Crowning a shotgun barrel without a lathe.

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing Forum' started by sheriffjohn, Dec 1, 2020.

  1. sheriffjohn

    sheriffjohn Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Fixing up an old Stevens single-barrel 12 gauge for a barn gun. Bought at an auction, it's one of my many unfinished projects recently unearthed from the garage that hides stuff. Anyway, previous owner whacked off the barrel with a hacksaw at an angle. I have no lathe nor access to one. I need to true up the barrel and crown the muzzle. I can drill, tap, and install a front bead, but the muzzle is my problem. The gun is destined for two nails in the chicken house.
    Thanks in advance for advice !
     
  2. Sniper03

    Sniper03 Supporting Member Supporter

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    Sheriff,

    Get a Square lay it along the side of the Barrel and mark or scribe the Barrel. If you have a Machine Shop close go there and have them Mill the Barrel of to the Line you scribed or marked. They would probably do that for you for a few bucks. They can probably chamfer the Muzzle after Milling it.
    Only an Idea! The other is by filing if there is only a small angle to correct but if it were mine I would go with suggestion number one. I have done file work on one a long time ago when I cut a barrel of to make a trunk gun it was a task.
    Square.png
    03
     
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  3. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    You don't need a lathe. How much barrel do you have? 18" is the minimum. If you dont have 18" you have an SBS and a felony. Destroy it. If you have room recut the barrel with a rotating pipe/tubing cutter. They are cheap in hardware stores and will cut it evenly. Crowning is mostly a matter of removing the ridge which can be done with a cone shaped grinder or a step drill slowly.
    If you don't have enough barrel length, cut a couple V notches in some wood and clamp the barrel short edge even with the wood. Start filing or grinding to square it up using the wood as a guide.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2020
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  4. Chainfire

    Chainfire Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I just cut mine with a porta-band and knocked the burs with a half round file. When I cut it, it was for the intention of only using it inside the house so, it didn't have to be perfect. It ain't going to the turkey shoot.
     
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  5. Pasquanel

    Pasquanel Proud to be an American Supporter

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    How long is the barrel? Do not include the chamber! Not the overall lenght!
     
  6. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    ^? The length is measured from the breech face and includes the chamber. I have an 18.5" factory barrel and the measurement includes the chamber.
    Close the breech. Stick a cleaning rod down the barrel all the way to the breech. Mark the cleaning rod and measure to the mark.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2020
  7. BillDeShivs

    BillDeShivs Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Wow!
    Shotgun barrels are usually tapered, so using a square wont work.
    Using a pipe cutter to cut the barrel can cause a restriction in the bore-something you DON'T want.
    Shotgun barrels are measured from the closed breech face to the furthermost part of the barrel.

    So- just eyeball it square with a file. Once you have filed it, chamfer the outside with the file. Chamfer the inside of the bore with a sharp pocket knife.
    If you want to smooth it up, put a piece of wet/dry sandpaper on the floor, place the muzzle on it, and turn the barrel-keeping it vertical.
     
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  8. sheriffjohn

    sheriffjohn Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Thanks for asking. Plenty of barrel left (24" overall, 21" from chamber to muzzle). I had a complete Model 94 receiver in a box of parts & it fit perfectly. The gun had been wet before I got it - stock dried out, cracked forearm held on with electrical tape, paint dripped on it and so much surface rust "Stevens" was illegible. Extracter parts were frozen. Big surprise was the bore is still in good shape. Some wouldn't fool with such but I enjoy working on old guns like my friends who do old cars, tractors, and ugly old women.

    Maybe 50 years ago I cut off a barrel below a bulge using a pipe cutter but it left burs on the inside of the barrel which I'm trying to avoid this time. Kroil and a brass dish scrubber (soapless kind) knocked off surface rust but of course do zip for pits (I don't care). Cracked stocks with no finish are not a problem, done that lots of times. Wood is old-time walnut with a bit of figure even. Somewhere I've got some 12-gauge barrel band swivel bases, old leather slings and a ramp front sight. Management thinks I'm nuts anyway but if she sees me actually using a bit of my cache perhaps she won't throw stuff away.
     
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  9. freefall

    freefall Well-Known Member

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    In my limited experience pipe cutters don't work so well on the tapered barrel.
    I would measure from the breech end all around and hacksaw it, then file it nice and hit the inside with a steel tubing reamer.
     
  10. sheriffjohn

    sheriffjohn Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Thanks to everyone for your help ! Come to think of it, a good friend is a retired union pipefitter. Think I'll hit him up tomorrow. He's cut a bunch and has tools. Plus, unlike me, you can actually find things in his shop.
     
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  11. Pasquanel

    Pasquanel Proud to be an American Supporter

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    I prefer to ere on the side of honesty rather the s
    Oops, my bad I thought it was the opposite.
     
  12. sheriffjohn

    sheriffjohn Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Problem solved. Went to the professional (retired fitter). Had the good tools (large pipe cutter, pipe vise, inside finishing bit, and expertise). Some can do a job right the first time. Back home, it's amateur hour again. Burnt up the motor on my radial arm saw. ARGHHH.