Legal way to shorten a barrel?
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Old 10-27-2013, 05:50 PM   #1
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Default Legal way to shorten a barrel?

I have a Volunteer Commando Mk. 45 (tommy gun copy) with a 16.5" barrel. There is a bulge about 2" from the end of the barrel. A couple questions, if the barrel was cut off at the bulge & the front sight/compensator was attached at the end of the barrel, the overall barrel length would still be 16 inches, if welded in place would that be legal or would it still have to be registered as an SBR?

Second question, should I just say f*ck it & shoot it as it is with the slight bulge near the muzzle? I've looked online & can't find a replacement barrel for this thing so these are basically my only 2 options
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Old 10-27-2013, 05:55 PM   #2
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Having a muzzle device permanently attached that brings the overall barrel length to 16" or greater is legal. Welding is considered permanently attached. You may also have to look at the overall length of the rifle as well.
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Old 10-27-2013, 05:59 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SSGN_Doc View Post
Having a muzzle device permanently attached that brings the overall barrel length to 16" or greater is legal. Welding is considered permanently attached. You may also have to look at the overall length of the rifle as well.
^^^^
This is good advice...

Though I think I would not want to trust a bulging barrel to not have some weakness elsewhere in the pipe.
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Old 10-27-2013, 06:44 PM   #4
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Just a couple of comments. If you do have it cut down have it done my a gunsmith not Jack the Hack! Be sure the person knows what they are doing! The term is the compensator or flash hider should be pinned and *brazed onto the barrel which if the total length of the barrel and the comp or Flash Hider = 16 inches as Doc mentioned in fact it is perfectly legal. Junkie is right you should always use caution when a barrel is damaged. However in this situation although common sense should be used, I do not think that will be an issue in your case. The reason is the 45 ACP Chamber Pressure normally runs around 19,000 PSI with the max at 21,000 PSI compared to the centerfire rifle 5.56 NATO rounds that the normal range of chamber pressure is around 56,000+ PSI. Which expands the concerns for possible issues.
Just for information what caused the bulged barrel? Reload with primer only or short charge? Other barrel obstruction other than a bullet? High preassure load?

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Old 10-27-2013, 07:00 PM   #5
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not sure when or how it happened. I noticed it while cleaning after a range session. I always check my guns to make sure the barrel is clear before I load them at the range. I don't reload 45 ACP so I only shoot commercial 230 grain ammo through it, either Winchester white box or Remington depending on price & availability. I don't remember any misfires or what seemed like low or high power shots.

When I noticed it, it had been after a range session that I put a full 100 round box through it, it could've happened on the first shot, last, or anywhere in between. Regardless it still shot very accurate every time.
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Old 10-27-2013, 07:58 PM   #6
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Quote:
Though I think I would not want to trust a bulging barrel to not have some weakness elsewhere in the pipe
That is a word of wisdom.

I would deal with the manufacturer first. This is a potential liability for them. If they are still in business, and care to be, talk to them and send it back. This is an extraordinary flaw for any firearm, given that you have only shot factory.
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Old 10-27-2013, 08:18 PM   #7
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I'm of the thought to just replace the barrel if possible...

However if cutting etc is the only way...IMO, since ATF's tape measure may not be as accurate as mine, I'd be at legal length plus 1/2 inch....
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Old 10-27-2013, 09:06 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steel_Talon
I'm of the thought to just replace the barrel if possible... However if cutting etc is the only way...IMO, since ATF's tape measure may not be as accurate as mine, I'd be at legal length plus 1/2 inch....
Barrel length is determined with a dowel rod pushed down the barrel to the rear of the chamber. Pretty simple stuff. Not a bad idea in today's crazy anti-gun climate to go a fraction longer if possible though.
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Old 10-27-2013, 11:33 PM   #9
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The guns haven't been made since the 1970s.
If the gun shoots accurately, just leave it alone. The barrel isn't weakened-at least not to the point you would ever notice it.
If you braze the compensator on, there is no need to pin it.
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Old 10-29-2013, 03:37 AM   #10
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Brazing can be problematic if you've never done it.
The best way is to blind pin and weld a longer flash suppressor on it.

This does two things. When you pin it, it is secure. You just weld over the top of the pin so that it cant be taken out.

You don't have near the heat affecting the heat treat of the barrel and brazing gets hot enough to do that. Most barrels are 4140 or 4140 Heat treated steel. The brazing process or even welding it to the barrel goes way over the 500 or so degrees that causes it to anneal.

Most of the AR's and AK's are done in this manner.
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