legality of shortened shotgun barrel (MI)


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moooose102
December 1, 2008, 10:49 AM
i am thinking about getting a second barrel for my shotgun and having it shortened for home defense use. michigan law states that a shotgun barrel must be 18" in length. so, iam i opening up a can of worms if i do this? is a prosecutor going to go nuts when he see's "shortened shotgun barrel" in a police officers report? what about civil suits? how much difference would there be between a standard gun, and a modified gun? if i do this, i will be certain that is 19" from the end of the shell. just so there is no problems in the way of legal interpatations of the 18" law. all of this is of course only going to matter if i ever shot someone with it. but if i did, i dont want to be wishing i was dead (going to prison).

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benEzra
December 1, 2008, 11:06 AM
You won't have to have it shortened; you can buy a factory 18" or 18.5" barrel for most interchangeable-barrel shotguns. If you buy a factory 18" or 18.5" barrel, it's not a shortened barrel; it's a factory barrel. (What model shotgun is it?)

Barrel length of a shotgun is measured from the breechface, FWIW.

If you had a shorter-than-18" barrel, that could be a problem legally in a defensive situation (and would be a violation of Federal and state law without the proper Federal paperwork), but having a legal 18-20" barrel shouldn't be a problem at all; that's the normal defensive-shotgun barrel length.

moooose102
December 1, 2008, 09:27 PM
Well, i dont think i can buy a factory barrel for it. It is a 16 gauge belgium browning auto 5. So shotening a barrel would be a necessity if i want to use it for home defense. Other than that, i would have to buy another shotgun. And i use a shotgun so little, it is hardly worth having one, let alone two.

zoom6zoom
December 1, 2008, 11:55 PM
Trade the Browning to someone who won't chop it up and get a Mossberg.

FN5.7shooter
December 2, 2008, 08:00 AM
Do not cut that shotgun! :eek: If it turned out to be a Browning Sweet 16 you would at least lose 1k$ and incur some really bad Karma. I would trade straight up for a new 870 any day if interested. Cutting any Browning A5 16ga is just wrong. They are called Sweet 16 because that is what you say after every shot!:D

BSlacker
December 2, 2008, 08:18 AM
If you can find an A5 16ga barrel to cut the barrel it will cost as much as an 18" Mossberg pump. The Mossberg will be reliable, the A5 operation is somewhat dependent on ammo, barrel length, various springs all working together and you might end up with a 18" barrelled club. See if a magnet will stick to the reciever if not it is a Sweet 16. Go to the bank if it is. You can buy a good revolver and a Mossberg with the money from a Sweet. A 80% Sweet 16, if it works and is round knob is worth $750.00 min. Wouldn't last a few minutes at auction.:D

ShootinDave
December 2, 2008, 08:21 AM
sweet sweet baby james.......

Trebor
December 2, 2008, 08:24 AM
Your Auto 5 is potentially valuable. Don't chop the barrel before you check on that.

You may be able to sell it at enough of a profit to not only buy another shotgun, but also have some extra cash left over for other things.

Trust me, put down the hacksaw and step away from the gun...

HarleyFixer
December 2, 2008, 08:24 AM
As already stated, DO NOT cut that barrel. I will trade you a Remington 870 or equal shotgun TODAY.:)

foghornl
December 2, 2008, 08:35 AM
In my best big booming extra-loud 'Robo-Cop' voice:

"Un-clamp that barrel, put down the saw and step away...quickly. You have 20 seconds to comply."

If that is a Belgium-made Sweet-16, and you start chopping away at it, you might as well get a LARGE stack of $100 bills and set them on fire.

If you really want a "HomeLand Security" shotgun, I have a Maverick 88 pump already set up for that...18-1/2" plain cylinder-bore barrel, 5+1 capacity, butt cuff w/5slugs, and a 20-shell bandolier.(ammo belt)

moooose102
December 3, 2008, 10:06 AM
it IS a belguim sweet 16. i have NO INTENTIONS of harming the gun in any way. but, if i could find an extra barrel, i would cut that. and, sorry, it IS NOT FOR SALE! it is a family heirloom, and no amount of money would ever make up for how bad i would feel (for the rest of my life) for selling my dad's shotgun. beside, i have already promised it to my son. and hopefully, he will give it to his son, and so on.

7.62X25mm
December 3, 2008, 02:16 PM
You can buy all sorts of 18" bbl. shotguns for circa $250 -- slightly more, or about the same price as a second barrel.

Rem. or Mossberg are good choices. I'm a big fan of the Stoeger SxS "cowboy" guns, nickle plated.

"I don't shoot them much."

I have guns that I never shoot. I have a couple that I've never shot.

Darthbauer
December 3, 2008, 02:22 PM
As other people are saying, just get another shotgun and call it a day.

1KPerDay
December 3, 2008, 02:26 PM
it is a family heirloom, and no amount of money would ever make up for how bad i would feel (for the rest of my life) for selling my dad's shotgun.
Now if only you had the same remorse for wanting to cut it up... or even cutting a spare barrel. Seriously... spend the money you would spend on a spare barrel on a mossberg 500 or the like. Better gun for the job in question, and no hacking up a classic.

But hey, it's your heirloom. :)

BTW, anyone have a source for a smith that will add night sights and an accessory rail to my original Colt 1860 Army? :D

foghornl
December 4, 2008, 09:00 AM
Moooose102:

I wasn't my intent to start a "Hey, everybody...let's all Dog Pile Moooose for cutting down that Sweet 16"...But I have seen way too many folks absolutely ruin the value of family heirlooms in a moment of ahhhhhhh being unclear on the concept of heirloom firearms.

