Talk:Sawed-off shotgun

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Pistol license?[edit]

The article says "In most states, a shotgun less than a certain length is legally classed as a pistol, and requires a pistol licence (which is much more difficult to obtain than a basic shotgun license), plus a registration. The act of sawing off the gun would constitute unlawful manufacture of a pistol." The entirety of this article refers to the USA and then we have this sentence about "pistol licences" (which only exist in a few U.S. states) and "shotgun licences" which are certainly not an American phenomenon. Further, there is generally no prohibition against manufacturing a pistol in the USA. Of course if you manufacture a pistol out of a shotgun it's not a pistol at all, it's an AOW or SBS. I will remove that the above sentences if there is no objection.

That is a UK regulation, and should probably be tagged as such. And the pistol license is probably a moot point, you can't get a pistol license in the UK anymore, for any reason, that's why the UK Olympic pistol team practices in France... scot 15:52, 7 November 2006 (UTC)
The national team can't even practice in the country anymore? That's sad. Here in the States the rules are almost as screwy. take the Mossberg 500 12ga. pump-gun, it comes in a box with both a full buttstock and a pistol grip, one is attached the other is loose in the box. If your shotgun shipped with the pistol grip attached at the factory and you cut down the barrel to under 14 inches then you have created an A.O.W.(any other weapon) and you will have to register that with the Treasury dept. and pay for a tax stamp (about $5.00 per year). If your shotgun shipped with the full buttstock attached at the factory and you cut the barrel down under 14 inches then you have commited the felony crime of creating a short barreled shotgun and you can be imprisoned for up to 20 years. Exact same weapon, same box, same price the only difference is that the pistol grip was screwed on at the factory rather than the full buttstock. Fear the government that fears your guns. Cheers. L0b0t 16:20, 7 November 2006 (UTC)
Yep. That's why Serbu won't do the AOW "shorty" conversions on your Mossberg/Maverick, they have to buy it themselves so they know it came in the "cruiser" configuration. At least the Supreme Court isn't so picky, they at least let you buy a T/C rifle and put a pistol barrel on it, as long as you take the stock off. That leads me to believe that if you did convert a stocked gun to an AOW, that you'd have a strong case in your favor. Just make damned sure that you replace the stock with the pistol grip before you put on the short barrel... scot 17:55, 7 November 2006 (UTC) (Disclaimer: I'm not qualified to give legal advice, so just guy it from Serbu if you want one, let them take the legal liability)
I drool over those Serbu conversions. They are soooo pretty. Unfortunately, work and school have landed me in the People's Republic of Brooklyn for the next few years, so firearms are a no-go. In NYC to keep a gun in your home you have to have a permit from your local police precinct (that they may deny without cause) at $80.00 per year per weapon. Want to take your gun somewhere in a car, another $80 per weapon per year transport permit. Fancy having a firearm in your place of business, yet another $80 per year per weapon business permit. And yet we have gun crime here every day (our mayor blames Virginia), go figure. L0b0t 18:11, 7 November 2006 (UTC)
  • I take it that AOW = "any other weapon" and SBS = "short barreled shotgun". I am British and I have very little contact with firearms except as images and CGI models. Anthony Appleyard (talk) 04:09, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
Yes, that's correct. After the renaming debate is sorted I'm going to split the article off into Sawn-off shotgun and Short Barrelled Shotgun to differentiate between, well, sawn-offs and guns manufactured "as-is" with really short barrels. (Psst: Have a look at the dates on the conversation you're replying to) Commander Zulu (talk) 04:16, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

There's a separate page for short barreled rifle. There should probably be one for short barreled shotgun, or at least a separate section. A manufactured AOW shotgun is a $5 transfer fee. Creating your own is $200.

Also, on discussion upthread--ATF has determined that the pistol/rifle/pistol conversion ONLY applies to the Thompson Center. They hold that if you convert any other pistol to rifle configuration, you have legally made a rifle, and it must stay that way. Converting it back constitutes "A weapon made from a rifle" and $200. Idiotic, but until someone takes it to court...Mzmadmike (talk) 19:22, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

'86 MG ban and SBS[edit]

I'm not sure the ATF doesn't issue tax stamps for short barreled shotguns and rifles; I think the '86 ban effected only stamps for machineguns. scot 03:42, 29 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Here's a class III dealer who states that post '86 SBRs and SBSs are transferrable: I'm going to yank the statement from the article. scot 03:48, 29 Apr 2005 (UTC)
  • The Hughes Amendment to the 1986 FOPA "froze" legal registration of machineguns to those registered at the time the '86 Act went into effect. You can transfer a legally registered machinegun to a new owner so yes, you can get a new tax stamp for a Form 4 for a machinegun transfer. You also can get tax stamps to make and register SBR, SBS and AOW on a Form 1 and to transfer registration on a Form 4. You can not get a Form 1 approved to make and register a machinegun.Naaman Brown (talk) 20:46, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

Moved text:

Some guns are made with a shorter barrel to achieve the same effect [larger spread and limited range? -- S], especially when slugs are used, such as with some elephant guns.

until someone can explain if it makes any sense to them. As it stands, it seems nonsensical. (Elephant guns are rifles, not shotguns, and tend to have large barrels. Achieving larger spread from shotgun slugs makes no sense.) -- Securiger

  • Howdah pistols resemble sawn-off shotguns, and are large caliber handguns that were carried on howdahs on the backs of elephants to defend against tigers.Naaman Brown (talk) 20:46, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

Source for use of entry shotguns (10 and 14 inch barrels) by US forces in Iraq: I'll add this to the article later. scot 02:24, 12 May 2005 (UTC)


"the weapon has larger spread and limited range."

