Cutting off 20ga revelation?

Discussion in 'Technical Questions & Information' started by ineedsoap16, Sep 5, 2009.

  1. ineedsoap16

    ineedsoap16 New Member

    Mar 20, 2009
    Wilmington DE
    My dad has a 20ga revelation shotgun and wants me to cut it off...legally(18.5 but i'm doing 19in)/ What is the best way? I've heard hack saw(be real careful) and I've heard pipe cutter. I know I need to fine file the bore and steel wool. Any suggestions?
  2. mark_baron

    mark_baron New Member

    I just did that shotgun for my friend. I have done several 12 ga Mossbergs.

    My preferred method is to tape the barrel at both sides of the point I want to cut and use a large pipe cutter. Just clamp it on and go round and round making it tighter each time and the barrel will cut off perfectly square. Touch up the outside with a grinding wheel and the inside (crown) with a ball shaped wheel in your electric drill. Clean up any rust on the barrel and remove and oil and paint it with krylon outdoor furniture paint (black). Or if the barrel is relatively clean, just apply some cold bluing to the tip of the barrel. It should look ok.

    Then look for a pistol grip (about $30) hard to find for a 20ga. Mossberg sells one. I recommend the 20ga grip, but you can use the more common 12ga grip, it will be a little fat compared to the receiver. Keep your foregrip. I tried to install a 12ga tactical style or just a black plastic one, but it would not fit at all.

  3. Helix_FR

    Helix_FR Active Member

    Apr 14, 2009
    Imperial, MO
    though the pipe cutting way sounds like the best way is also the most damaging to the barrel. One thing that a pipe cutter does is not only cut but it also squeezes and rounds the new cut inward. This is almost like causing a obstruction but really its causing a dent in the barrel. What happens in dented barrels is the area before the dent sees higher pressures and causes the dents to grow and expand until the barrel fails. A pipe cutter basically dents a barrel in a circle.
    Though it sounds crude, hack saws are your friends. Yes they don't leave the cleanest cut but that is what a file and square are for. Unfortunatly in any barrel work, there is no easy way.
    In all of my gunsmithing education and all of the course work that I have taken, pipe cutters were left for pipes.:D
  4. Bill DeShivs

    Bill DeShivs Well-Known Member

    Apr 7, 2006
    Helix is correct. DON'T use a pipe cutter- very dangerous.
    Tape the barrel as a marker, score a starting point with a file, and use the hacksaw. File smooth and square. Chamfer the outside with the file, and the inside with a sharp pocket knife. Anything over 18 inches is legal.
    Suggestion: cut the barrel at 20 inches first. Dress it. Learn from your mistakes. THEN cut it to 18.5 inches. Use the 20" cut for practice.
  5. mark_baron

    mark_baron New Member

    Thanks for the advice regarding sawing vs. pipe cutting of the barrel. I will take it under advisement. But here is my rational for my method:
    1) While the barrel does bulge on the outside, immediately to each side of the cut, I use a grinder to remove the bulge, smooth it out and relieve the stress.
    2) The cutter causes a flair to the inside of the barrel which I use the cone or ball shaped grinder to totally remove.
    3) An 18.5 inch smooth bore barrel dose not build up the pressure like a 28" barrel would.
    4) Any metallurgical defect is at the very end where the pressure is being relieved. I would estimate the if I sectioned the end of the barrel and had it examined under an electron microscope (I could do this at work if I found a willing co-conspirator), the grain structure in the first 1/16" or 1/8" would be altered. In other words, the evidence of work on the barrel would be visible.
    5) Most of the barrels are relegated to home defense and never see a lot of use, except for occasional practice at the range.
    6) I have done about 2 dozen of these and have not had any complaints. Not saying it will not happen in the future.

    I would like to see some pictorial evidence of failures of this nature. This might convince me to do otherwise.

    I like the idea of cutting twice, once for practice especially if you have not done it before. I always practice on the cut-off piece first.
  6. Helix_FR

    Helix_FR Active Member

    Apr 14, 2009
    Imperial, MO
    pictoral evidence of fatigue on a dented barrel I can come up with.
    Grinding after cutting though my solve your problem visibly, now your thinning the barrel. yes I agree its the end of the barrel but a shortened barrel sees more pressure at the muzzle than the longer ones. The longer barrels equalize more before the shot exits the muzzle. The shorter barrels are not fully equalized and are actually still accelerating And yes a shortened home defense gun will not see as much if hardly any action but from a gunsmith standpoint no matter what the gun is used for or how many shots its used for it must be correctly done to be shot thousands of times. The barrel will probably never explode or breech but it could start to split.
    You can look at your barrels all you want under a electron microscope and probably find nothing wrong with what your doing except for the obvious fatigue from the cut , I'm going off of years of experience of my peers and a machining standpoint. If pipe cutters were the way to go, then all manufactures and gunsmiths would have one in there shop to shorten stock barrel but thats just not the case.
  7. johnlives4christ

    johnlives4christ Former Guest

    Apr 28, 2008
    howdy. the legal limit is 18, not 18 1/2 so you can cut to 18 1/2 and once you square the end of the barrel as long as it is over 18 you're cool. the way you check for length is to close the breech and run a tape measure down the bore. i have used a hacksaw for several shotguns. i wouldnt use a pipe cutter. file the end square as you can see it. then take it out and shoot it on paper, making sure to mark a spot first, and aim at it. then if the shot pattern is pulling to one side you can file the barrel a little on the side it pulls toward and it will straighten it up. IE, if it pulls high, file the top of the muzzle a tad more than the bottome. if it pulles left, the left side. if you want to have a bead on the gun after you cut the barrel off i recommend drilling the hole for the new bead before you cut the barrel because you have the old bead and the receiver for a reference point, but if you cut the barrel you only have the receiver. use a 1/16 size bit and a gunsmith will be able to tap it and put a bead on it for you. make sure you take a round file or sand paper or grinder and take the burrs off the inside, and make sure you dont get any metal shavings inside the action of your gun.
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