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ATF cracking down on conversion cylinders

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by Pancho, Nov 13, 2007.

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  1. Pancho

    Pancho Member

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    I just talked to the owner of Arms to Armor online gun store and he has gotten out of the reproduction cap and ball revolver market due to the fact that the ATF jumped him for selling a cap and ball pistol and a conversion cylinder and shipping them at the same time same package. The ATF said he had to send it to a FFL.
    If you've been thinking of converting you better do it soon cause this looks like something that is only going to get worse.
     
  2. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    Should have known better than to do that, honestly.

    I'm no big fan of any bloated Federal LE agency whose job is to snoop around for something to do to justify their budget. But the law is pretty clear that a cartridge handgun has to be shipped to an FFL, even if the cylinder is wrapped in separate tissue paper when you ship it.

    I'm not sure you can call this "cracking down on conversion cylinders".
     
  3. Pancho

    Pancho Member

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    Your right ArmedBear that would seem like just common sense to ship them separate. Never the less we've lost a pretty good supplier.
     
  4. Novus Collectus

    Novus Collectus Member

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    I agree, it was always a grey area to ship both in the same package or sell them together and so it should have been common sense not too chance fate. I always cringed whenever I saw local gun dealers and dealers at gun shows selling them at the same time (but not while in the gun of course).

    ....now this thought of mine applies to drop in conversion cylinders. If the handgun frame has to be modified, then I can't imaging the problem because until then the cylinder is just a part to a gun not even a "firearm" yet.
     
  5. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    I'm a Californian with a legal, recent AR.

    Believe me, even those of us who aren't in the biz are used to being a LOT more aware of the laws and how they're enforced than that.

    I'm sorry we've lost a good supplier, and I'm sorry it hurt his business. Unfortunately, though, that's been part of the gun biz since 1968.
     
  6. Sistema1927

    Sistema1927 Member

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    Why was it that we had less violent crime prior to the enacting of the GCA '68? You could buy any firearm via mail order in those days, even as a 12 year old boy.

    (Guess what, it isn't the guns that are the problem.)
     
  7. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    Oh, I never said GCA68 was a good thing, just that anyone who has been a gun dealer any time in recent memory shouldn't be surprised that a cartridge handgun can't be mailed around across state lines like a cap-n-ball, nor that ATF would consider a gun mailed in the same package as a cartridge cylinder that fits right in it to be a cartridge revolver.
     
  8. DrLaw

    DrLaw Member

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    Ah keeps a tellin' ya

    Its them dang-fangeled cat-ridge guns thats spoilin up the wurld fur every one. Why, if'n ya'all jist kept to good ol cap & ball, this wood not be happenin'.

    Sure a shootin', thems cat-ridge guns will jist spoil everythin up. They just aint the way Sam'l Colt intended guns to be!

    :p:D:rolleyes:


    The Doc is out now. :cool:
     
  9. LAR-15

    LAR-15 Member

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    Is not the conversion cylinder an unregulated part?
     
  10. Eric F

    Eric F Member

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    In deed they are

    At least in Va you have to do the paperwork for the cylinders fed and state. dude should have known this.:banghead:
     
  11. Novus Collectus

    Novus Collectus Member

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    Last I checked there are no serial numbers on the conversion cylinders. They are parts, not firearms. The feds do not do transfer paperwork for parts unless it is for something like a silencer.
    I seriously doubt VA regulates the cylinders.
     
  12. Eric F

    Eric F Member

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    Disagreement

    I have been informed by a couple ffl holders(who I work with) that in by applying said cylinder to a firearm makes that firearm a weapon requiring the said paperwork. The serial number on the bp pistol is used for the fed form unless the cylinder has a serial number. All new purchased bp firearms in va require a state form only. Just what I was told and I have no reason to doubt either source for this information.
     
  13. Eric F

    Eric F Member

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    Ok hold on I just checked with the guys I work with Va requires them to make paperwork for the feds. Other states may be diffrent.
     
  14. SAKOHUNTER

    SAKOHUNTER Member

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    It wouldn't surprise me that one day the ATF will require that they have serial #'s and be transfered in all states.

    Until then it is a convenient loophole in some states.
     
  15. Eric F

    Eric F Member

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    They will most likely do the thing like they do with class 3 stuff. For example once an ar pistol is converted to a rifle configuration it can never be a pistol again............once your bp pistol becomes a cartrage gun it requires permanet paperwork.
     
  16. Novus Collectus

    Novus Collectus Member

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    You are mixing different issues here. The cylinders are not the firearms, but when put into a cap and ball frame the frame becomes a "firearm" subject to transer regulations.
    There is nothing in federal law that says there has to be a serial number unless it was to be transferred because you are allowed to make your own non-NFA firearms for personal use. If you never sell it to someone else, no paperwork is required for the frame. If you wanted to, if you were a licensed manufacturer, you could sell it, but you would have to have a serial number on it and it can be any number you so desire. At that point it will need paperwork.

    If you use a drop in cylinder in a cap and ball revolver and you did not modify the frame whatsoever, then if you were to remove the drop in cylinder it is no longer a "firearm" covered under the Gun Control Act (GCA) because it is once again an "antique".
    However, if you modify the frame like to file away a spot and add a loading gate for a cylinder which is not drop in cylinder for instance (like with a Kirst conversion), then the "antique" is not longer an "antique" and is a firearm under the GCA. What that means is that if you wanted to sell it or transfer it to someone else, it is restricted and regulated with or without the cylinder still in it in this particular case.

