Converting a single shot break action shotgun to a .22 LR?
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    Question Converting a single shot break action shotgun to a .22 LR?

    Hello everyone. I'm new to this forum, so, I'd like to say that this looks like a very interesting forumsite and I look forward to learning a lot from here. Anyway, I have a 12 gauge single shot, break action shotgun (a Hatfield) that cost me $100. Essentially the cheapest new gun on the market, limited capability but all things considered, it's a nice gun, albeit not very feature rich (which is no problem with me.) Turkish walnut, 3" chamber, vent rib 28" barrel, and basic checkering. I was thinking of buying another and converting it to a single shot .22LR, a gun which runs far higher than a single shot shotgun and is, in fact, usually only available used (Remington #4, Winchesters, etc.) I'm talking about the old long guns ordinarily chambered in smaller calibers - 22LR, 22WMR, up to 44 Rimfire.

    Now, as for converting, I was wondering if it's a reasonable idea or not. And if so, what (other than barrel change and firing pin movement) would be necessary? How's trigger pull adjustment on a Hatfield? I'm not concerned with making a professional replica gun, just a simple 22LR for squirrel hunting w/ a rifle (and likely sanding down the stock to thin it appropriately for the caliber and also to apply a deeper finish.) I'm rather new to the topic of gunsmithing, but I'd like to learn and apply that information. Thanks - Benjamin Failor

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    Generally speaking, your ideas are not necessarily wise from an economic point of view.
    Good .22 projects can be had for less than $100.
    That said, I have frequently embarked on gunsmithing projects that were not financially pragmatic. (Case in point, building an elephant gun one piece at a time.)
    Projects that are not financially practical often hold great benefits in learning, fun and some sort of therapy.

    For starters, take a look at some insert tubes that will fit inside your shotgun barrel and allow you to shoot other calibers.

    Short Lane - Finest Shotgun Adapters, Always FREE Shipping

    My problem with these is that I don't think shotgun sights would be sufficient for the squirrels in my yard.
    The deer, bear and the turkeys will walk within 10' of the front door. To harvest a squirrels, on the other hand, requires a skill level on par with Carlos Hathcock. Your situation may be different.

    firestarter.jpg

    krj_tky_120912.jpg

    An alternative approach is to just buy/repair/restore a .22 rifle.
    Local sales are usually cheaper, but this may give you some ideas.

    Single Shot Rifles - Guns Auction - Single Shot Rifles at GunBroker.com

    I recently got this Winchester 1906 pump .22 at a public auction for $35. For about another $100, she should be back in action. Cheaper if I cut my own stocks.

    winchester-1906.jpg

    Just tossing out some ideas. Good luck and keep us posted.

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    Thanks for the reply (and nice Morgan.) I've seen those adapters advertised, but I contacted the manufacturer/owner and they confirmed that, with smaller calibers especially, you'd be looking at only revolver-like accuracy. If I wanted to fire 28 gauge or some other shotgun gauge out of a 12 without buying the gun itself than I'd buy an adapter, but for .22 it's just not going to provide the accuracy I'm looking for. As for squirrels, if they're in dense woods, it's not too difficult for me with a rifle. I've taken a few with a 10/22. In fact, they come far closer to the yard than the turkeys. Still, for practical use, a shotgun is obviously preferable.

    I agree, economically it's not logical, but I'm looking to both experiment (and on a cheaper gun, the downsides are minimal) and also looking to get a single shot .22 without the used factor and some of the hassle that comes with it. I thought about doing what you are and building the gun with just (some of) the hardware, but I'm not sure how that'd go. Do you do restoration like this a lot, I suppose?

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    There is lots of new break open action 22lr out there. Rossi, Henry, TC encore and contender which you will be a lot more pleased with than a shotgun with an iffy trigger conversion. Heck look around for a use Handi Rifle, I think they made them in 22lr, I know they made them in pistol calibers.

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    Not sure if you have access to machine tools and are looking for a 2 year project to say that you did it or your looking for a low budget way to start shooting bushy tailed rats tomorrow. If it is the latter, I like Akajan's reference to the Handy Rifle, I think he means NEF, New England Firearms. If so my son has one that came with 223 and 20 gauge barrels. He later bought a 45/70 barrel for it. I know they make rim fire barrels for them also, switchover takes about 2 minutes with a screw driver. Any scope or sight stays with the barrel, so no issues resighting when a change over is done.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BenjaminF2001 View Post
    Thanks for the reply (and nice Morgan.) I've seen those adapters advertised, but I contacted the manufacturer/owner and they confirmed that, with smaller calibers especially, you'd be looking at only revolver-like accuracy. If I wanted to fire 28 gauge or some other shotgun gauge out of a 12 without buying the gun itself than I'd buy an adapter, but for .22 it's just not going to provide the accuracy I'm looking for. As for squirrels, if they're in dense woods, it's not too difficult for me with a rifle. I've taken a few with a 10/22. In fact, they come far closer to the yard than the turkeys. Still, for practical use, a shotgun is obviously preferable.

