I'm confused short barrel shotguns

This is a discussion on I'm confused short barrel shotguns within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; If I purchase a 14” barrel shotgun I must pay a $5.00 tax? Or $200 if I have it modified? Then can I carry it? ...

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Thread: I'm confused short barrel shotguns

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array Maverickx50's Avatar
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    I'm confused short barrel shotguns

    If I purchase a 14” barrel shotgun I must pay a $5.00 tax? Or $200 if I have it modified? Then can I carry it? Take it any place? Hunt with it? Shoot at the range? What keep me from being arrested if it’s found in my car/truck? Then what really has me confused is I can go out and purchase any one of a number of handguns designed to fire 4:10 or 20 Ga. Rounds, put it under my coat and be perfectly legal. With a CCW permit of course. Anybody else think this is just more of the weird world we live in stuff?
    I carry to protect myself and my loved ones from the BG's. Not to solve societies problems. That said: if more carried the deterrent would only have a positive overall effect on those problems.

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  3. #2
    Distinguished Member Array BIG E's Avatar
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    If you are shopping at a place where you can buy a 14' shottie then you really need to evaluate where you are making your purchases. You might turn around and find a few ATF guys behind you.

    FYI

    In the United States, federal law prohibits shotguns from being capable of holding more than three shells including the round in the chamber when used for hunting migratory waterfowl such as ducks and geese. For other uses, a capacity of any number of shells is generally permitted. Most magazine-fed shotguns come with a removable magazine plug to limit capacity to 2, plus one in the chamber, for hunting migratory waterfowl. Certain states have restrictions on magazine capacity or design features under hunting or assault weapon laws.

    Shotguns intended for defensive use are as short as 46 cm (18 inches) for private use (the minimum shotgun barrel length allowed by law in the United States without special permits). Barrel lengths of less than 46 cm (18 inches) as measured from the breechface to the muzzle when the weapon is in battery with its action closed and ready to fire, or have an overall length of less than 66 cm (26 inches) are classified as short barreled shotguns (AKA "sawed-off shotguns") under the 1934 National Firearms Act and are heavily regulated.

    Shotguns used by military, police, and other government agencies are exempted from regulation under the National Firearms Act of 1934, and often have barrels as short as 30 to 36 cm (12 to 14 inches), so that they are easier to handle in confined spaces. Non-prohibited private citizens may own short-barreled shotguns by purchasing a $200 tax stamp from the Federal government and passing an extensive background check (state and local laws may be more restrictive). Defensive shotguns will often have no buttstock or will have a folding stock to reduce overall length even more when required.
    Don't hit at all if it is honorably possible to avoid hitting; but never hit soft!

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  4. #3
    Senior Member Array rhinokrk's Avatar
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    Many reputable GS's sell 12" shoties. "ImpactGuns" here in SLC and Ogden UT, sell them as "AOW's or Any Other Weapons" which only requires a $5 tax stamp. I Couldn’t tell you what the restrictions are for the AOW, because my now ex-wife could not be convinced that I needed that 12" 870 w/pistol grip. I'm sure a search of the BATFE's site would give all the restrictions.

    Good Luck.
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    Senior Member Array tanksoldier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BIG E View Post
    If you are shopping at a place where you can buy a 14' shottie then you really need to evaluate where you are making your purchases. You might turn around and find a few ATF guys behind you.
    Plenty of places sell NFA weapons. There's some paperwork and a tax stamp involved, but a private citizen can easily purchase SBSs or SBRs.

    For the OP the question revolves around whether the weapon came from the manufacturer with a pistol grip ("cruiser grip") or a full butt-stock. If it was pistol gripped then a barrel less than 18" makes it an AOW ("Anny Other Weapon") which is a $5 tax stamp, such as the Serbu Super Shorty.

    See here for example: http://www.impactguns.com/store/SER-SS12.html



    If it came from the manufacturer with a full butt-stock and has a barrel less than 18" then it is an SBS (Short Barrel Shotgun) and a $200 tax stamp.

    Both require federal paperwork but any FFL selling them will be intimately familiar with how that works.

    EDIT: MAN I really want one of the Serbu's... you readin' this Santa?
    "I am a Soldier. I fight where I am told, and I win where I fight." GEN George S. Patton, Jr.

  6. #5
    Distinguished Member Array Colin's Avatar
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    It's the same weridness up here, you can buy a 8.5" pistol gripped 870 as a non-restricted firearm, but if you were to put the Knoxx arms folding stock on it, then it becomes prohibited. Gun laws, sigh.........

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    VIP Member Array edr9x23super's Avatar
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    Heres the simplest way to determine this:

    1) If the gun has a 5 round magazine, and the barrel extends 1" past the end of the magazine AND has a full non-folding stock, it is legal.

    2) If the magazine capacity is less than 5 rds, it has a pistol grip, folding stock that is not pinned (meaning you can fold it, changing the overall length) chances are, you had better inquire about the tax stamp, because that is a class 3 weapon.

    If it doesn't have paperwork with it, I would call off the deal and make sure I left immediately.
    "Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined". - Patrick Henry

  8. #7
    Senior Member Array Scot Van's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by edr9x23super View Post
    Heres the simplest way to determine this:

    1) If the gun has a 5 round magazine, and the barrel extends 1" past the end of the magazine AND has a full non-folding stock, it is legal.

    2) If the magazine capacity is less than 5 rds, it has a pistol grip, folding stock that is not pinned (meaning you can fold it, changing the overall length) chances are, you had better inquire about the tax stamp, because that is a class 3 weapon.