I have a (former) Shooting Budd that took his "Gramps" fine old Savage 311 and chop the barrels very poorly to about 19-1/2" to 20". One barrel was about 1/2" shorter than the other..cut at an angle. Haven't spoken to him in more than 10 years...after I quit chasing him down the block, swinging the chopped piece like a club.....

That particular Savage had the nicest wood and deepest blue I have ever seen on a 311. Almost like it had been to a custom shop at some time.

Legally, though, you are OK at 18"..and that is the Federal law. Under 18", you get into the Short Barrel Shotgun or Any Other Weapon rules.

madmike
December 5, 2008, 10:00 AM
Even though 18" is legal, at least 18.5" is advisable, to allow leeway. If you need to recrown at some point, it would suck to get to 17.99999" and YES, the BATFinks would prosecute.

However, for what a "Spare" barrel would cost for that, you can buy a good Remington or Mossy used--I got an MI state police surplus 870 for $130 a few years back.

1KPerDay
December 5, 2008, 12:33 PM
Also remember if you decide to cut it to measure from the bolt face to the muzzle. Run a dowel down there, measure it TWICE, then cut if you must.

moooose102
December 5, 2008, 05:46 PM
I got an MI state police surplus 870 for $130 a few years back.


so where do you go about finding out about those?

rcmodel
December 5, 2008, 05:57 PM
Here is a 22" with rifle sights already.

http://www.barrelexchange.com/seller_detail.cfm?recordID=BR-176

Here is a 19".
http://www.corsonsbarrels.com/

rcmodel

7.62X25mm
December 6, 2008, 02:58 PM
Denver PD "retired" Rem. 870 WINGMASTER -- $85 out the door, but it was in sad shape cosmetically, and this was 12 yrs. ago.

Loomis
December 6, 2008, 03:04 PM
IF YOU EVER FIND A SPARE BARREL FOR A SWEET 16, YOU BETTER NOT CUT THAT EITHER!

KEEP YOUR DAM HAM FISTS OFF IT, YOU DOPE!

I own a sweet 16 too. They are minimum 800 bucks. And that was 5 10 years ago. Probably more now. You don't mess with guns like that. They are to be pampered and protected, like a picasso painting.

DO YOU HEAR???

ants
December 6, 2008, 03:09 PM
Hello, moooooose!

It would be a shame to use a family heirloom in a legitimate self defense situation, then have it impounded temporarily by the local police during the investigation. You'll get it back, but you'll sweat buckshot during its absence (I almost said 'sweat bullets' but the buck metaphor seemed sweeter!).

Use the heirloom on ducks with your son. Use a $225 Mossberg on bad guys.
Inexpensive 18.5" Mossies are everywhere. Everywhere!

moooose102
December 6, 2008, 06:28 PM
It would be a shame to use a family heirloom in a legitimate self defense situation, then have it impounded temporarily by the local police during the investigation. You'll get it back, but you'll sweat buckshot during its absence (I almost said 'sweat bullets' but the buck metaphor seemed sweeter!).

this make the most sense of anything i have read here. i forgot that the cops would take the gun. damn! i guess i will have to scour the used racks for a while. no way i want the cops to have this one.

foghornl
December 8, 2008, 08:03 AM
Maverick 88 (made by Mossberg) short-plain barrel cylinder bore $199 MSRP new, 8-shot version w/20" barrel $206 MSRP.

MT GUNNY
December 8, 2008, 12:39 PM
"We Are The Borg, You Will Be Assimilated, Resistance Is Futile"

StrawHat
December 8, 2008, 01:08 PM
It would be a shame to use a family heirloom in a legitimate self defense situation, then have it impounded temporarily by the local police during the investigation.

No matter what firearm is used, if charges are filed, all the firearms in the home will be taken.

And they will not be treated as kindly as you would like.

And they may or may not all get returned.

Zeke/PA
December 8, 2008, 01:23 PM
Check the Federal regs also.
It USED to be that the feds, along with the 18" barrel length, also specified a minimum overall length of the weapon.
Zeke

j_charles
December 8, 2008, 03:14 PM
It would be a shame to use a family heirloom in a legitimate self defense situation, then have it impounded temporarily by the local police during the investigation.

+1 That's what my first thought was! And that's in a cut and dried, clear case of self-defense. What about the one that isn't so clear cut? The one that makes for the long and drawn out legal nightmare. You eventually get off, but the "family hierloom" has been in evidence so long, it gets "misplaced" (into the cheif's collection of "family heirlooms)?:eek:

madmike
December 9, 2008, 12:08 AM
In my experience, that's not the case. Spoke to several others. They took the pistol I was carrying, and held it for four weeks, to "trace" it, even though I had the original receipt, but they never asked about any others.

I've checked with several friends. Same thing. If there was any question, it was only the weapon involved.

Taking any others would legally be theft and you could file charges with the state police, who tend not to like local yokels.

moooose102
December 9, 2008, 06:45 AM
No matter what firearm is used, if charges are filed, all the firearms in the home will be taken.

And they will not be treated as kindly as you would like.

And they may or may not all get returned

that does not sound legal at all, especially since some of the firearms belong to other family members. not me personally. how are they supposed to defend themselves? it sounds like a legal nightmare for the police who comfiscated these legally obtained/owned firearms. they then would be liable for ANY harm that comes their way during the comfiscation time period. are they going to post 24/7 security for each member? not at all likely.

frogomatic
December 9, 2008, 11:17 AM
I just recently picked up a mossberg 500 for $180, which is less than what I would charge to cut, crown, and re-choke a shotgun barrel.

As other posters have said, just go buy a 500 or an 870. They are inexpensive, reliable as hell, and there is no significant loss in value if you hack one up.

If that is a sweet16 that you have, I can't fathom why you are even contemplating cutting it down...:eek:

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