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? About shortening a double barrel side by side

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by Metazorro, Dec 11, 2007.

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  1. Metazorro

    Metazorro Member

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    I have a 30" double that is in good shape, a bit old, but nothing special. I would like to make it into a coach type gun, and add it to my Armory of home defence -
    What is the effect on patterns and that of shortening one of these long doubles - are the cylinders pretty much the same among shotguns, so it ends up like any other 18 to 20 inch gun?

    Plese don't worry about me - I am already prepared for the Zombies, with plenty of other weapons. This one I was thinking of putting next to the toilet, figured it might do double duty if I get constipated, or if my kids use too much toilet paper and the toilet gets backed up. Or if one of those alligators climbs up out of the septic tank.

    thank you

    Richard
     
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    If you cut off an old 30" double, you will have a Cylinder & Cylinder bore without a front sight!

    It will throw wide open patterns, and would probably work pretty well with Buckshot.
    It would also make a very good Rabbit & Quail gun!

    You will also have open holes between the top & bottom ribs, and possibly the sighting rib itself, if it has one.
    These were originally finished with fitted & soldered in steel plugs.

    There is not a good way to re-solder them yourself without the whole barrel assembly coming unstuck from each other.

    [​IMG]
    rcmodel
     
  3. KevininPa

    KevininPa Member

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    figured it might do double duty if I get constipated

    This is wrong on so many levels:eek: :D
     
  4. Dave McCracken

    Dave McCracken Moderator In Memoriam

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    I've shortened some barrels here and there.

    Mostly I've regretted it bitterly.

    Thanks to Stoeger, Rossi, Baikal, et al, there's lots of coach guns around. They'd be better than an double of unknown make and doubtful strength.

    Keep your old timer as it is.
     
  5. 6_gunner

    6_gunner Member

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    I'd have it done professionally. I've thought about picking up an old double for just that purpose.
    The guy at my local gunshop does that for pretty cheap. I had an old Remington shortened to riot gun length and the sight reattached for $25. He did a better job than I could have and I didn't have to mess with it.
     
  6. Roswell 1847

    Roswell 1847 member

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    If you shorten a gun it often doesn't print the patterns in near the same poi as it did or should.
    I'd check on its value then sell it and put the money towards a new coach gun.
    Never can tell, you might have a rare model and not know it till its too late.
     
  7. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    I agree totally with Dave. If you wanna coach gun, I'd just buy one. I had the same thoughts about my old 12 SxS, then thinking about having chokes installed. Hell, the Spartan I bought was probably cheaper than that project and I have my old double to enjoy in its original 28" form. It's still a damned fine shooting shotgun, wouldn't have wanted to mess that up. I got the Spartan in 20 gauge, so bonus, I have a 12 and a 20 now. :D Thanks to CAS, there are no shortages of affordable coach gun options out there, hammers, sans hammers, whatever floats your boat.
     
  8. Markbo

    Markbo member

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    You mean something like this?:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  9. scout26

    scout26 Member

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    Yep, mark me down in the "Don't Do It" crowd. No good reason to take a hacksaw to an old functioning shotgun, especially when you can go get something that will fill the bill off-shelf, off the internet, or ordered from the manufacturer or a dealer/shop.

    The result of sawing off a shotugn is usually an abomination.

    Listen to Mr. McCracken, he knows that of which he speaks......
     
  10. Okiecruffler

    Okiecruffler Member

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    You know the difference between an old budget American

    and a new import SXS?

    They ain't making any more Americans. And they ain't gonna start anytime soon. I've seen the prices of the lowly Stevens 311 go up a good 25% in the past couple of years, but not the ones with trimmed tubes.
    I'm gonna start making an offer to anyone who wants to cut down a good American ultility SXS. I'll buy you a Stoeger coach gun and we'll trade.
     
  11. Metazorro

    Metazorro Member

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    Hi Markbo -

    what is that?

    thank you

    Richard
     
  12. KevininPa

    KevininPa Member

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    Uh-Oh!

    Markbo is luring in another one to buying a coach gun with those pics again!:)
     
  13. AZ_Rebel

    AZ_Rebel Member

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    I agree that you should consider this carefully - yah can't put em back on!

    But, if you are sure that the gun has no particular significance, and you are sure you want to do it... here's one way.

    On most SxSs 20" is about as short as you should go to maintain balance and to keep it looking "right". Measure the barrels (from the breech end :D) and mark them with masking tape. MEASURE AGAIN TO CHECK.

