Shortening A Barrel? - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-02-2017, 05:00 PM Thread Starter
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Shortening A Barrel?

Is there any reason not to?

I have a Lyman GPR 54cal, which I like, for the most part..

After the season, I'm going to be doing some things to it, one of the things I'd like to do is to shorten the barrel. It has a 32" barrel and I'm thinking about taking 6" off which would make it a 26" barrel.
I find the long barrel to be unwieldy, heavy and just seems to get in the way. After just a few moments of holding it in an offhand position, it seems very front heavy..

I presume there might be some drop in velocity? But, would that really make any difference in a hunting gun, I doubt it?
I understand the concept of a longer sighting plane being beneficial for open sights, but again it seems like a minor trade off?

I wouldn't be taking a hacksaw to it, I'd have it professionally done...........

I could just buy a shorter barreled gun, but this one is paid for and has good mojo...


Thought?

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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-02-2017, 05:27 PM
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Velocity, louder, and recoil will also increase with less barrel weight. And as you mention, sight radius reduction reduces accuracy. Also, the under rib and ramrod will need chopped.

Why not order a shorter barrel from Bob Hoyt? He is located in Fairfield, just southwest of Gettysburg. I am guessing it won't be too spicy on price, and you get something for your $$ vs. paying a smith to whack the GPR barrel, under rib and ramrod to fit. Add an under rib and ramrod to to the shorter barrel, and now it is drop-in.

If it then doesn't suit your needs like you thought, You are not out a barrel/gun, but just a supplemental barrel you could resell.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-02-2017, 06:02 PM
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I have cut several barrels shorter and was never sorry after
there was a western gunsmith back in the 1980"s that made a custom muzzleloader rifle to look like a long rifle that had been cut shorter for western fur

noise and recoil increase isn't going to be a that noticeable, aTC Renegade is 26"s long (it is 1" across the flats)
TC Hawken is 28"s (15/16ths across flats)-----if you have access to either of these to shoulder and hold on target that will give you a idea of where you might want to cut yours off at

I did use a hacksaw, square and file, it's not a hard to do
I did recrown it with a tool made for that borrowed from a buddy, and had him file a new front sight dovetail in it

you may get lucky on where you want to cut it, that it lines up with where the under rib is still supported, then all you need to do is cut and file a new dove tail and recrown if you want.

4-6" will lighten up overall weight some, but will make a big difference in the muzzle heavy feel that your rifle has, which will give it a handier lighter feel for hunting
if you like how the Thompson Centers feel and "hold" offhand for you, I would say cut it
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-04-2017, 12:03 AM
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I bought a green mnt barrel for my TC Renegade years ago from dixons and after acouple seasons of the added weight decided to have them cut it down for me and am very happy I did.took about a pound off of it.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-04-2017, 01:19 PM
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As some suggested, another barrel of the length you want would be better. It is easy to say it is front heavy. My experience with two GPR's is that they held just fine for target shooting. Shorter barrels do not have enough weight out front to hold steady. I have shortened barrels, but only for narrow purposes. Say from 40 inch to 32. If it turns out that the shorter barrel does not suit you, it is kind of hard to stretch the barrel back to 32 inches.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-04-2017, 08:12 PM
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Hack saw, file square and recrown is an accepted gunsmithing practice. I'm a machinist with access to lathes, mills, surface grinders and just about any other machine you can think of and I still shorten barrels with a hack saw and a v-block.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-04-2017, 08:29 PM
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I wouldnt
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-04-2017, 11:42 PM
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I'm interested in this as well. I have a GPR in 50 cal and love the gun. It holds fine for a mass produced gun and I like the feel better than the TCs. BUT I hate driving with it!! I would like to buy another barrel in a shorter length possibly in a twist to shoot conicals. Any information on this would be greatly appreciated!!

Buy the way...I already have a TC and a Lyman Deerstalker. Both nice guns, but I prefer the GPR.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-05-2017, 05:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonsie View Post
I'm interested in this as well. I have a GPR in 50 cal and love the gun. It holds fine for a mass produced gun and I like the feel better than the TCs. BUT I hate driving with it!! I would like to buy another barrel in a shorter length possibly in a twist to shoot conicals. Any information on this would be greatly appreciated!!

Buy the way...I already have a TC and a Lyman Deerstalker. Both nice guns, but I prefer the GPR.
If you want a shorter barrel to shoot conicals, or sabots, get a GPR "Hunter barrel" (labelled GPH). It is 1:32 shallow cut rifling fast twist for sabots and conicals, and You can get it cut down in length.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-15-2017, 02:23 PM
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I have 3 carbine length barrels and won't own another. Yes they are lighter to carry but IMO they give up too much for the benefit. For a ball rifle 32" is about perfect for offhand shooting and carry weight; 28" is ok. You need some barrel length to get enough velocity; with black powder you need some barrel length. Sub powders don't need length as much and flintlocks need black powder. These are production guns I am speaking of. Longer swamped barrel traditional style rifles are built to balance and handle well and don't weigh much more than a straight barrel does if any.


Twist rate and caliber really play into a shorter barrel as well. Lyman Deerstalker; 1/48 twist, .54 caliber-loads exceeding about 60 grains and a patched ball group starts to open up; the twist is too fast for a .54 ball shooter with 80/90 grain hunting loads. PA Hunter carbine 1/66 twist; can't burn enough powder for ranges beyond 50 yards. RMC 24" 1/28 twist; can't get enough velocity for sabot to open up and get proper release for good accuracy; 28" barrel will though. Using a conical will get the power back up if they will fit good and group well though but be prepared for some recoil.


So; my opinion is I wouldn't shorten it. Ball or sabot you need that barrel length. Longer sight plain, better offhand shooting, more velocity and more comfortable to shoot.
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