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Shortest practical 12 gauge length

Discussion in 'NFA Firearms and Accessories' started by Ironclad, Feb 24, 2012.

  1. thorazine

    thorazine Active Member

    Jun 25, 2003
    Who cares about practical it's all about fun factor. =D
  2. Saakee

    Saakee Member

    Dec 6, 2009
    Downtown Salem, Oregon
    Just enough for crimp to open (underwater/Surprise CQB), 7" for inside HD, 18.5" for external HD.
  3. MasterSergeantA

    MasterSergeantA Active Member

    Nov 21, 2008
    Arizona Territory
    I can't speak to the 'effectiveness' question very well as the velocity will vary with loads, so 'decent' becomes kind of subjective. A really short shotgun will still be useable out to social encounter distances, but you obviously won't take it out for duck season.

    Once you have made the NEF single shot a SBS, you could change the barrel length on it, pretty much at will, so long as you could reconfigure it to the specifications of the Form 1 also at will. If you send in a Form 1 that says the barrel will be 12" long, you can start work when it comes back approved. At that point you could cut it to 12", get a second barrel (or third) from NEF and cut to 8" and keep both so long as you can remount the 12" barrel. If you sold the longer barrel, you would be advised to let the ATF know that the base configuration has changed and that can be done with a letter. I always recommend enclosing a photoco[y of the original Form 1 as well.

    H&R/NEF actually has a program in effect to fit additional barrels to the same receiver, so getting multiples is not an issue. Details are on their website under 'barrel exchange program'. If you had them fit a new barrel of 18" length or longer, you could dispose of your short barrels and revert the shotgun to non-NFA status.

    Entering "multiple" in blocks 4e and 4f on the Form 1 will get it rejected. The same is currently true for 4c (caliber, gauge, or size) as many AR builders have found out. Oddly enough, in the case of NEF and the barrel exchange program, you could have a 20 gauge barrel fitted to your gun and cut it down as well as doing it with the 12. Again, so long as you keep the 12 gauge barrel, you don't have to do anything else.

    As Aaron pointed out, "exactness" isn't critical once you cross the line into the NFA realm. That .1" is not the issue on a SBS that it would be on a non-NFA shotgun.
  4. Gordon

    Gordon Mentor

    Dec 26, 2002
    central Kali.
    I had a cut down pistol gripped Winchester 37 12 ga with a 10" barrel on it in the early 70s when as a nark I thought it was OK under my truck seat. The length was the end of the fore stock which will be a concern of yours too. The Win 37 uses a hammer that is protected from pushing thru the web of your hand which if you pistol grip your H&R you will understand what I mean. With a 10" barrel a rifled slug would punch both sides of a dumpster from 10 yards or so. I kept it loaded with XM something #4 buckshot I got for free. I figured 27 1/4" balls would hurt as they blew 2"x4" lumber to pieces at the same range.
  5. RX-178

    RX-178 Participating Member

    May 9, 2008
    Anchorage, Alaska
    An old rule of thumb, that I'm not sure if it's been disproved or updated any...

    Have the barrel the same length as the stock.
  6. 45bthompson

    45bthompson Member

    Jun 30, 2010
    Omaha, NE
    On my last deployment I picked up a single shot break barrel 12g pistol. It had about a 6" barrel. I stuck it in my kit to use as a last ditch weapon when gunning but really just carried it around cause it looked badass. With 00 buck it would not penetrate an m2 ammo can at 5'. And firing it one handed was one of the stupidest things I did over there.
  7. wally

    wally Elder

    Jan 2, 2004
    Houston, Tx
    Yes and no. Getting "passport photos", fingerprints, and the LEO sign-off are a PITA any way you cut it, and unless you are in a location with a gun friendly DA, Sheriff, or Police Chief you are pretty much out of luck unless you go though the one time hassle and expense of setting up a Trust or LLC, which has the side benefit of eliminating the need for fingerprints, photos, and LEO sign-off.

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