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Old July 2, 2022, 02:06 PM   #1
lockedcj7
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Budget DIY HD shotgun

I'm sure I'm the only one that this happens to but I go through periodic obsessions. Sometimes it's a gun, Jeep project, home project, etc. Usually, it's a gun that I'm losing sleep thinking about. Recently, I have been obsessing about a HD shotgun and I narrowed my requirements down to a Remington 870 police trade-in or a Mossberg 500/590. I also wanted to spend as little money as possible. It's not that I can't afford a Benelli M4, it's just that I would rather have the money than spend it.

I did find a bunch of 870 trade-ins in a neighboring state (6 hr round trip) but they refused to sell one to me since I am not an in-state resident, even though it is legal to do so. They also had no interest in shipping it to my LGS. Besides, adding shipping and transfer fees would have killed any bargain that it represented.

I was haunting my LGS when I found this:



I love a project and I love breathing new life into things that are neglected and abused so the obvious answer to my problem is to buy a Coast to Coast branded Mossberg 500 with a 30" barrel for a song.

Presto-chango and now I have this:



It was covered in surface rust and looked like it had never been cleaned. After breaking it down (no easy task with an old Mossberg) and cleaning it, I scrubbed the rust off and even had some bluing left.

A little work with a hacksaw, file, sandpaper and a refitting of the bead and I ended up with a decent looking muzzle.



Now I just need to run a few hundred rounds through it to check reliability. I think I'll go out back and throw myself some clay pigeons.
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Old July 2, 2022, 05:14 PM   #2
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Well done ... it's looks nice .
I did the same thing with an old Savage / Stevens 320 pump with a broken stock .
My uncle gave it to me and I wanted a shotgun for the Bedroom .
So I fixed the stock and fore end , refinished in Tung Oil Finish
I used a new pipe cutter to carefully cut the barrel back to 20 inches ...
the pipe cutter workd great ! I still don't have a front sight ... I need to do something .
Gary
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Old July 2, 2022, 05:22 PM   #3
Willie Lowman
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Good looking work!
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Old July 2, 2022, 05:37 PM   #4
bamaranger
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sawed off

Personally, I would not "saw off" a shotgun barrel to create a home defense shotgun, .......though it is done routinely. My concern would be that in today's tort crazed society and abundance of lawyers twisting words and intent, that such action could be argued as creating a more dangerous, insidious, murderous device, and such a modification and interpretation could be used negatively against you after a shooting.

Why create such a legal toe hold? Factory "home defense" barrels, and better, deer slug barrels, somewhat eliminate this argument, and though it certainly could be argued, that fact that there are other uses (hunting) and the factory tube is intended for home defense (not an item you created to make a more murderous device) would seem strong counter arguments.

I'm not a lawyer, and what's done is done. I would have bought a factory barrel, there's skads of them for the Mossberg.
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Old July 2, 2022, 07:46 PM   #5
Bill DeShivs
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You did a good, proper job.
Pipe cutters constrict the bore when used to cut a shotgun barrel.
People have been shortening barrels for specific purposes forever. I really doubt anyone could stretch cutting a barrel to any legal length as making it more murderous.
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Old July 3, 2022, 09:20 AM   #6
Rob228
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Looks great, it's everything you need and nothing you don't.
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Old July 4, 2022, 01:54 PM   #7
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I like to see new life breathed in to those guns that tend to hang on the shelf. Right about a zillion of them out there in pawn shops and gun shops. The long of barrel and tight fixed choke pump guns just don't get much love today.
Rather than cut my old Remington 31 myself I'll send it off for screw chokes, just deciding on length and am leaning to 27", I need to get it out and shoot it plus hit the pattern board. Metal is about 97%, a stock refinish and a nice pad makes it my forever field 12 guage.
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Old July 21, 2022, 02:58 PM   #8
MGMorden
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I have a differing opinion than most I guess - I hate to see these old guns cut down. If you want a short barreled gun there are plenty of modern choices for dirt cheap prices that you can get without messing up an old field gun.

