Cutting down a barrel

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altajava

Bearcat
Joined
Jul 26, 2011
Messages
82
Location
Shenandoah Valley
I have a Blackhawk in .30 with a 7 1/2" barrel. I'm considering cutting the barrel down to 4 5/8" to match the rest of my modest collection. Is there someone you guys recommend for this kind of work? I've never had this done before.
 

P89DC

Single-Sixer
Joined
Jan 3, 2014
Messages
227
What you're looking to do isn't that hard, I used a local gunsmith. If I used some fancy well-known, out-of-town gunsmith there would have been shipping charges and long wait. I didn't feel it was necessary for such a basic procedure, esp for a run-of-the-mill gun I was looking to shorten (Super Redhawk). I paid $125 for shortening the barrel and remounting the front sight. Next time I'll buy a barrel facing and bevel tool for $150 and DIY it.

Here's a nice write-up on a DIY barrel shortening procedure:
http://www.ktgunsmith.com/bisley_barrel.htm
 

Biggfoot44

Blackhawk
Joined
Sep 6, 2009
Messages
821
As noted , this would be a basic task for any moderately competent gunsmith.

The question you didn't ask, is that .30Carb in particular is well served with a 7.5in bbl , and the short bbl would have serious downsides.
 

planetcat

Single-Sixer
Joined
Feb 10, 2009
Messages
300
Location
U.S.A.
I've had barrel work done by Ryan Pierce of Piercision Rifles (http://www.piercisionrifles.com/). He's a great gunsmith and turns stuff around fast. I've also used Magna-port, they are fast, accurate, well organized, and reasonably priced. Their website price list is very detailed.
 
Joined
Nov 5, 2007
Messages
8,056
Location
Dallas, TX
Well I said that immediately thinking of noise also. You would also loose sight radius for accuracy. Then going from 7 1/2" to 4 5/8" you would need a taller (?) front sight. And then recoil would be much greater. You would also considerably hurt resale value if that is something you might be thinking about in the future.

Velocity would drop, I'm not sure about accuracy...I was wondering if the shorter barrel would stabilize a lighter bullet like 110 grain sufficiently to be accurate. But velocity would definitely go down.

Ultimately, it is your gun, if you want a "set" of revolvers in a certain length, go for it.
 

cmonti77

Single-Sixer
Joined
Oct 31, 2015
Messages
144
Location
Michigan
I had my 480 SRH cut down, crowned and ported by Cylinder & Slide. If I were ever to need custom work done on a firearm in the future, they are the only place I would go. They really are that good. The only downside is the backlog and wait time -- I was on they're waiting list for about 18 months before they contacted me to send them my firearm, and it was another 7 months before I got it back. But, I couldn't be more satisfied with the work they did, and would recommend them over any other gun smithing shop.
 
Joined
Dec 11, 2002
Messages
7,939
Location
Ohio , U.S.A.
any GOOD gunsmith would be able to the job, hardest part is matching the barrel if it needed to be reblued after PROPERLY re-attaching the front sight (solder job)
and yes, the down side is if you get about a 2 foot diameter ball of fire out in front of the LONGER barrel ( the powder continues to burn in any handgun with a 30 carbine round),,,,imagine the shorter barrel WOW :shock:

and as noted above you have to put a taller front sight on the gun, just cannot moved to old back.....unless you modify it, cut off the blade, cut a keyway ( slot) and pin in a taller blade........ :wink:

I would shorten ANY other caliber before I'd think about doing a .30 carbine........ 8) :roll:
 

Aeroscout9

Single-Sixer
Joined
Sep 7, 2008
Messages
220
Sounds fun, and loud! Is it an old model? I don't think I'd cut an old model right off the bat. But, old or new, if I wanted to cut it, I'd just go to Brownell's and order some tools. Then use a new hacksaw blade and git r dun, followed by properly using the new Brownell's tools. It's not rocket surgery.

If that's not for you, maybe do a search for local gunsmiths. I'd always take a project to someone I can talk to in person before putting a box of parts in the mail to any well known 'smith. The wait is too long, and most of my gunsmith needs aren't that exotic to require one of the superstars. Good luck with your decision and modest collection! We'll need pics of the fam!
 

Hondo44

Hawkeye
Joined
Apr 3, 2009
Messages
7,776
Location
People's Republik of California
Shortening barrels is not a complicated process and a 1/2 way decent local smith can do it.

To keep costs down I buy a new front sight for a .45 cal model, it has the extra height you need, and can be screwed on like the single six sight. For $10 for the sight and screw, you save the cost of silver brazing the sight on, removing, rebluing, and re-installing the barrel. You also save gunsmith time by trying to remove the original sight.

So you cut the barrel off, square up and crown the muzzle, (depending on skill level, no special tools required other than files, a large countersink bit, and a good eye); drill the sight and barrel for the screw; and tap threads in the barrel screw hole. Counter drill the sight screw hole for a flush fit. Touch up muzzle and front sight with "New Blue" by heating the barrel.
 

altajava

Bearcat
Joined
Jul 26, 2011
Messages
82
Location
Shenandoah Valley
It's not an older model, I would never do this to a three screw. The .30 is one of the guns I reload for, I have no doubt I will have to rework that one. I'm not to worried about sight radius, The majority of my Blackhawks are 4 5/8. There are too many options for collecting so I decided on the short barrels. Even with that I expect to have far too many when I'm done, stainless, blued, three screw, Liberty gun.
 

whichwatch

Blackhawk
Joined
Dec 18, 2012
Messages
678
Hondo44 said:
Shortening barrels is not a complicated process and a 1/2 way decent local smith can do it.

