View Full Version : Benelli magazine extensions are illegal-ATF letter

April 9, 2006, 08:06 PM

Dear Mr. *****:

This refers to your letter of September 21, 2004, to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), in which you ask about adding a telescoping stock and a magazine extension to a Benelli M1014 shotgun.

A shotgun with a telescoping stock or a magazine greater than 5 rounds is prohibited from importation into the United States under the provisions of section 925(d)(3) of Title 18, United states code (U.S.C.). Assembly of such a shotgun from imported parts is prohibited under 18, U.S.C. Section 922(r). The implementing regulations in Title 27, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 478, Section 478.39 (formerly Part 178, Section 178.39) prohibit assembly of such a shotgun that contains more than 10 of the imported parts listed in paragraph (c) of the regulation. Please see the enclosed brochure for further information. Assembly of such a shotgun using 10 or less of the listed import parts is not prohibited. The shotgun is also subject to whatever State laws and local ordinances may apply.

We thank you for your inquiry and trust that the foregoing has been responsive to your request.

Sincerely yours,

John A. Spurgeon
Chief, Firearms Programs Division

The brochure contains the following:

(c) For purposes of this section, the imported parts are:

1. Frames, receivers, receiver castings, forgings, or stampings.
2. Barrels
3. Barrel extensions
4. mounting blocks (trunnions)
5. Muzzle attachments
6. Bolts
7. Bolt carriers
8. Operating rods
9. gas pistons
10. Trigger housings
11. triggers
12. Hammers
13. Sears
14. Disconnectors
15. Buttstocks
16. Pistol grips
17. Forearms, handguards
18. Magazine bodies
20. Floorplates

April 9, 2006, 09:16 PM
I could be wrong but wasn't this part of the assault weapons ban that is no longer in affect?

Ben Swenson
April 9, 2006, 09:31 PM
I could be wrong but wasn't this part of the assault weapons ban that is no longer in affect?

Import ban. Different critter.

April 9, 2006, 09:52 PM
letter of September 21, 2004

assult weapon ban sunset provision ended sept 13, 2004 the letter was written after the sunset so they answer way after sept 13 2004

The 922 r law is from Nov 1990 way before the 1994 assult weapon ban.
922 r has not sunset and wont ever.

April 10, 2006, 03:46 PM
time to swap out some parts. Expedition, can you tell me how many parts am I gonna have to swap out on my Saiga-12 (when I get it) to use the 10 rd and up mags produced in the US? The US mag itself "un-does" 4 parts - body, floorplate, follower, & spring....then what?

April 10, 2006, 03:50 PM
Should only apply to the semi autos if I am correct, pump guns do not fall under this.


April 10, 2006, 04:22 PM
link shows an ATF letter that points to 13 factory control parts
If you plan on converting it to pistol grip, swap out the trigger group with a
single hook G2 trigger group and use a U.S. made pistol grip.

If you dont want to convert it, the U.S. made mags equal 3 compliance parts
,and, therefore, by inserting a U.S. made 10 rounder the shotgun would total out to 10 foreign parts so that would still be compliant.

Should only apply to the semi autos if I am correct, pump guns do not fall under this.
I would have thought so too, but somehow they dont see it that way.
The letter states "A shotgun with" leaving out semiauto implying any shotgun.
It is apparent that you never see a pumpaction shotgun imported with more than a 5 round magazine capacity.
Benelli would love to sell their Nova with an extension legally if they could to civilians. They are competing with remington's 18.5 inch barreled home defense shotgun (express or marine magnum) that can legally hold 6 rounds
it would be an advantage to sell a nova with more capacity.
A call to Benelli a while back confirmed they cant legally sell them like that.
Yep, its a stupid law. To get around the import law you can register your Nova as a NFA weapon (short barrel) with the ATF.

April 10, 2006, 04:31 PM
Ok I am not up on my legalize but I pulled this from the 922 code. It pretty much in black and white exempts pump action firearms.

Paragraph (1) shall not apply to—
(A) any of the firearms, or replicas or duplicates of the firearms, specified in Appendix A to this section, as such firearms were manufactured on October 1, 1993;
(B) any firearm that—
(i) is manually operated by bolt, pump, lever, or slide action;
(ii) has been rendered permanently inoperable; or
(iii) is an antique firearm;
(C) any semiautomatic rifle that cannot accept a detachable magazine that holds more than 5 rounds of ammunition; or
(D) any semiautomatic shotgun that cannot hold more than 5 rounds of ammunition in a fixed or detachable magazine.

