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Old June 13, 2018, 07:32   #1
justashooter
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is it legal to make a "howdah Pistol" from an antique breech loader?

https://www.atf.gov/firearms/firearm...itions-antique

the definition of antique guns:

26 U.S.C. § 5845(G)

For the purposes of the National Firearms Act, the term “Antique Firearms” means any firearm not intended or redesigned for using rim fire or conventional center fire ignition with fixed ammunition and manufactured in or before 1898 (including any matchlock, flintlock, percussion cap or similar type of ignition system or replica thereof, whether actually manufactured before or after the year 1898) and also any firearm using fixed ammunition manufactured in or before 1898, for which ammunition is no longer manufactured in the United States and is not readily available in the ordinary channels of commercial trade.

suppose you had a Werndl or Albini action and a smoothbore barrel for it. could you rebuild the barreled action into a howdah pistol?

suppose you had a smoothbored snider chambered for 577 snider?

buffalo arms offers it on an occasionally available specialty basis:
https://www.buffaloarms.com/577-snid...-amo577sniderb

577 has been produced by 10X:
https://www.ima-usa.com/products/sni...nt=26170451525

the action would be manufactured pre '98. could the occasional specialty production be construed as "no longer manufactured in the United States and is not readily available in the ordinary channels of commercial trade.?

for reference we have short barreled shotguns being made from pinfire euro shotguns which are exempted from SBS rules because of their antique status.

even so, suppose a custom cartridge is created for and chambered in said action which has never been commercially made? this surely mets the definition of manufactured before 1898 and ammo is not readily available. yes?
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The next time I hear "THE RANGE IS NOW HOT", it just wont be the same.

Max tried another question. "What sort of people live about here?"
"In THAT direction," the Jin said, waving its right paw round, "lives a Han: And in THAT direction," waving the other paw, "lives a Ming Hare. Visit either you like: they're both mad."
"But I don't want to go among mad people," Max remarked.
"Oh, you can't help that," said the Jin: "we're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad."
"How do you know I'm mad?" said Max.
"You must be," said the Jin, "or you wouldn't have come here."

Last edited by justashooter; June 13, 2018 at 08:29.
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Old June 13, 2018, 19:46   #2
Gazz
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I don't think you can legally just do that. NFA 34 said no more machine guns, short barreled rifles/shotguns or suppressors without paying the tax. No distinction on the age/year of manufacture of the firearm. While GCA 68 did define antiques, it did not remove or change anything of NFA 34. Otherwise we would see pre 1899 machine guns selling without tax stamps.
This is something I have thought about in the past and is my understanding butd I may be wrong. Somebody with more knowledge will be along shortly.
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Old June 13, 2018, 20:39   #3
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Nope, undoable.
Gazz hit the crux of it, the NFA had no exclusion of "Antique" anything. For example shoulder stocks on cap and ball pistols required registration in 35'
Years back we had a M1855 Springfield pistol-carbine that was stamped with IRS numbers, I have seen a .69 English Tower flintlock pistol that was registered as a SBS in the 30s

Most folks ignored the new NFA and the Feds really didn't go after muzzle loaders as violations, by the 50s everything cap and ball was removed from NFA jurisdiction.

Same shit happened again in 68' when Congress added DDs to the NFA. Well there were thousands of cannon scattered across the nation, Treasury jumped in fast and exempted all pre 1899 examples.

Used to be somewhat common for prop houses to build "flint lock" pistols from Trapdoors. That's what you see in old Eroll Fynn pirate movies. While a violation ATFE turns a blind eye to these things at auction

Doc Holliday's 10 gauge Meteor sawed off was exempted ATF when it came up for auction due to it's historical/intrinsic value

thing is Joe Bob can't just hack up a breech loader and build a Howdah unless that action had never been built as a rifle. I have a new old stock Springfield M1870 rolling block frame, never been assembled even as an action. I could build a legal pistol using that frame
Also have a Remington "Bank Guards" model 20 gauge pistol missing barrel. Same deal, I could lawfully build a .45-70 handgun with that.

