legal longest barrel on pistal

Discussion in 'Specialty Handgun Hunting' started by scott, Mar 31, 2007.

  1. scott

    scott Member

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    I have been trying to figure out "fi" there is a maximum legal barrel length for a pistal.. The gunsmith at Gander Mountain said it was 15 inchess. another guy said 16 inches, another said 14 inches.
    I know that Thomson Center used to sell a super 16 that was 16.25 inches...

    I know that shotguns have to have a 18 inch bbl, rifles at least 16 inches, total lenth of long guns has to be 26 inches.

    What I was wanting to try is a 21 plus inch on a T/C or a XP-100.
    I know that youtr thinking, "Why not just use a rifle?"

    Here in Indiana we can only hunt deer with a shotgun/slugs, Muzzle-loader, or handgun (also bow), that puts most of us into SHORT range huntign, we have A LOT of open area/fields.

    handgun has a minimum case lenth of 1.15 inches (something to the order of a .357 mag is okey, but a 38 special isn't), and a minimum caliber of .243 and a minimum bbl length of 4 inches.
    Yes a 600 nitro would be legal, a 22-250 not..
    a 30-06, 243, 308, 25-06, 6mm, 30-378, etc all legal as long as it's a legal handgun.

    I want to be able to use a Rifle scope, but have something flat shooting for 400-500 yard shots. this makes it dificult, as with a rifle scope, I need lower recoil, 243 6mm, 257 roberts, 25-06(maybe) 260 rem, in a heavy bbl with a brake, long 21-22 or 26 inch bbl for velocity.

    Around here deer get spooked easy, and are smart, but know at 300-500 yards they are pretty much perfectly safe and will almost ignore you.

    any info on federal laws reguarding barrel length?

    scott
     
  2. ranger140892

    ranger140892 Active Member

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    There's no Federal limit that I know of. Some states may have limits though I don't know what they would gain or think they're gaining by it.
    I live in Indiana also. I mainly stick to my XP in 308 Win. It has a 17" barrel.
     

  3. Varmint Hunter

    Varmint Hunter Well-Known Member

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    GEEEZ - A 26" barreled handgun sure would look bizzare. Make it a bull barrel and keep the recoil down. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif
     
  4. CatShooter

    CatShooter Well-Known Member

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    There is no limit to the barrel length, and many XP-100 pistols would up with 20" to 30" barrels - it was a very popular action for Bench rifles and varmint rifles.

    .
     
  5. 41mag

    41mag Well-Known Member

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    Personally I really don't think you need to go to all of that extreme. Just look at what XPHunter is doing, even my lowly ol 14" 7x30 Waters and a 140gr BT dropped deer very nicely at 283yds. Not that it wouldn't do it further, thats just the furtherest I have shot it on anything other than paper. At 300yds it was grouping around 2", so the limiting factor was bullet expansion.

    From one of the hotter Encore chamberings, you should be fine out to the ranges you want to shoot, especially with the newer bullets or even the BT's.

    The key is to practice every chance you get. THose short barrels, make a tiny wiggle a big deal even at close range. Before I headed to WI. with my Contender, I practiced about three times a week and on weekends. While I was up there I only had one chance at a buck and chose not to take it as it wasn't what I was looking for. I did however light a fire under a yote out about 250yds who was already leaving the scene of a drive. He thought he was in the clear till I touched one off. Everything was good but the lead I put on him and I hit right behind his rear end. He definatley caught another gear and left the area.
     
  6. scott

    scott Member

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    Thanks guys, and I do not have anything against a 14 inch tube, just a little extra bbl lench will ad some FPS, I do not want to use a bigger case to get Velicity, but more bbl length.. as I do not want the scope to black my eye.. I'm not using the weak power handgun scopes either, they are lower power and have dink objectives, most of the best hunting is done around dusk/dawn when the light gathering at 9x to 14x is a factor, a 50mm is a must,

    I want something with a bull bbl, heavy and a brake to minimize the rifle scopes low eye relief, the longer bbl will add weight and be flatter shooting.
    I have considered also the 7mm-08 also with the other 308 sized cases, the 243 WSSM or 257 WSSM is another choice.

    thnks

    scott
     
  7. Ernie

    Ernie SPONSOR

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    [ QUOTE ]
    What I was wanting to try is a 21 plus inch on a T/C or a XP-100.
    I want to be able to use a Rifle scope, but have something flat shooting for 400-500 yard shots. this makes it dificult, as with a rifle scope, I need lower recoil, 243 6mm, 257 roberts, 25-06(maybe) 260 rem, in a heavy bbl with a brake, long 21-22 or 26 inch bbl for velocity.
    scott

