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.
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
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
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
REPLY FROM MY FRIEND
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!
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