On obsolete ammo

ATFE regards pin fire as not regulated, basically is classed like a muzzle loader in that it's an antique ignition system. That's how some folks figure they can legally chop them down. I'm skeptical on that claim
that said any other fixed self contained ammo is regulated with one exception. Back in the 90s ATF granted a request to treat .43 Egyptian as a non regulated round. They have denied similar requests since.

Lets say you are in possession of a .45 Government case found at the Little Bighorn. That empty shell is regulated as a "modern" ammunition component

Thing to remember is ATF regards Boxer primers as modern ignition devices
I tried to get a written ruling on Berdan "caps" years ago, they ignored me

Along a similar vein around 1900 the USN repurposed a mess of Trapdoors into line throwing guns by reaming out the rifling and shortening the barrel to 14". There is only one exempted by serial number in the C&R list, every other example out there is technically an unregistered short barreled shotgun.
That said ATFE has no real interest in such things

this is part of the reason why ATFE would like to remove SBRs and SBS from the NFA but it has to go through Congress
ATFE are NOT the bad guys here
blame retards in the house and senate.
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Old June 13, 2018, 21:19   #4
EinheitElf
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The only way i know of to do a howdah is as a muzzleloader such as the ones made by pedersoli (?) A few years ago. They run like 700 on gb.

Regarding antiques,my last reading of antiques was that cap and ball sbs like coach guns and such were exempt,kind of like i believe pre 1899 model 94 trapper models were exempted,mostly due,to collector status...??

I like getting antique revolvers because they can be neat conversation pieces and yes you can load with mild bp level loads. My weakness are breaktop wheel guns...pwpperboxes are catching my eye also.

I missed a .69cal over under boarding pistol that was converted to percussion like almost 200 yrs ago.. frikkin BEAST of a gun,had like 12 or 14 inch barrels. Never have seen another
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Old June 13, 2018, 22:06   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Riversidesports View Post
Nope, undoable.
Gazz hit the crux of it, the NFA had no exclusion of "Antique" anything. For example shoulder stocks on cap and ball pistols required registration in 35'
Years back we had a M1855 Springfield pistol-carbine that was stamped with IRS numbers, I have seen a .69 English Tower flintlock pistol that was registered as a SBS in the 30s

Most folks ignored the new NFA and the Feds really didn't go after muzzle loaders as violations, by the 50s everything cap and ball was removed from NFA jurisdiction.

Same shit happened again in 68' when Congress added DDs to the NFA. Well there were thousands of cannon scattered across the nation, Treasury jumped in fast and exempted all pre 1899 examples.

Used to be somewhat common for prop houses to build "flint lock" pistols from Trapdoors. That's what you see in old Eroll Fynn pirate movies. While a violation ATFE turns a blind eye to these things at auction

Doc Holliday's 10 gauge Meteor sawed off was exempted ATF when it came up for auction due to it's historical/intrinsic value

thing is Joe Bob can't just hack up a breech loader and build a Howdah unless that action had never been built as a rifle. I have a new old stock Springfield M1870 rolling block frame, never been assembled even as an action. I could build a legal pistol using that frame
Also have a Remington "Bank Guards" model 20 gauge pistol missing barrel. Same deal, I could lawfully build a .45-70 handgun with that.

On obsolete ammo

ATFE regards pin fire as not regulated, basically is classed like a muzzle loader in that it's an antique ignition system. That's how some folks figure they can legally chop them down. I'm skeptical on that claim
that said any other fixed self contained ammo is regulated with one exception. Back in the 90s ATF granted a request to treat .43 Egyptian as a non regulated round. They have denied similar requests since.

