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 Post subject: Cutting down shotgun barrels
PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2004 3:10 pm 
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I've looked at a few books on gunsmithing, and it seems that none of them want to address this topic. What's the right way to do it if you're going to DIY and don't mind spending money? What's the right way to DIY if cost is an issue?

Oh, and how much do gunsmiths typically charge for this service? How much more does it typically cost if you want them to move front sights or cut the barrel for screw-in chokes?




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 Post subject: Re: Cutting down shotgun barrels
PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2004 3:14 pm 
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Very good question.... I just don't have the answer! I have heard a regular pipe cutter will work, but then won't you have to re-blue the end of the barrel?

That makes two of us wanting to learn the right way to shorten a barrel :D !


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 Post subject: Re: Cutting down shotgun barrels
PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2004 3:35 pm 
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RedRyder21 wrote:
I have heard a regular pipe cutter will work,


I saw schapman43's mention of a pipe cutter, and Googled it. They seem to be a bit expensive, $150+ from what I saw. Whew, bit too rich for my blood. I'd like to see hacksaw/dremel tool instructions. :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: Cutting down shotgun barrels
PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2004 7:50 pm 
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I cannot speak about the "right" way to do this - only the way I have done it. I just completed shortening a 28" Rem. 870 (Rem-choke) vent-rib barrel to 21". I did this to create a new slug barrel (on which I have mounted an Aimpoint red-dot scope). I used the Dremel/ hand file method. A bit of work, for sure, but, if done carefully, not too difficult. I took my time, taped the barrel at the cut-off location (to protect the finish and provide a "cutting guide"), cut carefully - in several steps - and then finished with files and polishing stones. I managed to get a straight cut and a good finish. I deburred the inside of the muzzle and created an even "crown" of sorts.
After filing/ polishing, I have re-blued the barrel end with "cold blue". This worked just fine. The finished result looks almost factory, if I do say so myself. I just hope that it will be accurate. I'll probably make a trip to the range on Tuesday.


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 Post subject: Re: Cutting down shotgun barrels
PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2004 9:44 pm 
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slugmensch wrote:
I cannot speak about the "right" way to do this - only the way I have done it. I just completed shortening a 28" Rem. 870 (Rem-choke) vent-rib barrel to 21". I did this to create a new slug barrel (on which I have mounted an Aimpoint red-dot scope). I used the Dremel/ hand file method. A bit of work, for sure, but, if done carefully, not too difficult. I took my time, taped the barrel at the cut-off location (to protect the finish and provide a "cutting guide"), cut carefully - in several steps - and then finished with files and polishing stones.


Thanks for the info! I take it you used the cutting wheel(s) of your dremel tool to make the initial cut on the barrel? Or did you use the carbide cutter?


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 Post subject: Re: Cutting down shotgun barrels
PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2004 10:31 pm 
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I used the heavy-duty (glassfibre reinforced) cut-off wheels - the process required several of them. I made a "jig" of sorts from lumber - to rest the Dremel tool in/on (and essentially make it stationary). I have a gun rest (a cheap one, which I only use for cleaning/ maintenance).... I rested the barrel in this.... and rotated the barrel against the cutting wheel - so that I could precisely control the cut. In this way, I didn't have to support the weight of the barrel (or the tool) and could concentrate on getting a smooth, even cut.


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 Post subject: Re: Cutting down shotgun barrels
PostPosted: Mon Dec 06, 2004 10:05 am 
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I knew a man once who cut down a non vent rib 870 Express barrel with a regular old pipe cutter from the hardware store that cost about $8 and worked fine. Never worried about refinishing the raw muzzle edge though, just smoothed it with a file and some steel wool. Can't remember what happened to that guy though?

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 Post subject: Re: Cutting down shotgun barrels
PostPosted: Mon Dec 06, 2004 1:54 pm 
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A pipe cutter will certainly work. Heck, you can always just use a hacksaw, if you wish. This will have little effect (in and of itself) on the use of SHOT. If you shoot slugs and do a rough, "hatchet" job, accuracy might be affected. There certainly will be no safety risks in doing either. However, I desired a bit more of a "professional" or quality appearance to the finished product.... plus, mine will be used for slugs - so I needed an accurate cut.


