View Full Version : professional gunsmith advice needed

December 30, 2010, 02:53 PM
I am in need of some advice from a professional gunsmith. I have a 12 gauge Ithaca SKB model 600 O/U shotgun, circa 1970, 28" barrels, 2 and 3/4" chambers. The bottom barrel has a bulge about 10 and 3/4 inches from the breech end. If you look inside the bottom barrel, you can see what looks like a fairly uniform ring where the bulge is located.

Specifically, I am asking if there is any possibility that the barrel(s) can be repaired. I have included a few pictures below.




Bill in GA

December 30, 2010, 04:12 PM
I'm not a pro gunsmith,but I have been around long enough to tell you NOT to shoot that gun with barrel in that condition,the metal is stressed and it could come aprt causing injury to you or someone near by .....Being an SKB,(I own an SKB 900xl 20 ga auto,imported by Ithaca in 1977 I believe) 20+ years ago....

You'll probably need to find a new set of barrels for this shotgun....your looking for a donor shot gun ,check the web ,you may fins just what your looking for !

Do you have any idea what caused the bulge? what was the obstruction ???

Soory,Jim :(

December 30, 2010, 05:51 PM
Thanks for the response, Jim. The gun hasn't been fired since the bulge developed and won't be fired again until the barrels are repaired or replaced. I don't know exactly what caused the bulge but I think I can narrow it down to two things.

December 30, 2010, 06:19 PM
It *may* be repairable. We had the tool to repair the bulge at the shop I worked at. There may also concealed damage such as the rib(s) becoming separated, so I would consult someone who specialized in shotgun barrel work. Briley, perhaps?

Jim Watson
December 30, 2010, 07:01 PM
That is a bad bulge.
Briley starts at $95 to remove dents and bulges but that will be a lot more work, if they will do it in the first place.

If you can't find a set of barrels, you might could put in sub-gauge tubes as for Skeet. But they start at $475 for the Briley Companion drop-ins.

James K
December 30, 2010, 08:39 PM
Dents in shotgun barrels are easily removed and usually with no damage to the barrel. Bulges are another matter, especially a bulge as bad as that.

To understand, you need to know why barrels bulge. The bulge is created when there is an obstruction in the barrel, usually from a "squib" load or from something left in the barrel. When the bullet or shot charge hits that obstruction, it stops and all its energy is converted instantly to heat. That heat lasts only an instant, but it is enough to soften the barrel steel, and the pressure from the powder does the rest.

Whether the barrel bulges or splits depends on several factors, but even a bulge severely damages the barrel and destroys the heat treatment. While sometimes guns can be fired with bulged barrels (.22 rifles usually can be fired with no problems; higher power guns are problematic), that gun with that bad a bulge should definitely not be fired.

You might try Google or call Briley to see if there are any new barrels available, but I wouldn't be too hopeful. In any case, they would need careful fitting, and the total cost might well be more than the gun is worth.


December 31, 2010, 01:32 PM
Jim k is right
A bluge that bad streaches the metal thinning it out.
Along with rest of what Jim said.
Plus allowed looks like a split at the bottom of the bluge where it touches the second barrel.

December 31, 2010, 03:40 PM
I wouldn't consider trying to "fix" a bulge that bad. Time for a new barrel.

December 31, 2010, 03:49 PM
Any idea where I could get a new/used set of barrels? They would have to be fitted to the receiver, correct?

December 31, 2010, 04:06 PM
I am a full time gunsmith with over 35 years of experience.

My advice;

Replace the barrel or sell the gun for parts.

I am so sorry, and I wish I had more encouraging words to say but I would not try to repair one that bad.
I would not consider it to be a safe repair.

You can replace the barrel with a new barrel of the correct gauge, but it's a very involved process. You must un-solider the barrels and ribs and remove the old damaged barrel from the monoblock. You then have the new barrel blank machined to the exact contour of the old one. Re- solider the barrels back and re-regulate them. Cut a new chamber and choke in the new one, and then reblue them.
All in all, the repair is probably going to cost at least as much as replacing the gun with one just like it, and it may even cost more then the value of the gun.

Jim Watson
December 31, 2010, 04:23 PM
Briley charges $1750 to replace barrels that way.
Maybe they would do one cheaper... but not much cheaper.

December 31, 2010, 05:05 PM

James K
December 31, 2010, 05:56 PM
The tax to make a short-barrel shotgun is only $200. Once you get approval, you can legally cut the barrels to 10" and have a nifty home defense shotgun.


Old Guard Dog
December 31, 2010, 06:57 PM
Dents can be fixed, because the metal is "bent" rather than stretched, but bulges stetch the metal and fatigue them. I would not repair that barrel.

December 31, 2010, 06:59 PM
Ever looked into insert rifle barrels to make it a combined gun? Very popular in Europe, you end up with one shotgun one varmint, shoot any partridge or coyote that happens to walk by.