Short Barreled Rifle (SBR) courtesy of the ATF

Short Barreled Rifle (SBR) courtesy of the ATF


From the definition provided by the ATF in their NFA handbook – A rifle is defined as a firearm that’s designed to fire a single projectile for each single pull of the trigger. This rifle is also designed to be fired from the shoulder. Note that this is the definition of a rifle, and NOT an NFA rifle.


In order to be classified as an NFA firearm or Title II weapon, the rifle must meet some specific requirements. Very similar to the requirements for an NFA shotgun, the requirements for an NFA rifle are based on the physical dimensions of the rifle itself; the overall length, and the barrel length. If the overall length of the rifle is less than 26 inches, or the barrel length is less than 16 inches, then the rifle is considered a short barreled rifle (SBR), and it does fall under the NFA rifle title, thus requiring a Federal Firearms License (FFL) to sell.



The overall length measurement is pretty much how it sounds. The rifle is measured from the muzzle to the end of the stock. If the rifle has a telescoping stock, or a folding stock, then the measurement is to be taken with the stock fully collapsed or folded.



The barrel length is measured from the muzzle to the breech. Again, like the rules for shotguns, the barrel length does not include any barrel attachment like a choke, muzzle break, compensator, etc, unless said device is permanently attached to the barrel via full penetration welding or silver soldering.



Short Barrel Rifle (SBR) Made from a non NFA rifle courtesy of the ATF

Short Barrel Rifle (SBR) Made from a non NFA rifle - courtesy of the ATF


There are two ways that a short barreled rifle (SBR) may be created. The first and most obvious way is to shorten the barrel of a non ATF rifle to under 16 inches. You can also shorten the stock in order to make the overall length less than 26 inches. One other way to create a short barreled rifle is to add a shoulder stock to a handgun. In each of these cases, the firearm must be registered with the ATF.

A pistol with shoulder stock thats considered a short barrel rifle (SBR)  courtesy of adamsguns.com

A pistol with shoulder stock thats considered a short barrel rifle (SBR) courtesy of adamsguns.com



Two points worth noting are that:

1) It’s a felony to own a short barreled rifle unless it’s been authorized (registered) by the ATF.

and

2) If you need to transport these firearms across state lines, you must notify the ATF well in advance by filling out form 5320.20.

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