The Shotgun Page
Of all firearms ever manufactured, the shotgun is perhaps the most versatile of all. It is capable of firing multiple and single
projectiles, flechettes, flares, ferret rounds, ball and buck and many other payloads.
Read more about shotguns at
In addition to having one of the widest, most universal applications as a firearm the shotgun is one of the easiest firearms to
modify with aftermarket accessories. See the links below for available accessories.
Shotgun barrels are as many and various as the munitions they deliver and the special duties they perform. Except for
double/single break-open shotguns, bolt action shotguns and the rare few pump-action and semi-auto guns with fixed-reciever
barrels, shotgun barrels are easy to change without the need of a gunsmith. Most may be removed by simply unscrewing the
magazine tube cap, sliding back the bolt carrier and pulling the barrel off.
Since shotgun barrels are non-serial-numbered gun parts they may be shipped to your doorstep in most states. When shopping for
a replacement barrel to enhance the performance of your shotgun, some basic knowledge of barrel types and barrel function is
Smooth-bore--no rifling, with various chokes and constrictions for manipulating the payload
Rifled bore--rifled to impart spin to the payload, without restriction from chamber to muzzle
Security Barrel--a cylinder bore barrel with no rifling, restrictions or chokes from 18.5 to 20 inches in length; generally used at
close quarters; the cylinder bore barrel enables the payload to begin quick expansion right out of the muzzle, making it more
effective at close quarters; cylinder bore barrels also make excellent slug barrels, with acceptable accuracy out to about 100 yards.
Slug Barrel--the term 'slug barrel' has become synonymous with 'rifled barrel' but the rifled slug barrel has not always been the
case. The first slug barrels were largely smooth bore. With the advent of sabots, plastic high-performance wads and better
projectile technology slug barrels gradually gravitated to the 'rifled' side to enhance performance. Today's rifled slug barrels, with
rifle sights, optical sights and high performance ammunition rival rifles in accuracy and velocity.
Smooth bore, fixed choke--hunting barrel, usually from 26-30 inches in length; the first 11'' inches or so from the chamber
comprise what is known as the 'forcing cone, which prepares the wadded shot-load for the more constricting fixed choke at the
Smooth bore, multi-choke--hunting barrel of various lengths, usually 24-30 inches, with a forcing cone and removable chokes
which screw-in at the muzzle.
Vent Rib Barrel--largely used for hunting, vent ribbed barrels have a flat, usually textured surface on top to prevent heat wave
distortion of the front and rear sights over a hot barrel; the 'vent' channels conduct heat away from the top ridge.
Breaching Barrel--usually a cylinder bore barrel with a bore evacuator at the muzzle; used to breach doors by shooting out the
hinges with a ferret round (powdered aluminum pellet or some other powedered metal) designed to inhibit splintering and shrapnel.
Tips for choosing a barrel
The shooter is reminded that the chamber of a shotgun, particularly in pumps and autos, is part of the barrel. This is important due
to the fact that some recievers may receive the barrel shanks of barrels chambered for 3 1/2-inch shells but may not be rated for
the pressures 3 1/2-inch magnums generate. So, if you are looking to upgrade to a longer, magnum load, check with the
manufacturer of your firearm and make sure the receiver is rated for the pressure.
See Also: https://www.learnaboutguns.com/2008/05/31/selecting-a-shotgun-barrel-length/
http://barrelexchange.com/ (New and Used)
Stocks and other accessories:
A word about accessorizing: One of the first things some new gun owners want to do is to make their new firearm 'look bad.' For
those who aren't familiar with the modern vernacular, this means they want their gun to look 'tough' like those seen on TV and in
movies. Of all the possible reasons for modifying a firearm 'looks' is perhaps the least important, certainly the least practical of all.
That said, there are certainly some practical justifications for modifying a firearm. The test is quite simple: if the firearm does not
perform the task you want it to, then you will need to modify it to enable it to do so. Take it to the range. Shoot it. If you need it
to be more maneuverable, want faster sight acquisition or better accuracy then by all means modify it. If it does essentially
everything you ask of it then there is no need for modification.
Modification for aesthetic reasons is certainly a valid if you have the disposable cash to do so but unless the modification actually
improves the performance of the firearm or alters it configuration for a specific purpose, it is totally unnecessary. With that in
mind, the best advice that can be given is to know the reason for the modification.
Adjustable stocks are practical and perhaps necessary modifications when firearms will be used by several individuals with vastly
different draw lengths or when a single user will be employing the firearm under various conditions like tight places or wearing
heavy, tactical clothing, etc. While lights and lasers are excellent tools in dynamic entry and other offensive operations then are not
generally tactically appropriate for defensive operations; adding them to a firearm should have a very specific purpose and sound
tactical reasons for doing so.
Chamber Adapters/Reduced Caliber Devices
Mixing ammuntion in the same firearm is an inherently dangerous practice. Before investing in chamber adapters and barrel inserts,
you should read about inherent risks at:
On the positive side, changing the caliber of a firearm can be done safely by following a few simple rules. First, do not intermingle
the inserts and ammunition. If, for example, you are using a .410 barrel insert in a 12-gauge, keep both the .410 insert and the
ammunition together and seperate from the firearm and its ammunition until you get ready to shoot the .410. Collect all 12 guage
ammunition and set it aside. Concentrate your efforts on one caliber or gauge at a time.
http://www.gunadapters.com/12-gauge-to-45-acp/ Billed for single-shots; unknown whether can be adapted to an 870 or 88 with
http://www.gaugemate.com/ Shot-shell adapters, Pocket Arsenal, 12 guage to 20 gauge adapters and more.