Barrel length question


October 13, 2008, 09:03 PM
Just out of curiosity....... what is the main reason that there is a restriction on how short a barrel can be on a rifle? Is it because it goes into the handgun category or are there other reasons involved?

From my understanding the mininum length of a AK-47 (or any rifle is my guess) is 16 inches. I went to a gun shoot and saw a guy shoot a AK-47 with a 5 inch barrel that was producing obscene fireballs. It kind of got my jucies going and I was thinking how cool it would be to do this myself.

Is this 100% illegal or is there some way around is such as registering it as a handgun? Sorry for the dumb question, but google was not helping me out too much!!

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October 13, 2008, 09:11 PM
if you make the rifle too short, it makes a "concealable" assult rifle. stupid, i know. you can do it legally, it is called SBR'ing (short barrel rifle) it. this way, you can get a legal rifle with a barrel shorter than 16". how, i do not know, but some people here know very well.

hope this helps

October 13, 2008, 09:17 PM
Primarily because it's eeeeeeeevil and scaaaaaaaaaaaaary......

October 13, 2008, 09:22 PM
Most of the restrictive gun laws were no better than half-baked at the time, and have become sillier as time passes and technology advances.

I think the idea way back in the 1930's was that only criminals would saw off barrels to be short. I suppose the crooks were using sawed-off rifles instead of handguns because of cost or availability or what not. For all I know there wasn't ever a criminal (at least pre-NFA) who actually used a sawed off rifle, it was just a scare tactic of the time.

I think I remember reading about another country - possibly Canada? - where short barrels are allowed if they come that way from the factory, but not if you modify it yourself. Oh, that makes sense. But it would be somewhat consistent with what I suspect the rationale or sell-job at the time of these restrictions was.

So, right now in the US, you can legally have an AK pistol with an 8" or 10" or whatever barrel, but an AK with a 15.9" barrel would be illegal unless registered as an SBR. The one you saw was probably legally registered as an SBR - sure hope so.

October 13, 2008, 09:26 PM
and, to go a little off topic (and section) while a rifle barrel must not be shorter than 16" inches, a shotgun barrel must be longer than 18 inches to be legal under the NFA, but both must be 26inches or more overall.


October 13, 2008, 09:32 PM
So what do I have to do in order to register my gun as a SBR?

By the way, the chopped off AK-47 was at the Knob Creek machine gun show. Believe it or not, but one of the loudest guns I heard was a H&K G3 with a 5 inch barrel - honest to god.... it was louder than the 50 cal!! That was off topic, but I had to share it with you guys. It was simply incredible and I think everyone should go!!

October 13, 2008, 09:35 PM
buying a short barrel rifle requires the same paperwork and $200 tax as buying a pre ban auto or a supressor/silencer. It is not really difficult but it is time consuming. Look at doing a search for buying NFA items.

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