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legality of shortened shotgun barrel (MI)

Discussion in 'Legal' started by moooose102, Dec 1, 2008.

  1. moooose102

    moooose102 Well-Known Member

    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).
  2. benEzra

    benEzra Moderator Emeritus

    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.
  3. moooose102

    moooose102 Well-Known Member

    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.
  4. zoom6zoom

    zoom6zoom Well-Known Member

    Trade the Browning to someone who won't chop it up and get a Mossberg.
  5. FN5.7shooter

    FN5.7shooter Well-Known Member

    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
  6. BSlacker

    BSlacker Well-Known Member

    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
  7. ShootinDave

    ShootinDave Active Member

    sweet sweet baby james.......
  8. Trebor

    Trebor Well-Known Member

    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...
  9. HarleyFixer

    HarleyFixer Well-Known Member

    As already stated, DO NOT cut that barrel. I will trade you a Remington 870 or equal shotgun TODAY.:)
  10. foghornl

    foghornl Well-Known Member

    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)
  11. moooose102

    moooose102 Well-Known Member

    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.
  12. 7.62X25mm

    7.62X25mm member

    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.
  13. Darthbauer

    Darthbauer Well-Known Member

    As other people are saying, just get another shotgun and call it a day.
  14. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Well-Known Member

    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
  15. foghornl

    foghornl Well-Known Member


    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.
  16. madmike

    madmike Well-Known Member

    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.
  17. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Well-Known Member

    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.
  18. moooose102

    moooose102 Well-Known Member

    so where do you go about finding out about those?
  19. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

  20. 7.62X25mm

    7.62X25mm member

    Denver PD "retired" Rem. 870 WINGMASTER -- $85 out the door, but it was in sad shape cosmetically, and this was 12 yrs. ago.

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