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Posted: 4/3/2007 11:49:46 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/3/2007 11:50:34 AM EDT by TeJota1911]
I understand that the barrel has to be 18" or longer to not be considered a SBS, but is there an overall length stipulation as well? I've done some searching around and haven't found anything stating the minimum length of a shotgun, but I just want to be sure. The gun in question is a H&R Single shot 12 guage. It was given to my cousin, and he wants to modify it. It came with a 28" barrel, and he wants to shorten it to about 18.5". I measured it off and it will end up pretty short. We already ordered a new stock set for it, but before cutting the barrel, I just want to be sure we are within the law. Thank you.
Link Posted: 4/3/2007 12:05:43 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/3/2007 12:06:19 PM EDT by kennymc80]
26" OAL for a shotgun I think. Thats the kind of thing you want to be sure of though.
Link Posted: 4/3/2007 12:12:20 PM EDT
Yeah, I saw that 26" number referring to adding a stock to a handgun. It said that the barrel had to be at least 16" and the overall length at least 26". I'm not sure if it applies to shotguns or not. I know the barrel has to be at least 18" on a shotgun, not 16". If the 26" OAL applies though, we will be O.K. The gun will be longer than that.
Link Posted: 4/3/2007 12:51:47 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/3/2007 12:59:53 PM EDT by O_DubhGhaill]
18 U.S.C. Chapter 44, Section 921(a):

(5) The term "shotgun" means a weapon designed or redesigned, made or remade, and intended to be fired from the shoulder and designed or redesigned and made or remade to use the energy of an explosive to fire through a smooth bore either a number of ball shot or a single projectile for each single pull of the trigger.

(6) The term "short-barreled shotgun" means a shotgun having one or more barrels less than eighteen inches in length and any weapon made from a shotgun (whether by alteration, modification or otherwise) if such a weapon as modified has an overall length of less than twenty-six inches.

(emphasis added)

Note that "and" does not mean "or," such that a shotgun with a barrel less than 18", but with an overall length greater than 26" is still a "short-barreled shotgun," just the same as is a shotgun with a barrel 18" or greater, but with an overall length of less than 26" as modified "or otherwise." You need to check your state's version of the respective Federal Code section to cover any possible additional prohibitions in place.
Link Posted: 4/5/2007 1:33:02 AM EDT
So then how in the heck were those little 12ga. side-by-side pistols sold through the old F.A.C. catalogs several years ago legal?

I've always wondered that.
Link Posted: 4/5/2007 1:36:22 PM EDT
Technically they weren't shotguns.
They were pistols with a rifled barrel, and chambered for the .45 Colt cartridge.
As a side benefit, a .410 shot shell would also work, but the rifled barrel makes shot strictly a short range proposition.

The rifling "swirls" the shot as it passes down the barrel, and this tends to make donut-shaped patterns with a hole in the middle.
Anything over a short range and hits on target are pure luck.

The Thompson-Center Contender pistol .45 Colt/.410 shotgun barrel solves this by having a special attachment on the muzzle that STOPS the rotation of the shot column as it exits the rifled bore.
Link Posted: 4/18/2007 8:05:53 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/18/2007 10:04:17 AM EDT by CRC]

any weapon made from a shotgun

Does that mean a shotgun can come from the factory with an OAL of less than 26" inches so long as it is not modified from factory configuration?

I know in Canada guns can come from the factory in 'SBR' configuration but cannot be modified afterwards,

Just asking.

Link Posted: 4/19/2007 3:28:05 AM EDT
if a 12 or 20 ga had a barrel that is rifled would that get you around it?
Link Posted: 4/19/2007 3:55:14 AM EDT
Link Posted: 4/19/2007 4:02:37 AM EDT
I had a Rem 870 with the top fold LEO stock that seemed very close to the 26" length and I think I had to fill out an extra form like when I buy a pistol (4473?)

Link Posted: 4/19/2007 5:43:30 AM EDT
So the OAL limit of 26" applies to shotguns and firearms made from modifying a shotgun?

Link Posted: 4/19/2007 5:49:08 AM EDT
long guns with folding/ colapsable stocks are measured for their OAL length with the buttstock extended from the permanent muzzle of the barre,l on a line parallel to the barrel, to the point farthest out on the extended or permanent buttstock when a perpendicular line is drawn for that point to the bore line, not on an angle from the muzzle to the farthest point on the stock. i have heard of people being screwed by the extra fractions of an inch gained by measuring at an angle from muzzle to buttstock. think of it as measuring down the barrel with a T-square, and wherever the "T" hits the buttstock is the OAL. or, on a hard floor place the shotgun with the butt onthe floor and the barrel touching/parallel to it. measure from the floor to the muzzle and that is your OAL.

the above is fed. some states measure for OAL with with the stock folded/colapsed. most i have read is that those states use 30" or 29" as a min OAL for long guns....if shorter than that they are comsidered pistols in that state. MI and ME come to mind for laws similar to that.

so, point is read/ know you local laws as well as the Fed.

Link Posted: 4/19/2007 11:15:26 AM EDT

Originally Posted By MeanSteve:
So then how in the heck were those little 12ga. side-by-side pistols sold through the old F.A.C. catalogs several years ago legal?

I've always wondered that.

Seems to me a 12 ga. pistol is not designed to be fired from the shoulder; therefore it does not fall under the definition of a shotgun, much as AR pistols do not fall under the definition of a rifle as they're not intended to be shoulder-fired.
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