I want to cut my 18.5" 12 ga barrel to 16" and use a pistol grip. Will that be legal to do or illegal to do? I know that on rifles, your barrel can only be 16" or longer, but for shotguns, im not sure. What is the legal length of the barrel for shotguns?
its illegal unless you got the tax stamp with a shotgun legal barrel length is 18in...unless my memory is failing me
Correct. Legal length for shotguns is 18, 16 for rifles.
Was originally 18 for rifles and shotgun. But, as i was told, due to the large number of shorter lever action carbines, they later changed the rifle length to 16".
thanks for your replies. i will buy me a 18.5" barrel and just keep my 28" barrel for hunting.
you also have to have an overall length of 26"+ some 18.5" barrel pumps may not be able to meet that requirement with the buttstock replaced with a pistol grip.
mine will be 27".
You can get away with shorty barrels if the gun then becomes a "pistol" (e.g. Carbon AR-15 with no butt and just the buffer tube and tiny barrel)
NFA aka Class III shotguns come in 2 varieties: Short Barrel Shotgun (SBS) and Any Other Weapon (AOW)
AOW tax stamp is $5 the other one is $200 transfer or tax stamp. I have been told that the configuration cannot be changed once registered, i.e. Can't put a Butt Stock on an 12" AOW pump with a pistol grip (Serbu Shorty for example). Perhaps this has to do with the OAL.
I would not cut down a barrel for which there is a matchin receiver under the same roof and only then be prepared to fill out the ATF form to manufacture a firearm and get your LEO to sign
not to mention that its $200 for the Form 1 weach is to make a AOW... i would sugest you just regesiter as a SBS if your going that route..
ya got the right idea though.....
a shotgun can never be a pistol. It can be a shotgun, a short barreled shotgun, or an AOW.
Say, you purchase a factory 870. Then, you decide to put a pistol grip on it, with no stock. Still a shotgun. Main determining factor is barrel length. You do not need to have a stock on a shotgun.
Only way you can get away with a barrel of less than 18" is if it is registered as a Short barreled shotgun, or an AOW.
I want to clear this up, because the guy probablly has seen AR/AK pistols and wunders why it can't be done with a shot gun. You can't have a smooth bore pistol, that rules out ever building a shotgun/pistol.
According to this ATF letter, it also can't have a rifled barrel larger than .50, so you can't cheat the system with a deer/slug barrel.
Department of the Treasury
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms
Washington, DC 20226
MAR 11 1996 E:CE:F:TE:MJC
This refers to your letter of February 27, 1996, in which you
request information as to the legality and classification of a
proposed firearm. You desire to make a firearm using a Winchester
Model 1300 "Defender," 12-gauge pump action shotgun, supplied from
the factory with a pistol grip and never having had a shoulder
stock attached. The smooth barrel supplied by the factory would be
removed and a fully rifled barrel shortened to less than 18 inches,
would be installed.
As defined in Title 18 United States Code (U.S.C.) Chapter 44,
Section 921(a)(3), of the Gun Control Act of 1968 (GCA), the term
"firearm" means (A) any weapon (including a starter gun) which will
or is designed to or may be readily converted to expel a cartridge
by the action of an explosive and (B) the frame or receiver of any
The Winchester, Model 1300, 12-gauge pump action shotgun with
pistol grip and 18-inch barrel is a classified as a "firearm" as
A weapon made from a shotgun having an overall barrel length of
less than 26 inches or a barrel or barrels less than 18 inches in
length is a "firearm" as defined in Title 26 United States Code
U.S.C., Chapter 53, Section 5845(a)(2) of the National Firearms Act
(NFA). A handgun constructed from a new, unused receiver which
had never been assembled as a shotgun would not be a weapon made
from a shotgun as defined.
As defined in Section 5845(e) of the NFA, the term "any other
weapon," includes a pistol or revolver with a smooth bore designed
to fire a fixed shotgun shell. A pistol with a rifled bore would
not be an "any other weapon" as defined.
As defined in Section 5845(f) of the (NFA), the term "destructive
device" means in part, (2) any weapon by whatever name known which
will, or may be readily converted to, expel a projectile by the
action of an explosive or other propellant, the barrel or barrels
of which have a bore diameter of more than one-half inch in
It is unlawful for anyone to possess an NFA firearm which is not
registered in accordance with the provisions of the NFA.
The Winchester, Model 1300 "Defender" with pistol grip and less
than 18-inch rifled barrel would have a bore diameter greater than
one-half in diameter. This weapon would meet the definition of a
"destructive device" under the NFA. In order to make a
"destructive device," an individual must obtain prior approval by
filing ATF Form 1 (Application to Make and Register a Firearm) and
paying a $200 making tax. The application cannot be approved if
the firearm would be a violation of any State law. Additional
information regarding this procedure may be obtained from the
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms
NFA Branch, Room 5300
650 Massachusetts Avenue, NW.
Washington, D.C. 20226
We trust the foregoing has been responsive to your inquiry. If we
may be of further assistance, please contact us.
Edward M. Owen, Jr.
Chief, Firearms Technology Branch
Small Arms Review mag did a nice article on the legal differences between an SBS and a smooth bore AOW. it is in the Jan. '06 issue. very good read.
rather stick with legal stuff and non-tax stuff.
18.5" it is then.