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mc Offline
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It takes a gun out of proof and Stan is correct,and edd is fishing for something

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Assuming the chamber walls are thick enough and the exterior of the barrels doesn't have some radical taper just ahead of the chambers, I'd have to agree with the thinking that lengthening would only serve to negate an explanation of Bell's testing results. Of course, one would want to explain the pressure limits of the gun if there were any. I plan on keeping my old Fox and telling the family it is a wall hanger out of fear they might move it to someone with even less knowledge than I have.

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What Bell also pointed out in his "Finding Out For Myself" series is that simply lengthening the forcing cones will result in some pressure reduction. The only problem with that is--at least the last time I recall checking--the two British proofhouses don't agree on whether that renders the gun out of proof. (Lengthening the chambers definitely does.)

But as Argo points out, if you reload it's just not that difficult to make up loads--and not just target stuff but hunting loads as well--that are low enough pressure that there's no need to make any modifications to the barrels. That's especially true of 12s. Back when I was shooting 2 1/2" Brit 12's at pheasants quite frequently, I had a 1 1/8 oz load that was both very effective and with a significant safety cushion when it came to approaching any worries about danger due to pressure.

Last edited by L. Brown; 09/20/22 05:29 AM.
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There’s a fine line between lengthening the forcing cones and lengthening the chambers. I’m not keen on removing metal where pressure is the highest.

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I will not take metal out of the inside of any shotgun barrel. I don't care how short the chambers are, I can make shotgun shells that will work just fine. Sherman Bell's actual comment on long shells in short chambers is "The pressure rise in very small. Shoot shells that don't exceed the pressure range that is proper for the gun, regardless of the length of the shell." Using that thinking, I load and shoot 2 3/4" shells in 2 1/2" chambers when I feel like it, but load them to low pressure and reasonable shot charge. Right now, I'm way ahead in loading 2 1/2" shells, have plenty, so I don't worry about 2 3/4" shells. By the way, my 375 Ponsness Warren is a standard 2 3/4" loader with a sizing die that I made myself from a standard 2 3/4" die. That is the only modification and didn't cost me a cent. I probably paid about $65.00 for the loader 35 or 40 years ago.

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I only reload CF rifle ammo- mainly 30-06, .35 Whelan, and the pre-WW2 M70 in .375 H&H, so I cannot speak informatively on the topic of shotgun shells. BUT, having a solid background in both machining and tool & die welding (TIG) let me state this--over the past 45 years, I have been fortunate to have owned and shot a fair number of good quality 12 gauge American mfg. double guns- I have never: (1) opened the chokes, (2) reamed out the barrels to remove defects, (3)lengthed the forcing cones or have screw in choke tubes installed- and, I never will. RWTF


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interesting responses...

- certainly do understand and agree that collectors desire guns to be as original as possible, including chamber lengths...

- but what about hunting guns, that certainly will be fired?...popular wisdom says shooting 2 3/4 shells in guns chambered for shorter shells increases barrel pressure and recoil...that being the case, why not just lengthen all short chambered guns to 2 3/4? that way one will not have any issues finding factory loads...and old hunting guns will last longer...

as for the safety issue, i was trained to believe that so long as there is around .090 of metal left in front of the altered chambers, with no alteration to the forcing cones, then most old guns with fluid steel barrels, would be safe to shoot with light smokeless loads...interesting that the responses here that discuss guns with successfully altered chambers, do not mention any barrel wall thickness standards that were employed before the chamber alterations were completed...why is that?

Last edited by ed good; 09/20/22 12:12 PM.

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No edd no!

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Re the issue of how much metal is necessary in a shotgun barrel: There are various examples of 16ga barrels being fitted to 20ga receivers. The result: A gun that's lighter as a 16 than it is as a 20. And the reason that it's lighter is there's a larger bore surrounded by less steel in order to make them fit. But we don't seem to hear about those guns suffering catastrophic failures.

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Originally Posted by L. Brown
Re the issue of how much metal is necessary in a shotgun barrel: There are various examples of 16ga barrels being fitted to 20ga receivers. The result: A gun that's lighter as a 16 than it is as a 20. And the reason that it's lighter is there's a larger bore surrounded by less steel in order to make them fit. But we don't seem to hear about those guns suffering catastrophic failures.

True, but they were probably pretty heavy 20s to start with. Each case is unique and has to be evaluated that way. ed is just stirring the pot. Again.


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