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View Full Version : Legality of snakeshot/buckshot shells in CA, in a TC Contender 45-70 or 44 Mag


wellfedirishman
01-03-2010, 3:36 PM
Here is a question for you all.

I know you can buy 22 caliber snakeshot shells in CA, and I believe that 38/357 and 44 mag snakeshot shells are for sale in CA also. These are obviously intended for pistol/revolver use for dealing with rattlesnakes, etc.

I have read through the following thread, and can't find the answer here:
http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=225778&highlight=snakeshot+shell

From the Penal Code:
A short-barreled shotgun means a firearm designed or redesigned to fire a fixed shotgun shell that has a barrel or barrels of less than 18 inches in length or an overall length of less than 26 inches; any weapon made from a shotgun which meets the barrel length or overall length criteria; any device which may be restored to fire a fixed shotgun shell and which meets the barrel length or overall length criteria; or any part or combination of parts designed and intended to convert a device into a short-barreled shotgun or which
California Firearms Laws 2006 7 would permit an individual to readily assemble a short-barreled shotgun. (Penal Code
12020(c)(1).)

Q: Is it legal to load your own snakeshot shells in CA, for use in a single shot TC Contender pistol (10 or 14 inch barrel), using a non-shotgun cartridge (e.g., 44 mag, 45/70, etc.)?
I was thinking of a 44 mag or 45/70 multiple-round ball load for use in a Thompson Center Contender pistol (10 or 14 inch barrel, single shot, rifled barrel). It is a pistol, NOT a shotgun, and uses a pistol/rifle cartridge (44 mag, 45/70), not a shotgun shell (e.g., 410 shotshell).

Thoughts? I can't find an answer to the legality of this one. Please cite to the appropriate penal code section in your answer for clarity.

Here's a link to the CA firearms penal code online:
http://ag.ca.gov/firearms/forms/pdf/Cfl2006.pdf

Thanks for your collective wisdom on this one.

Edit to add: What about using round ball buckshot loads (e.g., 000 buck in a 45-70 case, in the TC pistol)?

ojisan
01-03-2010, 4:04 PM
The key words are "fixed shotgun shell".
Using pistol or rifle brass is OK.

IrishPirate
01-03-2010, 4:08 PM
are you talking about CCI shot shells? i have them for my .45acp, they work great, they are perfectly legal. if that's not what you're talking about.....all i can say is if the gun isn't specifically designed to use the shotgun shell it's legal. If (like the Taurus judge) it is designed to use shotshells, then its a SBS. If taurus had left the 410 out of the design and it just happened out of coincidense that it could shoot 410, then it would be legal. What i think you're talking about though are CCI shotshells and like i said, they're legal and fun to use

wellfedirishman
01-03-2010, 4:22 PM
Thanks Guys. I am thinking of loads that are similar to the CCI snake loads, with snakeshot for snakes/vermin, or roundballs (small buckshot) for shooting up gallon milk jugs.

This discussion raises the questions:
A - What it the legal difference between a 'fixed shotgun shell' and a rifle/pistol shell that has been loaded with snakeshot or buckshot?

B - Can anyone demonstrate this difference between by citing to CA code?

For example, I know that 12 ga/20ga/410 are 'designed' for shotguns without rifled barrels, but 12ga is also used for shotguns with rifled slug barrels. The distinction between shotshells and non-shotshells is not clear.

IrishPirate
01-03-2010, 4:25 PM
ahhh, i see......I'll have to do some research but i think i remember hearing that it boils down to the headstamp on the shell. If the shell/brass was made for a pistol/rifle it's ok, but if it's meant for a shotgun it's not. I see where you're confused and how having the legal def would clear it all up....i'll see if i can dig up that info and get back to you.

Glock22Fan
01-03-2010, 4:32 PM
I've used .38 and .44 CCI shotshells quite a bit, mainly for snakes. Never tried any in a semi-auto, they might not cycle properly, although I have seen .40 cal CCI, I believe.