In the same paragraph:

"As a note, the length of the barrel does not affect the spread of the pellets (which depends on the type of cartridge fired and the choke of the barrel - not the barrel length)."

Which is right?

Both are, there's just a link that's not being pointed out. From the time that chokes were discovered until just recently (the last 10-20 years) most shotguns were made with fixed chokes; the end of the barrel was made undersized by the degree of choke desired; modified or improved cylinder was common for single barrel guns, doubles often had modified or improved in one barrel, and full in the other. Since the choke was in the last inch or so of the barrel, cutting off the end of the barrel would open it up to cylinder bore, which gives a wider, looser pattern. "Wider" is a good thing at close range, since it increases the hit probability, but the associated "looser" is bad at longer range, since it decreases the number of hits you can expect on the target. Most modern guns (in general anything but the cheapest models) come standard with interchangeable choke tubes--basically a cylinder or slightly overbored barrel, with a threaded section at the end where inserts of various constriction--from cylinder to super extra full, or even rifled--can be screwed in. scot 01:10, 26 September 2005 (UTC)
As it stands, this makes no sense whatsoever to the average reader (such as me). I'm suggesting someone who has an idea of how sawing of the pipes makes the spread bigger and not affecting it at the same time works, or what choke is, rewrites this. Adding contradicts itself label.
Actually, I ran across a statement that supported, to a limited extent, greater spread from a shorter barrel; the shot does not begin to spread until the muzzle, so moving the muzzle closer to the shooter does increase the spread at the target; however, since spread from a cylinder bore barrel tends to run on the order of 1/2" per foot, cutting a foot off the barrel gets you only an extra half inch of pattern. scot

Article split proposal[edit]

Since the term "sawn off shotgun" implies an illegally modified shotgun, and there are plenty of short barrelled shotguns made that way for military and law enforcement use, would it be worthwhile to split off a new article on "entry shotgun", which is how the purpose built short barrelled shotguns are often labled (by, for example, Remington and Benelli)? Probably much of the content here could go into the entry shotgun article, and this article can concentrate on the illegal variety. scot 17:59, 28 February 2006 (UTC)

Hey, I added the UK Laws a while ago, also the raw, uncited stuff about Lupara's and the Omertá etc, I have just signed up, I still think the section on UK Shotgun laws needs some links to UK gun Law articles. Will get around to this, when it's not 1am --Tearz 00:12, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

Merge from Boomstick[edit]

See also Talk:Boomstick#Keep as an info page?.

Please merge any relevant content from Boomstick per Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Boomstick. Thanks. Quarl (talk) 2007-02-11 04:29Z

  • There is nothing in that article worth merging. It seems to be references to a movie and bits of trivia about dope and television shows. Delete it. Cheers. L0b0t 04:32, 11 February 2007 (UTC)
  • If there's nothing to merge, then just leave it as a redirect. Thanks. Quarl (talk) 2007-02-11 06:38Z
  • I would even be opposed to a redirect. It is a neologism from a video game, that no one interested in this article would ever search for. Maybe put a link like this [[Sawed-off shotgun|boomstick]] in the article for the video game itself, but an article on a real firearm is the wrong place for this sort of fancruft. Cheers. L0b0t 14:38, 11 February 2007 (UTC)
  • Yes, get rid of the redirect, the Boomstick article has significant info for people who type Boomstick into the searchbox 03:24, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
  • You're all wrong, Really. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:42, 16 September 2007 (UTC)
  • Page Boomstick is now an article again, not a redirect. Anthony Appleyard (talk) 10:05, 31 May 2009 (UTC)

Title incorrect[edit]

I have never heard these guns referred to as sawed-off, sawn-off yes. Any ideas? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by HowEmbarrassing (talkcontribs) 18:38, 1 March 2007 (UTC).

As the article probably should mention, "Sawed-off" is the more common in American English, vs "Sawn-off" in Commonwealth English. "Sawed-off shotgun" wins a googlefight by 3:1. FiggyBee 18:57, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
Google fights are irrelevant, I think International English should prevail here. Viralmonkey 17:46, 22 April 2007 (UTC)
It should be Sawn-Off as only the United States refers to the shotgun as a sawed-off. International English and Commonwealth english do not have the term sawed, but instead, sawn. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 11:24, 28 March 2007 (UTC).

