View Full Version : Dented shotgun barrel

June 25, 2005, 08:19 PM
My dad just brought me a shotgun that was his Grandfathers.

It has a little dent in the side of the barrel, looks like it got slammed in the door of a safe.

Maybe the size of a shirt button, but concave, and half the depth of a dime at it's deepest.

can I just shoot it and "un dent it"?

Oh, it's a side by side...Lefever...So rebarreling really isn't an option.

June 25, 2005, 08:40 PM
Use a bore light and look inside the barrel.
Does the dent go all the way through?
Sometimes a nasty dent on the outside does not translate to the inside of the barrel

June 25, 2005, 08:42 PM
Are we to understand that only one barrel is dented? I would NOT shoot that barrel in an attempt to iron out the dent. However, almost any decent shotgun qualified gunsmith should be able to remove the dent safely. If the barrels are fluid steel, the gun will then be ready to shoot. If the barrels are Damascus, the gun is ready to hang on the wall with or without the dent.

Good shooting and be safe.

June 25, 2005, 08:43 PM
Yeah, it does.

It is not as deep as I first thought, mybe 10 thsdths.

You can see it in the bore...looks like a drop of rainwater.

Cal 50
June 25, 2005, 08:50 PM
Shotgun barrel dents are easily removed by any good qualified Gunsmith.
A hydraulic dent raiser is usually used to raise the dent easily. When the dent is such as the one you described, usually no refinishing is needed.
Checking to see if the old shotgun is damascus or not is excellent advice.

June 25, 2005, 08:57 PM
Just normal steel..."nitro special" One dent in the first bbl, just in front of the forend.

It has a pretty color case hardened receiver, But nothing special really.

But it was GGP's and I have never been a SxS man...until tonight. I would like to hunt with this.

But if not, I still can be reeeeaaaaly threatening towared my daughter's suitors.

I believe that GGP would approve.

What is "hydraulic dent removal" and how much would it cost (ballpark)?

June 25, 2005, 11:19 PM
A dent expander is a rod-like affair with a collet device on the end.

One side of the collet will expand when the tool is activated.

The expander is inserted into the barrel and rotated so the expander section in directly under the dent.

The tool is expanded a little at a time, and rotated slightly back and forth.

This causes the dent to be "ironed out", or pushed out , restoring the barrel.

After pressing the dent out, the bore is re-polished.

Done correctly, it's possible to "remove" a dent so that there is no sign it was ever there.

There are two problems with it.
One is finding someone who has an expander AND actually knows how to use it properly.
Too many people aren't any good with one, and often wind up over-expanding the dent, and leaving the barrel with a slight bulge.

Second, the dent expander is EXPENSIVE, and hard to find.
The last place I knew of that sold one was Brownell's, and the last time I looked, the company that made it was out of business, and Brownell's was looking for another maker.

June 26, 2005, 10:47 AM
They found the new maker. The product is listed as a "NEW" item on page 77 of catalog #57. They are available for 12, 16, and 20 gauge. $350 a pop, retail; $257 for gunsmiths. So maybe you can cut a deal by ordering through a gunsmith and pre-paying for the tool plus postage? Even so, that's a bit stiff for doing just one gun, even if it is Grandpa's old gun. I would take the earlier advice to find a gunsmith who has one and knows how to use it.

Item No.'s 080-083-012, -016, or -020.


July 1, 2005, 09:01 AM
Well, what would happen if I shot it as is.

I also was thinking about "tamping"the affected section with sand, after filling the dent with some foam rubber or styrofoam.

Then when I fired it, the dent should pop out.

Is this just a dumb Idea...good in theory poor in practice?

July 1, 2005, 09:57 AM
With all due respect, that is a VERY STUPID IDEA!!! "Tamping or filling the area with sand, etc." sounds suicidal. "Shooting the gun as is" also sounds risky. Depending on the amount of constriction at the dented area, pressure can shoot up quickly. It could possibly blow a hole in the barrel. Be sure to keep your spare set of hands and eyes close by if you try this because you might need them afterwards. Suggestion: have the barrel fixed properly by a gunsmith or hang the gun on the wall and don't shoot it. Don't take foolish chances.

Good shooting and be safe.

July 1, 2005, 03:07 PM
I'm gonna have to go along with LHB1's HELL NO opinion on the the sand tamping.

At least have a smith check it out before you even shoot it

July 2, 2005, 12:18 PM
This sounds like the stupid things done when I was a kid. Lots of old questionable shotguns around. Had a neighbor that tested his to see if they could handle modern loads by tying it to a tree, tying a string on the trigger, walking back about 50 feet and giving the string a yank. If the barrel didn't "jug" of look like a peeled banana, he deemed it fit.

By the way, isn't that how they are proofed after manufacture, only with a larger load and minus the tree?

July 3, 2005, 08:41 AM
Weeeelllll, the consensus is in, stupid Idea. :rolleyes:

Off to the gunsmith we go.


July 3, 2005, 12:03 PM
Weeeelllll, the consensus is in, stupid Idea. Don't feel bad. When I was a kid my father gave an old 1872 family heirloom damascus barreled SxS with the firing pins removed.
It had belong to my great grandfather so my uncle disabled it and they gave it to me as a wall hanger.

Luckily dad came in and stopped me in the middle of trying to repair the pins by substituting paneling nails.

This was about a week after he caught my cousin and me throwing homemade tomahawks at 12ga shells to see if they would go off

He took the gun away and always looked at me funny after that

July 3, 2005, 02:40 PM
Smart decision!! That is the way young shooters get to be old shooters.

Good shooting and be safe.