Cutting Shotgun Barrels

Frost

Active Member
I like Tactical Shotguns!
I did a lot of research on barrel lengths a while back.
You really don't need those giant barrels to have an effective shotgun.
Most shotgun shells are loaded with fast powder that actually makes pretty good magnum pistol powder.
14 to 16 inches is the actual sweet spot for shotgun as far as burning the powder.

I have cut shotgun barrels with a band saw and tubing cutter.
I find a tubing cutter to be easier to clean up if there is no vent rib.
If there is a vent rib you must use a band saw or a hack saw to get a hack job, ha ha.
I trim the rib back just a tad so I can contour it to make a nice looking job.
The biggest thing with the tubing cutter is to take care not to let it spiral.
After that you must move slowly as not to get a ridge.
It just takes time.

Re-Crowning can be a drag.
I have done enough to have a technique for doing it.
I use a cone shaped stone, a couple of files, and sandpaper.

One must know how to measure a shotgun barrel the same way the BATF does to be safe.
I use a dowel and a tape measure.
I always leave a bit more than the minimum just in case they are off a bit.

My last cut was done to get a specific look, I wanted the barrel to be just slightly longer than the +2 Remington extension.
Each time I cut one I got a little better at it, I had a lathe it would have been simple but I can't afford rich guy tools like that.

All in all cutting barrels with hand tools is not difficult, just time consuming to do well.
If you can afford it I would however recommend a factory barrel then there is no loss of finish and you don't have to worry that you got the crown off a bit.
But if you have a lack of funds or like me wanted a custom length cutting is the way to go.

If you want the very minimum length I suggest buying a factory barrel, put the onus on them if you can't afford one be excruciatingly careful with your measurement.
Better to have a 1/4 inch longer barrel than to spend 10 years taking it up the butt from a black guy nicknamed the "Hammer" unless you like that sort of thing that is...
 

Enjay

New Member
Excellent information! Thank you for posting it.
If you don't mind, I have a few questions. How does cutting up the barrel effect accuracy? The choke? Or do you remove the barrel and cut it from the receiver end?
and how to do make sure you cut it level? I know myself, i'd wind up with a shotgun that tried to shoot at a 10 degree angle LOL
 

mark_b

Member
Hi Enjay

When you shorten the barrel, most of the time you will remove the choke portion. You end up with what is called an cylinder or open choke. You have to remove the excess from the muzzle end, the breech end is machined to fit into the receiver and can not be shortened.

There are several methods to get a straight line on the end you are cutting. People use tape or light cardboard for a guide. I would recommend cutting it a little long and filing it down to the final length.

If you cut it straight and put a crown on the barrel, the accuracy should be OK, although it will be a wider pattern.

mark
 

Frost

Active Member
Yes you will be cutting out the choke and will wind up with a cylinder bore.
I used a saw in the pipe shop at work to do the one with the vent rib.
For the smooth barrels I used a tubing cutter.
If the tubing cutter is in good shape and you are careful you will wind up with a smooth cut.
Having spend 27 years as a HVAC tech cutting copper and plastic pipe does not hurt either.

I use the cone stone to work the inside of the barrel then shape and smooth the rest with a file.
Finish with sandpaper.
The ones I have done shoot pretty good and I think they came out looking pretty good too.
 

PCShogun

Member
As a tactical, home defense shotgun, the wider spread over a shorter distance is likely to be a desirable trait. Obviously, not what you want to do on your turkey gun.

At ranges of a few feet, any shot fired will essentially be a slug pattern anyway, not having a chance to spread much at 6 - 10 feet
 
I had mine cut-down for CQB/MOUT maneuverability. Spread pattern was never a concern although 00 buck stays around 6-8 inches dispersion at approximately ten meters.





Overall length with pistol grip is exactly 24 inches. :D
 

Enjay

New Member
Thanks guys for the info.
And you're right, I don't think I'd want to do this with any weapon I planned on hunting game with. That kinda sucks for the moment because both the shotguns are just a bit too big to stash on top of the fridge without the butt hanging out into the archway. It'd be nice if I could figure out an under cabinet mount or something.
 

Cano

New Member
Avtomat-Acolyte said:
I had mine cut-down for CQB/MOUT maneuverability. Spread pattern was never a concern although 00 buck stays around 6-8 inches dispersion at approximately ten meters.





Overall length with pistol grip is exactly 24 inches. :D
I thought min overall lenth was 26"?????
 

bigfutz

Active Member
Avtomat-Acolyte said:
Not to sidetrack, but is that a Shockwave Birdshead grip? If not, what and where did you get it? I'm interested in hearing your opinion. The standard pistol grip on most stock-less defensive shotguns just does not feel natural to me.
 
Cano said:
Avtomat-Acolyte said:
I had mine cut-down for CQB/MOUT maneuverability. Spread pattern was never a concern although 00 buck stays around 6-8 inches dispersion at approximately ten meters.





Overall length with pistol grip is exactly 24 inches. :D
I thought min overall lenth was 26"?????
If you'll notice, the barrel is less than the 18" required of a Title 1 Shotgun. This is a Title 2 Shotgun, made and registered with the ATF's NFA Branch as a "Short Barrel Shotgun" under the 1934 National Firearms Act. Length restrictions no longer apply.



bigfutz said:
Avtomat-Acolyte said:
Not to sidetrack, but is that a Shockwave Birdshead grip? If not, what and where did you get it? I'm interested in hearing your opinion. The standard pistol grip on most stock-less defensive shotguns just does not feel natural to me.

Negative. It is a Speedfeed Birdhead grip. It is more comfortable to shoot than a factory pistol-gripped Mossberg.

http://www.amazon.com/Speedfeed-Remingt ... cr_pr_pb_t
 
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