I agree with the "sawn-off" crowd. "Sawed-off" sounds like something a small child would say. - Daddy Kindsoul 10:40, 22 April 2007 (UTC)

I've lived in the States my entire life, and this article's title was the only time I've ever seen the phrase "Sawed-off". I don't think it should be listed as either British or American English variants, as that really has nothing to do with it. PaZuZu 10:11, 4 May 2007 (UTC)

"Sawed-off" is the legally-defined term in the U.S. and is by far the more common expression in the U.S. "Sawn-off" is distinctly more of a British expression. As this is not a topic with much traction in the U.K, anyway, and since it is legal to possess these under U.S. law with the appropriate licenses, I suggest we leave it as "sawed-off", with re-directs for "sawn-off" to the same article. Yaf 11:43, 4 May 2007 (UTC)

I live in the US and have never, ever heard the words "sawed-off." It is implausible and unbelievable when you to tell me that sawed-off "is by far the more common expression in the U.S." -- (talk) 06:42, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

The goal of Wikipedia is to cure such deficits of knowledge. It is the most common expression. for example, see page 6. Or, see this bill. Yaf (talk) 14:44, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

What about cut-down rifles[edit]

Should this whole article be a main section under an article about Short barrel firearms (or something similar). All of the legal issues and perceived coolness apply to short rifles. (see Mare's Leg) —MJBurrage(TC) 22:14, 10 January 2008 (UTC)

I would not favor this, as an SBS represents a much more commonly seen weapon among criminals. I don't recall a single SBR ever being used criminally, but I am sure there must have been some in the past. That said, another article on short barreled firearms would certainly have a link to this article. Yaf (talk) 22:30, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
I do not disagree that short barrel shotguns are more common than short barrel rifles. However there is probably not enough material for two separate articles. And a rifle section in a shotgun-named article makes less sense to me than a firearms article that would have three main sections. 1) Shotguns, 2) Rifles, and 3) legality.
We would still be able to redirect sawed-off shotgun to the shotgun section of the new article. —MJBurrage(TC) 22:55, 10 January 2008 (UTC)

Prevalence vs. handgun availability[edit]

This sentence comes of as somewhat POV:

"In countries where handguns and pistol ammunition are rare due to legal restrictions or high price, criminals are known to convert legal or stolen hunting weapons into concealable weapons."

This practice may indeed be more common where handguns are less available, but it occurs in countries where handguns are available as well. Right now it reads like a subtle criticism of gun control. There are additional reasons why one would make such a weapon. I will try to alter this sentence slightly to reflect this. Bad ideas 22:21, 8 August 2007 (UTC)


Pic=stolen "taken by myself on white tarp" my ass —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:32, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

I've tagged the image as disputed over a Wikimedia Commons. There is a chance that the original uploader is affiliated with BTP Arms, and if so, they may have the right to release the image; if not, then it will be removed. scot 17:00, 15 October 2007 (UTC)


Police officers are NOT in a different class from "civilians." There's a reason we in the Army have a branch that's called military police. (talk) 18:59, 8 December 2007 (UTC)

You obviously haven't looked at the requirements to get a handgun in Washington, D. C., or a .50 BMG rifle in California, or get a handgun in the UK. The police, just like the military, are specifically exempt from most firearms legislation, including the Brady Bill, the Federal Assault Weapons Ban, the National Firearms Act, and the Gun Control Act of 1968. In addition, check out the definition of civilian: a person who is not on active duty with a military, naval, police, or fire fighting organization. scot (talk) 22:27, 10 January 2008 (UTC)

Same destructive power?[edit]

What's the point of a wider spread if the "destructive power" is the same as the article claims? If the spread is larger, the destructive power should be greater since the pellets are impacting a larger area. Malamockq (talk) 02:08, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

The main reason for cutting down a shotgun is to make it easier to handle in tight spaces, and/or to make it easier to conceal. The power (in terms of muzzle energy) of a short barreled gun is slightly less than that of a long barreled gun, as the shot isn't under acceleration for as long (though with a shotgun, the low pressures and large swept volume mean most acceleration takes place in the first few inches). Beyond that, you're into very subjective territory. A wider spread does increase hit probability at short range, by being more forgiving of poor aim (this is why skeet chokes are only .005", barely tighter than a cylinder bore), but it also reduces the pattern density and reduces the range at which you can expect multiple hits. A standard military buckshot load only has 9 pellets, so by the time you get out to 40 yards (the military's max range for a combat shotgun), the spread from a cylinder bore is about 60 inches (see Shotgun#Pattern_and_choke). That's two square feet per pellet (a square 44cm on a side), which makes makes it more likely than not you'd hit a human sized target at that range, but not by a lot. On the other hand, at typical room-to-room fighting (or a Mafia hit) ranges, say 4 yards, your spread will be only about 6 inches (15cm). This is nowhere near the mythical clear-a-room-in-one-shot spread, but it is quite a bit more forgiving than a single projectile. scot (talk) 15:48, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

Barrel length and shot spread[edit]

The article currently says cutting the barrel less than 50% doesn't affect performance (then what's the point of long-barrel shotguns anyway? might as well make them all just over the SBS limit...) and then it says the choke is in the first two inches and significantly affects the spread. This is outright contradictory and confusing; I can't think of a way to rephrase it to be clearer.

The percentage doesn't make sense. Wouldn't that mean if you had a 10-foot shotgun (I'm just trying to make the math easier) you could cut it to 5.1 feet, then make a 5.1ft shotgun and cut it to 2.6 feet, then make a 2.6 foot shotgun and cut it to 1.4 feet, and so on, and the .5 foot shotgun would be roughly the same as the 10 ft shotgun? (talk) 09:39, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

A longer barrel gives you a longer sighting plane but is slower at target acquisition especially at closer ranges (sweeping the barrel to your target). When shooting distance such as at birds in flight this is desirable. When shooting turkeys you want something shorter as you may be walking through trees or brush or have to raise the weapon quickly. This is why most shotguns marketed for turkey shoots are shorter than for duck. Ultimately the weapon needs to be sized for the shooter, longer barrels are heavier and harder to balance (not that its "hard" but the amount of strength required is increased).

