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Legality of shortening shotguns

Discussion in 'Legal' started by rexelbion, Dec 22, 2004.

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  1. rexelbion

    rexelbion Member

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    Does anyone know what the legal shortest length you can shorten a shotgun to? Does it differ from state to state? (Florida)

    Any input is greatly appreciated. :rolleyes:
     
  2. bogie

    bogie Member

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    1. Pay a gunsmith to have it done. Keep the receipt.

    2. 18" is the minimum non-regulated length.

    3. If you want to have something shorter, call your local ATF office, and ask them about how to do it. Since this is regulated, it will cost you, but it is possible.
     
  3. CAS700850

    CAS700850 Member

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    From a practical perspective, I would suggest that you don't go shorter than 18.5" without Class III issues, even though 18" is the legal limit. You avoid any problems with someone having a shorter tape measure than your gunsmith does. Plus, the extra half inch will be of little consequence in you performance and handling.
     
  4. jsalcedo

    jsalcedo Member

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    If you do it cut a dowell and insert it down the barrel and make sure you are cutting at least to the 18 1/4 inches.

    The ATF does not measure the outside of the barrel. They measure inside the barrel from the firing pin to the muzzle.
     
  5. NukemJim

    NukemJim Member

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    My limited understanding is that there is also a minimum overall length for a shotgun (24"???) As always I could be wrong.

    NukemJim
     
  6. HankB

    HankB Member

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    As stated, the question was about the minimum legal length of a shotgun.

    The 18" figure refers to the minimum legal length of a shotgun barrel, not the minimum legal length of the shotgun itself. (A wise man will not try to crowd the 18" length too closely . . . an extra 1/2" is a good allowance.)

    The overall length of the entire shotgun has to be, IIRC, 26.5." So once you chop the barrel to 18.5 inches, don't chop the stock too much. I'd keep the OAL at least 1" above the limit . . . and that's without something like a rubber recoil pad which could be easily removed.
     
  7. Coltdriver

    Coltdriver Member

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    It is interesting that the 870 Police shotguns have a barrel that is about 18 inches and a sixteenth or an eighth.
     
  8. wdlsguy

    wdlsguy Member

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  9. 71Commander

    71Commander Member

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    If you've got a pump or auto, make sure the bolt is closed when you stick the rod into the barrel for measuring purposes.
     
  10. rexelbion

    rexelbion Member

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    Thanks

    Thanks for all the great feedback.

    It's been a tremendous help.

    :)
     
  11. B36

    B36 Member

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    State law & DC

    One state and DC have different requrements if I remember right.
     
  12. 71Commander

    71Commander Member

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    Not on barrel lengths. This is under federal control.
     
  13. beerslurpy

    beerslurpy member

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    CA measures overall length with the folding stock retracted. Federal law measures with it open.
     
  14. B36

    B36 Member

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    :uhoh:

    Think you are right, now I have to try to remember what is strange about DC and Hawaii gun laws. Been years since I went thru the federal book of state laws.
     
  15. DMF

    DMF Member

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    You might want to confirm that with ATF, because everything I've seen is that the overall length is measured with the stock folded, meaning the shortest possible length the gun could be.
     
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