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Thread: Dent in Shotgun Barrel

  1. #1
    Boolit Master

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    Dent in Shotgun Barrel

    Just bought a beater double on GunBroker which I want to modify slightly to keep at the top of stairs. The picture looks like it's got a small dent in one of the barrels. Never dealt with that before, but the thought occurred that firing one or two steel shot loads may straighten it out with minimal barrel wear. Has anyone done this before? Should I use a 3" load with large shot?

    http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/Vie...Item=170779308
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  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    Idealy you would want to use one of these, however it is a bit pricey for doing only one dent. But perhaps it will give you and idea of something to construct. I wonder if a tapered cone would help. Just an idea.

    http://www.brownells.com/.aspx/pid=3...IC_DENT_RAISER
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  3. #3
    Moderator Emeritus/Boolit Master in Heavens Range
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    Old time gunsmith trick: If you turn a steel plug with a tapered tip that will JUST slip down the bore, you can remove the dent with patience and a small BRASS or lead hammer. Just locate the plug (use a cleaning rod) and start tapping the OUTSIDE of the barrel. Don't go nuts, but tap with some enthusiasm. You can slowly flatten the dent against the plug, and it (the bore) will take on the shape of the plug.

    The plug should drop down half a thousandths or so with each blow. If not, you're not hitting hard enough, or you're not hitting in the right spot. You should be hitting in the tapered part, right close to where the plug is full diameter. Work the hammer around a bit, instead of hitting in the same spot all the time.

    If you use a steel hammer, you'll really mess up the exterior finish on the barrels. Lead or brass won't scratch or dent the barrel, A wooden maul is OK too, but slower to work.
    Last edited by Molly; 06-01-2010 at 11:51 PM.
    Regards,

    Molly

    "The remedy for evil men is not the abrogation of the rights of law abiding citizens. The remedy for evil men is the gallows." Thomas Jefferson

  4. #4
    Boolit Master


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    I think I'd just find a gunsmith that already has a dent remover. They are designed for the job and will push the steel back into position, where using a mallet or hammer could cause stress/brittleness in that area work hardening).

    Not saying the hammer idea won't work, but this is a shotgun barrel not the fender on a Ford pickup. Sometimes you're better off actually spending a few dollars to get a professional result, especially on a firearm.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master

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    Well, I called the seller and he assured me that there are no dents in the barrels and that the gun is mechanically perfect. This discussion has been educating - I had no idea that dents were so hard to remove.
    "The possession of arms is the distinction between a freeman and a slave."
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    Boolit Master Mk42gunner's Avatar
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    I have straightened a bent magazine tube on a Remington 870 by doing as Molly suggests. One of the police armorers brought it when we were going to the basic armorer's course at Lassen County College, back in to the early 90's. I don't know how it got bent, but it was bent down about 1/4".

    Robert

  7. #7
    Boolit Master

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    30-06 Guess what, that's how it was done in the old days. I remember when I first saw a mechanical dent raiser and how amazed we were. The process is the same you are moving metal. Nothing wrong with that any more than hand forging a knife or a chisel.

    Now for the hard one... removing a bulge, some say it can't be done but... if you put a mandrel in the barrel and make a set of swedge blocks for a hydraulic press you CAN erase a bulge, even in a double gun IF you have patience.

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    Boolit Master johnlaw484's Avatar
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    Molly is correct. That does work. It may not be a Ford pickup, but it works.
    There are two theories to arguing with a woman .. . Neither works.

    Women always say that giving birth is way more painful than a guy getting kicked in the nuts.There is no way to prove that they are wrong.

    But a year or so after giving birth a woman will often say "It would be nice to have another child".

    You never hear a guy say, "It would be nice to get kicked in the nuts again".

  9. #9
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    I had a Stevens 311 with a same dent (bb sized) in the barrel. I read about trying to remove the dent, but everything I rea was not to try it might do more bad than good. It shot great as it was so I never tried anything. Good info though.
    Doug
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  10. #10
    Boolit Master pietro's Avatar
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    I'm glad the seller affirmed that the shotgun you've bought is undented - I hope that's confirmed upon your receipt, too.

    While a dent may look trivial, in reality the thin metal of the shotgun barrel wall was stretched, and therefore, thinned ever so slightly more & weakened.

    Shooting a dent out may well displace that section of barrel wall, either cracking it or blowing it out - or not.
    I wouldn't care to roll those particular dice.

    I also wouldn't shoot a repaired/dented barrel with anything except reduced loads - but of course YMMV.

    .

  11. #11
    Boolit Master

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    if youre just shooting down a stairwell with it, you probablly wont see a difference in the pattern at that range, unless you have a rediculously long stairwell. and unless you are popping a couple home invaders a night i doubt there would be any unusual wear from firing with a small dent, just from firing with lead, every once in a while, that is if the the dent is small. or it might blow up. either way, youre good! just dont forget to wear ear and eye pro! i have fired in a room that was probably 10x10'. i recieved substantial hearing damage. even with insane adrenaline running thru my body i still noticed the bft to the ear. if someone is ever dumb enough to break in to my house, i think my peltors will cross my mind a time or to on my way to meet them. ive got a rem. 510 with an egg shape in the barrel from someone firing after shooting a squib, it still shoots pretty good.