Lets say you are in possession of a .45 Government case found at the Little Bighorn. That empty shell is regulated as a "modern" ammunition component

Thing to remember is ATF regards Boxer primers as modern ignition devices
I tried to get a written ruling on Berdan "caps" years ago, they ignored me

Along a similar vein around 1900 the USN repurposed a mess of Trapdoors into line throwing guns by reaming out the rifling and shortening the barrel to 14". There is only one exempted by serial number in the C&R list, every other example out there is technically an unregistered short barreled shotgun.
That said ATFE has no real interest in such things

this is part of the reason why ATFE would like to remove SBRs and SBS from the NFA but it has to go through Congress
ATFE are NOT the bad guys here
blame retards in the house and senate.

USN /USMC had some H&R Toppers used as line throwers back in the '90s. Not sure if they still do,or when they were first used. They were kept in a box with all the goodies (blanks,weight, and a coiled line in a can)
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Old June 13, 2018, 22:19   #6
Riversidesports
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EinheitElf View Post
The only way i know of to do a howdah is as a muzzleloader such as the ones made by pedersoli (?) A few years ago. They run like 700 on gb.

Regarding antiques,my last reading of antiques was that cap and ball sbs like coach guns and such were exempt,kind of like i believe pre 1899 model 94 trapper models were exempted,mostly due,to collector status...??

I like getting antique revolvers because they can be neat conversation pieces and yes you can load with mild bp level loads. My weakness are breaktop wheel guns...pwpperboxes are catching my eye also.

I missed a .69cal over under boarding pistol that was converted to percussion like almost 200 yrs ago.. frikkin BEAST of a gun,had like 12 or 14 inch barrels. Never have seen another
Trappers depend, some are exempted by model, other only by Serial Number
look at the C&R list to find what's what.

One of the long time issues is that while Winchester records are largely complete, Marlin tossed much of theirs. At one point Numrich had original Trapper barrels from Marlin, thus a bunch of guns were converted

Removal from the NFA depends on one of two factors, rarity or value, sometimes both.
For example there were small numbers of Beretta 92s imported set up for the 93R stock that are NFA exempt
Currently all handguns manufactured prior to 1899 are NFA exempt with their original factory Stock
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Old June 14, 2018, 06:39   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sniperdoc View Post
USN /USMC had some H&R Toppers used as line throwers back in the '90s. Not sure if they still do,or when they were first used. They were kept in a box with all the goodies (blanks,weight, and a coiled line in a can)
As far as I know the Trapdoor based line throwers were surplused off by the 50s. Navy destroyed theirs, the ones in circulation are from the Coast Guard. That's probably when the H&Rs came into use

Not sure what's in current use
I know you can get grapples and line designed to be launched off an M16 these days
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Old June 14, 2018, 08:56   #8
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i know it was a lot of words. i typed them. if you guys had read them you would see the argument exists.

socratic process is apparently above you all, as it is above the atf a-hole who responded that my only option was to make it and submit it and let the hammer fall where it may. said aparatchik refused to give an answer any other way.
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If the concept of heading on down to the local Home Depot and transforming $100 worth of random pipe bits into a killing machine doesn’t appeal to you, you’re a frikkin' pansy. Also, you’re probably sane and will live significantly longer than I will.

Nonetheless you disgust me, and I take comfort in the knowledge that your obituary will be nowhere near as humorous as mine.


The next time I hear "THE RANGE IS NOW HOT", it just wont be the same.

Max tried another question. "What sort of people live about here?"
"In THAT direction," the Jin said, waving its right paw round, "lives a Han: And in THAT direction," waving the other paw, "lives a Ming Hare. Visit either you like: they're both mad."
"But I don't want to go among mad people," Max remarked.
"Oh, you can't help that," said the Jin: "we're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad."
"How do you know I'm mad?" said Max.
"You must be," said the Jin, "or you wouldn't have come here."
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Old June 14, 2018, 09:02   #9
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No, SBR/SBS does not apply to ball & black powder or antique. And yes, you can put a shoulder stock on an antique pistol all day long.

Where the problem has come is from modern reproductions of antique, not qualifying as C&R. ATF has gone back and forth on this, such as the repo stocks for the Canadian Ingles.