To keep costs down I buy a new front sight for a .45 cal model, it has the extra height you need, and can be screwed on like the single six sight. For $10 for the sight and screw, you save the cost of silver brazing the sight on, removing, rebluing, and re-installing the barrel. You also save gunsmith time by trying to remove the original sight.

So you cut the barrel off, square up and crown the muzzle, (depending on skill level, no special tools required other than files, a large countersink bit, and a good eye); drill the sight and barrel for the screw; and tap threads in the barrel screw hole. Counter drill the sight screw hole for a flush fit. Touch up muzzle and front sight with "New Blue" by heating the barrel.

Don't have a 1/2 way decent gunsmith do it, have a fully competent gunsmith do the job you want done, or you'll end up with just that, a 1/2 way decent job.
 

jbntx

Single-Sixer
Joined
Jan 30, 2012
Messages
199
Location
Texas
Will Ruger shorten barrels?
If not, can you recommend a gunsmith with experience doing this type work?

The concept of "any competent gunsmith can do it" does not apply to the Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas area.
 

cmonti77

Single-Sixer
Joined
Oct 31, 2015
Messages
144
Location
Michigan
jbntx said:
If not, can you recommend a gunsmith with experience doing this type work?

The concept of "any competent gunsmith can do it" does not apply to the Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas area.

Cylinder & Slide. They did my Super Redhawk, and I can't recommend them highly enough. Here's an article on the process they use:

http://www.americanrifleman.org/articles/2012/7/15/customizing-the-ruger-super-redhawk/
 

Hondo44

Hawkeye
Joined
Apr 3, 2009
Messages
7,776
Location
People's Republik of California
whichwatch said:
Hondo44 said:
Shortening barrels is not a complicated process and a 1/2 way decent local smith can do it.

To keep costs down I buy a new front sight for a .45 cal model, it has the extra height you need, and can be screwed on like the single six sight. For $10 for the sight and screw, you save the cost of silver brazing the sight on, removing, rebluing, and re-installing the barrel. You also save gunsmith time by trying to remove the original sight.

So you cut the barrel off, square up and crown the muzzle, (depending on skill level, no special tools required other than files, a large countersink bit, and a good eye); drill the sight and barrel for the screw; and tap threads in the barrel screw hole. Counter drill the sight screw hole for a flush fit. Touch up muzzle and front sight with "New Blue" by heating the barrel.

Don't have a 1/2 way decent gunsmith do it, have a fully competent gunsmith do the job you want done, or you'll end up with just that, a 1/2 way decent job.

By 1/2 way decent gunsmith, I mean in the range of services that he provides, I didn't say 1/2 way competent!
There are very competent gunsmiths that do not perform every service.

All competent smiths will shorten barrels, but not all convert calibers, customize guns, etc., like the custom handgun smiths with 2 year waiting lists. In other words, you don't need to go to an oral surgeon to have a cavity filled competently.
 

Hondo44

Hawkeye
Joined
Apr 3, 2009
Messages
7,776
Location
People's Republik of California
jbntx said:
Will Ruger shorten barrels?
If not, can you recommend a gunsmith with experience doing this type work?

The concept of "any competent gunsmith can do it" does not apply to the Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas area.

Ruger will only change a barrel length if the barrel length you want was an originally produced configuration. So the 30 carbine is out.

These all have great reputations, some not too far from you:

Alan Harton (Colt SAAs also) Makes a 327 Bearcat; http://www.gunblast.com/Harton-327Bearcat.htm
713-772-8314 or 713-907-6031
[email protected]
Houston, Texas

Garry Reeder - Garry Reeder Custom Guns
The Pistol Parlor
2601 E. 7th Ave.
Flagstaff, AZ
928-527-4100 / 928-526-3313
mailto:[email protected]
www.reedercustomguns.com/index.html

Harry Lawsons in
520-326-1117
Tucson, AZ.
I have been using them for over 35 years and would not go anyplace else.
All they do is make custom rifles , custom stocks and gunsmithing.
They have been in business since 1965 at the same location.
They do not have a web site.
You need to call before noon if you want to talk to the gunsmith.

Nelson Ford in Ph, AZ
http://www.thegunsmith.com/price_list.html

Andy Horvath - DIAGONAL ROAD GUN SHOP
14131 Diagonal Rd.
La Grange, OH 44050
(440) 458-4369, (440) 355-5618

Vans Custom Guns
Sandusky, Ohio
NIGHTOWLS 1996, Utah
http://nightowlsgunsmithing.tripod.com/index.htm

Jack Huntington
JRH Advanced Gunsmithing
775-355-6898
385 Freeport Blvd, Suite 13
Sparks, NV 89431
mailto:[email protected]
www.jrhgunmaker.com/
 

bogus bill

Hunter
Joined
Dec 25, 2009
Messages
3,969
Location
utah
Grab your ears! Besides that the concussion will about give you a nose bleed. Also know that you are also sawing off some value when it comes to resale.
 

blueroan

Bearcat
Joined
Dec 2, 2014
Messages
11
A gunsmith who can do this ought to have a lathe.
Remove the barrel and SINGLE POINT the threads on the barrel shank. This will make the barrel concentric as from the factory. Cut off from the back end and you don't have to re-do front sight or ejector housing screw hole. Re-thread end of barrel and adjust barrel cylinder gap.
I'm going to have my talented young gunsmith do this on a 44 magnum Original Size VAQUERO in the near future...I'm temporarily side tracked by GLOCKS...forgive my wayward behavior.
 

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