This stems from the Kyle Rittenhouse discussion:

Wisconsin prohibits possession of rifles by minors, but the same section seems to say that it only applies when the rifle is "short-barrel".

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Can a minor possess an AR-15 rifle in Wisconsin?

  • 1
    The barrel length of an AR-15 is variable, depending on the specific make of the gun, or if the owner has installed an aftermarket barrel. Short Barrel Rifle (SBR) is a classification that is applied based on the dimensions of the barrel and the firearm itself. Also, per 941.28.4, there are mechanisms by which it can be legally registered in an SBR configuration. You can probably cut that part out from the question.
    – Kommissar
    Commented Aug 31, 2020 at 18:43

2 Answers 2


A "short-barreled rifle" is defined under Wisconsin law as

a rifle having one or more barrels having a length of less than 16 inches measured from closed breech or bolt face to muzzle or a rifle having an overall length of less than 26 inches.

It is reported that AR-15 rifles can have barrel lengths between 7" to 24": there is no clear evidence regarding the barrel length of his rifle.

  • This is also the definition of a short barrel rifle in the national firearms act which makes them as difficult to obtain legally as suppressors and other NFA restricted items.
    – Matt
    Commented Sep 3, 2020 at 16:39

I used photoshop to do rough calculations. Using Kyle's height as a reference point (162cm / 5ft 4"), as this is what was listed on his arrest warrant. I roughly measured his rifle to be 80cm (31.4") long from the very end of the stock to the very tip of the barrel. So it is definitely longer than 26" overall as per the second clause in user6726's citation of Wisconsin law. The barrel measures in at 16.8" from breech face to the tip of the barrel.

Despite the possible margin of error that can be made in measuring objects in this manner, I think that the length of the rifle is not an issue in the law debate surrounding Kyle as far as I'm concerned as it seems to be a legal "long barrel rifle"

Edit: To those who know more about rifles/guns and where exactly the breechface starts on the rifle in the photo pictured below, please let me know if the measurement is too short or too long.

Kyle Rittenhouse Rifle and barrel relative measurements

  • 3
    17 inch barrel is a somewhat common length as far as search for accessories yielded
    – Trish
    Commented Sep 12, 2020 at 18:30
  • @Trish That sounds good so. The barrel length clause of the law doesn't seem to disqualify him from it by the looks of it.
    – Rstew
    Commented Sep 12, 2020 at 19:51

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