The only caveat that comes to mind would be someone claiming if you cut a blunderbuss to <16, you are the new manufacturer.
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Old June 14, 2018, 09:09   #10
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No, SBR/SBS does not apply to ball & black powder or antique. And yes, you can put a shoulder stock on an antique pistol all day long.

Where the problem has come is from modern reproductions of antique, not qualifying as C&R. ATF has gone back and forth on this, such as the repo stocks for the Canadian Ingles.

As to modern reproduction in a commercial centerfire, yes, NFA.

In an antique/obsolete centerfire - I don't know.

https://www.cabelas.com/product/Pede...tol/740261.uts

https://andersonstore.online/Product_i3157911

https://www.gunmart.net/images/made/...200_84_int.jpg
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Old June 14, 2018, 10:27   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gunplumber View Post
No, SBR/SBS does not apply to ball & black powder or antique. And yes, you can put a shoulder stock on an antique pistol all day long.

Where the problem has come is from modern reproductions of antique, not qualifying as C&R. ATF has gone back and forth on this, such as the repo stocks for the Canadian Ingles.

As to modern reproduction in a commercial centerfire, yes, NFA.

In an antique/obsolete centerfire - I don't know.

https://www.cabelas.com/product/Pede...tol/740261.uts

https://andersonstore.online/Product_i3157911

https://www.gunmart.net/images/made/...200_84_int.jpg
You may want to check into this more Mark

1st off years ago you were able to argue the antique/obsolete ammo thing. That changed in the 80s when BATF did away with the C&R exempted ammunition list shortly after Congress opened up non licensed sale of ammo.
Nowadays original 56-50 Spencer rim fire rounds from the War between the State are Federally regulated.

2nd, the term set is "readily available". Was a time up into the 80s and later Broomhandles in 7.63 were unregulated as the mauser ammo was no longer manufactured in America. Another example would be Winchester 1886 rifles in .38-56, etc. They could be manufactured well after 1898 yet were still unregulated Antiques.
Yet another example were the 1st of the Shiloh Sharps reproductions. In .45 they needed a 4473, if ordered in .40 or .50 they would be shipped direct.

All this changed with the advent of the internet, a few mouse clicks and you can find about any obsolete round available through outfits like Buffalo Arms
thus per ATF they are no longer obsolete due to the readily available nature these days.
Used to be one serious chore to hunt up things like .236 Navy brass, I generally made it out of .220 Swift
anyways, due to all this very few rounds are obsolete anymore and really nothing in ammo is Antique other than pin fire.

Stocks on pistols
with antique cartridge guns it MUST be a factory stock or a reasonably exact copy and the gun has to be designed to accept the stock by the factory.
For example I have a nice 1878 built Colt SAA that decades ago someone replaced the grip frame with one from a Colt 1860 cap and ball Army model. Grip frame is cut for the Army model shoulder stock, even has the proper frame screws for stock mounting. That said if I install a stock I have created an unregistered SBR. Trust me Mark, I have been round and round with the Feds on these things going back to the 80s

The deal with the Inglis guns is that when they were taken off the NFA and exempted no one ever expected we would be trading with Red China...thousands poured in, worse than that the Reds were selling replacement stocks for nothing.
Director Owens put a stop to it issuing a verbal ruling that only original Canadian made stocks could be fitted to the CH series HPs. I was the one Ed gave the verbal to over a phone conversation in the late 90s, afterwards I passed it on over at Subguns on the NFA board
pretty sure Ed formalized it right before he retired, maybe it was Bartlett but there is a letter on it now out there...
maybe Larsen or Bardwell demanded a written ruling as they were so often wont to do

That said you can still run replica flat board stocks on exempted Belgian FNs and even chinese made stocks on Broomies
any given week I can usually find multiple online violations on the Inglis thing, simple truth is the Bureau cares about enforcing that as they do 922r
They just have far larger fish to fry.

