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View Full Version : Question about Shotgun barrel liners for caliber conversions



jmshuhner
11-24-2013, 12:16 PM
I have a few, 9 to be exact Stevens single shot shotguns. All of them are mismatch bubbas. I considered trying to restore them but there is just no point. I thought about converting them. After hours of reading on the net I am finding conflicting info about the liners. Has anyone here done this or had it done? Can someone point me to reliable information about doing it. Im confident I have the tools to extend the extractors and do this my self. Id love to hear some personal experience. Im leaning towards 32-20 or 44-40 caliber as the first one. Any thoughts?

Oldstuffer
11-24-2013, 12:50 PM
There are tons of people who shoot "sub-gauge tubes", people who own one $15,000 O/U, shoot skeet in all 4 classes (12ga, 20ga, 28ga, .410 bore), and they use the exact same 12-ga shotgun to do this, so that thge gun handles exactly the same.

Other folks do the same thing with the same shotgun with 3 additional sets of barrels in each gauge, for an additional 10-grand or so............

The folks using 20-gauge have trouble with the tubes cracking if you get close to the full pressures of the 20-gauge, because the insert tubeset is VERY thin.

No such trouble with 28 and .410 because the tubes are plenty thick.

jmshuhner
11-24-2013, 01:40 PM
I read alot about the tubes cracking. I'm under the impression that converting to a pistol caliber will eliminate the problem. The tube would be thicker.

Clyde
11-24-2013, 06:05 PM
OK - what gauge are the Stevens? Are you planning full-length tubes or short ones? You will want to plan to reduce the FP tip diameter and bush the FP hole in the standing breech, even for pistol caliber ammunition.

Such chambrings as 32-20, 38 Special, 38-40, 44 Russian or 44 Special, 44-40 or 45 Colt should all work OK at pistol pressure levels. I'd avoid hot-rod loads or magnum chamberings (357 MAgnum or Maximum, 44 MAgnum of .454 Cassull).

jmshuhner
11-24-2013, 06:19 PM
Clyde, I have a mix of 12 and 20 Gauge. Will probably start with one of the 3 Model 94's . And yes, firing pin diameter and bushing the hole has been considered. And I'm looking into the full lenght tubes. I talked with the local gunsmith about this. Kinda bounced ideas off him. He told me to do it myself and if I get in trouble or have problems, bring it to him and he would give me some guidance.

Oldstuffer
11-24-2013, 07:03 PM
Realize the shotgun barrels are, AT MOST (20 gauge) designed for an average of 12,000psi working average pressure, they are PROOFED to the vicinity of 20,000psi, so keep your loads down in the 10-15,000psi area (like Clyde said) and you should not have any problems.

Clyde
11-24-2013, 07:30 PM
Realize the shotgun barrels are, AT MOST (20 gauge) designed for an average of 12,000psi working average pressure, they are PROOFED to the vicinity of 20,000psi, so keep your loads down in the 10-15,000psi area (like Clyde said) and you should not have any problems.

Most liners can handle pistol pressures bare, so the shotgun barrel will likely not actually be expected to restrain things. I'd be more concerned about the action, as many utility shotgun actions are made of (at best) mild steel (some are iron) and i wouldn't want to subject them to too much thrust. And 15K loads would still be a good safe level to stick to, yes.

Can't recall if those Stevens guns have rebounding hammers and spring-retracted firing pins. Be better if they do.

jmshuhner
11-24-2013, 09:11 PM
I dont know either. Ill do some more reading and find out. This is all new to me. Im learning and asking questions as i go

jmshuhner
11-24-2013, 09:34 PM
Clyde, The answer is yes. I just checked a couple of them. If you pull the trigger you can push the hammer forward. When you release the hammer the spring pushes the firing pin back in. And I just found one that has a very weak spring. So good thing you mentioned it. If you have more advice feel free to comment. Id rather be called out on something than to ruin a shotty or have it blow up in my face. And I'm still leaning towards the 32-20 for the first one. I have 500 or so new brass and bullets. This way I can use a mild load and stay safe with it. I just figured this would be a fun project and make a good target gun for my 10 year old son.

rogdigity
11-24-2013, 10:01 PM
Sorry to thread jack here but this gave me an idea...

