Legal way to shorten a barrel?

Discussion in 'NFA/Class 3 & FFL Discussion' started by donthav1, Oct 27, 2013.

  1. donthav1

    donthav1 Active Member

    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
  2. SSGN_Doc

    SSGN_Doc Well-Known Member

    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.

  3. DrumJunkie

    DrumJunkie New Member

    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.
  4. Sniper03

    Sniper03 Supporting Member Supporter

    Just a couple of comments. If you do have it cut down have it done my a gunsmith not Jack the Hack! :D 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?

  5. donthav1

    donthav1 Active Member

    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. :confused:
  6. Mercator

    Mercator Active Member

    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.
  7. Steel_Talon

    Steel_Talon New Member

    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....
  8. DeltaF

    DeltaF New Member

    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.
  9. BillDeShivs

    BillDeShivs Member

    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.
  10. HotGuns

    HotGuns Member

    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.
  11. donthav1

    donthav1 Active Member

    thanks to all for the input. I may shoot it as is for now & figure out what i'm gonna do with it (shorten it, sell it, say f*ck it & leave it alone) later on down the road.
  12. Rick1967

    Rick1967 Well-Known Member

    Were you rapid firing? That is scary. I am wondering if you had a squib and shot it out. If it was only 2 inches from the muzzle it would be possible. You are probably very lucky that this didn't turn out much worse.
  13. nchunt101

    nchunt101 New Member

    Get a new barrel. Cheaper in the long run and you stay out of trouble and have a correct gun.