View Full Version : 8 Gauge Legal?

March 16, 2009, 09:44 PM
On another internet site I saw a claim that the 8 Gauge is rated as artillery by the ATF and therefore illegal to own. True? :confused: Thank you for any replies.

March 16, 2009, 09:50 PM

March 16, 2009, 10:09 PM
My request was not meant to be funny. My computer program would not allow me to open Firing Line. I have one live 8 gauge round with a slug and two empties ready to load in my collection. I thought maybe I could get an answer here. Thanks anyway.

March 17, 2009, 12:12 AM

I don't believe he was attempting to be funny. There is something strange about his links though. When the error pops up it should say that the security certificate that the website attempted to identify itself with is invalid, but that you can create an exception in your security system to view it. If you click on the link that is provided in the error screen it will open up a window allowing you to select the website and then select exemption. You should then be able to go to his link.

However if you don't feel like going through all that trouble I will summarize what those links said.

You are allowed to own and shoot an 8 gauge shotgun, but not allowed to hunt with it.

Remington and Winchester supposedly still offer commercially available shells for use in slag mines.

And the use and success of the 8 gauge is what spurred the movement of many of the hunting regulations in place today.

Hope this clears things up for you. :)

March 17, 2009, 02:06 AM
I fixed the links, they should open without error now.

March 17, 2009, 05:19 AM
Thank you Coyote JLR. This old man can get confused at times. And maybe I'm too touchy. I was told that those 8 gauge shells are getting valuable and that is what I was doing on the other site. I enjoy this site very much and hope I can help sometime. :)

March 17, 2009, 07:04 AM
I compete in muzzleloading trap several times a year and a certain gentleman brings an 8 gauge to compete with. A good hit turns those birds into dust clouds even from the handicap ranges. Yes, you can miss with an 8 also.

They can't be used to hunt migratory birds but rabbits, turkeys etc, are no problem AFAIK.

Here's a picture of me shooting that 8. Its kick isn't really all that bad with 1 7/8 ounce loads since the gun weighs about 11 pounds or so.


To visualize the 8 bore, pull a nickel out of your pocket, a US nickel is about .835 inches in diameter, same as an 8 gauge.

roy reali
March 17, 2009, 07:57 AM
I thought that the only gauge restrictions for hunting are for waterfowl. I do believe you could use an 8 gauge to hunt upland game in some states. The waterfowl regulations are usually Federal, but quail, pheasants and such are regulated by states. I will do more research to be sure.

March 17, 2009, 06:46 PM
Doves are on the 10 gauge and under list along with waterfowl AFAIK.

roy reali
March 17, 2009, 07:41 PM
Dove are migratory birds and therefore fall under Federal guidelines. I looked through our state hunting regulations. There is no mention of a maximum gauge law for hunting upland game. I guess I'll try to contact them as soon as I get a chance.

March 17, 2009, 08:32 PM
Remington and Winchester supposedly still offer commercially available shells for use in slag mines.

When I 1st read your post about slag mines I thought you had it all backwards until I googled slag mines.
But here in the Iron mines of Northern MN, and in many industry's where large furnaces are used, slag buildup on the chambers has to be routinely removed. The 8 gauge industrial lead slug is commonly used to knock slag (Clinkers) loose.

March 18, 2009, 09:13 AM
Thank you Gbro. I wondered why that slug in my live round was flat on the end. Could be I have one? Also I'm not sure but wouldn't the 10 gauge 3.5 magnum have the same power but not as much shot?? I worked up at Coleraine at the local paper in the late 1940s. "Dad" Lammon was the editor and a great character. :) :) :)

March 18, 2009, 10:02 AM
If you want to reload for the 8 gauge, Ballistic Products sold components for that shell for some time. They might be a source for hulls also. They were a proponents of bringing back the 8 gauge for steel shot loading though likely it never got anywhere.

March 18, 2009, 01:01 PM
Geezer posted,
Also I'm not sure but wouldn't the 10 gauge 3.5 magnum have the same power but not as much shot?

The industry here would not have to buy quite as many slugs to do the job when they do not fit in a common firearm used to shoot a deer;)

I worked up at Coleraine at the local paper in the late 1940s. "Dad" Lammon was the editor and a great character.

My Wife's uncle worked there as a type setter for many years, Darrel Emerson.

Today the paper is known as "Scenic Range News"
It is believed to be a combination of the old Coleraine and Bovey (bo-honk-vile) papers.

By the way, Where did you ever come up with a name like Geezer?:p

James K
March 19, 2009, 09:39 PM
Yes, those shells with flat nose lead slugs are for shooting clinkers. (Edited to remove an erroneous reference to 10 and 12 gauge shells; Remington's smaller shells for that purpose are 12 gauge and apparently are the same as standard buckshot and rifled slug loads.)

I don't recall ever seeing an 8 or 4 gauge cartridge shotgun, but both were made as what were called "punt guns". These were not fired from the shoulder at airborne waterfowl (I wonder why), but were mounted on a shallow draft boat called a "punt" and fired into flocks of geese or ducks on the water.

FWIW, I don't know of an 8 gauge shotgun being illegal to own under federal law, just illegal for hunting migratory game . There may be state laws, though, either on possession or other hunting use.


March 19, 2009, 09:54 PM
Somewhere in the halls of my memory I believe that there was also a 2 ga. punt gun.

March 20, 2009, 02:23 AM
Video that might interest you: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJS8PBqdF8g

March 20, 2009, 09:35 PM
To GBro, I tried to contact you by replying to your message. Being new, I wondered if it got through. No, I don't remember the man you mentioned. I was only 18 and am nearly 80 (Old Geezer, whatever) now.

The paper was, I think, the Iron County News. "Dad" Lammon and my dad, a printing instructor, were good friends. Thanks.