DIY Shotgun Barrel Modifications


DIY Shotgun Barrel Modifications

Now this one is pretty cool. Paul Harrell takes a look at various modifications to shotgun barrels and how they do or don’t affect the pattern. He uses an old High Standard 12 gauge pump shotgun with a 21″ barrel with cylinder (quite open) choke.

First, he has the muzzle of the barrel squished by someone “a lot more mechanically inclined than” he, creating flats on the top and bottom and widening the muzzle, with the idea being to spread out the shot to create a pattern that’s more horizontal. This is akin to the old “duck’s bill” attachments which were once in vogue among shotgunners.

The risk with this sort of thing would be creating too great a restriction for the wad, which is of course not as “fluid” or malleable as the overall shot charge. The wad is the same diameter as the inside of the shell, while the shot charge is made of individual pellets which can of course be “pushed around” to change its shape.

Back at the shop, they do something more extreme — cutting the top off of the barrel, starting a few inches back from the muzzle on top and mitering the cut towards the bottom of the muzzle.

After shooting it for patterning, he reveals the reason for this odd mod: In the rare instance that you find yourself struggling with an opponent who grabs the end of your shotgun barrel, you can fire the gun to pulverize the offending digits. Hmmm.

For all y’all who have been bitching and moaning about Paul’s lack of eye protection in his videos, you’ll get to see him sporting shooting glasses in this one. It seems he was unwilling to take a hunk of chicken leg in the peeper.

I for one would have preferred him to stay on topic with barrel mods to change the way a shotgun patterns — I really liked seeing the results of the first mod — but y’know he just never asks me for advice when he’s making his vids. Go figure!

Hope you enjoy it.

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Editor & Contributing Writer Russ Chastain is a lifelong hunter and shooter who has spent his life learning about hunting, shooting, guns, ammunition, gunsmithing, reloading, and bullet casting. He started toting his own gun in the woods at age nine and he's pursued deer with rifles since 1982, so his hunting knowledge has been growing for more than three and a half decades. His desire and ability to share this knowledge with others has also grown, and Russ has been professionally writing and editing original hunting & shooting content since 1998. Russ Chastain has a passion for sharing accurate, honest, interesting hunting & shooting knowledge and stories with people of all skill levels.

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