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SonOfLiberty
April 3, 2006, 12:41 PM
So my gun dealer in town (Massachusetts, it that makes a difference) tells me that the barrell of a shotgun need only be 16" in length. So saw it down to 16.5" and I'm good to go. Looking around the internet and elsewhere it seems 18" is the deal. So I confront him about it, and he insists 16". Furthermore, he says the worst they'll do is take the too short barrel (since I have a rifled 22 inch barrel as well.) Any thoughts or feedback from experience?

Tommy Vercetti
April 3, 2006, 12:56 PM
The United States legal code (18 USC 921) defines the shotgun as "a weapon designed or redesigned, made or remade, and intended to be fired from the shoulder, and designed or redesigned and made or remade to use the energy of the explosive in a fixed shotgun shell to fire through a smooth bore either a number of ball shot or a single projectile for each single pull of the trigger." United Kingdom law requires that a shotgun not be capable of holding more than three rounds; if it holds more it is classed as a firearm. In the United States, shotguns which have barrel lengths of less than 18 inches (457 mm) as measured from the breechface to the muzzle when the weapon is in battery with its action closed and ready to fire, or have an overall length of less than 26 inches (660 mm) are classified as short barreled shotguns (AKA "sawn-off shotguns") under the National Firearms Act of 1934 and heavily regulated.

270Win
April 3, 2006, 03:05 PM
Your dealer is very wrong - it's 18", and most people recommend 18.5" to be safe.

SonOfLiberty
April 3, 2006, 03:14 PM
Thats what I figured. Of course I ran home from the store and hacked the thing down to 16.5" like he said. Now its useless. Ebay here I come, somebody's bound to have a cheap barrel...

kudu
April 3, 2006, 05:32 PM
Make the dealer buy it from you at your cost, telling someone to cut a barrel down to make it illegal could get him a call from the ATF and a large fine as well as his books looked at very closely.

Furthermore, he says the worst they'll do is take the too short barrel
They could arrest you for having an illegal sawed off barrel and confiscate your guns and fine you big, plus your attorney fees and court costs.

Mesa Tactical
April 3, 2006, 06:18 PM
Furthermore, he says the worst they'll do is take the too short barrel (since I have a rifled 22 inch barrel as well.)

This is priceless.

Here's an example of what they can do and have done: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruby_Ridge

OneInTheChamber
April 3, 2006, 07:59 PM
I would first tell him he needs to pay for a new barrel. I would also cut the barrel length wise (to make it into two half pipes) and then throw it away. You don't want anything to do with an illegal weapon.

Maybe you could call the ATF, explain the situation, and ask how to properly dispose of it.

SonOfLiberty
April 4, 2006, 03:33 PM
What if I bought one of thouse muzzle mount flash hiders? I don't suppose that count's towards the barrel length...

Twycross
April 4, 2006, 05:00 PM
16 inches is the minimum for rifles. Your dealer must be confusing the statute for rifles as applying to all long guns.

What if I bought one of thouse muzzle mount flash hiders? I don't suppose that count's towards the barrel length...
If it is permanent, it should count to the barrel length, but I haven't seen any flash hides for shotguns (but then again, I haven't looked for any).

DTakas
April 5, 2006, 06:19 AM
So is it illegal just to have a barrel under 18" apart from a fully assembled compatible gun? I mean if I have an 870 with a 20" barrel on it but also have in my basement an 870 barrel cut down to 14" just sitting there all by itself is that legal?

Ga Johnny
April 5, 2006, 06:42 AM
you should destroy that barrel, Ebay is not your best option here, I would cut my losses with the idiot in town, ie never go back. I don't know if having an illegal barrel for, but not on one of your guns is illegal or not, but i would not want to take the chance if the cops got wind of it (which they already have when you posted here).

And calling to ask ATF what to do is the very LAST thing I would recommend

DPris
April 5, 2006, 12:55 PM
ATF has, in the past, considered that possession of sufficient illegal parts to make an illegal gun, whether assembled into a functioning gun or not, constituted possession of an illegal weapon.
Not saying they'd go to town on you, but I wouldn't chance it. They have no sense of humor and very little willingness to overlook "accidental" violations of federal law. Destroy or dispose of that barrel as soon as you can.

jcadwell
April 5, 2006, 01:21 PM
Hold up.

Consider one of those adjustable chokes with a compensator like a Polychoke II. Thread the barrel for the choke, and then permanently affix the polychoke.

Also, the onus for compliance rests on you. Sure the guy gave you uninformed advice, but the ATF will see that you cut the barrel, not your dealer, and that you possess it.

loosecannon
April 5, 2006, 08:40 PM
I would recomend using a pipe cutter rather than a hacksaw you will have a nice barrel. When you redo the thing it's uselesss to you now. Like the people here have recomended destroy it and throw it away and get another barrel I sure would not try to add a muzzle brake or anything goofy to try to make it legal. Or you could shove it up that dealer's... nevermind I don't want to get banned! ;)

SonOfLiberty
April 6, 2006, 09:16 AM
Good solid advice fellas. Thanks for all the help.

DTakas
April 7, 2006, 04:02 PM
“ATF has, in the past, considered that possession of sufficient illegal parts to make an illegal gun, whether assembled into a functioning gun or not, constituted possession of an illegal weapon.”

OK but a 16” barrel isn’t an illegal part. You don’t need class III paperwork to get a short barrel you need it to register the RECEIVER it’s going on as a short barreled weapon, which then makes it legal to configure the weapon in that manor. Right?

Based on that same logic if I had a foreign made weapon I wanted to put in an assault type configuration I could update the US parts appropriately and be legal but if I still had the original foreign parts in my basement that would mean I had the parts necessary to configure that gun illegally. It would be possible to put the foreign parts back on in conjunction with the “evil” parts that make it an assault weapon which would mean the gun would be illegal. So, does this mean it’s illegal to keep original foreign parts when you add American parts to reconfigure a weapon?

DPris
April 8, 2006, 09:49 PM
D,
I stand by what I wrote & won't argue it. ATF has been known to hold that if you have the correct parts to make an illegal weapon, whether it's assembled or not, you have an illegal weapon.
My advice to destroy or get rid of the barrel also holds.
Take it or leave it.

DTakas
April 9, 2006, 11:45 AM
I'm not saying you ARE wrong. I was just saying I didn't think that was the case. It really wouldn't surprise me if that was the case. Knowing the ATF it really wouldn't surprise me if it was technically illegal to keep original foreign parts after a weapon has been legally modified into an assault type configuration. I was just asking if anyone was 100% sure what the answers were on this issue. Personally I wouldn’t keep a shotgun barrel under 18" around. I wouldn't chance it I'm just curious.