Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

minimum legal overall length of a rifle?

Discussion in 'Legal' started by john l, Oct 20, 2005.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. john l

    john l Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2003
    Messages:
    206
    Location:
    slc, ut
    What is the minimum overall legal length of a rifle?
    ......would like to cut down a 22 stock for a child shooter and still be within the law.

    thanks,
    john l
     
  2. Third_Rail

    Third_Rail Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2004
    Messages:
    4,981
    Overall is 26", barrel is 16".
     
  3. Kharn

    Kharn Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    3,999
    Location:
    Maryland
    26", with all folding/telescoping stocks fully extended. Kids love telestocks on ARs.

    Kharn
     
  4. Kurush

    Kurush Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2005
    Messages:
    1,078
    Here's what the law says:
    ATF says that means that all rifles have to have an overall length at least 26".
     
  5. mr_dove

    mr_dove Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2003
    Messages:
    645
    Location:
    Denver
    This is a tad off topic but i wonder what the size is on those little tiny childrens rifles. The only maker I can think of right now is chipmunk although there are a few others out there. They sure seem tiny.
     
  6. Hkmp5sd

    Hkmp5sd Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    6,513
    Location:
    Winter Haven, FL
    As Kharn recommended, make the stock extendable. The overall length is measured with the stock fully extended, so you can adjust it down to whatever length you need to fit the child.
     
  7. Flatfender

    Flatfender Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2002
    Messages:
    457
    Location:
    Second star to the right
    Chipmunks are 30" long.
    http://www.roguerifle.com/Rifles.htm
     
  8. john l

    john l Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2003
    Messages:
    206
    Location:
    slc, ut
    Thanks, guys.
    26" for legal minimum length, and so I am well within the bounds.
    john l
     
  9. Wild Deuce

    Wild Deuce Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2007
    Messages:
    223
    Have these rules changed at all and can anyone provide a link to the current rules? I'm having trouble bringing anything relevant up on a search.

    This rifle would be barely legal if you DID NOT apply the requirement that the stock be fully extended and unfolded
     
  10. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    Messages:
    59,082
    Location:
    Eastern KS
    Further, if the rifle can still be fired with the stock folded, the 26" length still applies.

    rcmodel
     
  11. Wild Deuce

    Wild Deuce Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2007
    Messages:
    223
    Ahhhh ... that is good to know and a very important caveat to the previous information!

    Thanks RCModel.
     
  12. nalioth

    nalioth Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2007
    Messages:
    5,841
    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    These are only federal guidelines.

    Be sure you know your state laws as well.
     
  13. Wild Deuce

    Wild Deuce Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2007
    Messages:
    223
    Indiana ... I think I'm good.

    Is there another state where this would be illegal based on length alone ... as opposed to simply being illegal because of an AWB?
     
  14. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2003
    Messages:
    18,302
    Location:
    Ft. Worth
    But it is legal. That the overall length is 26.25" is not a coincidence :)
     
  15. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    Messages:
    59,082
    Location:
    Eastern KS
    There are exceptions, that I don't fully understand.

    The M1-A1 carbine is one. (25.4" folded) The BATF excepted it years ago.

    Another is the Kel-Tec SU-16C (25.5" folded)

    Both can be fired folded.

    rcmodel
     
  16. Wild Deuce

    Wild Deuce Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2007
    Messages:
    223
    You have that right TexasRifleman!

    I suppose my initial inquiry was about whether or not the measurement had to be done with the stock extended and unfolded. Like you said, it's a moot point since it is still over 26" at it's shortest.

    The question now for me is finding a definitive link to the rule/regulation/law that establishes 26" as the minimum. This comes pretty close. I was asking since this online reviewer feels that 30" is the minimum. Nalioth raised a good point that I failed to take into account; the reviewer might be referencing his own state or local ordinances.

    RCModel ... those little exceptions and nuances by the ATF are what would drive me nuts. How did you know that those two weapons are exempted? That is why I am still looking for chapter and verse (still reading the ATF PDF files at this time).
     
