View Full Version : Would this be illegal?

March 14, 2011, 08:24 PM
My friend has a double barrel shotgun in which you can select which barrel fires first by moving the safety either left or right. However, his gun is broken in a way that if the safety is placed in the middle then both barrels go off. So would this be technically be full auto since he only pulled the trigger once?

March 14, 2011, 08:36 PM
I think technically it would be illegal, granted there are lot of OU and SxS's that have this issue. More of a firearm failure than anything. I think its less illegal than your SKS "suddenly" gaining full auto capabilities through malfunction.

March 14, 2011, 08:42 PM
That's a very interesting issue. Would that cause any damage to the gun by having both barrels fire simultaneously?

March 14, 2011, 08:52 PM
I think it could. But the real question is could it cause any legal damage.

March 14, 2011, 09:14 PM
I always thought it was multiple shots from the same barrel. This seems more the volley gun concept.

James K
March 14, 2011, 09:17 PM
Anyone who wants toi fire both barrels of a 12 gauge double at the same time has my permission. I don't think he would have to explain to the BATFE, just to the ER doctor about how he got the dislocated shoulder.


March 14, 2011, 11:08 PM
his shoulder? jumping to conclusions, it could be his wrist and elbow if he has a pistol grip :eek:

March 15, 2011, 07:57 AM
I asked this question once - not about a shotgun, but about a COP 357. I wanted to know if it would be legal to modify it to shoot two barrels at a time. The answers I got from knowledgeable people were overwhelmingly "yes, BATFE can claim its a machinegun."

44 AMP
March 16, 2011, 02:59 PM
Under the law, if it fires more than once, for a single trigger pull, for any reason, it's a machine gun.

However, if the cause is an obvious malfuction of the arm, prosecution is extremely rare. If the arm was modified to malfuction and fire more than once, that is, and has been a prosecutable offense. There are even reports of the Feds doing modifications to get an arm to fire more than once, to support a prosecution. I can't say its true, and I don't know it isn't, but there's been talk!

If you SxS fires both barrels at once, or your 1911A1 runs away at the range, its BROKEN, and the Feds don't normally care, so long as you stop using it and get it fixed.

On the other hand, if they feel you are intentionally using a malfuctioning weapon as a "machine gun", then you'll probably have your day in court.

Get the gun fixed.

April 8, 2011, 04:21 PM
Many (most) doubles have 2 triggers. While I don't recommend it folks have fired both barrels at once for as long as they have been around.

Another possiblity. I once owned a POS Savage Fox that never worked right. It had a single, non-selective trigger. From time to time the recoil from the first shot would cause the 2nd barrel to fire as well. It was so fast it was easy to think both had gone off at once.

Legal? I'm not sure, but I wouldn't want to keep it unless it could be repaired and could be proven reliable.

10 Beers
April 8, 2011, 05:00 PM
I've had two side by side double trigger types and I LOVED pulling both at once. But, only from the hip, I like my shoulder.:D

April 10, 2011, 01:23 AM
i have a cheap 20ga OU that does the same thing.

i found out at a "scenario" skeet/trap shoot. pulled the trigger and both barrels fired. i was 13, and weighed maybe 100 lbs. darn near took me off my feet.

im 19 now and havent gotten around to fixing it. i just always make sure that the selector is all the way left or right after each time i shoot it.

i think if you went around bragging at the range and the shop and the bar that you had a shotgun that could do that, you might have problems.

other than that, i wouldnt worry too much about it; just check the selector after you reload, and dont fire it both barrels at once on purpose.

April 10, 2011, 05:31 AM
Hard to say, since, in the case you describe, the firearm isn't functioning the way it was designed to; I think an interesting add-on question to this would be how they look at those "volley guns" that were designed from the outset to fire 5 or 7 shots with a single pull of the trigger, for hunting geese or small game. These had a chamber plate that could be loaded with the required number of cartridges, the loaded plate would be lined up and put into the chamber(s), and a single blow from the hammer would fire all cartridges at once. I've seen these in .32 and .22, and they make .22 LR adaptors for the 40mm launchers that work the same way and fire 18 .22s at the same time. Does anyone know if those adaptor rounds are themselves NFA items?