  12. #12
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    I can say from my experience in the Army 66-67 and as a cop that when you have a live fire gun fight the ears are blocked and don't hear as they do if just firing a round at the local range.
    Shooter of the "HOLY BLACK" SASS 81802 AKA FAIRSHAKE; NRA ; BOLD; WARTHOG;Deadwood Marshal;Bayou Bounty Hunter; So That his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat

  13. #13
    Boolit Master

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    i split an eardrum in a raid in baghdad in 07. i noticed it very shortly after pulling the trigger. but it wasnt my firing i dont think, it was the #3 man right next to me. im still glad he did. youre right tho, thats the only time ive ever really even heard it, and still do, it says "riiiiiiiiiiinnnngggg" alot. thanks for youre service cajun shooter, i have unlimited respect to you men who battled the jungle, its elements, and the commies within. seriously, thankyou very much.
    aaron

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    3006,

    Guess what, taking a dent out of a shotgun barrel is actually quite easy. I recently made my first attempt at removing two pretty good dents from a fairly high end 16ga SXS. Since I'd never done it before I was a little nervous. I'd looked into the hydraulic dent removal tools but they are very expensive and have the potential to do far more harm than good. (Possible to bulge the barrel) Since I'm a professional industrial mechanic and used to be an aviation mechanic/tech I had pretty extensive metal working experience and I just used my common sense and essentially "re invented" the wheel. Came up with basically the same tool that the guys above mention and it worked great.


    I took a bunch of pictures and did a "repair along" on another forum looking for some feedback and to pass along what I thought was really a very easy fix.

    Here's a link if you would care to read it and check out the pictures.

    http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=521265

    Dave

  15. #15
    Moderator Emeritus/Boolit Master in Heavens Range
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Bulla View Post
    I'd looked into the hydraulic dent removal tools but they are very expensive and have the potential to do far more harm than good. (Possible to bulge the barrel) ...

    Here's a link if you would care to read it and check out the pictures.

    http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=521265

    Dave
    Dave, you did a great job on those dents. I'm actually jealous! And I've already done a few of these myself!

    (BTW, if you scrub the repaired areas (raised dents) with a clean cotton cloth that is just barely damp with OxphoBlue (from Brownells), the color should come back to the original, and the repair would be totally invisible.)

    As far as bulging the barrel, I'd think the repair would be obvious: Again a mandrel of bore diameter, and a soft hammer to tap the bulge back down does the job with dispatch. then polish the bore a trifle with 800 grit sandpaper on a dowel held in a hand drilll for a few seconds, and the job is done.

    Also, I've not done it, but I know that it's sometimes possible to ream short chambers to modern depths, if the walls of the gun permit. I'm pretty sure you can get appropriate reamers from Brownells, but be darn sure you have enough wall thickness to do it right. Then you won't have to go to the trouble of finding short shells for your 16 SXS.
    Regards,

    Molly

    "The remedy for evil men is not the abrogation of the rights of law abiding citizens. The remedy for evil men is the gallows." Thomas Jefferson

  16. #16
    Boolit Master


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    I think that for what you bought the shotgun for, with or without a dent makes no difference.

    Skeet1

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    Skeet1,

    Just in case you're thinking that I bought the above gun for $75, that's not correct. There are two different shotguns in my story. The first was a sxs Fox Sterlingworth with a broken stock and a dented barrel. That is the one that a supposedly very good gunsmith completely ruined. The gun in the "repair along" is a German Guild gun bought years later with the only name on it being "Remo". I paid quite a bit more for it than the fox. Cabellas messed it up but then made good on it with a nice restoration where we shared the expenses equally.

    Molly,

    I've used Oxpho blue quite a few years back but don't have any on hand at the moment. It will be my first choice for a touch up job.

  18. #18
    Boolit Mold
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    Dave,
    I've enjoyed purchasing and carrying old SXS shotguns most of my 50 years of hunting. Most I've bought have been 2 1/2" chamber guns because they're lighter in wgt.
    In ALL cases (20, 16 & 12 ga) I have lengthened the chamber forcing cone on these 2 1/2" or 2 9/16" guns so that I could use 2 3/4" shells. Lengthening the chamber runs the risk of thinning the barrel wall with obvious dangers, but lengthening the cone does not cause that risk. A longer forcing cone gives the 2 3/4" hulls room to unfold without causing the pressure bursts that tend to split stocks at the lock as well as making em painful to shoot.
    My guns are mostly London Boxlocks that I haven't hesitated to alter for emotional or value reasons. Since I hunt over setters (pointing dogs), I always open the chokes to Sk or IM and don't consider leaving any with F choke. Nearly all of my handloads are kept light and slow-1oz for 12ga, 7/8oz for 16, 3/4oz in 20. RGrouse, StGr, SageGr, PrCh and Woodcock still die easily. I'm also not hesitant to shoot steel shot through these old SXSs after these changes are made.
    Truly enjoyed your dent removal photos and write-up ! THANKS for sharing.
    Earl

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BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
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