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Cutting the barrel length down

Discussion in 'Tactical Shotguns' started by DAKA, Mar 24, 2013.

  1. Is it a bad idea to cut a barrel shorter?
    For instance cut off to make a longer barrel 20 gauge to 18"
    I have a friend who has a machine shop and has a power hack saw, it's a 90" blade machine he uses to shorten automotive drive-shafts
  2. WoodenPlank

    WoodenPlank Who?

    May 15, 2010
    NW Florida
    Personally, I don't see much point in knocking off 1.5" from a shotgun barrel. Be careful if you do cut it, though, as you don't want to cut that 18" limit too closely - that's why most barrels are really 18.25-18.5" long.

    I'd suggest getting a factory 18.5" barrel for your shotgun instead of cutting down a 20".

  3. JDSTG58


    Feb 4, 2008
    Barrel must be over 18 inches and overall length must be over 26 inches.
  4. He said 20 gauge, not 20 inches. Almost got me too.

    Before you cut, why do you want a shorter barrel?

    Is it to conceal in luggage? Or under a trenchcoat?
    Or to make it less likely to bang into the wall when you are clearing the hallway down to the bathroom?

    What about choke? Are you ready to give that up, losing the tight patterns that keep all of your rounds on certain targets at certain ranges? Too loose of a pattern might leave you with too many stray projectiles to be accountable for.

    I like short barrel coachguns for cowboy action shooting, but I know the targets will be bigger than dinner plates and within spitting distance, and the ammo will be lightest I can find.
  5. If you're willing to settle for 20g, and if you are willing to limit yourself to two rounds, then there's no need to cut the barrels if you get a Pedersoli Howdah:



    This would be ideal if attacked by a tiger.
  6. :rofl:
    These are popular up here
  7. Lt Scott 14

    Lt Scott 14

    Mar 14, 2006
    N.W. Indiana
    I have a Rossi Overland 20 ga that got the barrels shortened(SxS). Easy to swing in the home defense scenario, and wifey shoots it no problem. She uses it for field protection when on our farm. It has manual "rabbit ears", stock cuff w/ 5 extra rds, sling.

    A few hunters asked my wife if they could hunt our land, upon seeing the shotgun, changed their mind. She's blonde, former MP, and wears combat boots. Great cook, and can break down any firearm we own to clean. She likes my Moss 500 also in 12 ga. We have both a 28in and a 18 1/2 bbl. Cost was around $350.00.
  8. Nothing wrong with it. I have done it myself to one Maverick 88 I got for a good price from a friend.

    No Desire to shoot clays or hunt. I didn't want to spend more money on a new barrel at the time (which I ended up doing recently anyways). Turned out good, about 19" in length. My use for this shotgun is pure range fun gun. My others are for the house.

    I was worried about the pattern also once it was cut. This is a 12 gauge and it has patterned no worse or no better than my other Mossberg 500's with 18.5" barrels. Almost identical patterns at the same measured distances using Remington 2 3/4 00 buck.

    I would say do it if you want that short barrel.
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2013
  9. Unk


    Jul 27, 2010
    West Central FL
    mr00jimbo, now that shotgun is just cute, Could it be an 870 variation available in your country? LE only or for average folks?

  10. VinnieD


    Mar 26, 2011
    I've cut a few barrels. It's not hard to do, aside from getting the rib out of the way, and cleaning up the edges. You can buy shorter barrels, but the Mossberg 18" barrel comes only in the "tactical" version without the vent rib. As I like the rib to provide a long sighting plane, I prefer to just chop down a longer barrel to around 19 or 20 inches for the sake of mobility.
  11. mac66

    mac66 Huge Member Millennium Member

    Oct 28, 1999
    Blue Planet
    Modern shotgun shells don't lose much in shorter barrels. Choke is not much of an issue until you get to long range. I've cut a number of barrels down to make them handier to carry and use for hunting, home defense etc. Hacksaw and a file to square it off is all you need. A little cold blue for the cut to darken it. Pretty easy to do.
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2013
  12. byf43

    byf43 NRA Life Member

    Apr 13, 2006
    Southern Maryland
    I've thought several times about cutting down a couple of barrels, to 18-1/2" or so.
    (I'm debating right now, cutting down the original 30" Full-choked 1100 Magnum barrel that's sitting in the safe! I'd get choketubes installed on it, though, for Turkey Season!)

