Is this old plan legal to build today? - Graybeard Outdoors
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-10-2019, 08:31 AM Thread Starter
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Default Is this old plan legal to build today?

Some debate on another forum over the legality of building this little cannon as a mini-lathe project today. It was published in 1932, a lot has changed since then.

I say both the smooth bore and firing fixed ammunition (.22 rimfire) are problematic.
The big question in that thread is: "Would a rifled sleeve, turned from an old barrel, make it legal?"
I think it might possibly, but have doubts.



FWIW, my suggestion was to build it as a small signal gun with a restricted bore that cannot chamber or fire live ammo, shoot it with .22 blanks, and be happy.

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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-10-2019, 11:22 AM
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The only way to get a ruling would be to submit the plans to the ATFE Technical Branch, in writing as they don't take calls. You will get a written letter in response... eventually. I wouldn't build it without a letter and I'd keep the letter with it. You don't want to be hassled over your hand built gun by every cop that you might cross paths with.



As I see it, the difficulty is that chambers for blanks will accept live ammo... especially 22 shorts or cb caps. Newer nail gun blanks are different dimensioned so as to be incompatible with normal chambers. I'd first study dimensions of current blanks.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-10-2019, 12:02 PM
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I don't see why not, you are allowed to build a gun for personal use without a license, why should a model of a cannon not be legal?
https://www.atf.gov/firearms/qa/does...m-personal-use



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Does an individual need a license to make a firearm for personal use? No, a license is not required to make a firearm solely for personal use. However, a license is required to manufacture firearms for sale or distribution. The law prohibits a person from assembling a non–sporting semiautomatic rifle or shotgun from 10 or more imported parts, as well as firearms that cannot be detected by metal detectors or x–ray machines. In addition, the making of an NFA firearm requires a tax payment and advance approval by ATF. [18 U.S.C. 922(o), (p) and (r); 26 U.S.C. 5822; 27 CFR 478.39, 479.62 and 479.105] Last Reviewed November 6, 2017

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Last edited by O-mega; 06-10-2019 at 12:40 PM. Reason: speeling
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-10-2019, 01:10 PM
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Omega is partially right.

Because this cannon is under 50 cal it falls under GCA 68 and not NFA. That fixed ammunition thing is an NFA rule for cannons greater than .50 caliber.

What makes O-Mega only partially right is that it is quoting from the Internet. At the time this was last reviewed, in 2017 it was correct. But since this is now 2019 things could have changed and the only correct answer comes in writing from ATF and in writing as Flagman1776 suggests.

I doubt anything has changed on this subject, but it might have and this is why offering legal opinions beyond general discussion is not allowed on this board.

Personally I see nothing wrong with building that little cannon for personal use.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-11-2019, 12:57 AM
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As I see it, the difficulty is that chambers for blanks will accept live ammo... especially 22 shorts or cb caps. Newer nail gun blanks are different dimensioned so as to be incompatible with normal chambers. I'd first study dimensions of current blanks.[/QUOTE]


I disagree. I used to use the 22 caliber nail gun blanks to launch various things (15mm bird bombs and other things)out of the flash hider on my 10-22.

Still have some of them.

I may not be completely sane, but at least I don't think I have the power to influence the weather.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-11-2019, 08:49 AM
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I do not think you would have any ATF issues. It does not have a stock, so it would not be a short barrelled rifle. And if anything as it is a Virgin build device, you could claim it was originally built as a Pistol anyway so it could have a short barrel anyway. But it should not be considered a Firearm at all by the ATF, as it is not a shoulder Fired Weapon.


And it stays within the sub.50 Caliber range, so not a destructive device either. Maybe they could get you on calling it AOW But that is doubtful. No legal restrictions on building your own Firearm either at home, even if they did consider it one.. I have built several.



But as others have stated, always best to get a letter first.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-11-2019, 09:08 AM Thread Starter
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My main concern was the smoothbore barrel. Anyway, that thread has died and I'm not bumping it, so maybe it's a dead issue.

If it were me (and it's not) I would just make it a little signal gun with a bore that can't shoot a bullet.
The only part that really interests me is the firing mechanism.

PS: ATF letters are good, until they decide they're not.

.

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Last edited by Terry C.; 06-11-2019 at 09:12 AM.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-11-2019, 06:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry C. View Post

PS: ATF letters are good, until they decide they're not.

.
Absolutely! Just ask all of those people that had ATF bump=stock letters what they are worth now.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-11-2019, 07:07 PM
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Yes the good old ATF. Should be a convenience Store, not a Government Agency,LOL
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-12-2019, 07:33 AM
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Okay, cannon politics please. Nothing else. And limit that.

We have kept politics off this board for 17 years, let's continue that trend.

Last edited by double d; 06-12-2019 at 07:35 AM.
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