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Measuring the 26" length

Discussion in 'NFA Firearms and Accessories' started by Shienhausser, Jul 22, 2011.

  1. Shienhausser

    Shienhausser Well-Known Member

    This question is more how to avoid the tax stamp.

    If I am cutting the stock down on a long gun, What do I measure to get that 26" overall? From tip of muzzle to the most outward end of the stock?


    I dont want to cut it and then have someone measure it differently from I and say, "oh its 25" come with me"
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2011
  2. kingpin008

    kingpin008 Well-Known Member

    I'd imagine it was from the tip of the muzzle to the end of the stock. Otherwise, what else is left to measure?
  3. Shienhausser

    Shienhausser Well-Known Member

    Thats what I'm thinking but you know sometimes these things can have a "catch".
  4. AlexanderA

    AlexanderA Well-Known Member

    It's not a direct measurement (on the diagonal) from the muzzle to the end of the stock.

    27 Code of Federal Regulations ยง 479.11 provides as follows:

    Because of the "drop" of the stock, the length measured diagonally would be longer than the equivalent length between perpendiculars, as defined in the regulations. This could be a trap for the unwary. If you measure diagonally, and come up with exactly a 26" o/a length, you could still be in violation because of the above-quoted definition. (BTW, in case of a folding stock, the length is with the stock folded.)
  5. Shienhausser

    Shienhausser Well-Known Member

    Thanks Alexander, this is exactly why I posted this thread.

    I always say, you can never been to prepared.
  6. isc

    isc Well-Known Member

    also, on a collapsible or folding stock long gun, the measurement is with the stock extended.
  7. AlexanderA

    AlexanderA Well-Known Member

    I sorta stand corrected on this. The general "lore" seems to indicate that the stock is measured extended, but I haven't been able to find any published legal authority saying so. Certain states, such as Michigan and California, measure with the stock folded.
  8. bigfatdave

    bigfatdave Well-Known Member

    MI and CA silliness doesn't apply to anyone else, though.

    I would play it safe with a collapsing stock and have the shortest position set for measuring, because that's a useable position of the stock.
    But a folded stock is not in a firing position, so it doesn't matter.

    If a folding stock guin needs to be measured with the stock folded for the "official length" what baout a gun with the stock removed?
  9. MasterSergeantA

    MasterSergeantA Well-Known Member


    Chapter 2

    "The overall length of a firearm is the distance between the muzzle of the barrel and the rearmost portion of the weapon measured on a line parallel to the axis of the bore."

    The handbook doesn't specifically address folding stocks or collapsible stocks. So long as the stock is attached to the firearm and can be extended, the "rearmost portion" would be in the fully extended position. If the stock is permanently fixed in the folded/contracted position, the rearmost portion would be shorter.

    Some STATE governments choose to measure everything with the stock folded to increase the number of otherwise legal firearms they can ban.

    There is also still a lot of confusion over the impact of Title 18 of the US Code (18 USC), Chapter 44 Section 922(r) which only affects imported firearms, but requires that folding stocks be permanently fixed in the open position.

    If you remove the stock, the overall measurement is made from the muzzle to the "rearmost portion" of the firearm...whatever the rearmost portion happens to be. A pistol-gripped (PGO) shotgun has to have a barrel length of at least 18" as a shotgun or it is a SBS. But if the receiver and stock don't add another 8" of length, the barrel has to be longer to make up the difference, or it is STILL a SBS.

    Of course, the ATF may decide to 'change' all of that with their next round of opinions. Who knows?

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