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   By Mike Coviello (Tanner)
 
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Home Made Gun Modifications Can Be Dangerous

The following is a copy of an email that I sent to a friend describing a near incident that he had while skeet shooting with a home modified shotgun belonging to someone else.

 

  
  


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Carl,

I just talked to my friend in North Carolina. He told me his story of going skeet shooting. It's got a good "Lessons Leaned" value.

My friend went to Ohio a couple of weeks ago. A friend of his took him skeet shooting. He was loaned a single barrel break open action shot gun. It was modified with a home made wooden front handle on the barrel. He shot a few times and did well. While waiting his turn to shoot again this "handle" fell off so he screwed it back on.

When he went to load the shotgun for his next shot he happened to look down the open barrel before inserting the shell. He noticed the tip of the handle screw protruding into the barrel of the gun. It "stuck out" into the barrel about 1/4".

He returned the gun to it's owner and they set it aside.

My friend assumes that when the handle fell off there was a spacer that he didn't notice that fell to the ground when the handle came off. When he screwed the handle back on without the spacer the tapered screw tip "stuck out" on the inside of the barrel into the shot path.

Good thing he was observant.

 

We debated on what would have happened if he would have pulled the trigger. Good thing he was using shot instead of a slug.

1. Kaboom or
2. Maybe it would have shot but with some overpressure or damage to the barrel. We assume that some of the leading shot would have made it though unaffected, but the shot that hits the screw would cause a disruption to the adjacent and following shot pellets.

It would be interesting to get that gun and test fire it with a string and behind a blast shield to see what would have happened.

 

Lessons learned: Use caution when using someone else's gun and especially if has been modified (sort of like shooting a stranger's reloads).

 

REPLY FROM MY FRIEND

Tanner,

It is difficult to tell what may have eventually happened with the shotgun. I agree with you on #2. The other concern I have with it (without seeing it) is that the barrel does not have thick walls so there cannot be many threads holding the handle. Considering the barrel pressure, it could eventually cause the threaded portion to fatigue and fail, blowing the handle off. Also the hole in the barrel will cause a stress concentration in that area and may cause the barrel to fail. Not a good idea!

Carl

 

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

MIKE COVIELLO is a former aerospace engineer, now Web Designer/SEO Consultant. Hobbies include shooting zombies & reloading ammunition.