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. Jesse says:

    I’ve purchased the birds head grip and the plug for my Mossberg 500 PGO persuader but I haven’t done any cutting yet. Has anyone done this in FL and know anything regarding the legality? I came across a forum where someone mentioned cutting the barrel to 14″ and keeping the OAL over 26″ would be legal, however, in Florida there’s something clashing with their Destructive Devices laws? I really hope someone has some answers regarding this because I’d really like to cut mine down, without going to prison. Any information would be great.

  2. Vincent says:

    Does anyone know if adding all these mods and cutting the barrel down to 14 on a pistol grip mossberg 500 is non nfa in Tennessee?

    I read around on this site and couldn’t find anything specific on it


  3. Mike B says:

    OK…I understand the ruling of a PGO having an overall length of 26″+ but, since the rule is “the very definition of a “shotgun” requires that it be “designed or redesigned, made or remade, and intended to be fired from the shoulder…” what constitutes a “shotgun” being redesigned or remade? Would replacing the stock with a bird’s head style grip and shortening the barrel and magazine tube count?

    • Ethan C says:

      NOOOOOOOO that would be considered an sbs and will require an nfa tax stamp. PGO firearms are ones that came from the factory without a stock, therefor they were never intended to be fired from the shoulder, allowing the pgo ruling. Simply putting a pistol grip on a shotgun does not make it that way.

  4. Chris says:

    When I bought my Mossberg 500, it came with a pistol grip on it. How do I know if it is a true PGO, or if it had a stock at some point in the past? It is a 20″ with a 7+1 mag tube.

    • marty says:

      I would email Mossberg customer service with the serial number. They are pretty good about responding back with the configuration in which the gun left the factory.

  5. Jeffrey Smith says:

    Can you tell me if the Shockwaves technology 14 inch barreled shotgun is legal to own without special forms from atf

  6. glen hess says:

    So, if the barrel is pinned in place with this unit, how do I field strip the gun for cleaning and lubrication? Because as far as I know the bolt has to come out the front.

  7. Mike says:

    Dealers are taking your products, slapping them on Mossberg 500’s and then jacking up the price while using language to suggest someone doing it themselves would be in violation of the law. Thank you for posting this so that people can read for themselves and learn.

  8. John smith says:

    Do you know if this is legal in Kentucky?

    • marty says:

      Honestly, I don’t know the myriad state and local laws. But let us know if you determine its legal status in your state.

  9. Patrick Peterson says:


    I bought two of your Raptor grips – great quality! I plan to install one of your grips on a Black Aces Tactical Pro Series 5 magazine-fed 12 Ga receiver kit (installs in place of a Mossberg 500 receiver), along with the Mossberg 14″ front end. The assembly should be 26.5″ long, parallel to the bore. What do you think?

  10. Gaujo says:

    Hey Marty! Have you ever seen a 14″ version of the 20ga?

  11. Seymourbutts says:

    In my state I have to register my guns, what category would this fall under? Pistol or long gun?

  12. wRecKaGe says:

    Given the way in which the firearm needs to be held, in a PGO formation to maintain proper control, the Raptor style of grip is the best choice. It was used extensively by the US Witness Protection service, Wilson even once offered an AOW length called the Witness protection that sported the same style of pistol grip.

  13. Scott says:

    Does it have to be that long? I would prefer as short as possible. What is minimum length?

    • jacob says:

      any shorter and it would be an AOW and require a tax stamp and the proper paperwork.

    • Stephen says:

      $200.00 tax stamp…..6 months wait….transfering it to another state hassles. (NFA stuff requires permission to take out of state) I’ll stick to the Non NFA stuff thank you.

      If you want all the red tape go right ahead. You can make it as short as you like then.

  14. Anthony says:

    Marty, thanks for the article…great info to know . About the ice man’s rude comments… there’s always people like that online …they have to respond to most everything with negative comments and they generally react that way to everything they come across..they also bash any firearms they don’t have or ones they wish they had.. I won’t acknowledge these type people because it’s all they want…a response and argument.

  15. Robert Ice says:

    SO if I bought the Hogue pistol grip, I would just have to cut it a little longer since the RAPTOR grip appears to be longer in length?

    • marty says:

      Why would you buy the Hogue? LOL

      • Robert Ice says:

        Because it is comfort able and doesn’t look as ugly as this. Not everyone has your shitty taste.

      • Robert Ice says:

        I apologize, I felt you were insulting my tastes and I took offense. I just prefer the hogue and had a question about using it and your kit. I didn’t think I would get a response like I did. Especially now knowing these are your products you respond with a “lol” to a curious customer just because they didn’t want both of your products. Oh well, lol right?

        • marty says:

          My apologies as well. As long as you maintain over 26″, you should be fine with whichever grip you go with. But I still think our Raptor Grip is the way to go–ergonomically. 20,000 satisfied Raptor Grip customers can’t be wrong. 😉

  16. 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″?

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. David Fugate says:

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

  20. 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

  21. 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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