View Full Version : Learned a lesson last night

March 3, 2009, 06:30 PM
Got a cheap lesson last night, hopefully some of the other less experienced home gunsmiths can learn from my mistake. Most of you older (pardon me, more experienced) guys are just gonna grin...

I was in the process of dressing the end of a shotgun barrel after shortening it by a few inches. Lacking a proper barrel vice, I clamped it in my woodworking vice, all the while congratulating myself on thinking of using non-marring jaws.

Not wanting to bite down so hard as to squeeze the barrel out of round, the only way to keep the barrel from rotating was to index one jaw on the vent rib. Can you see this coming???

I clamped the rib exactly between two posts. Upon releasing it to admire my handiwork, I had a huge dip right in the middle of the rib. Luckily it was an easy fix, and we're back straight now, but it kind of turned my stomach when I first noticed it.

The lesson for today is use a proper barrel vice. Lacking that, if you must clamp a shotgun barrel with a rib, make sure the jaws close on top of one of the support posts. :)

Bill DeShivs
March 3, 2009, 10:14 PM
It happened because you used a vice.
What you should have used was a VISE. ;)

James K
March 3, 2009, 10:55 PM
You probably should have clamped the barrel. It is pretty hard to bend a barrel out of round just by moderate clamping in a vise (note, Bill, I spelled it rite) but a rib is thin and easily bent, as you found out.


March 3, 2009, 11:39 PM
A pair of cheap v-blocks from Harbor Freight would not only have kept you from denting the rib, but it also gives you a nice edge you can cut right up against with a saw, since they're hardened.

Denting the rib is super common, by the way.

I have vices, as well as a vise.

March 3, 2009, 11:45 PM

and poor spelling is one of my pet peeves
at least I was consistent through the post

thanks for the advice about the v-blocks, I hadn't thought of those, but it seems that they would make it very easy to square the end of the barrel