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 Post subject: Lengthening chambers
PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2020 8:01 pm 
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Is it a good idea to lengthen chambers on a double? Specifically from 2-3/4” to 3”. I’ve seen two advertised lately. A 12 Browning BSS & a 20 Savage Fox BS-T.
I wouldn’t do it to my own guns. Just wondering.



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 Post subject: Re: Lengthening chambers
PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2020 8:46 pm 
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I would get an expert opinion from a qualified gunsmith. From my own experiences, it is usually not a good idea. I have a 10 ga. long forcing cone reamer which will lengthen chambers as well. I have lengthened a number of forcing cones but don't think I am qualified to determine if a gun is suitable for a longer chamber. I am not sure long forcing cones help anything but it was all the rage a few years ago. Theoretically, they reduce shot deformity in the chamber forcing cone. I think that maybe, lengthening 2.5 " & 2 9/16" etc., chambered guns to 2 3/4" could be acceptable with some guns provided it is with the blessings of a qualified gunsmith. I don't know about making 2 3/4" guns into 3'' guns. Ask the gunsmith but I don't like it & have a bad feeling about it. I had it done once to a 20 ga. SXS. It was getting long forcing cones so I figured they might as well ream it out to 3". Nothing bad has happened but I don't think I have ever fired a 3" shell in it in the 20 some years that I have owned it, nor for that matter, have I fired any 3" shell in any 20 ga. gun that I own!


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 Post subject: Re: Lengthening chambers
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2020 12:29 am 
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Where did you find a 2-3/4" chambered BSS ?

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 Post subject: Re: Lengthening chambers
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2020 1:06 am 
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I own own one and there’s one on gunbroker that has been reamed out. Well, it’s ended but https://www.gunbroker.com/item/876880843

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 Post subject: Re: Lengthening chambers
PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2020 7:34 pm 
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One way to find out for sure is contact Tom Roster and order his ( Shotgun Barrel Alteration
Manual ) , it will give you expert advice rather than the porch talk you see on these forums !
You won't find any better Authority on the subject of Barrel / chamber alterations !


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 Post subject: Re: Lengthening chambers
PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2020 8:24 pm 
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So when did Rooster get to be an expert on shotgun barrels? I haven't read his book but I have read other works on the subject pretty extensively. I also have reamers & have done barrel work myself but have never attempted anything requiring an expert gunsmith. Lengthening a chamber is pretty simple. Where you need the judgement of an expert gunsmith is determining if there is enough steel there & the gun is up to a more potent load! The first place that comes to mind is Briley. I would talk to them. There are a number of small gunsmith shops that do excellent work. Mike Orlen I believe does a lot of barrel work. I have never dealt with Mike but he has an excellent reputation!


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 Post subject: Re: Lengthening chambers
PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2020 10:49 pm 
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Oh I agree with you an expert with barrel modifications is who you want advice from !
Roster has written a complete manual on the subject , what to expect when you pay
someone to work on your barrel and Who to rely on for a good job . His contacts with
Remington ,Winchester , Nuline and other Barrel Jockeys though "Concep" gave him
the opportunity to try different alterations on barrels to see if it was a advantage or
just a waste of money . His years of Ballistic knowledge with nontox shot for waterfowling
was a valuable asset in knowing what alterations worked Best . Way more than MOST
Gunsmiths had resources to do !
You might want to read up on his qualifications with experience in barrel Alterations ?


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 Post subject: Re: Lengthening chambers
PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2020 9:57 am 
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If you say so but after dealing with him before, I won't deal with him again. I get the impression he is a BS shooter more than anything else. I would prefer to go to "the horses mouth", the gunsmiths that do the work!


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 Post subject: Re: Lengthening chambers
PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2020 10:02 am 
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Would you buy a shotgun that has had the chambers lengthened? Maybe I’m TOO cautious but I wouldn’t.

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 Post subject: Re: Lengthening chambers
PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2020 11:33 am 
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It depends on the shotgun and by how much you lengthen the chamber. Old 16 ga guns with 2 9/16” chambers have been lengthened to 2 3/4” by the thousands with no ill effects. There are those who even question the necessity of doing so.

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 Post subject: Re: Lengthening chambers
PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2020 1:05 pm 
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There are a lot of older short chambered shotguns still in use with their chambers lengthen
for modern ammo . With break-open guns there is very little issues to contend with doing so .
When you consider pushing the chamber and forcing cone out 1/4" along with , both 2 3/4"
and 3" chambered guns having the same proof loads used for American shotgun barrels .
Even 20 ga guns benefit by lengthening the chambers as the benefit of a 3" shell allows
a larger payload and better pattern density ! Plus during this a wise shooter would have
the forcing cone's taper lengthen 3/4" to 1 1/4" as the advantage are limited but worth it
for shooting Nontox shot !


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 Post subject: Re: Lengthening chambers
PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2020 3:58 pm 
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It is not the pressure so much. The SAAMI max pressure for all 12 ga. except 3.5" is the same. There has to be enough steel there to contain cartridge. I think there usually is but I'm not a gunsmith, not to mention that guessing about such things isn't prudent. You also have to determine if the gun is up to the additional stress of recoil from a heavier load.


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 Post subject: Re: Lengthening chambers
PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2020 4:30 pm 
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casonet wrote:
It depends on the shotgun and by how much you lengthen the chamber. Old 16 ga guns with 2 9/16” chambers have been lengthened to 2 3/4” by the thousands with no ill effects. There are those who even question the necessity of doing so.


