Letter Re: A Budget Disaster Response Kit

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Hugh,

I have a couple of comments on the Budget Disaster Response Kit article by R.S. I found the article useful and thought provoking. For those that don’t have access to a metal lathe to shorten the barrel, I have used a standard tubing cutter, such as you would use to cut conduit or copper pipe, with great results.

First, make sure that the cutter will cut square to the tube, I have had a couple that tended to walk down the barrel, cutting a spiral. Second, cover the area with a few layers of masking tape to protect the finish. Finally, cut slowly. Only tighten the cutting knob a quarter turn after each rotation around the barrel. This will limit any deformation of the new barrel end.

To measure the barrel length, be sure you are clear on your state law. My state measures the barrel from the end of the breech face. To get an accurate cut, run a dowel rod down the barrel until it touches the breech face, and then mark the dowel at the end of the barrel. Next, remove the dowel and measure 18.5 inches (18″ is legal under Federal law, but 18.5″ is safer) on the dowel. Hold the dowel on the outside of the barrel with the end of barrel mark even with the end of the barrel, and then make a mark on the barrel at the 18.5 inch line where you will cut it. This sounds more complicated than it is. After cutting, you can lightly chamfer the inside of the barrel with emery paper.

Finally, to replace the bead, Brownells, Inc. sells a kit containing two beads, drill, and tap for about $8. If you are only doing one or two guns, this is probably a cost effective way to go. Don’t forget to use thread locker on the bead and to file/sand flush any part of the bead threads extending into the barrel. – Bruce F.

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