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Thread: is it legal to make a "howdah Pistol" from an antique breech loader?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    is it legal to make a "howdah Pistol" from an antique breech loader?

    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?
    -

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

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    I think that you're entering a sticky area of the firearms laws. Were I you, before I embarked on such a project, I'd phone BATF and chat with them about it. They're usually very willing to help with opinions and definitions. I'm not saying that it can't be done, or shouldn't be done, but you might save yourself some grief by checking before the fact, and also check with your State authorities. Some of the potential pitfalls I see are that, antique or not, you're making a pistol from a rifle, and could then be construed to have manufactured something new and losing the antique status.
    And, of course, the carrying, storage, and transportation of such a firearm would then be subject to all of the State laws pertaining to a modern pistol. Good luck with this, and I for one would like to hear what you find out and how your project turns out.

  3. #3
    Boolit Bub
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    For what it's worth, here's a page from the ATF website:

    https://www.atf.gov/firearms/qa/does...m-personal-use

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy
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    I wonder if straight rifling like in a slug gun would make a short barrel "shotgun" qualify as a pistol. You could shoot shot and not sling pellets everywhere.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master



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    making your own firearms is a bit different from assembling a new firearm from an old firearm.

    i realize an antique is an antique but the last time i asked, manufacturing a firearm is considered fabricating from "scratch".
    like the difference between making an AR from an 80% lower that is considered a chunk of material, or from a serialized "firearm" lower.

    so, i SURE DON'T KNOW

    good luck
    'monkey
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  6. #6
    Boolit Master

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    Then there's something about the ammo being available through normal commerce. I was told by the atf that the internet is normal commerce now. Sort of telling me not to make anymore 58 Remington in 44 Colt. So you might be able to make a wildcat where the ammo can't be bought.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    Not in California. All cartridge firearms that ammo can be made for, are considered the same as modern.
    Happiness is a Warm GUN & more ammo to shoot in it.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by Walks View Post
    Not in California. All cartridge firearms that ammo can be made for, are considered the same as modern.
    What you've said there is extremely wrong and we need to correct it now. Its disheartening that in the last 5 days since you posted that nobody has corrected it.

    Where your mistake is in mis-reading the definitions. For an original pre-1899 firearm the date itself defines it's antique status NO MATTER WHAT IT SHOOTS. The cite for that is where it references U.S. Code. You need to stop reading after (A).

    The rest of it has to do with REPLICA and REPRODUCTION firearms. Not originals.

    This first part is California Penal Code:

    (a) As used in Sections 30515 and 30530 , “antique firearm” means any firearm manufactured before January 1, 1899.

    (b) As used in Section 16520 , Section 16650, subdivision (a) of Section 23630 , paragraph (1) of subdivision (b) of Section 27505 , and subdivision (a) of Section 31615 , “antique firearm” has the same meaning as in Section 921(a)(16) of Title 18 of the United States Code .

    (c) As used in Section 17700 , “antique firearm” means either of the following:

    (1) Any firearm not designed or redesigned for using rimfire or conventional center fire ignition with fixed ammunition and manufactured in or before 1898.  This includes any matchlock, flintlock, percussion cap, or similar type of ignition system or replica thereof, whether actually manufactured before or after the year 1898.

    (2) 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.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Section 921(a)(16) of Title 18 of the United States Code:

    (16) The term “antique firearm” means—
    (A) any firearm (including any firearm with a matchlock, flintlock, percussion cap, or similar type of ignition system) manufactured in or before 1898; or
    (B) any replica of any firearm described in subparagraph (A) if such replica—
    (i) is not designed or redesigned for using rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition, or
    (ii) uses rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition which is no longer manufactured in the United States and which is not readily available in the ordinary channels of commercial trade; or
    (C) any muzzle loading rifle, muzzle loading shotgun, or muzzle loading pistol, which is designed to use black powder, or a black powder substitute, and which cannot use fixed ammunition. For purposes of this subparagraph, the term “antique firearm” shall not include any weapon which incorporates a firearm frame or receiver, any firearm which is converted into a muzzle loading weapon, or any muzzle loading weapon which can be readily converted to fire fixed ammunition by replacing the barrel, bolt, breechblock, or any combination thereof.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~

    http://www.easylawlookup.com/Califor...z=50#par_23283

    16590. As used in this part, "generally prohibited weapon" means any of the following: (does not deal with antiques)


    http://www.easylawlookup.com/Califor...xact=OFF&spon=

    DIVISION 2. GENERALLY PROHIBITED WEAPONS (23735)(1-click HTML)
    CHAPTER 1. EXEMPTIONS (17700-17745) (23736)(1-click HTML)
    17700. The provisions listed in Section 16590 do not apply to any antique firearm.

    (does not deal with antiques)

  9. #9
    Boolit Master

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    (16) The term “antique firearm” means—
    (A) any firearm............... manufactured in or before 1898;

    /end

  10. #10
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by justashooter View Post
    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,
    Controlling case law is the Gun Control Act of 1968:

    https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/STATUT...2-Pg1213-2.pdf

    Dutch

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