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Shortening a rifle barrel - what does it REALLY take?

Discussion in 'General Firearms Forum' started by Aceman, Jan 25, 2012.


  1. Aceman

    Aceman
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    Let's say i am looking at a .308 rifle with rifle sights on a 22" barrel.

    I would really like this gun to be a 18.5" barrel, with the rifle sights.

    Accuracy of the gun counts in the end.

    Who would do this? How much? What are the important things to do/get done/ask about before letting some wahoo with a hack saw at it?
     

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  2. fnfalman

    fnfalman
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    Any decent gunsmith can do the chop work. Cut the barrel down, recrowning it (this is the trickiest part), reattach the sight (solder or spot weld?) AND regulate it for the shorter sight radius.
     

  3. glockaviator

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    You will lose ABOUT 20fps for every inch in a 308 class rifle. Accuracy is more difficult to predict. Down to 20" accuracy generally gets a little better. All depends.
     
    #3 glockaviator, Jan 25, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2012
  4. BBJones

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    What type of rifle is it? What finish is on the barrel? Semi-auto or bolt? What are you going to use it for? Max range?

    Without knowing more details hard to give a solid recommendation. I would stick to 20" (shorter and the velocity loss and blast increase become pretty noticeable). 18" is about as short as I would ever want a .308. Find someone who is competent whether that be local or shipping it off. You also need to decide what kind of crown you want after it is shortened. As long as the job is done correctly, accuracy of the rifle should not change.
     
  5. Aceman

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    Ok - this is me thinking about my multi-purpose Rem 7600 in Carbine length.

    30-06 does come in the slightly more handy 18.5 version. The .308 does not. As I consider ammo availability, costs, etc...I think this gun (18.5) but in .308 is what i might really like. I'd like to keep the handier, carbine length for general handling purposes. 20 might not be a bad compromise - but at that point another 2" means nothing to me...

    I might use it for anything from hogs up close to deer out to 300 with scope.

    What are my crown options?
     
    #5 Aceman, Jan 25, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2012
  6. Mayhem like Me

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    #6 Mayhem like Me, Jan 25, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2012
  7. K.Kiser

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    It's fact that shortening barrels does reduce velocity, but really efficient cartridges like the .308 will suffer minimal loss ans sometimes only 15 fps depending on the load... The barrel needs removed from the gun and can be cut to near a finished length with a band saw... Then put in a lathe for the cut end to be squared to an exact desired length and the desired contour of the muzzle to me made... As said prior, re-crowning for a perfectly symmetrical rifle groove ends by a competent gunsmith or machinist is a requirement... Upon the bullet's exit, it needs to break free of all the riflings at the exact same time and an uneven crown cut would prevent this...
     
    #7 K.Kiser, Jan 25, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2012
  8. glockaviator

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    You can recrown without removing the barrel from the action. You do have to take the stock off.
     
  9. bustedknee

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    You need a hacksaw, a tennis ball and some lapping/grinding compound.

    Cut it as square as possible then use the ball and abrasive compound to re-crown.

    Or get a crowning cutter from Brownells.

    Not that big a deal.

     
  10. Aceman

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    What is a sensible cost for this?
     
  11. 10mm Sonny

    10mm Sonny
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    Tennis balls? I think there are about $7.99 for a 3-pack can.
     
  12. Aceman

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    :rofl:

    I saw that coming, but i just had to ask anyway.
     
  13. WiskyT

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    Larry Potterfield showed how to do it with a hacksaw, file, and a screw chucked in a drill and some lapping compound in video. I don't know how well it works, but you could probably find it on youtube.
     
  14. Aceman

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    I'm not really feeling this is a "do it yourself" project. I'd rather have it done right...
     
  15. WiskyT

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    I'm with you on that. But it did look simple and easy in the video.
     
  16. bustedknee

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    It is simple and easy!

    If you screw it up, then you take it to a gunsmith.
    And you probably should stay away from tools of any kind. :animlol:
     
  17. fwm

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    My son reduced the length of his mosin nagant following the video and the accuracy maybe got a little better.