Shortening Barrels


Dear Mr. Buck,

I have a grade 1, 1951 Superposed, with 30 inch barrel, choked F and IM. It is the best fitting gun I have ever held, But I have little use for a 30 inch full choke. I am considering having the barrel shortened to 28 inches and having it rechoked to IC and M or having tubes put in. Most of my shooting is skeet and upland bird hunting.The gun has been refinished, so I probably would not be ruining its value by further modification.

Please let me know your thoughts on the wisdom of modifications on this gun, costs, possible gunsmiths, and recommendations re choke tubes versus regular choke.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated thoughtful and wise response.

D.

Dear D,

Briley Manufacturing, <www.briley.com>, can both shorten and screw choke the barrel. I am sure that there are others who could also do it, but I have had good luck with Briley in the past.

Watch out when shortening barrels. I have done it to a number of guns, including an FN B25, and have always regretted it. I kills the value of the gun and often causes problems with the barrel convergence. It never seems to look quite right either.

You might instead consider lightening the barrels by backboring. A backbore from the present more or less .725″ bores to a standard backbore of .735″ will pull out 2.75 ounces from those barrels. That will make the gun about as fast as it would be as a 28″, but with a little silkier feel. Many skeet shooters shoot 30″ tubes today. Even a 26″ gas gun is the equivalent of a 29-1/2″ O/U in length because of the added length of the auto’s receiver. Briley may or may not be able to screw choke after backboring. It depends on how much steel your particular barrel has. If they can’t backbore, they can still leave you with just about any solid choke that you want.

Still, it is your gun. Do as you wish. I certainly screwed up enough of them when they were cheap. I wish I had them back in original condition. Live and learn.

Best regards,

Bruce Buck
The Technoid at <www.ShotgunReport.com>
(Often in error, never in doubt.)

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