Definition of "sawed off shotgun"

Discussion in 'NFA Firearms & Related Items' started by 45Smashemflat, Dec 26, 2005.

  1. 45Smashemflat

    45Smashemflat Active Member

    Oct 6, 2003
    OK, can someone give me the straight skinny on the definition of a sawed off shot gun? I know its a combo of barrel length and overall length. I've got a 870 with a factory 18.5" barrel. Its all stock. I've seen a contraption that lets you install any form of M4 style collapsable buttstock on the 870. What I'm concerned about is creating a illegal weapon by doing this and inadvertently making it too short while collapsed. Accurate details would be appreciated.
  2. Glock 31

    Glock 31 Former Guest

    Nov 13, 2005
    "Sawed off" means you take any shotgun, regardless of length. Take a hacksaw, and saw off the barrell leaving about a half inch or so in front of the forward grip. Thus making the dispersion of the buckshot much wider and more lethal. As long as you don't take a saw to your shotgun, you shouldn't have to worry about anything illegal.:cool:

  3. pickenup

    pickenup Active Member

    Legal limits for shotguns are....
    18" barrel--------26" overall.
    I'd leave it a little longer, just so there is no question.
  4. 45Smashemflat

    45Smashemflat Active Member

    Oct 6, 2003
    Thanks Pickenup.... I'll measure it tonight, I think I'm at the 26" limit now, so a fold up unit would break the law.
  5. RKBA

    RKBA New Member

    Dec 24, 2005
    If memory serves this is what started Randy Weavers problems...
  6. Deputy Dawg

    Deputy Dawg Active Member

    Yes it was, but the BATF :( made a mountian out of a mole hill. :mad: :mad:
  7. stash247

    stash247 New Member

    Oct 18, 2003
    Central Texas
    45, for the record, it does matter how you measure the barrel length; the alphabet cops will use a scale, or rod, IN the barrel, measuring to the muzzle, from the bolt or breech face.
    Technically, this gives th most "wiggle room" for the prospective defendant.
    I would always measure such things in the way I know they will, to err on the side of legality, since a 'goof could be a $10,000, 10 year thing!
    The very best to all in this foggy new year! Terry
  8. 45Smashemflat

    45Smashemflat Active Member

    Oct 6, 2003
    Roger that Stash - I've seen the stick myself. That was some time back when I had no real interest.

    I came across this 870 in a trade, and I made it my "lean behind the door" house gun. It holds 7 rounds of std field loads and it has a 18.5" cylinder bore barrel from the factory. Later I was at a gun show and saw this bolt-on apparatus that allowed the installation of a M4 style collapsable butt stock. I didn't buy it, but grabbed the web site. It looks pretty workable, but I was thinking that I might end up with an illeagal weapon if installed due to breaking the "overall length" clause mentioned by Pickenup. Therefore it still bone stock. Still fills the niche though.
  9. stash247

    stash247 New Member

    Oct 18, 2003
    Central Texas
    Looking at a Mossberg M-590, with a 20 " barrel, and a mag tube as long, I find the receiver is 8" long; without a stock of any sort, and cut to 18", it would still be a legal weapon; take a tape or a yardstick, and carefully (It' your A**) measure the barrel length, and the overall, to the stock attatchment.
    I'm betting it will be of legal length, with the folding stock folded.
    I'm thinking that the stock you spoke of is an M-16 type stock, which, collapsed, would be still longer, overall, but if the barelled action 'makes length', you will never have a problem. Terry
  10. 45Smashemflat

    45Smashemflat Active Member

    Oct 6, 2003
    I think you are probably right - then there is the question of adding $'s to a house gun that is already all it really needs to be. I'll probably just leave it as it is for a while anyway.

    This one is your plain jane, matte black, "bump in the night" gun. While I'm waffling a bit on putting this stock on it, I am seriously shopping for a fore-end light.

    I figure with the ext-mag, a five shot stock cuff, and a fore end light - it will fill most security needs. Its already pretty short and no slings and such to get hung up on stuff.
  11. Deputy Dawg

    Deputy Dawg Active Member

    As long as the over all lenght is 26ins you are legal.Shotguns have to have at least a 18in barrel and a rifle has to have a 16in barrel
  12. polishshooter

    polishshooter Well-Known Member

    Mar 25, 2001
    Which is why when I had the polychoke cut off the Cyl, bore tRusty '97 I inherited I wanted 18 but had the smith cut it at 18 1/2" JUST IN CASE I got an ATF agent with a short stick...
  13. stash247

    stash247 New Member

    Oct 18, 2003
    Central Texas
    Polish, they all got "Short Sticks"; why else would they spend their days F***ing with honest folk, instead of taking a real job?
  14. Familyguy

    Familyguy New Member

    Jan 17, 2006
    Break out the ruler, guys - those actions are longer than you think. They make 18.5" barrel pistol-grip shotguns at the factory.

    'Course, mine has an 10.5" bbl, 19" overall length :D The guy with the "saw" had the proper paperwork :cool:
  15. ssuttle13

    ssuttle13 New Member

    Jan 24, 2006
    Western Minnesota
    I believe Federal law states the barrel length may be no shorter than 18.25 from the base of the chamber to the end of the barrell and the entire length of the firearm not to be shorter than 26" stock, barrell and all. even if fitted with a pistol grip stock! The NRA would also have those regulations :cool:
Similar Threads
Forum Title Date
NFA Firearms & Related Items SBR definition question Jun 26, 2009
NFA Firearms & Related Items Sawed Off Shotgun Dec 9, 2009