April 10, 2006, 05:45 PM

page 9 of 101 pages
Restricted Importation
Shotguns having a fixed magazine with a capacity of more than 5 cartridges

922 (r)
The Imported Parts Law(1990)
178.39 otherwise known as 922(r) 10 Foreign parts law on semiauto Rifles & Shotguns
Sec. 178.39 Assembly of semiautomatic rifles or shotguns.
(a) No person shall assemble a semiautomatic rifle or any shotgun using more than 10 of the imported parts listed in paragraph (c) of this section if the assembled firearm is prohibited from importation under section 925(d)(3) as not being particularly suitable for or readily adaptable to sporting purposes.

This has been extended to pump action shotguns. If they cant be imported like that then they cant also be created on U.S. soil from more than 10 foreign parts.
To the ATF reconfiguring equals assembling.

April 10, 2006, 07:11 PM
This is the stuff that reminds me to vote.

April 10, 2006, 09:11 PM
lol import ban, this is lip service to the liberals.

April 11, 2006, 11:05 PM
Your thread says:Benelli magazine extensions are illegal-ATF letter
but looking at it I see that only pertains if you add a telescoping stock, so you can have one or the other. It sounds like the BATF is just trying to drum up business for American gun and gun parts manufacturers.

April 11, 2006, 11:45 PM
telescoping stock or a magazine greater than 5 rounds is prohibited from importation

If you add on a telescoping stock to Benelli= Felony

If you add a magazine extension to increase capacity past 5 rounds=Felony

April 11, 2006, 11:47 PM
If it could be done legally by Benelli they would have done it.
Too many $ to lose by not configuring them for the tacitical guys.

Unless the ATF changes their policy, you wont be ever seeing a collapsable stock or a magazine greater than 5 rounds on any imported shotgun.

April 12, 2006, 08:34 AM
Unless you can't shoot worth a damm, why do you need extra capacity?

April 12, 2006, 09:08 AM
"Unless you can't shoot worth a damm, why do you need extra capacity?"

Because you can. Gun ownership in the US is a matter of want, not just need.

April 12, 2006, 09:36 AM
My point is that with few exceptions most of the "give me more rounds" shooters are poorly trained and would be better served by shooting more to gain ability. Just because you can is not a better reason that ability. I wish all shooters would shoot more to gain ability than using more rounds.

April 12, 2006, 05:09 PM
Unless you can't shoot worth a damm, why do you need extra capacity?

Cuz I want to shoot more than 5 clays at a time. There is the home defense argument.

April 12, 2006, 05:11 PM
Gun ownership in the US is a matter of want, not just need.

Our founding fathers would disagree.

April 12, 2006, 05:12 PM
Sorry to hijack a bit but is adding a forward pistol grip and a knoxx copstock to a chinese import gun illegal? I had never heard about any of this before.

April 12, 2006, 05:41 PM
Sorry to hijack a bit but is adding a forward pistol grip and a knoxx copstock to a chinese import gun illegal? I had never heard about any of this before.

Yes because its imported and once againwere talking about import nonsense
that unfortunately can cause a felony charge if it is discovered that you did it.
Adding anything the ATF considers unsporting in connection to prior arrangements with U.S. Attorney Generals makes an imported rifle / shotgun uncompliant. Pistol grips, bayonettes, folding/collapsing stocks, shotgun magazines capacity greater than 5 rounds, and even night sites.
However, if you reduce the total foreign control parts to less than 11 parts you can now have all those features once again. This law has been on the books since about 1990 with a few new modifications since then. The 10 parts rule came in effect in 1993.
The new modifications to the law have been always more restrictive than before.