    I agree, economically it's not logical, but I'm looking to both experiment (and on a cheaper gun, the downsides are minimal) and also looking to get a single shot .22 without the used factor and some of the hassle that comes with it. I thought about doing what you are and building the gun with just (some of) the hardware, but I'm not sure how that'd go. Do you do restoration like this a lot, I suppose?
    I've been gunsmithing part time for about 50 years.
    My experience with used firearms has been very good. Especially the inexpensive plain type. They are usually so basic there is little to go wrong.
    But if you want a new shotgun, you might consider adding rifle sights, and making your own ctg. adaptor.
    With all the Ruger 10/22 rifles being customized, there should be quite a few new take-off barrels available. One of those barrels could be used as a sub caliber. Proper bushings would be needed to correctly position the insert, and means of extraction devised.

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    Aside from the accuracy comments, wouldn't adding an insert to a 12 ga barrel add a lot of weight?

    Tom

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    Quote Originally Posted by TDegenhart View Post
    Aside from the accuracy comments, wouldn't adding an insert to a 12 ga barrel add a lot of weight?

    Tom
    Possibly. But if you started with a .410, it would be light to begin with.
    One could make the sub-caliber insert, by casting a .22 barrel liner inside an aluminum cylinder.
    Machine to dimensions, insert into .410, then cut the barrel off at 18 1/2 inches. (Or whatever the legal minimum for your state.)

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    I was thinking about the OP's converting a 12 ga.

    Tom

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    Quote Originally Posted by BenjaminF2001 View Post
    I have a 12 gauge single shot... I was thinking of buying another and converting it to a single shot .22LR, Benjamin Failor
    If Benjamin buys another, it needn't be in 12 gauge.

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    @akajun @FredC (the thread turned into a conversation quickly, so I'll respond by conversation not user if that's alright.) I've already been through Rossi's offerings and it's not what I'm looking for, neither is the Contender. If I'd buy it as-is, it'd have to be a real wooden stock not laminate of any kind, and long (not 20", preferably longer) barrel, which neither offer out of the box to my knowledge. I suppose shotgun-to-rifle is a daunting task and I could go with the Handi-rifle instead. I had an H&R Topper, maybe it was just defective but the stock was loose, the firing pin wore out after -200 shots to the point that it only fired half the time, and that was with proper care. Still, I heard H&R was acquired by Marlin, and the Topper seems like a well-liked gun. So I'll see if I can find a Handi-rifle nearby to get a feel for it. And no, I don't have access to many machine tools. I do woodworking more so I haven't had any need for them. I have a circular saw and a metal-cutting hacksaw, and have access to a a miter saw, but certainly no precision tools outside a dremel.

    @Kurt Learning @Tdegenhart It indeed would not need to be a 12 gauge. They offer 410 bore (as do all single shot shotgun models I've seen) so that would be better weightwise like you said. Kurt, I checked online listings for used single shot 22s and it did give me a few ideas, notably the Winchester model 67 and Remington 514 (both bolt actions..) Remington, Stevens, and others apparently rolled out millions of single shot small-caliber rifles a while back, discontinued now. And if I'm understanding right, you're saying to basically create a full, barrel-length adapter inside a .410?

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    Quote Originally Posted by BenjaminF2001 View Post

    @Kurt Learning And if I'm understanding right, you're saying to basically create a full, barrel-length adapter inside a .410?
    There are times when a .22 has a worn out barrel.
    This can be repaired by running a drill down the length of the worn barrel and inserting a new liner.
    It is possible to use this type of liner as the basis for an insert.

    REDMANS .22 CALIBER RIMFIRE BARREL LINERS | Brownells

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    There is also no reason for the adapter to have to be full length as long as the OD is turned concentric with the barrel bore. Six inches may be more than enough.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BenjaminF2001 View Post
    Hello everyone. I'm new to this forum, so, I'd like to say that this looks like a very interesting forumsite and I look forward to learning a lot from here. Anyway, I have a 12 gauge single shot, break action shotgun (a Hatfield) that cost me $100. Essentially the cheapest new gun on the market, limited capability but all things considered, it's a nice gun, albeit not very feature rich (which is no problem with me.) Turkish walnut, 3" chamber, vent rib 28" barrel, and basic checkering. I was thinking of buying another and converting it to a single shot .22LR, a gun which runs far higher than a single shot shotgun and is, in fact, usually only available used (Remington #4, Winchesters, etc.) I'm talking about the old long guns ordinarily chambered in smaller calibers - 22LR, 22WMR, up to 44 Rimfire.

