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Old 08-10-2004, 09:56 AM   #1
bigcountry
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Default Legal Barrel Length

Hey, what is the minimum legal barrel length for a shotgun? I was thinking 16". They have 870's on sale at Bass Pro for 197 dollars. Ain't bad. Thought I might convert one for home protection.

thinking it might be faster and cheaper to get my gunsmith to cut and crown the barrel. Is there anyplace that will sell these shorter barrels to the public? All I see is 18.5".
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Old 08-10-2004, 10:26 AM   #2
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Default RE: Legal Barrel Length

I believe a shotgun barrel must be MORE than 18 " in length and the OVERALL lenght of any shotgun must be MORE than 26 ". Otherwise, any such weapon can be deemed a "short-barreled shotgun" and is subject to a violation. I think that is the federal statute you're talking about.

Have you checked with Gun E-Parts (the Numrich people) I bought a pretty short barrel for my 20 ga Mossberg years ago (about 18 and 1/4 inch I think) with rifle sights installed. It is just a re-claimed cosmetic flaw barrel that they bought in mass quantities , sawed off to a legal lenght, added the sights, and sold for $50.00. That was about 15 yrs ago.
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Old 08-10-2004, 11:25 AM   #3
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Default RE: Legal Barrel Length

I believe 18.5" is the minimum.....certainly 16" is too short.....it might work for a rifle but not a shotgun.
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Old 08-10-2004, 11:32 AM   #4
 
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Default RE: Legal Barrel Length

I KNOW IN MA. ITS 18.5 THE SHORTEST BARREL THE STATE ALLOWS LEAGLEY!!!!!![:@][:'(][X(][&o]
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Old 08-10-2004, 12:38 PM   #5
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Default RE: Legal Barrel Length

You can cut it as short as you want, so long as you get the permission of the BATF first, fill out the NFA paperwork and pay the $200 tax.
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Old 08-10-2004, 01:02 PM   #6
 
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Default RE: Legal Barrel Length

BigCountry - Personally I try to stay off of government lists, we have enough tracking and paperwork to deal with being residents of the Communist State of Maryland, no sense getting on the BATF lists just to shave an inch or two off of a shotgun. I know you can find a barrel under 19" for the 870, if you buy it and have trouble finding the barrel drop me a line and I will help you out.
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Old 08-10-2004, 01:48 PM   #7
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Default RE: Legal Barrel Length

Ok, guys, I got the information needed. I appreciate it. I don't worry enough about it for a tax. I was just thinking this is a great price for a shotgun, to be customized.
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Old 08-10-2004, 02:33 PM   #8
 
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Default RE: Legal Barrel Length

Here you go, bigcountry.
An exception to that Federal $200 tax stamp on a shortbarrled shotgun. Because of a technicality in the law, this shotgun only requires a $5 stamp. From what I've heard about MD, I'm sure that most NFA (National Firearm Act of 1934) items are banned anyway, but what about A.O.W.s, (Any Other Weapons.)? You might be able to blindside them legally here, if you go for this they might have to make a new law, just for you. No kidding, please see link, there is a waiting list on these, they are very popular. They look cool, too.



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Old 08-10-2004, 05:08 PM   #9
 
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Default RE: Legal Barrel Length

Couple things:
Federal:
Legal rifle barrel length 16 inches or greater from face of breech the barrel to the tip.

Shotgun has to be 18 inches or greater.

In MA a shotgun needs only meet the federal 18 inches or more.
MGL 140-121
""Shotgun'', a weapon having a smooth bore with a barrel length equal to or greater than 18 inches with an overall length equal to or greater than 26 inches, and capable of discharging a shot or bullet for each pull of the trigger."

Now for the reality, since no one wants to be on the wrong side of the law barrels are often a little longer...by .5 inches in a lot of cases or even more. I know of a few companies that sell 16.1 inch barrels but goodness knows that can be a bit of an issue if it's a blank that needs a contour and crowning and reaming.

Now as to tax stamps and NFA guns:
Any individual can make short barreled shotgun...BUT you must do the paperwork FIRST, get it approved and live in a state where it is legal. For a short barreled shotgun (SBS) the MAKING tax is $200, the transfer tax is $5. This applies to individuals and not 07 FFL's who pay their SOT.
Moving on MD is a very NFA friendly state on paper, as you can own ANYTHING as an individual. That being said there is a State permit required but a few states have that.
As to ATF paperwork, if you own or buy a gun, you are part of the ATF paperwork system...even with the new NICS regulations...the 4473 still exists...you are part of the machine...no matter what.
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Old 08-10-2004, 05:09 PM   #10
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Default RE: Legal Barrel Length

http://www.lectlaw.com/def2/s044.htm

this site will explain the wording used on the federal statutes. some states may impose their own limits but most just follow the federal rules. Most barrel companies don't make anything shorter than 18.5 just to give a litlle breathing space.
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