How do you know if a gun is safe? (not a joke)
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Old 11-11-2012, 02:03 AM   #1
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Default How do you know if a gun is safe? (not a joke)

A friend showed me his Remington 870 shotgun that he just got. The end of the barrel, about 1 inch in shows a noticable bulge. Not big, but definitely enough to be visible to the naked eye. He was going to get a new barrel for the gun figuring that's all it would need. I really didn't have an answer for him other than perhaps to have a gunsmith check it out, however factoring in a gun smith fee and a new barrel and he's almost to the price of a new one.

Suggestions? What would cause the barrel to bulge like that... besides the fact that something got caught in there? Would a simple barrel replacement be enough to have faith in the gun now being safe to shoot?

He said the guy he bought it from told him he'd shot stuff even with the barrel bulge so it worked fine.

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Old 11-11-2012, 02:13 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CulexPipiens View Post
A friend showed me his Remington 870 shotgun that he just got. The end of the barrel, about 1 inch in shows a noticable bulge. Not big, but definitely enough to be visible to the naked eye. He was going to get a new barrel for the gun figuring that's all it would need. I really didn't have an answer for him other than perhaps to have a gunsmith check it out, however factoring in a gun smith fee and a new barrel and he's almost to the price of a new one.

Suggestions? What would cause the barrel to bulge like that... besides the fact that something got caught in there? Would a simple barrel replacement be enough to have faith in the gun now being safe to shoot?

He said the guy he bought it from told him he'd shot stuff even with the barrel bulge so it worked fine.
Have a qualified gunsmith check it out and if he says that it will be fine with a new barrel....

SELL IT TO HIM!!!
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Old 11-11-2012, 02:14 AM   #3
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That could be caused by a partial blockage of the barrel. Say someone let some mud get in the end of the barrel. Not enough mud to blow it up. But just enough to bulge before it let go. If you really want to give it a try I would lay it on a bench with some light loads like bird shot. Put a couple sand bags on top of the shotgun. Tie a string to the trigger and stand back. That is how I shoot anything questionable the first couple of shots. Make sure anyone around knows what you are doing.

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Old 11-11-2012, 05:54 AM   #4
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That must be an older one when Remington knew how to make a barrel. The newer ones tend to burst from obstructions.

The patterning will probably be really lousy. New barrel is called for. Midwayusa has a good selection at reasonable prices.

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Old 11-11-2012, 08:06 PM   #5
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One of the things I have seen several times with both Remington and Mossberg is a slight bulge near the muzzle. I investigate and found that apparently the choke tube had worked loose and allowed the plastic shot cup/wad to force itself between the choke tube and the threats in the bbl. None of them are what I would call 'dangerous' to shoot, but I am betting they would have a VERY erratic pattern. We simply replaced the bbl's and they were fine.
To answer your question, yes it is safe to replace the bbl and keep right on shooting. I have four (4) different bbl's for my 870 so I can use it for about anything you can think of using a shot gun for.
Hope this helped.
Jim

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Old 11-11-2012, 09:00 PM   #6
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I was under the impression the bulge on his gun was at the breech.

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Old 11-11-2012, 10:00 PM   #7
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.................

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Old 11-11-2012, 10:26 PM   #8
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The breech end or the muzzle end? He says the bulge is "one inch in". Since it is fired into the breech.........

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Old 11-11-2012, 11:42 PM   #9
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the bad barrel could easily be shortened and used for HD or short range bird hunting.

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Old 11-12-2012, 07:59 PM   #10
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Have your friend take the shotgun to a good gunsmith, and have him cut the barrel down to about 19-20 inches. Have him put on a new front bead, and you have an inexpensive HD barrel. While there, check to see if the smith has any used 870 barrels. I picked up a used bird barrel for $80 bucks at my LGS last year. It's in a different finish than my 870 express, but it shoots fine and was far cheaper than a new one. Also, check gun shows in your area.
Hope this helps.

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