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Old January 11, 2010, 03:05 AM   #1
Firepower!
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Sawed off shotgun

Hi
How practical is a sawed off shotgun? What are its uses? Or is it just a fashion thing of the old gangster movies?
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Old January 11, 2010, 03:16 AM   #2
Old Grump
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Well they are certainly handier in tight spaces but I find they kick more and have lost some of their effectiveness with their cylinder bore, wide pattern and loss of velocity. I was given one. (16 gauge) about 20+ years ago, shot it a few times and was thoroughly unimpressed. I took the barrel off and have been looking for a replacement barrel ever since.
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Old January 11, 2010, 11:07 AM   #3
reloader28
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I had a sawed off 20 gauge once. Hell of a big pattern. They are awesome if you have to fight your way out of a close quartered building or are shooting running rabbits at 20 feet. Other than that they are basically useless. Effective range is very short.
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Old January 11, 2010, 03:47 PM   #4
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Uses? Same as any short barrelled defensive shotgun. The shorter the barrel the less effective it will be for field use, but the more handy it is for typical SD/HD scenarios (up to a point, of course). SD/HD distances very rarely exceed what? Maybe 10-15 yards? Beyond that you are getting to the point where convincing judge and jury your life, or those of your loved ones, was/were in danger starts becoming problematic. So a shotgun that is exceptionally handy while remaining exceptionally deadly out to 10 yards, up to perhaps 20 becomes a real asset. Obviously, we're not talking a field gun here, or a range gun, so those comparisons aren't valid. Short-barrelled shotguns are also easy to store while traveling and provide great manueverability inside a vehicle.

Last edited by TxGun; January 11, 2010 at 03:53 PM.
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Old January 11, 2010, 03:51 PM   #5
Firepower!
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Whats an ideal lenght of a sawed off shotgun?
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Old January 11, 2010, 03:55 PM   #6
petemo
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18 inches is the #

I believe that's when it becomes illegal. Knew someone that sawed off a topper even wiith the forend. Thing flew off from the recoil. Duck tape fixed that. I guess what I am saying is if you get caught with it under 18" it's going to be expensive
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Old January 11, 2010, 04:53 PM   #7
hogdogs
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Quote:
that's when it becomes illegal
Incorrect info... Under 18 inches simply requires a federal NFA tax stamp Of $200 IIRC to be fully legal. May be some state law against it but federally it can be a 2 inch stubby so long as you went thru the proper channels.
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Old January 11, 2010, 05:01 PM   #8
dustinmarciniak
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I know there's some company that makes a 12gauge sawed off it's pretty sweet not sure who makes it. They had one at our big local gun shop here in South Bend years ago and when I had the 500 for it, it was gone. And all you needed to get it was pass the federal search and there was no tax stamp on it.
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Old January 11, 2010, 05:16 PM   #9
jaguarxk120
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This is waht you guys want, www.hatchergun.com they will build a sawedoff shotgun for you, just need the cash.
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Old January 11, 2010, 05:30 PM   #10
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14" is the most common AOW and used by LE, similar to a SBR (Any Other Weapon and Short Barreled Rifle). Great "Room Broom"for CGB to sweep the bad guys away.
The Taurus Judge gets away with being a .410 "shotgun" by having part of the "pistol" barrel rifled. I don't know the rate of twist necessary but imagine it's pretty slow. humm, wonder when someone puts out a 5 shot 20 or 12 gauge with a little 1 in 36 "choke" in the barrel... talk about a beast and Mares leg
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Old January 11, 2010, 08:12 PM   #11
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Keep in mind, guys, our friend Firepower! is not living in the United States of America. Our 1934 National Firearms Act does not apply.

However, that may also mean that most of us have precious little experience with short barreled shotguns.
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Old January 11, 2010, 09:03 PM   #12
StuntManMike
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Use Flite Control ammo to get decent patterns with the resulting cylinder bore of a cut down barrel.
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Old January 11, 2010, 09:37 PM   #13
Bill DeShivs
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Barrel length has nothing to do with patterning. A 28" cylinder bore barrel will shoot approximately the same pattern as a 12" cylinder bore.
Choke determines pattern.
There is not much velocity loss until you get down to about 10" barrel length.
In the US, anything under 18" length requires payment for a tax stamp.
The Taurus Judge is legal because it's rifled, and under .50 cal. A rifled 20 or 12 gauge with bbl. under 18" would still require a tax stamp.
Corrections aside, a short shotgun is a devastating close range weapon.
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Old January 11, 2010, 11:51 PM   #14
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The gun I received had been bubbaed to fit in a saddle bag. I never measured it but at about 12' the biggest hole in my cardboard box target was where the shot wad went through. Pattern was a donut at that range. Only guessing but I'm thinking the pattern was blown apart because the barrel was so short the powder load hadn't been burned yet and it blew a hole through the shot string.

Just personal preference but I prefer at least 18" of barrel and 20" is better.
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Old January 11, 2010, 11:59 PM   #15
troy_mclure
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i got to fire off a sawed off 12 ga sxs, 8" barrel, no but stock.

big heavy rip your arm off pistol, especialy if you let somebody talk you into pulling both triggers at once!

i have a sxs 12ga that is sawed off to 18.5"-ish. the pattern opens up fast, and it is fast to maneuver in tight brush. its my favorite rabbit gun.
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Old January 12, 2010, 03:25 AM   #16
Firepower!
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Thank you guys. Some great information so far.