To put this more succinctly the shorter the barrel the closer the sighting range, the longer the barrel the longer the sighting range. Too short or too long and the barrel is ineffective for the given ammunition.

The choke dictates the shot spread, despite the wikipedia article saying otherwise in an uncited way. Chokes are often removed in SBS because they go in the last few inches of the muzzle (the part cut off) and are either never reinstalled or the barrel is cut short and they are discarded. They are often threaded and screwed in at the muzzle (previous commentator said it was the first couple inches, its really the last couple inches). Here are some clarifying images

With rifles and pistols muzzle length is vital to velocity (given the same ammunition). With shot, even though there is a shot cup you do not see the same drops in muzzle velocity in shorter barrels (again with the same ammunition). I have not done nor read studies on slugs, but as most shotguns are unrifled (rifling causes them to be NFA items in the US because their bore is over .50 except for .410 see the Taurus Judge for a rifled pistol shotgun) you will not have the same engagement with the barrel forming a gas seal that you would with a rifled barrel. Note also there is a spread of barrel bores for shotguns (not with rifles and pistols) This prevents a firm gas seal for most slugs. This applies to all gauges but I use 12ga to illustrate the point

  • US (ANS Z299.2) .7250-.7450 inches
  • England (1954) .7100-7500 inches
  • Germany (1939) .7166-.7323 inches
  • Japan (JIS B 9804) .7126-.7283 inches

Based on year and place of manufacture the same "12 gauge" has different barrel bores, which means different amounts of gas seals. SAAMI voluntary standards for 12ga shells (3 inch at least) is .725+0.020 matching ANS Z299.2.

After the chamber there is a 5 degree slope inward called the forming cone. This bridges the larger diameter chamber to the smaller diameter bore. Slugs could however make a tight fit here and form a much better gas seal. Slugs could therefore go either way with respect to muzzle velocity and someone should find a study to cite before stating which way it is. (talk) 11:18, 21 September 2015 (UTC)

Sawed v sawn[edit]

Whichever dialect's version is used, the use should should be consistent. It is just plain ridiculous and unencyclopedic for an article entitled "Sawed-off shotgun" to refer to the weapon almost exclusively as "Sawn-off shotgun", and for editors to squabble about it. There are many cases where the US term is not the UK term yet they co-exist in WP with a simple redirect. It sounds like subcultural vanity: "Our thugs are thuggier than yours"--SilasW (talk) 09:55, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

My vote is for a rename to Sawn-off Shotgun, FWIW. Commander Zulu (talk) 08:16, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
Sawubona! But there is no referendum, WP says "Be bold", so move it. As UK-born I find "sawed" jars but I imagine it to be an American invention and plump for "sawed" but whatever the article should become consistent.--SilasW (talk) 10:03, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
As much as I'd just like to move the article, it should probably go through the proper channels. I'll put a tag on the article and a note at WP:GUNS just so nobody has a whinge about it. Commander Zulu (talk) 10:42, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
I've always thought of "sawn-off" as either a British language thing, or an attempt to describe a legally manufactured short shotgun (as opposed to an illegal, "sawed off" manufacturing.) U.S. law has three ways of making illegal (well, for the purpose of this discussion) shotguns: shortening the barrel, shortening the entire firearm, and doing both. Here, they're legally very like machine guns, and not at all like pistols. (Firearms laws are frequently even less logical than grammar rules!) Use one, the other, or alternate useage by some scheme (legal, sawn; illegal, sawed), redirect both sawn-off and sawed-off here, which should be titled "short shotguns", not "short barreled shotguns". htom (talk) 15:53, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
Actually the correct term per BATFE is "short-barreled shotgun". "Short shotgun" is not exactly a proper term, although I know what you mean. They're similar to MG's legally wise, the tax is cheaper for one, but new machineguns cannot be entered into the registry, meaning that all legally civilian possessed non-SOT machineguns must be made before 1986, whereas anyone can make a shortbarreled shotgun after receiving the tax stamp. My vote is for "Sawed-off" with "Sawn-off" as a redirect. Google returns 302K hits on "sawed-off shotgun" and 108K with "sawn-off shotgun", BTW.--Mike - Μολὼν λαβέ 16:01, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
Technically BATFE has 2 potential definitions for a SBS. It might be a "Destructive Device". For it to be a SBS it must be a shotgun as defined in the NFA, which requires it be shoulder fired (or designed to be) and smooth-bore. An unrifled pistol is an DD which has all the same federal requirements as a SBS or pre March 1986 machine gun, pre 1991 DIAS, or rocket launcher, grenade, etc. sigh, article 1 section 9 clause 5 is rolling over in its grave (the NFA is title 26, tax law and it all boils down to a tax stamp). Similarly a rifled barrel over .50 caliber is a DD regardless of length (rifled 12 ga for example). I agree with someone else who said that gun laws make less sense than grammar rules. However for the purposes of a longer shotgun cut down in either overall length or barrel length SBS would probably apply, once an item is manufactured you can usually only convert it longer not shorter before the NFA starts to apply - the only caveat might be if it were previously rifled and thus a DD, once chopped down it may stay a DD. And that is how clunky it is to avoid the sawn/sawed debate :) (talk) 12:01, 21 September 2015 (UTC)
"Sawed-off shotgun" is distinctly in American dialect; "Sawn-off shotgun" is more distinctly in British dialect. Being this article is specifically not tied to the UK, and guns are largely banned in the UK anyway, and sawed-off shotguns are easily licensed in the US and are also commonly seen in the US, it rather seems that "Sawed-off shotgun" is likely the more common name and the choice we should use. Let's leave it at "sawed-off shotgun" and put in a re-direct for sawn-off shotgun as suggested by Mike. Yaf (talk) 16:55, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
"Sawn-off shotgun" is also the term used in Australia, New Zealand, and Ireland- three places where the guns are well known. This article isn't about the US or what the BATFE thinks- "Short-barrelled shotgun" refers to (AIUI) any shotgun with a barrel less than 18" (including commercially manufactured or professionally altered shotguns), whereas a "sawn-off" shotgun was once a full-length shotgun that has been modified by a non-gunsmith by sawing the barrel (and perhaps stock) off. It is, therefore, slightly different in concept to what many of the respondents here are talking about. Commander Zulu (talk) 06:40, 23 May 2009 (UTC)
That's a good point, CZ, are those two legal definitions from Aus or are they coloquial terms? I've heard a couple of ignoramuses in the US say something similar. Many years ago I picked up a shotgun at a pawnbroker with a 26" bbl. I cut the bbl down to 18.5" (half inch over the legal length in the US) using a pipecutter and took it to work to drill and tap it for a new front sight. One hilljack said:"You can't do that...thats a sawed off shotgun". I said"BS it's over 18" in length" Hilljack number 2 had just seen an episode of COPS or something filmed in a socialist state like NY, CA, or Masachussets and said "Oh no, you can't just saw that off" They were both wrong of course. Are those guns legal to possess in Aus, Ireland, and NZ? Draconian gunlaws have kept me from moving to all of those three places where I have lots of family, none of which happen to share my passion for arms.--Mike - Μολὼν λαβέ 17:40, 23 May 2009 (UTC)

