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A lot of us make up foil wrapped powder cartridges for cannon use... and probably a mortar or two. It would be real easy to also include the ball in the same wrapping.... but would that then constitute "fixed ammunition" in the eyes of the ATF? Would also reduce windage a bit. Haven't actually made up any yet, just wondering about the legality of it all.
 

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Evil Dog said:
It would be real easy to also include the ball in the same wrapping.... but would that then constitute "fixed ammunition" in the eyes of the ATF?
Unfortunately, it very well could. The odds of actually being caught and prosecuted are probably slim to none but why take even a remote chance? It's just as easy to load the powder charge and then the projectile.
 

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It was just a thought that crossed my mind while rolling up some powder cartridges. You are right though, really not worth taking the chance. I doubt that I will ever actually make any up. Thought that I would bring up the subject though since if I thought of it, no doubt others have also.
 

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I will express an opinion (we all know what that's worth), that the term refers to a cartridge that includes the bullet, powder, a casing and the primer - to be set off with a firing pin or hammer. This is based on the Williams gun - externally primed (nipple on the side - hit with a side hammer) after the breech block is closed. Check out the picture in the Newmarket pix I posted.
 

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Has anybody read the definition of 'fixed ammunition'? I know I haven't. Reading federal regs gives me a severa case of MEGO (MY Eyes Glaze Over).

This type of ammo goes well back before the US Civil War so is old enough but I wouldn't want to pay lawyers to explain that. It also has no primer or any way of detonating without an external flame. That might be key.

Steve
 

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I'll plow through the GCA(1968) and NFA(1934) and see if there is specific criteria as to what "fixed" ammuntion may or may not be.BATFE is a funny agency.During the 1994-2004 AWB era,I saw many many violations of "pre-ban" configuration longguns,nobody got busted or even a good earchewing by Batman.I do know of cases that were posted on BATFEs web site for the same offense but these were people that were drug dealers and the extra charges were added.
BATFE allows semi-auto versions of 1919a4s,RPDs,MG34/42sand others,but reclassified the Gilberts USAS12,Streetsweeper/Stiker shotguns as Destructives devices subject to the NFA.They are a most illogical agency,but unfortunately make the rules(law),Congress gave them this power in 1968(I thought only Congress could make law???)

Per BATFE FAQ section:

(A5) What kinds of ammunition are covered by the GCA? [Back]


Ammunition includes cartridge cases, primers, bullets or propellant powder designed for use in any firearm other than an antique firearm. Items
NOT covered include blank ammunition, tear gas ammunition, pellets and nonmetallic shotgun hulls without primers.


Generally, no records are required for ammunition transactions. However, information about the disposition of armor piercing ammunition is
required to be entered into a record by importers, manufacturers, and collectors. A license is not required for dealers in ammunition only. [18 U. S. C. 921( a)( 17) and 922( b)( 5), 27 CFR 178.11]


(M28) Are muzzleloading cannons classified as destructive devices? [Back]

Generally, no. Muzzleloading cannons not capable of firing fixed ammunition and manufactured in or before 1898 and replicas thereof are antiques and not subject to the provisions of either the GCA or the NFA. [26 U. S. C. 5845, 27 CFR 179.11]



FURTHER INTERESTING LANGUAGE THAT MAY APPLY:


(A29) Are "potato guns" or "spud guns" legal? [Back]

"Potato guns" or "spud guns" generally consist of sections of PVC plastic tubing and fittings and are designed to launch a muzzle-loaded potato (or other similar-size projectile) using hair spray or other aerosol vapor as a propellant. The propellant is ignited by means of a barbecue grill igniter or other similar ignition system.

Section 5845(f), Title 26, United States Code, regulates certain weapons as "destructive devices" which are subject to the registration and tax provisions of the National Firearms Act (NFA). Section 5845(f)(2) includes within the definition of "destructive device" any type of weapon which will or may be readily converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive or other propellant, the barrel of which has a bore of more than one-half inch in diameter. However, section 5845(f)(3) excludes from the definition of "destructive device" any device which is neither designed or redesigned for use as a weapon and any device, although originally designed for use as a weapon, which is redesigned for use as a signaling, pyrotechnic, line throwing, safety, or similar device. The definition of "destructive device" in the Gun Control Act (GCA), 18 U.S.C. Chapter 44, is identical to that in the NFA.

ATF has previously examined "potato guns" or "spud guns" as described above and has generally determined that such devices using potatoes as projectiles and used solely for recreational purposes are not weapons and do not meet the definition of "firearm" or "destructive device" in either the NFA or GCA. However, ATF has classified such devices as "firearms" and "destructive devices" if their design, construction, ammunition, actual use, or intended use indicate that they are weapons. For example, ATF has classified such devices as "firearms" and "destructive devices" if they are designed and used to expel flaming tennis balls.

Possession and use of "potato guns" or "spud guns" may be restricted under State laws and local ordinances. Further, any person intending to make, use, or transfer any such device must be aware that they have a potential for causing serious injury or damage



http://www.atf.gov/firearms/faq/index.htm
 

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In DD's notes from above is this :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.
That should more than cover AL. foil cartridges.
By the 1800's almost all artillery used fixed ammunition. Linen bag attached to a projectile.
I think the biggest issue comes from not the cartridge but rather the source of ignition. No primmer fixed to the case. Ect.
 

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Ok,went US House of Reps web page to access the U.S.C.When dealing with firearms,generally you are looking for TITLE 18 CHAPTER 44 and the various sections like 922 etc etc.This refers to the GCA of 1968.

USC definition of "antique firearm"

(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.


USC definition of ammuntion:

(17)(A) The term ''ammunition'' means ammunition or cartridge

cases, primers, bullets, or propellent powder designed for use in

any firearm.


Looks like "conventional fixed CF/RF ammuntion" and "not readily available" and "no longer manufactured in US" are key phrases.

Ok,tell everyone not to become a cannon/mortar ammuntion manufacturer.

MORE TIDBITS ABOUT AMMUNTION:From BATFE FAQ.

(H3) May a person licensed as a manufacturer of firearms also manufacture ammunition? [Back]

Yes. The person may also manufacture ammunition (not including destructive device ammunition or armor piercing ammunition) without obtaining a separate license as a manufacturer of ammunition.


(H4) Is one who reloads ammunition required to be licensed as a manufacturer? [Back]

Yes, if the person engages in the business of selling or distributing reloads for the purposes of livelihood or profit. No, if the person reloads only for personal use. [27 CFR 178.41]


(H5) Must a licensed manufacturer pay excise taxes? [Back]

Yes. Licensed manufacturers incur excise tax on the sale of firearms and ammunition manufactured.



Ok,now to check the NFA.Im only posting this info for informational purposes,im NOT an attorney.Again,BATFE is a funny agency,some in the SOT field feel writing letters to BATFE tech branch can be a double edged sword.
 

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I wouldn't bother with wrapping the projectile with the charge for a more important reason than the ATF...Safety.

If you have to unload that gun for any reason you are going to have a heck of a time doing it with the charge and ball wrapped together. Scares me thinking about it.
 

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Double D said:
I wouldn't bother with wrapping the projectile with the charge for a more important reason than the ATF...Safety.

If you have to unload that gun for any reason you are going to have a heck of a time doing it with the charge and ball wrapped together. Scares me thinking about it.
BINGO!!! DD hit the nail right on the head. What a nightmare that would be.
 
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