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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a Mossberg 500 20 gauge, my girlfriend loves that thing but the tactical look I put on it look funny with the 24 inch barrel, I'd like to cut it down to the legal 18.5 inch limit (I have a second barrel that I'm going to leave full length, and if I ever take it hunting I'll be using a scope anyway so the missing front sight on the shorter barrel won't bother me.)

The barrel I'm going to be cutting down is the "slug barrel" basically its a 24 inch open choke barrel with rifle sights, it is not rifled it is smooth bore (if I hunt with it I'll most likely buy a rifled barrel anyway) so my question is:

Is there a specific way to do this?

I was just going to measure it out and carefully put tape around the barrel so I can see that my cut is perfectly round and then take a dremel to it VERY CAREFULLY and slowly work through the barrel, Leave some extra length so I can take a sander to it and round off the edges and make the muzzle smooth and carefully work on it until I can place it on a nice flat piece of wood and the barrel sits totally flat all the way around.

Is this a solid plan or is this a stupid thing to do and requires a real gunsmith to do? I figured a shotgun barrel would be able to take some "home made" modifications, I wouldn't try this on any rifle or rifled shotgun barrel.
 

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In such a situation, a hacksaw is probably going to be better than a Dremel. Make sure it's square, use a mitre box if you've got one. Once cut, carefully take a file and smooth the surface, then use sandpaper on a block or over the file to smooth it out. As far as the sight goes, there's a few companies making clamp-on sights, which would take the least amount of effort while still presenting a reasonable sight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Unfortunately I don't have a hacksaw :(

I will have to look into clamp on sights, do those barrel shroud things come with integrated ghost rings?
 

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The only proper way to do it is in a lathe with a cut off tool.
Anything else will lead to some tiny angle or another, which in turn will 'pull' shot in one direction or another depending on severity of the mis~cut.

It only takes a couple degrees out of square to make #4 move almost a foot at 10yds.
Lighter shot is worse yet.

Not a super big deal if using 00 or slugs, but you might actually have a need for (1) real accuracy, especially at longer range or (2) a specific need to use smaller shot at some point (gonna shoot that rabbit to eat with 00?) in which case you could be screwed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The only proper way to do it is in a lathe with a cut off tool.
Anything else will lead to some tiny angle or another, which in turn will 'pull' shot in one direction or another depending on severity of the mis~cut.

It only takes a couple degrees out of square to make #4 move almost a foot at 10yds.
Lighter shot is worse yet.

Not a super big deal if using 00 or slugs, but you might actually have a need for (1) real accuracy, especially at longer range or (2) a specific need to use smaller shot at some point (gonna shoot that rabbit to eat with 00?) in which case you could be screwed.
Well crap I dont really have that available and I don't wanna do that to my shotgun, I figured smooth bore would be more forgiving for a quick cut job but apparently not, I definitely do not want my shots going a foot away from where I am aiming - at any range.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Pipe cutter tightening 1/8 turn per rotation.
Now that is a good idea, I don't have one of those either but they are easier to get ahold of.
 

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barrels are fairley cheap why would you cut one down yourself and risk ruining it ??? espically a mossberg there not exactly high end guns to begin with to find replacement parts for. try doind a trade for a slug barrell on CL or ebay !!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
barrels are fairley cheap why would you cut one down yourself and risk ruining it ??? espically a mossberg there not exactly high end guns to begin with to find replacement parts for. try doind a trade for a slug barrell on CL or ebay !!!
I cannot find an 18 inch 20 gauge barrel to save my life, everywhere I have looked is ALWAYS out of stock or it only offers a full length barrel, my only real option is to find a way to do it myself, since I have 2 barrel already there is the added bonus that it wouldn't cost me any money.
 
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Pipe cutter tightening 1/8 turn per rotation.
Noooooooooo Pipe cutter. It wil compress the bore are the muzzle and leave a nasty burr.

Make your initial cut with a hacksaw using tape as a guide.
Then clamp the muzzle in a gauge block and file the muzzle square.
Then break the sharp edges and cold blue.
 

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I hacksawed mine then trued it with a lathe. That is really the best way to do it IMO. aAn auto parts store or a repair shop may be a source for a lathe. They may charge you a few bucks but at least you know it will be straight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Give me a PM,Might be able to help you out some. Can the barrel be put in a lathe?
I'm sure it could its a standard mossberg barrel I just don't have the hardware or the knowledge needed to use it.
 

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Pipe cutter tightening 1/8 turn per rotation.
+1 on a STEEL pipe cutter. There are cutters that are only designed for copper and other softer metals. I've used a pipe cutter many times before and had no problems. Take it slow and don't apply too much pressure is all. I have seen people use too much pressure and kind of squish the barrel as mentioned above, but patience and taking it fairly slow it will work just fine and leave a clean cut which is easily smoothed out with a file. Just my $.02 .... which may actually be worth $.00. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
On this topic, I was wanting to do the same thing, but didn't know where to measure from for the barrel length.
As far as I have read, close up the action and drop a dowel down the barrel, mark the dowel where the top of the barrel is and measure that out, find out what you need to subtract to make it 18.5 inches and mark the dowel or cut it there (.5 inches to be safe and leave room for smoothing/filing legal limit is 18) then lay it against the rim where your barrel meets your receiver on the shotgun and mark the barrel using your dowel, or at least that is how I was going to do it, if anyone has a better method I'm all for hearing it I have no experience with this stuff myself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I wasn't sure if it was 18" of visible barrel, or internal length.
Pretty sure its from where it leaves the receiver to the muzzle. The extra few inches locked inside don't count.
 
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