(unindent) This Anglo-centric push to force the British spelling ignores the fact that "sawed-off shotguns" are illegal in virtually the entire "British dialect" world. A simple google search yields almost twice as many hits with "sawed-off" as with "sawn-off". There is no artument. The correct legal term in the United States is "Short-barreled shotgun". If you are arguing for a change to gramatically correct rather than more common, this logic fails as the legally-used definition would trump that. People who refer to them as "sawed-off" aren't the kind of wordsmiths that would care about grammar or the legal definition anyways. For a long time, the term "Whippit" was more common than any other term. My vote, since sawed-off is the most common term, leave it as is. Isn't it time for a vote now? --Nukes4Tots (talk) 20:01, 23 May 2009 (UTC)

As both terms are going to be damn old, and the OED is likely to prefer the Brit variant, this isn't going to be something of which we can easily determine prevalence. The best argument I can imagine without a serious linguistic analysis, which we'd likely be doing ourselves (i.e., original research), is to go with the original terminology. But even that doesn't necessarily get you the most commonly used variant.
Being an American, I'm partial to "sawed-off". Being a pain in the ass with language, I'm equally partial to "sawn-off". And barring a really good argument either way (which frankly, I'm not seeing), I think the appropriate course is to maintain the status quo until such a time that appropriate sources are available to support one term over the other. —/Mendaliv//Δ's/ 23:04, 23 May 2009 (UTC)
Molon Labe, "sawn-off" shotguns are illegal in Australia and NZ (and, I assume, Ireland). Technically a shotgun less than 76cm long is a "handgun", but there's no way the authorities would allow someone to register a sawn-off shotgun on a handgun licence. FWIW, a "cut-down" shotgun here is a legally modified (ie by a proper gunsmith) shotgun with a short barrel but still over the minimum length, whereas a "sawn-off" shotgun is, well, the sort of thing used to rob banks with. I see a lot of talking at cross-purposes here- we've got the US contingent waving the BATFE definition of "Short-barrelled shotgun" around and forgetting that the BATFE is not the arbitrator of English language usage... So what if sawn-off shotguns are illegal in the British-English speaking part of the world? That's kind of the point for having an article entitled "sawn-off shotgun", to differentiate between legal "Short-barrelled shotguns" in the US, and illegal "sawn-off shotguns" everywhere else (and the US ;)). Commander Zulu (talk) 01:13, 24 May 2009 (UTC)
I understand what you are saying, however what's legal vs what is illegal really should not matter. A "Short barrelled shotgun" is illegal if the owner has not paid the $200 tax. I propose that we keep the name as is, all others redirect to it and if there is a difference among naming conventions, they get appropriate subheadings. Sawed-off generally denotes criminal usage in the US, whether it's been cut down or manufactured at 4" below the legal limit. SBS usually denotes legal ownership but there are cases where the two interchange/overlap. I wasn't waving the term around for usage, either, just clarifying another user's point.--Mike - Μολὼν λαβέ 14:01, 24 May 2009 (UTC)
Which brings us back to "America is not the world and everyone else uses "Sawn-off" to refer to shortened shotguns"... Commander Zulu (talk) 08:01, 25 May 2009 (UTC)

What a load of "tis!"/"taint!" followed my observation that the title did not match the text! Now it is WP consistent. Now squabble on.--SilasW (talk) 10:38, 24 May 2009 (UTC)

