February 25, 2024
Canadian Carry Shotguns - Short Barrels are Legal
Tactical Imports SS-211

Canada has some quirky laws about what firearms are easily available and what are not. They are frequently more restrictive than the laws restricting firearms in the United States. However, Canadian gun laws are less restrictive in one area than in the USA. Manually operated shotguns, designed to be fired from the shoulder, are not limited in barrel length. Shotguns that have barrel lengths as short as 9.8 inches are available in Canada for sale as unrestricted firearms. In particular, there is the Tactical Imports SS-211, which has barrels of 9.8 or 12.2 inches in length, with an overall length of 23 inches and a weight of 4.5 lbs. In this YouTube video, the legality of the SS-211 is explored, and a few shots are fired. The shotgun retails for $499 Canadian. The SS-211 offers a way to transport a gun for defense against wild animals on Canadian wilderness trips. The SS-211 is highly restricted in the United States.

The obvious solution for a frugal Canadian would be to cut down the barrels of an existing, inexpensive double or single-barrel shotgun. Unfortunately, Canadian law only allows short barrels that were shortened at the factory!

Canadian law has a category of non-restricted firearms. This class includes any rifle or shotgun that is neither restricted nor prohibited. From the RCMP website:

Most common long guns are non-restricted, but there are exceptions.

Exceptions include prohibited firearms and restricted firearms. Restricted firearms are:

What’s included in this class

  • Handguns that are not prohibited firearms
  • Firearms that:
    • are not prohibited firearms
    • have a barrel less than 470 mm in length
    • are capable of discharging centre-fire ammunition in a semi-automatic manner
  • Firearms designed or adapted to be fired when reduced to a length of less than 660 mm by folding, telescoping or otherwise
  • Firearms of any other kind prescribed to be restricted firearms in the Regulations

The website does not say, but the barrel length limitation only applies to firearms “capable of discharging centre-fire ammunition in a semi-automatic manner.” It does not apply to manually operated repeaters, single shot or multiple barrel long guns.

Factory shotguns with short barrels, such as the Mossberg Shockwave, do not meet the Canadian requirements to be a non-restricted firearm because they lack a shoulder stock.

The Kel-tec KS7 and KSG shotguns meet the Canadian requirements for non-restricted long guns. Both have barrels right at the 470 mm mark. They have overall lengths of more than 660 mm. They are 26.1 inches long, nearly 663 mm. The KS7 weighs only 5.9 lbs, making it highly portable. Both shotguns offer an alternative to “conventional” rifles and shotguns.

Look how short and sweet this thing is.

The KS7 meets the overall length requirements and the overall barrel length requirements. It holds seven rounds, is easy to use, and is reliable, by numerous reviews.

If you wish to have the least burdensome and most effective protection while in the Canadian wilderness, the Kel-tec KS7 may be a good choice. It may be the firearm that is the least trouble to carry and have ready. It can be slung across the chest, easily available.  Permits for handguns are very difficult to obtain.

The Kel-tec shotguns appear to be popular in Canada. When listed, they sell out quickly. Canadian prices are about $800 – $900 for the KS7 considerably more for the KSG.

Non-restricted shotguns, rifles, and ammunition are easy to take into Canada. They must be declared at the border.  A $25 fee is required.

The KS7 has been on sale before. Kygunco offered them for as little as $319 in September, with free shipping. As a gun to carry on a Canadian wilderness trip, it is a viable option.


About Dean Weingarten:

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

Dean Weingarten

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