Granted, its yours to do with as you please, and if you keep it for a long time then no harm, but I notice a lot of people will just buy lots of the old guns cutting them down and then getting bored, buying another one and doing the same.
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Old July 21, 2022, 08:47 PM   #9
Bill DeShivs
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Barrels are readily available for these. Cutting one down isn't "messing it up," it's customizing it for your needs. You can always buy a replacement barrel.
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Old July 22, 2022, 05:08 AM   #10
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Nice clean-looking job.
My concern would be...there's no choke left.
Is fine for 00 buck home defense, but if you also intend to shoot some clays with it, you're gonna have a pattern a mile wide. I bought similar gun years ago in a pawn shop, opted to buy cheap used $40 defense barrel rather than cutting down the ribbed field barrel.
You could always have that barrel threaded for choke tubes if you wanted to reintroduce a little choke to it.
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Old July 30, 2022, 12:27 AM   #11
bamaranger
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messing up

"you can always buy a replacement barrel"

OK,...... but you can buy a HD or slug barrel from the beginning and have two unmodified barrels, both serving their intended purposes and no change to anything. Switching barrels is a modification. Lopping the choke off a field gun has always seemed a radical process and far more than a modification, it's an amputation.
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Old July 30, 2022, 02:47 AM   #12
Bill DeShivs
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A properly cut barrel is indistinguishable from a factory short barrel.
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Old July 30, 2022, 12:55 PM   #13
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indistinguishable

Hey Bill, not trying to be "that" member.........the guy cut the barrel and is happy with it, and so are many others it appears, and you are welcome to cut any of yours you want.

But a lopped barrel is "indistinguishable" only in surface appearance, and only then if cut to a length that is still considered a factory length, or is standard. ie, 30" to 28", 28" to 26", etc. I can spot an odd barrel length easily, especially on the older guns. and I suspect most other old hands can too. Also, a 20" barrel marked FULL is likely a real oddity and probably lopped. So too something like an 18" barrel with full vent rib, ...it just ain't natural.

When put on paper, performance wise, it becomes readily apparent when a docked barrel marked FULL is shooting CYLINDER patterns. Of course, you and most others all know this......common knowledge to anybody with half a clue.

I would not dock a barrel and spoil its performance as a field gun, when factory SD/HD barrels are available that allow it to do both roles without modification. It was pretty common practice back when there were a lot of quail hunters in my area and money was short, to lop the barrel off a FULL choked pump or auto gun or even a double by a wee bit to open it up for flushing coveys. And a lot of Stevens doubles got chopped for the Cowboy shooting games in later years. Those guns then were limited to that role and that role only, spoiling their versatility and affecting their value too.
A hacked Model 12 or A5 nearly brings tears to my eyes.

Of course we are talking about a Mossberg, but to me, the principal is the same. I wouldn't do it.......but others do.
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Old July 30, 2022, 05:31 PM   #14
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Internal chokes can be installed if you decide you need them.
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Old July 30, 2022, 08:58 PM   #15
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chokes

Yes......installing flush mount chokes would restore the versatility of a shortened barrel. Good shooting to you.
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Old July 30, 2022, 09:32 PM   #16
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I think you did a great job. I like a short barreled shotgun for defense. I have a Winchester 1300 defender 18 1/2 in barrel in my bedroom. I am pretty sure it would work if I ever needed it, as I am sure yours would work just as well.
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Old July 31, 2022, 02:32 PM   #17
Bill DeShivs
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Think I removed the chokes?
Attached Images
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Old August 1, 2022, 10:37 AM   #18
FITASC
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Before hitting some clays in the backyard, I would pattern it with the intended ammo to ensure your muzzle job didn't have any negative effects on POI/POA. Looks very well done!
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Old August 2, 2022, 12:22 PM   #19
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While I hate to see old classic pump guns hacked into rubbish, this isn’t that! Nice job.

It started as an old rusted up Mossberg 500 and was cleaned up back to use and the barrel shortened very nicely. Old model 500s are not rare or sought after (yet).

I think you added value in this case. This looks to me like a proper ranch or farm shotgun that can still hunt bunnies or protect the chickens from trash pandas or coyotes, or even deer hunt with slugs. Light and handy.

It’s good to see a “home defense” shotgun that I feel hasn’t been ruined!
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Old August 2, 2022, 01:28 PM   #20
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Well done.
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