    Now, as for converting, I was wondering if it's a reasonable idea or not. And if so, what (other than barrel change and firing pin movement) would be necessary? How's trigger pull adjustment on a Hatfield? I'm not concerned with making a professional replica gun, just a simple 22LR for squirrel hunting w/ a rifle (and likely sanding down the stock to thin it appropriately for the caliber and also to apply a deeper finish.) I'm rather new to the topic of gunsmithing, but I'd like to learn and apply that information. Thanks - Benjamin Failor
    I think you must be eating yer squirrel seriously undercooked and have gotten one of their many viruses or other parasites as affects the brain. Squirrel gravy made SOME sense, Lewis County WV, barefoot-poor 1950's, and with "free gas" to cook them down to nought but a rich brown GRAVY (about four hours..) to make ignorant poverty biscuit tastier.

    Prewar Mauser "cadet" .22 rifle put them into the Dutch oven. Even dressing-out squirrel is hazardous as Hell to yer health. Not their CHOICE to be infested with all manner of nasty s**t, just the way life of a tree-rat runs without two forms of photo-ID and a government food-stamp and free Medicare card. At least 'til the next election.

    But then you'll no longer be ALLOWED to shoot anything but yerself, "if-even", anyway.

    Far safer, present day, to buy a jar of tinned gravy, gravy mix powder, Bovril, or "Better than Bouillon" paste. Also cheaper than the ammo, let alone the damned medical bills.

    Yah want squrrels DEAD? Call the local hiring hall, "Owls Union" and cut a deal for a breeding pair. They'll run a dozen to a dozen and a half rodents every 24 hours feeding Owl chicks, shit hair and bone as "mummified rodent" as turd, and don't even need a silencer on their weaponry.

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    Quote Originally Posted by thermite View Post
    I think you must be eating yer squirrel seriously undercooked and have gotten one of their many viruses or other parasites as affects the brain. Squirrel gravy made SOME sense, Lewis County WV, barefoot-poor 1950's, and with "free gas" to cook them down to nought but a rich brown GRAVY (about four hours..) to make ignorant poverty biscuit tastier.

    Prewar Mauser "cadet" .22 rifle put them into the Dutch oven. Even dressing-out squirrel is hazardous as Hell to yer health. Not their CHOICE to be infested with all manner of nasty s**t, just the way life of a tree-rat runs without two forms of photo-ID and a government food-stamp and free Medicare card. At least 'til the next election.

    But then you'll no longer be ALLOWED to shoot anything but yerself, "if-even", anyway.

    Far safer, present day, to buy a jar of tinned gravy, gravy mix powder, Bovril, or "Better than Bouillon" paste. Also cheaper than the ammo, let alone the damned medical bills.

    Yah want squrrels DEAD? Call the local hiring hall, "Owls Union" and cut a deal for a breeding pair. They'll run a dozen to a dozen and a half rodents every 24 hours feeding Owl chicks, shit hair and bone as "mummified rodent" as turd, and don't even need a silencer on their weaponry.
    Check into rehab.

    Sorry Benjamin, now you know what we have to deal with.
    Last edited by Kurt Learning; 01-24-2020 at 06:30 PM.

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    Yes, I see that. No problem. Though by his statistics it looks like he's a frequent nuisance (unless it's some not-so-subtle humor that I simply fail to recognize.) Anyway, thanks for your help. I'm going to check out a LGS about twenty miles out that says they have used single shots in stock, they didn't specify much but I'll see what I can find. I'm still keeping the original idea in mind, but from what you all have indicated, it'd be a lot of work and difficulty for a sub-par gun.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BenjaminF2001 View Post
    (unless it's some not-so-subtle humor that I simply fail to recognize.)
    There may yet be hope for yah.



    ...used single shots in stock,
    Now yer learning more, yet.

    USA is chock FULL of decent used .22 goods, and every OTHER chambering known to mankind - or even not known! How many major makers - or even MINOR ones - d'you figure were incompetent at their line of work in a highly competitive bizness, anyway? Damned FEW actually failed at hitting what they are aimed at, first few rounds, next thousand rounds. Some are just better than others.

    Many of those used firearms are cheap ... and even interesting. Most are SAFER than DIY as well. Those as are NOT are widely known to the very details of their weak points, too. More than one of each was made, y'see.

    Not all are in need of much improvement, just "getting used to" where they hit and sighting-in. The REAL work is up to the skill of the shooter, thereafter.

    ...from what you all have indicated, it'd be a lot of work and difficulty for a sub-par gun.
    Now yah have it! Turning an already-marginal firearm into a LESSER one, LESS suited for a purpose, and of UNKNOWN reliability and UNTESTED safety margins?

    Simply not a wise use of money or skill, either one.

    Good on yah for picking up on that!

    Best learnt before yah even STARTED to waste the time and effort so you don't git ragged-on eyeball-to-eyeball when you show up CARRYING sech a Frankencontraption amongst folk who have been using ignorant commodity twenty-two's to simply git 'er done all their lives, too!

    Was that so harsh?

    Yah. Probably.

    But you could end up LIVING longer. Or at least embarrassing others in the bang-stick interest zone a tad LESS off more unwanted negative statistics than we have too much of, already... so...

    Call it "rehab in advance" shall we?



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