10 Beers
April 10, 2011, 02:27 PM
Look, if you only moved the lever half way and both tubes went off that's NOT a defect. It's called fumble fingers and it seems like a usefull feature to me. The two bigest advantages to a side by side is the instant 2nd shot and the option of ripping loose both barrels at once in case of moose/bear/dinosaur charge or something. Few creatures on earth can take two loads of 00buck at the same time. As for SDC and his walls of lead, comercial hunting has been illegal for a long time here, don't know about you chinooks but since they're your geese you can do whatever you want with them. You should google the term "punt gun":D

April 10, 2011, 03:26 PM
My step daughter has been routinely pulling both triggers at the same time shooting clays with a 12 gauge SXS with no recoil pad since she was 13. She wont touch my 20 tho.:confused: I guess the 12 fits her perfectly.

April 10, 2011, 09:07 PM
But a punt gun is simply an oversized shotgun, firing a single cartridge (or charge) with each pull of the trigger; a volley gun (or these 40mm adaptors)actually fires MULTIPLE cartridges with each pull of the trigger, but all at once, not in rapid succession.

April 11, 2011, 08:35 AM
I would have to say no, because it sounds like a mechanical malfunction of the firearm (unless, of course, the shotgun was modified to do that). On the other hand, remember that the BATF can, and has in the past, proclaim that a paper clip is a "machine gun" and that a common household washer is a "silencer"

April 11, 2011, 08:39 AM
Few creatures on earth can take two loads of 00buck at the same time.

Including the operator. Get the gun fixed.

April 15, 2011, 08:35 AM
2 triggers, 2 shots, not a machine gun.
1 trigger, 2 shots - machine gun.

double bogey
April 18, 2011, 10:56 PM
JMR40, I had a sxs 20guage Fox when I was a teenager that did the same thing. We sent it to a smith, but it would still double occasionally. I loved that shotgun, a dream gun for a 13 year old. Now my Win 101 and Berretta cock the 2nd barrel with the recoil of the first, so they wouldn't go off at the same time with this malfunction, or would they?

Dr. Strangelove
April 19, 2011, 12:43 AM
I had, dad still has, his dad's old .22lr/.410 o/u from back in the 40's or 50's. I shot it quite a bit as a kid, it had one trigger with a selector switch for whichever barrel you wanted to fire.

The switch was worn, and if the user didn't pay close attention, would slip into a spot that allowed both barrels to fire at once. Definitely got the squirrels' attention!

We had it fixed years ago, more out of annoyance than worrying about it being a "machine gun".

May 13, 2011, 08:57 PM
Get the gun fixed - firing both barrels at once puts a lot of stress on the hinge pin and will severely accelerate wear on the gun rendering it even more unsafe than it currently is.

It isn't a machinegun if it is malfunctioning and wasn't altered

May 14, 2011, 10:06 AM
No not a machine gun you are still firing the gun only once. One trigger function one firing of the weapon. The function of the weapon fires 2 shells simultaniously in one shot, not automatically. Two shells but only one shot and you cannot fire another shot without reloading.

(b) Machinegun. The term 'machinegun'
means any weapon which shoots, is
designed to shoot, or can be readily restored
to shoot, automatically more than
one shot, without manual reloading, by a
single function of the trigger.

http://www.atf.gov/publications/download/p/atf-p-5300-4.pdf (pg77)

May 14, 2011, 05:56 PM
I don't think the ATF would care but I don't want to be an armchair lawyer.

I can make a machine-gun by pulling both triggers of my Stoeger at once anyhow.

44 AMP
July 4, 2011, 03:13 PM
No not a machine gun you are still firing the gun only once. One trigger function one firing of the weapon. The function of the weapon fires 2 shells simultaniously in one shot, not automatically. Two shells but only one shot and you cannot fire another shot without reloading.

I disagree. I understand your logic, both shells go off as one shot, but I believe that any court would interpret it as 2 shells = 2 shots, with a single trigger pull. The fact that the two shots are not fired sequentially will not be the deciding factor.

A volley gun with 2 or more barrels (could be 37 if desired, right?) firing all either simultaneously or sequentially is a machine gun for legal purposes. There is nothing in the descriptive part of the staute that says the gun has to reload and fire (although most designs do) more than once with a single trigger pull to be a machine gun, only that it fire more than once with a single trigger pull.

A Gatling gun is not a machine gun, legally, so long as it is hand operated, each so many degrees of lever movement is considered a trigger stroke, so by cranking the lever, you are considered to merely be pulling the trigger multiple times. HOWEVER, hook that same Gatling gun up to an electric motor, where a single push of the switch turns it on, and voila', its legally a machine gun!

Go ahead and make your case in court, all you have to lose is your money, your rights, and 10 years of your life. You might win, but I'd be betting against it.