    Cut carefully with a finetooth hacksaw - try to keep the cut as "square" as possible.

    File the cut end smooth and square. Remove any burrs on the barrels and block sand with #220 grit paper. "Break" the edges so they are not sharp.

    From Brownell's get a new Brass Bead and a matching tap.

    Drill appropriate size hole in the rib about 1/2" back from the Muzzle or whatever location looks right. Thread Hole with Tap Hole and screw in sight with a drop of Red Loctite.

    Do not attempt to solder in a new plug in the hole of the rib - you will probably unsolder the barrels. Clean out the Rib Hole with Alcohol or Solvent. Put a "plug" of 0000 Steel wool in the rib hole and push it down so its slightly past the bead. Mix some JB Weld and fill the hole about 1/8 from the top, let it set up. Mix up another small batch of JB and level off the hole, let it set up and them sand it smooth.

    Put some Cold Blue on the cut edges and wipe/blend with 0000 steel wool to match whatever blue is on the barrels. Clean off the Blue and Oil. You will be surprised how well the JB Weld will blend in with the colors.

    Again... Think this over carefully... Others here have advised you NOT to do it and their points are good. BUT, its your gun.

    I admit to having done a few old beaters like this... and have been pleased with the results. Never have been able to keep one - someone always makes me an offer I can't refuse as soon as I "got-er-done".

    (Dang that Pic of Markbo's gun looks nice!)
     
  14. KevininPa

    KevininPa Member

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    When I first bought my first double.....

    ............I had the same idea. Purchased it for $100. It's a Western 12g "Long Range" gun. Never had the time to do the chop job. Now I use it for small game and clays. For that reason alone I'm glad I never did. Now here's another reason. The same gun now goes for $300-500 on Gunbroker (depending on condition, of course). As it turns out, the "Western" brand was made by Ithaca years ago, and is sought after. Those old doubles are hard to come by.
     
  15. Bud Tugly

    Bud Tugly Member

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    If you aren't doing it for any practical reason other than to lean it next to the toilet, do yourself a favor and get a beat-up old single-shot or bolt action to butcher. You can use a pipe cutter and have a neat job and save the old double to hang on the wall, if nothing else.

    Cutting a double can easily ruin the gun if done wrong and it's a pain to do correctly. Why bother?
     
  16. Last Dollar

    Last Dollar Member

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    Dont do it! We are losing too many good old functional doubles as is..buy a shortie!
     
  17. Grey54956

    Grey54956 Member

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    It just ain't right to cut down a old timer.

    Buy some new turkish or foreign piece and cut it down, or just get a new shorty. They're cheap and fairly well made. Honestly, coach guns are pretty neat and all, but for HD, you would probably be better off with a short pump gun.
     
  18. Kipling79

    Kipling79 Member

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    I just want to throw in my two cents here....

    I meet a lot of purists (real life and online) who hate to see antique firearms modified. I can understand this perspective, since I feel the same way about certain guns, but:

    After years of people telling me that my shotgun is basically worthless since it is a department store gun, because it is not in perfect condition, and because it will not have all original parts once functional, I see no reason not to cut it down.

    Additionally, my ideal coach gun is elusive. I want true external hammers, which I cannot seem to find easily in modern Baikal or Stoeger models. And once found, they will probably cost 3-5 times what I payed for this shotgun.

    Just my two cents.
     
  19. Okiecruffler

    Okiecruffler Member

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    There are those of us (admittedly, damned few anymore) who see more beauty in the utility design of those department store shotguns than in any parker, greener or LC Smith. I love the 311's because I can see what they are. They weren't meant to be pretty, they were meant to be used hard. They brought home groceries as well as stood guard against the bumps late at night. They weren't made for the elite shooter in his tweed jacket and his shooter's stool. They were made for farmers, ranchers, factory bums, who probably showed more pride in their meager shotgun than an aristocrate showed for their arsenal. When I throw a 311 to my shoulder I feel that kinship with those hardworking, honest Americans from a better time.

    But maybe it's just me, I used to drink alot.:eek:
     
  20. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    My GOD, speeches like that make me proud to be an American. :D Hey, you got my vote! BTW, what are you running for ?