    Before you cut, look on Remington's website, for the "Youth" 20 ga barrel(s).

    For reference - here's the information directly from their parts listing. (Pages 40 and 41.)

    Page 40. Bottom of page.
    Part number - F401335
    Description - 870 BBL - 20/18.75" RC VT EXPRESS (w/ MOD choketube) - Ships on Express Jr.
    Price - $146.00

    Page 41. Top of page.
    Part number - F400028
    Description - 870 BBL - 20/21" RC VT EXPRESS
    Price - $174.00

    Please note: The last couple of times that I've ordered from Remington, they charge the sales tax for the state in which you reside - + shipping.
  13. mac66

    mac66 Huge Member Millennium Member

    Oct 28, 1999
    Blue Planet
    Here is a H&R topper 12 ga cut to 18". Kicks like a mule. It now has a fiber optic front sight on it. It is my jeep gun (for killing jeeps). I also have a cut down 18" 20ga bbl for it and a cut down 16" .357 bbl as well.


    Second is an old H&R Gamester 12 ga bolt action. That gun was $15 at a police auction about 25 years ago, had a long, long barrel. I cut the barrel to 18" and redid the finish and stock. It is my cabin gun (for killing cabins). It too has a fiber optic front sight on it now and a sling. Took a turkey with it last fall.



    My old beater Mossberg 500 came with a long 28" adjustable choke barrel on it. I cut the barrel to just over 19" just in front of the vent rib support. It is a handy field barrel for birds. No photo sorry.
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2013
  14. toshbar

    toshbar Timber Baron

    Oct 20, 2009
    Eastern NC
    An 18" cylinder bore is going to pattern about 2.5 feet in diameter 12-15 feet downrange. I guess buckshot wouldn't be bad, but it birdshot will get stopped by cardboard at that distance with it all spread out.
    Keep that in mind. I cut a 30" mossberg 500 barrel down to 18.5" and probably would have kept it a little longer if I knew the pattern was going to open up like that.
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2013
  15. Anyone have any pix of patterns for 18", 20" 24"?
    Where is the 18" length measured length of barrel, or ??
  16. byf43

    byf43 NRA Life Member

    Apr 13, 2006
    Southern Maryland
    ^^^Here is a target shot w/ my Remington 1100 Competition Master "Clone", that I set-up a couple of years ago.

    I was experimenting w/ a load to use for opening day of Turkey Season.

    This target was shot last Sunday, April 14, 2013.

    This is THREE shots, fired at 25 yards.
    You can see two shot columns (shot wads) that hit the paper (30" plotter paper).
    The third shot column (wad) went through the 'hole'.


    The shotgun has a Remington "Competition Master" 22" choketubed barrel.
    The choke used is a Kick's "Gobblin' Thunder" .665" extended tube.

    The load:
    Remington "Gun Club" hulls
    Winchester W-571 powder (#30 MEC Bushing = 36.3 grains.)
    CCI 109 primer
    Remington RP12 wad
    Lawrence Brand #5 chilled shot - 1-1/2 oz charge.
    MEC 600 Jr. loader

    Here's the most incredible part of this 3 shots - the pattern is less than 14" from the left-most pellet, to the right-most pellet!!!!!!

    The aiming point was the red mark/circle made with a 'Sharpie".

    Here's the shotgun:
    (The extended magazine was removed, for the 1100 to be used for Turkey Season.)
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2013
  17. Aceman


    Nov 30, 2008
  18. mac66

    mac66 Huge Member Millennium Member

    Oct 28, 1999
    Blue Planet
    3" magnum slugs gonna kill anything on 4 wheels.:supergrin:
  19. bubbaturbo


    May 14, 2001
    Is all this correct?
  20. byf43

    byf43 NRA Life Member

    Apr 13, 2006
    Southern Maryland
    That's not been my experience with either Remington 00 or Federal 00B w/ Flight Control Wad.

    Cyl choke and these brands of 00B at 21 feet (7 yards) has yielded all pellets covered by a paper plate.
    What's that??? 8".
    The Federal loads shoot tighter than Remington.

    Imp. Cyl. choke yields (same ammo - Remington 870) less than 8" at 21 feet.

    BTW. . . . 18 feet is the distance of my upstairs hallway.