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Opinion on a chopped barrel

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by Stuttz, Oct 14, 2011.

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  1. Stuttz

    Stuttz Member

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    So here's the sad story...one of my family members recently came into possession of an older 12 gauge (I don't think he mentioned the make or model) that he intended to use for ducks. When he took it to his local smith, he was horrified to learn that the previous owner had chopped the barrel. It was supposed to be a 28 inch, modified choke and had been cut to about 25 inches. Other than that, it's in excellent condition. The smith told him there was no collector's value, which isn't of any concern, but that it would also be very limited with ducks. However, he did say it had great potential with buckshot as a deer gun.

    Basically, is this thing even worth keeping?




    Read more: http://www.shotgunworld.com/bbs/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=270953#ixzz1anWSwHdR
     
  2. dprice3844444

    dprice3844444 member

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    have it tapped for chokes
     
  3. Stuttz

    Stuttz Member

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    Can that be done on a gun that's well over 50 years old? Forgive me, I'm not a shotgun guy.
     
  4. stan rose

    stan rose Member

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    It depends on the wall thickness, and inside diameter of the barrels. If all they did was cut an inch off the length, and did not try to open it up further you will have a pretty good shot of it being done, only way to find out is to contact a smith who does it and have the barrels checked.
     
  5. Stuttz

    Stuttz Member

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    Well I got my hands on it tonight and here's what I got...it's an Ithaca 37r Deluxe, made in 1957. The smith told him that cutting it down basically made it an open cylinder. Apparently he did a test where he put a dime down the barrel. On a modifed it would be touching both sides of the barrel, but it didn't on his. Does that sound like it could have a choke added? Because he wants modified. Bad situation, I know.
     
  6. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    If your smith is using a dime and not a bore gauge, find another smith and leave the shade-tree guy behind.

    Yes, it SHOULD be a Cylinder choke, but someone like Briley can determine whether or not it can be threaded for choke tubes
     
  7. RaceM

    RaceM Member

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    Before ya get all frantic, take her out & bust some shells through it, see how it patterns. It still might do the job as is. If not, might be able to add a polychoke (external) or have it threaded for choke tubes (internal).
     
  8. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Have to treaded for choke tubes.
    There should be enough barrel wall thickness after cutting 3" or 5" off of it.

    The gunsmith was guessing when he said it was a 28".
    It could have just as easily been a 26" or a 30", although less likely.

    http://www.choketube.com/instal.html

    Any Ithaca 37 is well worth keeping and doing whatever you need to do to make it useful again!

    rc
     
  9. Stuttz

    Stuttz Member

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    Awesome link, thank you. He's definitely going to keep it. Like I said, we're not gun collectors in my family. Each gun is a tool and has a purpose for us, so I have no problem with modifications and all that. He's leaning towards the poly choke. The only thing that concerns us is that whoever chopped it way back when wasn't exact...it's not 25 inches, it's 25 and some change. Would that affect a poly choke installation?
     
  10. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    No, length makes no difference, as long as it's over the 18" legal length when you get done.

    I'd really really like to steer you away from a Poly-Choke and into choke tubes though.

    Nobody likes the looks of a Poly-Choke hanging out there on the end of a barrel anymore.

    And once you have it threaded for choke tubes?
    You can still screw an adjustable in it if you just gotta have one.

    http://www.poly-choke.com/choke2.htm
    http://www.cabelas.com/barrels-chokes-truglo-titan-adjustable-choke-tubes-1.shtml

    rc
     
  11. BCRider

    BCRider Member

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    The mod to take internal chokes is by far the best option. But ONLY if the smith says that the wall thickness is sufficient. If it isn't then an external polychoke is the only option. Either that or find an unmodified barrel.

    Frankly I've got one shotgun that came originally with a polychoke installed. It's a really ugly and heavy lump to have on the end of the barrel. And although I've only shot it so far for fun it would make for a nasty time trying to get a FAST sight picture for a hunting snap shot I would think.

    Rcmodel, some of the older barrels seem to have been somehow forged down to form the chokes in the ends. This results in thicker walls at the end and amazingly thin walls a few inches back in some cases. I've shortened three SxS's now to coach gun length for cowboy action shooting. In all three cases the walls of the barrels were thinner at the cut than at the original muzzle. And when I say thin I mean NO hope of having enough meat to ream and thread for internal choke tubes. I don't know if the Ithica is in the same boat or not. But it wouldn't surprise me if it is too thin to ream and thread. Likely it'll be thicker than the SxS's just because it doesn't have the ribs and other barrel for support. But it could well have been forged thinner in the middle to save weight.
     
  12. Fred Fuller

    Fred Fuller Moderator Emeritus

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  13. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    You can measure the outside muzzle dia with a dial caliper yourself.

    Carlson's says minimum 12 ga muzzle dia for tube installation is:
    Lead shot and steel shot system = .825".
    Lead shot system only, no magnum loads or steel = .805".

    rc
     
  14. kk0g

    kk0g Member

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    You can't call someone that uses a dime to measure the bore a gunsmith. That was a joke right?
     
  15. Steve C

    Steve C Member

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  16. Germster

    Germster Member

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    The famous Churchill fine English doubles sported 25 inch tubes. So did some of the Winchester Model 21's. Short barrels were all the rage in the 40's and 50's. If the gun is an auto/pump it's okay, since the actions are so long. It can be threaded for choke tubes or a gunsmith can put in a fixed choke.

    We used to be able to easily switch barrels out, but today and with the advent of choke tubes it is not done much anymore and the companies who made replacement barrels are out of biz.

    However if the 25 inch barrel is on a break open gun, well; I don't like them much because of their bark. But a 25 inch barrel on a fine shotgun is not a death knell, but it can be a problem until it is fixed.
     
  17. Germster

    Germster Member

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    Someone here said they don't like Poly-chokes. I really, really like Poly-chokes. I like them better than screw in chokes, because you can change them on the fly. In the field. That nob out there on the muzzle doesn't bother me at all. It isn't very large after all.

    I'm not a very big fan of the Cutts, but they aren't all that bad, really. But a Poly-choke makes one gun into several. You can even shoot steel throught them in the open settings. You can also thread the gun for screw in chokes and screw in a Poly-choke instead and still have the screw in chokes if you want.

    Nope Poly-chokes are sliced bread to me. I love'em.
     
  18. BADUNAME37

    BADUNAME37 Member

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    Way back when one of my brothers used to hunt and shoot, he had a Mossberg he got new for Christmas. It had a box magazine and was a bolt action 12 Gauge with a Polychoke. I remember he had that choke all figured out as for setting it up on cylinder bore, then turn it to tighten the choke. One minute he would have it on improved cylinder, chasing rabbits and squirrels, the next minute, dialed in to shoot at high overhead crows!

    He was pretty proficient with that gun! He finally sold it a few years ago, I wish I would have known, he hardly ever shot the thing that was purchased brand-new at Sears in 1967 or so!
     
  19. Germster

    Germster Member

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    Doesn't Mossberg still make that bolt shotgun? I too recall guys owning them when I was a kid in Kansas. The gun I used was my grandfather's Model 11 Remington, which weighted a ton. It had a polychoke and I loved it. I'd twist it open when walking up on a covey of quail and screw it to full when sneaking up on a pond full of ducks.

    If you go to a used gun shop and see a model 12 with a polychoke they have trouble selling the gun! I love'em! Today you can buy a Polychoke that screws into the threads for interchangable choke tubes. No more messing in your pocket for another choke.
     
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