the sharp edge on the inside of the barrel though.

  16. #16
    bullshop junior
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    I had a S&W that some one chopped down. They put the bead on crooked. I couldent hit a thing at 10'. I wouldnet do it.
    BIC/Daniel/BS Jr.

  17. #17
    Member schmidty_dog's Avatar
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    I'm not going to put a bead on it. If I was I'd send it to a shop and they could for like 10 bucks but I don't need one for what this shotgun will be used for. Points straight enough for me and has good sight picture off the top of the receiver.

  18. #18
    Member Big Al's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    This has been a funny thread. More power to you dog, this is just what I love about Alaska. The guy that steps up and is willing to make it work, for Him.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tryants." (Thomas Jefferson

  19. #19
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    hi guys i want to chop top barrel
    any clue for rib support at this stage


  20. #20
    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Cut the rib and barrel at 23 15/16" so a rib post is at the end of the barrel.

    For plain barrel as said tubeing cutter is the way to go.Helps to add a few wraps of tape on the muzzel side of the cut makeing the cutter more level. The snap on tru-point is a great front sight.Also just because it well be cylinder don't meen it woun't shoot good.I have done most all of my sporting clays shooting with cylinder and never realy felt handycapped

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