The 14″ Mossberg 500 That ISN’T NFA!

I get a lot of questions from customers about the “new” ATF ruling regarding pistol-grip-only (PGO) firearms with 14″ barrels that aren’t considered NFA items.

Well, first off, let me say, it’s not a new ruling. It’s the same position that ATF has always taken regarding PGO firearms that fire a fixed shotgun shell that have NEVER had a buttstock attached to them—they’re NOT shotguns! They’re simply firearms. As such, they don’t necessarily need to have 18″+ barrels on them to remain out of the purview of the NFA.

You see, the very definition of a “shotgun” requires that it be “designed or redesigned, made or remade, and intended to be fired from the shoulder…” Without a buttstock ever having been fitted to the PGO firearms in question, they can’t be fired from the shoulder and are therefore not shotguns. Hence, with a 14″ barrel, they can’t be considered short-barreled shotguns, as they aren’t shotguns to begin with. Read the full definition of a shotgun here.

PGO firearms that remain longer than 26″ in overall length also can’t be defined as AOWs. That’s because the term “any other weapon” (AOW) means “any weapon or device capable of being concealed on the person…” And ATF maintains that to be concealed, the firearm needs to be shorter than 26″. Read the full definition of an AOW here.

More on the subject is available in these two letters to Len Savage—the guy who will be making a lot of these non-NFA firearms in the coming months and years:

All that said, I’m not a firearms attorney. And I’m not offering legal advice here. I am simply relating things the way I understand them. Be sure you check with all the appropriate agencies.

Now, a pistol-grip-only Mossberg 500 with a 14″ barrel and the Raptor Grip installed measures 26.5″ in overall length (measured parallel to the bore).



  1. Steve says:

    So the 26″ rule for PGO shotguns is that 26″ is the bare minimum? If I get a Mossberg PGO and cut it to 15″, I’m ok as long as I’m on or over 26″?

  2. Ben U. says:

    Hello, I was very interested on this 14″ mossberg 500 but is this legal in California? If so, I will purchase one right away.

  3. jim says:

    I just ordered the Mossberg 500 – Model 50450.
    The Mossberg 500 Model 50450 is a 6 shot, 20 gauge pistol grip shotgun.

    I am ordering/installing the Shockwave grip and cutting the barrel length to just past the end of the magazine tube (as long as that is at least 26.5″ in length. I might leave the barrel long enough to add a clamp on Witt Machine or Grizzly Gunworks muzzlebrake.

    I’m not sure what forearm I will be using on this build.

    No need to order $200 in parts from Mossberg and the benefit of having this same weapon in a 20 gauge caliber for home/self defense.

  4. David Fugate says:

    Will the birds head grip fit an Ithaca 37 12ga?

  5. Logan kaim says:

    I just ordered a front end from Mossberg. I plan to purhase your bird head grip as well as the strap to mount to the forend from you guys. I have one question. What is your opinion on attaching a m4 buffer tube with a sigbrace onto a 14in Mossberg. The would result in a weapon more than 26 inches.

    • marty says:

      Thank you for your business and for writing, Logan. Personally, I would go with a Shockwave Blade pistol stabilizer. Thank you again, Marty

  6. Jeff whittle says:

    One last comment I see up there that these 14″ forends are now available. But I need a link please please please somebody send it to me

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