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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Im curious if the law for shotgun barrel lengths vary from state to state or if anyone knows what the legal length is in utah? i have a double barrel 12 gauge that measures from breech to muzzle roughly 22'' and want to shorten it as much as the law will allow
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
okay thanks, im not too worried about overall length as i dont want to modify the rest of the gun or the stock, just the barrel, plus i dont live in a big city so i dont think that i'd get hassled too much about overall length (unless the stock was sawed down), just the barrel itself. thanks! :D
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
wow, 2 feet 2 inches seems pretty generous for a shotgun. i guess its for accomodating the pistol grips while keeping the barrel at a reasonable level.
 

· Big Gun Enthusiast
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or you could just cut it down as you like and not go showing it off.

But remember to keep it legal and stick to the federal requirements to avoid getting into trouble. That is a serious charge to cut a gun down to under the legal limits.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I don't know either way if Utah has any regulation beyond the feds. General research can be started here.

The feds, as mentioned, require 18" for the barrel and 26" overall. Anything less, requires registration and taxation under the NFA on a Form 1. Everything legal-wise has to be done before any work is done on the arm.

I'd seriously recommend you take it to a qualified gunsmith and have the shortening done. Save the receipt for your records. I know of some folks who have shortened them on their own and kept it within the limits, but it's probably best to play it safe.

Take care and happy scattergunning.
 

· Harley Dude
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14,651 Posts
Boy those stoeger double barrel shotguns that I picked up at the gun show sure seemed short. Especially the 20 gauge model.

Man what a great home protection device that would be. If I lived in the country I think I would have one of those.
 

· Pro Gun Advocate
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...plus i dont live in a big city so i dont think that i'd get hassled too much about overall length (unless the stock was sawed down), just the barrel itself. thanks! :D
Sounds like something Randy Weaver might have said before the ATF came storming his property.

As i recall, shortening his shotgun barrel was what got him into trouble, and Ruby Ridge was no urban setting.
 

· Registered
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Just for general info..... if the Feds have reason to check the length of a shotgun barrel, they will take a pre-measured 18" dowel rod, and drop it into the bore of a shotgun with the bolt forward, and muzzle up. When the dowel rod stops, you best hope there's no dowel sticking out of the bore.

Source, you ask........ I work with a nurse whose husband is a retired ATF agent. Yes, second hand info, but I trust it.
 

· Banned
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Sounds like something Randy Weaver might have said before the ATF came storming his property.

As i recall, shortening his shotgun barrel was what got him into trouble, and Ruby Ridge was no urban setting.
I just knew someone would bring up the Weavers.

What a great example of how reporting can be skewed when the defendant spouts off all kinds of things to reporters during pendency of the investigation, while police and prosecutors keep quiet.

What I find particularly galling is that Weaver's supporters get all excited about how his summons to appear in court contained an incorrect date. I completely believe this, as it happens ALL THE TIME. The defendant will show up on the wrong day, his name will not be called, the judge will ask if anyone is there whose name was not called, the defendant will answer and then either his case will be handled as if he showed up on the right day, or else the case will be continued to allow the state to get its witnesses together or, in unusual cases, the judge may refuse to continue the case, the state will be unable to proceed, and the case dismissed. In the event a warrant issued before he came in, the warrant will be vacated and the failure to appear charge dropped when the court sees the error.

Weaver never showed up in court, either on the right date or the wrong date. He fled to his cabin, brought his family along, and taunted authorities for over a year. This is what put them in the danger which took some of their lives.

Over the years, sometimes but not always in the course of my work, I've been caught up in awkward situations involving drawn guns, searches, and so forth (I've never been convicted of anything). I would never consider drawing my family into the middle of a situation like that, fleeing, failing to appear, or any of the other stuff which got the wrecking ball rolling toward Randy Weaver's life in the first place. The thing to do in that situation is to keep the situation orderly and calm, cooperate and work within the system to get out of the way of the Machine. If you are innocent of any crime, the chances are very high that you will succeed. Trust me. There are no black helicopters.

The Feds made mistakes in the Weaver case, and Lon Horiuchi is a lying, homicidal sack of crap. But Randy Weaver is a typical ignorant criminal who thinks he made some sort of principled stand, when what he should have done is get his family out of his mess, hire a lawyer, and go to court. He might very well have escaped scot-free, and saved the lives of his wife and child.
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
that sounds pretty reasonable to me, rather than getting a measuring tape out all the time, also, do you know or could you ask if the 18'' is from the breach or at the bottom of the chamber? my shotgun is a double barrel and im curious if the 18 inches starts at the break, or from where the chamber ends? im guessing from what you said "with the bolt in" it means the overall length, unless its "with the bolt in AND a 3'' shell"- i'd like to see them measure that with their dowel. after some more measurements, if its from the chamber and NOT the overall total length of the barrel, i probably wont bother having it shortened as im only about 2'' away from legal anyways, but if its the overall length of the barrel from the break point, i still got 5''-6'' to go :D. thanks to everyone for all your help and advice.......and sometimes a good little chuckle.
 

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From what she told me before, I'd say from the muzzle to that part of the receiver/bolt that contacts the firing pin end of the shotgun shell.... with the bolt, or action closed and ready to fire.... no shell in firing position.
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
From what she told me before, I'd say from the muzzle to that part of the receiver/bolt that contacts the firing pin end of the shotgun shell.... with the bolt, or action closed and ready to fire.... no shell in firing position.
thats what i was hoping for, as i said before, i live in the sticks, so my gun shop is about 150 miles away (and none of my trucks get better than 13 MPG), but with your input, i believe it will be worth the drive to go up and have a gunsmith tell me the real deal before having him shorten it.(i believe they would know for sure due to reliability reasons, just like auto shops wont put illegal tint on windows or remove catalytic converters or disable airbags etc. for the same reasons) thanks again
 

· love the UK envy the US
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can you not speak to you regular gunsmith over the phone if you are on good terms with him he would help you with the correct limits.
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
can you not speak to you regular gunsmith over the phone if you are on good terms with him he would help you with the correct limits.
yeah, this is true, but think of all the interesting information i got putting it on a forum? i actually didnt think of calling and going over the phone....which is odd because i just called about 3 weeks ago on some work pertaining to my marlin and another off brand .22 i have (used to be my grandma's so its older than the hills and doesnt have anything but a serial number engraved) i guess what i REALLY didnt think of is the gunsmith actually knowing the legal limit due to liability reasons, so i figured all.....errr SOME of the knowledgable people here at the forum would know. at any rate, thanks for the post, it was enormously helpful.........
 

· love the UK envy the US
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thats true if we all just rang the gunsmith this forum would be a pretty boring place to visit and i for 1 enjoy it as it is.
 

· Registered
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Well, I got tired of scouring the ATF website, and called them this morning. I called the Indiana office 1-317-287-3500 and asked about measuring the length of a shotgun barrel and what exactly was required to determine barrel length.

Agent Said...

"...we have all been trained to insert a dowel, or rod into the bore and against a closed,cocked action, with no shell in the chamber, mark the dowel, or rod and measure it. If the measurement leads us to believe the barrel is not of legal length, we'll confiscate the firearm, and send it to our tech center for legal length verification"

He also told me that he does not believe that the dowel rod method of measurement is mandated in print.

.....and, folks.... there ya have it.
 
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