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barrel length legality

Discussion in 'Legal & Political Archive' started by speelyei, Jul 7, 2010.

  1. speelyei

    speelyei Willamette Valley Active Member

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    It's my understanding that it is illegal to own a shotgun or rifle with a barrel length less than 18". This information may or may not be correct.
    Assuming that it is, at what point does a rifle or shotgun become a handgun?

    I have seen many ruger 10/22s turned into pistols, and what about firearms like the XP-100 or the TC Contender?

    I'd like to buy a single shot .410 and rebuild it into a handgun, but I would also like clarification on the law. Thanks!
     
  2. Ben Beckerich

    Ben Beckerich NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    without federal registration/tax as a short-barreled rifle or short-barreled shotgun, it's 16 for rifles, 18 for shotguns.

    with registration/tax, any length you want.

    length is measured from the face of the bolt to muzzle. muzzle is defined as the last permanently installed section of barrel- so you can permanently install a 1.7" muzzle device on a 14.5" barrel, and it'll be considered title I (no registration required). without permanent attachment, via approved methods, you'll need to register as a title 2 weapon.

    there's another class of weapons known as "AOWs", that still require registration and tax, but are primarily for shotguns without stocks... the tax is $5 instead of $200. with these, you can go as short as you want, so long as it doesn't have a stock. very similar to "pistol" rifles, except pistol rifles dont need any registration. pistols (built from rifle platforms, like AR 15 pistols) can have whatever barrel length you want, so long as you dont install a stock. you're also prohibited from installing VFGs (vertical forgrips) on pistols, to include these rifle pistols (simply called "pistols").. i believe putting a VFG on a pistol makes it an AOW, but my knowledge on the AOW topic is actually pretty limited. there are a bunch of guys around here (washingtonians, who arent allowed to have SBRs) who can fill in any details.

    be glad you're an Oregonian. half the country isn't even allowed the option. i'm a huge fan of SBRs (short-barreled rifles)...

    100_3199.jpg
     
  3. PhysicsGuy

    PhysicsGuy Corvallis, OR Resident Science Nut

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    The pistol "10/22" that you see is probably the ruger charger, which comes from the factory like that.

    Legally (or at least according to the atf) you cannot turn a rifle or shotgun into a pistol, the only way to go shorter than 16"/18" (or the minimum OAL) is to make it a short barreled rifle or shotgun, regardless of if it has a stock or not.

    In order to build a "pistol" that is like a rifle (but without a stock), it must start out as a pistol or receiver. Things like the XP-100 or ruger charger are made at the factory and sold as pistols. AOWs are "shotgun pistols" that do not have a stock, and can be transferred with a $5 stamp, but again must be build from a virgin receiver, and not converted from an already existing long gun.

    The TC is a gun that kind of skirts the law on converting back and forth. The ATF doesn't seem to pay any attention to it, but you have to be sure that you never have a short barrel and stock on it at the same time. (unless you've registered it as a SBR)
     
  4. huntpotter

    huntpotter SW WA Negotiator Bronze Supporter

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    AOW, $5 tax stamp, technically the atf considers it a smooth bore pistol. Sounds like what you are trying to do. Probably easier to buy one already assembled, vs build your own, from a long gun.
     
  5. slingshot1943

    slingshot1943 salem or Well-Known Member

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    TC and Judge barrels have rifling in them.
     
  6. Ben Beckerich

    Ben Beckerich NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    therefor neither of them are AOWs.