Legal Barrel Length

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Frankb, Dec 18, 2008.

  1. Frankb

    Frankb Member

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    What is the legal barrel length for rifles? Several of the military type semi-autos are available with 16" barrels. Is this ok? I thought the legal length was 18".
  2. RJay

    RJay Well-Known Member

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    16 inches for rifles, 18 inches for shotguns. You only asked about barrels so iI'm not going to expound on any thing else.
  3. Frankb

    Frankb Member

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    That's good news. I bought a Siaga with a 16" barrel in .223. I thought it was 18" until I measured it.
  4. jjmitchell60

    jjmitchell60 Active Member

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    Raised in Buzzard Roost near Frog Town in hillls o
    Actually the OAL of a shot gun is supposed to be 26".
  5. LurpyGeek

    LurpyGeek Active Member

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    You can get shorter than 16", but there are a lot of hoops to jump through. Many here can tell you more if you want to know.
  6. artabr

    artabr New Member

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    Anything less than what is stated in (a) 1 thur 5 is considered a class III firearm
    This link is from the Cornell University Law School.

    This is The National Firearms Act , Title 26, United States Code, Chapter 53, Subchapter B, Part 1, Sec. 5845 of the Internal Revenue Code.

    http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode26/usc_sec_26_00005845----000-.html


    TITLE 26 > Subtitle E > CHAPTER 53 > Subchapter B > PART I > § 5845Prev | Next § 5845. Definitions
    How Current is This? For the purpose of this chapter—
    (a) Firearm
    The term “firearm” means
    (1) a shotgun having a barrel or barrels of less than 18 inches in length;
    (2) a weapon made from a shotgun if such weapon as modified has an overall length of less than 26 inches or a barrel or barrels of less than 18 inches in length;
    (3) a rifle having a barrel or barrels of less than 16 inches in length;
    (4) a weapon made from a rifle if such weapon as modified has an overall length of less than 26 inches or a barrel or barrels of less than 16 inches in length;
    (5) any other weapon, as defined in subsection (e);
    (6) a machinegun;
    (7) any silencer (as defined in section 921 of title 18, United States Code); and
    (8) a destructive device. The term “firearm” shall not include an antique firearm or any device (other than a machinegun or destructive device) which, although designed as a weapon, the Secretary finds by reason of the date of its manufacture, value, design, and other characteristics is primarily a collector’s item and is not likely to be used as a weapon.
    (b) Machinegun
    The term “machinegun” means any weapon which shoots, is designed to shoot, or can be readily restored to shoot, automatically more than one shot, without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger. The term shall also include the frame or receiver of any such weapon, any part designed and intended solely and exclusively, or combination of parts designed and intended, for use in converting a weapon into a machinegun, and any combination of parts from which a machinegun can be assembled if such parts are in the possession or under the control of a person.
    (c) Rifle
    The term “rifle” means a weapon designed or redesigned, made or remade, and intended to be fired from the shoulder and designed or redesigned and made or remade to use the energy of the explosive in a fixed cartridge to fire only a single projectile through a rifled bore for each single pull of the trigger, and shall include any such weapon which may be readily restored to fire a fixed cartridge.
    (d) Shotgun
    The term “shotgun” means a weapon designed or redesigned, made or remade, and intended to be fired from the shoulder and designed or redesigned and made or remade to use the energy of the explosive in a fixed shotgun shell to fire through a smooth bore either a number of projectiles (ball shot) or a single projectile for each pull of the trigger, and shall include any such weapon which may be readily restored to fire a fixed shotgun shell.
    (e) Any other weapon
    The term “any other weapon” means any weapon or device capable of being concealed on the person from which a shot can be discharged through the energy of an explosive, a pistol or revolver having a barrel with a smooth bore designed or redesigned to fire a fixed shotgun shell, weapons with combination shotgun and rifle barrels 12 inches or more, less than 18 inches in length, from which only a single discharge can be made from either barrel without manual reloading, and shall include any such weapon which may be readily restored to fire. Such term shall not include a pistol or a revolver having a rifled bore, or rifled bores, or weapons designed, made, or intended to be fired from the shoulder and not capable of firing fixed ammunition.
    (f) Destructive device
    The term “destructive device” means
    (1) any explosive, incendiary, or poison gas
    (A) bomb,
    (B) grenade,
    (C) rocket having a propellent charge of more than four ounces,
    (D) missile having an explosive or incendiary charge of more than one-quarter ounce,
    (E) mine, or
    (F) similar device;
    (2) any type of weapon by whatever name known which will, or which may be readily converted to, expel a projectile by the action of an explosive or other propellant, the barrel or barrels of which have a bore of more than one-half inch in diameter, except a shotgun or shotgun shell which the Secretary finds is generally recognized as particularly suitable for sporting purposes; and
    (3) any combination of parts either designed or intended for use in converting any device into a destructive device as defined in subparagraphs (1) and (2) and from which a destructive device may be readily assembled. The term “destructive device” shall not include any device which is neither designed nor redesigned for use as a weapon; any device, although originally designed for use as a weapon, which is redesigned for use as a signaling, pyrotechnic, line throwing, safety, or similar device; surplus ordnance sold, loaned, or given by the Secretary of the Army pursuant to the provisions of section 4684 (2), 4685, or 4686 of title 10 of the United States Code; or any other device which the Secretary finds is not likely to be used as a weapon, or is an antique or is a rifle which the owner intends to use solely for sporting purposes.
    (g) Antique firearm
    The term “antique firearm” means any firearm not designed or redesigned for using rim fire or conventional center fire ignition with fixed ammunition and manufactured in or before 1898 (including any matchlock, flintlock, percussion cap, or similar type of ignition system or replica thereof, whether actually manufactured before or after the year 1898) and also any firearm using fixed ammunition manufactured in or before 1898, for which ammunition is no longer manufactured in the United States and is not readily available in the ordinary channels of commercial trade.
    (h) Unserviceable firearm
    The term “unserviceable firearm” means a firearm which is incapable of discharging a shot by means of an explosive and incapable of being readily restored to a firing condition.
    (i) Make
    The term “make”, and the various derivatives of such word, shall include manufacturing (other than by one qualified to engage in such business under this chapter), putting together, altering, any combination of these, or otherwise producing a firearm.
    (j) Transfer
    The term “transfer” and the various derivatives of such word, shall include selling, assigning, pledging, leasing, loaning, giving away, or otherwise disposing of.
    (k) Dealer
    The term “dealer” means any person, not a manufacturer or importer, engaged in the business of selling, renting, leasing, or loaning firearms and shall include pawnbrokers who accept firearms as collateral for loans.
    (l) Importer
    The term “importer” means any person who is engaged in the business of importing or bringing firearms into the United States.
    (m) Manufacturer
    The term “manufacturer” means any person who is engaged in the business of manufacturing firearms. Search this title:




    Notes
    No Update(s)
    Parallel authorities (CFR)
    PDF (3 pages)

    Title 26 RSS


    LII has no control over and does not endorse any external Internet site that contains links to or references LII.



    Art
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2008
  7. Jay

    Jay New Member

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    Indiana
    The barrel length (shotgun or rifle) is measured from the face of the closed bolt (less firing pin) to the muzzle. If there is a removable device on the end of the barrel, it must be removed prior to measuring. If there is a non-removable device on the end of the barrel, length is measured to the forward end of that device.

    Per a phone call to the ATF, they use a measured dowel, (steel, wood, or fiberglass) and inserted into the barrel. If there's any dowel showing..... they confiscate the firearm and send it to their firearms lab for confirmation, and if illegal length is confirmed, the decision is made on any possible charges to be filed.
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