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black powder to smokless cartridge conversion- what laws apply?

Discussion in 'Legal' started by 1858rem, Nov 25, 2008.

  1. 1858rem

    1858rem Well-Known Member

    i recently converted my replica 1858 Remington cap and ball revolver to shoot 45 colt cartridges as well...... i am not sure what laws now apply, with the bp it was fairly simple, you can buy them at 18 and do not need tons of paperwork or pistol purchase permits, the conversion cylinder needed no paperwork and was only shipped as a part .... still not considered a complete firearm i think. but i really dont want to get into some deep sh#t for unknowingly open carrying illegally. by the way i am only 18 currently.
    my questions.....
    1. first off, what are open carry laws pertaining to age in nc?
    2. would this setup now be considered illegal since it is not registered?
    3. how would i go about making this legal to carry if it is not already
    4. anyone have a link to a site containing nc laws pertaining to this? preferably a .ogr, .net, .gov, something i can get a copy printed off with reliable sources in case i need proof of some sort to show an officer.
    5. any suggestions

    thought id ought to ask this because id been planning to go shooting at a few friends house( not AT the house itself, but with them at there place:neener:) and i am new to actually having the gun in my truck.... oh yah, when im not driving can i keep it locked in a case out of sight?(so noone busts out my window to get it, shes shore purty:D)

    last Q, is this a good place for this thread.... or is somewhere else more suitable?
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2008
  2. Zoogster

    Zoogster Well-Known Member

    What applies is all federal firearm laws.

    Black powder muzzle loading firearms are not firearms under federal law. Therefore they are not subject to federal requirements. Many states do consider them firearms, and they are subject to the same laws as other firearms, or some of thier own.

    When you convert a black powder weapon to a smokeless weapon, it becomes a firearm federaly. That means all NFA laws, GCA laws etc apply.
    If it had a barrel too short, overall length was too short, the caliber is over .50 (destructive device if not exempt cartridge or sporting shotgun) it is an AOW etc
    Some black powder pistols are not rifled. An unrifled pistol is an AOW under federal law, illegal without the tax stamp. Since black powder weapons are not firearms federaly, they do not need to comply with that law. Making them smokeless means they must comply.
    It also must be transfered according to federal laws as well. That means interstate sales must go through an FFL.

    You are essentialy manufacturing a firearm, because one did not exist when it was a black powder muzzle loader.

    That is just federal law.
    State law is an entire new web of laws you must navigate.
    If your state treats black powder handguns and regular handguns differently, going to smokeless may subject you to new restrictions.

    Carry and transportation laws will vary from state to state. In some states a loaded pistol in a locked case can still be illegal. In others it is legal to even have a loaded firearm in a vehicle. Some require a license, and some do not.
    I will let others advise you on NC specific laws.
  3. Jim K

    Jim K Well-Known Member

    There are no federal laws requiring registration of normal revolvers, but there may be a state or local law. If that law exempted muzzle loaders (the type of powder is irrelevant), then you must now register the gun.

    As for laws regulating carry, transportation in a car, etc., those laws usually apply to "deadly weapons" or "firearms" and do not specify or exempt any guns. Same with crimes like assault with a deadly weapon, or armed robbery; it won't gain much for a bank robber to claim he was using a percussion revolver.

    Contrary to popular belief, federal law does not exempt "antique" or non-cartridge firearms. It defines firearms to include antiques then exempts some antique or antique type firearms from some restrictions.

  4. Zoogster

    Zoogster Well-Known Member

    Black powder muzzle loading firearms are not firearms per federal law.

    That is why they can be sold interstate without an FFL if state laws allow. People can still mail order them etc where state law allows.
    Many examples exist that would be AOWs if they were smokeless or cartridge arms, but as blackpowder muzzle loaders do not require the federal stamp because they are not legaly federal firearms.
    A muzzle loading smoothbore howdah pistol for example. Some are essentialy short barreled pistol grip SXS shotguns, which require no tax stamp because they are not legaly firearms as muzzle loading black powder weapons. They are neither AOWs as smoothbore pistols, or short barreled shotguns.

    Even cannons, well over .50 are not destructive devices as muzzle loading black powder cannons. Since black powder muzzle loaders are not firearms, massive black powder cannons are not subject to federal firearm laws. A civil war era muzzle loading cannon, or a modern version of a muzzle loading non cartridge cannon is legal to own with no paperwork at the federal level. (Though some states have restrictions that do prohibit such things or treat them as firearms.)

    So yes, muzzle loading black powder weapons that do not fire fixed ammunition are not subject to most federal firearm laws, as federaly they are not considered firearms.
    Immigrants who cannot legaly purchase a firearm yet can possess and purchase black powder non cartridge weapons for self defense, hunting, etc while awaiting citizenship where legal under state law.
    Even felons can have black powder firearms in states where it is legal, or thier rights are restored at the state level, even if they are federaly a prohibited person.

    A black powder revolver, which does not used fixed ammunition is federaly not a firearm. So it is only state laws which apply. Once it uses fixed cartridges though it becomes a firearm at the federal level.
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2008
  5. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Well-Known Member

    Hmm, could have sworn I'd responded to this post over on the General Gun Discussion thread.

    Double Post?
  6. 1858rem

    1858rem Well-Known Member

    pretty much, i was lookin an wasnt sure where to put it, i ment to stick the other one in handgun general discussion though:eek:

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