Cutting rifling is not gonna effect the safety of the gun. yes, machining does introduce stress, but i can send it out to be stress relieved pretty cheaply. besides, cutting the rifling is minor work as far as stresses go.
Would it be easier to have the barrel tapped for screw-in chokes and get a short rifled tube that you can screw in? Just an idea. What kind of gun is it that you can't get another barrel that's already rifled.
The choke tube route is the only way to go if your barrel wall thickness is great enough.
The process or rifling a barrel involves 2 different internal dimensions.Groove and bore.As a smooth bore the barrels internal dimension is at or near max groove dia as it is.To cut grooves you would be creating a larger goove diameter than the slug was intended to bear upon on it's way through the tube,and...the bore dia.(Land to land)would be too undersized to support any rotation,and a big long skid mark of shaved lead would result.In effect you would be launching a .410dia slug down a .420 barrel,and accuracy would not be as good as it is now with the smooth bore.
There is another option however.
Have a custom barrel cut for you.
I don't think hastings offers them,but I do have a profesional buddy that does oddball barrels for the govt.and for rifle loonies looking for something different.
It wont be cheap however,probably around $550.00 plus shipping and tax.
Good luck to ya!Pat
Pat is right on. Basically, a rifled barrel would require ADDING material to your barrel, not cutting some off. Not easy. Your smoothbore diameter is about the same as the groove to groove diameter would be in a rifled barrel. The only option is another barrel.
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