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    Everything You Need To Know About a Sawed-Off Shotgun

    Everything You Need To Know About a Sawed-Off Shotgun


    A sawed-off shotgun is regarded as a gangster or villain's old-school lethal weapon. It's the kind of weapon you'd expect to see in a zombie apocalypse in the movies. But there's more to this firearm than meets the eye.

    Continue reading to learn more about this "interesting" shotgun.


    What Is a Sawed-Off Shotgun?


    A shotgun that has been sawed off

    Credit: iStock


    The legal term for a sawed-off shotgun is "short-barreled shotgun".

    A shotgun must have a barrel length of at least 18 inches and an overall length of at least 27 inches, according to the NFA 36. A sawed-off shotgun (also known as a sawn-off shotgun, short-barreled shotgun, shorty, or boomstick) is a shotgun with a shorter gun barrel—usually less than 18 inches (46 cm)—and a shortened or nonexistent stock.

    A sawed-off shotgun is primarily used as a self-defense or sidearm weapon. When employed at close range, it can be destructive. It has strong burst damage that can take out anyone or anything in a single shot.


    Reasons for Using a Sawed-Off Shotgun


    A man dressed in black pointing a gun next to a wire gate

    Credit: iStock


    Individuals use sawed-off shotguns for two main reasons: concealment and spread.




    They're easy to hide in a long jacket or down the side of a long boot because they're so short. A shotgun's recoil is reduced by shortening the barrel, making it easier to use as a one-handed weapon.




    The firing pattern of a sawed-off is substantially more spread out since the ammo travels a much shorter distance before dispersing. Even if the shooter's aim is wrong, the shooter has a significantly better probability of striking the target.


    Uses of a Sawed-Off Shotgun


    An image showing the bullet chambers of rifle gun

    Credit: BBC Science Focus Magazine


    Military Use


    Sawn-off shotguns were used as a principal weapon by Confederate cavalry during the American Civil War. These guns were primarily used for close-range warfare. Today, the military and police departments use short-barreled shotguns with barrels in the range of 10 to 14 inches (25 to 36 cm).

    Because sawed-off shotguns are smaller and lighter, they are easier for the military to conceal and carry. It also allows them to move more easily in restricted locations such as caves, tunnels, and close-quarter conflicts. These are known as "entry shotguns" because they are frequently used for forced entry into buildings, where the short length and easy handling outweigh the higher ammunition capacity of a larger shotgun.


    Civilian Use


    This firearm was traditionally used by Italian farmers and shepherds to guard their livestock and vineyards.

    During the 1960s, sawed-off shotguns were commonly used in robberies in countries such as Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, and New Zealand. Robbers used to chop the barrels off shotguns to make them easier to conceal. As a result, the majority of people today still identify this shotgun with criminal activity.


    What Does Shortening the Length of a Shotgun Barrel Do to the Barrel Length and Shot Spread?


    A rifle with the shotgun barrel that has been shortened

    Credit: Sumally


    Shortening the length of a shotgun barrel does not have a major impact on the pattern of spread of the pellets unless it is reduced to less than half the length of a conventional barrel.

    The type of cartridge used and the choke, or constriction, found at the muzzle of a shotgun barrel, have the most impact on the pattern.

    In a sawed-off shotgun, the choke is removed by cutting off the end of the barrel, which usually only extends about two inches (about 5 cm) inward from the muzzle. A cylinder bore is formed as a result, resulting in the broadest spread commonly found in shotgun barrels. Special "spreader chokes" or "spreader loads," are designed to spread the shot further, and are used for an even broader pattern.


    Is it Legal to Possess a Sawed-Off Shotgun?


    A rifle sitting on a tree trunk out in nature with a tree growing out the trunk

    Credit: Pew Pew Tactical


    Since 1934, many gun manufacturers in the United States have stopped producing sawed-off shotguns. At the time shotguns with a barrel length of fewer than 18 inches were prohibited.

    Today, a sawed-off shotgun must meet a minimum length requirement to be allowed for civilian usage, according to various organizations. A shotgun must have a minimum barrel length that is at least 18 inches long, according to the National Firearms Act. It must have a total length of 27 inches.

    However, if you want to own a sawn-off shotgun with barrels shorter than 18 inches, you can do so lawfully if you get a permit before buying or cutting off the barrels.

    If you come across one for sale,

    • Complete Form 4: This is the "Application for Tax Paid Transfer and Registration" form.
    • Provide your fingerprints as well as two passport-sized pictures.
    • Get your stamp: Purchase and get approved for the $200 tax stamp. Before each interstate or intrastate transfer, you must acquire a new tax stamp.
    • Finally, you must wait six to nine months to receive your permit.


    How Does One Go About Making One?


    A man holding a rifle with both hands out at the range

    Credit: American Gun Association


    You can get the barrel shortened by using a hacksaw, sawzall, or carbide chop to saw them and trim them to the required length. If concealment is a priority, the buttstock can also be reduced to a primitive pistol grip.




    The sawed-off shotgun can fire approximately 395 times, or 790 standard rounds, the equivalent of 395 reloads, from the full condition without breaking. Short-barreled shotguns are lethal at close range.

    If you plan to use a short-barrelled shotgun for whatever reason, make sure you fill out the proper papers first. To prevent penalties, remember to check the legal barrel length restrictions and follow your current state legislation. A sawed-off modern shotgun is legal to own if properly licensed. They necessitate a special registration.

    EasyShot shooting targets can help you improve your aim and accuracy. Check us out today!


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