Is it ok to just chop off a shotgun or there is some more science to it? I ask this because one of the poster mentioned gun flipping off and using duck tape!
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Old January 12, 2010, 04:48 AM   #17
gyvel
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^^^^^

If you're going to do it, it's best to have someone with a lathe to cut it off evenly.
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Old January 12, 2010, 09:57 AM   #18
Uncle Buck
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Firepower: Before you cut it, get the paperwork, if it is going to be under 18 inches. I would hate to see anyone get into trouble for something like this. (Did not realize you were in Pakistan, but still check the legality of the modification.)

I have seen them hack at with a hacksaw, band saw and professionally done on a lathes.

A sawed off shotgun can be a heavy hole puncher, but they can also be uncomfortable as all get out to shoot. What do you want to use it for?

My brother and I found one when we were kids. 12 gauge, about eight inches long. He shot it and the fore-grip came off in his hand. Used duct tape to hold the foregrip on and we shot it for about a week before my dad found out about it.

I remember he called us and told us to meet him and the local cop down at the Potter Hill bridge. I think the local cops name was Ralph and he had a full time job keeping us kids out of trouble. We met them there and Ralph looked at the gun, said it was illegal and proceeded to take it apart and throw the pieces into the river.

Funny thing is, we never really missed that thing. Ralph probably saved us more grief than it would have been worth.
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Last edited by Uncle Buck; January 12, 2010 at 12:40 PM.
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Old January 12, 2010, 10:17 AM   #19
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It seems that Pakistani laws state you need a special permit for a machine gun, but says nothing about an SBS. Only shotgun related law states it can't be bigger than 12 gauge. So I'm guessing they have no hangups about barrel cutting, but don't quote me. Check your laws.

Anyways, as stated already, a lathe would make the smoothest cut. If you use a chop saw or hand saw, make sure to debur the cut both inside and out.
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Old January 12, 2010, 10:58 AM   #20
LukeA
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As mentioned above, there are better and worse procedures for the actual shortening of the barrel, but there's not anything more complicated than that about it. It's just cutting the tube shorter.
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Old January 12, 2010, 11:27 AM   #21
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Yeah, Firepower doesn't have to worry about US laws and is in real need for SD weapons (more so than most of us).

Anyway, you don't NEED a lathe to cut a shotgun barrel. There is no science to it other than making a tube shorter, but you need to make the cut as square as possible and de-burr the cut when you finish. You can cut it near perfect square with almost any metal chop saw and a good vise, or by clamping a piece of channel iron (with the end squared) to the barrel and using it as a guide. If this were a rifle barrel, I would be less likely to recommend these techniques. A SBS with a practical effective range of MAYBE 25 meters? It'll work just fine doing it minus a lathe.
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Old January 12, 2010, 01:36 PM   #22
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As improvements in manufacturing lead to thinner barrels, someone had to be the first to cut one short (presumably because the original barrel was damaged). If you can believe Hollywood, the original sawed-off shotguns evolved in two directions:
1. The shotgun as handgun for those wanting firepower without the normal handgun training. This was depicted by the James Cann's character Mississippi in Howard Hawk's El Dorado. This would be a gun with very short barrels and a pistol grip only stock.
2. The shogun as a easily concealable long gun. Any number of gangster movies depict a shortened shotgun being withdrawn from beneath a long coat. The most well known being the Barrow Gang's "Whipit" style guns. These were a variety of auto-loading shotguns with shortened barrels and stocks. A simple strap kept them secured under the coat. Clyde Barrow had a BAR fashioned the same way

I don't think of the modern SD/HD guns as members of the saw-off family of shotguns; but, as the modern version of the old police riot gun. These guns typically have standard stocks with barrels shortened to allow them to ride vertically in a cruiser and perform better in confined spaces.

Firepower, unless you're looking towards the concealment aspect of a sawed-off, a short barreled gun with a conventional length stock (fixed or articulated) will most likely best suit your needs.
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Old January 12, 2010, 01:56 PM   #23
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Another SBS to consider, if available for export where you live:

http://www.serbu.com/top/superShorty.php
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Old January 12, 2010, 03:29 PM   #24
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When I was a teenager a friend of mine cut down an old single shot 12 gauge. He cut the barrel off about an inch forward of the wooden forearm, and trimmed the stock into a very small pistol grip. Not only was this an illegal action, but the thing was an absolute fright to shoot. The very first shot from it opened up the web of his hand as the hammer and beavertail unlocking lever tore into his hand on firing. We ended up sacrificing a perfectly good T-shirt to staunch the bleeding. On subsequent firings, after maintaining a very firm grip, we also discovered that the effective range was not very impressive. Not nearly as impressive as the results achieved by Clint Eastwood in the ‘spaghetti western’ the gun was patterned after. Of course the inaccuracy may have been caused by firing with our eyes closed rather than just maintaining a good squint, but we certainly had the gritted teeth down pat the moment we cocked the hammer back. It turned out to be a firearm that I certainly wouldn’t consider as anything for home defense though, and not something I would ever recommend anyone use.
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Old January 12, 2010, 11:37 PM   #25
troy_mclure
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if you are gonna use a hack/chop saw get a hose clamp and tighten it around the barrels where you want to cut. this will give you a nice straight line.

also you may need to fill in the gap between the barrels. some cheaper guns dont have a solid "rib". solder, or epoxy should be fine.
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