I have undone your last edit. You have made attempt to justify your action except to keep the text in line with the title. Nobody has agreed the title is acceptable. (talk) 10:55, 24 May 2009 (UTC)
Removal of the US content, and then writing "sawn-off" through the article is not the best way to proceed. I have restored the cited US content, reverting to the version by drmies. Yaf (talk) 03:15, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
A Sawn-off shotgun and a Short Barrelled Shotgun are not the same thing at all. They really need separate articles. That was why I removed a bunch of confusing stuff in the lead and some badly-written or irrelevant stuff elsewhere. The SBS information is still located further down the article, FWIW. Commander Zulu (talk) 04:21, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
Hold on a minute! One article can serve multiple definitions, remember content, RS, etc. We could have a section on legal use vs illegal use. In some instances the only difference is a piece of paper, in other instances it may be deeper. I do think when referring to the English/Aussie/Kiwi variants..."Sawn-off" should be used and "sawed-off" when speaking of the US version...and Lupara with the Italian/Portugese rendition. Reverting or deleting huge chunks of text is not the way to build consensus, however. Finally, read up on what the "Lead" (or "Lede") is supposed to be, a concise summary of the article. We're all firearm afficianados of some degree, how about we all concentrate on working together to get this piece to an acceptable level?--Mike - Μολὼν λαβέ 04:30, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
In this case, I don't think one article can serve multiple definitions. Look, if The Average Person types "Sawn-off (or "sawed-off") Shotgun" into the search box, they're looking for information on a shotgun which has had the barrel chopped down and the stock removed, as seen in countless video games and action movies. They're not looking for information on complicated technical definitions in the US involving shotguns that are manufactured with barrels below a certain length. Thus, I think the best compromise here is to have "Sawn-off shotgun" as the main article, with a mention that shotguns manufactured with (or legally modified to have) barrels below a certain length are considered Short Barrelled Shotguns in the US, with a separate article on the concept. Everyone wins that way. Commander Zulu (talk) 04:56, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
If this article were halfway comprehensive and sourced halfway decent, I might agree, however, I'd prefer to see one good article as opposed to multiple stubby articles that look like a bag of ass, but I'm silly like that!--Mike - Μολὼν λαβέ 05:07, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

Split short-barreled shotgun / sawed-off shotgun?[edit]

  • Short Barrelled Shotgun is a different concept to Sawn-off Shotgun. That's the entire point of the argument to split the two articles, and a point already made earlier up the page... Commander Zulu (talk) 10:43, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
  • It seems from the article, that in the USA, the same law covers sawn-off shotguns and shotguns made with short barrels, and that is why both are currently treated in the same article. For the purposes where a legal short-barreled shotgun is used for assault (e.g. by armed police), in Britain and elsewhere in Europe, would those holders of special permission to use short-barreled shotguns for purposes described in Sawed-off shotgun#Police and military use, be allowed to saw-off a long-barreled shotgun, or only to buy ready-made short-barreled shotguns? The article describes two modes of use: bursting in firing, and breaking door locks. How much does giving orders at gunpoint occur in the legal uses? Anthony Appleyard (talk) 11:48, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
  • The only shotguns I've ever seen used by the police or military here have been "legal length" arms, and FWIW I can't think of any instances where police officers in places like the UK or Australasia would need shotguns with ludicrously short barrels. Having said that, my readings of the relevant legislation here would indicate that police officers and military personnel are exempt from firearms legislation in the course of their duties, and thus they could take a perfectly good shotgun and have their armourer cut it down in size to the point where it had a 6" barrel and no stock, if they had some bizarre reason for needing to do so. Commander Zulu (talk) 12:16, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
  • FYI. A short barreled shotgun comes in very handy when you need one for breaching and you're already carrying a larger rifle or submachinegun. US Marshalls in Witness protection often carry a Remington 870 with a 12.5" bbl, birdshead grip, etc for concealment and the US Border Patrol utilizes a full stock 870 with a 14" barrel.--Mike - Μολὼν λαβέ 12:45, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Understandable. I was just commenting on the non-US situation. As far as I'm aware, the police here aren't in the habit of breaching doors with shotguns, but I can see how that might be practical or necessary in the US. Commander Zulu (talk) 13:42, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
  • I carried a shotgun as a breacher while serving as a US Marine, mostly for portability, it's not like I was walking the rice paddies of Willows, CA hunting pheasant! Some SWAT Units use them for this as well when doing high-risk entries, etc but it's portability with the BP as well, FBI and Marshalls more of concealment with better firepower than a pistol.--Mike - Μολὼν λαβέ 13:54, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
  • "For example, military vehicle crews, and entry teams running through doorways (see entry shotgun) often use them." - Does anyone have an actual example of vehicle crews carrying shotguns at all? It seems odd for them to use such a niche weapon with short range and heavy, bulky ammunition different from most other troops. I thought vehicle crews were generally issued pistols, SMGs or carbines for that reason. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:48, 21 April 2013 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was do not move Anthony Appleyard (talk) 10:08, 31 May 2009 (UTC)
User:Commander Zulu has filed a request for this article to be moved, on the grounds that "Sawed-off" is an Americanism; the rest of the English-speaking world uses "Sawn-off". And "Sawed-off" grates on people's ears. Commander Zulu (talk) 12:02, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