    So long story short, you as a citizen in VA can make your own modern handgun and you do not need paperwork unless you were to sell it.
    If you did not alter the gun and used a drop in cylinder, then you can sell the frame without the drop in cylinder as an antique and without paperwork.
    Selling the handgun with drop in conversion cylinder not in it, but in the same package is the grey area.

    (Note: I am not a lawyer)
     
  17. Jim K

    Jim K Member

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    I hate to say this, but I suspect it is only a matter of time until federal law or state laws either ban the sale of those cylinders or require they be treated like revolver frames (serial number, 4473, the works). Or else bring all percussion revolvers, except maybe true antiques, under the same laws as cartridge revolvers.

    The horrible fact is that those cylinders are often a way by which people who are underage or have criminal records are able to obtain a cartridge handgun with no problem. Just buy a percussion revolver, buy a conversion cylinder, and have fun, whatever your definition of fun may be. I doubt that they are a big crime problem, but they are a weak point and so subject to attack by the antis. The "don't give a damn" attitude by the sellers doesn't help a bit.

    Jim
     
  18. LAR-15

    LAR-15 Member

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    I'm sending this concern to Chuck Schumer as I post.
     
  19. dstorm1911

    dstorm1911 Member

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    I've never seen the point of goin to all the trouble of a conversion cyl. myself, if I wanna use a cartridge gun then I'll just get out the 75 Remmy or onea the 73 colts.......... I do the cap and ball guns because I enjoy Cap and ball guns..... its just too much like folks tryin to turn SKS rifles into AK rifles by addin a bunch of cr#p to em and in the end they still aren't "right" if ya want a cartridge gun buy a cartridge gun if ya want a C&B but wanna swap cyl.s then get an 1858 with extra cylinders already loaded and capped just as much risk dropping a loaded conversion cyl as dropping a loaded/capped percussion cyl. O.K I'm done now an will climb down...... uhhh who's soap box is this anyhow... ;)


    just my opinion though so we all know how much its worth
     
  20. mykeal

    mykeal Member

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    Jim Keenan said:
    Sorry, but I just don't believe that's correct; certainly not the "often" part.

    The real fact is that the black market in stolen and other illegal firearms is much, much bigger than turning percussion revolvers into cartridge revolvers.

    I'm not saying it's not an issue at all, or that the authorities are going to ignore it, just that your use of the word 'often' is not justified. I think 'rarely' is more appropriate.
     
  21. sundance44s

    sundance44s Member

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    The conversion cylinder set up is so expencive , we uasually end up with a cap and ball pistol we have 500 bucks in ..I don`t think the criminal element will be in a rush to buy these when their auto loaders are so easy to get for a lot less money .
    Have you ever tried to find a 1858 Remmie with conversion cylinder CHEAP !
    What ever happens ...I have mine and enjoy them much more than I do shooting my 1873 colt that doesn`t fit my hand....and they aren`t a modern invention ..Remington sold these in the 1800`s ..
     
  22. Striker

    Striker Member

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    As of now, neither muzzleloading nor cap and ball pistols require the the VA form or the Fed 4473 for purchase.

    Factory cartridge conversions cap and ball pistols do, as they are treated as regular firearms. If an individual buys a cap and ball pistol and a cartridge conversion cylinder at the same time, I would process it as regular firearm. If he buys the cap and ball pistol first and later buys the conversion cylinder (or vice versa) then no paperwork is required.

    Some muzzle loading long guns require paperwork regardless, since you can convert them to cartridge firearms buy switching barrels. (TC's and NEF/H&Rs for example).

    I can't explain the logic of the different rules, but then I don't have to, I only have to comply.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2007
  23. Shureshot

    Shureshot Member

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    Yaaaaahhoooo! That's tellin 'em, pardner!

    Semper Fi!
     
  24. Novus Collectus

    Novus Collectus Member

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    This is how I understand it. SInce the same manufacturer makes the cartridge firing barrels for the TCs, and since it is not a replica of an antique frame, and since the frame was designed to use cartridge firing barrels from the inception, the frame is a "firearm" and not an "antique".
    The same applies to a shotgun or rifle someone converts to a muzzleloader, it is still a firearm (subject to transfer regs and felon/non-resident alien possession) if the barrels can still be interchanged.
    It takes a combination of the above I believe to qualify it as a "firearm" under the GCA. since "antique" replica cap and ball revolvers are not considered "firearms" under the GCA despite being able to take conversion cynilnders.

    This is from the ATF:
    http://www.atf.gov/firearms/firearmstech/072205antiquefirearm.pdf

    So as I understand it, if someone made a new type of cap and ball revolver that is not a replica of an antique and someone came along selling conversion cylinders, then it is a grey area, but since cap and ball replicas like an 1858 Remington are not designed to fire fixed ammo, or they are replicas of guns that weren't, then it does not matter if someone sells a part for them to convert to fire fixed ammo (until someone tries to sell one with the conversion cylinder in it or with it).
     
  25. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    Uh, a bulky, low-velocity, slow-firing black powder or low-power "cowboy" load cartridge revolver that can't safely fire common cartridges...

    A cap & ball Remmie with a couple of extra cylinders would perform just as well and reload MUCH faster.

    I don't think anyone's too worried about these things.

    The ATF is all about the "letter of the law", though. It's a mentality that few people outside such an agency can really relate to.
     
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