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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

I was just wondering. Is there a difference in legality between 10 and 12 gauge signal cannons? I've seen a lot of newer 10 gauge cannons but no 12 gauge cannons? Is there a reason for this? If so I might need to rebore my little signal cannon before I finish it. Also I'm planing on building a signal cannon that shoots 45 cal. blanks. Does anyone think I would have "troubles" with this? I looked at the BATF web site and they had more info on potato guns than cannons. Any info would be appreciated.
 

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Legality of building 12 guage signal cannon

I know it's a pain but I can only suggest a written inquiry of the ATF for a definitive answer.

My guess about 10 ga vs. 12 ga is 10 ga makes more noise and smoke.
 

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Legality of building 12 guage signal cannon

GGaskill said:
I know it's a pain but I can only suggest a written inquiry of the ATF for a definitive answer.
Agreed.

Short-chambering wouldn't do it, as it would still chamber the short 12ga rounds now produced.

A pin side-to-side in the barrel such that shot couldn't be used would be definitive.

But a letter of approval from BATF would be worth framing!
 

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Legality of building 12 guage signal cannon

So How how I go about doing it? Do they need blue prints or will a description do? Has any one dealt with them before? Appreciate any help, Thanks, Wes
 

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Legality of building 12 guage signal cannon

Here is where you need some advice from experience. Instead of that, all I can give you is an opinion educated by hearsay. Have qualified what follows, I've heard that a sketch and a description will do. I would take a picture of the known-legal device and label it as the model around which you are building a replica AND that it is a SIGNALING DEVICE intended ONLY for firing blanks.
 

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Legality of building 12 guage signal cannon

The pictures of the one I want to build are only simular to the one I want to build. Found searching the internet. I'm making some changes. It was made buy/for an individual, I believe. I can sketch it on paper, but I have no computer drafting skills. I'll send a picture and a sketch. First I might Email them as what if any additional information I should send? I wouldn't worry about it so much but I build some of this stuff to support by hobby and am planing on building several to auction on Ebay and other places. Later,
 

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Legality of building 12 guage signal cannon

Hi, I called the BATF in Boise and the lady told me I needed to talk to a inspector because some things have been changed since 9/11. Of corse he's on vacation for a week. I read somewhere that under 50 cal and over 12 gauge is Ok for signaling, I'll check. So I'll have to probably rebore my little signal cannon to 10 gauge. I'll keep every one updated. Is ther any other questions any one wants me to ask?
 

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Legality of building 12 guage signal cannon

The answers to questions over the phone are likely to be valid answers. But a document is evidence that can be used in court.

Thanks for asking. My real questions will turn up when I have a real project that is close to the line and needs clarification.
 

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Legality of building 12 guage signal cannon

I was planing on getting info in document form. mainly I was wanting to find out What was leagle and what to send in where to get documents.
 

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Legality of building 12 guage signal cannon

Did you ever get a definitive statement from the ATF on this?
 

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Legality of building 12 guage signal cannon

Basically they said no, but I asked about other companies/individuals building signal cannons that use cartridges and how they are getting around it. The BATFE inspector said he didn't no everything (been some changes, I think he said) and that I should call their fire arms technology office. He gave me the number, and I haven't had time to contact them yet. I'll try to get that done in the next day or so. Bug me buy the end of the week if I haven't got back to this. Thanks,
 

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Legality of building 12 guage signal cannon

I'll try to remember to remind you. (-:
 

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Legality of building 12 guage signal cannon

GGaskill said:
I'll try to remember to remind you. (-:
George - please do.

Powder Keg - Inquiring minds want to know! :-D

Thanks for posting about the referral of the question to 'technology division' too.
 

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Legality of building 12 guage signal cannon

Hi, Just got off the Batf's computerized answering service. The Firearms Tech branch dosen't answer the phone. :grin: But they would be more than happy to read a letter. I'll try to get something sent off shortly and let everyone know.

Their address is:

ATF
Att Firearms technoligies Branch
244 Needy Rd.
Martinsberg, WV 25401
 

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Legality of building 12 guage signal cannon

Well!

Martinsburg is but 4 or so hours from me!

Could be an interesting trip!
 

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Legality of building 12 guage signal cannon

So It's settled. CW is going to find out for us :-D Just kidding. I'll get a letter drafted shortlt and send it off.
 

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Legality of building 12 guage signal cannon

Powder keg said:
So It's settled. CW is going to find out for us :-D Just kidding. I'll get a letter drafted shortlt and send it off.
Sometimes going in to talk face to face, and wearing a suit and tie, can bring about a very good understanding of eachother's perspectives. There are issues that I'd like to discuss, as with signal cannons and mortars with bi-pods. What distinguishes a replica of the 1707 mortar from a replica of the Stokes?

Maybe not this week or month, but sometime.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Legality of building 12 guage signal cannon

I forgot their phone # for what it's worth is 1-304-260-3414.
 

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Legality of building 12 guage signal cannon

Just thought I'd mention I almost have my letter finished. Do you guys think I should add some pictures of examples of what I intend to build. That way maybe they won't think I'm trying to get buy with building a 8 gauge pistol or something? Later,
 

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Legality of building 12 guage signal cannon

I think it is best to be very specific with them so they don't think you are trying to pull a fast one on them. If you know the details of what you want to do, spell them out. At worst, it will save exchanging letters trying to determine exactly what you mean (that may happen anyway.)

If you are trying to overturn a standing precedent, e.g., that a bipod supported mortar design predates both the Stokes design and the 1898 rule, gather as much evidence as possible and hit them with all of it at once.

If other people are doing what you want to do and it appears they have legal support for their activities, cite them as previously approved examples of what you are intending to do.
 
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