  • Oppose - Perhaps "sawed-off shotgun" is an Americanism - I'm an American and I've never heard any variation on this, so that "sawn-off" sounds weird to my ears. In any case, a sawed-off shotgun is pretty much a quintessential American thing, so I'd go with the American usage, a decision which is verified by Google, where there are 371,000 Ghits for "sawed-off shotgun" and only 125,000 for "sawn-off shotgun". All that says that there's no reason to override WP:ENGVAR and move this article. Ed Fitzgerald t / c 08:07, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose - "sawed-off shotgun" is most common usage. There already exists a "sawn-off" redirect page, so anyone from English speaking countries who types in "sawn-off" will get to the correct page here. The lede of this page explains clearly that it is "sawed-off" OR "sawn-off", so it is clear that this is one and the same item. We would probably all agree that the commonest form (sawed-off) is incorrect English if that is any consolation to you. If "sawed-off" was only used by 12 guys in a trailer park in Buffalo, New York, then I would vote for using the 'correct-English' form. But that is not the case. Instead, the whole United States (the country with the largest number of English speakers in the whole world) knows this item as a "sawed-off shotgun". Doesn't make it right, but it does make it so. As far as the "...grates on the ears...", fortunately Wikipedia is a visual medium rather than an audio presentation. If you want to talk about things that grate on the ears, what's that Tems stuff? Should be 'TH' as in Thelma and 'AMES' as in James, but yet they say 'Tems'...huh? Joe Hepperle (talk) 09:06, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
There have been plenty of sawn-off shotgun offences committed here in Britain where I live, if the newspapers and the television news can be trusted. On television I once heard a criminal described as "a standard British rough with a standard British sawn-off". I once saw 2 sawn-off shotguns on an evidence table in a Crown Court trial where I was a spectator in its public gallery. Once long ago some scuba divers who I knew found a sawn-off shotgun barrel in a flooded quarry. Anthony Appleyard (talk) 09:37, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
As regards "sawed-off" / "sawn-off", which is preferred usage in each English dialect area between "The log was sawed into planks." and "The log was sawn into planks."? Regularizing irregular verbs has been happening down history. The usual past of "work" was once "wrought". Sometimes old forms persist as fossils: for example, people still say "molten steel" with the old strong-verb form, but not "I have molten the rest of the butter to make ghee". Likewise Anglo-Saxon "Ic hæbbe geholpen" became "I have helped". I am tempted here to think of the song "You say tomayto, I say tomahto.". Anthony Appleyard (talk) 10:06, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose - It's but one more anti-US diatribe that we could all live without. "Sawed-off" is the distinctly American dialect, "Sawn-off" is the distinctly British dialect. Leave article at "sawed-off", put in a redirect for "sawn-off", use "sawn-off for the British, Australia, NZ relevant content, use "sawed-off" for the US content, use "Lupara" for the Italian content (although there is also some Sicilian US usage of lupara and sawed-off that might be worth mentioning for the "mob" usage, largely depending on the age of the speaker.) Much ado about nothing. But, the key here is not to delete US specific content in the article to make the article somehow grammatically "correct". Usage, not grammar, is what matters. Yaf (talk) 10:29, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Comment - I wonder if "Sawed-off" grates on our non-US ears is because it sounds like "sod off!". Just an observation. Carry on! Fribbler (talk) 12:13, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose - "sawed-off shotgun" is more common. Other terms can redirect here.--Mike - Μολὼν λαβέ 12:39, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
How do we decide what's "More common"? We have one country that uses the term. Everyone else uses "Sawn-off". I'd argue that makes "Sawn-off" the more common term. Commander Zulu (talk) 13:43, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
Comment: the UK has a population of 61 million or so, Canada has a pop. of 33 million, and Australia has a pop. of 21 million. There are 306 million Americans, more than twice the number of people in UK/CAN/AUS combined. Parsecboy (talk) 13:54, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
Comment: Want to throw India into the numbers game? Skinsmoke (talk) 17:04, 30 May 2009 (UTC)
Comment: Hell, just go by Google hits if you want a common term and put the anti-American prejuduces aside for a change.--Mike - Μολὼν λαβέ 13:57, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
(ec) It's hard to go the route of population, since while the US has 215 million of the estimated 375 million native speakers of English worldwide (over 57%), India had signficantly more people who speak English, albeit most of them as their second or third language. (This info is from English language.) More clear cut is the Google data I offered above. Ed Fitzgerald t / c 13:59, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
I was just trying to illustrate the fact that stating that one version is more commonly used because it's used in several places is problematic. Parsecboy (talk) 14:10, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Comment - something to consider: the main article was viewed 31,443 times last month, while the corresponding redirect "sawn-off shotgun" was viewed 2651 times. "Sawed off shotgun" was viewed 1554 times last month while "Sawn off shotgun" was viewed 665 times. "Sawed off" was viewed 268 times and "Sawn off" was viewed 167 times Of course the hits from the "sawn" redirects would be subtracted from the total, more people are typing in "sawed", rather than "sawn". Parsecboy (talk) 14:07, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
  • See the 4th entry in American and British English differences#Verb morphology. Anthony Appleyard (talk) 15:58, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose In my experience "Sawed-off" is the more common term used. No reason to switch just because the nominator wants to use the British term (reminds me of an editor who always wants video game articles to use the British title). TJ Spyke 16:12, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose This is not a valid move rationale per WP:NC. As to prevalence, in any case, until there's evidence of significant support one way or the other in reliable sources, the status quo should be maintained. Basically per my rationale in the earlier section on this same question. —/Mendaliv//Δ's/ 16:29, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose per WP:ENGVAR. The English Wikipedia does not prefer any major national variety of the language. No variety is more correct than another. and as a consequence, an article that has evolved using one variety should retain that variety. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 20:18, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Legal Issues (United Kingdom)[edit]

