Hello, everyone. Thanks in advance for your time and opinions. I'll try to make this brief.
I own a mint condition Browning Auto-5 Light Twelve (Miroku, Japan) shotgun with 25.5" ribbed hunting barrel. I wanted to use this shotgun as a home defense tool (if necessary), so I bought a slightly used barrel on Gunbroker. I planned to send the spare barrel to a professional gunsmith for chopping down (18") and adding a new brass bead.
I googled photos (forum posts, Instagram, Facebook, etc) of nice looking Browning Auto-5 Light Twelve shotguns with modified 18" barrels. More than once, I came across the name of a certain gunsmithing shop that is (according to the posts) well-versed in the Browning Auto-5 Light Twelve. (Shortening a shotgun barrel isn't exactly rocket science, but I wanted the best gunsmith available to the task, so I trusted the search results.)
I contacted the gunsmith and asked:
"Hello. I’ve got a Miroku-made Browning Auto-5 Light Twelve shotgun, and I’d like to add a shorter barrel for home defense purposes. I’d rather not go thru the NFA hassles of an F1/SBS (altho I am very keen to do that in the future), so I’m settling on an 18” length with a smooth bore for 00 Buck. What might be the price for cutting down a second barrel and adding the front bead sight? (Unless you happen to have a spare barrel handy, I'd be supplying the barrel myself.) Thanks for your time. Regards."
I received the following reply:
"Hi yeah sure..Auto Five chop, crown, and bead on a customer supplied barrel is 175 and return freight."
I agreed to the price, bought a spare barrel on GB, and sent it to him shortly thereafter.
He replied a few days later that I had sent him a MAGNUM barrel by mistake. I apologized for buying the wrong barrel. (I had specifically omitted search results that mentioned MAGNUM in the ad, but I made the mistake of thinking that even though the ad didn't mention MAGNUM, that it would be Light Twelve by default. LOL Nope!) Anyway, the gunsmith told me that he had a good Light Twelve barrel there that he would be willing to swap for my Magnum barrel. My reply was an enthusiatic, "That sounds fantastic! Let’s do it. Thanks!"
A few days later, he told me that the barrel job was complete.
Remembering that the shotgun on which the new barrel was to be placed is mint condition, I replied:
"One last question… My Auto-5 is mint condition. Not a single scratch or ding anywhere, not even the wood. So I’m thinking that a matching, beautifully refinished and blued barrel might look super sweet. Is that a service that you provide? Or should I use a third party for that particular step? (I think Turnbull does bluing. Tyler Gun Works too, I believe. So it’s no big deal if you don’t.) Thanks again!”
His reply was a simple: "I can reblue it, will 125 to the total "
My reply: "Heck yeah! Make it minty.
A few days later I receive an email stating that the work was complete. I paid the full sum of the bill, and the barrel was shipped to my doorstep, as expected.
What I did NOT
expect was the condition of a newly blued and professionally refinished shotgun barrel. It arrived rusty, dirty, and SUPER GRITTY. (The surface of the barrel is like sandpaper, and that is NOT an exaggeration.)
Now, I am a shotgun novice. (I'm also a very patient and forgiving person, so it's my nature to often make excuses for other people. To be clear, I don't make excuses for people out of some sense of selfless compassion. I do it because I fully understand that it's ME who is the newbie is many situations. The things that I "know" aren't always true. I make mistakes, so the faults that I find in others may actually be my own fault. At least sometimes and/or on some levels. In the case of this shotgun barrel, I am a shotgun newbie. Plus, this is my first professionally refinished shotgun barrel. So the mixup could be mine. I specifically asked for "minty" (which I admit is not a technical term) and even gave Turnbull's work as an example of what I was expecting, so I'm inclined to think that the fault might not be mine.
Was there a specific terminology that I failed to mention that would have changed the results?
Is this the way barrels always
Please feel free to advise me. And I'm happy to post more pics upon request.
For what it's worth, the following photos were taken a few minutes ago. The background is a matte white photography background paper with a few paper towels. The first photo is of the paper towels after I gave the barrel a quick wipedown. (I never wiped the rusted loading end, just the exposed barrel area and the rib. In fact, the very dark spots on the left paper towel came from the rib area.) The second and third photos are of the untouched rusty end. (Am I supposed to clean / polish that part?)
Thanks again, everyone.
PS — I'm not trying to flame this gunsmith. I just need to know if this is somehow MY fault (as in failing to be specific enough, etc) before emailing the gunsmith about my concern. I don't wish to "jump the gun," so to speak.