We have all seen it. An old shotgun with a missing bead. I have a very old shotgun with a damaged barrel. The barrel had been cut off by a prior owner who took off about an inch for some unknown reason. This left no bead nor tapped hole where the bead should be. On top of that the barrel has a rather bad bulge about 6 inches from the end. The goal here is to cut down the barrel and add back the missing bead.
While a hacksaw works (and even coined the phrase "sawed off shotgun", a pipe cutter leaves a straighter edge that is easier to clean up.
A little filing and fine sandpaper cleans up the cut nicely. Next the barrel is tapped 3/8 to ½ inch from the muzzle.
The bead that I will be making is threaded #4-40 tpi so I tap the barrel accordingly.
To make a bead I start with a #4-40 brass screw. I wrap the threads with tape to protect them. Then I mount the screw in the chuck of a hand drill so I can spin it creating a sort of mini metal lathe.
Using a small file and fine sandpaper I reshape the head of the screw into a ball shape.
Here is a before and after.
The bead can then be threaded into the barrel to mark where it needs to be cut off.
Holding such a small part for the cut-off can be tough unless you have a proper sized nut to thread onto the screw.
The finished bead installed.
Dont let that old shotgun suffer the indignity of being beadless.