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I have not used TC's for LR hunting. I have not satisfied myself on the whole forend barrel issues, since it is not free floated. I am quite satisfied with the XP's or other bolt pistols of similar quality. The MOA Maximum is another good choice as Rich Mertz has been doing things to make it more practical for hunting.
    I believe you can reach your goal of 400-500 yards with out needing to go with such a long barrel and still use a rifle scope. My 6-284 XP (115 DTAC) has an 18" barrel/no brake and I use rifle scopes up to 25x with it (don't see a full FOV). 6mm's will work on deer to those ranges as I won't hesitate @ 500 yds with my 6-284 in the right conditions, but it is not my main go to handgun. I guess I would prefer 25 cal. on up through 7mm. A 16-18 inch barrel built right performs great and is accurate.
    Possible canidates that I like (others would work fine too /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif):
    257Rob AI, 25-284, 260, 260 AI, 6.5 Swed AI, 6.5-284, 7mm-08, 7mm-08AI, 284 Win.
    One of the baffle style brakes work great like Holland's. I have two of them and they are amazing. Darrell Holland has a new brake out this year but I have not used it yet.
    The DE brakes are also great from what I hear but I have never used one of Shawn's yet. If you will be shooting much from the prone position a solid bottomed brake would be recommended. Darrel's and Shawn's are both in that category.

    FWIW my first LR XP was in 7-08 and it had a 14" barrel.
    It took several deer and antelope over 400 yards and one over 500 yards. I was using 140 NBT's with a mild but very accurate load @ 2540 MV. Later Steve used the 120 NBT's at 2750.
     
  8. broomjm

    broomjm Member

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    I spoke with an Indiana DNR officer about this specific question because I've never agreed with the logic that limited range guns like shotguns and muzzle-loaders are any safer than center-fire rifles. (If you can't confirm what's beyond your target, you just don't shoot.) Anyway, the officer stated that there are no regulations prohibiting the maximum length of a barrel on a pistol, only that it not have a rifle butt-stock. Obviously, this makes many high-powered rifle cartridges legal. There are two reasons Indiana has not amended this law: 1) Relatively few hunters will choose this option and 2) Those hunters that do choose this option are generally more experienced, conscientious hunters.

    I have used my 6.5JDJ on a TC Contender to take several does and a 6-point buck in the last 8 years. All of those shots were 120 yards or less. My father used the same gun to harvest a decent 8-pt across a corn field at somewhere around 225 yards. This gun has equaled or surpassed all of my rifles in accuracy, regularly shooting sub-MOA groups (when I do my part).
     
  9. BountyHunter

    BountyHunter Writers Guild

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    Re: legal longest barrel on pistol

    I would look at the T/C line (contender and Encore for major rifle calibers) with the 14-16" barrels in 6.5 JDJ, 7mm-08. Both can come from Fox Ridge Outfitters which sells the T/C Custom shop line of barrels and guns.

    Also you can bipod them, or if shooting from a type rest, they make 2" wide flat foreends that work great.

    BH
     
  10. Don - In Idaho

    Don - In Idaho Well-Known Member

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    Re: legal longest barrel on pistol

    Just a little more info on handgun actions/ barrel length and shoulder stocks...this is my understanding based on several years of reading up on it, ATF court cases and rulings. Can't guarantee this info is 100% correct. Check with the ATF if you feel the need.

    According to the ATF, you CAN put a shoulder stock on a handgun (i.e. TC / Encore etc., or an Xp100 or Striker Action) as long as the barrel length when the shoulder stock is on there is at least 16" measured from the breech/bolt face. You can take the shoulder stock off and install a handgun type stock or grips at any time without breaking any federal laws regardless of what the barrel length is when the stock is removed below or above 16", then go back to a shoulder stock setup at will as long as the barrel with shoulder stock is at the 16" min length.

    What you cannot do is take a RIFLE action, one that left the maker as a rifle, and put a barrel shorter than 16" on it or have the overall length below the legal limit (can't recall what that is but you can look it up on the ATF web site) if you put a folding stock or a pistol type stock on the rifle action.

    Once a handgun, always a handgun, even if you build it up with a 16" barrel and shoulder stock at some point. It doesn't become a "rifle" when that happens.
     
  11. blackco

    blackco Well-Known Member

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    Re: legal longest barrel on pistol

    That is one of the reasons I heard Remington first made the xp-100 pistol THEN made the Model600 rifle. You can make a pistol into a handgun but not a handgun into a pistol. It seams to be an urban legend when I really think about it though.
     
  12. ranger140892

    ranger140892 Active Member

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    Re: legal longest barrel on pistol

    What?
    There's no confusion here. A pistol is a handgun. You cannot legally convert a rifle to a handgun. There are no loop holes. Even with Encore's and Contenders. If it was shipped from the factory as a RIFLE, it's a rifle and cannot be legally converted to a handgun.[ QUOTE ]
    That is one of the reasons I heard Remington first made the xp-100 pistol THEN made the Model600 rifle. You can make a pistol into a handgun but not a handgun into a pistol. It seams to be an urban legend when I really think about it though.

    [/ QUOTE ]
     
  13. blackco

    blackco Well-Known Member

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    Re: legal longest barrel on pistol

    Sorry! ...rifle into a handgun not a handgun into a rifle... my bad!

    Am I wrong that if you buy an Encore handgun you CAN put a rifle barrel on it but if you buy an Encore rifle it is illegal to put a short (pistol) barrel on it.