Have you measured the fired (unfolded) length of 12 gauge shells? I was surprised that a great many measured 2 5/8 inch. As for going from 2 3/4 to 3 inch as you have been advised I would inquire with someone who routinely does this barrel work. Maybe Mike Orlen or Briley or ?


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 Post subject: Re: Lengthening chambers
PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2020 6:55 pm 
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oyeme wrote:
casonet wrote:
It depends on the shotgun and by how much you lengthen the chamber. Old 16 ga guns with 2 9/16” chambers have been lengthened to 2 3/4” by the thousands with no ill effects. There are those who even question the necessity of doing so.


Have you measured the fired (unfolded) length of 12 gauge shells? I was surprised that a great many measured 2 5/8 inch. As for going from 2 3/4 to 3 inch as you have been advised I would inquire with someone who routinely does this barrel work. Maybe Mike Orlen or Briley or ?


With the standard chamber metal thickness extending (about) 1 1/2" beyond the
actual chamber , a measly chamber lengthening from 2 3/4" to a 3" is a easy task .
How is any Gunsmith going to make a decision other than a visual one , he'll just
use his Go or NO Go chamber gauge ? I agree any work being done on a barrel should
be by a competent Gunsmith .


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 Post subject: Re: Lengthening chambers
PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2020 2:43 pm 
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Location: Endless Mountains of PA
Gentlemen,

I am of a different opinion on altering chambers, none of my pre 13 L.C. Smith, or Pre War J.P Sauer guns have ever been altered as far as chambers go. I use the correct shells for all my different guns. My 12 gauge guns are all made for 2 3/4"shells and were tested proofed for them. My 16 & 20 gauge guns were engineered for 2 1/2" shells having 2 9/16 chambers, and were test proofed for them, these guns will accommodate 2 3/4" shells, they can be used if necessary, without doing any damage to the gun or the gunner. Some sportsman think it can crack stocks using the 2 3/4" shells, we have proven this not to be true over many generations. As casonet indicated my family has proven over many generations that altering the chambers for 2 3/4" shells is really not required, due to the longevity tapering of the cones on these particular guns. It will however make for very tight patterns unless you use SpredR shells or have the chokes opened on the old guns.
While my ancestors used a lot of 2 3/4"shells in our 16 & 20 L.C. Smith & J.P. Sauer guns, without doing any damage to them. I like the new RST & Poly 2 1/2" SpredR shells and use them most of the time.

Pine Creek/Dave
L.C. Smith Man

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 Post subject: Re: Lengthening chambers
PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2020 6:39 pm 
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I really don't know all that a gunsmith does to determine the suitability of a gun for chamber lengthening. I think it would depend on the gunsmith & how skilled he is. Most often gunsmiths that do it put in the stipulation of something like, "with approval". Gunsmiths measure barrel thickness for one thing & you don't have to be 1,000 watts to figure that if you start using heavier loads in a gun than it was designed to fire, you could over stress it! That is why proof houses in England & Europe specify a proof pressure and a proof LOAD for guns.


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 Post subject: Re: Lengthening chambers
PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2020 6:59 pm 
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geometric wrote:
I really don't know all that a gunsmith does to determine the suitability of a gun for chamber lengthening. I think it would depend on the gunsmith & how skilled he is. Most often gunsmiths that do it put in the stipulation of something like, "with approval". Gunsmiths measure barrel thickness for one thing & you don't have to be 1,000 watts to figure that if you start using heavier loads in a gun than it was designed to fire, you could over stress it! That is why proof houses in England & Europe specify a proof pressure and a proof LOAD for guns.


You are SO right , the proofing done on a 2 3/4" chamber is the Same on a 3" !
I would say , the only reason to lengthen a chamber would be to use a larger payload .
It doesn't raise the chamber pressure any higher than what the gun was proofed with ,
if you use listed data from the powder companies ! FWIW hehee


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 Post subject: Re: Lengthening chambers
PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2020 7:58 pm 
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Lengthening chambers 1/4" to 3" is neither complicated or rocket science. The maximum pressure for both shells is the same. With fluid steel barrels the properties of the steel is consistent. All you have to do is measure the outside diameters at the appropriate points and then subtract the interior dimensions AFTER the proposed lengthening to calculate the strength. Remember the forcing cone may also be lengthened or at least moved forward. How fast and/or how sharply the outside tapers down will determine the feasibility of the alteration. I have found that usually for aesthetics the streamlined exterior usually provides enough material that the strength safety factor is barely reduced, if at all.

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 Post subject: Re: Lengthening chambers
PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2020 8:18 pm 
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The biggest reason for 3" 12 ga is steel shot. I doubt your double will survive a diet of steel loads. If that's what you're thinking about, don't.

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 Post subject: Re: Lengthening chambers
PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2020 10:56 am 
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"The biggest reason for 3" chambers is steel shot"
Maybe so today but 3" chambers were here long before steel shot. Some here are missing a very important point. 3" chambers are proofed for the same pressure as 2 3/4" chambers. They are not proofed for the same LOAD, at least where they have proof houses. Who knows what the gun makers do here. Sometimes the gun is up to it but sometimes it isn't. A 1 7/8 oz. 3" magnum load puts considerably more stress on the lockup of a gun than a 2 3/4 oz. bird load. What would you imagine could happen to a light bird gun that was designed for 1 1/8 oz. bird loads? Carried to the extreme, some older imported light bird guns were proofed for 8000 psi loads. My Merkel has 2 3/4" chambers but the 3" version is the exact same gun except for the chambers & the chokes are more open to handle steel shot. I do shoot the hard tungsten alloys but not steel. I have other guns for tungsten. I could have it modified but I like it the way it is! The Merkel doesn't get any harder than steel shot!




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