In the Legal Issues, United Kingdom section the article states 'A shotgun cut down so that the barrel is less than 30 cm (11.81 in) or the overall length is less than 60 cm (23.62 in) is deemed to be a "short-barrelled" shotgun and is prohibited.' This is indeed true, under section 5(1)(aba) of the Firearms Act 1968 as amended. However, if it is a pump action or self loading shotgun, the limit is longer under section 5(1)(ac), which states 'A person commits an offence if...he has in his possession...any self-loading or pump-action smooth-bore gun which is not an air weapon or chambered for .22 rim-fire cartridges and either has a barrel less than 24 inches in length or is less than 40 inches in length overall'. I reckon this should be added (in a much clearer way than I've quoted) as otherwise someone may think it legal to saw a pump-action shotgun down to below 24in.

Also, a shotgun which is not pump action or self-loading, once the barrel has been shortened below 24in, is no longer classified as a shotgun under UK law and needs a different firearm certificate.

The legislation I'm using can be found here if anyone wants to check my interpretation of it. Ariseymour (talk) 20:52, 1 December 2009 (UTC)

I just came to second this. The long and short of british law on shotguns is

If above 24inches and holding no more than 2/2+1 carts then it goes on a shotgun certificate If above 24inches and holding more than 2/2+1 then it needs to be on a shotgun certificate —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:50, 23 January 2010 (UTC)

American Law should discuss US v. Miller (1939)[edit]

United States v. Miller (1939) was for many years the only ruling on the Second Amendment. It found that:

In the absence of any evidence tending to show that possession or use of a 'shotgun having a barrel of less than eighteen inches in length' at this time has some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia, we cannot say that the Second Amendment guarantees the right to keep and bear such an instrument.

The paucity of evidence could easily have been addressed by this article at Sawed-off shotgun#Police and military use. If nothing else, this is a notable ruling about this class of weaponry, and should be mentioned. Likewise some link to Combat shotgun should appear in the Police and military use section. (talk) 16:50, 21 May 2010 (UTC)

What are you waiting for? Go for it.--Mike - Μολὼν λαβέ 21:03, 21 May 2010 (UTC)

Pending changes[edit]

This article is one of a number selected for the early stage of the trial of the Wikipedia:Pending Changes system on the English language Wikipedia. All the articles listed at Wikipedia:Pending changes/Queue are being considered for level 1 pending changes protection.

The following request appears on that page:

Comments on the suitability of theis page for "Penfding changes" would be appreciated.

Please update the Queue page as appropriate.

Note that I am not involved in this project any much more than any other editor, just posting these notes since it is quite a big change, potentially

Regards, Rich Farmbrough, 23:57, 16 June 2010 (UTC).

Copy Edit[edit]

I completed a copy edit of this article on 9/15/2011. J appleseed2 (talk) 19:22, 15 September 2011 (UTC)

Mossberg 590 Shockwave and Remington TAC-14 "Non-NFA/Non-AOW" 14-Inch (35.56 cm) Barrelled Shotguns[edit]

The O.F. Mossberg and Sons Model 590 Shockwave and Remington Arms Company TAC-14 are weapons manufactured with a 14 inch (35.56 cm) barrel and stub pistol grip - with an overall length of 26 inches (66 cm).

According to Jon Hodoway, writing in the Guns America blog, this excludes them from the definition of "shotgun" (not designed to be fired from the shoulder), and thus they cannot be “Short Barreled Shotguns” (SBS) requiring a $200.00 transfer tax to purchase. If they had pistol grips and were less than 26 inches (66 cm) in overall length, they'd be considered “Any Other Weapon” (AOW) and require a $5 transfer tax. But the Shockwave and TAC-14 fall in neither legal class. They are described as "pump-action firearms".

The Shockwave and TAC-14 never had stocks attached for firing from the shoulder. They have pistol grips extending their overall length to 26 inches (66 cm) or more, disqualifying them from falling under the "Any Other Weapon" category. These weapons are not regulated by the US National Firearms Act (as described in our article under the headings "Legal Restrictions - United States - Other"). They can be purchased with the same BATFE Form 4473 required for purchase of any ordinary single-shot or semiautomatic weapon, with no tax stamp. Having never been manufactured or designed with a buttstock, they are not legally "shotguns" despite being chambered for and firing shotgun ammunition.

Should we discuss the Mossberg Model 590 Shockwave and Remington TAC-14 under "Other" or in their own paragraph? While they're not "sawed-off shotguns" they are weapons chambered for shotgun ammunition in the same performance range and used for the same thing (personal protection) as sawed-off shotguns and "entry" shotguns.

Comments, anyone? loupgarous (talk) 01:42, 5 October 2017 (UTC)

On this subject Remington recently released a semi-auto version of the 'firearm' category called the 'Tac-13'. This also exploits the same 'loophole' in US gun laws allowing 'pistol-grip only' shotguns to possess a shorter barrel as long as the OAL (over all length) exceeds 26 inches. JFYI.2600:387:8:5:0:0:0:47 (talk) 02:36, 13 November 2018 (UTC)