I Hope You Know How To Measure Barrel Length On Rifle

Have you ever wonder how the ATF measure your barrel? We have, and we have become aware of the fact that many firearms users don’t know about this, which is the main reason why we are writing this article.

This piece serves as a guiding instrument for rifle enthusiasts, so we can all practice measuring safely and correctly.

How To Measure Barrel Length On Rifle?

First of all, you don’t have to be in the BATFE and have their handbook to know how to measure your firearms. The procedure is rather simple contrary to what people might believe.

Next, let’s delve into the good stuff. We will show you step-by-step how to measure your barrel length on your rifle.

1. The first step would be making sure your gun is not loaded. And we can not stretch this enough. It is the most important thing to do to ensure your safety while practicing this. Nobody would like to lose an arm or an eye just after owning a rifle, am I right? It seriously doesn’t hurt one bit to do the unloading procedure.

  • If this is your first rodeo, you should know that with all rifles which include bolt-action and auto-loading rifles, you can apply the same measuring process. However, don’t mistakenly think that is also the case with the unloading procedure.
  • With a bolt-action rifle, you should hold the gun in your dominant hand while making sure it points to a safe way. Opening up the chamber putting the magazine by clicking the bolt up and backward with your other hand. If there are any bullets left inside the chamber, slowly and thoroughly push the pin toward the magazine so it can start unloading.
  • And with an auto-loading one, you also should proceed with cautions while holding and pointing the weapon. It usually has visible and on-the-outside magazines, which make your job easier. Take the magazine out and begin to charge the handle of the gun to let any bullets left inside out.

Before jumping back into the steps, we just want to add a little note here about what you use to measure the length of the barrel. A lot of people think they can use a tape to judge the size of a barrel, especially with length. And they do it with the exterior of the rifle, which is a waste of your time.

That technique is far from accurate, and it might have some unpleasant consequences. Therefore, listen to the experts and do the process correctly.


2. The second step is shutting all the opening or extending parts on your rifle. This step ensures your measurement would not include any unnecessary pieces so that you can get the precise number for your barrel length.

If you see any bolts being loose, push it straight forward and shut it down.


3. For this next step, we will use a rod putting inside the barrel of your rifle. And yes, this is the reason why using tape and measuring the outside of the barrel will not give you the accurate number. Also, choose the rod that has a smaller width than your rifle barrel.


4. When you reach this step, the next part is super simple. You just have to find some things to jot down where the barrel ends on the rod. Make sure you use pens that won’t smudge. Otherwise, you will have to do it again.


5. After marking the rod, carefully remove it from the barrel. And put both the rod and the rifle down. Again, even though there are no bullets left inside the gun, still make sure you point the gun toward the safe area.


6. The last step is naturally some kinds of measuring tools to get the exact length of your rifle barrel.

And voila, you have mastered the art of measuring the barrel length of your rifle. When you’re breaking it down to steps, you can see it a relatively clear cut and easy-to-follow process.

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A Little Note

We just want to put a reminder here for anyone who might not be aware of the rules regarding barrel length from ATF yet.

  • In case your barrel length is smaller than 16 inches, it can be considered a short barrel rifle;

  • If the length is not over 18 inches then yours can be a short barrel shotgun;

Either case, you would have to register for your firearms under the National Firearms Act legally. And that’s why you should know the measuring process.


In The End

Especially if you’re building a rifle for yourself, picking and choosing the barrel according to your preference, you should be aware of all the rules relating to the barrel length. So while building, you would know which kinds of firearms you will have in your possession, and whether or not you have to register them to the authorities.

We sincerely hope this piece can make it as painless as possible for you to practice the process. And what are your thoughts about this subject? Please let us know in the comments below!

By the way, You can check another my article about best ar15 scope if you need buy a scope for your Rifle!

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