My first long gun was a Mossberg 835 bought new at a Miami gun show back when you could still find good deals in those events. It was the gun that was at the ready when 9/11 happened alongside my Taurus PT92.

I updated my 835 with a 24″ deer barrel with rifle sights, a Tru-Glo red dot and that was it. Why 24″? Because the only other barrel length for the 835 is 28″ except some weird cammo thing at 20″.  As shotgun goes, it is too long for regular social work and I decided to cut down the barrel that came with it to shortest legal size AKA 18.5″ (yes, i know. I am giving that extra half for the Three Letter People that might be reading don’t get ideas)

Why cut? A couple of reasons: I contacted Mossberg several times about what legal short barrel for the 835 was available (there was a rumor of an 18.5 for sale if you asked them by phone) but I never got shit back from them. I also heard that the barrel for the 590 would work in the 835, but I know better than trusting Gun Forum Gurus.

And possibly the sexiest reason to cut the original barrel is the chambering:

It comes chambered for 2 3/4, 3 and 3.5 inches. Having the possibility of feeding your shotgun almost anything available in the market in 12 gauge is just too sexy to pass.

And since I am going to lose the front bead, I found that TruGlo makes a set of sights designed to be attached to the rib. I will probably keep the red dot, but I want the ability to have regular sights as back up.

Advice and suggestions welcomed, of course.  The idea of having 18 doses of double ought buck “unwelcome” a home invader from a manageable shotgun is somewhat reassuring.

I know, it is gonna leave a mark and feel it in the morning.

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By Miguel.GFZ

Semi-retired like Vito Corleone before the heart attack. Consiglieri to J.Kb and AWA. I lived in a Gun Control Paradise: It sucked and got people killed. I do believe that Freedom scares the political elites.

7 thoughts on “My next gun project.”
  1. I guess the choice is (a) multiple shell lengths or (b) it can handle slugs — but not both?
    Do you have a lathe to do the barrel shortening or is a hacksaw and miter box good enough for this job?

  2. Remember Ruby Ridge.

    Randy Weaver was targeted for not getting government permission to shorten a shotgun, turning it into a SBS.

    But according to testimony, Randy was very careful and made sure the barrel was long enough. In fact, when the shotgun in question was brought into court and measured, it was of legal length. The FBI had even been able to match the tool marks on the barrel to the tools that Randy used.

    What made it a SBS was the fact that the overall length of the shotgun was too short. It seems that the stock had been shortened by 3/8ths of an inch, making the overall length SBS.

    Unfortunately, the FBI was unable to match the tool marks of that to any tools that Randy owned and Randy testified that he did not shorten the stock.

    The take away, there is more to “Short Barreled Rifle” and “Short Barreled Shotgun” than the length of the barrel.

      1. I guess the Ruby Ridge lesson is to be sufficiently over the limit that it isn’t practical for the ATF to tamper with your gun to make it appear illegal, short of making the tampering obvious.

  3. Peter Capstick, the professional hunter who wrote a lot of books about African hunting, chose to use #3 buck for putting down wounded leopards. His belief was that by using smaller pellets, he got the same punch as #00 buck i.e. the same overall weight, but got a better, thicker, more reliable pattern.

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