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 Post subject: Re: Cutting down shotgun barrels
PostPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2004 12:11 am 
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I have a 28" barrel I would like to shorten to about 22 or 23". If I did this how much would a gunsmith charge (if they can do it) to re-thread for the rem-chokes? Just curious all.


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 Post subject: Re: Cutting down shotgun barrels
PostPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2004 10:51 am 
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prob around $50-100 depending on if you want chokes or not.

cutting the barrel isnt the problem its knowing where to cut it, and if you want chokes, how to install them, and having the tools to do it. I've never seen a 1" tap at the hardware store.

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 Post subject: Re: Cutting down shotgun barrels
PostPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2004 8:18 pm 
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That's what I figured. I can cut it myself but the tap would definately be a problem. That sure would be cheaper than buying a new barrel though. Thanks for the help.


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 Post subject: Re: Cutting down shotgun barrels
PostPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2004 9:39 pm 
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Nope. Ain't happenin'. I was told 200.00 complete with briley chokes. :x Smith said he couldn't do the rem-chokes only briley. I'll be looking for a barrel at the next show.


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 Post subject: Re: Cutting down shotgun barrels
PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2004 11:33 am 
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call remington, I bet you could get a new barrel or 160 or so.

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 Post subject: Re: Cutting down shotgun barrels
PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2004 9:48 pm 
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Honestlety why would you want to intentionally cut down your barrel. Remington caries an 18" barrel for the 870, and a LE only 14 inch can be baught on ebay/browenell's.


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 Post subject: Re: Cutting down shotgun barrels
PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2004 10:56 pm 
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Grizz,

Whatever pipe/tubing cutters you were looking at must've had lots of bells and whistles, cuz these guys are pretty consistent with my local hardware store, pricewise

http://plumbing.aubuchonhardware.com/plumbing_tools_and_accessories/pipe_and_tube_cutters.asp

I'd recommend spending the 20 bucks to get a tube cutter, I've seen steel conduit tube cut with both a pipe cutter and a hacksaw, and the former required a LOT less "cleanup" work with file/steel wool/sandpaper.

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 Post subject: Re: Cutting down shotgun barrels
PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2004 10:48 am 
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but with a pipe cutter, your going to have a score line around the barrel about 1/4" from the cut line from the wheels. and the end is still going to be rough as a tin can.

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 Post subject: Re: Cutting down shotgun barrels
PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2004 9:07 am 
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To prevent the score marks, tape the barrel, you can use a cloth based tape to help. Not sure if has a similar cutting disk for harder steel available, but take a look at the jig and drill motor used to cut arrows, that allows for nice clean cuts and has rollers built in.

The threading tools, chokes, etc can be found in Brownells catalog as they are a gun smithing company.

cryos, some people just like to tinker with thier stuff. Home mods that just require some time and effort and no real special tools can save you money as well as give the satisfaction of a job you did yourself.

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 Post subject: Re: Cutting down shotgun barrels
PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2004 1:00 am 
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cryos, There is minor damage (ringing?)to the barrel from shooting bb steel through a full choke that was labeled for steel but obviously it shouldn't have been. Shortening the barrel will eliminate this damage and give me the upland gun I also need.:wink: That is if remington won't make good on it. Rick618, Can you post a link to the Brownel's site? I would feel confident cutting and re-threading if I had the right tools. but the thing that concerns me is, I'm not sure if the barrel wall thickness changes as you go down the barrel? If so would this pose a problem for the do-it-yer-selfer? Thanks.


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 Post subject: Re: Cutting down shotgun barrels
PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2004 8:16 am 
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www.brownells.com

They also have good gunsmiths in their tech dept to answer questions about the items and how to use them.

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 Post subject: Re: Cutting down shotgun barrels
PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2004 10:53 am 
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cg,
Yes, the barrel wall thickness will be greater - the further you go (back) towards the chamber area. This is true on most every firearm, of every type - as the highest pressures upon firing occur in the chamber.... then lessen as the gases expand up the barrel (behind the projectile(s)). There are some barrels made that have constant wall thickness... (heavy rifle target barrels, for instance)... but most barrels do taper, for reasons of weight reduction.




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