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Discussion Starter #1
Would it be legal to make a "rocket launcher"? I haven't been able to find any thing on the ATF web site, and the other forum I belong to doesn't know the answer either...

The rockets would be made out of 1" PVC, 6 inches long, and NON-explosive. I would just shove a model rocket "motor" in it.

The launcher would be PVC tubes, would put the rocket in through the "rear" of the tube, connect the wires, and launch it from a remote "launch pad".

I wouldn't think this is illegal, because you're just making you own model rockets and launching them through a tube.

Anybody got any ideas?
 

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Rockets launcher... but not what you may th

There's a big difference between a model rocket that launches vertically off a rod and a bazooka type device that you can launch horizontally.

While what you're proposing doesn't quite fit the definition of a Destructive Device, it comes awful close. You're in sort of a gray area that might or might not get you in dutch with the feds. You also have to consider the possibility of running afoul of any state laws.

Before you build this thing, you'd be well advised to a letter to the BATF describing what you want to do and see what they think. The worst they can do is say "no, don't do it" and tell you why. Also, research your state laws so you don't end up inadvertantly violating one of those either.

A couple pieces of paper and some stamps are a whole lot better than doing 10 at Club Fed and/or a $10,000 fine.
 

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Rockets launcher... but not what you may th

spraynpray said:
Aren't destructive devices "explosives"?
DD's cover a range of things and like I said, your idea is in sort of a gray area. That's why you need to check it out BEFORE you build it.

Here's what the federal law says about destructive devices:

THE GUN CONTROL ACT OF 1968, PUBLIC LAW 90-618
TITLE 18, UNITED STATES CODE, CHAPTER 44
Chapter 44 Firearms

§ 921. Definitions

(4) The term "destructive device" means -

(A) any explosive, incendiary, or poison gas -
(i) bomb,
(ii) grenade,
(iii) rocket having a propellant charge of more than four ounces,
(iv) missile having an explosive or incendiary charge of more than
one-quarter ounce,
(v) mine, or
(vi) device similar to any of the devices described in the preceding
clauses;

(B) any type of weapon (other than a shotgun or a shotgun shell which the Secretary finds is generally recognized as particularly suitable for sporting purposes) by whatever name known which will, or which may be readily converted to, expel a projectile by the action of an explosive or other propellant, and which has any barrel with a bore of more than one-half inch in diameter; and

(C) any combination of parts either designed or intended for use in converting any device into any destructive device described in subparagraph (A) or (B) and from which a destructive device may be readily assembled.

The term "destructive device" shall not include any device which is neither designed nor redesigned for use as a weapon; 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; surplus ordnance sold, loaned, or given by the Secretary of the Army pursuant to the provisions of section 4684(2), 4685, or 4686 of title 10; or any other device which the Secretary of the Treasury finds is not likely to be used as a weapon, is an antique, or is a rifle which the owner intends to use solely for sporting, recreational or cultural purposes.


If you write the Feds and they say it's OK, you still have to check your state laws to make sure it's OK there too.
 

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Rockets launcher... but not what you may th

I wouldn't mess with anything close to that. Even Alkaseltzer and water in a film capsule is theoretically illegal, or so the FBI told my friend after we tried something similar.

Eddie
 

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Rockets launcher... but not what you may th

PVC is WAY TOO HEAVY. I have done a lot of fooling around with these motors. I have used the larger ones that you can add Boosters...if you add too many...trying to get more power and get higher.....they will barely get off the ground. You need to use lightweight 'thin' carboard tubes, and keep the weight down as much as possible for good performance. I am not sure what is 'legal'...and it probably varies from state to state. I heard shortly after 9-11 that they were trying to ban ALL SUCH legal rocket engines. I do not know if they have succeded.
 

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Rockets launcher... but not what you may th

Rockets haven't been banned here... yet. :lol: I haven't tried to build it yet, after checking with ATF (who's knows when) I'll start to build it, I was going to use the super thin PVC for the rockets. But for now I'll save my money for either a 1895 Nagant revolver, No.4 Enfield, or a K-31. I'll get more use out of those anyway. :grin: And lawn seaon is almost over, so I won't have as much money to "toy around with". :( But if I do build it, I'll post pictures here. :grin:
 

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Rockets launcher... but not what you may th

If you want something like this you can always make a "spud gun" out of the PVC and launch tennis balls. THe BATF doesn't consider this to be a D.D. unless you light the balls on fire and fire them Per the web site
 

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Rockets launcher... but not what you may th

I think your best bet to stay safe is to stick with cardboard and balsa as construction material for any rocket you make regardless of how you launch it. The key here is that it should disintegrate upon impact with, well, anything, as well as be light enough for the commercial rocket engine to propel it. You have a responsibility toward anyone's property that you might damage regardless of the legality of your chosen recreation. I think payload carries the weightier considerations with the law. Of course, localities vary.

Note that most hobby launch stands have some kind of windage adjustment: playing "lawn darts" with tumble recovery mini rockets seems like a fun possibility; in an open field, of course.

I suppose i should count myself lucky that i never got caught launching bottle rocket from a wrapping paper tube as a kid!
 
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