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Opinions on cutting an 870 Shotgun barrel

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by Keeperfaith, May 3, 2013.

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  1. Keeperfaith

    Keeperfaith Member

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    Hello,

    I just want to get your opinions on cutting down an 870's 28" bird gun barrel to 20" for a tactical shotgun?

    I've been planning on buying a shorter barrel but that's going to cost over $100. I can do the work myself for free and I the only bad thing is I would still have the rail on top of the barrel...Not a huge drawback since I can put a fiber optic sight on it...

    I've seen one 870 done like Im describing on youtube and it didn't look bad at all.

    If anyone of you have done this, please feel free to post a pic and what you thought of it after you were done.

    Just trying to save some bucks.

    Thanks

    Steve
     
  2. nulook45

    nulook45 Member

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    If it has a rib on it use a hacksaw and cut slowly and straight .If it is a plain barrel i would use a large pipe cutter it will do two things cut straight and swage the very end a little giving you a improved cyl bore .Also with the vent rib try and cut it off right after the rib suport that way you have a attachment for the rib at the very end .
     
  3. Drail

    Drail Member

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    deleted
     
  4. Texan Scott

    Texan Scott Member

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    Remove the barrel, and C-clamp it into a mitre box to get a nice straight cut right at the first rib support beyond the 18" line. Be sure of your measurements. Take your time. Enjoy.
     
  5. mtrmn

    mtrmn Member

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    Just my opinion: hacksaws are notorious for NOT cutting straight. Find someone with an abrasive or metal-cutting blade in a chop saw. You'll get much better results that can be dressed up with a file to remove sharp edges/burrs. The miter box idea is good also, just DON't freehand it with a hacksaw or you'll wind up with a hackjob.
     
  6. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

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    I've cut barrels on automatic metal saws before.

    Then again, I cleaned them up on a lathe afterwards.

    Don't start the restoration work before you finish the project.
     
  7. RaceM

    RaceM Member

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    Measure out your desired length to the nearest top rib support pillar. Make marks all the way around the barrel, including the rib, then place tape around the barrel even with the measured marks.

    When cutting with the hacksaw use your thumb along the blade to prevent skipping and cut right next to the tape. Cut a small section, about 3/8", then rotate barrel and cut next segment. Might take two or three complete revolutions of the barrel to cut all the way through but it gives a decently straight cut which is easy to dress flat with a file. Don't forget to deburr the inside of the muzzle.

    I've done several bird gun barrel chops this way and it works a treat.
     
  8. Scooter22

    Scooter22 Member

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    All good info. 20" is a good length as you can add a 3 shot extension. There is a double clamp that secures the end to the barrel. Then youll have a 8 shot gun.
     
  9. Catpop

    Catpop Member

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    I've cut many barrels off with nothing more than a hacksaw, 4" machinist square, dykem, and a good file. The file and square willl clean up any hacksaw imperfections or any out of square problems. Good luck.
     
  10. biggyfries

    biggyfries Member

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    Agreed with catpoop. cut bit by bit, square it up with a square and file and it will be excellent. There is some controversy about the wisdom of cutting a long ribbed barrel but its your gun, make it the way YOU want it. It would be ideal to find a bulged barrel or some other imperfect one cheap and shorten that one and keep the long one--but you may never see a bulged barrel available in your lifetime.
     
  11. Texan Scott

    Texan Scott Member

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    ^
    ROFLPIMP ... awesome.
     
  12. leadcounsel

    leadcounsel member

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    Better off just trying to trade it to someone who wants a full length but has a short one. Or, even though it's $100, just buy a new barrel. Maybe sell the old one to recoup most of your cost (doing it this way means you're out very little money), or keep it for trap or other sports.
     
  13. Keeperfaith

    Keeperfaith Member

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    I have a cut one barrel down before, it was a non-ribbed barrel and I used an angle grinder with a metal cutting wheel. I had looked for a clamp so I can make it as straight as possible. I couldn't find one... So I just did it free hand and it came out pretty good.

    I just haven't done a ribbed one.

    I appreciate the feedback.

    Thanks
     
  14. mcdonl

    mcdonl Member

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    I wanted to do the same thing but the cost of cutting threads for the choke system was as much as a barrel.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  15. Scooter22

    Scooter22 Member

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    He doesn't want a choke. Just a open cylinder defense barrel. Cut away.
     
  16. ApacheCoTodd

    ApacheCoTodd Member

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    Practice..

    You're lopping off 8 inches... Take a practice run at it using catpoop's advice up around the first couple of inches. Hopefully you won't use up your "first timer's luck" on it and gain some insight into your technique for the final cut.
     
  17. slamfirev10

    slamfirev10 Member

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    lol,

    been there, done that (too many times)
     
  18. hovercat

    hovercat Member

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    Buy beg or borrow a heavy duty, stiff frame hacksaw. Pressing into a sopping wet folded towel makes.holding easier.
     
  19. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    The vent rib posts will mean cutting at either 21" or 19". I'd cut at 21", if you mess up you have one more post to cut on for a 2nd try and keep it legal. I've done several, never had a problem. It is a 5 minute job from start to finish.

    A standard hacksaw works fine. Either way you cut it, you will need to true every thing up with a file and square. Barrel steel is soft and it is easy to get things straight with a file after you cut. DO NOT USE A PIPE CUTTER even with no vent rib.

    Apply some cold blue to the bare metal. I use a clamp on fiber optic front bead.

    002-4.jpg
     
  20. safarihunter

    safarihunter Member

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    I'd try to find a friend or a friend of a friend with a cutoff saw before I'd atempt a hacksaw job.

    I'm pretty handy but it always seems the OOPS factor shows up at the wrong time
     
  21. Catpop

    Catpop Member

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    I did 2 rifles this week using the tools I described earlier. Both old lever actions. Turned out great making only one cut. Matter of fact, I don't think I ever had to make two cuts on any job. Good luck!
     
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