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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
A friend of mine has an old H&R 12 ga. with a 28" barrel. Her idea is to put it in a leather scabbard that will attach to a horse saddle. The problem is the barrel is too long to fit properly in the scabbard. So rather than cutting off the end of the scabbard and have the barrel hang out, the thought came up to trim off about 6-8 inches from the barrel. That will also allow the gun to be drawn out easier.
Using #8 shot (if that matters), will a shortened barrel significantly change the dynamics one way or another? I thought that doing a little research first might be the way to start rather than begin by chopping up the barrel and finding out later that wasn't a good move. (You can't unring the bell.) Any thoughts on this? Thanx.


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Unless the barrel was already a cylinder choke, you will remove any choke the barrel had. It will definitely affect any swing dynamics that old thing may have had. One could always buy a longer scabbard; but to cut if off does require a modicum of skill to do it properly.
 
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Discussion Starter #3
Unless the barrel was already a cylinder choke, you will remove any choke the barrel had. It will definitely affect any swing dynamics that old thing may have had. One could always buy a longer scabbard; but to cut if off does require a modicum of skill to do it properly.
To her the choke being altered is not relevant, that's why it wasn't mentioned. Also, this was a $75 gun and she already had the scabbard so she doesn't think spending 50-100 dollars for a new scabbard is an appealing option. She also has a friend who is a gunsmith who can do it properly if she decides to go that route.

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Discussion Starter #4
Unless the barrel was already a cylinder choke, you will remove any choke the barrel had. It will definitely affect any swing dynamics that old thing may have had. One could always buy a longer scabbard; but to cut if off does require a modicum of skill to do it properly.
I shoot skeet so I get what you're saying about swing dynamics. Her intended purpose is to have some protection while out riding. I guess the idea she has in mind is to remove the gun and then dismount. She said she knows that if she shot it while on the horse it would prolly knock her off and then get trampled by the horse. :(

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Is she looking for protection from humans, varmints or snakes? Cylinder for snakes wouldn't be too bad - assuming the horse didn't stomp it to death; but if she's wanting something that will do a decent job out to more like 30 yards, she will want to then have it threaded for choke tubes. By the time you do that, she could find a used pawn shop gun for less.

Obviously, one of the major keys to success will be cutting the barrel square to the muzzle. I do not know if that particular gun has a straight bull barrel or one with a taper. Tapered barrels can be tricky without a jig; then the muzzle crown will need attention and possibly a dab of cold bluing
 
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I did the exact same thing to a SAVAGE single shot. I cut the barrel back about 4", removing the FULL choke. It was now a straight cylinder (no choke) . Just use smaller shot (#8) for it to be an effective snake gun, at close range. It'll probably shoot Shotgun Slugs pretty good, too!!! Bob
 

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One final thought. If the barrel has a lot of taper the bead may need to put on a spacer to (raise it) keep it from shooting high. Since a gunsmith will be involved, the pattern should be checked etc. etc.
 

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LOL! She's not going to be taking a $75 gun to a gunsmith. I guess some don't read.

Just cut it off straight and smooth it out nice.......not easy, but it can be done.

You'll have a cylinder choke.......in a 12 guage that's perfect for buckshot or slugs and if you need to fill out the pattern with birdshot to kill a duck at 40 yards just use heavy magnum loads........they'll kick the crap out of you with that light gun, but, again, it CAN be done.
 
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Discussion Starter #10
A hacksaw and a deburring tool works as there is no crown on a scattergun.
Yeah, I know there's no crown on a scatter gun. Not sure where that came from.

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
One final thought. If the barrel has a lot of taper the bead may need to put on a spacer to (raise it) keep it from shooting high. Since a gunsmith will be involved, the pattern should be checked etc. etc.
For her purpose there is no need for a bead, checking shot patterns, or worrying about "swing dynamics." Just a band saw and a deburring tool. If she wants a front sight I have a fiber optic glow-in-the-dark thingy she can snap on. And for what little dinero this gun cost her ($75), for sure it won't be going to a smith.

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I'm curious as to what the scabbard she has was originally fitted for; was it a carbine rifle or a shorter barreled shotgun? It might give you a targeted length to shoot for if you will pardon the pun! Also, if possible, please send a before and after picture, I enjoy projects like this!
 
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old H&R 12 ga. with a 28" barrel. Her idea is to put it in a leather scabbard that will attach to a horse saddle. The problem is the barrel is too long

Using #8 shot (if that matters), will a shortened barrel significantly change the dynamics one way or another?
Her intended purpose is to have some protection while out riding.
No. There are no secret "dynamics" involved for the intended purpose other than the obvious weight reduction. It will have more felt recoil and muzzle rise, but from reading your replies it would seem you're familiar enough with firearms to already know that.

Shorten the barrel to desired length but no shorter than 18 inches with a minimum OAL no shorter than 26in.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
No. There are no secret "dynamics" involved for the intended purpose other than the obvious weight reduction. It will have more felt recoil and muzzle rise, but from reading your replies it would seem you're familiar enough with firearms to already know that.

Shorten the barrel to desired length but no shorter than 18 inches with a minimum OAL no shorter than 26in.
I'm curious as to what the scabbard she has was originally fitted for; was it a carbine rifle or a shorter barreled shotgun? It might give you a targeted length to shoot for if you will pardon the pun! Also, if possible, please send a before and after picture, I enjoy projects like this!
She got the scabbard at our LGS for 10 bucks. It's just a thin leather thing, nothing fancy. It was prolly made for some kind of carbine. Sorry, no pics cuz I already lopped of 6" to make it 22" and gave her back the gun. It took me longer to deburr the edges than to cut it off. LOL

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Discussion Starter #15
No. There are no secret "dynamics" involved for the intended purpose other than the obvious weight reduction. It will have more felt recoil and muzzle rise, but from reading your replies it would seem you're familiar enough with firearms to already know that.

Shorten the barrel to desired length but no shorter than 18 inches with a minimum OAL no shorter than 26in.
The barrel is now 22" with an OAL of 36". She's good to go. And I gave her a slip-on recoil pad so she doesn't bruise her wittle shoulder.

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