View Full Version : How is "barrel length" defined?

November 30, 2001, 12:44 AM
I have found the section of the US Code that says you can't make a rifle with a barrel less than 16" long ... but I can't find the definition of the measurement. :confused:

Is it

1: from the beginning of the rifling (foreward of the chamber) to the end of the muzzle?

or is it

2: from where the bolt face is when the round is chambered to the end of the muzzle?

or is it

3: the actual length of the tube that is the barrel if it is removed from the receiver?

All these give (or, in the case of 2 and 3, could give) very different measurements.


ps ... the location of the definition (or your source) would be most helpful ;)

George Stringer
November 30, 2001, 07:43 AM
Saands, barrel length is measured from the breech to the muzzle. The actual length of the tube when removed from the receiver. George

November 30, 2001, 08:27 AM
Drop a rod in from the muzzle with the gun ready to fire, EMPTY, mark the rod at the muzzle. Measure the rod from the end to the mark. Gives you barrel length. If cuttin, add a little for insurance.

If you have sumpin that fires from open bolt, measure from closed bolt.


Art Eatman
November 30, 2001, 08:50 AM
Sheesh! Ain't it easier to just say, "From bolt face to muzzle"? :)

(Closed bolt, obviously...)

This is true for rifles, shotguns, and semi-auto pistols. For revolvers, it's the actual overall length of the barrel.

:), Art

November 30, 2001, 10:52 AM
Sorry Art........I used the marked rod to eliminate guessing on where the bolt face is when locked up. Fed mostly uses rod and an eighth of an inch error can get one in a heap of trouble.