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Black powder guns and their laws

This is a discussion on Black powder guns and their laws within the Black Powder forums, part of the Firearm Forum category; I'm interested to see how this works... As far as I know, an SBS has a barrel shorter than 18", and/or an overall length of ...


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Old February 17th, 2017, 05:08 PM   #1
 
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Black powder guns and their laws

I'm interested to see how this works...
As far as I know, an SBS has a barrel shorter than 18", and/or an overall length of less than 26", and an SBR has a barrel length of less than 16" and/or an overall length of less than 26", and to own either of these requires a federal stamp.
After that all the legal ramblings start to confuse me. (of course, the way they write most laws ends up confusing me. if they could only use regular english...)
I also heard something about requiring different stamps or something if the firearm came from the factory this way.
What confuses me are guns like Davide Pedersoli's Howdah hunter, which has a barrel length of 11.25" and an overall length of 17.75". This is a 20 gauge percussion cap pistol, of sorts.
Also, purchasing removable stocks for reproduction cap and ball revolvers like colt 1851 navies and 1860 armies seems to be just that - purchasing a stock.
Are there different laws for percussion cap SBSs and SBRs, or do these somehow not qualify as what I'm seeing them as?
Thanks!



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Old February 17th, 2017, 05:25 PM   #2
 
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According to federal law and almost all states except New Jersey and a few cities here and there muzzle loading firearms are not considered firearms for federal law. You can order muzzleloading firearms thru the mail and you cannot with modern firearms. In NJ all guns capable of sending out a projectile are considered firearms not so in pennsylvania virginia etc. So you can buy a muzzleloading revolver or rifle etc thru the amil.
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Old February 18th, 2017, 05:14 AM   #3
 
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I also find the black powder percussion/ flintlock lack of rules and regulations puzzling , but you can mail order them , no back ground check , and the postman brings them right to your door. When ammo started drying up I ordered an 1851 Colt reproduction from Dixie Gun works and later a cute little 1862 Colt Pocket Model from EMF . Both were delivered , by mail , to my house. I only had to sign a form saying my purchase was legal. I can cast lead balls, have a good supply of caps and powder, and did this just in case the Anti's won the election.
EMF has a list of the cities and states that don't allow the evil cap and ball revolver's .

That 20 gauge Howdah is next on my list....it just looks like it would be fun!
SBS and SBR ...I don't have a clue on how they work.
Gary

Last edited by gwpercle; February 18th, 2017 at 05:18 AM.
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Old February 18th, 2017, 06:54 PM   #4
 
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Thanks to both of you!
I think I'm getting the picture...
The government seems to believe that guns that worked for centuries (black powder) aren't actually firearms.
Nice!
I won't complain, it seems to mean looser laws around these guns.
Just goes to show the logic of politicians, although I may have created an oxymoron there.
I'm going with Gary - the Howdah is next on my list too - a bit of 19th century mad max might be interesting
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Old February 19th, 2017, 05:53 AM   #5
 
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Whoa there, Hold on before you go too far down this road.

The 1968 Gun Control Act [GCA] controls modern firearms that travel in interstate commerce that were made after 1898.
A black powder firearm is STILL a firearm by definition because it launches a projectile by explosive means and was originally design to do just that.
So, while a replica firearm that is a copy of a pre-1898 design that adheres to pre-1898 design and doesn't fall under the GCA, it is STILL a firearm.
This causes a lot of confusion because even though a black powder cap & ball revolver can often be shipped in interstate commerce outside of the provisions of the GCA, a convicted felon Cannot legally possess one because it is still a firearm.
The most common situation is a felon is found to be in possession of an antique firearm and falls outside of the federal law but can be prosecuted in state court for possessing a firearm.

It's important to remember the concept of dual sovereignty. Both the state and federal government can exercise authority over the territory they control.

Last edited by Petrol and Powder; February 19th, 2017 at 06:11 AM.
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Old February 19th, 2017, 08:15 AM   #6
 
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Some states ban black powder for felons. But the way I read it, the ATF doesn't.
From ATF--- https://www.atf.gov/resource-center/...aspdf/download

"1. Can a person prohibited by law from possessing a firearm acquire and use a black powder muzzle loading firearm?

The Gun Control Act of 1968 (GCA) prohibits felons and certain other persons from possessing or receiving firearms and ammunition (“prohibited persons”). These categories can be found at 18 U.S.C. § 922(g) and (n) in http://atf.gov/publications/download/p/atf-p-5300-4.pdf.


