16 inch shot gun barrels getting hard to find

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by castile, Mar 24, 2020.

  1. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

    May 10, 2005
    Kingsport Tennessee
    ATF method of measuring shotgun or rifle barrel:
    Close the breech on an empty chamber.
    Drop a metal rod down the muzzle until it is resting on the closed breech..
    Tape the rod at the muzzle.
    Take the rod out of the barrel.
    Measure the distance on the rod, which will be muzzle to breech face.

    Barrel length includes the part of the barrel that fits inside the receiver.

    My M6 Scout .22/.410 has a factory barrel within a hair of 18" even tho published sources list 18.5". ATF allows factory .22 AR-7 rifle barrels to be 16 inches minus the thickness of a .22 cartridge rim. I suspect that is a special dispensation on ATF's part for factory M6 and AR-7.

    Locally, a guy bought a Winchester Model 12 from a prison surplus auction. He discovered the barrel was shorter than 18 inches. He contacted the local office of federal ATF for advice in what to do. They advised him to take the barrel off the gun and take the barrel to a gunsmith to have a permanent extension installed. I believe he had a Cutts Compensator (recoil reducer, choke) permanently installed. You will find permanently attached compensator tubes, choke extensions or just iron pipe welded on too-short shotgun barrels to bring them to legal length. I read a query once about why would someone weld a section of 10ga shotgun barrel over the end of a 20ga shotgun barrel.
  2. mjsdwash

    mjsdwash Member

    Jan 14, 2011
    as stated, you'll be finding only 18+, with the perfect length for not bird/trap shotguns being 21" IMO, and 21 is pretty common, especially on the 870. I have found in my area its much easier to find Mossbergs in combat configuration, with short barrels, fixed cylinder bore chokes, and longer magtubes than Remington's. They also shoot the garbage ammo better, and cost less. Thats coming from a Remington guy.
  3. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    The minimum rifle barrel length was reduced from 18" to 16" in living memory.
    The first wave of Swedish Mauser Carbines with 45 cm (17.7") barrels had little extension rings welded to the muzzle. Steyr had a US version of the Mannlicher Schoenauer carbine with legal length barrel, home market guns were too short to sell here.
  4. 748

    748 Member

    Feb 24, 2006
    clovis, NM
    For a shotgun to stay a shotgun it has to be manufactured as a shotgun and had at least 18 inches on the barrel and 26 inches overall.
    Options are:
    Get a regular shotgun, keep it legal.
    Get a factory sawedoff firearm thingy that was manufactured with no stock and a short barrel and therefore was never a "shotgun".
    Get a shotgun and put it on a form 1 and pay the tax, get it stamped and then cut it down.
    Unless you want to reenact ruby ridge.

    I just pay the $200.
  5. Armorer 101

    Armorer 101 Member

    Jan 6, 2019
    If you inherit a house owned by a suddenly deceased LEO, check the inside carefully for guns you should not possess. Just check to make sure you do not have hidden illegal guns in that house. That warning comes from experience.
    Texas10mm likes this.
  6. George P

    George P Member

    Jan 10, 2018
    That needs to be clarifies as most semi auto guns, like pumps, have an extension that goes well into the receiver that is NOT part of the barrel and is not counted towards the barrel length.
    What is correct is a closed bolt, measured down the barrel from that point to the muzzle; legal minimum is 18" exactly; most folks go a tad longer for that JIC
    Coyote3855 and Texas10mm like this.
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