Never had any problems buying them, never had it suggested that they weren't Cali-legal. They can hardly turn a revolver into a SBS just because someone starts making shot shells for them - clearly (like the Judge) the firearm has to be specifically desinged to take shotshells. If we designate CCI's as shotshells (under the meaning of the act) then all revolvers are SBS's. This is clearly nonsense.

Glock22Fan
01-03-2010, 4:33 PM
I've used .38 and .44 CCI shotshells quite a bit, mainly for snakes. Never tried any in a semi-auto, they might not cycle properly, although I have seen .40 cal CCI, I believe.

Never had any problems buying them, never had it suggested that they weren't Cali-legal. They can hardly turn a revolver into a SBS just because someone starts making shot shells for them - clearly (like the Judge) the firearm has to be specifically designated to take shotshells. If we designate CCI's as shotshells (under the meaning of the act) then all revolvers and semi's of the available calibers are SBS's. This is clearly nonsense.

cdtx2001
01-03-2010, 5:35 PM
If we designate CCI's as shotshells (under the meaning of the act) then all revolvers are SBS's. This is clearly nonsense.

Not just revolvers, but everything. They make them in all cals, I've used them in semi autos and they work fine. Would hate to get rid of my 1911 cause now it's a SBS under this silly nonsense.

trautert
01-03-2010, 5:40 PM
My guess is that the barrel determines what is and isn't a shotgun. Meaning, if you are using a rifled barrel, obviously designed to shoot handgun (or rifle) ammo, shooting the snakeshot rounds shouldn't be a problem. If that same barrel, on your Contender or your Blackhawk, is a smoothbore, you have a problem.

wellfedirishman
01-03-2010, 5:44 PM
Guys, I am just trying to understand WHY they are legal, so if I load some shotshells up myself and a Cop claims that the Contender is now a SBS, I have a good answer as to why not.

I am NOT trying to define all revolvers as a SBS, that is dumb.

Here are the questions I am trying to get an answer to, based on the CA code:
A - What it the legal difference between a 'fixed shotgun shell' and a rifle/pistol shell that has been loaded with snakeshot or buckshot?

B - Can anyone demonstrate this difference between by citing to CA code?

bigcalidave
01-03-2010, 6:03 PM
I'll note that Washington state says that an SBS had to be a shotgun at some point. Interesting. At least they make sense up there...

http://www.atg.wa.gov/opinion.aspx?section=archive&id=14312

If a weapon, as originally manufactured, did not meet the statutory definition of a “shotgun,” then the weapon is not a “short-barreled shotgun” for purposes of state law, either as originally manufactured or as later modified.


I did find
AB 236 in California, from 1994, where they tried to define a "fixed shotgun shell" But this bill was sent back at some point. I can't find a recurrence.

http://info.sen.ca.gov/pub/93-94/bill/asm/ab_0201-0250/ab_236_cfa_940114_173715_asm_comm


Definition. This bill defines a fixed shotgun shell to mean any
fixed ammunition consisting of the case, primer, propellant charge
and either a number of projectiles (ball shot) or a single
projectile, designed or redesigned, made or remade and intended to
be fired exclusively in a shotgun. The bill states that this
definition is declaratory of existing law.


If that definition had been made, it could be said that a .410 handgun round is not made to be fired exclusively in a "shotgun" because a "shotgun" is made to be fired from the shoulder...
http://www.ableammo.com/catalog/images/FP_410HandgunShotshell_m.jpg

wellfedirishman
01-03-2010, 7:05 PM
Thanks BigCaliDave, that is helpful. Unfortunately, I still don't know what the current definition of 'fixed shotgun shell' is in CA :-)

Anyone know?

bigcalidave
01-03-2010, 7:14 PM
There is none. That was the last, best chance. As such, it could probably be fought in court with good lawyers, maybe even won. :D Sound like a fun way to spend 50 Grand?

ojisan
01-03-2010, 7:42 PM
Just don't shoot shotgun shells in your handgun, and don't shoot snake shot from a smooth barreled handgun, and you will be fine.

