Zip Gun misc. Legality


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Spcl
February 23, 2011, 06:04 AM
Well i saw a very interesting Cigar that actually fired a .22 Short. Wasnt for sale, was more of a novelty but the man claimed that it still worked. Are these legal?

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WardenWolf
February 23, 2011, 06:51 AM
According to my research, it would be considered an Any Other Weapon, making it an NFA item and thus VERY illegal to possess without having it registered. For it to not be considered an NFA item, it would have to have the grip extend at an angle from the barrel in order to fire it. It would also require a rifled barrel. The BATFE allowed the sale of a certain "pen gun" as a standard handgun because the "grip" portion had to be unfolded and extend downwards in order to fire it. Basically it had to be "assembled" into a normal pistol shape in order to fire. If it has no grip, it's NFA.

Sam1911
February 23, 2011, 07:23 AM
Generally, anything that is disguised to look like something other than a gun is an AOW, regulated under Title II of the NFA '34. (As are machine guns, silencers, short-barreled rifles, and so on.)

Cane guns, pen guns, wallet guns, cell phone guns, guns designed to be fired from inside a briefcase or other covering, etc.

Not difficult or illegal to own, but you must file a "Form 1" to make and register these before construction, or must file a "Form 4" to have them transferred to you. Again, just like an SBR or silencer.

il_10
February 23, 2011, 01:50 PM
What about percussion zip guns, using black powder and a percussion cap?

Sam1911
February 23, 2011, 01:59 PM
Generally, most muzzleloading devices fall outside of the regulations surrounding NFA devices.

(g) Antique firearm
The term “antique firearm” means any firearm not designed 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.

Of course, you do need to be sure you've built an actual muzzleloading firearm and not an explosive device (bomb) ... especially by mistake as that's just embarrassing! :D

And you need to check your state laws, as not all of them are as permissive as the federal ones.

Remo223
February 23, 2011, 02:18 PM
It is legal to fabricate your own firearm so long as you don't make anything that is illegal. I think you are not allowed to sell it or give it away. In otherwords, only the person who made it can own it or use it. But I'm not sure on that.

Sam1911
February 23, 2011, 02:26 PM
I think you are not allowed to sell it or give it away. In otherwords, only the person who made it can own it or use it. But I'm not sure on that.

It is legal to make your own firearm -- so long as it does not fall into one of the categories of regulated firearms spelled out in Title II of the National Firearms Act of 1934. So, you can't make a machine gun, SBR, SBS, AOW, Destructive Device, or silencer, even for your own uses, without filing the Form 5320.1 with the ATF first.

AND, you CAN sell any gun you make on your own. All you have to do is mark it (serial number and maker's name and location) as required by the ATF.

You should not make guns for the purposes of selling them without becoming a type 07 or type 10 FFL manufacturer, and there is no clearcut limit on how that is defined, but you can certainly sell or give away a firearm you've made as a private individual.

Remo223
February 23, 2011, 03:45 PM
A firearm made for you alone does not require a serial number though. IIRC. And you can't just put any old serial number on it. I think you have to apply for a serial number and get it approved by the ATF.

correct?

Sam1911
February 23, 2011, 03:46 PM
A firearm made for you alone does not require a serial number though. IIRC.Correct.

And you can't just put any old serial number on it. I think you have to apply for a serial number and get it approved by the ATF.Nope, make it anything you want.

USAF_Vet
February 23, 2011, 04:52 PM
so, in theory, one could make a home made shotgun as long as it had an 18" barrel?

I have a higgins hex barrel in .22 that I picked up at an antique mall a while ago, and wanted to make a single shot .22. What would I need to do to make it legal?
Same with the shotgun?

Remo223
February 23, 2011, 05:01 PM
nothing

provided 22s are legal to own in your area. You better make sure it is either a pistol or a rifle and not something in between or easily switched back and forth.

Zoogster
February 23, 2011, 05:03 PM
I have a higgins hex barrel in .22 that I picked up at an antique mall a while ago, and wanted to make a single shot .22. What would I need to do to make it legal?

