View Full Version : Questions about legal to own "sawedoff"/modified shotguns??

February 15, 2008, 05:33 PM
A shotgun can have a barrel shorter than the legal limit if a special stamp is placed on the barrel. Correct?? My question is what are the pros and cons of having a shorter then average shotgun? Off hand I am guessing that a shorter barrel would kill the shot patterns would it not? On top of that would there not also be a substantial increase in muzzle blast?? How about buckshot velocity, does it suffer a great deal??

Being that I have never fired one of these and I have just learned that they can actually be legal to own I am looking to be schooled in the reality of modified, "super-tactical", short barrel shotguns. ??? Can anyone help??

February 15, 2008, 05:46 PM
I got no use for anything shorter than 18.5 inch. My dad carried a WAY short .22-410 in 18 wheelers for many years but it was only going to be used to blow someone off the side of the truck and in the small area mobility was paramount to usability. With the variety of easily obtainable hand guns I would never see the need for a super short shotty...

February 15, 2008, 06:00 PM
Probably not . . . but am still curious about the technical aspects of one.

February 15, 2008, 06:55 PM
My thought would be that velocity will be lowered, accuracy lowered, and mobility will be improved.

Why not get a bull-pup shotgun, reducing length, but leaving barrel.

February 15, 2008, 07:02 PM
Special stamp on the barrel?

February 15, 2008, 07:09 PM
Ask over in the NFA section. VUPDblue will give you the rundown.

Hell, he probably already answered your question. Read his FAQ thread.

February 15, 2008, 08:02 PM
i wouldn't mind something shorter than 18.5. like maybe a 14-16" barrel. but i would be picky it would have to be able to use choke tubes and maybe have rifle sights. i don't seem to have a problem with the 20" slug barrel for deer hunting or the 28" for waterfowl and small critters but something shorter wouldn't be bad.

February 15, 2008, 08:20 PM
As above, there are several Federal "hoops" you have to jump through in order to legally own a shotgun with a barrel less then 18" long, or a gun with a total length of less then 26".
You have to be investigated and pay a tax BEFORE getting the gun.

Many states also have rules and some flatly ban NFA guns.

As for the performance, you might be surprised.
Years ago the NRA American Rifleman Tech Staff did a study on how barrel length affected shotguns.

They bought a Marlin Goose Gun with a 36" barrel, and fitted a choke device to the muzzle.
They fired the gun for pattern and over a chronograph for velocity, then cut 1" off the barrel, reattached the choke, and fired again.
They continued this until the barrel was under 12" long.

Their results:
Anything ballistically that's going to happen in a shotgun barrel will happen within 18".

Anything over 28" and you actually start to loose due to

Patterns are unaffected by barrel length. Patterns are a function of the choke not length.

Nothing got out of hand until the barrel was down to 12".

The ideas that longer barreled guns shoot "harder" or farther is a leftover from the days of black powder.
Many police departments issue 14" barreled shotguns for patrol use.
Muzzle blast will be higher in a short barrel shotgun, but pattern and velocity will be about the same, and probably unnoticeable between an 18" and a 14" gun.

Bill DeShivs
February 15, 2008, 10:11 PM
The "stamp" is really a stamp, like a postage stamp-issued by the federal govenment. It is on the paperwork for the gun. The stamp costs $200. It must be obtained before you cut your barrel below 18".

February 15, 2008, 11:43 PM
I know what a stamp is. What the heck is he talking about a "special stamp on the barrel." By the way, the stamp you're referring to is a Series of 1934 Revenue Stamp to show the tax was paid on the registration.


February 16, 2008, 07:37 AM
Most of you have already seen these, but I'm sure there are some that haven't...
Mark Serbu makes and sells them readymade out of Florida. 16.5" overall. 2+1 capacity.
There is even a drop-leg holster available for them.

Zombie Steve
February 16, 2008, 06:38 PM
Man, the word that comes to mind with that pic is: