Questionable G&A Ident. & Values reply


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Sam1911
December 31, 2008, 05:12 PM
Hi!

I just got this month's G&A and was reading the Identification and Values letters-to-the-editor section.

One fellow, who's name wasn't released, describes a gun he owns that his father-in-law brought back from WWII that is a smooth-bore, semiautomatic pistol of approximately .25 cal., probably made in the 30s in Germany.

G&A gives him advice on what it could be (blank pistol, maybe tear gas, maybe fired projectiles -- hard to say) -- and drops it at that.

Is there anything in the above, albeit brief, description that would make this gun NOT an NFA-regulated "Any Other Weapon?" And wouldn't this fellow's ownership of that (if un-registered) be a very bad thing?

I know that these write-ins are often quite abbreviated in the editing process and that the responses are as short as possible to save space, but shouldn't G&A have mentioned this? At least to make it clear that it IS registered (which I doubt -- especially as the guy doesn't even know what it is), and therefore legal, or that it SHOULD BE, as a warning to the owner and others? Or, at the very least, shouldn't they have passed on publishing this question to protect the owner, if not themselves?

I know G&A isn't a law firm, and can't be held liable for bad (or omitted) advice, and I would need a much larger tinfoil hat to believe that some ATFE agent would pull out all the stops to force G&A to disclose this guy's name and contact info so they could track him down to prosecute him for a questionably functional, and undoubtedly useless (no ammo) weapon. However, I certainly wouldn't want MY name at the end of such a letter, published in a national magazine!

Am I off base? Did I miss some salient point? I'm kind of worried for the guy.

-Sam

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WardenWolf
December 31, 2008, 05:40 PM
It's semi-auto. I don't think simply being smoothbore would make it an NFA weapon as long as it's not capable of chambering shotshells, and even then not because firearms like the Taurus Judge and Snake Slayer are not considered NFA. It should just be considered a standard firearm. I'm not an expert on the NFA, though, and don't claim to be. But fact of the matter is that there are other modern smoothbore pistols that ARE capable of chambering a shotshell that are not NFA weapons.

It's possible it was a Walther PP in 7.65mm that was "demilled" by boring out the barrel to make it a smoothbore.

SDC
December 31, 2008, 05:47 PM
Tear-gas pistols are essentially unregulated in much of Europe, but it may be possible that this fellow has a pistol that made it off the line without being rifled and caught by inspectors; I've seen at least one Italian pocket pistol in the SNS category that was completely smoothbored, but chambered for .25 Auto.

Sam1911
December 31, 2008, 05:51 PM
It's semi-auto. I don't think simply being smoothbore would make it an NFA weapon as long as it's not capable of chambering shotshells, and even then not because firearms like the Taurus Judge and Snake Slayer are not considered NFA. It should just be considered a standard firearm. I'm not an expert on the NFA, though, and don't claim to be. But fact of the matter is that there are other modern smoothbore pistols that ARE capable of chambering a shotshell that are not NFA weapons.

I believe this information is very much incorrect. A smooth-bore pistol is specifically regulated as an "Any Other Weapon" under the 1934 National Firearms Act. In fact, pistol-gripped short-barreled-shotguns are not regulated as SBSs, but as AOWs for this reason.

The Taurus Judge and others are rifled or partially rifled to avoid being smoothbore pistols. Do you know, specifically, of any modern smooth-bore pistols on the market?

Here is a pertinent quote: http://www.cs.cmu.edu/afs/cs/usr/wbardwel/public/nfalist/rr_576.txt
On the other hand, a smooth bore pistol or revolver fails to
meet the basic requirements of a "small projectile weapon" even
when loaded with "bullet cartridges" for the reason that the weapon
is designed to function most proficiently from a ballistics
standpoint when discharging "shot," equalling the potential of
shotguns with comparable specifications. Therefore a smooth bore
handgun is not a "pistol or revolver" as defined in the regulatory
definitions referred to above and is not entitled to exception from
the provisions of chapter 53 of the Code. Accordingly it is held
that such a weapon is a firearm as defined in section 5848(1) and
(5) of the Code and as such is subject to the provisions of the
National Firearms Act (chapter 53 of the Code).


By that logic, "demilling" it by drilling out the rifling wouldn't make it not a firearm, just a regulated firearm under NFA. Demilling or "dewatting" is generally a very specific and well-defined procedure. Demilled display guns have to have a hole cut in the chamber of a certain size, the receiver cut a certain way, the action permanently blocked and/or a combination of similar steps.

Just making it non-operating doesn't make it not a firearm, legally.

-Sam

WardenWolf
December 31, 2008, 05:56 PM
I suspect, however, that this pistol was simply partially demilled. There were many different demilling procedures used before a soldier could ship a captured weapon home, and they varied depending on the specific command. Some included filling the barrel with lead, but others, such as the one used on the Arisaka my grandfather found, just included removing some parts of the bolt, with no permanent modifications. I would advise this person to take further steps to render it non-functional or source a replacement barrel.

Ron James
December 31, 2008, 11:11 PM
It also sounds like on the many bring back " Tear gas/Blank firing " guns.

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