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Thread: Pistol grip shotguns?

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    I have been told lately that a pump shotgun equipped with a pistol grip is considered in Tx. to be a handgun, thus cannot be open carried or carried unconcealed in vehicle? True? Can anyone cite a law pertaining? A shotgun is a shotgun, in my opinion...and I've found nothing in the law to say otherwise....the reference to being designed or modified to be fired by one hand seems not to fit, since it'd be foolish to fire even a 20 ga. with one hand by a pistol grip......any facts out there???? Thank you!

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    Regular Member Fallschirmjäger's Avatar
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    What a LEO 'considers' something to be isn't what counts, as we all know. What counts is what the law says about it.

    Take a pistol, add a 17-inch barrel and it still remains a pistol. Add a shoulder stock to it and it becomes a rifle (as long as it has a 16+ inch barrel and 26+ overall length.

    Take a rifle and remove the shoulder stock. So long as it has a 16" barrel and 26 overall lengh it remains a rifle. Take off the shoulderstock and you have still have a rifle as long as you have 16" and 26". Make it any shorter and you wind up with a Short Barrel Rifle (which requires registration). Legally, you cannot change a rifle into a pistol as far as I know.

    Take a shotgun and shorten the barrel to 18.5, as long as it has a 26" overall length it's still a shotgun. Shorten the barrel below 18.5 and you have a Short Barrel Shotgun. As with a rifle I don't believe you can legally convert it to a pistol.


    (The above is subject to the usual disclaimers, consult your friendly, local BATF office for exact details.)




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    You can turna rifle into a pistol. people make AR-15 pistols all the time. Short barrel, no stock. Like this.



    as long as it is registered as a pistol (and NFA registered i think), it is completely legal.

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    Founder's Club Member longwatch's Avatar
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    Not quite right there.
    If the receiver starts out as a pistol, you can convert it into a rifle with no special paper work. A la Mechtechs Glock and 1911 carbine conversions.

    If it started out as a rifle and it is cut down it must a registered short barreled rifle, or short rifle, depending on which end you trim. Also if you put a stock or vertical foregrip on a pistol and the barrel is under 16" it must be registered as a SBR.

    Don't flag me yet I'll dig up a citation.

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    Regular Member Fallschirmjäger's Avatar
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    I think you're both right.

    If it starts out as a machinegun, it will always be a machinegun no matter what parts you change out. (DEWATS and demilled are execpted)

    If the receiver starts out as a pistol, it can be made into a legal lengh rifle with no muss, no fuss. Just be sure it IS legal length. A buttstock on a pistol is pretty much frowned upon, federally.

    If the receiver starts out as a longarm, it can be made into a SBR with a lot of muss, fuss and about $200 in taxes.
    manufacture a shotgun the size of a large handgun, and it's only a $5.oo Any Other Weapon stamp, so long as it was never manufactured as a longarm. Cut down a shotgun that was mfg'd as a longarm and you've got a lot more paperwork and taxes to consider.



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    Founder's Club Member longwatch's Avatar
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    http://www.quarterbore.com/nfa/sbr-aow-pistol.html Better explaination than I can give but doesn't include Short barreled shotguns.

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    Just for the record, the barrel length limit for shotguns is 18". Mossberg (among other companies) manufacture at 18.5" as a minimum length, and I don't entirely know why.

    But as the others said, as long as the overall length is 26" or longer, you're good to go with a pistol grip.

    Oh, and firing with one hand is doable with only a pistol grip. I've done it with 3" slugs. Unfortunately, after I installed a vertical foreend, it because too unwieldy to fire with one hand after that. The problem isn't the recoil (IMO), but rather the balance. One-handed shooting with a shotgun actually is a lot more comfortable with a full stock...

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    I believe they do that just to be extra sure no one shoots their dog.

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    imperialism2024 wrote:
    Just for the record, the barrel length limit for shotguns is 18". Mossberg (among other companies) manufacture at 18.5" as a minimum length, and I don't entirely know why.......
    When I take my Mossberg 500 50577 Persuader hunting ducks, I always get stopped and they do a quick and dirty check on barrel length and magazine capacity. They aren't using a tape measure but a length gage for the depth of the magazine (with included plug) and barrel length.

    My impression is that at 18.5 inches minimum on the Mossberg it is just a margin of error, so that you are not to close and some eager beaver measures wrong.

    My Persuader has a 20 inch barrel, but with the long magazine tube it looks short.



    Just my thoughts on things.



    PS the short barrel is great for ducks. I get all the fun of shooting, with out having to worry about having to clean and eat the blame things.:quirky

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    Since the BATFE has defined a pistol as having a rifled bore there is no way a shotgun could legally be considered a pistol.

    The only firearm categories which a shotgun could be considered would be :

    Non-NFA

    Shotgun – barrel no less than 18 inches, overall length no less than 26 inches, with or without stock.

    NFA –the following three items must be registered under the NFA

    Short Barrel Shotgun – barrel less than 18 inches, overall length not an issue, as a short barrel shotgun. $200 making tax to make from a shotgun. $200 transfer tax.

    Any Other Weapon – barrel less than 18 inches, cannot have a buttstock. Cannot be made from a shotgun – must start at the factory as an AOW. $5 transfer tax.

    Destructive Device – Barrel length irrelevant. Generally the BATF declared these to be DD’s by make and product name. The Street Sweeper is one example. $200 transfer tax.

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    Thanks, guys, this doesn't involve Federal law...it's a state thing (or it isn't)---I know the Federal laws, having had an FFL and been in the pawn business for 5 years...I'm needing an answer from someone probably in LE in Texas who may know of state rulings that I can't find in the laws I've found....an LEO is blowing smoke up a young Marine reservist friend of mine...I don't think he's right...I agree that a shotgun is a shotgun....I think it's a screwed up "interpretation" by an overzealous LEO, but I need to find out if it's been backed up in Tx. courts....Texas is not so wild and wooley as we might think...has been conservative about weapons until recently...state laws can be more restrictive than Federal...ie. La. requires a 20" barrel on a shotgun, not 18....at least they did in the 70s when I served there...Oh, for the way Vermont handles it to become universal!!!!

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