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Sawed offs are da bomb (or "2LTs with too much time and money on their hands)

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by stiletto raggio, Mar 9, 2006.

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  1. stiletto raggio

    stiletto raggio Member

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    Yeah yeah, I know what you are thinking: "Short-barreled shotguns, you uneducated gun heathen." Nope, I mean sawed-offs.

    My buddy and I were out at Gander Mountain and found a very inexpensive but decent quality Brazilian over/under for about $140. We split the cost and took it back to his place, broke out the Sawzall and the tape-measure and got to work. We double-checked the laws, measured carefully (three times) and marked our cuts with electricians tape.

    After test-firing and a little refining work with the dremel and some good old-fashioned sandpaper we were proud of our new creation. It shot mini-slugs to point of aim and recoil was not a problem (even one-handed). Birshot required two hands but was not bad, and buckshot, well, it fired better than our wrists handled it. At just over 26.5", it was compact and quite handy. Still, it held only two shots and.

    Several weeks later I got lot on the way to my grandparent's house and stopped at a local gun shop to ask directions. It was then that I saw a Mossberg 5500 in great shape sitting in a long line of used gun. I asked to see it and and, with the storekeeper's permission, unscrewed the buttpad to check the length of teh rod that attached the stock to the receiver. Happy with what I found, I paid the $160, filled out the requisite form and went happily on my way. A few days later, I took it to the range to make sure it would fire reliably from the hip and with a lose grip to simultate the reduced mass of a cut-down gun. I starred in on it with a fresh hacksaw blade. I rounded the butt with a power sander and cut the vent rib off at the last support on the barrel. Some heavy sandpaper evened out the barrel and I dremeled the inside to remove any burrs left from the cut.

    Test firing this gun was a bit trickier. Unlike the over/under, I had to learn how to hold this gun in order for it to be reliable with the light birdshot that I used for testing. Buckshot, however, proved to be perfectly reliable, and I have since learned to shoot birdshot from it with near-total reliability. I think opening up the gas tube a tiny bit would really make this gun reliable, but I don't yet have the guts to do major internal surgery and I'm not going to pay a pro to work on a gun that cost less than a Hi-point. At a hair under 29", it is longer than the over/under but weighs no more, and it holds a full five rounds. I am actually considering buying a choate tube extension to bring this up to seven, but who knows.

    Advice to anyone who wants to try this:

    1) MEASURE CAREFULLY. Leave room for finishing and polishing. If you cut it too short somehow, DESTROY the offending part immediately.

    2) Use fresh blades. The fresher the blade you cut with, the better the finish will be and the less work you have to do to touch it up.

    3) Only cut guns you won't mind messing up. Not that this gives you a license to be reckless, but if you are conerned about how it will turn out, let a pro do it. These are "fun guns" and should be viewed as such. I wouldn't do this to a gun I wanted to use for self-defense.

    4) If you want to do a semi-auto, get one chambered for 2-3/4" shells only. You won't want to shoot 3" shells out of it anyway, and a gun tuned for 2-3/4" shells will be more reliable once the weight of the gun is reduced so significantly. Also, make sure the stock doesn't contain pieces that are necessary for the gun to function. I recommend looking at online schematics and confirming this in person before investing in a project gun.

    Pictures: myself and my Air Force LT buddy. The fruits of our work. We plan to finish the "bare" wood and do some touch-up blueing in the near future.
     

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  2. ABTOMAT

    ABTOMAT Member

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    Uh, I'm not quite sure what to say. Only that the photo says "his and hers" for some reason.
     
  3. Kestrel

    Kestrel Member

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    Uhh... What exactly are these things for?
     
  4. beerslurpy

    beerslurpy member

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    *
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2006
  5. Headless Thompson Gunner

    Headless Thompson Gunner Member

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    I'm not a lawyer, and all that...

    But iffin I was you, I'd edit that post immediately to remove any sort of evidence ...errr, i mean "information"... as soon as possible. Then I'd find a quiet and discrete way to dispose of the shotguns.

    Ya know, there's a reason other people don't do that kinda thing to their own shotguns.

    Oh, and if you're gonna risk federal prison time, you owe it to yourself to ensure the resulting weapons are more effective after your modifications. It makes absolutely no sense to neuter your guns AND go to jail for it.
     
  6. dasmi

    dasmi Member

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    Nevermind.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2006
  7. SRFL

    SRFL Member

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    Also inform your butter bar buddy that I know a few AFOSI special agent buddies that visit this site....I'd hate to see him get called in for an "interview."
     
  8. MatthewVanitas

    MatthewVanitas Member

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    I'm squinting a bit here, trying to figure out if it looks worse than it is.

    You're quite sure that the barrels are over 18", the way the ATF measures them?

    You're quite sure overall length is kosher?

    Might not hurt to take a photo with a ruler (or sheets of 8.5x11 paper) next to the shotguns for scale. I will admit that I've seen shotguns that looked overly short but taped out fine. Last gunshow I took my Dissipator AR-15 to, had several folks ask to measure the barrel, as the long handguards make is seem under-length (full 16" and a fraction)

    I hope those just look shorter than they actually are.

    -MV
     
  9. Matt G

    Matt G Moderator Emeritus

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    Okay, friends, settle down with the accusations of felonious activity until you have better evidence.

    stiletto raggio got awful close to the line, but he didn't cross it. Heck, he didn't even spit across it.