Put it together.
I do not believe most states have laws on "zip guns" and those that do are highly subjective.
They do not describe actions, pressure specs, or really anything worthwhile in determining anything. Which in turn means they are entirely subjective.
What that means is it typically has to look like a quality gun to be a normal gun.
If it looks like nuts and bolts with a barrel then it may be called a zip gun, even if made 10x better and able to withstand 4x the pressure of something blued with nice wooden furniture.



If you want a handgun make sure it is not fired from the shoulder (don't add a stock). If you want a rifle make sure its 26" overall, with at least a 16" barrel. Shotgun 26" overall and 18" barrel.
They have currently interpreted vertical fore grips on hand guns as bad things, though some courts have disagreed, you should avoid those as well.
Oh and make sure a handgun is rifled.
The problem with shotguns is they are only legal at the mercy of the ATF, anything over .50 must be considered "sporting", and so if you stick with a traditional design it will probably be fine. If you make something unique it could be a "destructive device".

CoRoMo
February 23, 2011, 05:07 PM
...I picked up at an antique mall a while ago, and wanted to make a single shot .22. What would I need to do to make it legal?
Same with the shotgun?
nothing

provided 22s are legal to own in your area.
Remo223 is not giving you accurate information. You'll need to follow the law. The rifle would have to have a 16" or longer barrel and the overall length would have to be 26" or longer. Otherwise, you're building an NFA item and will have to file a form with the ATF and purchase a tax stamp for the manufacture of that item. Like Sam posted...
...so long as it does not fall into one of the categories of regulated firearms spelled out in Title II of the National Firearms Act of 1934. So, you can't make a machine gun, SBR, SBS, AOW, Destructive Device, or silencer, even for your own uses, without filing the Form 5320.1 with the ATF first.

Remo223
February 23, 2011, 05:10 PM
Correct.

Nope, make it anything you want.
I believe the ATF can deny your serial number though...and deny you the authorization to make it. If they so choose.

Maybe. I might be getting the paperwork for a firearm fabrication mixed up with the paperwork for supressor fabrication.

USAF_Vet
February 23, 2011, 05:11 PM
Well, I only have the barrels, so would have to manufacture an action of some sort, which is where my legal knowledge blurs. The rifle barrel is more than 16", and I was going to put it in a stock, probably home made. So as long as the length of barrel and length overall are in line with the law, the action makes not a lick of difference?

but an open bolt, full auto short barrel 12 guage is way out of the question on so many levels :D

CoRoMo
February 23, 2011, 05:41 PM
The previous post contained highly inaccurate information. Telling him that he has to do 'nothing' to make it legal, is very poor information. Also, an SBR is not "something in between" a rifle and a pistol. It is a rifle, and a tightly regulated one.

Sam1911
February 23, 2011, 06:07 PM
I believe the ATF can deny your serial number though...and deny you the authorization to make it. If they so choose.You are confused, here. They cannot "deny" you the authorization to make a Title I firearm, because you don't have to ASK them if you may do so. You just BUILD it. When you transfer it to someone else, you must apply the markings I mentioned, to ATF specs. You don't ASK them anything then either as you are not registering the gun with them.


Maybe. I might be getting the paperwork for a firearm fabrication mixed up with the paperwork for supressor fabrication. Must be something like that. There is NO paperwork for Title I firearm fabrication, so you are in essence mixing up something that does exist with something that does NOT exist. ;)

Sam1911
February 23, 2011, 06:10 PM
So as long as the length of barrel and length overall are in line with the law, the action makes not a lick of difference?Yes, except, of course, that the action style cannot be fully automatic, or something the ATF considers to be readily "restorable" to be so. In other words, don't make an open-bolt semi without explicit permission from the Tech Branch to do so.

Sam1911
February 23, 2011, 06:17 PM
Mod Talk: For some reason we're getting away from our politeness standards. Let's keep it civil or we'll have to close the thread.

USAF_Vet
February 24, 2011, 08:43 AM
Home made single shot .22 rifle MUST have 16" + barrel, overall length 26" + with an unrestricted action (no open bolt or easily converted to full auto).
Should be pretty easy to manage considering it will be a single shot rifle, never heard of full auto single shot.