However, Federal law does not prohibit these persons from possessing or receiving an antique firearm.
The term “antique firearm” means any firearm (including any firearm with a matchlock, flintlock, percussion cap, or similar type of ignition system) manufactured in or before 1898. The definition includes any replica of an antique firearm if it is not designed or redesigned for using rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition, or uses rimfire or conventional centerfire ammunition which is no longer manufactured in the United States, and which is not readily available in ordinary channels of commercial trade.
Further, any muzzle loading rifle, shotgun, or pistol which is designed to use black powder or black powder substitute, and which cannot use fixed ammunition, is an “antique firearm” unless it (1) incorporates a firearm frame or receiver; (2) is a firearm which is converted into a muzzle loading weapon; or (3) is a muzzle loading weapon which can be readily converted to fire fixed ammunition by replacing the barrel, bolt, breechblock, or any combination thereof. See 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(3), (a)(16).
Thus, a muzzle loading weapon that meets the definition of an “antique firearm” is not a firearm and may lawfully be received and possessed by a prohibited person under the GCA. "

This is just an excerpt from the above posted link.
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Old February 19th, 2017, 10:10 AM   #7
 
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Cap and ball has some advantages, and some disadvantages. Since not a firearm in most states that allow it one can carry a cap and ball revolver in the dreaded GFSZ. As long as one does not venture onto school property. Disadvantage is reloading is difficult, or slow, even switching cylinders. If used in SD shooting the gun will be junk most likely. It will be taken for evidence, and without cleaning corrode into a useless hunk of rust.

I occasional open carry cap, and ball revolvers mostly when I know I am going to be in a school zone.
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Old February 19th, 2017, 12:18 PM   #8
 
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The bottom line is you must be in compliance with both state and federal law. A violation of either state or federal law can result in a conviction.
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Old February 19th, 2017, 01:36 PM   #9
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Muzzleloaders and cap and ball revolvers are considered an "antique firearm" by the ATF and are exempt from the NFA.
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Old February 19th, 2017, 05:09 PM   #10
 
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Right.
should have expected it to be more complicated laws always seem to be.
Maine laws are good - with the right permitting, you can get any NFA firearm.
They also don't worry about felons having black powder firearms - but I'm not a felon.
Dunno... I'll give someone a shout around here to see about the black powder SBSs and SBRs
Thanks!
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Old February 19th, 2017, 05:11 PM   #11
 
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Actually nevermind
after another few minutes of searching I found a new page,
All set for black powder short barreled stuff here!
thanks again, and happy shooting!
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Old February 19th, 2017, 05:23 PM   #12
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Try and get some night time pics! I'd love to see the flame and sparks from a muzzleloading SBS!
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Old February 19th, 2017, 05:36 PM   #13
 
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will do!
got to get a stock first...
Dixie Gun Works muzzleloading, blackpowder and rare antique gun supplies.
Skeletal Shoulder Stock
they're not cheap, for what they are.
actually, might be an interesting project to make the wire one.
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Old February 19th, 2017, 08:10 PM   #14
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bwinters View Post
According to federal law and almost all states except New Jersey and a few cities here and there muzzle loading firearms are not considered firearms for federal law. You can order muzzleloading firearms thru the mail and you cannot with modern firearms. In NJ all guns capable of sending out a projectile are considered firearms not so in pennsylvania virginia etc. So you can buy a muzzleloading revolver or rifle etc thru the amil.
Yup. You can order repros of Colt and Remington cap and ball revolvers and have them delivered to your home. Interestingly enough, you can then buy cartridge conversion cylinders for them, also through the mail. You then have a cartridge revolver that you bought without a background check and had delivered to your door. And it's perfectly legal.
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Old February 20th, 2017, 05:35 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ditto1958 View Post
Yup. You can order repros of Colt and Remington cap and ball revolvers and have them delivered to your home. Interestingly enough, you can then buy cartridge conversion cylinders for them, also through the mail. You then have a cartridge revolver that you bought without a background check and had delivered to your door. And it's perfectly legal.
Just be sure to understand what you're doing if you put a cartridge conversion cylinder into your "Antique Firearm". If it "can be readily converted to fire fixed ammunition" it may no longer met the GCA definition of an "Antique Firearm" as exempted from the definition of a "firearm". If you put a stock and a cartridge conversion cylinder on a gun with a barrel less than 16", you may be building a short barreled rifle without a stamp.

18 U.S.C., § 921(A)(16) is a good read on this.
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