    Note what he says here:
    All of this jibes with someone who is trying to comply with state and federal laws and regulations.

    Federal and state law (here in TX, anyway) require that a shotgun be no shorter than 26 inches, and that the barrel be no shorter than 18 inches.

    Now, I don't have a Mossberg 5500, but I do have a Remington 1100 12ga, and the auto receivers are nearly identical. Mine measures 2 1/8" from top to bottom. Using that measurement and cutting and pasting a square made from stiletto raggio's picture of his 5500, I come up with the O/U shotgun being at least 28 inches, overall, with a barrel that is at least 18.5" overall. The over and under shotgun at bottom is the one that's closer to the line, so I didn't even bother with the other one.

    See the following picture. If you don't believe me, try it for yourself.
    [​IMG]

    Honestly, if you're not smart enough to figure out how to do this, you're probably not smart enough to be offering legal advice to other people.

    Some people owe some apologies to Member stiletto raggio.
     

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    Last edited: Mar 10, 2006
  10. 'Card

    'Card Member

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    I don't care how long the shotguns are. I was more disturbed by the fact that it looks like both of those guys are wearing makeup.
     
  11. STiTkacik

    STiTkacik Member

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    I'm just disturbed that someone ruined a nice looking OU. :lol:
     
  12. Correia

    Correia Moderator Emeritus

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    One note for those thinking about cutting down a shotgun, measure with a dowel down the barrel until it touches the breach face. Not with a tape on the outside of the barrel. The dowel method is how the ATF is going to do it.
     
  13. PJR

    PJR Member

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    I think you should be sent to "pound your rear porthole prison" for butchering ANY over/under even one from Brazil.:rolleyes:

    But then foolish acts committed by lieutenants isn't new or novel.;)
     
  14. KriegHund

    KriegHund Member

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    Yeesh, chill out people.
    We're usually so polite, but someone does something to a cheap gun and you all freak out. When you assume you make an arse out of yourself.

    Nice work, is the spread affected alot? How do slugs do in it?
     
  15. 748

    748 Member

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    "The dowel method is how the ATF is going to do it."
    That is how I have been told to do it by gun smiths and at gun shows.
    If you measured the out side of the barrel on a mini14 bulpump it would have all most no barrel if you measured it that way.
    They sell pistol grip shot guns at gun stores all the time, they seem to be legal.
    Enjoy your boom stick.
     
  16. Billmanweh

    Billmanweh Member

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    nice job!
     
  17. KriegHund

    KriegHund Member

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    Billmanweh-

    Thanks for contributing your post towards the closure of this thread. :rolleyes:
     
  18. Lonestar.45

    Lonestar.45 Member

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    Bubba strikes again

    All potential legal issues aside, I have to ask.....WHY? :confused:

    What exactly do they do better now, than they did before they were bubba'd?

    I'm all for modifying to improve things, but I'm curious as to what you think this improves.......
     
  19. Billmanweh

    Billmanweh Member

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    sorry, I spoke before I thought it through
     
  20. 1911JMB

    1911JMB Member

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    Now you should save up 200 bucks, get a form 4, fill it out, get the local chief of police to sign it off, send it in with the 200 bucks and finish the job. Not to say its not a neat idea, or that I wouldn't love to shoot it, but it seems to defeat the purpose of having a double barrel sawed off when you can walk into a gunshop anywhere and get a mossberg persuador of the same length with better handling features and a 6 shot capacity.
     
  21. riverdog

    riverdog Member

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    I wouldn't consider cutting down one of my shotguns, but I won't judge what other people do with their guns as long as it's legal and doesn't reflect on me. My only question is how did the shorter barrel and lack of stock affect the reliability of the Mossberg 5500?
     
  22. Third_Rail

    Third_Rail Member

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    Nice! I bet those are handy to stick behind a couch, etc. I'm looking to do similar with import double or single shot shotguns. I knew I wasn't the only one to think of doing it...


    Those 1934NFA regs sure aren't as long as I first thought. 26" is TINY for a long gun.
     
  23. AJ Dual

    AJ Dual member

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    The whole SBS and SBR portions of the NFA were because back in '33 when they were playing with the design of the legislation, in the initial drafts, ALL HANDGUNS were going to be NFA. :barf: And they didn't want the citizenry making "handguns" by cutting down rifles and shotguns to get around the NFA.

    When they realized that making all handguns NFA wouldn't fly that portion was scrapped, but the SBS and SBR portions remained. Either out of laziness, or as a "feel good" move, because sawed-off's were associated with crime...

    As to the sawed-offs in the originator's post? Whatever floats your boat. :D
     
  24. Chipperman

    Chipperman Member

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    Amazing how short that O/U looks. If I had just seen the picture without any explanation, I would have surely thought that was way too short to be non-NFA.

    I bet most Police would swear they were illegal just looking at them as well. Hopefully you never get stopped with them in your car. Yeah you'd get off, but that might be an uncomfortable day or two until then.

    As for the job itself, whatever makes you happy.
     
  25. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    The law in this case is a bright line, and if you're on the legal side you have nothing to apologize for. Yet some folks get all weird and itchy when they see a prefectly legal firearm that's "close to the line." Everyone on this forum ought to know better.
     
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