.44Mag T/C Contender "Hot Shot" cartridge:
The Magnum of the snake shot loads.
http://i306.photobucket.com/albums/nn249/ojisan420/P1030039-1.jpg

wellfedirishman
01-03-2010, 10:21 PM
Thanks all for the helpful responses, much appreciated.

bwiese
01-03-2010, 11:19 PM
Shotshells are legal in any otherwise-legal pistol/rifle caliber.

A gun that chambers a shotshell in a rifle/pistol case is not chambering a shotgun round.

Important:
- If you have a pistol, it should not chamber a *shotgun shell* (i.e, 410Ga).
- Your pistol should NOT have an unrifled barrel.

Glock22Fan
01-03-2010, 11:35 PM
I am NOT trying to define all revolvers as a SBS, that is dumb.
Of course it is. That's what I'm trying to get you to understand. It's so dumb that there's nothing to worry about.

EOD Guy
01-04-2010, 5:27 AM
are you talking about CCI shot shells? i have them for my .45acp, they work great, they are perfectly legal. if that's not what you're talking about.....all i can say is if the gun isn't specifically designed to use the shotgun shell it's legal. If (like the Taurus judge) it is designed to use shotshells, then its a SBS. If taurus had left the 410 out of the design and it just happened out of coincidense that it could shoot 410, then it would be legal. What i think you're talking about though are CCI shotshells and like i said, they're legal and fun to use

If the handgun will chamber and fire a .410 shotgun shell, it is illegal in California. It was chambered for the .410 whether or not it is designated as such.

ke6guj
01-04-2010, 8:03 AM
If the handgun will chamber and fire a .410 shotgun shell, it is illegal in California. It was chambered for the .410 whether or not it is designated as such.

so does that mean that most/all .45-70 handguns are illegal in CA, since AFAIK, a .410 can be fired in a .45-70? Or, how bout this, all 16" .45-70 carbines are illegal as well, since they have a barrel <18"?

ScottB
01-04-2010, 9:10 AM
If snakeshot loads are sold commercially in pistol calibers in CA, my guess is that they have been determined to be legal. I do know that the .45/.410 Contender barrel is illegal to use in CA (though not illegal to possess separately) as it is considered a SBS. Its a rifled barrel with a removable choke

gbp
01-04-2010, 9:21 AM
If snakeshot loads are sold commercially in pistol calibers in CA, my guess is that they have been determined to be legal. I do know that the .45/.410 Contender barrel is illegal to use in CA (though not illegal to possess separately) as it is considered a SBS. Its a rifled barrel with a removable choke

+1
I do not believe that you can bring these in.

Mulay El Raisuli
01-05-2010, 7:39 AM
One thing is clear (as bwiese pointed out above): Any handgun or carbine (<18" barrel or <26" OAL) that is chambered in 45-70 can easily and without modification fire .410 shells, and is therefore off limits in California. The other dangerous field are .454 Casull and .460 S&W revolvers: The only difference between their chambers (other than the length) and a real .410 chamber is the rebate for the rim. Anyone who takes a shortened .410 reamer to one of those revolvers has created a chamber that can fire short (1 3/4") .410 shells, and that is probably a very bad idea. And unrifled handgun barrels are obviously stupid.


Does anyone actually make 1 3/4in. .410 shells?


The Raisuli

beerman
01-05-2010, 3:58 PM
I've got a T/C barell,purchased by me pops in 1968 ish that is 45 long colt with a screw on choke intended for a 410 shotgun shell...I believe its rollmarked from Thompson as 45/410. Gun was purchased legal at the time. Can i not shoot a 410 legally thru this? hell,is the gun legal?

Glock22Fan
01-05-2010, 4:29 PM
I seem to remember a few days ago, a case mentioned in this forum where the D.A. claimed that a long barrelled shotgun was a concealable handgun and therefore had to be locked up when in a car. These *****holes will try to prove anything they want to. I think that case was resolved to the D.A.'s discomfort, but my enthusiasm for searching the forum is low at present.

beerman
01-05-2010, 6:34 PM
If I remember correctly, Thompson Center was (govt/court)ordered to quit making/selling these. This piece was made BEFORE the order and ,since it was approved for sale at the time of sale,its grandfathered....lt least thats the way dad explained it to me,,, any thoughts on this?

ke6guj
01-05-2010, 7:17 PM
If I remember correctly, Thompson Center was (govt/court)ordered to quit making/selling these. This piece was made BEFORE the order and ,since it was approved for sale at the time of sale,its grandfathered....lt least thats the way dad explained it to me,,, any thoughts on this?