I just picked up an old price shotgun and reblued it (found this thread while making that one) and I've been wondering what to do with it. The thing has a 32" barrel on it. Would it be possible to get a 45lc insert for this? And for that matter would it be worth a shit?

Clyde
11-24-2013, 10:11 PM
Reason I asked about rebounding hammer and spring-retracting firing pin is my old Crescent 20-ga single (a family heirloom, of little financial worth, but priceless to me) does not have those things and I'd be reluctant to convert one that didn't to a rifle caliber.

I am quite fond of the 32-20 and would consider it an excellent choice for the proposed conversion. And i see no reason that it wouldn't work fine. Get a good quality liner, shorten the barrel to 22 or 24 inches, put some decent sights on it and clean up the trigger and you'd have a pretty neat gun. Truthfully (though I wouldn't do it), you could probably duplicate the old H-S 32-20 loads for the 92 Winnies and 1894 Marlins and not have bad things happen, but I will repeat that isn't something I'd do. Will be interested in how it comes out.

As a plinker/casual target gun for a 10 year old, might want to go with one of the 20s, and maybe an 18" barrel, for reasons of weight and handiness. And shorten the stock to proper LOP. Can always add length with a spacer and/or recoil pad to account for growth, but a proper stock length is important during the learning phase. I've seen a number of kids have a hard time hitting because the stock was too long, and abruptly turn into high-scoring shooters when handed a gun that fit them.

jmshuhner
11-24-2013, 10:27 PM
I agree about the LOP. He has the adjustable stock on his AR and I cut his AK stock down.He is 5'4 and 210 lbs. And why wouldnt you duplicate the High Standard load?

Mondragon
11-25-2013, 12:57 AM
721014721013721015721016I have a double barrel shotgun, but really wanted a double barrel rifle, this is a cheap way to go with inserts. I have two full length 45-70 inserts and a 22 Hornet and a 7.62 x 39 barrels. Also a wide array of short length pistol calibers 38, 9mm 45 auto and 45 colt. I picked the most common rounds because they are easily available and reloadable. The red one you see is a 410 shotgun insert, its mostly plastic with a steel band around the chamber area. Accuracy is not as good as a single barrel probably because of the merging impact point of a double.
They are a lot of fun and I have not had any issues except for the 763x39 which tends to stick in the chamber after firing. Pictures are ones I previously posted . This is a link to the gentleman who makes them, he is located in Alaska

http://www.mcace.com/

DK PHILLIPS
11-25-2013, 05:05 AM
nice info...indeed thanks

Clyde
11-25-2013, 12:07 PM
I agree about the LOP. He has the adjustable stock on his AR and I cut his AK stock down.He is 5'4 and 210 lbs. And why wouldnt you duplicate the High Standard load?

Sorry wasn't clear. "HS" in this case meant High Speed, not High Standard. in years past, there were high velocity loads for 32-20 that were meant for rifles, mainly the Winchester 1892/92 and Marlin 1894. Factory 80 grain at 2100 fps, 100 grain at 1210. Handloads can go to 2300 with 85 grain SP or JHP, and 2100 with 110 grain SP.

Oh - are you planning for permanent alteration with a liner or using removable inserts as Mondragon mentions?

jmshuhner
11-25-2013, 05:18 PM
If I go forward with this it will be a permanent liner. This one project will allow me to learn many things. Cutting the barrel, if its so easy why are there so many out there cut crooked? Bushing the firing pin hole. Resizing the firing pin. Fitting the liner. Reworking the extractor. Reworking the trigger. Mounting a scope or considering some type of sights. I love the Redfield on my H&R bolt action 22. So its a all around learning project that my son can help with.