As far as "manufacture", Antiques have unique status
An antique receiver or frame is legally neuter in so far as the 68' GCA however there is no such exemption written into the 35' NFA.
What this means is a man who works only on pre 1899 firearms don't need no license. He can buy a bare frame or action from someone like me, thread off a barrel for it, etc...no "manufacture" as it isn't a regulated firearm. No ITAR BS either
As long as it's not under the NFA it's all good.

rule of thumb on this:
Primitive ignition, most anything goes
self contained other than pin fire systems...NFA can apply and often does.

This was how Silencerco was able to get approval on a suppressed inline muzzle loader for direct sale
How Pedersoli can sell their cap lock 20 gauge Howdah

I would go so far as to venture a M1863 Gatling driven by an electric motor would still be Non NFA
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Old June 14, 2018, 12:34   #12
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Regarding broomhandles, yes it is best to have an original stock but given the years and the fact it also is a holster, c96s pretty much get a pass since a repro is all that is available. Now having said that a repro stock could have been made anytime from the 40s to today...older is better OR it better be weathered to at least look xx yrs old. Repros can even be had with serials and date,proof marks,so hard to discern sometimes. The fact that 99% will never be shot due to value and age,makes it pretty pointless to waste time on them.NOW A SCHNELL FEUER broomie is a different matter

Caveat-if you are in commiefuckyoufornia and have a broomie,DONT EVER PUT THE STOCK ON!! The aholes here did not put ANY EXEMPTION REGARDING CRs or antiques,so HPs and luger owners need to watch it also. Some guy got searched for something stupid,cops found bh and stock,attached it and then charged him with illegal sbrEVEN THOUGH COPS ASSEMBLED IT...

Really wish i had the force,telekinesis,could direct big rocks to certain areas..
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Old June 14, 2018, 13:23   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EinheitElf View Post
Regarding broomhandles, yes it is best to have an original stock but given the years and the fact it also is a holster, c96s pretty much get a pass since a repro is all that is available. Now having said that a repro stock could have been made anytime from the 40s to today...older is better OR it better be weathered to at least look xx yrs old. Repros can even be had with serials and date,proof marks,so hard to discern sometimes. The fact that 99% will never be shot due to value and age,makes it pretty pointless to waste time on them.NOW A SCHNELL FEUER broomie is a different matter

Caveat-if you are in commiefuckyoufornia and have a broomie,DONT EVER PUT THE STOCK ON!! The aholes here did not put ANY EXEMPTION REGARDING CRs or antiques,so HPs and luger owners need to watch it also. Some guy got searched for something stupid,cops found bh and stock,attached it and then charged him with illegal sbrEVEN THOUGH COPS ASSEMBLED IT...

Really wish i had the force,telekinesis,could direct big rocks to certain areas..
Totally no debate with you. I snag original stocks for whatever whenever they turn up at a decent price.
The early C96 uses a bit different iron and slot than the New Model guns. Repro stocks don't install on Cone Hammer guns and a fair number of the original stocks that crop up are old model variants that someone bought and found they couldn't install on their New Model

You brought up a serious point
quite a number of States either out right prohibit or regulate SBRs and stocked pistols under their own code. Generally it's a Catch 22 in that they require them to be Federally registered under the NFA but ATFE will laugh at you for trying to register something they already exempted years ago.

Over the years I have only heard of two cases of this happening.

Some years back BATF exempted Naval and Artillery P08s with either original or clone stocks
Well here's the thing...
For around $1500 you can have a standard P08 rebuilt into either a Naval or Artillery model. Since there are no real factory records regarding the two exempted models one can easily get away with stocking up a conversion. No way for anyone to really tell. Even a gun being miss matched does not change it's exempted status.

ATFE is of course aware of these things
just another example of the Bureau having better shit to do than dick grab over $2500+ stocked lugers

You will run into S&W #3 New Models that were fitted post factory with stocks. One hole in the backstrap and a slot that pretty much destroys the SN on the base of the grip frame.
now some of these were done after a pistol had been sent back to the factory for custom work, some was done elsewhere.

Thing is even the pros at the Tech Branch gun library are pretty much unable to make determinations on much of the vintage items thus the Bureau keeps private experts on file for consultations
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