In the U.S., unless an individual has obtained an ATF-issued permit, possessing a sawed-off rifle with less than an eighteen-inch barrel is prohibited. Shotguns held under the Firearms Certificate, which are not semiautomatic or pump-action, are subject to only the minimum barrel length requirement of 12 inches (30 cm), which is well within the definition of a sawed-off shotgun. If a factory-made rifle has a barrel shorter than 18 inches, it is legal as long as it has an overall length greater than 660 millimetres, or 30 inches, and that action is operated by hand, like a pump action. A handgun made from a rifle is also a firearm covered by NFA, so long as, when modified, the weapon has a total length less than 26 inches, or has a barrel or cylinder shorter than 18 inches.
This means if you were to take a shotgun and reduce, or saw, the barrel down to under 18 inches, and change the stock to an overall length less than 26, you would have a 12 gauge crudely made gun.
Unlike standard rifles, cut-off, shortened barrels discharge pellets in a wider arch. Unlike other shotguns with longer barrels and stocks, a sawed-off is easy to conceal when carrying. Unlike your average rifle, you can store your sawed-off in the front seat of your vehicle. Unlike a full-length shotgun, you can wave your sawed-off at tight range.
Although sawed-off shotguns have lower muzzle speeds and shorter barrels, the sawed-off is perfect for short-range engagements. Sawed-offs are much less accurate than standard rifles, with poor recoil and durability. As we show below, sawed-offs do have a few drawbacks, which makes it impossible for them to function like standard shotguns in most situations. While you can make a gun easier to handle and conceal, sawed-off rifles are less practical than their standard-barreled counterparts.
Their shorter barrels blow pellets outward in a wider range, making them extremely dangerous in short-range situations. Regardless of whether a sawed-off is considered an AOW or short-barreled rifle, ATF regulates these weapons due to their high degree of danger. While sawed-off shotguns have some legitimate uses (the military and police make extensive use of the weapons), the stereotyped, broken-action sawed-off remains firmly in gangster hands.
Short-barreled muzzle-loaded blackpowder rifles, by contrast, are not prohibited under federal law, requiring no license to obtain tax-stamped permits, though may be prohibited under state laws. If the rifle comes from the factory with a shortened barrel, even one only 8 1/2 inches long, you are OK — these are perfectly legal in Canada, without any special restrictions.
A shotgun that is manufactured as such may have a barrel that is up to 18 inches shorter. Under the 1936 National Firearms Act, a rifle that is shorter than the 18-inch minimum is considered to be a sawed-off barrel or modified barrel shotgun. The act of cutting a rifles barrel down to under 457 millimetres (18 inches) in length, either by sawing, cutting, orotherwise, by any person other than an established firearms manufacturer, is prohibited.
Under the National Firearms Act (NFA), a private citizen may not possess a modern, cut-off, powder-operated, sawed-off rifle (a rifle having a barrel shorter than 18 inches (46 cm) in length, or the total length of the gun, collectively including the 18-inch minimum barrel, is a total length of the weapon, not less than 26 inches (66 cm) in total, including the minimum barrel length of the rifle, not to exceed 26 inches (66 cm) in total length of the weapon (under U.S.C. To convert an existing rifle with shoulder stocks into a shorter-barreled shotgun, or an existing rifle that is handgun-only into aany other gun, the private citizen must pay a standard $200 fee to pay a $200 standard fee under NFA. To comply with the NFA regulations, any person can fill out Form 1 Make Form, purchase, and get approved the $200 U.S. tax stamp on the rifle in question, to legally shorten the barrel to under 18 inches, either by cutting off the barrel or replacing it with a shorter one. As a weapon under the NFA, the cut-off shotgun must be registered by ATF, and paid a $200 tax — just as a rifle or full-auto suppressor — before it can be legally made or owned.
Penal code SS33215 makes it illegal to possess a short-barreled rifle or sawed-off shotgun in all of California. Individuals possessing parts for making short-barreled rifles or sawed-off shotguns may still be subject to prosecution under PC 33215. Any gun too short will result in PC 33215 charges in California. It also would be illegal in a handful of states that simply limit barrel length, regardless of whether a rifle got its shorter barrel from a manufacturing line, or from something happening afterwards that involves hacksawing.
Cutting either one of those down to under 26 barrels and/or 32 total lengths cannot manufacture an SBS, since that gun was never intended to be a rifle. To turn the rifle into a SBS, you must cut the barrel down to your desired length using the cutting tool (which must be specified on Form 1). Unlike full-bore shotguns, the sawed-off design is concealed, which allows a shooter to shoot the sawed-off rifle from within the building.
A sawed-off shotgun (US, CAN), also called sawed-off rifle (UK, IRL, AU, NZ) and short-barreled shotgun (SBS) (U.S. legal term), is a style of rifle that has a shorter barrel–typically less than 18 inches–and usually shorter or missing stocks. Short-barreled shotguns with no stock, no backstrap, and under 26 inches long were regulated by the NFA as being easy to conceal, and were favoured by criminals at the time the Act was passed. Weapons of these specifications are classified as smoothbore handguns manufactured in the heavier rifle calibers and 12/20-gauge rifle calibers, as opposed to the prohibited sawed-off rifles, and are not considered devastating devices.