Home made single shot 12 gauge shotgun must have 18" + barrel, OAL 26" + with same action restrictions.

Can not be easily converted to pistol from rifle or vice versa.

Can be made in my shop without filiing any sort of paperwork with the ATF.

Provided I have all this correct, I may have some upcoming spring projects.
I will still get clarification from the state AGs office and the ATF. I don't want to go committing any felonies for the sake of tinkering in my garage.

Sam1911
February 24, 2011, 09:05 AM
Can not be easily converted to pistol from rifle or vice versa.
Well, this is nearly correct, but needs some clarification, I guess.

You can swap a pistol grip only in place of your shoulder stock, if you had any reason to want to, as long as that OAL does not fall below 26".

There is some risk if, for example, you kept a pistol-only grip around that would fit your gun AND such a combination would be less than 26" overall. Even if you'd never put the gun together that way, the ATF says having a set of parts that could be easily assembled into something illegal is the same as having that illegal thing built.

On the other hand...

You absolutely could build this as a pistol (or non-shoulder stocked, over 26" "other firearm") and then later convert it into a legal Title I rifle (>16" barrel, >26" OAL). The problem would be that once you'd added a shoulder stock, ONCE, you cannot legally convert it back into a pistol, as that would be a "firearm made from a rifle" which is one of the definitions of a short-barreled rifle under NFA Title II.

Sorry its so complicated, and your less-involved statement of "can not be easily converted..." would more than keep you out of trouble.

Sam1911
February 24, 2011, 09:07 AM
Long and short of it: If you have a 16"+ barrel and want to make a single-shot action to go on it, and a stock that brings the whole package to 26" or greater, you're in FINE shape and won't be breaking ANY federal laws.

USAF_Vet
February 24, 2011, 09:15 AM
Thanks Sam, looking forward to the project now.

There is some risk if, for example, you kept a pistol-only grip around that would fit your gun AND such a combination would be less than 26" overall. Even if you'd never put the gun together that way, the ATF says having a set of parts that could be easily assembled into something illegal is the same as having that illegal thing built

This is like wiping before you poop. Just makes no sense.

I've got a bunch of pipe fittings from a plumbing project, does that mean the ATF can kick my door in because I have the compnenets to build a home made SMG ala Peter Luty?

Sam1911
February 24, 2011, 09:29 AM
Ahhh... you've stumbled upon the big boogey-man that's often called "constructive intent" or by other names.

You own a shotgun and a hacksaw, right? So do, de facto, own a short-barreled shotgun? No, of course not.

But, say you own a normal, plain jane AR-15, and you buy a surplus 14.5" barreled upper to set on your shelf. Do you own a short-barreled rifle? ATF would generally say YES, even though you've never put the two together.

The good thing is it usually isn't that hard to avoid even getting close to the shadowy line, and prosecutions are pretty rare anyway, unless you're nailed for other stuff and they're piling on charges.

USAF_Vet
February 25, 2011, 11:25 AM
One of the hand guns I want to buy (although very far down on the list) is a CMMG M7 - 7.3

http://cmmginc.secure-mall.com/item/CMMG-M7-7.3-Upper-594

So if I owned the M7 - 7.3 and a regular AR-15, I could run into ATF trouble because I could install the 7.3 inch upper to my AR-15 lower and have an SRB, even though the CMMG is marketed and sold as a handgun. Lame.

Sam1911
February 25, 2011, 11:38 AM
It depends. If you have a pistol lower that wears your 7.3" upper, you're fine.

If you don't, but you have a rifle lower, or a complete rifle, and you just keep a shorty upper around with "no" host lower, then yes.

(And, if you own a short upper but have NO lower receivers, you're obviously fine, there too.)

Sam1911
February 25, 2011, 01:47 PM
When you transfer it to someone else, you must apply the markings I mentioned, to ATF specs.
After some head scratching and searching, I could not remember exactly where the marking requirement upon selling is spelled out.

I have located an ATF letter on that subject: http://www.hoffmang.com/firearms/BATFE-AMD-65-Manufacture-Marking-2004-11-09.pdf

There is a lot of other information there not pertinent to the current question, but they do clearly state you must mark it when you sell it.

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