    J/K I enjoy the cheaper forms of twice pipes....mainly because that's all I got the money for. Industrial trash was one of your categories, I think. :D
     
  21. Mustanger1

    Mustanger1 Member

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    I should hate this thread. I have a beautiful old J B Clement black powder DB, really in good condition and I planned to cut it down, on a bridgeport, and make it into a coach gun with 20" barrels. It's around a 1870 model,12 gauge, rabbit ear hammers, shoots 2 1/2 inch black powder shells. My wife tried to convince me to keep it as is to display in the house and I turned a deaf ear on that. Now tonight I read all the comments on cutting down these old guns and to all that are against it you convinced me to keep the old gun original. And I agree your right when I think about it they don't make any more old guns, when these are gone there are no more. Thank you guys you gave good advise....Now where do I get a coach gun .....No china.....India.....or other foreign......Anyone know of a cutdown or original for sale?
     
  22. Yellow Lab

    Yellow Lab Member

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    If you are going to have it cut down by a professional then just use the money to buy a used Stoeger coach gun. They are stout and meet your needs. Remember a 30" double is like having a 27-28" barreled shotgun since it sets back several inches on the water table of the receiver.

    I won't shoot a SxS with less than 28" barrels (except for cowboy action or a self defense gun like you want). I have several 29-30" barreled doubles and they are great in the field. Just my $0.02 worth. I must agree with Okiecruffler about having a piece of history that links you back to our American heritage.

    By the way, what is the make of your shotgun? Thanks. Yellow Lab.
     
  23. VirgilCaine

    VirgilCaine Member

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    I cringe whenever I see someone, in a movie say, use a long-barreled hunting side by side for self-defense. It's just...extra weight.

    Wow, I certainly wouldn't cut down a gun that old. That's gotta be worth some money, being a good 138-years old.
     
  24. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    I bought my 20 gauge 20" Spartan FOR hunting and took three dove limits and a limit of teal with it just this season on my better hunts. It's my travel gun, bought it specifically for hunting and to do double duty as a bedroom/safe room gun. If you haven't heard, modern ammo uses smokeless ammo now, been that way for some time. You only need 18" of barrel to completely burn even blue dot! With proper chokes, a coach gun is a viable hunting arm as I've proven to myself this season. The neat deal about this gun is I can take it down and fit it into the bags of my Honda GoldWing, something I cannot do with any of my repeaters or my 28" double. I prefer travel by motorcycle when it ain't 20 degrees and snowing (not often in south Texas) and it saves gas over my 15 mpg van which helps a lot. You might not need such a gun for hunting, but trust me, it works. I killed just as many birds and had a better ratio shots fired to birds killed than did my friend and his son with their 28" pump 12 gauges this year on my annual trek to Waco for the north zone dove opener and I think I can improve the ratio by choking IC/Mod instead of IC/Full. Full was such a tight pattern, I had to wait till the bird was way out there to use it. I think IC/Mod is a better set up for dove hunting and over deeks I was shooting teal with cyl/IC! Works better at 25-30 yards than tighter chokes using steel shot.

    The think that longer barrels do is help the balance of the gun, less whippy, better/smoother swing. You have to adjust to that with a coach gun in the field with concentration and follow through. But, if you do your part, it's just as effective as a longer barrel gun.

    I will reiterate, though, I bought a new coach gun rather than try to bastardize my nice 28" Spanish made 12 gauge SxS and I think I came out about the same on money by the time I'd had the barrels trimmed and the chokes installed and, besides, I wanted a 20 gauge. That old 12 twice pipe kicks like a friggin' mule. :D
     
  25. Smoke Rizen

    Smoke Rizen Member

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    I have two mule ear doubles that I cut down and am happy with both.
    The first is an Enders Royal which is a hardware store type on a Cresent action. It was displayed in a restaurant as a piece of "Deco-Art" painted yellow with some feathers and a tacky indian theme. I only paid 75 bucks for the "art piece" so it was a steal. I cleand it up, tightened up the action,and built a new stock. I cut the barrels down to 20-1/2" and have used it to shoot black powder in SASS for the last 8 years. The other is a Remington 1887 that I picked up at a garage sale. I wouldn't have cut it off, but someone else already had. It was cut so crooked that I had to. It is still at 27-1/2" and I use it for both SASS and playing with clay birds. Both guns needed to be fitted with new sights, which is a pretty simple procedure with a drill and tap. As to sealing the rib above and below I used a low silver content solder, or you could use a rosin core solder that doesn't require as much heat. You don't want much heat, as you could loosen the whole rib.
    Bottom line to me is it's my gun, and now it does what I want it to.
     
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