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Old December 16, 2001, 01:08 AM   #1
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shotgun smiths

Who besides Vang and Scattergun Tech does good work?
I'm sure there's lots who'll lengthen the forcing cone and backbore, but is Vang "the" guy to port your shotgun?

New firing pin: $12.
New extractor: $15.
Ballistic fingerprinting: worthless.
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Old December 16, 2001, 03:01 AM   #2
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To be honest I think that both Vang and SGT both either caught the train before it left the station, or actually built the train themselves! The HD/Combat/Tactical/SHTF/whateverwecallitthatscatchytoday shotgun has only really taken off in the last five or so years. Hans and SGT were the first "big" names in that niche of Shotgun smithing. And the best thing about them, at least Hans, is that what he's doing today he's been doing since the beginning primarily backboring, lengthing forcing cones and porting.

Of all the barrel mods to make porting is actually the easiest to do. Brownells has a jig they sell ($285) that mounts on the barrel with the porting holes pre-spaced. Just drill and go. After you finish polish up the burls with a hone (they sell it too ).

I've thought about springing for it, but really can't justify it. But to be honest I'm not so sure that porting is really nessecary. I've shot unported all my life so it would really have to impress me. Plus I'd have to port the barrels of all my guns, plus several others to feel like I broke even.

I'm sure a "general" gunsmith (BTW do they exist anymore?) could do a decent job of lengthing the forcing cone and back boring. Look in some of the hunting magazines for your area, or even the state wildlife commission guide books, often they have adds for "hunting gun" gunsmiths. Give them a call and see if they do. However all caveats apply, ask for and check references, request to see examples of his/her work etc.

Just my thoughts for what they're worth.
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Old December 16, 2001, 01:38 PM   #3
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I found an excellent SG smith by going to my local ranges and asking. (Also K80Geoff suggested them) The folks I used are very good and work on SG's worth thousands more than my 870.
Forcing cone - 40.00
Back Bore - 100.00
They teased me a bit about the itty bitty barrel that I gave them but they did a great job for me.
I'd bet you could get similar results locally.
There is no magic involved. In fact (or maybe just my opinion) it has more to do with the quality of the machines that are being used for the work.
I'm not saying that Vang and Scattergun/Wilson aren't good but they are not the end-all/be-all just because they advertise more.
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Old December 16, 2001, 01:51 PM   #4
Dave McC
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Cones, ports(Feh!) and backboring cannot be done by shade tree smiths, but there's good ones around that can and do handle these. This isn't rocket science, it's high quality machine work.

There's some old threads in the Archives re porting, I suggest you look those over before paying anyone to make holes in your bbl.
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Old December 17, 2001, 11:13 AM   #5
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There are or were two other places I have seen that have done work in shotguns. One makes or made a customized Remington 870 called the BatLAxe. That was AWC, who has been known for making sound suppressors and tactical rifles.
The other place is/was the Cylinder and Slide shop, which offered services and aftermarket parts back in the late 80s through Soldier of Fortune magazie ads. The last ad that I saw them having in a magazine seemed more into .45 M1911 custom parts and services. They may or may not be around.
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Old December 17, 2001, 11:50 PM   #6
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I've used Jon Tank of Tank's Rifle Shop for many years. He overhauled a used Remington 1100 into a full house 18" barrelled conversion. He's a one man shop and does beautiful work. Further, he will not try to sell you what you don't need.

He's also done work on my AR-15, Ruger Mini-30, and an "off catalog" full house Colt Lightweight Commander.

Jon's background includes a stint as a U.S. Army armorer as well as time over at the Cylinder & Slide Shop.

Give him a call at 402-727-1317 or visit his website at...


- Anthony
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Old December 18, 2001, 06:12 PM   #7
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For a hunting gun I would recomment Nu-Line Guns of Harvester Mo.

For serious target work, try:

Briley Manufacturing.


Kolar Arms.

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