  17. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    Messages:
    59,082
    Location:
    Eastern KS
    Well, I know because I have had an M1-A1 for about 45 years, and at the time I got it, I found out there was an exception to the rule made for them back in the 1950's.
    Don't remember how I found that out.

    Kel-Tec lists the OAL folded length of the SU-16C on their website. They wouldn't be selling it if it didn't comply.

    rcmodel
     
  18. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2003
    Messages:
    18,302
    Location:
    Ft. Worth
    A short barreled rifle is defined in the US Code, Title 18, Part I, Chapter, Sec. 921.

    Notice this doesn't say anything about whether or not it can fire while folded. That is an ATF interpretation that, even from them, gets fuzzy.

    Whether or not you'll hang in court remains to be seen I suppose, like many other ATF "rulings".

    Here is an interesting opinion from the Michigan Attorney General as it regards those rifles that have at least a 16 inch barrel but are less than 26 inches when folded AND are still operable.

    http://www.ag.state.mi.us/opinion/datafiles/1980s/op06280.htm

    As in the case of the Kel Tec above, the interpretation here takes into account the portion of US Code that says "whether by alteration, modification, or
    otherwise". Since the Kel Tec is manufactured that way, it is not "altered or modified" so it's not an SBR. It appears from all of this that if the manufacturer made it that way it's fine but if you modify something to end up that way it's an SBR.

    So, you could have 2 identical rifles, one from the factory and one modified from a longer version, and one would be perfectly legal and one would not.

    Now, that's just Michigan AG's interpretation but it makes as much sense as any other I've seen written down and would explain some of these things, like the Kel Tec, that appear to not meet some definitions ATF has "ruled" over the years. That it meets word for word the US Code and is approved by ATF I think is telling that they are not sure they have a leg to stand on regarding factory made Title I firearms.

    Have I mentioned this week that gun laws are stupid?
     
  19. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    Messages:
    59,082
    Location:
    Eastern KS
    I believe that pretty much matches the ATF rule also.

    The "Modified from" is the kicker.

    The "Manufactured that way" is the other kicker.

    But you notice nobody pushes it very much under the 26" folded rule!

    You don't see anyone making 24" or 22" folded & getting away with it do you?

    There must be a 1/2" fudge-factor they can get away with, or something.

    rcmodel
     
  20. Loomis

    Loomis member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2008
    Messages:
    938
    Any rifle with a 16" barrel and a stock is going to have a hard time getting under 26" overall length. It would have to be a bullpup configuration. I am a little curious about the walther bullpup 22 rimfire rifle. It seems to me it might be under 26" overall length. I'll get back to this thread after I research it.
     
  21. yokel

    yokel Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2007
    Messages:
    1,193
    Well I feel safer; how about you?

    Ya gotta love it!
     
  22. Quiet

    Quiet Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2007
    Messages:
    3,061
    Location:
    bouncing between the 909 & the 702
    26" is the min. OAL.

    The feds measure OAL with the stock in the extended/open position.

    Some states measure OAL with the stock in the collapsed/closed position.

    Check with your state's laws.
     
  23. Hkmp5sd

    Hkmp5sd Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    6,513
    Location:
    Winter Haven, FL
    IIRC, the Uzi Carbine is under 26" overall length with the stock folded. Doesn't matter anyway. ATF measures with the stock extended. Here's one of many letters from them stating that fact.

    http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=347669






    http://www.atf.treas.gov/pub/fire-explo_pub/2005/p53004/index.htm
     
  24. Kharn

    Kharn Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    3,999
    Location:
    Maryland
    Hkmp5sd points out an interesting change in position, it used to be you could convert a pistol to rifle and back to pistol as many times as you wanted. Now anyone with a carbine kit for their 1911 or Glock is automatically guilty of a felony when they remove the carbine conversion kit and revert their weapon back to its original pistol configuration. :rolleyes:

    Kharn
     
  25. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2003
    Messages:
    18,302
    Location:
    Ft. Worth
    Yep, after they lost the Contender case the ATF seems to have gotten their feelings hurt so they are gripping tighter to that "alteration, modification, or otherwise" clause.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page