    If it doesn't have paperwork with it, I would call off the deal and make sure I left immediately.
    With all respect due, Ed, you may be confused about this, and I want to be sure you don't think I'm slamming you or copping an attitude. This topic is a living, breathing entity and changes regularly, so there is no shame in having dated or misinformation. I state the following ONLY because shotgun modifications are my business, and need this info on a regular baisisto be sure I'm in compliance.

    California got a little sticky about this for a while, but a pistol grip on a shotgun is legal in all states. Folding and pistol grip stocks have nothing to do with a weapon being considered Class III. My company manufactures stocks fitting this description to dealers in every state, and our vendors are very dilligent about maintaining accurate rules and regs. I wouldn't worry about the stock when considering a shotgun.

    Similarly, the magazine capacity has nothing to do with what make it a Class III. The mag tube extensions we manufactuire are legally offered in every state. Further, Remington offers the Marine P 870, complete with a stainless mag tube extension (6 in the tube +1 in the pipe). We used to make a tube that extended it further to include 7 +1, in fact.

    You need to focus on BARREL LENGTH.

    A Class III dealer in your area can give you the specifics, but a weapon that is 'select fire' (single, 3-rd burst or full auto) falls under this heading. Also, any short barrel is considered a Class III weapon (generally, less than 18.5 inches) and finally, the same goes for any supressor (silencer). Some states are harder on owning these than others. Big E had the right info in his post regarding obtaining one, which anyone can do if you pass the background check, are willing to be fingerprinted AND get a letter of permission from your local sherrif. I went through the process of buying a Surefire supressor for my 1911, and it should arrive next month some time.

    Hope that helps, and please don't be irate that I'm disagreeing with you.
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    VIP Member Array raevan's Avatar
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    As to why you can buy pistols that shoot 410 shells without a federal stamp, the key phrase is 'smooth bore'. Those pistols that are legal to buy have rifleing, maybe just the last inch or so but they are not 'smooth bore'.

  10. #9
    Distinguished Member Array BIG E's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BIG E View Post
    If you are shopping at a place where you can buy a 14' shottie then you really need to evaluate where you are making your purchases. You might turn around and find a few ATF guys behind you.

    Good info guys,

    I guess I had the "under the counter" type of sale in my head. I have seen many shottie as pictured by Tanksoldier. I even have a 22lr sbr that I am rebuilding to make legal.

    Back to the orginial post. I guess the only thing these short shotties are good for is home defense. My thinking is that they would be great for that.
    Don't hit at all if it is honorably possible to avoid hitting; but never hit soft!

    -- Theodore Roosevelt --

  11. #10
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    I think I would rather have a rifle than a short shotgun, and a pistol over the 3 shot shottie
    “You can sway a thousand men by appealing to their prejudices quicker than you can convince one man by logic.”

    ― Robert A. Heinlein,

  12. #11
    Mo
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    An 18" Mossberg or Remington pump gives you 5+1 and isn't overly-long. You can pick up a "youth" model buttstock and take off another inch as well if you're overly concerned about length.

    Not that a 14" police-model 870 wouldn't be cool.

  13. #12
    VIP Member Array edr9x23super's Avatar
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    Scot; I am not irate, and I understand where you are coming from; And yes, I know that anyone can own pistol-gripped shotguns with folding stocks, etc. My statements were intended to be some simple guidelines concerning overall length, which still is a determining factor in those types of weapons. if I am not mistaken, the minimum lengths are an 18" barrel and an overall length of 26" from muzzle end to buttstock. That is why I said in my original post to look at the mag capacity, because that would add to the overall length of the weapon. usually I have found that if you can stuff 5 rounds in the magazine, and the barrel extends an inch or two beyond it, the barrel is probably an 18 incher. With a full-size stock, the overall length is probably 26". Nice and legal. Remember, the ATF popped Randy Weaver for making an illegal shotgun by sawing off the barrel for an undercover agent because Randy didn't measure from the mark the agent made to the buttstock, taking him at his word.

    But don't worry, I take constructive criticism well......
    "Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined". - Patrick Henry

  14. #13
    Senior Member Array Scot Van's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by edr9x23super View Post
    Scot; I am not irate, and I understand where you are coming from; And yes, I know that anyone can own pistol-gripped shotguns with folding stocks, etc. My statements were intended to be some simple guidelines concerning overall length, which still is a determining factor in those types of weapons. if I am not mistaken, the minimum lengths are an 18" barrel and an overall length of 26" from muzzle end to buttstock. That is why I said in my original post to look at the mag capacity, because that would add to the overall length of the weapon. usually I have found that if you can stuff 5 rounds in the magazine, and the barrel extends an inch or two beyond it, the barrel is probably an 18 incher. With a full-size stock, the overall length is probably 26". Nice and legal. Remember, the ATF popped Randy Weaver for making an illegal shotgun by sawing off the barrel for an undercover agent because Randy didn't measure from the mark the agent made to the buttstock, taking him at his word.

    But don't worry, I take constructive criticism well......
    Very well put, and thanks for being so cool about it. Sometimes, our egos get the better of us on this site and conflict results where it shouldn't! :)

    I've never heard of rules regarding overall length of the shotgun. To my knowledge, the barrel is the concern. Anyway, modification of a shotgun barrel by sawing it off is NOT legal (getting a barrel recrowned is different). Randy blew it by cutting it in the first place, and he should have known better. He would be equally culpable if turned any semi into a full auto.
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  15. #14
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    Scot, the minimum overall length for shotguns and rifles is 26".
    A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands - love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper - his hands remember the rifle.

  16. #15
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    If you want an effective shottie...why not just get a coach gun? An 18 inch barrel will do everything a 14" can do...and no special license is needed...no problems at all (depending upon your own state laws).

    I can hang on to mine with one hand hanging down, and it doesn't touch the ground...easy to move around the house with it, too!

    Stay armed...stay safe!
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