Mag capacity question.


June 17, 2005, 11:30 AM
Hi guys,

I bought a mossy 500 combo in 20g last week and the sales clerk told me that i can load the mag to its full capacity at home for defense but if I'm in the range I can only load 3. Is this a Federal law, a state law or the guy is full of it? He even showed me the dowel which will prevent me from putting more than 3 rounds.


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June 17, 2005, 11:34 AM
The only rule at my range is you can only load 2 for clay's. As far as target shooting I can load to full capacity. Talk to your range master and get the true story.

A Cleaner
June 17, 2005, 11:40 AM
Ruger's right. No limit at range. If so, find new range.

June 17, 2005, 11:44 AM
He's probably confused between hunting and the range. While hunting migratory game, like ducks, dove, geese, etc, federal regs say you can only have 3 shots.

June 17, 2005, 12:21 PM
Yep - the only federal regulation is that for hunting duck. (Migratory game birds) Most states also specify 3 for upland game too.

Range rules depend on the range and I'd not be too happy with any that won't let me practice my home defense gun to full capacity... Skeet and trap rules aside of course!

June 17, 2005, 01:04 PM
Clarification on the migratory bird rule: It's 3 total, i.e., 2 in the mag + 1 in the chamber, not 3 in the mag.

June 17, 2005, 01:14 PM
that's an odd law - anyone know the justification for that?

June 17, 2005, 01:18 PM
They are trying to cut down on the number of birds that are wounded and not bagged, since the majority of people won't count a wounded bird towards their bag limit if it gets away. This makes you actually have to aim.

June 17, 2005, 02:27 PM
that's an odd law - anyone know the justification for that?

According to my latest issue of American Hunter "Enter the Sportmen's Zone, by Frank Miniter, executive editor, pgs. 18-19. (which arrived in the mail yesterday).

"The rule was not entirely meant to preclude sportsmen from blasting away at fleeing birds; rather, it was designed to quell criticism from double-barrel shotgun devotees who considered teh newfangled autoloaders and pumps to be unsporting."

Fred Fuller
June 17, 2005, 03:15 PM

At least one place it is covered is in 50 C.F.R. 20.21:

20.21 What hunting methods are illegal?

Migratory birds on which open seasons are prescribed in this part may be taken by any method except those prohibited in this section. No persons shall take migratory game birds:

(a) With a trap, snare, net, rifle, pistol, swivel gun, shotgun larger than 10 gauge, punt gun, battery gun, machinegun, fish hook, poison, drug, explosive, or stupefying substance;

(b) With a shotgun of any description capable of holding more than three shells, unless it is plugged with a one-piece filler, incapable of removal without disassembling the gun, so its total capacity does not exceed three shells. This restriction does not apply during a light-goose-only season (lesser snow and Ross' geese) when all other waterfowl and crane hunting seasons, excluding falconry, are closed while hunting light geese in Central and Mississippi Flyway portions of Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

The restrictions have less to do with jealousy on the part of twin-tube shooters, and more to do with a different aspect of history. Once upon a time in America the skies literally darkened with game birds. Lots of people liked to shoot game birds. Lots of people liked to eat game birds. There was this thing called 'market hunting.'
(note the punt gun pics, also the picture of the semiauto shotgun with the extended magazine)

Market hunters shot birds to sell. They shot LOTS of birds. At first they used small low profile watercraft called punts to sneak up on rafts of birds floating on the water. These boats were equipped with something called a 'punt gun'. Essentially it was a shotgun the size of a cannon, designed to kill as many of the birds as possible with a single discharge. Some punts had 'battery guns,' a series of shotgun barrels mounted together and all firing at the same time.

When reliable repeating shotguns became available market hunters were quick to adopt them, and many added long extended magazines to their guns. They could handle as many as 10 shells or more, and a market hunter could quickly kill a number of birds from dense flocks with such a gun.

Thus the reason for federal limitation on magazine capacity of repeaters for migratory game birds- a living legacy of market hunting (not to mention greed).


June 17, 2005, 08:51 PM
Guys, thanks for the replies. I don't think my range would limit me to 3 rds because some shooters shoots more that 3 whenever they take the bay besides me. You can always tell when they are loading.


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