Example: Up until 1998 semi-auto rifles could have been imported with the ability to use magazines with a capacity greater than 10 rounds.
In 1998, a new Attorney General study of unsporting features led to a new GCA restriction to deny importation of rifles that could use magazines with a higher capacity greater than 10 rounds. The new study caused a loss of a feature for imported rifles. Thank Janet Reno / Bill Clinton for that one.
So currently import determinations are restricted ever so more and will continue to be unless the import law is destroyed. I predict before Guns ever become completely outlawed in America that importers will get to a point where they cant even import any kind of : pump action shotgun, any kind of semi-auto rifle, and no more semi-auto pistols. Domestic made will probably be the last front attacked. Domestics are the only ones heavily protected by
U.S. gun lobby.
Think Im crazy, well its been that same trend since 1990.
Importers have less protection against anti-gun groups than domestics.
If this wasnt so, we would not be having an online discussion right now as to why a simple imported pump action shotgun cant legally have a magazine that can hold over 5 rounds. 30 years ago people would have looked at you crazy if you would have told them that the Federal Government was going to restrict gun freedoms through imports.

April 12, 2006, 06:37 PM
Wow, thanks for the information. guess i better break my little felony pump gun down, restore it to stock, and sell it. I knew i should have bought a real 870 anyways.

April 12, 2006, 07:43 PM
Glad I could clear that up for you. your welcome.

April 12, 2006, 09:01 PM
I own a Benelli M3, and I have an extension to 7 rounds (if I remember correctly). The last I remember, I had to take my pistol-grip off in order to install the extenison and be legal. And if I wanted the pistol-grip on, I had to switch it back.

Since the Benelli is imported, this means I cannot use the extension anymore?

April 12, 2006, 09:14 PM
I had to take my pistol-grip off in order to install the extenison and be legal.

As far as I know, the ATF letter spells out not to use either a magazine extension or a collapsable stock.
If your shotgun came in pistol grip configuration, the stock part is settled, but adding a magazine extension according to the letter is a violation.

Anyway I have said enough on the issue. Anyone still interested in legal info write the ATF.

Bureau of ATF
Firearms Technology Branch
244 Needy Rd.
Martinsburg, WV

Sterling Nixon ( he runs that department )
Firearms Technology Branch

Sterling Nixon

April 13, 2006, 02:08 AM
I have a friend that works for the ATF and does the inspections of the different shops. He went Turkey Hunting with me today and while we were eating lunch I ? him about this .He informed me that it is illegal to import them on the gun ,but it is not illegal for Joe Public to purchase and install . BUT LEGALLY YOU MUST REMOVE IT TO RESALE.
It is another of the fine points of the law.

He got a nice 26 pound 11 inch beard with 7/8 inch spurs RIO Turkey

March 8, 2009, 04:02 AM
forget imports and own american everything

March 11, 2009, 11:56 PM
So, Tom Knapp [I think that's his name], Benelli's trick shooter, is not legal when he shoots 9 clays out of the air with his auto?

March 12, 2009, 12:31 AM
OK, I am confused. I have a Beneli auto-pump, I got before the ban, and it holds 8 rounds. It is way cool, but am I a felon now? It is all the way it came from the factory. Standard synthetic stock, 8 round tube and military peep sight.

My left handed daughter is deadly with it on clays....She loves it.

Mel :cool:

March 12, 2009, 02:59 AM
It is illegal to add a tube extension on a semi auto shotgun increasing the capacity past 5+1 rounds unless you make it 922r compliant with US parts. Not so for pump guns but the ATF can extend the law to pump guns if they so choose. They can do just about anything they want. There is very little oversight on the ATF.

That said look at all of the Hi cap imported shotguns the ATF approved for import in the last few years.

Winchester Practical X2 Hi Cap Semi Auto
FNH SLP semi autos
FNH Police Tactical Pump
Mitchell's Mauser Made in Turkey Sabre Police Semi Auto 8+1 capacity - CDNN was selling them

Thousands of these shotguns were imported in the last couple of years. ATF finally decided to put a stop to it. None were seized and some are still being sold. Now the SLP shotguns are being assembled in Columbia South Carolina which makes them legal.

In the early 90s the ATF also allowed some Benelli shotguns to be imported with hi cap tube extensions. They put a stop to it after a few thousand were already in the US.

Go to any 3 gun match and you will find many imported shotguns with tube extensions that are illegal. The ATF knows about them and doesn't care. I have never heard of anyone who has been charged with owning a imported Semi Auto that is none 922r compliant.


March 12, 2009, 03:37 AM
forget imports and own american everything

You are speaking to the dead, look at the date of this post.

March 12, 2009, 05:53 AM
I am under the impression that as long as you use a non imported magazine tube extension it was legal. Many companys make them for benelli m2, m4 here. Now the pistol grip stock might be illegal I am not sure.