YOu can still buy one today from T/C, they are legal in most/all of the other 49-states. CA has its own SBS law (not sure when it went into effect) but even if it was purchased before the ban, I don't see any grandfather clause in the SBS to allow for one to still possess it with a matching receiver.

Mulay El Raisuli
01-06-2010, 8:36 AM
Look up Aguila minishells sometime. Don't know whether they are still available, in particular in 410.

And any reloader with a loading press and mechanical skills can make them. Although, anyone who does this might as well build a .460S&W round with a shotshell cup (the components for making shotshells are available to reloaders). This points out that the artificial distinction between shotgun rounds (such as 12 gauge) and pistol caliber shotshells is silly when considering wildcat rounds and reloading.


Agree completely with you that the law makes no sense.

Midway has them back ordered. Don't know if that means they will come in, or if they're gone forever. I can't find a website for Aguila, so I can't ask them directly.

But (if I can go off-topic just a bit), if I can find them, I'm going to ask if they plan to make a 1.5in .410. I.E., a shotgun round that would fit in a standard .45 Colt revolver. Think about it, the advantages of Taurus JUDGE w/o having to actually buy one.

Of course, this won't do us here in the PRK any good until after Incorporation & the disappearance of all the PRK-only regs.


The Raisuli

Mulay El Raisuli
01-11-2010, 7:56 AM
A .410 shell (even one shortened to 1.5 in or shorter) will NOT fit in a standard chamber of a .45LC (or .454 Casull or .460 S&W) revolver, at least not in any I've tried. The cylindrical part of the cartridge itself will fit, but the rim on the .410 is wider (look up the specs sometimes). Turning a .45 caliber revolver into a .410 shotshell gun requires the use of a .410 chamber reamer (obviously, the reamer would have to be shortened first). The reamer would not widen the chamber itself, and would only cut the rebate for the rim.


I'm guessing the JUDGE has had this done then?


Would widening the rim rebate turn a .45LC handgun into a .410 SBS? I'll leave that question to lawyers, DAs, and judges, but I'm not intending to be anywhere near when they find out.


I'm with you on that. No way I'm willing to be the 'test case' on this one.


I would not be so sure. Incorporation of the 2A may give us the right to keep and bear arms in general, but at least in the medium term, it will not give us things like machine guns, destructive devices (cannons etc), and sawed-off shotguns. And the rules against shotgun shells in handguns are a specific implementation of SBS rules.


Actually, I think it will do exactly that. There aren't Georgia-specific rules for voting, are there? There aren't Alabama-specific rules for free speech, are there? There aren't ANY state-specific rules governing ANY civil rights. Now that we have the 2A (again) acknowledged to be a civil right, & once we have it Incorporated against the states, it will be treated just like ANY other civil right & all the crap that the PRK inflicts on us will go the way of the buffalo.

That's why I'm not seeing the justification for the belief that it will take 5-10 years to have all the good things that the other states have. The "groundwork" here consists of two parts. Answering the Basic Question; militia or individual Right? This was answered in Heller. The second part is; Is this individual Right Incorporated against the states? McDonald will answer that. There being no good argument against Incorporation, I'm going to be as optimistic as everyone else & predict that we'll have that by the end of June.

True, those good things won't happen immediately. There will have to be fights in the courts over this. But the precedents have already been established. Nothing new need be done. All we have to do is file to have those established precedents apply to this civil right in the same manner as they apply to all the others. So, since the JUDGE is legal under federal law, & in the other 49 states, it'll be legal here as well. Along with Evil Black Rifles & all the rest.


The Raisuli